Our verdict

In my opinion, the Alphabounce+ is a daily trainer cunningly disguised as a stylish sneaker. Its ace-in-the-hole is the Bounce midsole foam found at the heel that delivers a premium feeling ride at a bargain-bin price. Despite being on the heavier side, this workhorse provides me with stability and comfort in my casual runs, days at the gym, or just moseying around town.

Pros

  • Great impact protection
  • Bounce midsole foam at the heel provides a premium feeling ride
  • Good for walking, gym days, as well as easy runs
  • Remarkably stable underfoot
  • Grippy and durable outsole
  • Budget friendly
  • Stylish and sustainable design

Cons

  • Very heavy for a road shoe
  • Breathability could be better
  • Not for long distances or tempo sessions
  • Lacking in upper durability

Audience verdict

80
Good!
  • Top 21% most popular running shoes

Who should buy

We recommend the alphabounce+ to: 

  • Beginner runners looking for a neutral road shoe
  • Casual runners who want a versatile shoe that’s stylish and comfy enough for day to day use as well occasional easy runs or gym days. 
  • Sustainably minded individuals who will appreciate the use of recycled materials in the shoe’s upper

Adidas Alphabounce+ 1

Who should NOT buy

The Alphabounce+ is prohibitively heavy when attempting anything beyond an easy and short run. For a daily trainer that’s more lightweight but still within a similar price range, we recommend having a look at the Brooks Revel 6 instead. 

The Alphabounce+’s average level of airflow means the shoe will feel quite toasty during runs on warmer days. The Adidas Supernova 2 is a more breathable alternative.

Adidas Alphabounce+ cut up

Breathability

To test the breathability of the shoe, we pumped smoke into the Alphabounce+ to observe how it vents. As we can clearly see from the video, the Alphabounce+ does allow a fair amount of smoke to escape, but that airflow seems to be localized mostly around the shoe’s tongue while the rest of the shoe seems well insulated. This less than stellar performance leads us to give the shoe a breathability score of 3 out of 5. 

Compare that to the Saucony Triumph 20 which allows heat to dissipate evenly throughout the shoe, earning it a perfect score. 

Shining a light through a cross-section of the Alphabounce+ reveals just how dense the upper material is. The shoe entirely blocks the light which makes it surprising that the shoe has any airflow at all. 

Our mildly mesmerizing microscope shot of the upper material provides some answers to the mystery. The thick and tightly woven featherlike braids form gaps that reveal a less compact latticed mesh beneath that promotes some level of airflow through the Alphabounce+.

Adidas Alphabounce+ micro

Adidas Alphabounce+ micro 2

Test results
Alphabounce+ 3
Average 3.8
Compared to 236 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Toebox durability

To test the durability of the Alphabounce+’s toebox, we applied our dremel to it with a force of 3.2N at 10K RPM for four seconds. While the shoe seems to hold up against the tool’s relentless grinding element, it eventually ripped clean through the material and left a hole big enough for a toe to poke through. We therefore give the Alphabounce+ a score of 1 out of 5 for toebox durability. 

Adidas Alphabounce+ toe after

Test results
Alphabounce+ 1
Average 2.4
Compared to 170 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

We performed the same test on the heel counter and found that it didn’t fare any better against our dremel. Padding material was flung about almost as soon as the tool made contact with the shoe’s heel collar, with only an unsightly crater left in the wake of the four second test, earning it a score of 1 out of 5. We therefore don’t recommend going sockless in the Alphabounce+ as incessant friction from sweaty heel rubs will wear out the heel padding in no time. 

Adidas Alphabounce+ heel after

Test results
Alphabounce+ 1
Average 3.2
Compared to 166 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

The Alphabounce+ boasts an incredibly hard outsole which our durometer measured at 87.8 HC. This reading is much higher than our current lab average, which on the one hand factors into the outsole’s durability, while on the other hand sacrificing traction as the shoe is unable to bite into certain surfaces. 

Adidas Alphabounce+ Outsole hardness
Test results
Alphabounce+ 87.8 HC
Average 80.5 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 287 running shoes
Number of shoes
52.1 HC
Outsole hardness
93.0 HC

Outsole durability

We again turned to our trusty dremel to test the durability of the Alphabounce+’s outsole. After grinding for twenty seconds, we had lopped off 0.91 mm of material. Despite this being better than our current lab average, we would have expected an outsole this hard to perform better. This tells us that the outsole material is quite brittle; so while we can safely predict that this shoe will last well beyond 500 miles of normal use, we also wouldn’t be surprised to see significant signs of wear and tear by that point. 

Adidas Alphabounce+ Outsole durability
Test results
Alphabounce+ 0.9 mm
Average 0.9 mm
Compared to 148 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm

Outsole thickness

Further contributing to the longevity of the outsole is how thick it is. At 4.3 mm according to our caliper measurements, the Alphabounce+’s outsole is significantly thicker than that of the average road shoe. 

Adidas Alphabounce+ Outsole thickness
Test results
Alphabounce+ 4.3 mm
Average 3.2 mm
Compared to 306 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole thickness
6.6 mm

Weight

At 12 Oz (340g) the Alphabounce+ is as bulky as it looks and is much heavier than the average shoe we've tested in the lab so far. While it feels somewhat lighter underfoot, the Alphabounce+ is still a lot of shoe and is far too burdensome for long distances or tempo sessions. For a more “diet” daily trainer, we recommend checking out the Brooks Revel 6 instead. 

Adidas Alphabounce+ Weight
Test results
Alphabounce+ 11.99 oz (340g)
Average 9.38 oz (266g)
Compared to 307 running shoes
Number of shoes
5.26 oz (149g)
Weight
12.56 oz (356g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

At a mighty 37.7 mm according to our caliper measurements, the Alphabounce+ boasts a heel stack that is significantly higher than our current lab average. This means that heel strikers have plenty of protective foam underfoot to savor. 

Adidas Alphabounce+ Heel stack
Test results
Alphabounce+ 37.7 mm
Average 33.7 mm
Compared to 306 running shoes
Number of shoes
7.6 mm
Heel stack
45.7 mm

Forefoot stack

At 26.2 mm, the Alphabounce+’s forefoot stack is also higher than our current lab average. This means that forefoot strikers should also enjoy good impact protection in the shoe. 

Runners who prefer more ground-feel during their runs should check out the Adidas Fluidflow 2.0 with its less robust stack instead.

Adidas Alphabounce+ Forefoot stack
Test results
Alphabounce+ 26.2 mm
Average 25.0 mm
Compared to 306 running shoes
Number of shoes
7.6 mm
Forefoot stack
36.9 mm

Drop

The difference in our stack height measurements leaves us with a drop height of 11.5 mm, making the Alphabounce+ fall in the category of high drop shoes. This heel drop is beneficial for beginner runners who generally have a tendency to heel strike as it promotes smooth heel-to-toe transitions. It is also good for runners who are prone to injuries in their ankles or Achilles as high drop shoes allows the knees and hips to bear the brunt of the load when running. 

Adidas Alphabounce+ drop

Those new to running should take a look at our helpful guide for a breakdown of different heel-toe drops and their effects for a better understanding of the subject.

Test results
Alphabounce+ 11.5 mm
Average 8.7 mm
Compared to 306 running shoes
Number of shoes
-0.8 mm
Drop
16.1 mm

Insole thickness

We measured the Alphabounce+’s midsole to be 3.4 mm thick. This isn’t as thick as our current lab average but still provided us with a soft enough landing surface that complements the shoe’s midsole cushion. 

Adidas Alphabounce+ Insole thickness
Test results
Alphabounce+ 3.4 mm
Average 4.5 mm
Compared to 302 running shoes
Number of shoes
1.5 mm
Insole thickness
7.3 mm

Midsole softness

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.

The “Bounce” midsole foam found at the heel of the Alphabounce+ gave us a durometer reading of 22.4 HA, making it just a tad softer than our current lab average. This level of softness provides us with a balanced level of cushioning for our runs, while the configuration of the Bounce foam gives it a level of elasticity and snappiness normally found in more premium road shoes. This means that heel striking runners will enjoy well protected landings and energetic transitions when taking the Alphabounce+ out for a spin. 

Adidas Alphabounce+ ddurometer

Adidas Alphabounce+ bounce

Test results
Alphabounce+ 22.4 HA
Average 21.4 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 234 running shoes
Number of shoes
8.5 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
41.5 HA

Secondary foam softness

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.

The “Cloudfoam” material that makes up the rest of the shoe’s midsole gave us a durometer reading of 21.8 HA. Despite this only being a marginally softer result than the Bounce foam at the heel, the Cloadfoam feels decidedly more plush underfoot with the way it compresses under our weight.

Adidas Alphabounce+ durometer 2

While this means that forefoot strikers will also benefit from good impact protection on landings, the Cloudfoam is much less poppy than its Bounce counterpart so the Alphabounce+ won’t feel as responsive for those runners.

Test results
Alphabounce+ 21.8 HA
Average 24.8 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.

Difference in midsole softness in cold

To simulate exposure to cold conditions, we put the Alphabounce+ in the freezer for twenty minutes and took another durometer reading of the midsole. With a reading of 26.3 HA, the shoe’s Bounce foam remains softer than our current lab average, which means the the Alphabounce+ will still provide a balanced level of cushioning even on the harshest of winter days. 

With only a 17.2% increase in the firmness of the Alphabounce+’s midsole when exposed to cold weather, the shoe performs much better than we expect from a budget daily trainer as it remains well below our current lab average. 

Adidas Alphabounce+ Midsole softness in cold
Test results
Alphabounce+ 17.2%
Average 25.4%
Compared to 233 running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in midsole softness in cold
100%

Stability

Lateral stability test

Shifting our weight from side to side in the Alphabounce+, we did feel some movement, but the lateral flare of the midsole kept us from feeling like we were going to tip over. This contributes to the stability of the shoe while retaining a level of agility that makes cornering feel smooth rather than clunky as one would expect from such a robust platform. 

Torsional rigidity

As is to be expected from a shoe with such a beefy stack, the Alphabounce+ was quite difficult to twist and bend in our hands, leading us to give it a score of 3 out of 5 on our subjective scale for torsional rigidity. This further contributes to the shoe’s stability as it counteracts any natural tendency to roll the foot mid-stride; which makes the Alphabounce+ a good choice for pronating runners as it promotes a more neutral stride.  

Test results
Alphabounce+ 4
Average 3.3
Compared to 285 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

The Alphabounce+’s heel counter put up a mild level of resistance to us pinching and prodding it, giving it a score of 3 out of 5 on our subjective scale for stiffness. This level of stiffness combined with the heel cup’s shape allows the Alphabounce+ to snugly hold our foot in place while avoiding putting too much pressure on the Achilles’ tendon. 

Test results
Alphabounce+ 3
Average 2.8
Compared to 269 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

At 116.9 mm wide at the forefoot according to our caliper, the Alphabunce+’s midsole is quite a bit wider than our current lab average. This gives us plenty of platform to ensure stable landing and toe-offs when forefoot striking.  

Adidas Alphabounce+ midsole forefoot width

Test results
Alphabounce+ 116.9 mm
Average 113.8 mm
Compared to 307 running shoes
Number of shoes
100.5 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
126.5 mm

Midsole width in the heel

The shoe’s midsole is truly a beast compared to the average shoe at the heel; measuring 103.9 mm wide. This distinctly broad base means that heel strikers will feel rock steady with every landing. Even those with mildly pronating strides will benefit from the Alphabounce+’s stable ride. 

Adidas Alphabounce+ Midsole width in the heel
Test results
Alphabounce+ 103.9 mm
Average 90.5 mm
Compared to 307 running shoes
Number of shoes
74.9 mm
Midsole width in the heel
106.6 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

For such a bulky shoe the Alphabounce+ is surprisingly flexible. We tested this by securing the shoe to our workbench and measuring the amount of force needed to bend the shoe 90-degrees. This yielded a result of 26.3N which is more flexible than the average shoe despite all that midsole foam. 

This contributes to the Alphabounce+’s comfortable underfoot sensation as the shoe is able to bend with the natural movement of our foot without putting up too much resistance.

Test results
Alphabounce+ 26.3N
Average 29.1N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 289 running shoes
Number of shoes
2.2N
Stiffness
94.4N

Difference in stiffness in cold

Even when repeating the stiffness test after leaving the shoe in our freezer for twenty minutes, it remains more flexible than the average shoe with 38.5N of force required to bend the frigid Alphabounce+. This is still quite a stiff reading and means that the Alphabounce+ will definitely feel less comfortable during harsh winters or if it’s been left outside on a cold night. 

A 46% differential in the shoe’s flexibility between warm and cold conditions means that the Alphabounce+ stiffens up at about the same rate as the average shoe. This is about what we expect from a daily trainer at this price range. 

Test results
Alphabounce+ 46%
Average 35.8%
Compared to 289 running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in stiffness in cold
148%

Grip / Traction

The pattern on the shoe’s robust and grippy outsole gave us great traction over a variety of terrains, from asphalt sidewalks to smooth cobblestones and even mild park trails.  

Adidas Alphabounce+ grip

Size and fit

Toebox width at the widest part

We measured the Alphabounce+’s toebox with our caliper to be 99.5 mm at its widest point. This is slightly wider than our current lab average, which in conjunction with the wide platform means that the shoe should fit comfortably for most foot shapes.

Adidas Alphabounce+ Toebox width at the widest part
Test results
Alphabounce+ 99.5 mm
Average 98.4 mm
Compared to 307 running shoes
Number of shoes
89.5 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
109.1 mm

Toebox width at the big toe

At 74.2 mm wide at the big toe, the Alphabounce+’s toebox is just a tad narrower than our current lab average. So while the shoe should accommodate most foot shapes comfortably, runners with extra broad feet might experience hotspots around the big toe area of the Alphabounce+.

Adidas Alphabounce+ toebox big to

Ordinarily we would recommend sizing up for wide-footed runners, but as the shoe already runs long for its size we instead recommend checking out the ASICS Gel Pulse 13 as a budget daily trainer with a roomier toe-box.

Test results
Alphabounce+ 74.2 mm
Average 78.2 mm
Compared to 181 running shoes
Number of shoes
60.4 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
92.5 mm

Tongue: gusset type

The tongue is non-gusseted, but the plush padding allows the laces to sink into it and prevent any side to side slippage. 

Adidas Alphabounce+ Tongue: gusset type
Test results
Alphabounce+ None

Comfort

Tongue padding

Despite being the main vent for heat for the shoe, the Alphabounce+’s tongue is much more generously padded than the average shoe at 7.5 mm according to our caliper. This helped us to achieve a secure and comfortable midfoot lockdown without any hint of lace bite

Adidas Alphabounce+ Tongue padding
Test results
Alphabounce+ 7.5 mm
Average 5.6 mm
Compared to 304 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.5 mm
Tongue padding
14.2 mm

Heel tab

The Alphabounce+ features a finger loop which, combined with the heel’s flared shape, makes sliding the shoe on and off a breeze. 

Adidas Alphabounce+ Heel tab
Test results
Alphabounce+ Finger loop

Removable insole

The insole of the Alphabounce+ is removable, making it compatible with custom orthotics where necessary. 

Test results
Alphabounce+ Yes

Misc

Reflective elements

We recommend sticking to well lit routes when going for night runs in the Alphabounce+ as the shoe features no reflective elements whatsoever. 

Adidas Alphabounce+ Reflective elements
Test results
Alphabounce+ No