Adidas Pureboost All-Terrain

The undisputed king of athletic apparel is Nike. The first thing that pops into a person’s head when they imagine a typical running shoe is going to be a Nike product nine times out of ten. Because of this, many of the next most popular footwear manufacturers are simply trying to capture some of Nike’s success by imitating their designs. What makes Adidas so special and cements its place as the second most recognizable athletic apparel brand is that they don’t attempt simple mimicry in order to sell their products. This athleisure brand isn’t afraid to try new things in an attempt to break the mold: a practice that is best exemplified in their Pureboost All-Terrain trail running shoes.

Join our private, growing community of passionate runners.

Where to Buy
Where to Buy
Pros & Cons
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Omnidirectional traction improves support
  • Highly breathable and lightweight upper
  • Fantastic flexibility and responsiveness
  • Perfect for people used to casual running shoes
  • Cons
    • Questionable durability
    • Unable to protect the wearer’s feet from road hazards
    • Key Features
      The outsole of the Adidas Pureboost All-Terrain is made from a hard rubber that is highly resistant to damage from repetitive abrasions. A high-performing and highly durable outsole like this is a must-have for any reputable trail runner, so its inclusion makes sense. The design of its treading is an unconventional combination of protruding lumps and receding grooves in a grid-like pattern. The purpose of this particular design is to allow for more omnidirectional traction while keeping the weight down. While this may mean that less grip is felt while running forward than on other trail running shoes, the amount of grip present is consistent across the entirety of the underfoot.
      Unlike many other trail running shoes, the Adidas Pureboost ATR implemented a style of a midsole that is more in line with those found in casual running shoes. The EVA foam used for its construction is angled in a way that encourages extra heel cushioning while providing more intimate forefoot contact with the ground. It appears that this design decision was made to complement the unconventional outsole design of the Pureboost ATR since these two elements work in tandem to provide a sensation similar to more traditional trail runners. The benefit of this design, however, is that it allows for more midsole material that will then provide a greater degree of explosive responsiveness.
      Although much of this shoe’s bottom half is a drastic departure from the design quirks of Nike’s products, one aspect of the Adidas Pureboost All-Terrain that seems to take inspiration from this ubiquitous brand is their upper. A knit fabric weave comprises the top half of these running shoes, sharing some similarities with Nike’s own Flyknit technology. However, the use of this kind of material is unusual for trail running shoes since it fails to provide adequate durability and foot protection for the more dangerous environments commonly encountered while trail running. This is why Adidas decided to go for a more sturdy and water-resistant style of knit fabric instead of their Primeknit running shoe material.
      The average weight of these trail running shoes is around 10½ ounces. This weight is far less than the typical trail running shoe and is much more in line with casual road and sidewalk runners. The cause of this is Adidas’ inclusion of many design features that are also usually associated with the more casual style of footwear, such as knit fabric for the upper and a high heel drop. While this peculiar design feature can come as a benefit for runners looking to transition into this style of footwear, its diminished weight can throw off more experienced trail runners and can potentially impede their grip on the terrain beneath their feet.
      Normally, breathability isn’t a concern when designing a pair of high-quality trail running shoes. That’s why it comes as a surprise that these Adidas trail runners come with an upper that encourages breathability over durability and protection, which are the two primary focus points when designing this form of footwear. Due to the use of knit fabric for its upper, the Adidas Pureboost All-Terrain easily allows air to circulate freely, which is extremely beneficial in terms of internal heat and moisture management. This material has been reinforced slightly in order to enhance its protective capability and provide a small amount of waterproofing. The end result is a shoe that offers enough temperature control to facilitate trail running sessions in warmer climates.
      Although it isn’t one of the most important design factors to emphasize in this type of running shoe, comfort can be incredibly important. The best kind of trail runner is one that allows for an impressive degree of comfort while running on some of the most uncomfortable running environments. Normally, this is accomplished with multiple layers of heavy padding; however, the Adidas Pureboost ATR provides comfort for the wearer in a different way entirely. Rather than insulate the wearer with many layers of foam padding, these shoes adopt a more lightweight and streamlined style with targeted cushioning in the midsole and a highly breathable upper. While it won’t provide the same level of comfort as something heavier, this results in an excellent trail running shoe for the summer.
      With the functionality of a hardcore trail runner and the design of a casual street runner, the Adidas Pureboost ATR is stylistically in a league of its own. For reasons that were at one time considered obvious and ironclad, these two styles of running shoe design never met. However, by combining the two philosophies in a manner that makes functional sense, the result is a pair of shoes that manage to bring the style and sensibilities of a more casual sneaker to the great outdoors. While this is all well and good, one aesthetic aspect of these shoes that feels lackluster is the range of colors in which they are available. The entire palette is limited to muted grays, greens, and blues, with no option for flashier designs typical of this footwear style.
      For the most part, a sturdy trail running shoe needs to place considerable emphasis on durability. The environments commonly encountered during a trail run will cause the wearer’s shoes to be at a high risk for degradation for the most part. However, Adidas has taken a bold departure from traditional trail running shoe designs by placing less emphasis on this aspect of the Adidas Pureboost All-Terrain. Where this is particularly noticeable is on the upper half, since a knit fabric was used for its construction in lieu of a mesh or synthetic padding that is more commonly implemented for this purpose. While this design decision does come with its benefits, the debilitating downside to its inclusion is a significant lack in durability when compared to the many other trail running shoes on the market.
      Much of what has been said about this shoe’s durability will apply to its protection. Unfortunately, the knit fabric that comprises the Adidas Pureboost ATR’s upper simply isn’t adequate for protecting the wearer’s feet from injury. This isn’t to say that the manufacturers didn’t try to offer some protection; after all, this version of knit fabric is much more resilient than their traditional Primeknit pattern and provides much better water protection. Additionally, a small toe guard has been added to the front, made from the same material as its outsole, and two small pods offer some protection from instability. However, the ultimate result of this construction is very disappointing in this regard.
      What these trail running shoes lack in durability and protection they make up for with responsiveness and flexibility. The major benefit to Adidas designing the Pureboost ATR in a similar fashion to their popular running shoes is that they can implement a midsole and upper design that encourages a greater degree of responsiveness than would otherwise be found in a traditional trail running shoe. While the upper contributes to this by coming in at a much lighter weight, reducing the amount of energy needed to take each step, the midsole with its Boost technology is the MVP in this regard. Thanks to this, the level of energy dispersal provided by this shoe’s midsole can even rival many popular street running shoes.
      Support is a mixed bag while wearing the Adidas Pureboost All-Terrain. Since these trail running shoes are designed with a greater emphasis on the ‘running’ part than the ‘trail’ part, most of the supportive features present in its design accommodate forward movement. The knit fabric upper doesn’t offer a great deal of support on its own, but the inclusion of two FIT PODS near the heel help to offer some help for runners who may be prone to overpronation. The same can be said for the higher heel drop since it helps with heel striking but not with the style of ground striking commonly associated with the trail running experience.
      As its name implies, the Adidas Pureboost All-Terrain is meant to function on all forms of terrain. This is the single design factor that elevates its status from an ordinary running shoe into an extraordinary trail shoe. The rubber outsole of this shoe is designed to handle more difficult terrain than a standard running shoe, and its omnidirectional treading enables it to provide a greater amount of traction as well. However, an emphasis on flexibility over stability and a high heel drop make this a poor choice of attire for running on steep inclines, meaning that these shoes are best suited to low-intensity trails.
      The original asking price for these shoes was very high for a street running shoe but somewhat below average for a trail runner. This is an excellent analogy for how the Adidas Pureboost ATR functions; it is an exceptional and above average casual runner, but a mediocre trail shoe. Over time, this price has dropped significantly to the point where an enterprising shopper can pick up a pair of these at nearly half their original price.
      This is one of the most interesting aspects of the Adidas Pureboost ATR and is the sole reason for its consideration as a trail running shoe over a standard street runner. The tread pattern of this shoe’s hard rubber outsole encourages traction from multiple angles, helping it to function adequately while running on terrain commonly encountered during a trail running session.
      The Adidas Pureboost All-Terrain is without a doubt the most flexible trail running shoe on the market. From its extremely pliable knit upper to its bendy rubber outsole, individuals wearing these shoes will be surprised at just how much leeway they can feel while running in them. This is accentuated by other aspects of this shoe’s design, such as the FIT PODS in the rear and the omnidirectional traction provided by the outsole, but it can throw off some trail runners who are accustomed to more stability in their stride.
      While these Adidas trail runners excel at providing a high amount of flexibility, something it fails to deliver on is stability. This is a death sentence for most trail running shoes since a stable stride and grip on the trail can mean the difference between a safe run and a debilitating injury. The inclusion of FIT PODS on the heel of this shoe’s upper provide a small amount of stability, but it isn’t enough to fully rely on.
      With a heel drop of 8mm, the midsole of the Adidas Pureboost ATR is similar to that of a casual running shoe. This increase in elevation around the heel emphasizes heel striking in a way that is not traditionally found in trail runners. What this means is that people transitioning from a more casual running routine into trail running will have an easier time doing so while wearing these shoes.
      Key Features

      • Hard rubber outsole with multi-directional traction

      • Boost midsole with high heel drop

      • Water-resistant knit fabric upper

      • Small toe guard protects forefoot from debris

      • FIT PODS around heel improve stability and support

      Bottom Line
      For some very low-intensity and mostly flat environments, the Adidas Pureboost All-Terrain will work beautifully as a lightweight and flexible footwear option. However, individuals looking for a hardy pair of trail runners for difficult and technical trails will want to look elsewhere due to this shoe’s disappointing lack of durability, stability, and protection.
      Where to Buy
      By Mike Valverde
      Last updated:
      Where to buy
      Best offer on: Jul. 27. 2021

      Join our private, growing community of passionate runners

      Inside RunnerClick Pro, runners of all strengths come together to meet and support one another, get answers to burning questions, learn from experts, participate in personal challenges, and more.