Adidas Energy Boost 2 ESM Review Facts
The Adidas Energy Boost 2 ESM is an interesting running shoe that’s getting quite a bit of attention by runners recently. That’s because it relies on a unique expanded TPU foam midsole, a feature that isn’t available on many other shoes today. The shoe has an interesting design that accents the foam midsole, but looks quite striking in the right color options. Overall it’s an interesting shoe that runners are clamoring to try out, but it’s not the right type of shoe for everyone. Read on further to learn what the benefits are of running with this shoe, and why some runners may want to steer clear.
This running shoe features an Adiwear carbon rubber outsole that’s designed to provide a firm grip while wearing slowly and reliably. There’s a mid-foot shank built into the outsole helping to create balance and stability. A mixture of fine and rough gripping rubber edges helps create reliable gripping power on most smooth to slightly rough running surfaces.
One of the best features of the Adidas Energy Boost 2 ESM is its foam midsole. It’s composed of expanded TPU Infinergy foam by Boost. This material is the same thing that’s used to create superballs, as well as the wheels on a luggage bag that’s commonly taken to the airport. It’s rugged and is quite thick, creating a padded and springy feel while running. Mid foot strikers will notice a springy feel, and heel strikers will enjoy excellent shock absorption, making this a good all-around midsole for most runners out on the road. The midsole is clearly the centerpiece of this shoe, and is quite large compared to most other running shoes on the market.
The upper is made from a stretchable mesh material that offers a nice snug fit that’s similar to wearing compression socks. It’s highly supportive thanks to the incorporated plastic cage that extends back to the heel cap. When fully tightened the cage can create a slight amount of discomfort with thin socks, but the support to the ankle and upper foot is excellent. Depending on your foot width
, it’s possible that the cage will create a feeling of tightness at either side of the foot, but for runners with a more narrow foot the added support is often quite pleasant with these shoes.
At between 8.7 and 10 ounces with the female and male Energy Boost ESM shoes, this is a mid-level weight that will feel slightly heavy to those used to ultra-lightweight shoes, but generally won’t weigh runners down much. This may not be the top shoe for light racing where weight matters a bit more, but for long distances it’s perfectly balanced. Runners might feel weighted down by the shoe initially, but often will enjoy a feeling of lightness from the spring of the midsole that helps counteract the slightly higher weight of this shoe.
Breathability is an important factor when running in warm weather conditions and the Adidas Energy Boost 2 ESM does really well in this regard. It features a stretched mesh upper and a full mesh toebox that allows the foot to breathe comfortably in most running conditions. This makes the shoe particularly well suited for hot weather running, but a poor option in damp running conditions.
When it comes to comfort, these shoes are middle of the road. They are quite snug and offer a secure feel during run, but they come with a narrow toe box section that can cause discomfort over long-distance runs greater than 10k. Foot padding is excellent and absorbs shock nicely on cement and pavement. Buyers should also note that many runner report the shoe running a bit small in size, causing a tight feel during use. It’s important to break these tough shoes in casually for a month or two to avoid too much discomfort initially.
When it comes to style, the Adidas Energy Boost 2 shoe certainly stands out, but it’s not a look for everyone. The upper has very clean lines and nice accent strips that give it an upscale look. It’s the actual sole itself, the most notable feature of the shoe, that gives it the polarizing look it has. The sole seems huge and it stands out like a large wedge coming off a precision piece of machinery. It doesn’t look bad, it just stands out a lot and some people won’t like that on their running shoe.
This shoe holds up nicely over extended use. The midsole and upper holds up without signs of wear, while the outsole begins to loosen and break down slightly after the 200 mile mark, this shoe shows no signs of stopping and will last most runners as long as any other leading running shoe on the market. It’s a well-designed shoe that comes with all the right components to create long-lasting performance. Some runners are even reporting distances of 600 or 700 miles before the shoe is worn enough to require replacing, which makes it an excellent overall value and a high mileage product that offers more durability than many other solutions.
Between the rugged outsole and the thick midsole, lower foot protection is excellent on this Adidas running shoe, making it ideal for urban running conditions. The built-in shank design goes throughout the lower portion of the foot as well creating even more protection for the foot. The stretched mesh upper doesn’t offer as much protection against sticks, rocks and other debris though, leaving this shoe as a less optimal choice for trail running or use in environments with lots of loose gravel and other debris spread around.
There’s a unique feel to running with this shoe on. The springy foam midsole creates a slightly mushy feel at very low speeds making the shoe feel slow, but at an increased pace the opposite occurs. At high speeds
this Adidas shoe provides an excellent spring to the step and seemingly increases your pace or makes that regular trot seem a bit easier.
Good foot support without being too restrictive is a difficult balance to achieve, and a standard that few manufacturers are able to maintain. The Adidas Energy Boost 2 ESM is capable of doing this though. It laces up tight, and creates good heel and ankle support with the built-in plastic cage system featured on the upper and at the heel of the shoe. There is also a mid-sole shank that enhances foot support and create a more even distribution of pressure while running, to limit discomfort in the arch. Runners with ankle issues
that desire a top level of support will really enjoy these shoes, but runners that value freedom and flexibility a bit more might find them too restrictive.
This shoe does best when used on smooth or slightly uneven surfaces such as concrete, asphalt or even light dirt pathways. It doesn’t come with the tread to offer much traction on more rugged terrain and shouldn’t be used on trails
or grassy surfaces regularly. Some runners will also find the shoe a bit annoying when used in many uphill and downhill locations, because of the higher drop level, but this depends on the runner. Stick to smooth surfaces with these shoes and you’ll enjoy all the benefits that it offers.
The Energy Boost 2 ESM generally has a price tag of between $120 and $150, making it a good value mid-range running shoe. It offers enough durability to justify the price tag, and creates a unique springy feel that isn’t available in many similarly priced products on the market.
Traction on smooth surfaces is excellent with this shoe. There’s an almost immediate level of stopping power when necessary, and there’s no risk of losing grip even on damp road surfaces thanks to the carefully laid out rubber pattern and the shoe’s use of Adiwear carbon rubber. There is a mixture of thick outer rubber grips and then smaller and more fine textured inner rubber grips at the heel that create a good overall feeling of gripping power. You’ll enjoy excellent acceleration with these shoes, making them good for short-distance races
Flexibility is one area where this shoe suffers a bit. While the stretched mass of the shoe offers an excellent flex that’s similar to wearing a sock, the plastic cage design takes away some of that freedom. Runners will enjoy good lower foot flexibility, with a stiffer and more supported feel up top. The actual sole of the shoe is very flexible as well and moves with the foot naturally while running. Your running form might be a bit limited by this shoe during regular use because of that cage, and this is an issue that some runners simply won’t enjoy.
It’s impressive how stable these Adidas running shoe feels during workouts. The extensive plastic cage that wraps around the upper and goes back to the heel cap creates a good solid support system that protects the ankle during most activities. The system can be a bit restrictive though, so that’s an important consideration to make. There’s a hugging sensation at either side of the feet that some runners will enjoy
, and others won’t like one bit.
With a 9mm heel to toe drop this shoe is a middle-of-the-road product. It will work well for both heel strikers and runners that have a mid-stride form. Generally the defined heel doesn’t get in the way for those non-heel runners, but some purists will find it annoying or cumbersome at times, particularly when going downhill. The drop level of this shoe makes it a good transition shoe for heel strikers that want to develop a more natural gait
, because they’ll enjoy comfort either way while using the product.
•Stretch Mesh Upper
•Layered Tongue and Interior
•External Heel Counter
•Unique expanded TPU Infinergy foam midsole
•Rugged plastic cage support system
•Stretchy mesh construction
•Pronation supporting shank
For mid-level to professional runners the Adidas Energy Boost ESM is a reliable performer and a good value. It works well for both mid-sole strikers and heel strikers thanks to the excellent midsole design. This versatile shoe works particularly well for mid-distance races and training for long-distance running. It’s best when used on smooth surfaces and should be avoided for things like trail running. Just be sure to wear them in carefully before heavy use, and consider picking up a slightly larger size when making a purchase. Runners with wide feet might want to steer clear of this product though, due to the more restrictive cage design, but other than that this is an excellent running shoe worth strong consideration.