Tuesday, June 15, 2021

adidas adizero Boston 10 Multi Tester Review

Article by Derek Li, Nils Scharff, Joost de Raeymaeker and Sam Winebaum

adidas adizero Boston 10   $140/150€


Sam: adidas literally went almost nowhere in performance running since 2013 once the ground breaking introductions of the Energy Boost and adios Boost, two of my all time favorite trainers and racers. 

Boost was clearly a powerfully innovative midsole compound which leap frogged all prior compounds in its energy return, bounce, and fun cushion. Oh Boost kept on coming in the very popular (and profitable) Ultraboost and a series of heavier and heavier trainers with the Boston the best of the line for its nimble do anything ride.

Even the Boston started to fade in recent years as lighter more cushioned shoes in its class emerged. 

Entering 2020 adidas was essentially nowhere in performance running as multiple competitors large and small raced ahead.  Then, the radically different adios Pro racer emerged. New foam in Lightstrike Pro, a new approach to propulsion in Energy Rods (matching toes)  instead of monolithic or split carbon plates and a giant 39 mm heel stack. Records fell, the RTR team loved them, and then more silence but it now seemed clear that adi was on the move.  

The Boston 10 now emerges combining the best of the adios Pro: Lightstrike Pro and Energy Rods and a similar giant stack at 39mm heel with somewhat denser, heavier Lightstrike below Pro for stability, durability and response and an extensive durable Continental Rubber outsole. 

And as I am finding in testing them, the combination of a firmer thicker Lightstrike layer at the heel than forefoot with more Pro thickness upfront really drives the foot down and forward to the rods and toe off much as the way the original Vaporfly did. 

Improving on that concept with not only softer but a more natural toes in the game via softer feeling and I think more pliable (plastic or carbon infused plastic  instead of carbon ?)  rods than the adios Pro. This leads  to a ride suitable for training paces and quite frankly, for most longer races for the slower racer ti should be friendlier and easier to maintain form than the adios Pro and many of the other carbon plated shoes, if it is heavier for sure.

So the adidas road map  is now clearer: The Boston goes modern as a maximalist daily trainer for sure filling the gap in that category in the lineup, , the upcoming adios 6 I expect to be the logical uptempo, intervals shoe replacing the Boston, and the adios Pro the mid to long racer.

Derek: The Adidas Boston is now into its 10th edition, and it has traditionally shepherded the role of do-it-all daily trainer within the Adidas Adizero line incredibly well. I’ll be upfront and say that my one and only pair of Adidas Boston was the Boston 6, which sported a combination of Boost and EVA foam for the midsole. The Boston has never sported a particularly dynamic ride for me. In fact, it exudes a very traditional, low to the ground, snappy and responsive ride that on the wrong day could really beat you up. Think of the other daily trainers it goes up against every year; Nike Pegasus, Saucony Ride, Brooks Ghost. Every one of those shoes has gotten progressively softer over the years. The Boston until now has held its ground at the lighter snappier end of the spectrum. Well, shoe trends are firmly in the maximalist boat, and it seems even Adidas has started giving the people what they want. Enter the Boston 10 and it looks and feels completely different from any previous Boston. It seems pretty obvious from the design of the shoe that it is meant to serve as a trainer equivalent of the very popular Adios Pro. The official and measured stack numbers put it near identical to the Adios Pro. How does it stack up? Let’s find out!

Nils: adidas finally did it! The Boost material is abandoned from this year's variants of the iconic Adizero Adios and Boston models! I and many others have been calling for this for a long time. Boost was innovative at some point and I love it for its comfortable and durable properties in my “sneakers”. But the clock has turned in the running shoe world. Many other materials are clearly superior, especially when it comes to weight. Last year there were already indications from Herzogenaurach - for example the good SL20, which completely relied on the new Lightstrike material.

While Lightstrike had some great properties, it still wasn’t as soft and trampoline-like as the market currently demands. In the Adios Pro, Lightstrike Pro material was introduced for the first time. It turned out that the “Pro” makes all the difference when it comes to Lightstrike. It offers a much softer running sensation and more energy return compared to the non Pro. With a look at the starting fields and result lists of major running events, there was suddenly a shoe that could compete with Nike's Vaporfly at the marathon and half-marathon distances! With the adidas Adizero Boston 10 finally a training shoe comes to the market which uses the new material. Lets see what adidas can bring to the table with their next generation of performance training shoes.


Ah, the Boston. A great running shoe in its 10th iteration . I fondly remember my pair of Boston 6 with over 1000km on them and still looking and feeling fresh. My current rotation contains the last version I bought, Boston 8, for very specific runs. It is a shoe that will give your feet a decent workout if they’ve become lazy because of all the soft high stack shoes out there. Sure, Boost foam has had its prime and the focus now seems to be more on foams and plates used in shoes than on actual runners these days. Sure, Boost is heavy compared to ZoomX and Hyperburst, but Lightstrike also doesn’t excel because of its weight. The fact is, Adidas thought it was time to radically change their Adizero lineup. But does the Boston lose its “Bostonness” with the update? Let’s find out.


Effective, easy to find rocker - Derek/Sam/Nils/Joost

Very cushioned and forgiving forefoot feel - Derek/Sam/Nils

Excellent outsole grip (even on loose fine sand gravel over hard pack dirt) – Derek/Sam/Nils/Joost

Very stable for a high stack shoe – Derek/Sam/Nils/Joost

Energetic when picking up the pace - Nils/Sam

Great lockdown - Nils/Sam

The blend between Lightstrike, Lightstrike Pro and the Energy Rods is executed perfectly - Nils/Sam

Runs lighter than its weight - Nils/Sam/Joost

Very good value for a durable totally modern trainer with top notch materials & construction Sam/Joost


Heel is a little harsh/clunky at slower paces – Derek/Nils

Narrow but stable heel platform requires forward lean or feels tippy, especially on steeper downhills Sam

Warm upper with a mostly unnecessary second inner layer - Nils/Joost

Would like to see it come in lighter than 10.45 oz US9 and under 10 oz/ 283g , its giant stack with heavier Lightstrike, upper and extensive outsole likely weight elements-Sam/Nils/Joost

High volume feet take some pulling and pushing to get into the shoe - Joost


Estimated weight: men's 10.45 oz / 296g (US9)

Samples: men’s US9.5 295.5g (293g left, 298g right)  / 10.42oz (note that this is a WIDE forefoot version so it may be a little heavier),  10.19 oz /289g both shoes  (US8.5), 10.86 oz / 308g (US10)

Stack Height (Derek): measured at 39/mm heel, 31mm forefoot 8mm drop

Available now. $140/150€ including from our partners at the end of the article.

Tester Profiles

Sam is the Editor and Founder of Road Trail Run. He is 64 with a 2018 3:40 Boston qualifier. Sam has been running for over 48 years and has a 2:28 marathon PR. These days he runs halves in the just sub 1:40 range training 30-40 miles per week mostly at moderate paces on the roads and trails of New Hampshire and Utah. He is 5’9” tall and weighs about 164 lbs if he is not enjoying too many fine New England IPA.

Derek is in his 30’s and trains 70-80 miles per week at 7 to 8 minute pace in mostly tropical conditions in Singapore. He has a 2:41 marathon PR.

Nils:  30 years old.  Heilbronn, Germany.. My young running career just started 4 years ago with a company run which I joined together with some colleagues in 2017. I ran roughly 1000km in my first year, doubled and then tripled that number in 2018 and 2019. I've run 4 marathons to date with a PR of 2:57 marathon.  My other PRs are 17:32for the 5k, 37:33 for 10k and 1:22 for the half.

Joost is a Belgian in his 50s living in Luanda, Angola, Africa, where he faces the heat, humidity and general chaos to run anything between 60-100 miles per week. He’s on a mission to win in his age group in the 6 marathon majors and has completed half of his project, with a 2:26:10 PB in Berlin in 2019 at 51. He ran in primary school, but then thought it would be a lot cooler to be a guitar player in a hard rock band, only picking up running again in 2012, gradually improving his results.

First Impressions and Fit

Derek: Let me start by saying that my pair was purchased online from Japan, and as luck would have it, I was sent the Boston 10 in a “wide” version even though I didn’t opt for it. The Japanese market is unique in having “wide” versions of certain models, not just for Adidas but for other brands like ASICS as well. In Japan, Wide does not mean 2E. It means that the forefoot, and only the forefoot, is wider, while the midfoot and heel retain the standard D-width. I had seen this with previous versions of the Boston, and in every version of the Japan Boost (which is the name used in place of the Adios Boost in the Japanese market). As is usually the case for the “wide” versions, the colorway tends to be one of the less striking ones, but the colorway I got was the only one on sale so I jumped on it. 

Unlike prior versions of the Boston, which I found to be somewhat snug in fit (I actually went up a half size to US10 for my Boston 6’s), the Boston 10 seems to be more relaxed in fit. Yes the forefoot is kind of roomy because mine is wide, but beyond that, I have a full thumb spacing in front of my toes at my usual US9.5 (which is usual for me. I don’t like having less than a full finger spacing in front of my toes, even for racers.) 

Long story short, the Boston 10 is true to size. The midfoot and heel are relatively snug, which is sort of surprising since the shoe has a pretty wide last. 

Walking around, the familiar springiness of the Lightstrike Pro underfoot is immediately apparent, and the forefoot rocker seems to be closer to mid-foot than in the Adios Pro. The shoe does feel a tad bottom heavy, but it’s not too bad. Let’s see how it runs!

Nils: The adidas Adizero Boston 10 is already the tenth generation of the running shoe and accordingly a classic with many fans in the running shoe community. With the tenth variant tested here, the Boston could lose some of these fans, but also gain many new ones. As soon as you get the shoe out of the box, you quickly notice that a lot has happened here! The Boston has been kind of an all-rounder so far. Light enough for fast runs and workouts, but with enough cushioning for the long run and maybe for your marathon race as well. At the same time it was always a good training partner for the Adios (as the competition shoe). The last Boston I ran was the 6 (variants 7, 8 and 9 were pretty similar). But what I now hold in my hand has hardly anything to do with its predecessors.

And that's only logical if you see the Adios Pro as the current variant adidas’ competition shoe. This has little in common with its Adios predecessors, is much more cushioned and is actually a completely different shoe. The same applies to the Boston, which visually seems to be the training partner for the Adios Pro. The shape and height of the midsole is strongly reminiscent of the Adios Pro and feels twice as high as the previous Boston. In addition on the bottom of the shoe the “Energy Rods” known from the Adios Pro smile at you. I'm really excited to see how this will all work out on the run!

Other than that I really like the bright blue and green colorway which I received. My contact at adidas Germany told me that this variant is going to be available in September. Most of the other pictures and videos circulating on the net, and the pair RTR Editor Sam received are a white and red Tokyo  edition that looks very classy but not as bright as my blue Boston. Therefore I'm very happy with this lot!

The first thing I noticed about the Boston 10 on foot is that it fits perfectly for me! My standard adidas size US 10 / EUR 44 fits like a glove. I haven’t had such a good hold around the metatarsus and heel for quite some time! At the same time, the toe box is pleasantly wide - completely atypical for adidas, which actually tend towards narrow shoes most of the time. When walking, the high midsole, together with the aggressive rocker geometry feel a bit awkward. But that’s quite common with such high stacked shoes. I'm curious how the combination of Lightstrike, Lightstrike Pro and Energy-Rods feel while running. The scales indicate 308 grams for my size US10 test shoe. That is of course more than previous Bostons have weighed, but almost light for the massive midsole and high level of cushioning.

A final word on the shoe box: I haven't seen this yet from adidas. They have dedicated themselves entirely to the topic of sustainability, making a statement against plastic waste and for the use of sustainable materials - very cool!

Sam: Striking in white, red with a tinge of orange  and some black my color says to me the shoe is all of a piece, a system for running. The colors highlight areas of support such as the heel tab and through the midfoot outer mesh, orange laminates actually placed on the gusset tongue. 

The tri color outsole of extensive Continental Rubber makes it known there is going to be strong durability and that the outsole will serve as a platform to help stabilize the big stack height.

The fit is true to size with a relatively broad ball of the foot supported to the front by some sewn on suede overlays (actually functional I think to lock the foot down over the rods without the pressure of laminated plastics), a reasonably tapering toe box, solid mid foot support and a particularly secure heel counter.  

The fully lined non stretch mono mesh upper has a more performance oriented yet very comfortable fit. 

No sloppy Primeknit or stretch engineered stretch mesh here and that is vital as with the giant stack height and relatively narrow platform the foot has to be as one with the underfoot platform.


The first thing you see is the box, with a big symbol saying “End Plastic Waste” and a sticker telling us that the shoe is made with recycled materials. According to Adidas, 50% of the upper is made of recycled materials. Definitely a move in the right direction. The shoes themselves at first sight look like a hybrid of a more traditional Boston in the upper, with suede overlays and everything and an Adios Pro in the midsole, with towering stack height and energy rods to boot. 

My M9.5 fit true to size for me, with a tight instep. If you have a high foot volume, it might take some effort to get your foot in there, but once the shoe’s on, it fits snugly and comfortably, true to Boston tradition. Upon walking around in them, you can feel the amount of cushioning you get with that 31/39mm stack, but in spite of this, they feel relatively firm underfoot. Part of this is probably due to the hard plate right underneath the strobel. The sock liner is basically the only thing between your heel and the plate. The forefoot feels far more cushioned, due to the generous layer of Lightstrike Pro in that area.


Derek: The bulk of the upper utilizes a perforated mesh, which breathes fairly well and should work for most people.

Up front, there is a toe bumper reinforced by suede, and it works well to elevate the front quite a bit so you get plenty of height in the toebox. 

Mid-foot is relatively unstructured, with only one laminated band on the medial side, but it doesn’t need a lot of structure because of the midsole design, which I’ll get to below. 

The heel has quite a lot going on. There is a semi-rigid internal heel cup that runs midway up the heel. The upper part of the heel has a somewhat reflective and padded layer. 

Internally, there actually isn’t a lot of padding in the heel and even though externally the heel looks quite built-up, the internals are still quite simple and similar to previous Bostons. The tongue uses a gusseted design on both sides, and is attached at the sides by elastic mesh (as opposed to the more rubberized strap you see in the Adizero Pro and Adios Pro).

The tongue uses a fabric similar to cordura with extra padding only at the top of the tongue where you would be tying your knot. I presume this is an effort to save weight and limit the padding to where you need it.  

As stated above, the overall fit is relatively snug at heel and mid-foot. You can see below the relative width of the Boston ankle opening vs the Saucony Endorphin Speed v1.

That said, the lace eyelets terminate fairly low down, and in a way are the opposite to how the New Balance RC Elite v2 opted to position their eyelets, and I found myself using the extra heel lock eyelet, just because I am used to having the laces terminate higher up. I suppose if you are used to ON shoes, who also like large ankle openings and low lace positions, then these shouldn't be a problem for you. I prefer to have lacing tension all the way up to the ankle for that secure feel, even though I did not need high lace tension to get a good lockdown in these shoes. 

This is also illustrated in the above picture comparing Endorphin Speed and Boston 10 lace eyelet positions. 

All in all, I would say that the upper works well and fits more on the performance side than the relaxed side, though I think some aspects of the upper are a little overbuilt, like the reflective heel tab. (Bear I mind that the padding on the heel tab is external and therefore purely aesthetic and does not contribute to ankle or heel cushioning at all)

Nils: First of all: adidas is increasingly addressing the trend in the industry to care for sustainability. Recently you could collect kilometers for the “Parley for the Ocean - Challenge” as part of adidas’ commitment to the fight against ocean plastic (waste). The Boston 10 also follows this path - it is a so-called Primegreen model. This means that it is made from a variety of functional recycled materials. 50% of the upper material consists of recycled materials and it was made without the use of newly produced polyester.

So much for the base materials. But what does adidas do with those in terms of performance? The mid- and forefoot of the Boston 10 are made of a two-layer mesh that I would call an inner- and an outer-shoe. The outer layer looks like it is made of small honeycombs, is colorless and transparent. That looks a lot like the so-called Celermesh material, which has been used in the Adizero Pro - there it performed amazingly!

In addition to the outer mesh, the Boston 10 has a second layer - a kind of inner shoe. This inner layer of material extends from the heel area, on which it is sewn on, all the way to the front of the shoe. It encloses the mid- and forefoot and builds together with the gusseted tongue a sock-like construction. The blue material is stretchy and perforated and hugs the foot perfectly. In terms of comfort and support this inner-shoe is a masterpiece. However - you already guessed it - this double layer of materials also has a downside: It is warm! During my test runs, I looked in vain for a cooling air flow at currently over 30° C in Heilbronn. While this isn’t a problem most days of the year, during the 2-3 hot summer months it for sure is. And breathability just isn’t the name of the game for the adidas Adizero Boston 10.

From a functional point of view, there are 2-3 small things to say about the upper material. There are hardly any externally attached overlays. The three adidas stripes on the outside and the reinforcement around the lacing are compulsory. 

The welded seam that holds both halves of the shoe together is located on the medial side and provides additional support there. I've seen this several times on different adidas shoes and I think it's a brilliant idea! This seam has to be placed somewhere anyway. Most often it is hidden in the heel padding. But I already had shoes that caused blisters for this very reason. adidas makes a virtue out of this need and uses the seam as an additional stability feature - bravo!

On the topic of the heel cap: This extends relatively high and about to the middle of the collar. It is stiff but not firm. It is softly padded in the upper area and holds the heel securely. In the lower area, however, this padding is not needed and therefore cut off. 

What I don't quite understand are the upholstery elements attached in the green area that protrude outwards. Seems to me to be a purely cosmetical element and thus unnecessary weight.

There are actually functional support reinforcements laminated to the gusset tongue, higher on the medial than lateral side (shown below on Sam’s pair). 

These shimmer through the mesh  in neon green (red in Sam’s pair above, green in mine below) and offer additional lateral support in the metatarsus on both the lateral and medial sides.

The whole thing is rounded off by two applications of a suede material (or at least something that looks like this). On the one hand, these reinforce the front part of the lacing and, on the other hand, the heel area to provide protection for the toes. These two strips of material make the shoe look very old-school. But that is probably intentional and, on the other hand, I can imagine that the use of the material has something to do with the aforementioned saving on plastic.


Looking at the Boston 10 from above, it immediately looks like a Boston to me. Well built and very well knit upper, with eye for detail and eyelets that go all the way down to the front of the shoe. There are 7 of them, counting the heel lock eyelet. It even has some suede overlays like an older version I had. Derek and Nils described the upper and all its intricacies in great detail, so technically there’s not a lot to add. 

Although the double layer makes it potentially less breathable, this version of the Boston is actually a fair bit more breathable than the Boston 8 I have as a reference. The top layer of the upper of the 10 is very well perforated and it didn’t feel any hotter than most other shoes I run in in the heat. The upper does what it’s supposed to do very well. It securely holds the foot, supports it where needed and the only thing I can’t really find a “raison d’être” for are the two little pillows on the outside of the heel counter.


Derek: This is for me the most interesting part of the shoe. There are 2 layers here, with a Lightstrike Pro (as seen in Adios Pro) upper half, and regular Lightstrike lower half, and what appear to be plastic rods sandwiched in the middle. You can see the rods from below the shoe where there is a window in the midsole, so you know it’s there! Additionally, there appears to be a rigid plate at the heel just beneath the strobel board and sitting above the midsole. 


First up, I want to address why I mentioned above that you don’t need mid-foot overlays here. It’s actually pretty obvious when you put a Boston 10 side by side with an Adios Pro. There are raised midsole sidewalls in the Boston 10. You don’t have that with the Adios Pro, at least not to this degree. 

In the above pic you can see the difference. Bear in mind both Adios Pro and Boston 10 have identical 38mm heel stack on manual measurement. 

The design is so scalloped that when you stand in the shoe and try to lean medially or laterally, you can feel the edge of the midsole holding you back. This creates excellent stability for the shoe. Thankfully this is soft Lightstrike Pro, and does not cause any discomfort when running. The rigid plate under the heel also contributes to the stability on lading at the rear half of the shoe. 

The shape of the Lightstrike Pro follows the curvature of the rods and creates a very nice and smooth transition. The rods don’t appear to be as rigid as those in the Adios Pro so there is some “give” to the forefoot when you try to flex it. The forefoot feel is particularly springy here, likely due to a combination of thicker Lightstrike Pro, and the flex and rebound of the rods. 

The heel for me has a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde persona going on. At slow paces, and if I deliberately land flat on the heel (which for me involves landing in front of my centre of gravity) it actually feels quite firm, and I almost can’t feel the Lightstrike Pro at all underfoot. So that’s your Hyde. Not so fun. Once you get closer to medium effort and faster, 7:00-7:40/mile in my case, the harshness of the heel completely disappears as you transition faster through the shoe and the maximum loading moves toward the forefoot. I put this down to the rigid plate under the heel. The insole on the Adios Pro is glued in so I can’t confirm but it feels like the plate sits sandwiched in the midsole in Adios Pro, versus above the Lightstrike Pro midsole in the Boston 10 so that probably contributes to added perceived harshness when you land there. 

Overall, the midsole works well as a daily trainer, and it has excellent stability for a shoe on this stack, especially at the heel. I am not sure how much extra forefoot stability I am getting from my “wide” version of the shoe, as I have an extra 3mm of wiggle room on either side up front. 

I did learn something interesting about the rods here, which I didn’t observe in the Adios Pro. I’ll cover that under the Ride section. 

Nils: The midsole of the adidas Adizero Boston 10 is the part of the shoe that has undergone the most drastic changes compared to its predecessors. The Boston 10 is much more cushioned than prior Boston. Unfortunately, I have not yet received any precise information about the stack height but I think that we are definitely in the 40mm range for the heel (Derek measured 38mm). I have already seen 8 and 10mm mentioned as the drop, it will probably be one of those. On foot it feels more like 8mm to me, but it’s difficult to tell because of the rocker geometry.

Besides the immense stack height you immediately recognize the two different cushioning materials used in the Boston 10. On the one hand, there is a lower layer made of Lightstrike - a rather firm EVA foam that is known from the SL20. This layer is rather thin in the forefoot area and thickens towards the heel where it creates some much needed stability.

Then there is a second layer of Lightstrike Pro on top of this first. Lightstrike Pro is significantly softer than the regular Lightstrike and offers much more energy return. The Lightstrike Pro layer is complementary to the Lightstrike layer: It is thicker in the forefoot and tapers towards the heel. This way  a more comfortable and energetic ride is achieved. This applies especially to the forefoot where the efficient runner should strike.

The Energy-Rods (known from the Adios Pro) are embedded in the forefoot between the two layers of foam. They are modeled on the bones of the foot and are adidas’ different and unique take on the ubiquitous full or toe split carbon fiber plates. In the Adios Pro, these energy rods are made of carbon fiber. For the Boston 10 it is apparently a different material. As the rods are partially visible on the bottom of the shoe, they appear to be made of plastic or something with a plastic coating.

Sam: Once we have the foot locked to the platform by the effective and comfortable upper it’s time to go underfoot!

We have Lightstrike Pro below the foot with a plate at the heel just below the sockliner to, I assume, stabilize the foot and direct forces straight down and then forward  instead of depressing off to the side of  the high relatively narrow heel platform. The adios Pro has such a plate as well. The heel is a bit firm, a touch of sharpness, directly on landing but not below or after  but until I realized there was a plate there I didn’t really notice it

The Lightstrike Pro plunges forward and is much thicker at the foretoot than heel. 

The thinner layer of softer and more energetic front Pro foam over the thicker rear Lightstrike at the heel with Pro thicker upfront  definitely encourages the foot to “fall” forward towards the front for take off with the softness of the Pro foam deflecting and the rods then amplifying the energy return and toe off impulse. The “ramp” is longer than say the Saucony Endorphin which rely mostly on that final SpeedRoll although here too we do have a final last roll but a gentle one. 

It reminds me a lot of the original Vaporfly in that respect. Lean forward a touch and you will easily find the “groove” and forward impulse. And for sure you will need to do that on downhills. 

At the heel the landing is extremely well cushioned but a bit firm given plate and thinner Lightstrike Pro over firmer Lightstrike. It reminds quite a bit of the heel of the Tempo Next with a decisive landing and rapid movement forward. No Boost squish here or super shoe heel instability except a touch that I found on steep downhills at slower paces. 

The Lighstrike bottom layer is firmer and more responsive, reminiscent of PWRUN from Saucony or React but clearly tempered by the Pro flavor of Lighstrike, a softer, more bouncy energetic foam above.

The Energy Rods are no gimmick! And neither were they inthe  lighter stiffer forefoot of the adios Pro.  Here in combination with the other layers they allow for a more gentle rocker with a distinct sense of the toes in the mix as the rods match the toe bones. So instead of driving to a monolithic plate your foot works with the rods. This is clearly felt and there is no harsh carbon feel or sensation that there is only one pace or paces (fast!) to drive the shoe. Slower paces (10:30 mile) are just fine here but more pleasant off the heels


So the Boston 10 got rid of Boost and joined the high stack, plate category of running shoes. If you look at the midsole from the side and compare it to the Adios Pro 1, they look very similar, except for the combination of two different foams in the Boston, as compared to the Adios Pro. For me, as a forefoot striker, main impact is made on the exact part of the midsole where the Lightstrike Pro is the thickest. Because of this, I can’t really talk about any heel harshness. What I can tell is that the Boston feels firm, but nor harsh. It actually reminds me of a … Boston, albeit noticeably further removed from the ground. 

The feeling of the rods is never very apparent, especially when you compare them to the Adios Pro. You can actually bend the shoe longitudinally quite easily. Of course, it’s not as flexible as an older version Boston, but the Ligtstrike Pro foam kind of makes up for part of the loss of flexibility. The previous Boost versions of the Boston had the Boost foam going more or less to the ball of the foot, so I never really felt like I had any great rebound from it landing in that area.


Derek: The outsole on the Boston 10 is easily the best among all the high stack trainers in terms of grip. The dense array of narrow diagonal ridges of rubber work very well from a traction standpoint, edging out the previous best maximalist outsole in my book (Puma Deviate Nitro, which is incidentally also measured at 39/31 mm stack).

The rubber is actually fairly soft up front, and I am seeing faint scuffing at the edges already after just 2 runs, but the bulk of the outsole seems to hold up pretty well. I expect the main limiting factor for durability to still fall on the Lightstrike Pro midsole.  

The platform is fairly wide compared to Adios Pro so you get a little more added stability there too. 

Nils: There's not that much to say about the outsole of the adidas Adizero Boston 10. As in all earlier performance models, adidas uses a rubber compound from Continental. This has always proven to be very durable in the past and offers good traction in all situations. The Boston 10 doesn't seem to be an exception here either. After a good 80 test kilometers I can’t report any wear and tear. As I had bad luck with the weather on almost all of my runs in the Boston 10,  I can say with confidence that the sole offers perfect grip even in monsoon-like rain. That applies to asphalt, gravel roads and also to a flooded tartan track. Sure, on a wet track you always lose some traction worth 1-2 seconds, but I was never afraid of slipping. I always felt safe despite the immense height of the shoe. To sum it up: As always, there is nothing to complain about with the Continental rubber!

adidas decided to use a kind of lamella pattern for the outsole of the entire shoe. These lamellas bite perfectly into the ground and at the same time save some weight. The rubber is placed in four segments. These are divided lengthwise by a continuous guidance line - another stability feature - and across by a recess in the metatarsus. The front applications ensure a good grip, the back applications ensure abrasion-protection and stability in the heel.

Sam: Copious rubber coverage worthy of any trainer and Continental Rubber to boot. 

The design and coverage of 4 extensive outsole elements also clearly contribute to stabilizing the platform.

My runs in them took me over bike paths sections with a thin, loose layer of sand and gravel over road base and on this loop in Park City I have run many times in all manner of road and trail shoes, the grip was the best I can recall. And Boston loves to climb as Nils said with the ramp down over the soft Lightstrike  Pro and then the rods really driving you uphill despite the rigid profile.


Good old Continental outsole rubber is probably all you need to hear to know that the Boston 10 has great traction and great durability. No visible wear whatsoever after my initial 60km in them. As Sam mentioned, the 4 decoupled patches of rubber add to the general stability of the shoe.


Derek: The ride of the Boston 10 is one of a high stack rockered cruiser. Similarities to the Saucony Endorphin Shift, Puma Deviate Nitro, and Nike Tempo Next% come to mind. The Boston 10 has a firm heel-soft forefoot character, and I think what sets it apart is mainly how natural the ride feels for such a high stack shoe. It doesn’t feel overly stiff, and the rocker is actually more subtle than it looks, and it definitely runs much lighter than the weighing scale suggests. Still, there is a bit of a bottom-heavy feel to the shoe when you try to go hard in it and I think that is the biggest limitation of this shoe. It’s a cruiser, and it will likely handle some big miles, but it’s not as versatile as prior versions of the Boston. This sort of high stack rockered shoe tends not to work so well for speed work, but for most people doing medium distance, medium effort runs, it will be an excellent candidate. The fit and lockdown are easily the most straightforward and fuss-free of the max-stack trainers and the outsole grip is just incredibly good for a trainer. I do think people may be somewhat disappointed if they are looking for a very springy and lively ride, because this one is more of a smooth roll through kind of shoe rather than a trampoline experience. In that respect, it is closest to the Saucony Endorphin shift, which incidentally retails at the same $140 price point. The main differentiators from the Endorphin Shift are the outsole grip, while the Boston 10 wins out by a wide margin, and the drop. The Shift actually has a fairly low drop, and I think people who prefer a more traditional drop in a rockered shoe will find the ride of the Boston 10 much more palatable. 

Coming back to the rods, I incidentally found that I was having a little bit more outsole scuffing on the medial forefoot than the lateral forefoot (which is rare for me), so that got me curious and on feeling the angle of the exposed rods, it feels like the rods are angled a little lower to the ground on the medial side, and slightly higher up on the lateral side, so there is a little bit of a camber going on to kind of direct your foot medially when you land and toe-off. I’m not sure if this is also the case in the Adios Pro as outsole wear is a little harder to discern on that one. I think it makes sense because anatomically speaking, you are always going to curve your foot more at the medial arch and big toe joint than at the lateral aspect when you roll through the forefoot. I don’t think the cambering is enough to cause problems for people who don’t want to overpronate on the forefoot, and it certainly does not cause any hotspots for me at the big toe (it does for me in the Nike Zoom Invincible), but maybe just something to be aware of for people who struggle with late stage forefoot pronation. 

Nils: So how's the ride of the new Boston 10? Very different from all of its predecessors, of course. What adidas has done excellently is the fine-tuning between the two midsole materials and the energy rods in between. The whole thing feels like one piece. You don't feel any feel of segmentation between the materials.

The rocker geometry is noticeable, but by no means too extreme. Instead, it feels quite subtle and as “natural” as a shoe with this stack height can. The shoe rolls wonderfully through your stride at all but the slowest speeds and definitely feels lighter on the foot than its 308 grams. The whole thing reminds me a lot of Saucony's Speedroll technology - and that is great praise!

Due to the new max-cushioned design, the adidas Adizero Boston 10 is no longer quite the all-rounder it once was. I really did everything with the shoe - slow recovery runs, interval training on the track, long runs, and collecting vertical meters on some hills. The Boston mastered the latter surprisingly well. Due to the well designed midsole geometry, if proved to have good climbing properties. And on the downhill of course it can score anyhow thanks to the maximum design and the outstanding vibration damping of the Lightstrike materials.

But as you can imagine long runs are the Boston 10’s biggest strength . Especially if you push the pace a little, the Lightstrike Pro can show its strengths in combination with the Energy-Rods - their combination offers a good amount of energy return without being overly soft or bouncy. This dynamic was also evident on the track. However, I noticed that at some point it was a bit too much shoe for my liking. In terms of lateral stability it worked great running ovals at high speed, but I simply prefer lighter and less cushioned shoes for my speedwork. But if you like maximum cushioning you can also reel off intervals in the  Boston 10 works well.

The only thing I didn't really like were recovery runs in the Boston 10. Of course there is more than enough protection for tired legs. And the shoe also offers the highest degree of stability - in this regard, even for me as an overpronator, nothing is left to be desired. But the whole midsole setup is just a bit too far on the firmer / harder side of the scale and not plush enough for my slowest feel-good sessions. 

In addition, the firm heel was noticeable on slow runs and felt a bit clunky. Of course this might be a good reminder to pay attention to your running style even when trudging slowly, but not what you actually want from a running shoe.

Sam: Purposeful, stable, energetic in a sober controlled way, incredibly well cushioned, a bit serious no bouncy bouncy here as say the RC Elite 2 or TC from New Balance have, this giant stack shoe threads the needle very well in the sense that it is clearly a daily training ride that can handle all moderate to tempo paces and even slower paces. No question it is also an ideal shoe for long runs at any pace. While its weight at 10.45 oz I did not notice it all, the shoe running as if it was a solid ounce lighter.


Firm, balanced and quite natural ride for a high stack shoe. Or maybe, I’ve become so used to high stack shoes that I find them all natural at this point. Whatever’s the case, the Boston 10 has a pleasant ride quality to it, transitions well and has that little rocker effect to give the extra helping hand. It’s easy to pick up the pace in them and they will shine in medium to long runs with a bit of speed, just like the original Bostons.

Conclusions and Recommendations

Sam: adidas has gotten over Boost with a new and effective training platform based on their fantastic adios Pro by leveraging Lightstrike Pro and Energy Rods while adding training stabilizing (and less costly) Lightstrike and tuning the rods to be more gentle for training paces. 

Not only no Boost but the brand’s first maximalist trainer with a giant 39/31 stack height. All put together it runs smooth, incredibly well cushioned, stable but maybe a bit “uptight”. 

Hey but I also really like the super clumping awkward/unnatural feeling yet oh so effective competitor the Tempo Next and the dense Endorphin Shift. In their match up with the comparable Tempo Next %, adidas went with a less monolithic feeling “plate” and no dense airbag going with softer toe conforming and comforting.. really.. Energy Rods. This approach in combination with the deeper Lightstrike Pro upfront, delivers a smooth natural feeling rocker and then tops it off  (or bottoms it off) with an incredible outsole (if likely heavy) with these elements the highlights of the shoe. The rear landing is fine but is all about controlling the high relatively narrow stack and getting you forward. And not to leave out the upper. It  is brilliantly designed to provide just enough comfort while securing the foot to the giant platform if a bit warmly and heavily. 

Boston 10 is one heck of a fine all purpose maximalist training ride. Is this Boston anything like the older Bostons, no, but as with that shoe in the day it is a model now totally in tune with the times of more stack and cushion, plates, and new foams with the adios 6 likely now the direct old school successor on a new and somewhat higher platform.

The price is very fair for a totally modern, high quality trainer with “plate”, modern foams, and a great outsole. I do wish it weighed under 10 oz as at 10.45 oz in a US9 it is up there but quite frankly it runs way lighter than actual weight.

Sam’s Score: 9.4/10

Ride 9.4 (50%) Fit 9.7 (30%) Value 9.5 (15%) Style 9.5 (5%)

Derek: I had really high hopes for the Boston 10, and when the specs came out, the weight was somewhat disappointing. I do hope they can bring it down somehow to get close to the 9-9.5oz range, as that would really make a big difference. As it is, it’s a great cruiser, but I wouldn’t use it for any fast stuff. I am on the lighter side at 136lb, so it is entirely possible a bigger runner will find it to be a more versatile shoe. As it is, at cruising speeds, it is great, and even more fun than the Endorphin Shift, but I think it still loses out to the like of the New Balance TC, Nike Tempo Next% and Puma Deviate Nitro in terms of overall versatility and…. Fun-ness.

Derek’s Score 9.13 / 10

Ride 9 (50%) Fit 9.5 (30%) Value 9 (15%) Style 8.5 (5%)

NIls: The adidas Adizero Boston has always been a classic. And despite major changes, the tenth version of the Boston has what it takes to remain such a classic. The finely tuned midsole, an almost perfect fit and hold in the shoe, an excellent outsole - none of this has to hide from any of the nine previous Bostons. Quite the opposite! 

The adidas Adizero Boston 10 has more stability and the best cushioning properties of all 10 Boston generations. That makes it one of the best long run shoes that are currently on the market. At the same time it can handle most of the user running use cases quite well. For an RRP of 150€ / $150  adidas offers a lot of shoe (not just literally) for the money, especially since you can expect the Boston 10 to last a while.

I have the feeling that I will do the majority of my long runs in the adidas Adizero Boston 10 during the next marathon block. With that it is going to replace one of my favorites from last year, the Saucony Endorphin Shift. I think I can hardly give a bigger compliment.

Nils’ Score 9.48 / 10

Ride 9.3 (50%) Fit 10 (30%) Value 9 (15%) Style 9.5 (5%)


I’ve touched on this in the midsole section, and I’ll repeat it here. The Boston 10 reminds me of a Boston. It’s very easy to understand the thinking and process that went into designing this new version of the classic. 

Sure, it’s now a high stack shoe, but bear with me and have a look at the lineup. It’s the perfect training companion to the Adios Pro, built like a tank (unfortunately also heading that way in the weight department), but it’s also the perfect training companion to the new Adios 6, since it’s more forgiving on the feet. On top of that, it’s a perfectly capable race day shoe if you want to. From what I remember, that’s exactly what the Boston’s always was: a perfect day to day shoe that will last forever and you can even use on race day. I took out my Boston 8 a couple of days before I received the 10 and the fact that they’re not that different (except for the obvious) in philosophy became immediately apparent when I ran in the 10. 

For those who aren’t happy with the high stack max cushion trend, Adidas makes some low to the ground shoes like the SL20 that will satisfy you, and there are great alternatives like the Kinvara 12 or even the Skechers Razor. I’m a fan of this new Boston and I’m also sure my pair of Boston 8 will last for many more miles when I feel a bout of nostalgia coming on.

Joost’s score 9.38/10

Ride 9.5/10 (50%), Fit 9.5/10 (30%), Value 9/10 (15%), Style 8/10 (5%)

Watch Sam's adidas adizero Boston 10 Video Review (12:09)


Index to all RTR reviews: HERE

adidas Adios Pro (RTR Review)

Derek: I wear US9.5 in both shoes. Both shoes fit fairly similarly and you should get the same size for both. Heel lock is definitely better in the Boston 10, though I find the rubberized strap of the Adios Pro to give superior mid-foot hold. In terms of ride, there is no question the Adios Pro is the more exceptional ride here. The Boston would make for an excellent complement to the Adios Pro, as a trainer.

Joost: M9.5 in both. I agree with Derek. Heel lock is definitely better in the Boston, but general lockdown is better in the Pro. The difference of only Lightstrike Pro and tougher rods in the Adios Pro is very apparent, making it a faster shoe. I cannot agree more in that the Boston 10 is the ideal training companion to the Adios Pro.

Saucony Endorphin Shift (RTR Review)

Derek: I wear US9.5 in both shoes. This is the closest comparator to the Boston 10. A well-broken in Endorphin Shift with its bouncy PWRRUN foam has a very similar forefoot feel to the Boston. I think the Boston 10 is an overall better shoe than the Shift, because the rods give it a little more spring through the toe-off, and the outsole is better, especially on wet roads. Fit-wise, Endo Shift has an overall more snug and luxuriously padded feel to the upper, while the Boston upper has a more performance feel to it. Both fit about the same in terms of width, though Boston feels marginally longer. 

Nils: I just revisited my 500km old pair of Endorphin Shifts and Derek describes the differences very precisely. Both are among the best you can put on your feet for long runs. Both offer a phenomenal amount of stability for a neutral shoe. The adidas would be my choice for performance oriented training while the Shift feels more plush and comfy for just cruising along on your Sunday LSD. Both fit TTS for me which means 10.5 US for the Shift (as in all other Sauconys) and 10 US for the Boston (as in all other adidas).

Nike Tempo Next% (RTR Review)

Derek: I wear US9.5 in both shoes. The Tempo Next% has an overall snugger fit to it, but it is one that leaves very little room for adjustments. The Boston has a more conventional upper and allows for more tweaks to suit your preferences. I think the Boston upper should fit a wider range of feet. Boston definitely feels wider across the arch than Tempo but the forefoot width feels similar. Boston has an overall wider last than Tempo, and does feel more stable especially at the heel. In terms of ride, the Tempo still feels more special with a little more oomph from the forefoot airpods and is an overall more versatile shoe as it handles uptempo work really well. I prefer the Tempo Next%. 

New Balance FuelCell TC (RTR Review)

Derek: I wear US9.5 in both shoes. This is a shoe that is only marginally lower stack than the Boston 10, so I think it is an apt comparison even though it retails at $200, which is $60 more than Boston 10. The TC is an overall much softer and forgiving shoe from heel to toe than the Boston 10, and it also has a more natural flex to it with a very subtle rocker. The Boston has a more directed rockered feel to it, similar to Endorphin Shift and Tempo Next%. In terms of fit, the TC feels longer, and higher volume in mid-foot and heel. I think most people would do well to go a half size down in Boston 10 vs the TC.

Puma Deviate Nitro (RTR Review)

Derek: I wear US9.5 in both shoes. The Deviate Nitro is an incredibly versatile shoe with a very natural flex and transition for a carbon plated shoe. The DN feels springier and softer in the heel but firmer in the forefoot, compared to Boston 10. I find DN to be the more versatile shoe for being easier to pick up the pace in, but at steady cruising paces, the Boston 10 feels easier to keep things rolling along. DN has a somewhat polarizing fit at the heel that works well for some people and not so well for others. The overall length of both shoes is about the same, but Boston 10’s fit is more straightforward and much easier to dial in. With all of the above in mind, if I could only pick 1 shoe to keep, it would be the Boston 10. 

Nils: I didn’t get  along with the Deviate Nitro. While amazingly soft and energetic it somehow felt clunky to me. It’s far less stable than the Boston and I had some heel slippage issues with the upper. Boston 10 all the way! Both TTS.

Joost: M9.5 in both. The Deviate Nitro is indeed a more versatile shoe than the Boston for me, but I would be hard pressed to pick one over the other. The Boston is easier to go fast in, but for recovery work or easy runs, my pick would be the Deviate.

New Balance 1080v11 (RTR Review)

Nils: While high stacked the 1080 isn’t as max cushioned as the Boston 10. The 1080 is slightly rockered but much more squishy and flexes accordingly. The Boston in comparison doesn’t really flex at all. 1080 is more fun and bouncy but less efficient, less stable and less protective. Hard call on this one as both ride very differently. 1080 is more versatile and fun but if you want to do some serious business during your marathon training I would choose the Boston 10. 1080 fits in US 10.5, Boston in US 10.

Boston 10 available now. See shopping options below!

Derek's sample was a personal purchase. Sam and Niles tested samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. No other compensation was received by RTR or the authors for this review beyond potential commissions from the shopping links in the article. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

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ChuaRH said...

Seems very similar to the Asics Glideride. Can u do a comparison between the two? Thanks.

BC said...

Good review, very much in the RTR tradition. Thanks!

But.....Sad! I understand the pressures of market trends compelling manufacturers to change things up, but this regeneration of the Boston does not even seem consistent in spirit with the time-honored franchise of Bostons.

The Bostons have been my go-to since the 4 on all road distances up to 50K. Even use them on non-technical trails.

For those who still prefer the biomechanics of a moderately-cushioned shoe with flex, as opposed to a max-cushioned shoe with rocker, what would you recommend? An approximate replacement for the Boston 9.

The Ride? Or.....?


Alex T. said...

Hi BC,
I think that Adios 6 is the new Bostons

Sam Winebaum said...

Thanks! We expect the Adios 6 will be the closest replacement. Also look for sure at Puma Liberate Nitro. Review at index page
Sam, Editor

Nils said...

Hey ChuaRH, I never ran the Glideride besides a few strides in a friend's pair. But from what I can remember I would say that the rocker in the Glideride is more distinct, the foam (especially in the heel) is softer. Because of that it's less stable. Boston 10 is more stable, has the better outsole, better fit and lockdown (more performance oriented) and should be a little lighter. Boston runs more efficient while Glideride has more bounce to it.

Hey BC, I agree with Alex T. and Sam that the Adios 6 should be the closest replacement of the former Bostons within the adidas lineup. And from the first reviews and impressions it might be worth a shot. Other than that Kinvara 12 (relatively firm but stable) or Puma Liberate Nitro (soft, bouncy, instable) could fit the bill.

Anonymous said...

Which is faster between Boston 10 and FuelCell TC?
And how does the Boston 10 compare to Asics Novablast V1?

Sam Winebaum said...

Hi Anonymous,
Which is faster will depend on your paces, distance and stride type. Need to test some more but for me likely TC is “faster” and $60 more too,..
Compared to Novablast v1 the Boston 10 is denser in feel and more stable with a far more polished upper. Again, if you can tame it Novablast may end up faster and is lighter
Sam, Editor

Nils said...

Hey Anonymus,

I never ran the TC, therefore we are dependent on Sam or Derek on this one. From what I know about the TC I would say that the Boston is more suitable to fast stuff.

Compared to the Novablast the Boston is a VERY different shoe. Novablast is very soft, bouncy and unstable (too unstable for me). It's a fun shoe but nothing for serious business in my opinion. Boston is a firmer and efficient cruiser with superb protection and vibration dampening. Boston also has the much better upper and fit for me. It's the less fun but better shoe. Both fit me in US10.

Malcolm said...

How does it compressor with Hoka Mach 4?
Thanks malcolm

Sam Winebaum said...

Replying for Nils as not sure he has run Mach 4. Mach 4 is considerably lighter well cushioned but not the stack of Boston. It is notably more stable at the heel and more flexible up front. More versatile in my view. Sam,Editor

Malcolm said...

Thanks Sam
What would you recommend for one do-it-all trainer. I'm 60 and just returning to running with a view to 5km to 10 km races. I suspect you might have recommended Saucony Ride 13 last year. What would you recommend now?

Sam Winebaum said...

Hi Malcolm,
Actually this year in the class of the Ride 13 I would recommend heartily the excellent July release Mizuno Wave Rider 25. All of us including me agree a fabulous and actually fun to run more traditional daily trainer. Review here: https://www.roadtrailrun.com/2021/06/mizuno-wave-rider-25-multi-tester.html
Sam, Editor

Rachel said...

How does this compare with the Saucony Endorphin Speed? I love this for uptempo mid and long runs. Didn’t get on with the shift (too hard/bulky for my small frame), and want an alternative to my speed and Hoka Carbon X rotation.

Rachel said...

Also, how’s the toebox? I’m 7.5 lengthwise but have to go to 8 in Saucony Endorphins and most Nikes for extra toe space. Would Boston 10 also require sizing up?

Derek Li said...

I consider the Boston 10 to be closer to the Endorphin Shift is character than the Speed, as the stack and weight are close to the Shift. For an Endorphin Speed alternative, you may want to consider something like the ASICS Magic Speed or 361degree Flame.