Adidas Alpha Bounce Review Facts
For its hundred dollar price range and great user reviews, the Adidas Alphabounce shoe has been flying off the shelves. The Alphabounce is a great choice for someone with an active lifestyle who still wants a shoe that looks good on the streets. Great for walkers, gym-goers, joggers, and casual sports, this shoe proves itself to be an economic and versatile product.
While Adidas might classify these as performance running shoes, they are really a crossover product by design. By crossover, we mean that the product straddles the realms of a performance athletic shoe, and a lifestyle shoe. Crossovers are great in that they give the user benefits from both us of these categories. However, often times what occurs is by trying to do to much, the crossover ends up having some glaring issues as a performance shoe. With that being said, the Alphabounce was not designed to be a long distance running platform and they function best as a casual shoe with some moderate daily training.
The outsole is composed of Adidas’ Adiwear Technology. Adiwear is a sturdy material that is resistant to abrasion over long periods of use. On the surface of the outsole you’ll see a meandering collection of “pods” that the shoe utilizes for traction. The pattern of dot-shaped lugs creates a appealing modern look as they are only placed on the parts of the shoe that make contact with the ground. The traction
on the outsole overall is good and will perform best in favorable weather. While the less aggressive looking lugs have their appeal, some users report them to underperform on slippery, wet surfaces.
The midsole is composed of a dual density foam. Adidas’ soft Bounce technology is secured in an EVA (Ethylene-vinyl acetate) casing. While the foam feels firm from the outside of the shoe, once you slip inside the soft foam core, Bounce is a pleasant surprise. Bounce technology is a cheaper alternative to Boost, and being a bit firmer is not as suitable for long distance running. While the quality of Boost technology is more advanced, Bounce offers a sufficient amount of padding that won’t break your wallet and will keep you still very comfortable. Like Boost, Bounce material is responsive and protective against ground
impact. Its dual density foam is also temperature resistant, meaning that cold or warm environments do not alter the shoes comfort or stability.
There is a lot going on with the upper of this shoe both aesthetically and materially. The Alphabounce upper is composed of what Adidas calls “Forged Mesh”. One review said that Forged mesh feels like a cross between a swimsuit like material and a double-knit polyester fabric. The Forged mesh is basically a loose mesh upper that is heated in certain areas to be moulded into an aesthetically sound and stabilizing hold. The moulding allows Adidas to create stability in areas often too pliable with a lighter mesh material. The Forged mesh upper does a good job of holding your feet in their correct position, giving you that extra boost of confidence in your stride.
While Adidas succeeds in making the mesh look more appealing, the added layering has been reported to stunt the overall breathability of the shoe. In addition, there are four unevenly distributed lacing rows that secure the foot to the midsole. While this gives the shoe an original look, they are questionably placed for a performance running shoe. However, any top-down pressure from the uneven laces
may be offset by their lack of an often uncomfortable lace cage.
The shoe weights about 10.5 oz for a US mens size 9. When measured against other performance running shoes, they aren’t particularly light, but they aren’t particularly heavy either. Much of the weight of this shoe may be contributed to its heavier density foam as compared to some of the lighter, more expensive types.
As mentioned before, the Forged Mesh upper sacrifices airflow
for better overall stability. It is important to keep in mind, however, that we are comparing the breathability of this shoe with top of the line performance runners that typically use a very thin mesh. The Alphabounce brand is still far superior than your average shoe when it comes to airflow and the many perforations are superb for letting in air into the interior of the shoe.
According to buyer reviews on Amazon, these shoes often fit as expected for a more narrow, standard sized foot, but if you have wider feet, you’ll want to consider buying them one-half size up. Other than that, the buyer review were overwhelmingly positive, especially in terms of comfort. The tongue of the shoe is combined with the upper mesh
, so that the Alphabounce posses a comfortable sock-like fit making for a very smooth insole. This shoe has a long and narrow toebox that feels snug and stable around your feet. If you don’t mind your toes coming into contact with the upper, you shouldn’t mind the snug-fit of the Alphabounce. There is a sufficient amount of cushioning (especially on the heel-side of the shoe) for both daily wear and moderate physical activity--again, not intended for long periods of running.
The Alphabounce definitely pops visually. Adidas is modest with their logos, placing them on parts of the shoe that will neither disturb your comfortability or your style. There is very little clutter
on the surface of its upper mesh and the laces are threaded through tiny strips of plastic that stick flush against the mesh. The tongue of the shoe is raised higher than the heel grip, assisting the minimalist look of the shoe in its sleek, slicked back design approach. There are textural grooves that ripple out over the midsole to match with its fluid upper aesthetic. Furthermore, the Alphabounce shoe comes in a large variety of design options, (over twenty!) each one with its own unique twist.
Despite the fact that the outsole is constructed with standard rubber and not the pricey Continental material doesn't keep the Alphabounce from long lasting durability. One review pegged these pups with a 300 average mileage, which is a pretty good deal for what they cost. The upper of this shoe is also very durable but as a result, not very breathable. It is a trade off that many performance shoes have to make: a lighter mesh knit with great airflow or a thick layered upper that runs warm with superior durability.
Even though the Alphabounce is neither a hiking nor a serious performing shoe, you should still expect some level of moderate security
. The foam midsole is most elevated at the heel to dissipate impact as you touch down on each stride. From a design standpoint, it makes sense to place most of the padding on the heel of a shoe with a 12 millimeter drop. Due to the angle of your foot to the ground, you’ll most likely be striking the ground first with your heel before rolling onto your forefoot. The shoe also has a heel strap that is both supportive and reflective, helping to keep you safe if you decide to run at night.
A lot of reviewers compare the response of this shoes Bounce technology with that of Boost technology. In our opinion, this really isn’t fair, especially when you stop to consider the economic gap between the two. Compared to Boost, Bounce is both more robust
and more firm, yet it still delivers a decent amount of energy return compared with other shoes.
If your stride is without pronation or plantar fasciitis, the basic construction of the Alphabounce will keep your feet supported just fine. Its high 12 millimeter profile provides ample cushioning for your heel strike. If, however, you do require a more aggressive support system, this shoe doesn’t provide much beyond its general fit.
The Alphabounce functions decently in many different settings, but was not designed for any one in particular. They work great on the road, the gym, while walking, and while running short distances. These shoes under-perform on wet surfaces and definitely don’t belong on hiking trails
These shoes usually go for approximately 100 dollars but we’ve seen them on Amazon in some less popular styles for as low as 70 dollars--which is a steal! If you want an all around comfortable shoe, but aren't ready to commit to the price and limited style of a more serious athletic model, the Alphabounce shoes are totally worth your consideration.
The mesh of the upper is somewhat flexible compared to other mesh knit compositions. You can bend and twist the shoe in your hands before it springs back into shape. The Forge Mesh will conform to the individuals foot shape overtime despite its sturdier form.
As for stability, the Forge Mesh and dual density cushioning create an overall supportive shoe that keeps your feet centered on the midsole. The sturdy mesh also assists with keeping the shoe flush with the soles of your feet during sudden lateral motion, making the Alphabounce great for plyometric activities
. The heel lip angles out instead of sitting flush with your achilles, allowing you to slip in and out of the shoe more easily. The angular lip also fits great with the shoes sleek looking appearance. However, some users report that the curved lip creates heel support that is less than ideal, especially considering the small size of the heel counter.
The Alphabouce shoe has a standard 12 millimeter heel-to-toe drop. While this may seem a bit high compared with other running shoes on the market, we have seen some great top-of-the-line, long-distance brands that chose a similar drop off-set height.
Bounce cushioning for stability and force absorption
Forge Mesh upper designed for stability and adaptation
Integrated tongue for a smooth sock-like insole
Comes in over twenty different colors and prints
The Adidas Alphabounce is a very functional addition to the crossover category. It looks fantastic as a casual streetwear shoe and performs well for daily training. Bring it to the gym and its cushion will support you as you jog or lift weights. Take them out for a game of basketball and their mesh upper will brace your foot during strong lateral movements. Perhaps just take them to school or the mall, and rock them for their general comfort and style. The Alphabounce shoes are pretty much whatever you’d like them to be and because of their reasonable price tag, you don’t have to worry about being locked into one pair of kicks for everything.
But don’t be fooled. Although we sometimes wish we had a shoe that was nearly perfect in all aspects of looks and performance, the Alphabounce does not come without room for improvement. With some very minor tweaks, perhaps Adidas may be able to retain much of this shoes appealing aesthetic, while improving upon their long distance running capabilities. However, we must be careful with what we wish for because new adjustments may come at the buyers expense. One thing that makes the Alphabounce such a great option as a crossover shoe is its cost. Sure, Adidas could substitute their Bounce technology for Boost (with which it is often compared), creating a softer cushion for longer runs, but in so doing the cost of the shoe would also be increased.
Alternatively, a more formidable heel counter could be implemented without really detracting from their minimalist look or their reasonable price. The lip of the shoes heel could also be tucked in, along with some more comfortable and securing lace work. Without changing the overall nature of the shoes cushioning, it could be just as cost efficient simply to distribute the midsole foam more evenly throughout the shoe.