Shoe Review: Adidas Adizero Boston Boost 5

Before I started blogging about running, I had a favorite running shoe.

It wasn’t the best-looking shoe in existence. In fact, it was hideously ugly.


I didn’t care about the shoe’s stats or “features” – the heel-toe drop, the weight, stability features, blah, blah – none of that mattered to me.

Why? Because when I put on these shoes, I felt like the Road Runner.

That shoe was the Mizuno Wave Elixir. (RIP, beloved Elixir.) Mizuno stupidly discontinued the shoe in 2013, and I spent a full year trying to find a comparable shoe (I didn’t find the Sayonara to be an adequate replacement). I’d finally forgotten the Elixir when, alas! I found a shoe that gave me that same peppy sensation: the Adidas Adizero Boston Boost 5.

Elixir faithful: be warned, this is not the same shoe. There are no stability features and it has a slightly lower heel-toe drop. My comparison of these two shoes relates primarily to the similar “fast” feeling of both shoes.

As of the time of this post, I’ve run 57 miles in this shoe.

Overview

Adidas bills the Boston 5 as a lightweight trainer/racer. I’ve been using the shoes for faster workouts, and the shoe really shines in this aspect of my training, particularly tempo runs. I think these shoes will be great for racing up to a half marathon (for me), but it would be a great marathon race shoe for a lot of runners.

Stats/Fancy Features

  • Heel-toe drop: 10 mm
  • Weight: 7.5 oz
  • Fancy “Boost” foam in midsole (basically, little foam beads fused together)
  • Continental Tire rubber outsole

Feel

This is a fast-feeling shoe. The transition from initial foot strike to toe-off is smooth and feels speedy compared to other shoes in my rotation.

I think the reason for this fast feel is because the Boost foam is most prominent in the heel and midfoot, and there is a firmer material comprising the midsole toward the front of the shoe. So toe-off feels really smooth, but there is still nice cushion at the initial footstrike.

The shoe is pretty flexible in the forefoot area, but has almost no flexibility in the heel to midfoot. It looks like there is a plastic piece running through the shoe that keeps the heel-midfoot region fairly rigid. I pulled out my old Elixirs and noticed that the Elixir was similarly stiff through the heel and midfoot, so this may be a reason why the two shoes have a similar sensation.

Break-in time was also good for this shoe. I took it for a 4 mile run before its first tempo run, and it felt as good after just a few miles as it does after about 50.

Fit

With its narrow fit and toe box, this is not a shoe for wide-footed runners. I’m a 7.5 in nearly every running shoe on the market, and have a very standard foot shape/width/arch. I don’t think I could wear this shoe if my foot were any wider. The best way I know to illustrate this is in comparison to the Saucony Kinvara 6 (a shoe that many are probably familiar with).

(left) The Boston 5’s toebox laid on top of the Kinvara 6. (right) The two models side-by-side.

This is a neutral shoe without any stability features – no medial post, significant arch support, etc.

Upper

The upper of this shoe is a real standout. Adidas outfitted this shoe with a knitted mesh upper that’s very flexible, light, and cool. The midfoot area is held in place nicely by the signature Adidas stripes connect from the sole to the forefoot (these are stitched on, for those of you who dislike stitching). I did have to use the last hole in the lacing system to get a fit that felt really secure, but it worked (and I do that with most shoes I run in, anyway). The heel area has enough padding to be comfortable, and there is a stiffer material used at the edge of the heel that adds to the shoe feeling very secure on the foot. I haven’t had any hotspots or blisters from this shoe (I’ve worn it on runs of up to 8 miles).

My only criticism of the upper is that the tongue takes some getting used to. The outer edges of the tongue like to fold under and cause pressure on the top of the foot if they aren’t carefully smoothed out as you put on the shoe. This hasn’t been as much of a problem lately – either the tongue finally has found its place, or I’m getting better at putting on the shoe.

(left) The tongue likes to curl under. (right) Corrected.

(NOTE: I have the TSF version of this shoe, there appear to be differences in the upper between the TSF and the standard Boston 5. And no, I have no idea what TSF stands for.)

Looks

This is the best-looking shoe I own. I rally like the combination of the more understated navy and plum colors, accented with a flash of lime green. It’s a little flashy without looking obnoxious.

Taken after my first tempo run in this shoe, in Boston no less. I know…adorable.

Price

This shoe retails for $120, which is the price I paid at my local running store. It would be nice to pay less, but I liked this shoe enough to fork over the full retail price. Some of Adidas’s running shoes are significantly more expensive than comparable models, but this doesn’t seem to be the case with the Boston 5. For example, Mizuno’s comparable model, the Sayonara, is also priced at $120.

Bottom Line

Shoe selection always comes down to the individual, and what works for one may not work for another. However, I do think this is a great shoe that could work well for many runners. For average runners like me, this may be a great shoe for speed workouts and up to half marathon races; while for faster runners, this might be a good marathon shoe.

What shoes have you been running in lately? Do you change shoe models often, or stick with your favorite model?

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9 thoughts on “Shoe Review: Adidas Adizero Boston Boost 5

  1. I hate when they discontinue a shoe I love. I went through that when Brooks changed up their shoe around 2013 as well. Some brands apparently just change the whole shoe and keep the name attached to it, like they’re fooling us or something. I’m waiting for Brooks to come back to their senses and change it back. I’m still in my Asics GT’s. They keep making their shoe the same fit every year so it’s nice to not have to search around and figure out a new shoe. I’m glad you like the look of your shoe now at least!

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      • ok that is helpful! I am fast walker/racewalker and love flat, lightweight shoes.! I have been using Saucony Grid type A 5’s and this Adidas Boston boost was recommended by some other race walkers! I wear 10’s in the Saucony so I was put in 10 in the Adidas but it felt too big!! my foot moved forward going downhill 🙂

        So I am going to try 9.5.. but the Adidas is definitely a bit smaller in the depth of the toe box, so I am still not sure yet… in street shoes I am 8.5 and 9

        thoughts based on you and others who may have shared?

        These Boston Boosts 5 tsf feel amazing!

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      • I know the exact feeling you described of the foot moving forward. I think trying the 9.5 makes sense for you – for context, I almost always wear a 7 in street shoes. I agree that the toe box is the trickiest part of the fit with this shoe. Can you get the shoes from a place that allows for returns if you’re not satisfied like running warehouse?

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  2. yes to all that you say and ask 🙂 I already returned the 10 and am just being cautious about needing to return the 9.5 because I value the cost to the business …having done this myself before and because the owners are good people and friends! The do their running store very well and offer a very generous try and use and return policy! so I thought I would ask some tried and true users and your review was just so thorough and real ! 🙂

    I will do a treadmill workout first to see if the 9.5 seems better…I have high arches so we laced the method that allows for more room there…

    thanks so much…

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