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The 10 Best Adidas Running Shoes, According to Footwear Experts

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Three angled stripes — so simple, yet so iconic in the world of sports. This is the Adidas logo, a logo seen on the feet of Olympic champions, world record holders and some of the best athletes the world has ever seen.

Adidas’ role in the sport of running began well before Nike was even a thought. As the second largest sports shoe company in the world today (Nike is first), adidas makes some of the best sneakers you can buy. How it all started is an interesting story.

The Rivalry That Started Adidas

Most sibling rivalries involve yelling back and forth, a few heated words and perhaps the silent treatment for a week or two. Not for Adolf Dassler and his brother, Rudolf, though.

The two started a shoe company in 1924 called “Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik” or “Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory.” It would eventually produce the world’s first track spike, a running shoe that had tiny spikes on the sole for better traction. Four-time gold medalist Jesse Owens won an Olympic medal wearing the Dassler brothers track spike.

Things seemed to be going well for the brothers, until they had a fierce disagreement that would permanently sever their relations. The two parted ways, abandoning Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory. Adolf, or “Adi” for short, went on to form Adidas, while Rudolf would begin his own shoe company called Puma.

Energy Boost: A New Innovative Midsole

In terms of running shoe technology advancements, Adidas’ Energy Boost midsole is certainly revolutionary.

“Energy Boost will reset the running industry and pave the way for all future performance footwear,” said  Adidas’ Head of Sport Performance Eric Liedtke in a press release in 2013, when the technology launched. From that moment on, the entire Adidas footwear line changed forever.

Instead of the more commonly used Ethylene Vinyl Acetate, or EVA for short, Boost uses Thermoplastic Polyurethanes. TPU, as it’s called, is “blown up and turned into thousands of small energy capsules [that] store and unleash energy more efficiently in every stride,” according to Adidas’ website.

This author can personally attest that Boost is remarkable. It’s one of the highest energy return foams on the market, offering a soft yet responsive feel that puts it in a league of its own.

How to Pick the Best Adidas Running Shoe

Finding the perfect running shoe is not an easy task. A simple filter of running-specific shoes on Adidas’ website yields over 250 different models and styles. Adidas suggests asking yourself three questions when trying to decide on a running shoe: Where do you run, what level of cushioning do you like and do you need specific support?

Where Do You Run?

Basically, do you run on roads/concrete or on trails? Running shoes are divided into two distinct categories based on this question: road shoes and trail shoes. While some road shoes may be able to handle trails, and some trail running shoes the road, it’s best to buy the type of shoe that matches the surface you’ll be running on.

What Level of Cushioning Do You Like?

The level of cushioning in a shoe determines how firm or soft it feels underfoot, but the feel can also vary from person to person. Oftentimes the same shoe will feel very different to two different runners based on their height, weight and stride. In general, if you like a soft, pillow-like ride, you may want to try an Adidas shoe with a Boost midsole. If you favor a firmer ride, look for Lightstrike and Lightstrike pro cushioning technologies.

Do You Need Specific Support?

This is one of the more difficult questions to answer and somewhat up for debate. Dr Brian Crispell, a board-certified Foot and Ankle surgeon, says he generally doesn’t advocate for anyone wearing shoes that are “overly twisty and bendy.” Most of the shoes listed below don’t fit this category, as they have some sort of bridge support built in or the midsole foam that’s inherently stable.

Experts also agree that if a shoe feels comfortable and fits well, it’s the right one for you.

As an athlete and online running coach based in Santa Barbara, CA, I’ve run miles from the sandy beach paths to the steep, technical trails behind the city testing every Adidas running shoe. These are the standouts.

Adidas Solarboost 3

Best Adidas Running Shoes for Flat Feet

Runners with flat feet typically overpronate, meaning their feet rolls inward as they move over the ground. Dr. Crispell suggests these types of runners choose more rigid footwear that offers a stable platform, like the Solarboost 3.

Most stability shoes are downright firm, and sometimes harsh to run in. Not the Solarboost 3. It features the ultra-famous and plush Boost midsole, so you can expect a soft ride. The shoe gets its stable platform from two features: a firmer foam called a Control Rail that wraps the circumference of the shoe and a Linear Energy Push System (LEP), an H-shaped piece of plastic strategically placed between the midsole and outsole that controls torsional and longitudinal forces.

Specs:
Weight: 11 ounces men’s; 9.5 ounces women’s
Stack Height: 32 millimeters/22 millimeters
Drop: 10 millimeters

Adidas Solarboost 3
CREDIT: Courtesy of Adidas



Adidas Ultraboost 21

Best Adidas Running Shoes for High Arches

Dr. Crispell suggests runners with high arches seek a shoe with more cushioning but still some level of support. One of the better Adidas shoes that checks both those boxes is the Ultraboost 21, which, as its name implies, is ultra-cushioned with a Boost midsole.

At almost 12 ounces, it’s one the heaviest road shoes on the market. While you won’t be breaking any records in these, you’ll love the luxurious feel they offer underfoot.

For the latest iteration in the series, Adidas added a torsion system — a firm piece of plastic to help with stability. The addition seems to be a crowd pleaser. As one reviewer said, “These are the best Ultraboosts so far.”

Comfort isn’t limited to the midsole either. The Primeknit+ upper fits and feels just like your most comfortable pair of socks.

Specs:
Weight: 12 ounces men’s; 11.9 ounces women’s
Stack Height: 30.5 millimeters/20.5 millimeters
Drop: 10 millimeters

Adidas Ultraboost 21
CREDIT: Courtesy of Amazon



Adidas SolarGlide ST 4

Best Adidas Running Shoes for Supination

Just like overpronators, supinators — or people whose feet roll outward — need a shoe that resists too much torsional and longitudinal movement. Outfitted with a stability frame and thicker, more supportive upper, the SolarGlide ST 4 gives you all the stability you need without sacrificing comfort. “Best stability shoes you can buy at a great price,” noted one reviewer. “Comfortable and durable. Each new model is an improvement”

At a 32 millimeter/22 millimeter stack height, these have plenty of solid Boost cushioning underfoot. Best used for everyday training and long runs, the model is just a tad heavy for the fast stuff. Still, for someone like me who supinates, this is one the best running shoes from Adidas.

Specs:
Weight:11 ounces men’s; 9.8 ounces women’s
Stack Height: 32 millimeters/22 millimeters
Drop: 10 millimeters

Adidas SolarGlide ST 4
CREDIT: Courtesy of Adidas



Adidas Adizero Adios 6

Best for Speed Workouts

The current trend in lightweight speed and racing shoes is that thicker is better. As foams have gotten lighter, stack heights have seemed to grow and become more cushioned. The Adizero is no exception. Stack heights went from 23 millimeters/13 millimeters on the Adios 5, to 27 millimeters/19 millimeters. “A little more stack height makes a big difference in the comfort and performance of the shoe,” noted one happy customer on Adidas’ website. “It remains light and feels fast.”

The model offers a more traditional racing shoe feel; it’s firm, low to the ground and downright snappy. Like many high-performance shoes from the brand, it doesn’t include Boost technology and instead offers a lightstike Pro midsole. And, for the environmentally minded runner, the airy, single layer mesh upper is made with Primegreen recycled materials.

From fast runs to track day intervals, the Adizero Adios 6 is just the up-tempo shoe for the job.

Specs:
Weight: 8.1 ounces men’s; 8.1 ounces women’s
Stack Height: 27 millimeters/19 millimeters
Drop: 8 millimeters

Adidas Adizero Adios 6
CREDIT: Courtesy of Adidas



Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 2.0

Best Adidas Running Shoe for Marathon Racing

When Nike first introduced the carbon fiber plated Vaporfly 4%, it turned the high-end racing shoe game upside down overnight. Soon after, every brand scrambled to produce its own carbon fiber racing shoe. Most fell way short in creating a comparable version, in my opinion, except for Adidas.

Instead of a traditional full length carbon fiber plate like most super shoes, the Adizero Adios Pro 2.0 features independent rods placed under the metatarsals for added propulsion. If you’re a die-hard Adidas fan, you’ll love these shoes. It takes all the best elements of Adidas’ running shoes — high energy return, off-the-ground bounce, and over-the-top comfort — and packs it into one lightweight racing shoe.

Many will find the high stack height (39 millimeters/30.5 millimeters) Lightstrike Pro midsole unstable at slow paces. But once you start to step on the gas, these bad boys come alive. If you want to set a personal best, look no further than these. As one reviewer noted, “I got a 29 second PB. I thought those days were behind me being the wrong side of 50.”

Specs:
Weight: 7.6 ounces unisex
Stack Height: 39.5 millimeters/29.5 millimeters
Drop: 10 millimeters

Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 2.0
CREDIT: Courtesy of Adidas


Adidas Terrex Speed Ultra

Best for Trail Speed and Racing

My go-to for just about any type of trail running, the Terrex Speed Ultra is a force to be reckoned with. The one-two punch of the sticky Continental rubber outsole (made in partnership with the company responsible for mass-producing car and bike tires) and high-energy midsole are the best in the business. You’re not going to find a more responsive, nimble trail shoe with better grip. One tester noted, “the lightweight stature and nimble outsole treads give you the courage and equipment to charge up hills.”

Designed with professional ultra-runner Tom Evans, the midsole features a blend of adidas’ best two cushioned technologies: Boost and Lightstrike. The dual density concoction is both soft and ultra-responsive. For such a lightweight shoe, its upper — especially around the ankle collar and Achilles — is generously padded. It earns the title of best adidas running shoe for trail speed and racing, but really, it’s perfectly suitable for any type of trail running you throw at it.

Specs:
Weight: 8.6 ounces (men); 8.6 ounces women
Stack Height: 27 millimeters/19 millimeters
Drop: 8 millimeters

Adidas Terrex Speed Ultra
CREDIT: Courtesy of Amazon



Adidas Terrex Agravic Flow

Best Versatile Trail Running Shoe

For when the going gets tough, the Terrex Agravic Flow is about as rugged as they come. It’s nicely cushioned yet has enough torsional rigidity to keep feet stable through rocky terrain where it’s easy to twist an ankle. Underfoot, the Continental runner outsole keeps your feet glued to the dirt, rocks or whatever surface you’re on. Not to sound like a broken record here, but Adidas trail shoes hands down have the best grip out of any trail shoe I’ve ever tested.

One reviewer claimed these are the “best underrated trail running shoes”, and I have to agree. They check all the boxes for an all-around trail shoe — comfortable, protective, stable and grippy as hell. Put the Terrex Agravic Flow up against any more popular branded trail shoe and it performs just as well.

Specs:
Weight: 11.5 ounces men’s; 10.4 ounces women’s
Stack Height: 26 millimeters/20 millimeters
Drop: 6 millimeters

Adidas Terrex Agravic Flow
CREDIT: Courtesy of Amazon


Adidas Adizero Boston 10 Wide

Best Adidas Running Shoes for Wide Feet

For runners who struggle finding wide enough running shoes, Adidas’ best-selling lightweight trainer comes in a wide fit. This classic speedster gets a fairly sizable overhaul for its decennial version. With a 44 millimeter/33 millimeter stack height, it’s one of the thickest, maximum-cushioned running shoes you can buy. Despite all that foam, it’s on the firmer side. The duo of Lightstrike and Lightstrike pro in the midsole is snappy and makes the shoe feel quick off the ground when you want it to be.

The upper features airy mesh with some heavier overlays that add a little structure to balance out the shoe’s wide stature. And per usual, the outsole is made with ever-so-grippy Continental rubber.

If you’re looking for a daily trainer that’s perfectly capable of handling everything from long, slow runs to those up-tempo days, this is one of Adidas’ best.

Specs:
Weight: 10.4 ounces unisex
Stack Height: 44 millimeters/34 millimeters
Drop: 10 millimeters

Adidas Adizero Boston 10 Wide
CREDIT: Courtesy of Adidas


Adidas Run Falcon 2.0

Best Budget Adidas Running Shoes

With an average 4.7-star rating among 1,000 reviews on Adidas’ website, the Run Falcon 2.0 is one of the brand’s highest-rated shoes. For short runs, gym sessions and casual wear, you’d be hard pressed to find a better running shoe at this price point. Keep in mind, the ride is on the firmer side, especially if you’re used to Adidas’ Boost shoes.

Most people say the model runs a bit large, so if you’re in between sizes, consider sizing down. If you’re going to run more than two to three miles a few times a week, I’d suggest investing in a higher quality running shoe, like the SuperNova. But for the occasional run and gym workout, these are perfect. One reviewer summed up them up well: “Wow, amazing trainers — stylish, comfortable and the usual Adidas quality.”

Specs:
Weight: Unknown
Stack Height: Unknown
Drop: Unknown

Adidas Run Falcon 2.0
CREDIT: Courtesy of Adidas



Adidas Adizero Boston 10

Best for Hard-Core Runners

Clydesdale runners need a firmer midsole so they don’t compress the foam flat. For the Adizero Boston 10, Adidas swapped its soft Boost midsole for firmer, more responsive lightstrike and Lightstrike pro foams and added carbon fiber rods sandwiched between them.

The Adizero Boston 10 is almost complete departure from previous Boston models, but not in a bad way. Instead of a low-profile, up-tempo shoe, this is a thick-soled, fast everyday training shoe that’s also suitable for slow miles. “This shoe offers the perfect mix of Lightstrike and Lightstrike pro for a firm, yet responsive ride combined with the right amount of cushion,” said one reviewer. “It’s nice for daily runs but picks up the pace, and the Lightstrike pro and energy rods propel you forward.”

Specs:
Weight 10 ounces men’s; 9.2 ounces women’s
Stack Height: 39.5 millimeters /31 millimeters
Drop: 8.5 millimeters

Adidas Adizero Boston 10
CREDIT: Courtesy of Amazon

 


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