I mentioned in an earlier post about my plan for a change in shoe strategy once I come back from the stress fracture. Since the beginning of 2012 I’ve used the Saucony Kinvara for all training runs, regardless of the distance. While I LOVE the Kinvara, I’m worried that it just doesn’t provide enough cushioning for my stride and foot strike on longer runs.
To that end, I plan to utilize a shoe with maximum cushioning for runs 10-miles or greater, and I am greatly intrigued by the new Adidas Energy Boost trainers that debuted last month.
Adidas has put a lot of marketing dollars behind this shoe, which has generated a lot of hype regarding their new mid-sole “Boost” material. Instead of using traditional EVA foam, their “Boost” technology utilizes TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane) that is comprised of 2,500 little plastic pebbles fused together with steam and pressure. Adidas claims this material provides “industry-leading energy return,” maximum cushioning, and increased durability that will not be compromised in extreme cold or hot conditions like EVA foam.
My first reaction was to think this was little more than a marketing gimmick, but many of the early reviews are pushing me toward giving this shoe a shot. Runner’s World named it the “Best Debut” in their 2013 Spring Shoe Guide, and their shoe lab noted that the midsole had the most energy return of any shoe they had ever tested. They also rated the heel cushioning at 99 out of 100, and forefoot cushioning at 82 out of 100, yet the shoe still weighs less than 10 oz. Here is part of the report from their lab:
Adidas made lofty claims about the midsole material in its new Energy Boost shoe, including that it has “industry-leading energy return,” is resistant to temperature changes, and is more durable. But how did it fare when we put it to the test in the RW Shoe Lab? In terms of “energy return,” we can measure how much a shoe springs back–that is, how much of the energy put into the shoe on footstrike is returned on the rebound. Here, the Energy Boost truly is the industry leader: It performed better than any of the almost 800 other shoes we’d tested. Likewise, the claim about temperature resistance checked out. Typical EVA foam gets harder in cold weather and softer in hot conditions, affecting how much cushioning you experience. We tested the Energy Boost’s thermoplastic polyurethane against standard and lightweight EVA foams at 20°F and 120°F, and found it far less affected by the swings in temperature. Lab tests also indicate the foam appears to be more durable. With repetitive footstrikes, midsole material gets compacted as cell walls break down. Much of this happens early in the life of the shoe. Our tests indicated that the Energy Boost experienced half the loss of cushioning performance compared with other shoes with EVA midsoles, when mechanically loaded to simulate the first 10 miles of running.
It also doesn’t hurt that I comes in my two favorite colors….Red & Yellow!
Too bad it retails for $150! Anybody have experience with this shoe?