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As a shoe reviewer, the easiest reviews to write are ones where there are lots of changes from iteration to iteration. The Boston 10 is a shoe reviewer’s dream.
With the Adidas Adizero Boston 10, the changes from the Boston 9 are monumental. The Boston used to be a lightweight, tempo trainer with a nimble form factor but the Boston has been transformed into a completely different trainer with a different purpose in the Adidas performance lineup.
The Boston 10 is now a maximalist daily trainer and is designed to be the training companion of the flagship marathon racer, the Adizero Adios Pro 2. The two Adizero shoes share similar features such as Energyrods and Lightstrike Pro foam but the Boston 10 is designed to be more durable with a similar ride to the Adios Pro 2.
The Boston 10 also costs $80 less than the Adios Pro 2 and has fibreglass Energyrods compared to carbon ones found in the elite racer. It also has a thicker upper for more comfort and thicker outsole rubber for better durability.
So will the old Boston be sorely missed or will the revamped, reimagined Boston 10 be a welcome addition to the Adidas range?
This is the Tinman Elite version of the Boston 10. Tinman Elite is an Adidas-sponsored team of 11 members from all over the world who are based in Boulder, Colorado.
This limited edition version of the Boston 10 has TME branding on the insole, the medial and lateral sides of the midfoot as well as on the inside of the tongue. It also comes with a spare pair of black laces in the box.
The upper of the Boston 10 is a mix of old and new elements. It's made of a double-layer mesh which consists of a soft, perforated base layer and a transparent upper layer. It also has retro suede overlays for reinforcement which was a feature on older Boston versions.
The tongue of the Boston 10 is flat and gusseted so there is no tongue slide. A lace loop at the middle of the tongue also holds the tongue in place.
A stout internal heel counter provides heel structure and support. The heel tab and collar are lightly padded and they are lined with a soft material so there is no ankle irritation.
There is also external padding on the sides of the heel tab which doesn't have any functional purpose but is purely a design aesthetic.
The fit of the Boston 10 is roomy and accommodating with plenty of space in the toe box. The heel hold is on the loose side but this can be remedied by using a runner's knot.
If you prefer a snug-fitting upper, it's better to go a half size down but if you have voluminous feet or you prefer a spacious toe box, true to size should be fine for you.
The combination of Boost and an EVA foam has been one which has been effective over the last few iterations of the Boston. Boost, a TPU foam provides cushioning and comfort while a firmer EVA foam such as Lightstrike provides a firm platform to push off from when increasing the pace.
With the Boston 10, we see Boost being replaced by a lighter foam with more energy return, Lightstrike Pro. Lightstrike Pro is Adidas’ latest super foam and is used in their premium racing shoes, the Adios Pro 2, Prime X and Adios 6. The firmer EVA foam, Lightstrike is still present in the Boston 10.
Lightstrike Pro is on the top layer in the midsole, the layer closest to the foot while Lightstrike is on the bottom to provide a more stable platform.
There is a thick chunk of Lightstrike Pro foam under the forefoot with a thinner layer under the midfoot and heel. This setup makes the forefoot of the Boston 10 feel much softer than the rearfoot.
The Boston 10 has a plate in its heel which provides extra stability. If you lift up the insole, you can see the plate. Fibreglass Energyrods are situated in the midfoot and forefoot. These fibreglass rods are more flexible than the stiff ones found in the Adios Pro 2 and they make the ride feel more natural.
The Boston 10 has a massive stack height of 39.5 mm in its heel which is just below the maximum allowance of 40 mm, so its midsole provides plenty of cushioning but very little ground feel.
The large rubber panels have thin grooves on them which improve grip. Traction in the Boston 10 is excellent on all types of surfaces, even during heavy rainfall.
Durability is excellent because of the amount of thick, hard-wearing rubber on the outsole. You can expect to get at least 600 kilometers of running out of the Boston 10.
A window cutout in the middle of the outsole allows you to see and feel the Energyrods. This cutout also saves weight.
There is an area on the midfoot of the outsole which is not protected by any rubber but the exposed Lightstrike foam is durable enough to withstand chips and abrasions from rough surfaces.
When you run in the Boston 10 for the first time, it feels stiff and firm, however, the more you run in it, the better it feels. Over time, the ride becomes softer and more flexible.
The midsole still has a firm undertone- it feels firmer than other mid-range daily trainers like the Nike Pegasus 37, Asics Gel-Cumulus 23 and Hoka Clifton 8 but its thick midsole provides enough deep cushioning for long distances. You could easily run a marathon in the Boston 10.
The Boston 10 is a relatively heavy trainer but when running in it, it doesn't feel like a heavy shoe. This is due to two factors:
The Boston 10 is best suited to middle distance and long distance runs. It's on these longer runs that you feel the energy-saving properties of the Boston 10. The rocker and the stiff midsole make it easy to get into a rhythm and to pick up the pace.
Stability in the Boston 10 is excellent for a shoe with such a thick midsole. The firm Lightstrike at the base of the midsole provides a wide, stable base with no lean bias.The edges of the midsole are also raised so your foot sits inside the midsole, rather than on top of it.
Ride transitions feel silky smooth in the Boston 10 because of its full ground contact outsole. Even though the heel feels firmer than the forefoot, transitions don't feel disjointed.
The Boston series used to feel stale and boring- it lacked creativity. It was the same shoe, year after year with only minor tweaks. Adidas has finally breathed new life into the Boston series and the result is the Boston 10.
The only thing that the Boston 10 shares with its predecessors is its name: its midsole is thicker, its forefoot is stiffer and its upper is plusher.
If you were a fan of the Boston 9 and earlier versions, chances are high that you won't be a fan of the Boston 10, at first. However, if you like the Adios Pro 2 and you want a similar ride but in a more durable package, you'll like the Boston 10.
Adidas was missing a vital shoe in their range: a training companion to their racing super shoe. Now, they finally have one.
The Boston 10 may not be as light, agile or nimble as before but it's now more cushioned, more comfortable and has a high toe-spring rocker geometry which saves you energy during long runs.
Adidas’ premium shoe technologies such as Energyrods and Lightstrike Pro foam used to only be available in their flagship racer but now it has trickled down into the Boston 10 and is more accessible, which makes the Boston 10 great value for money.
Reviewed by Brandon Law