Verdict: Fans of neutral running shoes are the ones who are likely to have fun with the Adidas Pulseboost HD. It has superb breathability and is built to last for several hundred miles. I would not recommend the Pulseboost HD for competitive racing, but they can be used for speed workouts.
The Pulseboost HD is a great training shoe from Adidas. It can be used for intervals and speed workouts on the road or even the track. I just would not recommend them for racing, long runs, or short recovery runs when you want some cushion.
Who should buy it
The Adidas Pulseboost HD is recommended for beginners or casual runners who are looking for affordable shoes for daily and quick-paced runs.
Who should NOT buy it
Look away if you:
need a race-day shoe (using the Lighstrike Pro tech, the Adizero Adios 6 is worth checking out)
prefer a shoe for long-distance runs (consider the Ultraboost 21)
The bottom of the shoe feels flat
I wore the Adidas Pulseboost HD for a speed workout where I ran intervals. At first, the shoes fit well and seemed fast. The bottom, where your foot sits, is very flat. To me, it felt like there was no arch support. Your feet can actually slide in the shoes.
The Pulseboost HD is suitable for less than 10 miles runs
There is not much cushion, and with the flat bottom, your feet can start to hurt on long runs. I would not recommend the Pulseboost HD for runs longer than 10 miles. I only did runs of up to 8 miles and I feel I could not handle much more than that.
Cool Spotify music playlist
On the upper where the tongue would typically be, there is a piece of fabric sewn on. It can be used as a strap to help pull on the shoe. It comes with a QR code that you can scan and it will take you to a Spotify site with a playlist called Adidas | HI ENERGY RUN.
The playlist is over 14 hours of some random music. I generally do not run with music because I just like to enjoy the outdoors, but I know a lot of people do. If you have the shoe, you might as well check out the music that comes with it, but to me, it is not a selling factor.
The Pulseboost HD is difficult to put on
The upper of this shoe is like a thick sock. The heel collar looks small, and it can be a little difficult to put the shoes on. However, once the shoes are on, they feel great and just form to your feet.
The sock-like collar can be bothersome
The shoe does not have a typical tongue; the upper is all one piece. It fits like a sock, but I still think it is best to wear socks while running in the shoes. The back of the shoe over the heel goes up higher than other running shoes I have worn, so it can be bothersome. You may just want to wear socks longer than those low no show socks.
After running a few miles, the upper part of my heel started to feel tender. The back of the shoe seems to go higher up than other running shoes, and my feet are just not used to it. Wearing longer socks may help, but it may still take some time to get used to the feel of the shoe.
Superb breathability even on warm days
The shoe is breathable, and can probably be used for relatively hot temperatures. Also, they are thick enough to wear for colder temperatures, probably as low as in the 40’s F.
Impressive grip on road surfaces
I did run on the road with the Pulseboost HD, and it has a good grip - extremely grips well to dry road surfaces for a good ride. However, I think will work just fine if your run goes through any off-road area. I did run a little on dirt, and the shoes performed great. I would imagine they would be great for running on the track, but I have not had the opportunity since I have had the shoes.
The tread looks it is built to last
I think the shoes could last many miles. The tread looks built to last. The bottom of my pair only has 40 miles running on them, so it may be hard to tell how they will look after 400 miles.
The sole makes the Pulseboost HD a little bulky
The Adidas Pulseboost HD is a little bulky. The sole sticks out wide around your feet. This can add more traction and stability while running, but it does add weight.
I run marathons, and I have for 10 years. I started pretty slow with the goal just to finish. Through running a lot and training, I have brought my time down enough to qualify for Boston. I have run the six Worlds Marathon Majors, including Boston 3 times. I run year round, always training and running 40-80 miles per week