5 Likely Changes to the Adidas Solar Boost (2021)

The latest Adidas Adizero Adios Pro colorway.

Early indicators are clear: The Adidas’ Adizero Adios Pro will help shift the narrative that Nike’s marathon shoes are the only way to compete at the highest level.

Congrats to the Adidas design and sponsorship team for placing the company in a good position. Their adoption of the term “co-creation” in marketing this shoe aligns well with their brand. If you want to see how Adidas positions their fastest marathon racer ever, check out this hype video.

To rain on their carbon-infused parade, 95% of runners will never need a shoe to get a Boston Qualifier. Regular runners need versatile trainers to push them through tempos, easy days, and gym sessions. Adidas’ daily trainer lineup is respectable in performance, although struggling to generate the same waves as Nike’s React shoes or staples like the Pegasus.

Peres Jepchirchir sets a world record in the half-marathon wearing the Adidas Adizero Adios Pro.

Success for Adidas isn’t solely defined by “claiming back records” now taken by the Nike AlphaFly Next % (the names keep getting longer). In the 2021 delayed Olympic year, success means enticing high schoolers and casuals to cough up $130–160 at their local shoe store.

After wearing three stripes exclusively for eighteen months, my opinions on their Adidas SolarBoost and SolarGlide are set in stone. During that period, I ran D3 XC and track, averaged 70–85 miles per week, long runs were between 13–18miles, tempoed around 5:25 pace, all on Wisconsin road/trail conditions.

Both shoes are good, and my rotation depends on what I can find reselling cheap on eBay (the Adidas’ company eBay is 🔥, check it out as the holidays roll around).

If forced to choose, the Adidas SolarBoost is a better shoe. Its perfect fit creates a slightly smoother transition, just edging out the Solar Glide’s more spacious toe box. The SolarGlide3 hasn’t received a ton of buzz. The Adidas Supernova’s return from a 5-year hiatus, accompanied by an encouraging $100 price tag, is embraced by the Tinman Elite team.

Adidas Solar Boost 19 out in the wild.

No information has leaked about a 2021 SolarBoost, but with the rest of their performance lineup seeing notable changes, I’m excited.

As a SolarBoost loyalist, I hope it remains a simple daily trainer that’s comfortable, long-lasting, and sleek. Based on the updates to the SuperNova and SolarGlide 3, here are five changes to expect in a 2021 Adidas Solar Boost:

1. New Midsole Material

Adding the Adidas Bounce midsole material is almost a guarantee. Both the Supernova and SolarGlide3 used Bounce foam in conjunction with the nearly decade-old Boost Foam.

Bounce foam, which has wide use in the Adidas Basketball line, is quickly described as “firmer Boost.” YouTubers tout the foam’s ground feel, impact protection, and springiness. All of which should translate well to running.

Don’t be surprised if you see a 2021 SolarBoost with Boost in the heel and Bounce in the forefoot. This two-foam design used in the SolarGlide3 creates versatility.

2. More Breathable Upper

Past SolarBoost models ran hot.

The tightly-woven, knit and synthetic upper materials of past Solar Boost models create breathability issues (but fit and comfort are best in class).

Although reliably secure, form-fitting, and stylish, the shoe’s upper gave no room for heat/sweat to escape. Perfect for winter runs and brutal in July, my SolarBoosts mostly smelled terrible and took twenty-four hours to dry.

The SolarGlide3’s upper is “inspired by aerospace technology.” Empty branding or not, screenshots make the toebox look slightly more breathable, with layers looking significantly thinner.

Adidas running shoes often feature internal bootie construction (tongue wraps the entire midfoot and connects to the midsole itself). This design tends to hot but doesn’t have to. The Adidas SL20, a track/tempo day shoe, featured a bootie with excellent breathability. Hopefully, similar materials work on a wider SolarBoost platform.

3. Updated “Stretchweb” Outsole

The “Stretchweb Outsole” has been an Adidas staple for half a decade. Using Goodyear Continental rubber and aggressive circular points of contact, Adidas’ trade-off between increased weight and reliable traction is fair.

The new SuperNova’s slightly recessed pattern saves weight compared to the previous model (doesn’t feature Goodyear rubber). The SolarGlide3 uses more points of contact than in past Stretchweb outsoles.

Retaining quality traction without creating something clunky is the name of the game. Whether using the same layout as the SolarGlide3 or not, traction and durability need to continue as differentiation points for Adidas.

Stretchweb outsole of the 2018 Adidas Solar Boost (after 250 miles).

4. Signal Pink colorway

The highlighter + salmon color popping up across the Adidas line is called Signal Pink. In Adidas’ words, “This vibrant color was developed by Adidas in honor of Tokyo, including its newly created running tracks and street culture.”

Nike dominated the 2012 Olympics with their Volt colorway (especially in distance running). Competitors try to replicate that success with dazzling colors every Olympic cycle while the practice slowly loses effectiveness.

Signal Pink is stylish, in my opinion. The gradient midsole SolarBoost 19 is the most refined, wearable version of the color. Supernova’s use of color is excessive.

The newest colorway of the 2019 Solar Boost with minimal use of Signal Pink.

The next SolarBoost is likely to feature Signal Pink prominently. Whether or not Adi-designers recognize that less is more with a color like this remains to be seen.

Adidas Supernova in Signal Pink. A bit much for my taste.

5. Lighter Torsion System

Adidas trainers create torsional rigidity using TPU shanks. That plastic adds to the overall weight, and some naturalist runners don’t like that trade-off.

The SolarGlide3 uses an updated, smoother torsion system showing in the midfoot.

Past Solar models had a sharply carved torsion system that scrapes the sidewalk after a few hundred miles. That scraping didn’t impact my running but might’ve led to the shoes losing the guiding, smooth transition.

A more minimal, durable design appears to be on the way.

— — — — — — — —

Can’t wait to get my hands on the 2021 Adidas SolarBoost. ❤️❤️❤️

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store