Adidas Pure Boost

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8.0 score
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Editor rating: 8.0 / 10
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Evolving from earlier versions of the Pure Boost, the 2017 Pure Boost 4.0 is an attempt to grow beyond its prior casual design into an active performance runner. While not suited for long-distance training, Adidas succeeds in creating a stable product for quick city runs. The natural stability you’ll get out of these shoes makes them versatile enough for high-intensity circuit training as long as you don’t require additional foot support. Even with the stabilizing features that help cross these over into performance territory, they do not part from their roots as a stylish option for casual wear.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Boost material provides superior comfort and responsivity
  • Wide forefoot creates fitting and stability improvements
  • Great for city running / short distance training
  • Upper works with lace design to secure you during lateral motion
  • Achieves good balance of performance and style
Cons
  • Lacks internal padding / No insole
  • Not suitable for long distance runs
  • Lacks overall support
  • May be a bit expensive when not on sale

Outsole

The outsole of the shoe is made of Adidas’ highly flexible Stretchweb technology. Stretchweb is a type of rubber implemented to reduce foot-fall pressure. It is a super flexible material that bends with the shape of the terrain.
Fans of Adidas’ Boost series were often quick to notice the missing Continental label. Continental is a car-part company that works with Adidas to create rubber outsoles which provide great traction and durability. While this shoe does lack the Continental label, buyers weren’t really able to notice any difference by the look and feel of the rubber. It could be the case, as it often is with marketing, that the label doesn’t mean a whole lot when it comes to the products quality.

Midsole

The midsole, of course, needs no introduction. But for those new to Boost technology, we’ll take a moment to explain how it works. Boost technology is a dual density foam system that excels at providing the runner with energy return. Energy return is when the foam cushioning of Boost helps to reduce the loss of energy you put into the shoe as it impacts the ground. By absorbing the harsh impact of foot-fall, Boost saves you from having to work harder on your next toe-off. Users reported that unlike the Boost found in the Ultra Boost shoe, the Boost material here was designed for a more firm feel to support a more dynamic running course. With this shoe, Adidas strikes a good balance between a soft cushion experience and a firm stabilizing one.

Upper

There are a few things going on with the upper that makes it unique. The overall material of the top of the shoe is made of a breathable circle knit material. Some users were disappointed that Adidas’ Primeknit material was not used for this shoe. The Primeknit material feels and acts more like spandex. It is more soft and flexible but less stable than circle knitting. Circle knit tends to do a better job of securing your foot to the shoe, even though it may not be as flexible as Primeknit. Also remember, that Primeknit material comes with a price bump.

The most unique trait of this shoe is its burrito style tongue. Essentially there is no separate or integrated tongue that attaches to the upper. The tongue is actually part of the upper itself tucked in and folded beneath the laces. Overall the burrito style is comfortable and won’t get in your way. It also serves as a substitute for a lace cage. The more you tighten the laces, the more the tongue overlaps itself and binds the knit firmly to your foot. The shoe utilizes cloth eyelets that are evenly positioned to reduce unwanted pressure. Both flat and round laces come included.

Weight

At about 10.4 ounces in a standard size 9, this shoe is categorized as a lightweight shoe. For a running shoe that is pretty average, but for a shoe with Boost technology that is pretty light. This shoe has a decent amount of stability and support for its size.

Breathability

The upper of the shoe is composed of a single-piece knit material, so there isn’t any dense layering. While the circle knit of the shoe is more unyielding than Primeknit material, users say it is still very breathable. The heel counters on the heel side are perforated to air to escape and enter the shoe's interior. Overall the shoe has good breathability, especially for being composed of a more cloth-like knit material.

Comfort

Most users report that this shoe fits true to size and the wide forefoot of the shoe provides room for buyers with wide feet. The Boost material gives the shoe great cushioning. For the purposes of city running, the Boost is distributed for a more firm feel. While this isn’t the best for long distance runs, it adds to the shoe's stability and arch support during sudden changes in direction. The only place where there is padding on the inside of this shoe is around the heel. There is also no insole which is a big hit or miss for some people. You step directly onto the boost foam midsole. The lack of an insole doesn’t seem to add any discomfort but it does further detract from the overall padding in the shoe.

Style

Overall the shoe has a great self-contained look. They have a unique digital design and come available in many prints. The labels are knitted into the shoe and there is no lace cage, so nothing juts out awkwardly, except maybe the heel counters. The upper of the shoe is very sleek and minimalist looking, making it suitable for city wear while also giving them a more athletic feel. For some reviewers, the burrito style tongue was an eyesore but it did not bother most buyers.

Durability

The outsole wraps around the medial (inner arch) side of the shoe and helps protect the midsole of the arch. Many buyers also noted that the outsole was larger compared to other shoes in the Boost series. While some people complained that the large outsole takes room away from the boost material, others found that it maximized the overall life of the midsole. It makes sense that a thicker, sturdy outsole helps to protect the midsole from corrosion.

Protection

As a city runner, it is important that your shoe be malleable enough for comfort but also rugged enough to protect you. If you have a mesh that is too flexible you risk your foot shifting around the midsole. This may cause you to scrape against the toe-bumper or roll your ankle of the sides of the shoe. This shoes circle knitted mesh have enough give to feel comfortable, while being tight enough to secure your foot on the footbed. Unlike some of the lighter mesh models in the Boost series, these have a more durable upper material more likely to resist wear and tear. Boost cushioning keeps your weight bearing joints protected during foot-strike and the heel counters on either side help lock down your ankles.

Responsiveness

Boost technology creates one of the most springy and responsive midsoles on the market today. It is composed of a highly elastic urethane that strikes an optimal balance between soft and firm cushioning. The result is a bounce on feet that opposes the ground naturally without a jarring push-back.

Terrain

As mentioned, these shoes are made for dry city environments. You can take them through your local park, but you'll want to avoid woodland trails. And while they perform well as an option for daily training, they are a bit too firm for long distance running.

Price

With a price tag of 150 dollars on the Adidas website, these aren’t really a budget shoe despite their less expensive materials. Additionally, 150 dollars is a bit on the expensive side when it comes to a performance athletic shoe, even ones that look as great as these. The good news, however, is that these shoes go on sale all the time and you can often grab them for around 100 dollars. You won’t be able to find a boost shoe in that price range very often, so if you do see these on sale it might really be worth checking them out.

Flexibility

As previously mentioned, the circle mesh won’t feel as flexible as Primeknit. However, the unique design of the shoe offers its own adaptive qualities. Some users found that the burrito tongue design offered a more customizable fit.

Stability

The reason these shoes perform best as daily trainers and city runners is because of the increased stability other shoes in the Boost series tend to lack. As mentioned before, the shoes have a wide forefoot platform. This not only helps with comfort and fitting, but provides additional stability when toeing-off. The upper of the shoe has extra lace loops on either side for users who need some extra security in addition to the heel counters. A great city running shoe because the added stability makes it good for sudden lateral movements

Drop

With a 26-millimeter heel and 18-millimeter forefoot, this shoe has a below average drop of 8 millimeters. By choosing to keep the foot closer to the ground, Adidas gives these shoes a fluid and responsive feel during quick lateral motion. Their low drop coupled with a wide forefoot area makes room for some natural stability.

Support

Some buyers mentioned the shoes overall lack of support. It is important to keep in mind that the Pure Boost is a neutral running shoe and so was not designed with a support system to help prevent over/under pronation. With that being said, the shoe does lack an insole and some internal padding around the tongue typically found in your average running shoe.

Comparison

Many users compare the Pure Boost to the Ultra Boost unfairly. The reason for this is that the Pure Boost lacks some of the Ultra Boost’s materials that carry a lot of clout i.e., Primeknit and Continental rubber. Meanwhile the shoes have on average only a 30 dollar price difference. However, it is important to remember that these shoes were designed for two very different purposes. Primeknit is not stable enough for the sudden directional changes needed while traversing quickly over city terrain. Additionally, the outsoles are different shapes and thicknesses, so it's not the case that one is simply a better version than the other. And, yes, there is a bit more Boost material for added cushioning on the Ultras, but extra cushioning does not make for good support. Comparing these shoes is a lot like comparing apples to oranges as they are made differently for their own specific purposes.

Key Features

Boost cushioning for comfort and force absorption
Breathable circle mesh works with unique tongue design for increased stability
Wide forefoot for inclusive fitting and stability.
Unique two-part ankle counter for ankle security

Bottom Line

Investing in this shoe should be a case of knowing what you want as a buyer. If you want a stylish pair of shoes for quick and diverse motion than you may have found them. If, on the other hand, you want something to carry you comfortably on long straight distances, it might be best to continue the search elsewhere. Overall, this shoe offers a great balance of comfort and stability during short distance performance. Nothing on the upper will pinch your feet or create unwanted pressure. The mesh is both securing and moderately breathable.

If you can find these on sale (which you often can) and need a shoe designed for dexterity and speed, we recommend you take these into consideration. They go on sale often and fly off the shelves just as quickly because they are so visually appealing. Many users even purchase these shoes without any intention of using them for athletic training. Like many of the other Adidas crossovers, these are not without their limitations as a performance product. However, with all things considered, the Pure Boost can hold their own decently for athletic purposes without losing their ability to still turn heads.