If you're a bit of a running shoe addict like me, new product announcements excite me as much as finding the perfect running partner. So when adidas unveiled the Pure Boost X running shoe, my ears perked up.
According to the company, it took three years and 100 prototypes to perfect this shoe design sufficiently. The adidas folks presented a logical and compelling reason for auditioning a pair of adidas Pure Boost X shoes: other manufacturers may take a man's running shoe, color it pink and call it a just-for-women style, but when engineering the Pure Boost X, designers by-passed a reworked men's shoe and went directly for a specifically female fit.
Is this marketing hype, I wondered, or have we finally got ourselves a woman's shoe made just for us at last?
My Take on the adidas Pure Boost X
That "just for girls" claim begins with the system adidas innovated to study foot movement in women to ascertain and measure how much strain a woman's foot is subjected to when she runs, and how much deformation takes place on the go as well. That sounded impressive to me, but it took a run in these shoes to translate those claims to actual performance.
My first test runs didn't disappoint. I like the stability the mid-sole provided and I would be lying if I didn't add that I felt fashion forward in these colourful feminine kicks.
The shoe's claim of a free-floating arch and stretch mesh overlays made for a comfortable run, even from the get-go. As a matter of fact, that stretch is awesome.
As for "Boost", the secret flexible foam invention from which the shoe gets its name, having it cradle my mid-sole was heavenly and I really did feel as though the shoe was giving me a boost each time I went from standing to running.
Having already made reference to the Boost bounce, I give high marks to the wider forefoot that accommodates those of us craving toe room.
The adidas Pure Boost X is very light and comfy—the lightness of the footwear is what makes it so flexible and gives the shoe a very minimalist feel.
That stated, the upper almost contradicts the flex factor because it features a sock-like compression element that adds support to the feel of these shoes. I like the fact that they look awesome, particularly when I'm out to grab some attention because these shoes are head-turners that stop both men and women!
- Having already mentioned the virtues of lightweight construction and flexibility, I must add that I was most impressed by the quality of the fit, so for women who complain that no athletic shoe manufacturer has yet to get it right in the fit department, you may have to eat your words after trying a pair out.
- Call me shallow: I love the look. Sure, they compete with some of my running outfits, but what girl doesn't need an excuse to buy new running separates so as not to compete with her gorgeous shoes? One wearer raved that these are her new go-to gym shoes because they just look so cool.
- Wear these shoes in all sorts of weather because Boost foam helps the shoe maintain a consistent temperature. If, like me, your feet get hot enough to impact your run, you're going to love this material even more than just the innovative bounce it provides when you're looking to get off the block fast.
- Here's where the girls are separated from the women: a gaggle of female testers agreed that, for serious runners, this shoe may not be stable enough for their most pressing needs, like marathons and long-range conditioning training. They felt that the innovative cushioning wasn't enough to offset this factor.
- Not every runner will fall in love with the feel and fit of the uppers. They can feel fine at first, but after a while, they can hug the feet to the point of feeling a little uncomfortable. This may further substantiate the whole "this shoe isn't meant for long and arduous runs" theory.
- If you're on a budget and can only afford one new pair of running shoes—and if you are a frequent competitive runner—these shoes, sporting a S$169 price tag, may not be adequate for your specific needs. They make a fabulous pair of shoes for the gym and shorter trail runs. Here's a weird complaint I've heard from one wearer: the patented foam sole that separates this shoe from others had a tendency to stick to the floor at her gym!
The adidas Pure Boost X, in my opinion, suffers from multiple personality disorder. It's a heavenly shoe for gym work and short runs (so long as it doesn't stick to the floor!), but I wasn't too thrilled about its long-run potential.
I have to confess this may not be your full marathon shoe, much less a style that will hold up for longer than 42 km, so if you can only afford to buy one pair of running shoes and you've got a hefty marathon schedule on your calendar, you may have to look elsewhere, girlfriend.
On the other hand, if you pride yourself on a diverse shoe wardrobe—as I do—snag a pair of these for short distances because the Boost X will pamper your feet, energize your runs and, as far as we're concerned, how can one put a price on traffic-stopping, trendy styling?
Does the adidas Pure Boost X running shoe try to be too many things, positioning itself as both an innovative and comfortable fit and a fashion-forward style setter? How important is it to you that the shoes you wear to pursue your athletic activities look as good as they feel?