I Tried a High-Tech Running Shoe Designed Just for Women
When it comes to running shoes, I'd consider myself an expert. Not only because I have been a consistent runner for the past 10 years and have tackled the big 26.2 multiple times, but because I have the luxury of road-testing an obscene number of running shoes thanks to my job as Fitness Editor of Health. (Seriously, my sneaker collection runneth over…)
So when Adidas invited me, along with a select group of women, to Los Angeles last week to test a women's specific running shoe called the PureBOOST X ($120; adidas.com)—which officially launched this week—I jumped at the opportunity. I spent three whole days running with this shoe. We ran through the streets of LA, we ran concrete stairs, we ran to and from different workouts. Basically, we did A LOT of running. So my feet got to know these babies pretty well.
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Here are my thoughts:
Comfort: Slipping this lightweight, flexible shoe on is like sticking your foot in a cloud— if that were possible. Translation: It is unbelievably cushy. It also feels like it was made specifically for my foot.
Breathability: It has a stretch mesh upper, so all those little holes will help your feet maintain a comfy temperature. Seriously, not once did my feet feel sweaty or clammy as I logged miles in the LA sun. Truth be told, I think I could don these sans socks.
What sets it apart: This women’s-only shoe, which took three years and seven prototypes (!) to construct, has a floating arch above the midsole. Visually, that gives it a wow factor. Fit wise, the floating arch allows the shoe's stretch-mesh to wrap snugly underneath the foot for a supported and hugged-in feel. This particular construction also meant that the mesh moved with my foot, so I always felt secure.
What it’s best for: According to the folks over at Adidas, a 10K is the sweet spot for this runner.
The bottom line: I never ran more than 3 or 4 miles at a time, but for those miles I did log, I’d say this is a sleek shoe that gets the job done. I’d definitely wear it again and would think it would be a great shoe for shorter-distance races. (I typically tend to wear shoes with a little added stability.) And while I have always been a fan of the springy-ness of the Boost technology— and no it did not disappoint in this incarnation— I will say that my feet felt a little more fatigued than normal post run. (Not sure if I should blame it on the floating arch or not.) Finally, this shoe is so freaking cute; I was making goo-goo eyes at it as soon as I took them out of the box.
Would I recommend them: I can honestly say yes. But remember, buying kicks is a personal matter, so what might work for my feet might not be the best choice for yours.