Spring 2014 Running Shoe Buyer’s Guide

Photo: Scott Draper | Competitor

Adidas Boost 2, $160

9.6 oz. (men’s); 8.4 oz. (women’s)

32mm (heel), 22mm (forefoot)

Fit: Like the first version of the Energy Boost, the updated model serves up a socklike fit that feels locked down to the midsole from heel to toe.

Feel: Built around the innovative Boost midsole foam adidas debuted last spring—made from tiny balls of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) fused together with steam instead of glued-together layers of traditional ethyl vinyl acetate (EVA)—the feeling under foot is decidedly soft and springy. They’re slightly lighter than the first version, and similarly flexible and responsive.

Ride: These shoes provide considerably energy return in every stride—bordering on too much for a few of our wear-testers. If you can get used to the springiness—it’s uncanny, like any other shoe in our spring test—you can settle into to a smooth-striding rhythm. But you can’t force it, otherwise the bouncy behavior can get squirrely. “The best advice is to run easy and let the shoe do the work for you,” said one of our wear-testers.

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