I got a pair of Adidas Energy Boost Parkour shoes Sunday to review them. Adidas is not the first shoe manufacturer you think of when you think Parkour or Free running. But its new Energy Boost shoes are getting a lot of hype. “Energy return,” they say. Jumping is important in Parkour, so I wanted to see how that energy return translates for Traceurs and Free runners.
Adidas Energy Boost Parkour & Free running shoes are made from a new material called Boost, as opposed to the traditional EVA foam. The company claims it transfers more energy to your legs. This is a vague claim, but I learned, under certain circumstances, proves more or less acurate.
Look: It has an open-air mesh upper and a sole made of Boost foam that kind of resembles Styrofoam. The sole does attract dirt really fast, which is something to consider if you’re going to use them outside urban areas.
Weight: The upper is minimal and soft, made of the already mentioned light mesh upper (Tech Fit). You will not feel them on your feet and when you’re standing you will feel like being on a water bed.
Comfort: They fit like a glove, probably due to the minimal upper mesh. Regarding the shoe as a whole, they run ~1/2 size small and are built on a slim last. So buy yours a half size bigger if you want to be comfortable.
Impact: The mid-soles are apparently made with a new manufacturing method and the special TPU foam. They’re very soft compared to a normal midsole and you can feel it. The new material absorbs impact much more efficiently. I used them for a series of high drops and the impact actually tried to bounce me back up when I landed on my heels.
Jump/spring: I did quite a lot of impact testing and they do have a high energy return, around 70% compared to the Kalenji shoes; they’re a lot bouncier. It will probably improve your high jump, so that’s an added bonus for a Parkour shoe.
Grip: The grip is really decent in these shoes. The outer sole is mostly on the outer parts of the shoe, but it does a great job keeping you on rails in normal conditions. I never slipped, even on glossy painted bars.
Other things: They let water straight through, so they’re for dry conditions ONLY. Even using them on wet surfaces attracts water inside the shoe. So you will not be tracing or free running during autumn or winter in these shoes.
Overall: They are light and really bouncy, but the big question is: does the increased energy return matter when it comes to Parkour and Free running? My money is on yes. They feel much more responsive when jumping compared to regular running shoes and you can feel the “boost”.
Adidas Energy boost Parkour shoes conclusion
If you are a beginner in Parkour and Free running and you need a comfortable pair of shoes to protect your ankles and knees during jump, the new material in these shoes might be able to help you stay relatively safe, if you train safe of course.
The hefty $150 price tag might be a bit much for the average free runner who burns through 3 pairs of shoes a year, but it’s a price well worth it if you don not train as often and you’re able to keep them intact.