The adidas Energy Boost 2.0 ESM promises great things in terms of power return with each footfall, but do they really live up to the hype? When TrioGear looked at the adidas Adizero Adios Boost back in 2014 we were a little sceptical about the wonders that the ‘boost technology’ promised (‘endless energy’ seemed rather too good to be true) and to an extent this slight doubt continues through our experience of the Energy Boost 2.0.
Don’t get us wrong, the Energy Boost 2.0 is certainly a credible road shoe – we’ll get to why in a moment – but the boost foam, which replaces more traditional foam beneath the foot, still has us sitting somewhat on the fence. The ‘solid granular material’ that makes up the shoe (and range’s) midsole was developed by adidas partners BASF, with a cell structure designed to store energy on compression and return it during toe-off – like little springs, if you will. There can be absolutely no doubting that the material performs exactly as described, there is a real feeling of both cushioning on impact and ‘springiness’ on return, and our early thoughts that, over time, the material would compact and fail to deliver has proved unfounded (in the 12months+ that we have had the Adios Boost on the road at least.)
So why the continued scepticism? To an extent this comes down to both running style and personal preference.
In terms of running style the Energy Boost 2.0 will most overtly benefit heel-strikes with a long roll-through – which is aided by both adidas’s ‘Torsion System’ and ‘Formotion’ that help smooth the transition from heel through midfoot and toe. So both forefoot and full-foot runners will experience diminishing returns from the material despite its deserved reputation.
When it comes to personal preference there are those (a substantial number of ‘those’) who believe that the foot and, to a lesser extent leg, has enough inbuilt power return, given the correct gait, cadence and form, to negate the need for technologies like boost foam. So, the Energy Boost 2.0 isn’t a shoe for everyone – but then again what shoe is?
As already noted, if you set aside the credentials of the foam, the Energy Boost 2.0 is still an excellent road shoe. The relatively narrow fit is exceptionally comfortable and their reasonable lack of weight (550g, pair, UK 8.5) is impressive. Integrity to the shoe comes in the form of a moulded overlay that feels slightly inflexible straight out of the box, but beds in nicely over the first few dozen miles. The upper – with a gusseted tongue for an almost sock-like feel – sits well against the foot and remains comfortable over long distances; there’s no doubt these stand up well as a marathoner’s shoe.
The grip is substantial for a road shoe too. The durable ‘ADIWEAR’ outsole has decent spread and multi-directional traction, which we found worked just as well in wet weather conditions; always a bonus to find a shoe that’s going to be useful year-round.
A comfortable heel-cup, reasonable Achilles notch and the kind of raised toe-protector more usually found on a trail shoe all scored plus-points too – although to be really useful the protector would have been better off-set towards the shoe’s inner.
Certainly the adidas Energy Boost 2.0 will prove a less divisive shoe than something like the Hoka One One Clifton or On Cloudrunner and those toward which it is most obviously targeted (heel-strikes) are likely to thoroughly enjoy the ride.
Online prices naturally vary, but expect to pay in the region of £75.00 – a perfectly pitched price-point for shoes that really should go the distance. Details of the full adidas range at adidas.co.uk