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Adidas SolarGlide 5 Review: Refreshed Workhorse
By: Chief Editor Matthew Klein & Senior Contributor David Salas

The Adidas Glide series has changed its name a few times over the years but essentially is the neutral high mileage workhorse of the Adidas training lineup. The Solarglide 5 continues upon this tradition using a durable Continental outsole as well as a dual Boost and EVA midsole. However, this shoe is completely different from previous models. The addition of the LEP system seen in the Ultraboost 21, brand new midsole geometry, a new upper and a far smoother ride. With the addition of some good updates this shoe becomes a high quality workhorse daily trainer. 

Price: $129.95 at Running Warehouse
Weight: 11.8 oz, 335 g (men's size 9.5 measured), women's weights not provided
Stack Height: 36 mm / 26 mm
Drop: 10 mm
Classification: Daily Trainer, Workhorse


Matt: The Adidas Solarglide 5 is a neutral daily trainer for those wanting a stiff but cushioned ride for high mileage training. An LEP (Linear Energy Push) torsion system adds stiffness, particularly in the forefoot and heel. The upper is thicker but features a normal width with some mild stretch to it. The BOOST midsole provides a high level of cushioning, but at the cost of making the shoe quite heavy. A well-rockered sole creates an easy transition, making the Adidas Solarglide 5 a solid daily trainer for getting in tons of miles.  

David: The Solarglide 5 is a neutral workhorse trainer that should be able to tackle some really high mileage. The shoe rides more in the stable neutral category thanks to a really well-beveled heel and integrated HEP torsion system through the midfoot. The shoe itself feels very premium, having a little bit more of a plush upper and quite a bit of boost midsole. All these bells and whistles do come with some weight but the shoe does run much lighter than the weight.


Matt: The Adidas Solarglide 5 fits me true to size in my normal US men's size 10. The width is normal with a taper at the toebox due to a thicker toe guard. The upper is a thick knit material that is completely recycled. It is fairly warm but secure thanks to extensive internal reinforcements. The heel collar is well padded and covers a split heel counter. Like many recent Adidas trainers, the heel counter is on the medial and lateral sides with a gap in the rearmost portion. This works extremely well for my sensitive heel and locks the rearfoot down well. The tongue, however, is frustrating as the medial and lateral sides fold in on themselves throughout its length. The tongue is not gusseted, although has double attachments to the laces. This requires careful placement every time you put the shoe on. The security is good as I did not have to lace lock the shoe. The Solarglide is a warmer, highly cushioned and traditional fitting upper that gets a pass on an annoying tongue due to being made of recycled materials. 

David: Overall I felt the fit of the Solarglide 5 was done pretty well. The shoe fits true to size in my normal Men's 9.5. The length is good and dialed in well which is unique for me with Adidas as they normally run a tad long on me. The upper materials itself is a thicker mesh that still seems to breathe pretty well in most environments. The tongue is very padded and plush which ends up working pretty well for me since I did need to heel lock the shoe down. The fit is normal to slightly wide width throughout in the heel, midfoot, and forefoot. The heel is very padded and does have a heel counter. The instep does seem to be a little wide and so I did have to heel lock the shoe to make sure there was no slippage. Outside of that, the shoe fits really well throughout. There are minimal overlays throughout the upper and it is quite comfortable throughout. There is a toe guard up front but it did not provide any irritation upon running. Ultimately a really well done upper if you don't mind thicker more plush materials, though heel security could be a little better.  


Matt: The Adidas Solarglide 5 features a completely different ride than previous versions. The transition is much smoother in the past thanks to large and well-placed heel bevel and toe spring. This creates a well-rockered ride. Once this shoe breaks in, the highly beveled heel rolls forward nicely. There is a large amount of lateral heel flare, which makes transitions abrupt at first. It is offset by the fact that the heel bevel is slightly lateral, which helps as this slowly breaks in and smooths out after a few miles. Like the Ultraboost 21, there is a full-length LEP system. This is a plastic torsion system that extends into the forefoot and heel as well as medially and laterally along the full width of both. This creates a high level of torsional rigidity, which also contributes to making the ride extremely stiff at first, particularly in the forefoot. It took me a few miles to break this shoe in because of that stiffness, so patience is required. Despite the initially stiff transition, the underfoot feel is quite cushioned due to the full-length BOOST midsole. This provides a somewhat bouncy feel no matter where you land. The midsole combined with the rockered sole (once the shoe breaks in) does make the Solarglide 5 feel a little lighter than the listed weight. However, it is still a heavy shoe. The Solarglide 5 does best on easy and recovery runs where pace is not an issue. It does get a little heavy for me personally to use on long runs, but for those that are not bothered by that, there is plenty of protection for long mileage. It is a tank, as the Continental rubber outsole has no major wear after 35 miles.

The Adidas Solarglide 5 has a completely redone sole design that gives it a significant rocker with a somewhat soft ride for eating up miles. 

David: I was pleasantly surprised with the performance of the Solarglide 5. The first thing I immediately noticed was that the heel and rearfoot transition was so much smoother than it has been in the past. There is a large centralized bevel at the rearfoot is a coupled with a deep midline groove throughout the shoe functioning as a crash pad. Throughout the late rearfoot, midfoot, and early forefoot Adidas is now utilizing what they call the  LEP system. This is similar to the torsion system they have done in other shoes but is more of an H-shaped design using plastic. This is embedded in between a midsole layer of boost as well as a topsole of EVA. The result is as very smooth transition from the heel into the midfoot with some nice stability elements sprinkle in. The boost midsole and LEP system ends right before reaching the PIP/DIP joints (your toes) and allows for some flexibility of the shoe up front. For how much shoe there is the transitions are actually quite nice. The heel and midfoot feel like a rockered shoe and the forefoot provides a nice natural feeling toe off. Because of the rigidity throughout and bounciness of boost the shoe is surprisingly responsive for the weight. With that said it is still a little chunky. This is a daily mileage workhorse. I have forced a little uptempo work, but this is something more for logging miles. The Continental outsole provides really good traction and I have some success with this shoe in off road conditions as well. Outside of the obvious weight I really enjoyed this shoe and this is my favorite boost trainer since the original Energy Boost. It's hard for me to justify it for long runs just because of a little fatigue from the 11.8 oz, but for daily mileage it has been one of my recent go toes.


Matt: The Adidas Solarglide 5 is a neutral daily trainer. However, there are several elements that make this shoe a stable neutral shoe. There is a large amount of sole flare medially and laterally at the forefoot and heel. This does resist frontal plane motion, but also adds an early initial contact for those that land laterally either at the forefoot or heel. This does break in with time. The LEP torsion system also extends across the width of the shoe in the forefoot and heel. This provides a high level of ridigity in both areas, furthering adding torsional resistance. One of the more noticeable components is that there are sidewalls in both the heel and forefoot. The heel features high sidewalls that interact well with the more forward heel counters on both the medial and lateral side. This locks the heel in extremely well on both sides. The forefoot also has mild sidewalls on both the medial and lateral side which provide further guidance when the front breaks in and transitions. For those who need midfoot stability, the Adidas Solarglide is fairly neutral. The midfoot does narrow and there are not extensions of any kind that resist motion outside of the center of the LEP torsion unit being there. So for those that need guidance at the heel and forefoot, this shoe will do extremely well without having a post. For thsoe that need midfoot stability, the Solarglide is fairly neutral. 

David: The Solarglide 5 does pretty well in the stability category. The shoe itself is not marketed as a stability shoe but uses several stability elements that make this shoe ride in the stable neutral category for me. The shoe has a really well done centralized heel bevel that they knocked out of the park that transitions really well into their LEP system. The H-design of the LEP system helps create some torsional rigidity but also creates a path of least resistance through the midline of the shoe. The shoe is also stabilized with the EVA topsole that sits above the LEP system with a good chunk of boost midsole underneath. The shoe is certainly cushioned but feels very grounded and stable in all directions. The upper is also reinforced well throughout. The only thing that can effect the stability for me is just the heel fit and width. I think just narrowing it a tad with the either the counter or the heel collar/upper wrap would probably do the trick. 


Today's DPT section may dance a little bit more into theory than research but I believe it is important to talk about. When we look at what Adidas did with the Solarglide to create some stability throughout the shoe, it is both unique and traditional. People have been using midfoot shanks for a long time to create some rigidity but not until recently are we seeing companies coming out with H shape designs. The LEP system is an H-shaped plastic shank that extends from the distal rearfoot, midfoot, and proximal forefoot with the medial and lateral rod aspects riding the side of the shoe. What this does is create a pathway for the foot to travel along the midline of the shoe. This is what we would call the path of least resistance. The H design of LEP creates a sense of guidance throughout the length of the shoe. The combination with the dual midsole is done well too. From initial contact the boost midsole takes the brunt of the impact but the EVA topsole keeps you feeling grounded and connected to the platform and LEP system instead of giving you a floating sensation over the shoe. Combine that with good traction underneath and a supportive upper and you have yourself a shoe that feels like a stable neutral shoe. This I feel was a component that was missing from the Ultraboost 21 where the LEP system debuted. They did a great job utilizing the large amount of components going in the Solarglide 5.

- David Salas, PT, DPT, CSCS


Matt: The Solarglide 5 is a massive step in the right direction. Versions 3 and 4 were extremely clunky with fairly poor heel transitions. The solid heel bevel and redesign of the torsion system makes for a far better transition once the shoe breaks in. The Solarglide 5 also features a ton of new guidance features without being a stability shoe. However, this shoe is still quite heavy, the forefoot tapers more than it may need, the tongue folds on itself and the midfoot narrows in a way that feels awkward to transition from or to the far more stable heel or forefoot. My major suggestions are to see if this shoe can be lightened just a little to match other major brands. This may be a consequence of using Boost, which does have solid responsiveness and makes the shoe feel lighter than it is. Another suggestion would be to widen the midfoot. The previous versions did do this well and if combined with the current design would make for an unbiased but stable ride throughout the length of the shoe. The upper is fairly warm and may be thicker than it needs. It may be beneficial to lighten this up, which will help with weight savings. Additionally, the tongue needs to be redone to stop it from folding on itself. Gusseting the tongue may help with this. Despite all of the recommendations, I do like the Solarglide 5 and have found it to be a massive improvement on previous versions.

David: I really enjoyed the Solarglide 5. My main recommendation lies with the heel fit. The fit feels a tad wide despite how much padding it has. Perhaps it is the most dorsal aspect of the lacing system or simply a heel width. I would look at perhaps just narrowing the heel counter or pulling the material in the heel region a little more.


Matt: The Adidas Solarglide 5 is for those wanting a traditional/thicker fitting upper with a solid amount of BOOST underfoot in a stable rockered ride. The new rockered geometry of the midsole allows for a smoother heel and forefoot transition. The LEP system stabilizes the BOOST extremely well at the heel and forefoot, which combined with the sidewalls in the same area make this shoe stable in those areas. The upper is thick and warm, fitting those with normal width feet who can handle a slightly tapered toebox well. The heel counter is split, which may be an option for those with heel bone sensitivities on the posterior-most side. Outside of a fairly normal midfoot, the Adidas Solarglide 5 is a solidly stable neutral shoe with a greatly improved transition that although on the heavy side, is great for high mileage and letting your legs recover.

David: The Adidas Solarglide 5 is for someone looking to have a shoe with a lot of cushioning and protection underfoot but still maintains a somewhat firm and grounded feel to the shoe. The shoe has a rockered feeling through the heel and midfoot, but does have a flexible forefoot that has natural feeling toe off. The shoe has a lot of stability elements through the midfoot and gives you a guiderail sensation through the shoe. This shoe is definitely a workhorse and can handle you throwing a lot of miles at it. If durability and the things mentioned above is what you are looking for this may be worth checking out. The shoe does run on the heavy side, but integrates all the components pretty well.


Fit: B/B+ (Thick upper with solid split heel counter and relatively normal width fit but tapered toe box. Upper runs warm)
B+ (Takes a few miles for the shoe to break in, but it becomes a somewhat bouncy, cushioned and rockered shoe that is great for easy and recovery miles. On the heavier side but the full BOOST midsole makes it feel lighter)
Stability: A- [Stable Neutral] (Solid new-age stability from sidewalls and LEP in both heel and forefoot. Midfoot no extra methods)
DPT/Footwear Science: A- (Solid use of LEP and sidewalls. Midfoot however would benefit from following this to a degree as the narrowness can be awkward for those who need a more stable transition there)
Personal: B (Solid cushion and far better transitions than previous. Really nice stable ride in heel and forefoot, but midfoot less stable for me. The amount of lateral flare took time for me to get used to and the shoe is heavier than I would like for daily miles. 
Overall:  B+ (A massive step forward for the Solarglide series. A stable neutral daily training shoe for those with normal width feet wanting to get tons of miles in)

Fit: B+ (Dimensions throughout are good but heel lock was required. The mesh still a tad on the thicker end than I'd like but otherwise done really well and is comfortable.)
A- (Really smooth transitions, rockered heel and midfoot and flexible forefoot work well together in combination with midsole composition. This shoe is a tank though. It's heavy but really smooth.)
Stability: A- (LEP system and midsole integration done really well, heel security before heel lock really the only thing preventing from full A)
DPT/Footwear Science: A (I really like what they did here. They took the LEP system and really tuned it to the geometry of the shoe while also playing with a dual midsole on both ends of the system. For so much moving parts the integration was quite good.)
Personal: A- (My favorite Boost trainer since the original Energy Boost. Transitions are smooth and it is surprisingly responsive. Its just the weight. Its a chunker. But I can still live with that.)
Overall: A- (A solid neutral workhorse with good stability integration. Heavy, but stable and has smooth transitions for long mileage.)


*Adidas Solarglide 5
Price: $129.95 at Running Warehouse

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Matthew Klein, PT DPT PhD(c) OCS FAAOMPT
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist
Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists

Dr. Matthew Klein is a 150 lb male with notable PRs of 14:45 for 5k and 2:32:44 for the full marathon.  He typically runs 70-100 miles per week and trains at a variety of paces from 8min per mile recovery runs to 4:40 per mile 1k repeats.  He prefers firmer and responsive shoes with snug heels and medium to wide toe boxes.  The stability guy of the group, he also prefers a little stability in his footwear. However, as a researcher, clinician and running shoe aficionado, he will run in anything.

David Salas PT DPT CSCS
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist

Dr. David Salas is a 135 lb male with notable PRs ranging from 3:54 in the 1500m to 1:08:36 for half marathon. He typically runs 60 to 70 miles per week and trains from about 7:30 recovery runs to fast shorter efforts at 4:30 pace. He normally prefers neutral shoes with a firmer ride, but is completely open to other types of shoes.  He is a footwear enthusiast at heart and will always appreciate a high quality shoe when it comes around. For updates on training or testing,

Editor's Note: As always, the views presented on this website belong to myself or the selected few who contribute to these posts. This website should not and does not serve as a replacement for seeking medical care. If you are currently injured or concerned about an injury, please see your
local running physical therapist. If you are in the Los Angeles area, I am currently taking clients for running evaluations.

***Disclaimer: These shoes were provided free of charge in exchange for a review.  We thank the people at Adidas and Running Warehouse for sending us pairs.  This in no way affected the honesty of this review. We systematically put each type of shoe through certain runs prior to review. For trainers and performance trainers, we take them on daily runs, workouts, recovery runs and a long run prior to review (often accumulating anywhere from 20-50 miles in the process). For racing flats we ensure that we have completed intervals, a tempo or steady state run as well as a warm-up and cool down in each pair prior to review. This systematic process is to ensure that we have experience with each shoe in a large variety of conditions to provide expansive and thorough reviews for the public and for companies. Our views are based on our extensive history in the footwear industry and years testing and developing footwear. If you are a footwear rep looking for footwear reviews or consultations on development, we are currently looking to partner with companies to assist, discuss and promote footwear models. Partnership will not affect the honesty of our reviews.

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