Verdict from 7 experts and 51 user reviews

7 reasons to buy

  • Ride: The Solarboost 3 is "stable," "smooth," and "runs fast." This is how runners find the shoe. 
  • Fit: The upper is more foot-conforming than the Adidas Adizero Boston 9, meaning that it has a snug but not constricting wrap around the foot. 
  • Stability: Thanks to the shoe's well-padded heel collar, midfoot overlays, and control rails, the foot is kept in place. There are no excess movements that cause slippage. 
  • Comfort: The upper does not rub nor pinch the foot. 
  • Cushion: It's "pleasantly soft," according to experts, but not so much that it's already mushy. 
  • Breathability: The forefoot has sufficient perforations that enhance airflow, preventing the shoe from getting too hot. 
  • Traction: The shoe's Continental rubber outsole gives ample grip. So much so that there are some athletes who take the shoe out on light trail runs. 

4 reasons not to buy

  • Rigid forefoot: Because of this, a lot of runners do not recommend the shoe for short-distance, slow-paced runs. 
  • Unnecessary feature: The "protruding" heel extension, said a couple of testers, could have been reduced. It doesn't contribute to the shoe's lockdown, it just adds some weight. 
  • Heft: It's heavy for a daily trainer. Experts advise going for the much lighter Nike Pegasus 38 instead. 
  • Short laces: They are very short, double-knotting them is impossible. 

Bottom line

To temper down your expectations, the Adidas Solarboost 3 is not a highly propulsive trainer. It does nothing bad, but it's best at nothing either — it's not the fastest, lightest, most responsive shoe out there. 

If it's a versatile runner that you're after, the Solarboost 3 can do the job. It is highly effective in fast-paced middle to long-distance runs. However, if it's a leg-saving shoe you're seeking for your recovery runs, don't buy this shoe. 

Tip: see the best running shoes.

Adidas Solarboost 3: A highly stable ride

Nope. The Adidas Solarboost 3 is NOT a stability shoe, but it has the makings of one. To prevent the foot from slipping off the sides, which is prevalent in max-cushioned trainers, Adidas has added a few supportive features: 

  • Acting as fences on the sides of the shoe, the Solar Propulsion Rails keep the foot straight. This helps counter supination (outward rolling of the foot) and overpronation (inward rolling of the foot).
  • As a complement, Adidas has also strategically placed overlays on the midfoot to keep the foot locked in place. 

What's great about the Solar Propulsion Rails is that it's subtle. So, runners of all types — neutral runners, supinators, and mild overpronators — can definitely benefit from it. 

Adidas Solarboost 3 vs. Solarboost 19

More responsive. The Solarboost 3 has 5% more Boost, which means that it has more energy return than its precursor. To take it up a notch, it also has the same Linear Energy Push torsion system as the Ultraboost 21 for a more propulsive ride. 

Better stability. Making use of the Solar Propulsion Rails, the shoe has more support, ensuring surefooted, slip-free strides. 

More versatile than its predecessor: What is it for? 

The Adidas Solarboost 3 is a maximal daily trainer that can handle the following: 

  • mid to long-distance runs
  • tempo runs 
  • light trail runs 

It's definitely NOT a shoe for your short and recovery runs because of its rigid forefoot cushion. 

Moving towards sustainability

Adidas aims to use recyclable materials in all their shoes by 2024, and the Solarboost 3 is headed in that direction. Using Primegreen upper — an upper that does not use new plastic — the Adidas Solarboost 3 is made more eco-friendly. 

Rankings

How Adidas Solarboost 3 ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 20% road running shoes
All road running shoes
Top 17% Adidas running shoes
All Adidas running shoes
Top 19% neutral running shoes
All neutral running shoes

Popularity

The current trend of Adidas Solarboost 3.
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Author
Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.