Adidas EQT Cushion ADV

Out of all the modern footwear brands that consistently manufacture popular running apparel, Adidas is a company with a truly impressive history. Founded in Germany nearly 100 years ago, this brand has grown to dominate the market with their well-designed shoes, tracksuits, and gym bags, among other fitness-related accessories. They are second only to Nike in terms of popularity, and they manage to hold this impressive status by consistently creating fantastic looking and feeling products. The Adidas EQT Cushion ADV is just one of their excellent products, drawing from the manufacturer’s rich history to offer a reimagining of a training shoe originally released back in the 90’s. And with a fresh coat of paint and some new technology, these shoes are perfect for young and old Adidas lovers.

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Where to Buy
Where to Buy
Pros & Cons
  • Excellent style
  • Fantastic comfort
  • Terrific breathability
  • Decent support
  • Cons
    • Somewhat heavy
    • Questionable sizing
    • Key Features
      Since these are closer to training shoes than they are traditional running shoes, the outsoles of the Adidas EQT Cushion ADV are designed in a different manner. Rather than providing high traction through the use of an aggressive lug-based tread pattern, these shoes have a mostly flat surface made up of several tiny horizontal ridges. This provides a similar benefit to the wearer in terms of grip, but the surfaces on which they are the most effective are those commonly encountered in a gym or other cross-training environment. These outsoles are also designed to offer additional flexibility with the addition of a long and thick vertical trench, buffeted on either side by thinner horizontal grooves. These flex points allow the wearer’s foot to bend comfortably in multiple directions but doesn’t go so far as to inhibit their overall stability.
      In order to justify the inclusion of the word ‘cushion’ in its name, these Adidas training shoes have a very soft and cushion-like midsole. The EVA foam used for its construction is lighter and less dense than that which would be found in traditional running shoes. The reason why this makes sense for a training shoe like the EQT Cushion ADV is that they prioritize compensating for impacts over a variety of areas, whereas running shoes normally need greater impact compensation in a few key areas. However, this lighter material comes with the consequence of diminished durability. Adidas managed to remedy this problem by coating this shoe’s midsole with an extra layer of polyurethane, resulting in a comfortable and long-lasting layer of underfoot cushioning.
      Adidas is very proud of the work that went into designing this training shoe’s upper, with their website describing this portion of the EQT Cushion ADV with many different buzzwords. First is the statement that these shoes were created with a 3D pixel knit design, which is a fancy way of saying that they were 3D printed. The benefit to this is a lack of noticeable seams or stitches, meaning that wearers won’t have to worry about chafing their skin while wearing them. This upper was also designed in the same way as Adidas’ classic EQT line of shoes, originally released in the 90’s. This is a lightweight and breathable design that is supplemented with pigskin nubuck material around the heel for extra support and durability.
      It’s tough to find specific information regarding the weight of these Adidas training shoes, mostly because it hasn’t been listed on the manufacturer’s website. However, an estimate can be made based on the shipping weight for this product, which is around 2 pounds according to Amazon. When compensating for additional weight caused by packing materials, this means that each shoe weighs less than 16 ounces, with a decent guess being somewhere in between 10 to 14 ounces per shoe. This isn’t too much heavier than the average running shoe, but some customers have expressed the opinion that the EQT Cushion ADV feels heavier than they are used to. Because of this, prospective customers should expect these shoes to feel a bit unwieldy at first and require some breaking in.
      Adidas has been one of the few brands that lead the charge in terms of developing and releasing new forms of breathable fabric. Their Primeknit lines of footwear are an excellent example of this, even if it bears a striking resemblance to Nike’s FlyKnit products. While the Adidas EQT Cushion ADV doesn’t use Primeknit for its upper, the 3D pixel knit design it features still manages to provide a fantastic amount of airflow to the inside of each shoe due to its highly perforated material. There are some sections of this shoe’s upper where this effect is diminished due to the addition of thicker material, such as the rearfoot with its nubuck heel cap, but this aspect of this trainer’s design ensures wearers will remain cool and dry during strenuous exercises.
      While some companies may place more emphasis on designing comfortable footwear, Adidas is certainly no slouch in this department. And as its name implies, the EQT Cushion ADV goes to great lengths in order to provide wearers with the most comfortable running and training experience possible. A major contributor to this design aspect is the shoe’s midsole, made from a much softer form of EVA foam that provides far more cushion at the cost of responsiveness. It’s this portion of the shoes that give them the ‘cushion’ part of their name. Other than that, these shoes are also comfortable up top with the combination of seamless fabric and an Ortholite sock liner ensuring that the wearer’s feet are free of irritation from abrasion or accumulated moisture. These two facts alone make these some of the most comfortable training shoes in its price range.
      The reason why you’ve heard of Adidas and haven’t heard of footwear brands like Salomon or 361 is that the former has mastered the art of aesthetically pleasing apparel design. Adidas has carved out a piece of history with their tracksuits and running shoes, defining the 80’s and 90’s with their appeal for both urban youth and professional athletes. This is the pedigree from which the EQT Cushion ADV draws its inspiration since it’s based on one of the designs they made in this time period. Aside from some modern additions included for the purpose of improved performance, these shoes look like they were just taken out of a 25-year-old time capsule. Old school sneakerheads, in particular, will likely appreciate these trainers’ style the most, but new fans of the brand will like it too.
      As was previously mentioned, the material that comprises the Adidas EQT Cushion ADV’s midsole is less dense than the commonly used foam padding. While this provides significant comfort benefits for the wearer, an unfortunate consequence of this feature is a comparable lack of durability. To fix this issue, Adidas added a small layer of polyurethane to its midsole so that it can withstand a bit more punishment. Something similar was done in order to provide additional resilience to the shoe’s upper, with a nubuck cap added to the heel that greatly increases the upper’s longevity. These shoes still won’t last as long as a pair of durable trail runners but they will definitely last a few seasons more than the average Nike Air runner.
      Despite the fact that training shoes aren’t required to provide the same level of protection as hardcore trail running shoes and hiking boots, there are still major hazards that require safety precautions. In a gym environment, heavyweight plates and moving parts on exercise machines can lead to serious injuries, meaning any shoes designed to be used in those environments should offer protection from them. The Adidas EQT Cushion ADV protects the wearer’s feet from slipping by offering a well-made outsole that focuses on even weight distribution and traction. They also prevent the wearer’s feet from slipping inside the shoes and losing their balance by including a tight-fitting sock liner and an exceptionally sturdy heel cap. Because of this, many potential accidents are easily avoidable when these shoes are worn.
      For the most part, a shoe designed for cross-training doesn’t need to be as responsive as one intended for running. This is because training shoes are used for many different exercises and thus need to focus on versatility over single-faceted performance. This is the justification for the Adidas EQT Cushion ADV’s limited energy absorption and dispersal that comes as a result of its spongier midsole. This aspect of any modern shoe is the one that has the most profound effect on its responsiveness, which means that the degree to which these shoes display it is extremely low, whether compared to traditional running shoes or even to other cross-trainers.
      Although the larger than usual midsole found on the Adidas EQT Cushion ADV is spongy and soft, it isn’t a very effective foot support when compared to firmer offerings. This isn’t to say that it fails to provide any support at all, just that it is far from the most impressive in this regard. One aspect of these shoes that does offer an impressive degree of support is the rear of its upper portion; thanks to a pigskin nubuck cap, the wearer’s heel will remain rigidly fastened in place, allowing their entire rearfoot to be supported while engaging in a wide variety of potential activities. Most importantly, these shoes are supportive enough to be worn for long periods of time without causing damage or discomfort to the wearer’s feet.
      Training shoes are almost exclusively designed to be used in artificial training environments. The Adidas EQT Cushion ADV is no exception; thanks to its softer midsole and flat outsole, artificial terrains such as a hard gym floor or treadmill belt will be the best environments in which to use these trainers. They can also be used on some traditional running surfaces, such as a running track or sidewalk. However, they won’t be nearly as effective on these running surfaces when compared to even many low-end running shoes.
      When these shoes first launched, Adidas listed them at a price that was slightly above average but still well within the acceptable price spectrum for a decent pair of training shoes. However, the passing of time and the release of subsequent training shoes have resulted in the EQT Cushion ADV dropping its current retail price to more than half its launch cost. In some cases, rarer sizes and colorways may have drastically inflated prices due to scarcity; however, the average pair of these trainers are now extremely affordable and roughly the same cost as a low-end running shoe.
      The benefit to making shoes intended only to be used in artificial environments is that traction isn’t as great of a concern. This is why the Adidas EQT Cushion ADV offers the perfect amount of underfoot grip despite lacking severely in comparison to any traditional running shoe. Where the latter needs to devote more resources into designing a grippy outsole, training shoes are more focused on evenly distributing the wearer’s weight and providing enough versatility to handle multiple forms of exercise, such as calisthenics, weightlifting, and gymnastics. These activities are almost always practiced in a gym with a flat floor clear of obstructions, meaning traction isn’t a major concern. As a result, these shoes are ideal for use in these environments but won’t be as effective in the great outdoors.
      Since the EVA foam used for the Adidas EQT Cushion ADV’s midsole is softer and less dense than usual, these training shoes feel a bit more flexible as a result. The multiple horizontal flex grooves placed along its thin outsole further enhance its pliability. Fortunately, these shoes manage to avoid feeling far too flexible to the point where they would be unwieldy and potentially dangerous due to a lack of stability. Instead, these training shoes manage to feel just flexible enough to accommodate a wider range of physical activities.
      In order to offset the high flexibility provided by the lower half of these shoes, Adidas placed most of their stability-related features near the upper portion. The most notable of these features is the nubuck heel cap, which provides excellent stability as a side effect of its supportive nature. The overall fit of the EQT Cushion ADV’s upper provides additional stability since its 3D printed design and internal sock liner encourage a tight fit. However, some wearers have remarked that this results in the shoes feeling a bit too narrow, especially if they have wider than average feet. Still, the vast majority of wearers should feel a perfect balance between flexibility and stability when wearing these trainers.
      Much like its weight, little to no information can be found online regarding the exact measurement for the Adidas EQT Cushion ADV’s heel drop. Based on a visual approximation, however, it appears that these shoes are much closer to casual running shoes than other cross trainers in regards to its midsole elevation. An educated guess would place its heel drop somewhere between 6 and 9 millimeters, which means that a greater amount of midsole padding is concentrated around the rear of the shoe. This is a common practice for running shoes since it provides extra comfort and impact protection for heel strikers, but its inclusion in training shoes is confusing. A higher heel drop can throw off the wearer’s balance in activities such as weightlifting; however, it appears that no customers have experienced these issues as of the time this review was written.
      Key Features

      • Flat rubber outsole with uniform treading

      • Large and spongy EVA foam midsole with PU coating

      • 3D pixel knit upper without any seams or stitches

      • Nubuck pigskin leather heel patch for added support

      • High heel drop closer to running shoes than traditional trainers

      Bottom Line
      Individuals who are interested in buying a pair of training shoes that will look good and draw attention at the gym will enjoy this Adidas product. It certainly doesn’t hurt that they offer excellent functionality as well since they strike that difficult balance between flexibility and stability. However, the lack of a firm midsole and a higher drop may throw off many fitness enthusiasts who are used to a more traditional cross-training shoe. In reality, the people who are most likely to appreciate the EQT Cushion ADV are those who are familiar with casual running shoes, are interested in trying training shoes, and who want to wear footwear that provides a compromise between the two styles.
      Where to Buy
      By Mike Valverde
      Last updated:
      Where to buy
      Best offer on: Jul. 29. 2021

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