It is relatively light, well cushioned, suited to both fast and slow speeds,responsive and energetic. It is especially comfortable, from road feel to upper, without compromising performance.
The Boston 6 contains 3 key adidas technologies
- Boost midsole made of TPU pellets compressed with heat into a bouncy, energy returning, long lasting, less temperature sensitive midsole
- between outsole and midsole adidas hard plastic Torsion System to stabilize the foot... and the Boost midsole for smooth and dynamic landings and transitions
- a relatively soft but incredible durable Continental rubber outsole for great traction and a comfortable road feel
Runners of the predecessor Boston 5 will likely at first blush say, so what's new? I certainly did having run the Boston 5 and found it not as race pleasing as the adios Boost racer or as useful as the Energy Boost. Well small changes make a huge positive difference here.
|Photo Running Warehouse: Women's Boston 6|
Gone is the stretchy, fairly stiff upper of the 5 with its many sewn front of the shoe overlays. The 6 has an incredibly comfortable knit mesh upper at the front of the shoe, one of the best if not the best pure road shoe upper I have run in this year.
The Continental rubber outsole appears slightly softer and slightly thicker with larger lugs and more space between them. This translates into considerably more flexibility while retaining a nice toe spring and a quieter more cushioned ride.
Finally, likely due to a combination of the two above, the 6 is lighter by about 0.5 oz
It is a far smoother running, quieter, and more comfortable shoe.
While Running Warehouse sent me a half size up, fine with thicker socks, I could have easily gone true to size. The last appears to be the same as in the Boston 5 so this is not a "wide" shoe per say. The mesh is now stretchier and lighter to better accommodate different foot shapes.
Front volume is very adequate, the old stitched on suede toe bumper and last lace overlays are replaced by a denser mesh weave in those areas making them feel less pointy up front and less constraining over the metatarsals. The last lace hole overlay now of the same soft mesh as the upper but denser there is wider than in the 5 for more metarsal area width. The same widening was done in the adios Boost 3.
While the 5's over the toe area was low, and noticeable, this is no longer the case as the knit toe bumper area raises the height of that area. The front of the shoe comfort and foot hold is superb with no pressure points. Gone too is the scratchy feel of the rougher less dense old mesh.
The mid foot retains a saddle with now wider, thinner stitched on adidas 3 Bands which combines with the rear of the foot upper's single layer very small holed dense mesh. The mid foot is consistently held with no hot or tight areas. This is one very breathable, well draining upper.
The heel counter area has been reworked with no raised achilles notch. The heel area is decently held and noticeably more comfortable. The heel collar padding is about the same. While more comfortable I missed the race secure heel hold of the 5 a bit. The tongue instead of being a re use of the mesh tongue materials has a more fabric like material and has thinner padding at the lace up area. Not an issue.
The lighter salmon colored heel counter material is somewhat reflective for safety.
Midsole and Outsole
There are no visible changes to the midsole compared to the Boston Boost 5. Same Boost layer with above a conventional Strobel board and a collar of EVA to stabilize the foot over the soft Boost. The collar extends down to become side walls at the second to last lace hole on the medial side and at last lace hole on the lateral side to become full stabilizing sidewalls. Toe spring occurs just behind this stiffer material, exactly in the right spot for me.
The outsole is really a combination of the gray Torsion System and Continental outsole material. I call this the propulsion engine. On the medial side it extends towards the heel for a touch of stability. Beyond the mid foot, where the Torsion is exposed, the outer fingers extend bit further forward on the medial side under the outsole than on the lateral side, again for a touch of stability, here at transition to toe off. The center two gray Torsion wings extend under the very first lugs.
|Photo: Running Warehouse Men's Boston 6|
The Boston 6 as the title says is cushioned and very smooth running. It has good mid foot stability and moderate spring effect from the Torsion System. I ran a half in them today and was pleased with the comfort and responsiveness. This said will it will be more of a marathon shoe than a half shoe for me. I will stick with the snappier and lighter adios Boost 3 and Salming Distance D4 for halves.
The title says "Truer to its Name" and shoe name name is after all... Boston. The Boston 6 is ideally suited to Boston's hills, and with its improved cushion and upper comfort for the later miles. It is a great marathon shoe for those of us in the 3:10 to 3:50 range. I ran the Boston 5, at the Boston Marathon a few years ago. Boston 5 was considerably stiffer, its upper not very comfortable, the outsole firmer and slappy and I think putting all of this together less stable at the heel when I got tired and had a slower transition. I have also run Boston in the Energy Boost, in version 3 now an 11.5 oz monster, and the more relaxed Lunar Tempo. My next Boston will be in the Boston but first I have to re qualify!
The title also says "Versatile'. There is no question the Boston 6 is also a fabulous daily trainer: light enough, cushioned, and with a durable outsole. It runs well at slow and faster tempo paces.
My only qualms with the Boston 6 is that the heel and mid foot hold could be a bit better and while TPU Boost is heavier than conventional EVA midsoles I would love to see the weight come down. Maybe a more modern rear of the upper and saddle design and a bit less heel counter material?
Careful readers of Road Trail Run will note my score of 4.9 out of 5, my highest score of 2016.
Sam's Score 4.9 out of 5
-0.05 for rear and mid foot upper support
-0.05 for weight. Come on adidas go to town on the upper and heel counter.
Adios Boost 3 (review here)
The Adios Boost is lighter, 4mm thinner in the forefoot and shares many of the upper characteristics of the older Boston 5. It is a racing machine and my choice for a half but not a marathon or training as the versatile Boston 6 is. Utility for mere mortals, versatility and overall comfort give the Boston 6 the nod.
Salming Distance D4 (review here)
More than an ounce lighter with a similar mid foot stability system, the D4 has equivalent forefoot cushion but as a 5mm drop shoe less heel cushion. It is a firmer somewhat more responsive shoe than the Boston. It is less versatile but a better choice for me for up to a half marathon
Nike Lunar Tempo 1 (review here)
Lighter by than more than an ounce, the Lunar Tempo has a very comfortable upper and via FlyWire slightly better mid foot hold and for my taste overly relaxed fore foot hold. It is more flexible and has equivalent soft cushion. For my sloppy running form it is a bit harder to tame. I prefer the directed ride of the Boston.
Saucony Freedom ISO (review here)
Just a touch heavier, the Freedom also has a TPU based midsole but has a completely different ride. Low slung, natural feeling with no heel counter, a soft upper, and single piece softer outsole it is fun to run in but softer, harder to tame. I love to train in them but to date have hesitated to race in them.
Brooks Launch 3 (review here)
With very similar stack stats but heavier,more ponderous to run, with a so so but improved upper, the Launch 3 is more trainer than racer for me and thus less versatile than the Boston.
The Boston 6 was provided to Road Trail Run by Running Warehouse and adidas at no charge. The opinions herein are entirely our own
The Boston 6 is available from Running Warehouse.
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