This shoe was a bit complicated to research, because technically, this is version 2.0 of this shoe, but Adidas doesn’t call it that way, it just calls it the Solar Drive.
Adidas also didn’t really announce that it made a new version of this shoe. The only reason I figured this out is because they had testing events for the shoe this year and when I Googled the shoes, I found out they already released it a year earlier.
So, I started wondering, why on earth would you have testing events for a shoe you’ve already launched a year ago?
Then I started wondering if this was another version, just with the same name, which Adidas tends to do anyway. And after I compared some photos I figured out they at least had released a version with a slightly different appearance to the upper.
Since they didn’t rename the shoe and also didn’t bother to clearly release the new version, I assumed they didn’t really change anything about the shoe accept for the look. Unless you know which are the new and which are the old colourways, you probably wouldn’t know which one is which. At least that’s what I thought at first.
On their website, the old version is referred to as Solar Drive, while the new version is referred to as Solardrive. So, it seems I’m not the only one who can’t figure out if it should be one word or two.
After I looked at the photos of version one and version two side by side I started to notice they did change more than I initially thought they did.
The first difference I noticed besides the colourways, was that they had scored not only the area around the three Adidas stripes, but also the stripes themselves, while in the first version the logo wasn’t scored.
I also noticed that with the new colourways they also changed the colour of the rubber outsole depending on the colourway of the shoe.
It isn’t just the standard black colour anymore (unless you pick the black colourway obviously). But those things are just cosmetic differences.
I thought they hadn’t changed anything about the actual shoe until I noticed that version two now has a guide rail, which the Solar Glide and Solar Boost already had in their first versions. This makes the difference between the three models even smaller.
I’m still not sure what the difference is between the Solar Boost and the Solar Glide except for the price point. The Solar Drive has 2 mm less boost material in the midsole, and is, therefore, the cheapest of the three models. But there are still rather similar shoes.
Solar Boost: 10 mm drop, 32 heel, 22 front, 270 grams
Solar Glide: 10 mm drop, 32 heel, 22 front, 256 grams
Solar Drive: 10 mm drop, 30 heel, 20 front, 264 grams
It almost seems as if Adidas just makes one shoe and if you are willing to pay more you get a slightly plusher and fancier version.
Which choice is the best for you seems to come down to your budget and your personal preference in looks, rather than them being completely different running shoes for different purposes?
The Solar Drive has an engineered mesh upper. The breathability is fine and there is some padding in the tongue and collar of the shoe. Not a lot, but it’s enough.
The heel is a bit higher than in your average running shoe, but since it’s padded it prevents any irritation of the achilles. I didn’t experience any hotspots in this shoe.
There are printed overlays to make the area around the eyelets a bit more firm.
But at least you have the option of adjusting the laces, which isn’t always the case anymore with running shoes these days.
There is an internal and external heel counter and Adidas has now added some guide rails to the medial and lateral sides of the shoe. It is not a stability shoe by any means, but it is stable enough.
The midsole is made of the famous Adidas Boost foam which is made from thousands of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) pellets. It makes for a foam that absorbs the shock as well as being responsive.
Boost comes in different forms and can be softer in some models made by Adidas or more responsive in others. And responsive is the word that comes to mind when running it the Solar Drive. It’s a nicely responsive shoe with a bit of bounce.
The outsole of the Solar Drive is made with the classic Adidas stretchweb technology, which is a rubber compound pattern that covers the entire bottom of this shoe.
It does have small lugs, but you do not notice those while running and they do provide a bit of traction on the road.
I had my regular running size for these shoes and they fit me just fine.
I had enough room in the toe box while the back was snug enough to lock down in my heel. I didn’t experience any heel slippage and my foot stayed on the platform while running.
The Solar Drive isn’t a spectacular shoe with some amazing new technology. But it’s a solid short to mid-distance neutral running shoe. It has a nice bit of bounce to it and enough traction for your average run.
However, I’m still slightly mystified about the difference between the Solar Drive version one and version two, there doesn’t seem to be a huge difference which might explain why there wasn’t a whole lot to do about the release of this shoe.
And I’m also still confused about what the exact difference between the Solar Drive, Solar Glide and Solar Boost is. But who knows, maybe I’ll figure it out one day.
Good to know
- The Adidas Solar Drive 19 is a neutral running shoe that is engineered to offer a breathable and stable feel for the runner both for long-distance running and casual running. To achieve this, an engineered mesh was used as a component of the upper. The engineered mesh upper has a lot more perforations than most conventional mesh materials allowing sufficient airflow into the shoe while running. It is highly durable, and it allows a more natural bend when running.
- The shoe’s outsole also utilizes the Adiwear Stretchweb. This outsole technology is composed of a durable rubber material that helps protect the shoe from abrasive elements. This also enables efficient and energized transition when running.
The Adidas Solar Drive 19 is available for both men and women in the standard sizing scheme. The arch height of the shoe ranges from high to normal arch. The technical components directly affecting the fit of the Solar Drive 19 are the engineered mesh upper, the traditional lacing of the shoe, the synthetic overlays, and the padded collar and tongue of the shoe. These elements help in the enhancement of comfort and fit of the shoe.
To ensure that the exact fit of the shoe is chosen, it is highly suggested that one should go through various user feedback with regards to the size. Trying on the fit of the shoe first is also advised.
Adiwear™ is a wear-resistant technology that’s incorporated into the Solar Drive 19. It helps protect the shoe from rough surfaces and other abrasive elements when running. This runs throughout the entire shoe’s length, which also provides energized transitions in each of the runner’s stride.
The Stretchweb is also employed in the shoe’s outsole which is a rubber compound that provides protection to the midsole This technology is also the reason behind the good traction of the Solar Drive 19.
Adidas Solar Drive 19’s midsole utilizes the Boost™ technology that allows the efficient return of energy during take-offs. This means that this technology also helps boost the speed of the runner. The Boost™ technology also promotes comfort while running as it is softer as opposed to the conventional EVA cushioning in some road running shoes. The Boost™ technology is also structured to cope with various temperature ranges. In short, runners can use Solar Drive 19 on practically all occasions without having to worry about any issues.
The midsole also incorporates the Solar Propulsion Rail that works with the Boost™ technology to guide the foot to a more stable running condition. This technology also helps the runner propel forward faster through toe-off.
Solar Drive 19 also employs the Energy Rail System which helps in guiding the foot in the pace of the runner. This technology also serves as a stability component for a smooth running experience.
Just like the other road running shoes, the Adidas Solar Drive 19 is composed of an engineered mesh upper. It provides a breathable feel while running because it allows a higher level of airflow into the shoe. Because of the permitted airflow allowed inside the shoe, it leaves the foot feeling healthy and fresh even after long runs. The engineered mesh also has a lot more perforations than standard mesh materials. Unlike other standard mesh materials, it allows a more natural bend, and it is twice more durable. This material is also incorporated in some running shoes like Brooks Launch 6 and On Cloud.
The tongue construction of the Solar Drive 19 allows a more comfortable feel on the foot when running, especially during long-distance runs. Meanwhile, several key areas of the shoe present synthetic overlays that are strategically placed. These ensure that the shoe stays fit and secured most especially that it is built for long-distance running.