Our verdict

Adidas Forum Low resurrects the original hardwood silhouette from the '80s, and it bursted with anything and everything retro. The velcro strap, a trademark of the Adidas Forum kicks, kept our feet comfortably tucked in during our wear tests. We also loved how our lab results confirmed this shoe's durability. Generally, the Forum Low helped us tackle big tasks throughout the day while keeping us comfy during lazy hours.

Pros

  • Ageless look
  • Grab-and-go style
  • True blue retro
  • Supportive
  • Well-cushioned
  • Not cheaply made
  • Durable upper
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Toebox isn't so spacious
  • A bit heavier than average

Audience verdict

94
Superb!

Who should buy

We wear-tested the Adidas Forum Low. We also subjected it to numerous lab tests. Based on the results that we gathered, we conclude that this Adidas sneaker is greatly suitable for the following:

  • wearers who want their shoes to have a low profile
  • sneakerheads who want shoes that are made of durable genuine leather
  • users who love flexible shoes

Adidas Forum Low buy

Who should NOT buy

The Adidas Forum Low surely packed up a bit more weight than usual. We felt it, and our weighing scale confirmed what we experienced. Buyers who are into lighter sneakers might want to check the ASICS Gel Lyte III.

Admittedly, the Adidas Forum Low did not have the most spacious toebox. We felt that forefoot area just tapered a bit too sharply from its widest point toward the big toe. If a more spacious forefoot is desired, then getting the PUMA RS-X is a step in the right direction. This PUMA sneaker also has a more pronounced platform, making it such a good pick for those who want to appear taller.

Adidas Forum Low spreadout

Breathability

Though it was not the most breathable, the Adidas Forum Low was still quite reliable when it came to ventilation. We never reached a point where our socks were already soaking wet from the heat and profuse sweating.

We performed our breathability smoke test on it and we found that much of the ventilation was through the tongue, very reminiscent of the Reebok Classic Leather that got a 2 out of 5 in this test.

There were ventilation holes in the toebox and the sidewalls, but they didn't do much during the smoke test as seen in the video above. However, when the upper was put over a light source, the light successfully passed through the holes.

To be fair, the inward flow of air was OK when we were walking or running. The air vents were effective in this regard. Hence, a solid 3 was what the Adidas Forum Low deserved.

Adidas Forum Low upper microscope

We also viewed the upper under the microscope, and it became clear just how opaque the material is. Without the air vents, this would have been a pretty toasty one.

Adidas Forum Low Breathability
Test results
Forum Low 3
Average 3.1
Compared to 36 sneakers
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Leather/Suede quality

Our doubts about the authenticity of the leather were lessened when we viewed the upper under the microscope. Our doubts were erased after we did the fire test.

Aside from the strong smell of burning hair during the test, the material was pretty much resistant to combustion. Probing the burnt area with our awl and seeing that it remained intact led us to conclude that the leather was real.

Test results
Forum Low Real leather

Toebox durability

The leather upper endowed the Adidas Forum Low with pretty impressive durability. We were quite harsh with this shoe during our wear-tests, and it barely showed any signs of wear and tear.

Even our high-pressure Dremel drilling was no match for the sturdiness of this sneaker's upper. It only left a non-threatening scratch in the topmost layer of the upper. Hence, a perfect 5 for toebox durability was warranted.

Adidas Forum Low Toebox durability
Test results
Forum Low 5
Average 3.6
Compared to 36 sneakers
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

The heel padding also showed amazing resistance to our hand-held Dremel. 

If it were human, the heel padding would be left only with ruffled hair after the Dremel was pressed on it. There was no serious damage! Hence, we do not have any doubt about its capacity to withstand intense rubbing against the skin or sock. It surely deserved the 4 out of 5 that we dished out for it.

Adidas Forum Low Heel padding durability
Test results
Forum Low 4
Average 3.3
Compared to 36 sneakers
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

The outsole of the Adidas Forum Low did not feel especially firm or soft. True enough, the reading was 83.4 when we pressed our HC durometer on it. This number did not deviate that much from the average.

Adidas Forum Low Outsole hardness
Test results
Forum Low 83.4 HC
Average 85.0 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 36 sneakers
Number of shoes
72.9 HC
Outsole hardness
90.3 HC

Outsole durability

This Adidas sneaker delivered moderate durability. We used this shoe on rough outdoor surfaces, and it held up so well. Still, we didn't think that frequent usage on rough surfaces would be a good idea.

We pressed our wildly rotating Dremel against the outsole and the dent that it left was 1.2 mm deep, which roughly equates to the average.

Adidas Forum Low Outsole durability
Test results
Forum Low 1.2 mm
Average 1.0 mm
Compared to 36 sneakers
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm

Outsole thickness

At 6.0 mm, the outsole of the Adidas Forum Low is just as thick as the typical outsole.

Adidas Forum Low Outsole thickness
Test results
Forum Low 6.0 mm
Average 5.5 mm
Compared to 36 sneakers
Number of shoes
3.4 mm
Outsole thickness
8.2 mm

Weight

We have to admit, the Adidas Forum Low felt a little heavier than the usual sneakers. The scale in the lab pegged its weight to be 16.4 ounces or 465 grams. 

Adidas Forum Low Weight
Test results
Forum Low 16.40 oz (465g)
Average 14.04 oz (398g)
Compared to 36 sneakers
Number of shoes
10.62 oz (301g)
Weight
22.61 oz (641g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

The Adidas Forum Low had a slightly low profile. We could feel the ground just a tad bit more while wearing this sneaker. Also, the thinner midsole allowed us to enjoy more stability.

True enough, our caliper measured the heel to be only 27.0 mm thick, a number that is slightly lower than the average.

Adidas Forum Low Heel stack
Test results
Forum Low 27.0 mm
Average 31.3 mm
Compared to 36 sneakers
Number of shoes
18.7 mm
Heel stack
41.8 mm

Forefoot stack

Just like the heel, the forefoot felt thinner than usual as well. Our caliper measured it to be only 14.5 mm thick, significantly less than our recorded average.

Adidas Forum Low Forefoot stack
Test results
Forum Low 14.5 mm
Average 20.1 mm
Compared to 36 sneakers
Number of shoes
10.7 mm
Forefoot stack
28.3 mm

Drop

The elevation difference between the heel and forefoot areas was not so pronounced. It felt just like the typical sneaker, and we didn't have issues with heel-to-toe transitions.

Our measurements and calculations pegged the drop at 12.5 mm.

Adidas Forum Low Drop
Test results
Forum Low 12.5 mm
Average 11.2 mm
Compared to 36 sneakers
Number of shoes
6.7 mm
Drop
17.2 mm

Midsole softness

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

Despite its being thinner, the midsole was still able to deliver considerable softness and impact protection. It was such a pleasure to walk and run in it, even for longer periods.

Our HA durometer in the lab gave it a rating of 23.5, a number far lower (therefore softer) than our average on record.

Adidas Forum Low Midsole softness
Test results
Forum Low 23.5 HA
Average 30.6 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 28 sneakers
Number of shoes
15.6 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
70.4 HA

Insole thickness

The insole was just as thick as average at 4.5 mm based on our caliper measurements.

Adidas Forum Low Insole thickness
Test results
Forum Low 4.5 mm
Average 5.3 mm
Compared to 36 sneakers
Number of shoes
3.1 mm
Insole thickness
13.3 mm

Stability

Lateral stability test

We could say that the Adidas Forum Low was moderately supportive. We didn't have issues with it as we shifted our weights from one side to the other. 

Still, we think that the Adidas Alphaboost V1 did a little better in this regard.

Torsional rigidity

Much of the stability that we enjoyed was because of the pretty rigid base. There was not a point during our wear tests where we had to second guess our steps or worry about painful foot twists.

We manually twisted the shoe in the lab, and we realized that we needed a lot of effort to make it yield. A score of 4 out of 5 for torsional rigidity was truly warranted.

Test results
Forum Low 4
Average 3.5
Compared to 36 sneakers
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

The heel counter performed similarly to the base: it was stiff and was able to keep the rearfoot in place at all times. We gave it a good squeeze in the lab, and it got a rating of 4 out of 5.

Test results
Forum Low 4
Average 3.3
Compared to 36 sneakers
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

The platform of the shoe felt enough (or perhaps even a bit more) for us. We didn't slide out of the footbed, and we did not experience any wobbliness whatsoever. 

Hence, it was a bit of a surprise for us when our caliper measured the forefoot area of the platform to be 104.2 mm. This number makes the Adidas Forum Low slightly narrower than average.

Adidas Forum Low Midsole width in the forefoot
Test results
Forum Low 104.2 mm
Average 109.1 mm
Compared to 36 sneakers
Number of shoes
100.0 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
121.0 mm

Midsole width in the heel

The heel, for its part, was just around the average at 82.0 mm wide.

Adidas Forum Low Midsole width in the heel
Test results
Forum Low 82.0 mm
Average 83.9 mm
Compared to 36 sneakers
Number of shoes
69.4 mm
Midsole width in the heel
103.1 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

When we had to tiptoe to reach for something up above, it was quite easy for us because the Forum Low did not have a lot of resistance to our flexions.

Adidas Forum Low flexibility

We subjected it to our standard flexibility test, and we found out that it needed only 18.2N of force to bend at 90 degrees. A typical sneaker would need more than that!

Test results
Forum Low 18.2N
Average 23.4N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 36 sneakers
Number of shoes
5.8N
Stiffness
51.8N

Grip / Traction

Gripping the floor was never an issue with the Adidas Forum Low. We were able to securely plant our feet to maintain our stances or stabilize our gaits. 

Adidas Forum Low outsole grip

Size and fit

Internal length

The footbed was just as long as any other shoe that we tested. It measured 270.9 mm.

Adidas Forum Low Internal length
Test results
Forum Low 270.9 mm
Average 272.0 mm
Compared to 33 sneakers
Number of shoes
265.3 mm
Internal length
278.7 mm

Toebox width at the widest part

Just like the length, the width of the Adidas Forum Low was just around the average, at least at the widest part of its toebox. It measured 99.7 mm.

Adidas Forum Low Toebox width at the widest part
Test results
Forum Low 99.7 mm
Average 99.4 mm
Compared to 36 sneakers
Number of shoes
94.0 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
111.2 mm

Toebox width at the big toe

We experienced a bit too much cinch because the shoe tapered too sharply toward the big toe.

Based on our caliper readings, the width at the big toe was 72.8 mm only. Wearers who want more spacious toeboxes may want to give the PUMA RS-X a try.

Adidas Forum Low Toebox width at the big toe
Test results
Forum Low 72.8 mm
Average 76.1 mm
Compared to 36 sneakers
Number of shoes
65.7 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
101.3 mm

Tongue: gusset type

The sides of the tongue were not at all connected to the upper. This design allowed us to move more freely. We also believe that this design is the main reason breathability wasn't compromised.

Adidas Forum Low Tongue: gusset type
Test results
Forum Low None

Comfort

Tongue padding

The tongue of the Adidas Forum Low was of average thickness at 7.9 mm. We appreciated how it felt so nice and comfortable on top of our feet.

Adidas Forum Low Tongue padding
Test results
Forum Low 7.9 mm
Average 8.7 mm
Compared to 36 sneakers
Number of shoes
1.0 mm
Tongue padding
23.0 mm

Heel tab

This sneaker from Adidas did not have heel tab. We didn't have problems going in and out of it, though.

Adidas Forum Low Heel tab
Test results
Forum Low None

Removable insole

The insole was removable, and it was quite convenient for those who wanted more space inside the shoe.

Adidas Forum Low Removable insole
Test results
Forum Low Yes

Interior Padding

The upper has sufficient padding that ensured our comfort as we walked and ran around. The the upper's thickness also helped with the fit.