Monday, March 18, 2024

adidas Supernova Solution Review: A Modern and Light Approach to Support Road Trainers

Article by Sam Winebaum 

adidas Supernova Solution ($140)

The support focused Solution, and its more neutral and very similar Rise sibling, are all new trainers with state of the art supercritical Dreamstrike+  foam main midsoles, a lower Stability Support Rods layer made of the Lightstrike EVA blend, comfortable uppers and decently light weights. 

The Solution weighs 9.81 oz / 277g in my US8.5 sample so about 10 oz in a US9, very decent for its 35mm heel / 25mm platform and all the extensive rubber underfoot. 

Both new Supernovas and the more uptempo Supernova Stride replace adidas’s heavy, dated, and cumbersome recent Adistar, Ultraboost and various Solar Glide models delivering modern training rides that don’t go all the way to the “elite” focus of the Adizero line.  

We love the many new Adizero racers and trainers from the incredibly light world record setting EVO 1, the Adios Pro 3, the uptempo trainer Boston 12 and the max max cushion Prime X Strung. All are light, radical in design, and effective.  

This said, it was clearly time for adidas to deliver modern, more mainstream and practical trainers for the everyday runner, and even those elites for their “easier” basic mileage days. 

As a more neutral shoe runner, I often struggle with support shoes finding the medial support overdone. Here the support is really all concentrated closer to the road well below all the energetic soft Dreamstrike foam so I was intrigued. Do they deliver? Let’s find out as I review the Solution and compare it to the Rise.


  • Well and forgivingly cushioned with energetic soft Dreamstrike supercritical foam below the foot

  • Lower EVA Support Rods and extensive outsole keeps support at the ground without harsh firm posts, rails, or hard plastic pieces pressing the inside of the foot

  • Comfortable and roomy upper, great step in feel

  • Friendly support shoe: very effective highly beveled heel landing transition. Plenty of easy front flex (after break in).



  • Wish for a bit smoother, less stiff midfoot transition at slower paces. Less midfoot outsole coverage? Softer rubber there?

  • Upper is borderline not supportive enough medially for more serious pronation control given quite soft Dreamstrike below the foot. A gusset tongue might help.

  • Roomy soft upper hold may challenge narrow low volume feet

Most comparable shoes 

Supernova Rise (RTR Review)

Supernova 2 (RTR Review)

Puma Velocity Nitro 3 (RTR Review)

Brooks Glycerin GTS 20 (RTR Review)

ASICS GT 2000 12 (RTR Review)


Approx. Weight: men's 10 oz  / 283g (US9)

  Samples: men’s  9.81 oz / 277g US 8.5 ,  oz / g US

Midsole Stack Height: 28.5mm heel / 18.5mm forefoot

Full Stack Height: men’s 35 mm heel / 25 mm forefoot ( 10mm drop spec) 

Platform Width: 90 mm heel / 85 mm midfoot / 105 mm forefoot

$140. Available now including at our partner Running Warehouse HERE

First Impressions, Fit and Upper

Clearly adidas is trying for a modern if somewhat conservative visual design with the latest Supernovas. Similar in design to the Supernova 2 of 2023, a surprisingly great $100 trainer but with older materials, gone are the angular (Adistar and Adizero) or bulbous (Ultraboost, Supernova and Glide) looks of recent adidas trainers.  The Solution clearly says 100% run trainer and also not lifestyle shoe statement. 

The upper is a very soft pliable engineered mesh reminiscent in feel and fit of recent Brooks such as the Ghost and Glycerin. Clearly adidas was shooting for a great initial step in feel and they succeeded.

The toe box is generously broad with the mesh having some give for broader feet yet with enough hold for my narrower to medium feet.

The midfoot features an un-gusseted tongue with moderate padding. The “3 Stripes” overlays on both sides provide decent support and are backed up on the medial side by a semi circular overlay. 

I do think, given the soft pliable mesh, that those with more “serious” pronation control needs than I have might wish for more medial upper support as the upper support at midfoot does not quite align with the underfoot support. I had the same kind of issues with the Brooks Glycerin 20 GTS, a clear competitor to the Solution but with “rails” at the top of the midsole, an approach to stability I find more intrusive.  I think a gusseted tongue might help.

The rear of the Solution has a stout heel counter and a plushly padded achilles collar. 

The rear hold is excellent.

The fit is true to size and generous for my narrower to medium volume feet. 

In comparison, the Rise (right above) has a slightly lower volume and more secure fit upfront and at mid foot (not as thick a tongue)  for me, even if the mesh itself is very similar. 

Midsole & Platform

adidas moves away from Boost and its older EVA foams with an all new supercritical Dreamstrike+ foam for the main midsole. There are for sure hints of the bounce of Boost but here the foam is lighter, somewhat quicker reacting and more consistent in feel. In similar fashion it rides like a “more pulled together” Saucony PWRRUN+ foam midsole.  Looking closely at the midsole it appears, unlike Boost or PWRRUN+, that it is not an expanded bead type foam which might help explain that all of piece pulled together soft and bouncy feel which also helps with the stability of the platform. Vibration reduction is good. 

While not quite as reactive, the Dreamstrike is clearly softer and more forgiving and general training miles focused  than Lightstrike Pro and Lightstrike 1.0 and 2.0 foams seen in adizero shoes.

Below the Dreamstrike, we have a dual density EVA Support Rods system, the blue seen just above the outsole. They are not hard plastic or composite as in the adizero Energy Rods or even the usual very firm posts of traditional support shoes but actually are not overly firm EVA layer, although it clearly feels denser to pressing and on the run than the Dreamstrike above it. 

The layer rises up somewhat at the medial midfoot for support and which is mildly but not overly felt, and more so than in the Rise, shown below in comparison as the yellow layer.

The Support Rods are also not as thick and wide in the Rise as shown below with Solution on top.

The platform is relatively broad at 90 mm heel / 85 mm midfoot / 105 mm forefoot with a stack height of 35 mm heel / 25 mm forefoot ( 10mm drop).  The platform does not go to the extremes of stack height or platform width of the competing inherently stable higher stack ASICS GEL-Kayano (RTR Review) or the Saucony Guide 17 (RTR Review) with its massive 105mm heel / 85 mm midfoot / 120 mm forefoot platform. 

The result is a somewhat more nimble and more flexible shoe than those two which rely more on rockers given their higher forefoot stack heights which make them stiffer. While I did not personally test it, a closer platform comparison might be the ASICS GT-2000 12 (RTR Review).

Given the very extensive outsole coverage to the rear and midfoot which provides much of the stabilizing element here, flexibility starts where the black rubber begins in the curved central area. The flexibility is essential to moving past what is a rigid midfoot and is a common approach in more conventional support shoes. I do think the clear midfoot rubber could be trimmed down or softened as it is very firm and extensive and makes the midfoot a touch too rigid and flat on the ground feeling, especially at slower paces. 

And to roll off the heel adidas includes a sharply beveled lateral crash pad which I found very effective at slower paces even if the midfoot at slower paces was stiffer than I liked. 

In summary we have a quite soft and energetic underfoot platform with plenty of cushioning that relies on the low placed EVA Support Rods layer and the outsole for the support and less so the main midsole (or the upper). As such, one notices the flat on the ground overall profile of the shoe. There is more medial support than in the more neutral Rise with its thinner EVA layer and narrower Support Rods. 

As a neutral shoe runner who appreciates a touch of stability, the ideal Supernova would split the difference in the size and thickness of the lower layer of Support Rods between the two models and make the very firm clear rubber at midfoot softer to make the midfoot less rigid and easier to roll through. 


I previously discussed the clear role the Adiwear outsole plays in providing the support. The rubber is extensive and should prove durable. The front flex grooves are clearly effective in giving the shoe flexibility and reducing weight. As stated above I do think the very firm clear midfoot rubber could be made softer to make the midfoot less rigid or reduced somewhat in coverage.

Ride, Conclusions and Recommendations

The ride is on the soft and friendly side with clear rebound from the Dreamstrike+ foam and with the EVA Support Rods layer and big outsole providing the support. 

I am recovering from a November broken knee cap and my longest runs to date were both over 6 miles in the Solution at slow paces on often hilly bike paths in Aspen and faster on the flatter terrain in Park City where I averaged just over 10:30 per mile. I would not call it a fast trainer but my knee was happy and stable and my legs fresh enough for a 5 mile nordic ski immediately following the Aspen run. 


Unlike many support shoes which have a firm rear landing and an accentuated medial support feel,  here the support is down low at the road and slower paces and heel strikes are well accommodated by the highly beveled lateral heel, even if the midfoot is a bit rigid and flat with the Solution also requiring some break in to get its nice front flex.  Given the soft upper foam layer, the roomy upper which should favor higher volume feet, could use more support at midfoot with the collars also firmer as they are in the Rise which has a more dialed in fit.

While not radical as the current adidas Adizero are in design, aggressive rides and materials the Solution (and Rise) clearly put adidas back in the daily trainer game for more serious recreational runners.

I can literally say, until now, and since the original Energy Boost, one of the all time great daily trainers and a few editions of the Boston, it had been all downhill for adidas in the category of every day run trainers with heavier and heavier shoes and a focus on lifestyle crossover and odd designs. No longer the case that is for sure! If you are adidas fan who left because their mainstream trainers were heavy and dull there is no question the new Supernovas are worth a close look  

With the Solution adidas delivers a solid totally modern support type trainer just at the edge of being a neutral shoe and without going to extremes of stack height and platform width as other brands have recently or by relying on firm medial pieces to provide the support. As such it is an excellent choice for the runner seeking some pronation control but not “too much” or the neutral runner who wants a shoe with a slightly more stable ride.


Sam's Score: 9/10

Deductions for overly rigid and flat at the ground midfoot support and a borderline overly roomy and comfy upper for a support shoe for my narrower feet


Index to all RTR reviews: HERE

Supernova Rise (RTR Review)

The Rise is the more “neutral” sibling but is very similar to the Solution. It is slightly softer in feel and has a longer, easier flex both due to its toned down less extensive support rods lower layer. It has a slightly less voluminous upper with a thinner tongue and firmer collar padding. I prefer its fit to the more relaxed Solution’s. Overall, despite having the same outsole, due to its more svelte Suppport Rods it has less support than the Solution if pronation control is your need and you have a higher volume foot. My ideal Supernova would have the Rise upper and a Support Rods layer that sits between the Solution and Rise.

Puma Velocity Nitro 3 (RTR Review)

The Velocity 3 has a very similar construction of top layer supercritical foam with bottom layer EVA. While the top layer foams feel very similar making me suspect the adidas Dreamstrike+ is also a supercritical EVA, the bottom EVA of the Puma is considerably firmer and extends all the way to the toe. The adidas ends up with a more cushioned, less firm and more flexible feel especially upfront. At the heel the adidas has a considerably easier to roll at landing at slower paces due to its big lateral bevel. While the Puma is not called out as a support shoe, it is equally as stable underfoot, if narrower in platform at midfoot and is more supportive  at the upper level as its upper is more performance type fitting, lower volume and has a similar medial support semi circle that is lower more substantial and more effective. Both are true to size with the Puma a better fit for lower volume feet and the adidas more relaxed in fit and better suited to higher volume feet.  The Puma is the choice if you want a trainer that is focused on faster paces with a more responsive stiffer ride, the Solution if you want a slightly wider more stable platform, more front flex and a more easy going any pace ride.

Brooks Glycerin GTS 20 (RTR Review)

Another approach to support, the Brooks has molded rails at the top of the midsole whereas the Solution’s support is at the ground (outsole and Support Rods). I much prefer the Solution’s approach to support although the GTS “Go to Support” of the Brooks has improved being less stiff and intrusive in recent models.  Both have supercritical midsole foams with a similar feel and similar stack heights with the Solution more flexible and easier to turn over.   Both I think “suffer” from a great initial step in feel but less than ideal midfoot hold (especially for a support type shoe) due to their soft mesh, lack of substantial medial overlays and especially no gusset tongue. I did not test the Glycerin 21 but our reviewers felt its “regular” upper was now more supportive. If I had to choose, it would be the adidas for its better support integration and smoother ride flow.

Tester Profiles

Sam is the Editor and Founder of Road Trail Run. He is 66 with a 2018 3:40 Boston qualifier. 2023 was Sam’s 51th year of running. He has a decades old 2:28 marathon PR. These days he runs halves in the just sub 1:40 range if he gets very very lucky. Sam trains 30-40 miles per week mostly at moderate paces on the roads and trails of New Hampshire and Utah be it on the run, hiking or on nordic skis. He is 5’9” tall and weighs about 164 lbs, if he is not enjoying too many fine New England IPA’s.

The Supernova Solution and Rise are available at our partners below

Samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased via shopping links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

Comments and Questions Welcome Below! Please let us know mileage, paces, race distances, and current preferred shoes

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