There is always a temptation to write off any running shoe that looks too nice as unsuitable for serious runners. How good can a shoe without neon green flashes and luminous laces really be for running, after all?
And the Adidas Pure Boost is a very stylish shoe – nicer than almost all of my non-running shoes, to be honest. So I had the nagging thought that it might not really do the job when on the road. After one run, I was able to banish such preconceptions.
Received wisdom suggests that it isn’t the best idea to go for a long run the first time you wear a pair of shoes. That is undoubtedly good advice, but I felt comfortable enough after 10km of my first run in the Pure Boost to extend it to 25km, my longest distance for a couple of months.
The knit upper is loose and seriously comfortable, moving with your foot so you never feel restricted when running. I suppose those who are used to a snug, supportive fit on the top of their shoe might not take to it, but it’s hard to argue with this level of comfort.
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On the base of the Pure Boost lies Adidas’s Boost sole tech, which makes for a cushioned and bouncy ride over any distance. Compared with the Adidas Supernova or Ultra Boost, which also have a Boost midsole, the Pure Boost is lighter, less cushioned and aimed at faster road sessions rather than longer training runs. Its wider base – especially in the front half of the shoe – and firm-gripping outsole are also focused on city running, giving extra support and traction for tearing around sharp corners.
The grip is good, even on wet roads, and the wide base gives a pleasing feeling of solidity when you do round corners (although if you’re wise you’re never going that fast around a blind turn in the city). That said, the impressive grip in wet conditions is undermined by the knit upper, which is entirely pervious to water. So while you might not fall over when you splash through a puddle, your foot will be drenched.
But it’s worth putting up with the occasional soggy foot to have a supremely comfortable, handsome running shoe that can genuinely be worn anywhere. Having tried both the Pure Boost and the Supernova, I’d say the latter is more comfortable and supportive over longer distances – but that’s not to say the Pure Boost was uncomfortable on long runs, while its extra flexibility in the upper and wide base makes it a winner for everyday training runs. £94.95, buy on adidas.co.uk (opens in new tab)
Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.
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