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Adidas Supernova+ Review
By Senior Contributor David Salas


A few years ago the adidas Supernova was one of the primary high mileage trainers offered from the company. After some innovations and movement in production lines the Supernova shifted to the shadows for a little bit. Alas, the Supernova + is back and does have a place in the Adidas training lineup. Utilizing recycled materials, this daily training shoe is a neutral daily training shoe with a lot of stability throughout and a firmer feel to it. The midsoles utilized is the famous Boost midsole coupled with their firm EVA Bounce. Boost is in the heel primarily with a small amount sprinkled in the forefoot as a topsole. The + in the name refers to the little bit of boost that is sprinkled into the forefoot, compared to the normal Supernova utilizing only Boost in that region. The result is a protective shoe with plenty of durability, but a firmer ride underfoot because of the larger amount of Bounce. The Supernova + is marketed towards beginning runners but could definitely be an option for those sensitive to rocker designs and like firmer rides. 




Specifications for the adidas Supernova+ (per Adidas website)
Weight: 11.2 ounces (men's size 9) 
Stack Height: 32mm heel, 22m forefoot
Drop: 10mm
Classification: Daily Trainer


RUNNING SHOE SUMMARY

The Adidas Supernova+ is a neutral daily training shoe for those looking to get a workhorse shoe and don't mind a little extra weight. The shoe provides plenty of protection underfoot while still giving a sense of firmness throughout. The Bounce midsole through the midfoot and forefoot coupled with the full contact outsole definitely firm the ride up but the shoe can certainly take a beating with mileage. The shoe in a lot of ways reminds me of the traditional training shoe that has seemed to die with the new innovations from many companies. This is a relatively high drop firm riding workhorse that will run until the cows come home. For those that like a little extra cushion in the heel for initial contact the shoe does utilize Boost as the midsole in the rearfoot with a tad in the forefoot to soften up the region. 


FIT

The Supernova + fits true to size in my normal Men's 9.5, however it does run long. The width throughout is normal and I did not have any irritation in the heel, midfoot, or forefoot. I think the construction of the last or upper make the shoe run on the longer end. The lacing system, however, does a good job of keeping the foot on the platform and not allowing for forward translation of the foot. It is strange though... the shoe is noticeably long but doesn't seem to provide any problems in that category. The shoe does have a heel counter that is semi rigid with some light padding and does feel like it secures down the heel relatively well. The posterior curve to give some room for the calcaneus may be a tad too deep though as I did have some heel slippage issues that would resolve if I laced the shoe down really tight. The tongue is lightly padded and seems to balance pretty well between a daily training type tongue and a performance tongue. The mesh upper is breathable throughout but does have some thickness to it which I really don't mind as it is a daily trainer. I do think the shoe length could be dialed in a little better and the retrocalcaneal space could be cleaned up to prevent heel slippage. Otherwise the upper is a pretty traditional well made trainer upper.  


PERFORMANCE


I enjoyed my experience with the Supernova +. The shoe feels like a workhorse trainer from the olden days. The ride is relatively firm throughout with a lot of cushioning in the heel but some firmness through the midfoot and forefoot. The shoe can be a tiny bit slappy in the forefoot but probably is just the result of the dual midsole combination. The transitions throughout are honestly pretty good with a firm toe off up front. There isn't too much of a heel bevel or toe spring and so you can definitely feel some of the flex points throughout the shoe. This is one of the few shoes out now that don't have the rocker feel so if someone is sensitive to the rolling sensations this could be worth looking into. Traction on the shoe is pretty good with the proprietary Adidas midsole and has done pretty well for me in light trail as well. The shoe does carry a little bit of weight to it and this is noticeable when running. Like I said earlier this is similar to a trainer of the olden days but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. If you don't mind the weight the shoe actually does perform pretty well for eating up miles. The weight and bounce midsole don't make this shoe the most responsive on the planet but it will get the job done at easy and daily paces.  



  

STABILITY

The stability throughout the Supernova + is pretty good for a neutral shoe. The platform of the shoe is pretty solid throughout with a firm riding Bounce midsole that is coupled with a full contact outsole. The stance phase on the shoe does seem to feel like it is on the longer end secondary to not having a rocker design and some of the added weight. The upper locks down decent enough but does have some heel slippage that requires some tight lacing to clear up. The Boost heel does not seem to make the rearfoot unstable in any way and does seem to ease the transition into the firmer riding Bounce midsole. Despite some heel slippage stability is pretty solid here. 



THOUGHTS AS A DPT / FOOTWEAR SCIENCE

Adidas markets the Supernova model as a running shoe for those that are new to running. This can be seen in some of the aspects of the shoe. Nothing in this shoe is overdone or "gimmicky". All around it is a pretty safe shoe with no excessive bevels, toe springs, cut outs, etc. The heel has a nice slab of boost midsole to help cushion the landing at initial contact, but transitions immediately into a much firmer Bounce midsole through the midfoot and forefoot. I am not sure if they have any objective findings on this, but my guess is the Boost is to help ease a harder landing from beginners and the Bounce to help stabilize the runner through midstance and terminal stance/toe off since beginning runners may not be the lightest on their feet or have developed intrinsic foot musculature adaptations specific to running. That is me purely speculating though. All around the shoe is pretty safely designed and doesn't really "wow" you in any specific region but provides a consistent and reliable ride each time you put it on. This is also evident in the upper for it uses a pretty traditional mesh upper with some mild overlays and isn't focused on being either really light or breathable. It seems like the focus is more on just being secure. 


RECOMMENDATIONS

My main recommendation for the Supernova + lies within the fit of the shoe. The shoe clearly runs long by a decent margin even though the volume is kept low vertically and the foot doesn't slide. I think the length in some ways might make the slapping sensation in the forefoot more evident as well. The heel could be reworked as well by fine tuning the retrocalcaneal region to be a little less spacious. Outside of the fit and heel security issues I'm pretty happy with the shoe overall. The materials of the shoe do run on the heavier end but if there is a way to lower the weight a small amount perhaps through the upper or outsole that might be worth looking into as well. 


WHO THIS SHOE IS FOR

The adidas Supernova+ is marketed towards beginning runners. The shoe is a decently moderate to high quality training shoe that has all of the necessary components to be a mileage workhorse. The Boost heel softens the initial contact and smoothens the transition into the pretty firm midfoot and forefoot. The midsole in the midfoot and forefoot is Bounce, a firmer riding EVA. The shoe runs similar to a traditional high drop neutral training shoe. There is no significant heel bevel (though slight posterior lateral) or toe spring so those that are sensitive to rockers could look into this as an option. For those that like firmer riding shoes with a lot of protection and don't mind some added weight the Adidas Supernova+ could be worth looking into.


GRADING

David
Fit: B- (The mesh upper and width are good throughout but clear length difference and some heel insecurity/slippage)
Performance: 
B (A little heavy but consistent throughout, best at easy and daily, not very responsive)
Stability: A- (Despite some heel slippage the firm platform, full contact outsole, and lightly reinforced upper work well)
DPT/Footwear Science: B (Making a shoe aimed at beginner runners is interesting by softening the foam at initial contact but keeping everything else firm moving anterior. I think execution is decent, but nothing overly revolutionary in this shoe)
Personal:  B+ (Not the most exciting shoe but it provides a consistent and reliable ride for those easy day miles, I also like walking around in them and feel good on feet for prolonged periods)
Overall: (A relatively well balanced training shoe for those looking for a firmer ride and max durability)

SHOP | SUPPORT DOR

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TESTER PROFILE:


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 purchased at retail price. 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 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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Newton Catalyst Review

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