adidas adizero Boston 6 and Tempo 8 Review
I recently stumbled on a Fortune article about the perpetual running shoe war. The piece outlines what brands are currently in favor, and according to author Phil Wahba, “For hard-core runners, who tend to be more affluent than average, smaller brands hold sway.” Translation? Brooks. Brooks edged out Asics, Saucony, Nike, and New Balance, who placed second through fifth, respectively, in a 2016 Running USA survey of 10,000 people. There’s a major player absent from this list. Wahba provides a succinct summary of the omission: “As for Adidas, better luck in next year’s races.”
Wow. I would have thought an article like this would reveal otherwise as I have consistently favored Adidas running shoes in the past two years. Like other like-minded runners who love footwear by this German juggernaut, I attribute the exponential promulgation of Adidas running shoes to Boost, the thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) that is “literally blown up and turned into thousands of small energy capsules, which make up the footwear’s distinctive midsole.” I’ve owned the Energy Boost, along with the Glide Boost and Adizero Adios Boost. Today we dissect the Tempo 8 and the Boston 6 – with Boost, naturally.
Out of the box and on my feet, I give the adizero Boston 6 an edge from a comfort standpoint. The upper is softer, noticeably the tongue, the forefoot, and around the heel. The laces are crisp too. The Tempo 8 is stiffer. Cushioning between the two models is similar, though the Boston still retains the top spot. This is likely due to midsole composition. The Boston is 55% Boost while the Tempo comes in at 50. Both models incorporate Continental rubber on the forefoot outsole to improve traction in dry and wet conditions.
As to the ride, the Boston 6 and Tempo 8 are first-rate trainers. Both are understandably lighter than the Glide, Energy, or Ultra, but this lower percentage of Boost midsole translates into a snappy, responsive shoe. In short, the ground is felt more. Personally, I like stronger contact with the asphalt. Other runners may prefer one of the three aforementioned models for longer runs, but the Boston and Tempo are equally capable of going the distance, i.e. runs or races of double-digits or more.
Though the Boost midsole percentage is similar, the Boston and Tempo are distinct in terms of stability. The Tempo includes an EVA Stable Frame to provide support for minor overpronation (I attribute the marginal weight gain to the Frame – 8.8 ounces for the Boston and 9.4 for the Tempo in a men’s size 9). I wondered if multiple runs in the Tempo might create any lateral pain in the knees or legs, but I’ve observed no instances thus far. At $120 each, the price is appealing too.
Here’s a nifty running hack I’d like to proffer prior to a brief but pointed critique. If you favor running shoes with a higher arch profile in the sock liner, consider making an exchange. Case in point: I switched the sock liner in the Tempo and the Boston with one from shoes by Brooks. This improved my runs in both shoes with zero repercussions. Tinker with this as it might be a beneficial experiment. Speaking to the Tempo 8 directly, the upper can be improved, namely the stiff tongue. The Boston 6 is bold and spirited, cushioned yet powerfully responsive – I have no grievances for version six.
Boston BOOST 6 and Tempo BOOST 8 Conclusion
A bevy of Boost sits in my current shoe rotation: the Glide, Tempo 8, and adizero Boston 6. I recently put the Adios out to pasture after many miles, though I anticipate replacing this model again as it’s a fast flat for races of any distance (though the Takumi-Sen has garnered my attention as well). The six-millimeter offset and Quick Strike outsole in the forefoot are highly appealing qualities in this Japanese inspired race shoe.
Racing flats provide a perfect finish (pardon the pun) for this review of the adizero Boston 6 and Tempo 8. The Fortune article I referenced earlier pointed to Brooks as the current favorite amongst runners for the fall marathon season. But I conducted some research of my own and discovered that the Adios was the most worn shoe by the top 100 finishers in the 2014 New York City Marathon. Based on this finding, I have no reason to think that the recently concluded 2016 race would be that dissimilar as a new list is compiled. Adidas likely won out – of this I am sure. The Adios and Takumi-Sen aren’t for everyone, but the Boston and Tempo surely are. Either are a robust, capable marathon shoe. Or half marathon shoe. Or a 10K shoe. Or a 5K shoe. Or mile shoe. Those one-mile race series are popular today.
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adidas adizero Boston 6 retails for $120
adidas adizero Tempo 8 retails for $120