adidas AlphaBounce Running Shoes Review
Having been released in June 2016, the adidas AlphaBounce picked up from the success of the UltraBoost that came out a year earlier. It was launched while the NBA finals were in full swing, which helped to propel it into the minds of sneaker lovers as a stylish casual and running shoe. Adidas has been on a roll for the past few years since they introduced their BOOST midsole technology. However, the need of an alternative was obvious, as many needed a firmer running shoe, and why not, a cheaper one. After experimenting with shoes featuring both the BOOST and Bounce midsoles, the brand finally came out with a signature shoe for the latter.
With some of the versions being on sale, I decided to go ahead and give this shoe a try. I went for the blue and neon colorway, one of the original pairs released last summer.
From the moment I tried it on I couldn’t help but notice the firm, ‘bouncy’ feeling it gave. Based on the reported research that went into this runner, with adidas making use of motion capture technology in its engineering, it was living up to expectations so far. On the road and in the gym, it has performed quite well, offering support and comfort for long hours.
The Adidas AlphaBounce is a neutral runner, built with a new type of neoprene mesh to provide a lightweight and uniquely comfortable fitting upper. It is lightly padded and it’s reinforced in certain areas with a ribbed pattern, which allows for foot flexibility and sufficient breathability as far as I am concerned. Recently adidas came up with the EM version that feature an engineered mesh that is much more breathable and does not get dirty as fast.
The version I go also features a textile lining which seems to conform to the shape of the foot and give a true, glove-like fit. Regardless of my motion, whether I was just running, taking a walk, or playing a sport, it seems to stay steady and even helps with balancing. I did some weightlifting in these along with other exercises in the gym and they felt great. Before I tried them, I had noticed a few people were speculating that prolonged wearing might cause problems in the ankle area because the AlphaBounce’s upper design didn’t provide much support there. So far, I have not had an issue where that is concerned, even after running a number of miles.
At the heart of the Adidas AlphaBounce is the acclaimed BOUNCE technology that is said to offer energized comfort in every step. The ribbed pattern found in on the upper design continues on the midsole, giving this shoe a unique look but also some one of a kind functionality. The brand did their research and identified the areas where the foot tends to expand more during exercise and they created these reinforcements throughout the shoe for the best support. There is definitely a noticeable boost (no pun intended) in cushioning that made walking and running a real treat for me. The feeling stayed fresh after going several miles, across several days, on terrain ranging from rough asphalt to smooth tile, and in different conditions. What’s more, the ADIWEAR rubber outsole has not shown much wear after all this time and it has held up really well as far as traction is concerned. Another thing, the sole unit has a 10mm drop from front to heel, which is probably only noticeable the first time you try it on. The Bounce midsole seem to offer great support for standing or walking in these for long hours. I wore them for several days during a visit in Miami FL this winter and I can attest to that.
When released, the Adidas AlphaBounce was promoted as a performance runner, but many people are getting it for casual, everyday wear. I found that I could easily pair it with a wide range of casual attire, plus it has the benefit of remaining comfortable and blending in with almost any setting I am in.
Adidas scores big points with the AlphaBounce but there are a couple drawbacks. The neoprene mesh on the upper might let down a few as far as breathability is concerned, especially if outside is hot and humid. One other thing, which I encountered briefly, is that the bounce may feel a little too firm at first, but it should start feeling natural after a few minutes of walking around.
All in all, the Adidas AlphaBounce exceeds expectations when one considers the prices of similar runners. For $100-$110 you get a versatile athletic shoe that will certainly draw some attention. In addition, Adidas has plans of further upgrading the line, so it’s likely to get even better.