Adidas Response LimitedReview Facts
Adidas is a brand of athletic apparel that deserves more praise than they receive. This may seem like an exaggeration, considering that they are second only to Nike in terms of popularity and brand recognition, but it’s true regardless. In recent years, Adidas has led the charge in terms of designing functional and visually appealing footwear, while Nike has only seen fit to revamp old products and refine popular ones. Adidas has consistently pushed the envelope to great success, but they are also capable of rolling out more subdued articles of footwear that stress function over form. Their women’s Response Limited running shoes are an example of this since they offer impressive functionality without appearing overly ostentatious in their design.
The design and implementation of this Adidas running shoe’s outsole shows a great deal of thought and expertise. For starters, the entire underfoot is made from rubber.
This isn’t a new development in outsole design since this material is favored due to its higher durability and ability to enhance responsiveness through its bouncy properties. However, Adidas used rubber enhanced with its proprietary Boost technology, meaning that these responsive characteristics have been bolstered significantly. The layout of the Response Limited’s outsole works with this appealing characteristic present in its design by having a web-like design. In addition to reducing the outsole’s weight by selectively limiting the use of its material, this also improves the shoe’s underfoot flexibility
due to its pattern. As a result, these bulky-looking shoes actually provide a surprising amount of freedom for the wearer to move.
Although the role of an effective running shoe is primarily to provide support and comfort
while running, it certainly doesn’t hurt if they’re also comfortable while simply standing in them. The Adidas Response Limited has a midsole design that facilitates both principles, providing comfortable standing and efficient running. This was accomplished with Adidas’ Cloudfoam technology, a memory-foam like material that further enhances the cushioning potential of its midsole without adding any extra weight. While it’s up in the air whether or not this makes their shoes more or less responsive than standard EVA foam, the fact remains that it is seriously comfortable.
Unlike many recent products by Adidas, the Response Limited features a fairly plain and utilitarian upper half. The majority of its construction is made from a synthetic mesh fabric that provides decent breathability and a few layers of protective padding
. Hard plastic was added to the rearfoot in order to provide some extra support and stability, but the rest of this portion of the shoe is business as usual. For customers looking for something time-tested and reliable, this is a decent choice; however, individuals more interested in an Adidas product with a better fashion sense will want to look elsewhere.
Upon first looking at this shoe, a prospective customer may have the impression that the Adidas Response Limited is on the heavy
side. While it’s bulky appearance certainly suggests the presence of heft, the truth is that these are some of the lightest women’s running shoes in its price range. An average pair weighs just above 9 ounces, which is very impressive when considering just how much effort was put into implementing comfortable padding into its design.
With a shoe that places so much emphasis on cushion and padding, a major concern is whether or not it is able to provide adequate airflow for the feet
placed inside. The Adidas Response Limited manages to accomplish this difficult task in two ways. First, the synthetic mesh fabric is highly perforated so that air can easily enter and exit the inside of this shoe, even while the runner’s feet are inside them. Second, the lighter weight of the entire shoe prevents the excessive accumulation of heat and generation of sweat
. This two-pronged approach ensures that cool comfort is guaranteed even when running in some of the warmest weather conditions.
Aside from responsiveness, the main focus in the design of the Adidas Response Limited was comfort. From the extra layers of foam padding around the ankle to the use of Cloudfoam midsole material, most of the standout features implemented into the design of these Adidas runners has a secondary benefit to comfort at the very least. This is the secret to these shoes being easy to wear either during an intense running session or when simply standing for long periods of time. While many runners will likely be more interested with the benefits these shoes offer for responsiveness, a second group of individuals who are simply looking for comfortable work shoes and street sneakers will appreciate this product as well.
Adidas is only matched by Nike when it comes to designing athletic apparel with a unique and appealing fashion sense. However, an uninformed customer wouldn’t realize that from looking at the Response Limited, it appears bulky and plain. If these shoes were released 10 or even 5 years ago, they would be considered the cutting edge of fashion; now, they more closely resemble a product from New Balance than they do a major name in athleisure apparel. Something even more bizarre about this shoe’s style is that there seems to be no other color options for them online. Whether searching on Adidas’ official site or through third party online retailers, the only color option is a stark white. Although white makes for a versatile colorway that is easily coordinated with other clothes, the lack of variety is disappointing to say the least.
In regards to durability, the Adidas Response Limited is a mixed bag. On the top half, the use of multiple synthetic fabric layers to ensure adequate comfort and protection come with the benefit of extra durability, since this excess of padding ensures a longer lifespan for this portion of the shoe. On the other hand, the decision to implement a thin stretchweb design for the outsole significantly hampers its durability, despite this underfoot portion still being made from highly damage-resistant rubber. Due to the thinner design that has many holes, not only is the outsole more susceptible to degradation, but the midsole is too due to the fact that portions of it are exposed to the elements. Despite these faults, runners have stated that these shoes will last for a decent amount of mileage provided that runners stick to appropriate locations and properly maintain them.
While the large and cumbersome visual appearance of the Adidas Response Limited doesn’t do it any favors in the style department, it does offer quite a bit of protection for the wearer’s feet. The extra padding that was placed around the ankle collar and tongue protects the wearer’s upper foot and lower leg from experiencing chafing, which can be a concern in shoes with a similarly low cut that fail to include some extra cushion in this area. The underside of the wearer’s foot is similarly cradled due to the presence of significant insole cushioning that works in conjunction with the Response Limited’s Boost-powered midsole, providing underfoot protection through excellent supportive capabilities.
Normally, a shoe that looks as bulky as this would have issues with responsiveness, since the extra material used in its construction would unnecessarily weigh the wearer down and prevent them from reaching their full potential during a common running session. In the case of the Adidas Response Limited, however, this design feature doesn’t impact its response time in any meaningful way. In fact, as its name would imply, these are some of the most responsive shoes in its price range. The primary reason for this impressive design aspect is the way in which the outsole and midsole have been designed to complement each other; with a thinner and more flexible stretchweb outsole, the Boost-powered midsole has a more significant presence and nearly comes into direct contact with any surface on which the wearer is running.
The Boost-powered midsole that was touched on in a few previous sections provides additional benefits in regards to support. When working in conjunction with the padded insole found on the upper portion of the Adidas Response Limited, the result is a superior feeling of arch support that can soothe the sensitive feet of individuals who are prone to arch-based running injuries such as plantar fasciitis. However, the larger design of these Adidas running shoes has diminished some of its supportive capabilities in some customers experiences, who now recommend buying a half size smaller than the customer’s true size in order to ensure a properly tight fit.
As a casual running shoe, the Adidas Response Limited is designed to handle low-intensity running surfaces. Because of this, running on a sidewalk, road, or grassy field is recommended while wearing them, and running on hard dirt, steep inclines, or rough trails is strongly discouraged. Unfortunately, the thinner outsole design on this Adidas runner means that even greater care must be taken when choosing the right terrain to run on since they are more easily prone to degradation.
Upon first hitting stores, the Adidas Response Limited had a price tag that was more or less on par with most mid-range running shoes from a big-name brand. This means that the average cost for a pair of these shoes was around the same as the cost of a mid-range Nike or Reebok product with similar features. However, these shoes have been available for quite some time now, meaning that the price has dropped off significantly. Now, a pair of these shoes are listed far below the price of even many budget running shoes from lesser-known manufacturers, making these one of the best deals for runners looking for a responsive article of footwear.
The peculiar design of the Adidas Response Limited’s outsole primarily had the purpose of ensuring a high degree of flexibility and responsiveness, with traction being less of a concern. However, the stretchweb layout of this shoe’s rubber sole does provide a modicum of grip that allows runners to maintain adequate footing on the majority of low-intensity running surfaces. This traction isn’t enough to facilitate any kind of trail running, nor is it even comparable to the traction offered by many other running shoe products. However, it does provide just enough to strike a balance between flexibility and stability, which is no easy feat.
Something that isn’t often seen in running shoes like these is an outsole that is more flexible than the midsole. However, the Adidas Response Limited features that exact design principle, since its hole-ridden underfoot is pliable enough to ensure a comfortable degree of give without going overboard. This is one of the secrets behind the shoe’s excellent responsiveness that won’t be easily found in another pair of shoes.
While the outsole of this Adidas running shoe is extremely flexible, this is kept from becoming an issue which impairs running performance by a highly stable midsole and upper that rein it in. The Boost-powered middle cushion and a highly padded upper provide the kind of control needed to ensure that the underfoot flexibility isn’t wasted. However, this effect is really only made possible if the Response Limited fits the wearer’s foot properly, which may require ordering a half size smaller than one's true size to achieve.
The difference in heel elevation compared to the forefoot is around 10 millimeters in the Adidas Response Limited. This is something commonly seen in casual running shoes, since it accommodates the kind of runner who has a tendency to strike the ground with their heels. These kinds of runners will appreciate this feature as a result.
- Stretchweb rubber outsole
- Boost powered midsole cushioning
- Multiple layers of breathable synthetic upper padding
- Limited color and style options
- Extra padding around ankle collar and tongue
The Adidas Response Limited is a running shoe that will really only appeal to a specific runner. If you are a runner that needs a cheap and responsive pair of running shoes and doesn’t care how they look or how long they last, this is the ideal product for your specific needs. However, people who appreciate Adidas products for their design and fashion sense will want to look elsewhere.