Wednesday, July 03, 2019

adidas adizero Boston 8 Review--More than a Feeling?

Article by Peter Stuart

adidas adizero Boston 8 ($120)

I was a little late to the adidas Boston party. I didn’t run in a Boston until the Boston 7, but man oh man did I love that shoe! The Boston 7 was a great mix of a firm, traditional feeling running shoe that gripped the (often wet) pavement of Austin beautifully--but had just enough cushioning to be forgiving.  The Boston 7 was good to go for any workout from easy runs to tempo to long runs. They’ve been a solid go-to shoe for me for the past year. I was excited to see what the update would bring, but a little bit afraid that they would mess with the magic of the 7. So How did they do? Well, it’s all positive. There are subtle changes to the fit and ride that actually seem to enhance the overall experience of the shoe. And if you’ve always found Adidas to be too narrow, they may have finally made a shoe for you!

Subtle updates to upper and outsole that add up to a more refined ride. 
Good looking update. Moved the stripes, cool BOS on one shoe and TON on the other
Didn’t change the essential DNA of a great daily trainer/racer
Mesh seems a bit thicker, slightly less breathable
Not the lightest shoe out there
Laces don’t pull through eyelets easily--hampering quick adjustments. 

Tester Profile
Peter lives in Austin, Texas and is a sub 3 hour in the marathon in recent years as well as a 1:21 half marathoner. 

Official Weight: men's 9 oz / 255 g (US9)  7 oz. / 198 g women's / (US7)
Stack Height: Heel 29mm, Forefoot 19mm 10mm drop
Available now, including Running Warehouse here

First Impressions and Fit
Peter: I’ll be honest. This was not love at first run. I went out for a few miles when these first came and I wasn’t sure they’d improved on the Boston 7. It took a little while to get used to them and some intense a/b testing to really figure out what was going on here. The fit is a little more relaxed than the 7’s. It’s most noticeable right around the arch. The 7 really hugs the arch and the 8 has just a little more room around the mid foot.
Peter: The upper has a few changes from the Boston 7. 

The material feels a little thicker overall. On the plus side it’s a bit softer than the scratchy material in the 7. Overall it’s a nice, plush feeling upper. 
There are 8 lace holes up the front (including the lace-lock ones), so there’s plenty of opportunity to lock the foot down. The stripes have moved down to the outside of the foot towards the front and there are fewer overlays. 

The heel cup is now made of a shinier, harder material. There’s no difference in heel feel, but it looks swanky, especially with the BOS and TON across the back of the shoes. 
The tongue feels ever so slightly less padded on the 8 than the 7. Overall it's a very comfortable upper, though one a little more likely to retain water than the 7.
LEFT: Boston 8                   RIGHT: Boston 7
The midsole material itself is comprised of a layer of EVA directly underfoot and then a layer of BOOST below that. As you can see above the BOOST layer is thicker in the rear of the shoe and tapers down after you hit mid foot. There’s still a thin layer of BOOST under the forefoot. This results in the rear of the shoe being softer and “boostier” than the front--which is a bit firmer. It’s a relatively gradual transition and allows for a smooth flow from the back of the shoe to the front. The Boston 8 on the left and the Boston 7 on the right.
Underneath the BOOST material is the thermoplastic Torsion system. 
LEFT: Boston 8                   RIGHT: Boston 7
It’s very similar to the torsion system found in the Boston 7, except that the layout of it has changed. 
TOP: Boston 8              BOTTOM: Boston 7
The torsion system in the 8 is, as you can see, both wider and longer. 

This allows for more stability medially as well as a bit more snap on toe off. This is a subtle tweak of the torsion system that actually pays off in a smoother and snappier ride. 

While the materials appear to be the same, there are some tweaks to the outsole pattern on the Boston 8. It’s still a “Stretchweb” of grippy, grippy, everlasting Continental rubber, but the layout has changed. 
TOP: Boston 8                  BOTTOM: Boston 7
The Boston 7 haS a horseshoe type layout at the heel, and the 8 squares that off a bit. 
TOP: Boston 8                  BOTTOM: Boston 7
As you move to the rear-midfoot and midfoot, there’s a bit more rubber coverage on the outer edges of the sole--which add to the overall stability and support. 

Up front, the amount of outsole coverage seems about the same, but the way the ‘Stretchweb’ is laid out changes the way the shoe seems to flow. 
TOP: Boston 8                  BOTTOM: Boston 7
I know, this is hard to describe. If you look at them side by side, the Boston 7 (bottom) seems to flow front to back, with lengthwise (vertical) rubber patterns dominating. On the Boston 8 (top), the side to side (horizontal) rubber pattern dominates. This doesn’t seem to greatly affect the feel, but may serve to help the shoe gain even more traction.

If you loved the Boston 7, you’ll love the Boston 8... just a little bit more! There are subtle shifts in the ride that start to show up as you rack up the miles. If you switch between the 7 and the 8 you’ll notice the slightly more relaxed fit, and the ride might feel just a hair smoother, but they’re not wildly different--and that’s a good thing. If it aint broke… With that said, when I put one shoe on each foot I notice the differences in the stability, ride and snap of the 8. The 8 improves upon the already smooth ride of the 7--it’s even smoother!  If you haven’t run in the 7 or the 8, I’ll try to put it into context. The Boston 8 is smooth, relatively firm and has just enough cushion to keep you from feeling beat up on your longer runs. This is what a classic running shoe should feel like. The Boston 8’s make me feel like I’m running in the North East on a beautiful fall day. For whatever reason the 8’s don’t feel quite as good at really fast paces for me, but they aren’t the shoe I’d race a 5k in anyway, so I’m not that bothered. 

Peter’s  Score 9/10 
-.5 for sticky eyelets
-.5 for decrease in breathability.
Overall a terrific, meat and potatoes daily trainer with subtle changes to the mid and outsole to provide a smooth and consistent ride that will last for many, many miles. I’d like to see the lacing system get dialed in a bit better as I find the laces hard to adjust. I feel like the mesh got a bit thick, so breathability might suffer a bit.

adidas adizero  Boston 8 vs. Adidas Adizero Boston 7 (RTR Review)
The 8 makes subtle improvements to the 7, and loses almost nothing (maybe a touch of breathability) in the process. While I don’t know if you need to throw your 7’s out before they’re done, you won’t have to stock up on 7’s to avoid the 8’s either. I like the 8’s and the fit is just a little wider, so they’re going to be a better fit for more people. 

adidas adizero Boston 8 vs. New Balance 1400 v6  (RTR Review)
The 1400 likes to go faster and feels a bit smoother to me. It’s one of my favorite shoes ever made. I think I’d pick the 1400 first, but if you’re planning on running in the rain, it would be good to have a pair of Boston 8’s at the ready. Durability should be better on the Bostons too. 

adidas adizero Boston 8 vs. New Balance Fuel Cell Propel  (RTR Initial Review full multi tester review coming soon)
The Propel is a softer, bouncier daily trainer. Different feel. Propel is newer tech, Boston is old school. Get both.

adidas adizero Boston 8 vs. Hoka One One Rincon  (RTR Review)
Rincon is much lighter and softer. I can get going faster in the Boston, but the Rincon is nice to cruise in. Ultimately very different feeling shoes. If you like a firmer shoe that’s still protective, the Boston will be great. 

adidas adizero Boston 8 vs. Nike Zoom Pegasus 36  (RTR Review coming soon)
The upper on the Pegasus 36 is far more refined than the Adidas Boston 8. I’m not going to lie, these shoes are very similar to me. They are both great daily trainers. The Boston feels like a little less shoe (in a good way), and maybe a little snappier, but the Pegasus 36 feels great too. I’d try both on and see which makes your feet happier. They are .3 oz different and the Nike is 28/18 stack height while the Boston is 29/19. I think the upper changes on the Peg 36 made more of a difference on the ride than you might expect.
Read reviewers' full run bios here
The product reviewed was provided at no cost. The opinions herein are the authors'.
Comments and Questions Welcome Below!
Please let us know mileage, paces, race distances, and current preferred shoes

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bringmemyfix said...

Hi Peter,

Thanks for the review. Just wondering how sizing compares to the Boston 7. Whereas I'm a UK10 in the Adios 4 and most other brands, I've needed to go up to a UK10.5 in the Boston 6 & 7 to avoid bruising the end of my middle toes, particularly on longer runs. Best wishes.

Peter S. said...

Size, especially length-wise, on the 8 feels the same as on the 7's. I'd go for same size in 8!

bringmemyfix said...


Vaad said...

Have any comparison to the Brooks launch 6? Adios 4? Asteria? I actually have the Asteria (400miles) I thought one of the wider/high volume racers wanted to renew Brooks loyalty with their swoosh% equal but taking too long to thinking of Adios 4 but maybe Boston 8?
fwiw I tried on 1400v6 while enough width felt too narrow in heel/low volume.
Keep up the great work!

bringmemyfix said...

@Vaad - I've run in the Adios 4, Asteria, and Launch 5. I can only compare to the Boston 7, but I'd say (comparing a UK10 in each):
- Launch 5 is softer, wider, slightly longer, less stable, equal all-rounder.
- Adios 4 is more flexible, softer feeling but less protection, slightly longer, not so good for slower stuff.
- Asteria is longer, softer feeling upper, less flexible in the midfoot, feels similar firmness but ends up more tiring to run in (the Asteria upper with the Hyperion sole unit would've made a great racing flat!)

I generally prefer Adidas because they're narrower and are more comfortable for me around the Achilles – the Asteria was the most Adidas-y shaped Brooks I tried. I'd say to give the Boston a try, but 1/2 to 1 size bigger.

But Peter may disagree. You know how it goes :)

jgt11 said...

What's better, this or the Reebok forever floatride energy?

Tomsy said...

How does the boston 8 compare to Nike pegasus 35 Turbo?

Sam Winebaum said...

Hi Tomai, Boston is much more stable for sure. Peg Turbo has a softer forefoot a bit sloppy in feel. Boston a better all around training and some racing choice Sam Editor

Unknown said...

Hi, considering the Bostons or Solarboosts as my Longer Run, more cushioned rotation shoe to go with my Adios 4's, any advice as to which way I should go?


Sam Winebaum said...

Hi Unknown,
You will get somewhat more cushion but not much more and a similar ride to Adios in the Boston. I personally had issues with the original Solar Boost: unusual (for me) irritation of met heads and Solar rail was stiffer and more in the way than I liked. I might look elsewhere such as NB 1080v10, ASICS Glideride, Skechers Ride 8, or upcoming Salomon Sonic 3 Balance. Info on all at link below.
Sam, Editor
Thanks for reading Road Trail Run! See our page with links 100’s of in depth shoe and gear reviews HERE. You can also follow RoadTrailRun on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram where we publish interesting run related content more frequently as well as links to our latest reviews.
Shopping through links on articles help support RoadTrail Run and is much appreciated!

Unknown said...

How many miles can I get out of the Boston 8?

bringmemyfix said...

I'm currently at 350 miles in a pair and they're not that different from new. In previous iterations, using them for everything from track to light trails, I've retired them around the 500 to 550 mark due to the outsole becoming too smooth and polished which made them a bit sketchy on damp concrete corners or Tartan bends. Not sure if the newer stretchweb pattern will change that for better/worse. The upper and midsole have never been a the point of failure for me.

BC said...

Hi! Love your reviews!!

Do you know when the Boston 9s will come out? Not the ones with the BAA logo (and those are sold out in most places). I’ve been running in Bostons since the 5s. Love ‘em!

Ia there something else I should consider while whole waiting for the 9s? I am 185 lbs., and run 35-65 mpw. I run/train for ultras in the 50K/50 mi range. I use Bostons for my pavement running, tempos, easy, repeats, and long runs up to 25. Midfoot/forefoot striker. Can you help wIth a few suggestions?


Sam Winebaum said...

Hi BC,
Thanks for the kind words!
Not sure when other colors of Boston 9 will be available. Likely some disruptions due to Covid. In a similar feeling shoe you might look at the ASICS Cumulus 22. Also for sure the Salomon Sonic 3 Accelerate. In adidas the SL20 but it is considerably firmer foam but more of it if a fast shoe more a short distance shoe for me. For sure when it comes out around 7/1 Endorphin Speed. More cushion, more dynamic, lighter.
Sam, Editor
Thanks for reading Road Trail Run! See our page with links 100’s of in depth shoe and gear reviews HERE. You can also follow RoadTrailRun on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram where we publish interesting run related content more frequently as well as links to our latest reviews.
Shopping through links on articles help support RoadTrail Run and is much appreciated!

BC said...

Many thanks, Sam! Wasn’t sure about the SL20s, as I do love the Boost. Salomons, though....all my trail shoes are Salomons and I just love them. I had a pair of the X-Series a few years ago and they were great, but firm. Very fast, though! May be time to try them on the road again. Appreciate your quick counsel. I’ve been reading RTR for years. You’ve managed the growth admirably, Really enjoy all the perspectives in the reviews. Thanks again for your suggestions, Sam. Carries a lot of weight! Stay safe!!

Sam Winebaum said...

Thanks so much BC! A big flood of innovation and shoes in 2020 delayed by Covid but many arriving noq=w. Given you liked the X-Series and I liked the Sonic road too but as you say firm. The Accelerate is more dense than firm. very vibration absorbing so it can cross over to just about any training as well. If you like firm then the SL 20 is an option. I found it very fast but not a long run shoe. I would still pick the Speed over the other two but depends on need and preferences
Sam, Editor