Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Review-adidas Adizero XT Boost Trail Shoe-Superb Upper. Agile and Stable with Great Traction. Suitable for any Terrain, including road.

The Adizero XT Boost is a superbly agile and versatile shoe equally adept on trails, mud, or road. The XT Boost is a 9.75oz/276 gram trail runner with a beefy 4mm lugged Continental rubber Race King outsole and a Boost layer only under the ball of the foot, the rest of the midsole being a road racer firm but responsive EVA. 10.55 mm drop. $140 MSRP. On sale July 2015.
adizero XT Boost

adizero XT Boost. Boost material is only under the forefoot back of the toes. Heavily lugged Continental Race Rubber outsole

A TPU piece  stabilizes the lateral mid foot and a substantial heel counter is topped with a stretchy debris sock integral to the non padded tongue, so the whole back of the foot to almost mid foot is held in a mesh stretch sock of sorts, This approach works surprisingly well.
adizero XT Boost

The upper has no seams or overlays except around the toe box and running back along the rand, at the midsole. There are underlays on either side running from the last lace hole backwards towards the midsole. XT Boost has a roomy, unstructured toe box, if a bit pointy at the very front, with surprisingly no hint of foot rotation or ankle turning on rougher terrain. This is likely due to the rear midsole stability, the stretchy debris collar and thin but substantial TPU plastic straps running from the heel to the first lace hole on top of the stretchy debris collar  which all together hold the foot securely to the platform.
adizero XT Boost
Actually XT Boost has a more minimal not quite as snug feeling upper than adidas Adios Boost 1 marathon shoe, maybe closer to the Adios Boost 2 upper.

The result is a fantastically stable, agile and comfortable ride on all trail surfaces , including roads, mud, and dirt trails. The forefoot is  flexible and easy running, very adaptable to both uneven terrain and road. It does lack the snappy toe spring effect of its close road cousin the Adios Boost (review) with its Torsion plastic plates below the outsole and above the Boost layer.
While lugged and on the firmer side the Boost and outsole provide decent responsive cushioning even on road,  it is the finest, smoothest running trail shoe overall of the 2015 crop I have run in to date for faster paced shorter runs.  For many it will be a fine longer run shoe if the terrain is not too rocky and technical. I would not hesitate to run a dirt road or even road half in them. I  the Antelope Island 25K race in them on a mix of smooth trails, lots of vertical, and some rocky patches with complete assurance. They were also fine on rockier rooty NH trails but maybe not my first choice for that kind of terrain especially if out for an easy run.

Lacking a rock plate it may be a bit thin in the forefoot for the rockiest of trails but the lugs and Boost provide  decent 4mm of protection there. Not the cushiest of rides, say when compared to a Hoka Challenger ATR(review) or Speedgoat(review), New Balance Fresh Foam Trail(review) or its heavier duty cousin the upcoming Raven Boost(review), the XT Boost plays in the same category of lighter weight agile trail runners with a touch of stability such as the Montrail Fluid Flex ST (review), the considerably firmer and lighter Salomon S-Lab Sense X-Series (review) and is more protective in the forefoot than the LaSportiva Helios SR reviewed here.

When compared to its Boost trail sibling the Terrex Boost (review here), the XT Boost
adidas Terrex Boost

  • XT is close to 1.75oz or 50 grams lighter and its noticeable
  • Terrex Boost has an almost full Boost midsole with orange TPU stabilizing
  • XT has lower profile lugs, 
  • XT has a more comfortable roomier but less burly upper with laces instead of quick pull
  • XT has a heel counter, the Terrex has none
  • forefoot run feel and flex is actually quite similar
  • Terrex is massively burly maybe a bit to much, so for all but the roughest trails yet still agile but with a noticeable weight penalty.
  • XT is $20 less than the Terrex.

Ride and Recommendations
Adizero XT Boost is a great shoe for fast paced all terrain running, including some roads. Substantial lugs grip exceptionally well but are soft enough not to be in the way on smoother terrain and road. It is flexible, decently cushioned with a distinct cushion and pop from the Boost forefoot and is surprisingly stable on rougher terrain for having such an unstructured upper. I sized up half a size.

Adizero XT Boost is a finalist for my Trail and Hybrid Shoe of the Year.

Available this summer.

The XT Boost will be joined by the $200 8.8 oz Adizero XT Prime Boost with its Prime knit upper.  I question the support provided by an all Prime knit upper without the plastic lace to heel straps of the XT Boost and would for sure go true to size in this version.  The Prime is one fantastic looking shoe.

 The XT Boost was provided to me free of charge. The opinions herein are entirely my own. 

EU readers the adidas XT Boost, Raven Boost and Response Trail Boost are available from Running Warehouse Europe at the link here. 
If you are not familiar with Running Warehouse they are a major online store specialized in running in the US.

US readers the XT Boost is available from Campsaver at the links below.
All purchases help support RoadTrailRun.


David Henry said...

Great review Sam. Eager to get my feet in them this July!

Anonymous said...

Great review, I am looked forward to this shoe as I have been a recent convert to some of the adidas boost line, the Boost ATR is particularly nice but does offer the grip needed for some slightly more adventurous trails. Would you have any recommentations on sizing, for the Ultra Boost with PrimeKnit I have gone true to my size and they are fine, for the Boost ATR I have gone a 1/2 size up?

Cheers and thank you for the review!!!

Sam Winebaum said...

As far a XT Boost sizing. I have 2 pairs one pair half size up from true and one true. The half size up is fine for my moderately narrow foot with heavier socks. The true fits me a bit better. The toe box is quite wide and unstructured and the stretch mesh rear is quite accommodating, yet the plastic side straps keep everything in place so I prefer the true to size. Hope this is helpful. Thanks for reading!