Adidas Supernova+ review

Adidas is a brand with a long history of making running shoes that have such good style that people sometimes buy them for that reason only. In this case with the  Supernova+, I have found that the performance is every bit as good as the style. High energy return is a key feature of this shoe. It definitely propels a runner forward. The ride is like a sports car, firm yet responsive. 

This is definitely a shoe for quality speed and interval training and can be quite fast in 5K, 10K or even a half marathon. They are equally at home wearing around in jeans or stylish sweatpants when not running because they really deliver great style as well. 

Who should buy the Supernova+

The Adidas Supernova+ is recommended for:

  • runners who want a shoe that can perform in 5K, 10K, half marathon races
  • heel strikers who will appreciate the ample heel area in the sole
  • those who wants to avoid losing the energy of each push-off to excessive cushioning
  • athletes who want good value at a lower price point 

Who should NOT buy it

Consider other shoes if you:

  • need a lot of cushion (in this case, consider the Alphabounce+)
  • have a need for motion control and enhanced stability (the Solar Glide ST has effective stability features)
  • have wider feet (the Adidas Ultraboost 21 has a stretchy upper that is suitable for wider feet)

Going half size up is a good idea

It may be prudent to order up a half size in this shoe as they were quite snug. I would suggest buying them in person until being sure of fit. In testing, they were not so tight as to cause issues with my feet, however in a longer run like a marathon, the snug fit could cause hotspots or even blisters. Fit correctly, the shoe is super comfortable. 

Not wide feet friendly

In terms of width, it is best for a narrow to average foot. Wider feet will be more comfortable in a wider shoe. 

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Fits a little tight on the foot

The upper and interior of the shoe can feel a little tight on the foot, but the ample lacing options allow for adjusting where the pressure points fall. The insoles are really well made without the tendency to curl up after a few hundred kilometers. 

A sports-car like ride in the Supernova+

The Adidas  Supernova+ is a firm shoe that provides a sports car-like ride. It’s not super cushy, but the tradeoff is the way it feels after each foot strike. You feel light and full of energy because it seems to bounce right up off the pavement. I do think that a heavier runner might not enjoy the run as much because they might want more cushioning. It’s always a tradeoff between comfort and ride, but these shoes definitely tend towards less cushion and more bounce and forward propulsion. 

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After 100 km of testing so far, these shoes still retain their firmness. There is no tendency to break down, and in fact they still feel new. 

Ideal for forefoot striker

If you like a firm no nonsense ride with less cushioning there will be little adaptation to these shoes. I found that despite the great energy return there is not much rocker to the shape and they tend to be flatter on the bottom. This is great if you are a forefoot striker and not as ideal if you are a heel striker, yet heel striking is well provided for by the large heel surface as seen from behind. 

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Tendency to slip a little on wet pavement

For dry road there is no question that the contact patch of the Adidas  Supernova+ provides lots of surface area to grip the road. During a couple of runs on wet pavement however, they had a tendency to slip a little particularly on hills or around corners. An added degree of caution would be good for rainy days on pavement. 

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The Supernova+ felt solid on faster interval training

During my 100 km test I ran on pavement for approximately 80%, track 20%. The shortest run was 5K and the longest was 21K. Pace varied from 4:30 to 6 minutes per kilometer. The Adidas  Supernova+ felt solid particularly on the faster interval work on the track which had a rubberized all weather surface. It is in fact one of the best training shoes for the track I’ve tested. 

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Average breathability, keeps feet warm in winter

The Adidas  Supernova+ upper was average in terms of breathability and similar to other shoes in this category. I did not have a chance to test in warm weather since it was winter, but I can say that it keeps feet warm in winter. It remains to be seen how breathability is in the hottest months of summer, but based on how they feel, it would seem they are as breathable as any other training shoe in it’s class.

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No lockdown issues

The Adidas  Supernova+ doesn’t have alternate lacing options via extra holes, but there is the option to skip the top two holes and tie from the second set of holes at the top. This will make people with high arches happy because it allows for more height and not tying the arch down uncomfortably. The other option is to simply tie the top most lacing less tightly while still using those eyelets. 

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The Adidas Supernova+ is really attractive

The Adidas  Supernova+ design for me is really attractive. I think it’s a really nice looking shoe in it’s various color combinations. They are striking and can be worn with jeans as easily as used for running. 

Reasonably priced

The suggested list price of $100 is close to other shoes such as the Asics Dynablast 2 and others from brands such as Nike. At $100, it is a good durable shoe with all the right features for road running.

Facts / Specs

Terrain: Road
Weight: 11.2oz
Drop: 10mm
Arch support: Neutral
Forefoot height: 22mm
Heel height: 32mm
Collection: Adidas Boost

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Author
Nick Brindisi
Nick Brindisi

I have run competitively since 1976 beginning with 1,500M and 3,000 M track events, progressing through 10K, Half and Full Marathons and then onwards to ultra distances from 50K to 160K trail events. As a running coach, I love inspiring and helping Kenyan elites and less fortunate kids alike. I’m most content running in the mountains with big climbs and descents.