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.
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.
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.
- Heel-toe drop: 10 mm
- Weight: 7.5 oz
- Fancy “Boost” foam in midsole (basically, little foam beads fused together)
- Continental Tire rubber outsole
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.
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).This is a neutral shoe without any stability features – no medial post, significant arch support, etc.
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.(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.)
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.
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.
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?