10 Best Adidas Running Shoes in 2021

Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen on
10 Best Adidas Running Shoes in 2021

Adidas is one of the top brands in the athletic gear scene and continues to be a popular choice for running shoes.

To help you navigate the brand’s extensive selection of running footwear, we have selected the best models in five different categories. More than 100 pairs of Adidas shoes had gone through our lab and wear tests before we made our choice.

Do you want a stylish trainer to double for jogging and fashion statement? Are you planning to hit a race and need a speedy horse? Or are you headed for the trails to crush the rocks and mud? See our top picks below to find your best.

How we pick the best Adidas running shoes

We are a team of running shoe fanatics with an independent shoe testing lab. We spend at least 7 hours per shoe, taking it on a series of runs, measuring over 30 different parameters, and even cutting it into pieces:

  • Our inspection includes every imaginable aspect, from shoe flexibility and cushioning softness tests to shoelace slip tests.
  • We even built a custom smoke machine to demonstrate each shoe’s ventilation capacity.
  • To make sure we cover all 200+ Adidas shoes on the market, we also gather feedback from thousands of runners, shoe experts, and regular users.
  • We receive no free shoes from Adidas and purchase them at retail with our own funds.

Finally, we use a scoring system called CoreScore to sort out the cream of the crop among Adidas running shoes. It is a number from 0 to 100 which reflects each shoe’s overall performance based on the review process described above.

Best overall

If you’re looking for an affordable jack-of-all-trades, look no further than the Alphabounce+ from Adidas. If you want one shoe for running and cross-training, take this!

From our testing, we have gathered that it's a non-specific running shoe. If you want to log some easy miles, it can. And if you wish to pick up the pace, it can too. 

There’s also no need to switch to another shoe when hitting the gym. This is just as supportive in running as it is in training. 

For a budget shoe, it is VERY durable. After running in it for 100 miles, it still looks spotless. We even expect it to last well between 400 to 500 miles. 

Comfort? It delivers one of the cushiest rides out there - even more so than its workhorse rival, the Pegasus 38. 

Taking comfort up a notch, it’s also made very breathable! A huge plus for runners who tackle the roads in hot summer conditions.

See our full review and facts

Now on its 21st iteration, the Adidas Ultraboost has surely cemented its name in running households. And like the Ultraboost, RunRepeat has also earned its name in having trust issues with fluff-filled marketing tactics, so we decided to test it out ourselves. 

And to our delight, the Adidas Ultraboost 21 continues its signature - comfortable, rebounding ride stuffed into a stylish, street-ready aesthetic. 

With its Boost system, it’s a plush shoe - one of the plushest we’ve tried to be exact. But this oddly doesn’t make a less responsive ride either. In each step, we felt trampoline-like strides that propelled us forward. 

And for our lab test, we have found that although its Continental rubber outsole is on the softer end (72.8HC), it hardly has any wear and tear after 30 miles on asphalt and cement. 

With this data, we are positive this shoe can last 300-500 miles. 

Probably the only setback here is that this is a HEAVY shoe. It weighs in at 11.9 oz (1.1 oz more than the average), and anything past 10 oz, we consider tipping the scales way too much.  

If you’re down for a shoe that’s great for long easy runs, buy the Adidas Ultraboost 21.

See our full review and facts

Best for race

The Adidas Adizero Adios 6 has one thing in mind - to make runners feel like an elite in training runs and races. 

And boy did we feel like it in our test runs! It provides just the right blend of bounce and stability - a rare case for most racing flats! So kudos to the Adios 6 for doing such a phenomenal job in this arena. 

Even without a carbon-fiber plate (a trend among road racing shoes), this will make you bolt through the blocks! This is thanks to the dual-layered Lightstrike midsole that just launches you forward while encouraging steady strides. 

And after acing our tests, we are positive that it’s easily the best pick for 10Ks to half marathons. 

For a road shoe, it’s INSANELY grippy. After taking it out on wet runs and quick turns, there’s none of that wobbly sensation. 

To test it further, we took it for a spin on light trails, and it surprisingly bit well!

See our full review and facts

Best for trail

A lightweight ultra trail shoe - that’s the Adidas Terrex Speed Ultra. 

The Speed Ultra, first off, is not a featherweight shoe. But its heft does not translate on the run. In fact, when we tried it, it felt like we had nothing on foot. 

Unlike other trail shoes, there’s NO foot dragging at all.

It’s also one to beat on slick rocks, slushy snow, and dry dirt. It just grips EXTREMELY well on all conditions. 

And to our amazement, the shoe is NOT too luggy nor aggressive on trail-to-road transitions. Good job on this, Adidas! 

It’s comfortable and has just the right amount of bounce. The shoe’s Lightstrike foam is generous enough to mute out sharp rocks and roots while responsive enough when you decide to pick up the pace. 

On the flipside, we have found that the shoe may not be the most fitting choice for very rocky terrain. It just falls short on protection. 

If you’ve been skeptical about the Adidas Terrex shoes of the past, you might want to change your mind with the Terrex Speed Ultra.

See our full review and facts

The Adidas Terrex Two BOA is a nimble trail running shoe that’s more than capable of handling gnarly terrain. In fact, it excels at it! 

We chose it among 30+ other Adidas trail running shoes as it has most makings of, if not all, a solid trail shoe!

It is grippy on both rocky and wet surfaces. Its generous midsole creates just the right amount of barrier against harsh trail elements. And it’s supportive in all the right places!

So don’t worry about any poking nor slippage on uneven surfaces.

Long days out on the trails? Fret not. Among all other trail shoes we have tested, this is among the few most breathable shoes available!

What makes it even better is that it offers a convenient lockdown (thanks, BOA FIT tech!) So, if you don’t want any of that lacing up, buy this.

A word of caution: it’s not all rainbows and butterflies in the Adidas Terrex Two BOA. Because of its light and thin upper, we have experienced some rubbing on the skin.

See our full review and facts

Best for speedwork

After sleeping on the competition (the likes of ZoomX and Floatride) for years, Adidas is finally taking a leap and letting go of Boost with the SL 20!

Drumroll please... the Adidas Lightstrike foam!

It’s bouncy, light, and it’s here to pace you through your training runs.

Of course, for such a bold statement, we had to test it out ourselves. Spoiler alert: it KILLED it!

The Lightstrike foam is the surefire winner here. It’s light but it’s jam-packed with responsiveness, and will push you forward. Don’t expect anything like the Boost, it’s here to make a name of its own.

After our test, we have found it best for anything tempo-paced under 10K.

It’s also very stable, thanks to its optimal mix of rigidity and softness. It’s not marshmallowy soft, but it’s also not brick-like. It just has enough stability to keep your feet free from any unnecessary movements.

If you’re an Adidas loyalist, consider this a more speed-oriented version of the Adidas Boston Boost!

See our full review and facts

Going against the AlphaflyNext%, we are expecting a lot from the Adizero Pro. And we are happy to report, it delivers!

Right off the bat, we are here to tell you it doesn’t beat the AlphaFly, BUT it’s among your top choices if you want a shoe that’s a beast in the competition.

It will send you flying, and that doesn’t come at a hefty price either. In fact, this is among the few carbon-plated racing flats that do not break the bank.

Sounds like a great deal, right? Well, it only gets better.

The Adizero Pro will keep you on your toes and will send you dashing! And no, we are not even kidding you.

The shoe maintains a combination of Lightstrike foam and the Boost - two of the most cutting-edge foams from the brand. The Boost is bouncy and amps up energy return, while the Lightstrike foam keeps you running stable.

And unlike other carbon-plated race shoes, it’s not at all stiff. In fact, it has one of the most flexible plates.

Want to outpace your next marathon? Do just that with the Adidas Adizero Adios Pro.

See our full review and facts

Best budget shoe

It’s a looker and it’s got a solid performance on the road. If you’re looking for a shoe that’s going to bridge your lifestyle and running needs, look no further than the Adidas Runfalcon 2.0! 

With its style, it made us swoon over. And when we put it to the test, it just won over our hearts and feet. 

It’s fantastic in the comfort department! It’s neither too stiff nor too soft, making our feet cozy and right at home. So, where does it shine? It’s easily in the slow-paced long runs. 

And the upper just takes comfort up a notch! It’s very padded and it locks the feet in place. Even after a series of high-mileage efforts, not once did we experience any rubbing or hot spots. 

The fit was just A1. NO wobbling nor slips. Even when cornering, we were as surefooted and stable as ever! 

With all the cushion it has, it’s NOT a clunky shoe. Whether running or walking, it feels nimble. 

And the outsole is just terrific! It’s got a lot of grip, and little to no weight. As in, on both wet and dry surfaces, it’s proven itself a star. 

At $60, you won’t go wrong with the Adidas Runfalcon 2.0. And if we had to recommend one shoe for beginners, it’s THE shoe.

See our full review and facts
Adidas Galaxy Trail
Adidas Galaxy Trail Adidas Galaxy Trail
Men
Women

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Also great

For $60, the Adidas Galaxy Trail has got a lot to offer! We admit, it’s not the most advanced, groundbreaking trail shoe out there (because hello, it’s a sub-$100 shoe), but it’s not to say we are displeased with the Galaxy Trail either.

In fact, we have it as our top pick among 30+ other Adidas trail shoes as it’s packed with some of the qualities its more expensive siblings have to offer. 

One, it’s versatile - if you want to run long miles with ease, it’s cushy enough. If you decide to pick up the pace, it’s responsive enough. So, best of both worlds! 

Speaking of multi-purpose functions, you can also pick it up as part of your hiking shoe arsenal. 

Second, for such a meager price, you won’t expect great durability. But that’s what the Adidas Galaxy Trail came here to do - to prove you wrong. 

After 30 miles of testing, the shoe still looks like it’s fresh from the box - no scratches, no packing out. We even predict it will last more than 400 miles. 

Breaking trail shoe stereotypes, the Galaxy Trail is also one of the comfiest shoes out there. The Cloudfoam just promotes that cloud-like cushion underfoot. But despite its plushness, we never felt that sink-in sensation. It’s so bouncy, it’s almost like road shoes. 

To be honest, it’s hard to pinpoint any flaw in the Adidas Trail Galaxy. But if we were to be nitpicky, it’s that this shoe causes blisters in the forefoot. 

That aside, it’s a steal for such a cheap trail running shoe that does what most expensive shoes can’t.

See our full review and facts

Why choose Adidas running shoes?

Many users prefer to buy Adidas running shoes just because of the name alone. After all, the brand is reputable when it comes to producing high-quality shoes. But aside from this reason, we’ll give you 3 more that could get you interested:

adidas-ultraboost-21

  • Adidas is an established brand. Since 1948, Adidas has been developing and evolving running shoes. If you want a running shoe from an “experienced” brand, Adidas is a good choice.
  • Innovation in shoe technology. The Boost cushioning is popular in the running shoe industry. It remains highly recognized because of its effectiveness, consistency, and reliability.
  • Reasonable pricing. They may not be the cheapest, but Adidas running shoes continue to sell because they meet users’ expectations in quality and performance (they are also usually available on discount!)

Top-rated Adidas running shoe series

Adidas offers many running shoe series and models, which may be confusing or overwhelming to new users. Here’s how to differentiate the most popular ones:

Adidas Ultraboost

The Ultraboost series is the most notable running line from Adidas. Known for their flexible yet durable cushioning, the Ultraboost models guarantee 20% more energy return than those with standard foam midsoles.

Adidas Ultraboost Notable qualities.png

Adidas Alphabounce

The Alphabounce series aims for a more adaptive running experience through the use of Aramis motion sensor. Alphabounce shoes are characterized as “soft and bouncy,” and are emphasized on allocating comfort on every area of the foot.

Aramis motion sensor.png

Adidas Pureboost

Another Adidas shoe series that uses the Boost midsole tech is the Pureboost. It is intended for short-distance runs in urban settings. In contrast to Ultraboosts that are built for responsive runs, Pureboost shoes are more focused on providing comfort.

Adidas Pureboost Notable qualities.png

Adidas Duramo

With the Duramo series, beginners don’t have to settle for less. These cheap running shoes are aimed towards newbies who don’t want to splurge just yet, but still want to get the benefits of a decent running footwear.

Adidas Terrex

The Adidas Terrex is the brand’s special line for outdoor gear. Running shoes that are part of this series are meant for trail running, as they are equipped with features that perform best on technical terrains. The Terrex line also carries hiking shoes and hiking boots.

3 things to consider in your next Adidas shoe

Terrain: Pavement or trails

For your regular running pursuits on paved surfaces, smooth gravel, or other urban landscapes, consider getting an Adidas road running shoe

If you are running on technical terrains that include rocks, mud, or puddles, the brand’s trail running shoes are suitable for you.

The graphic below summarizes the key differences between each shoe category:

Road vs trail.png

Use

Adidas daily running shoes are your best bet if you are looking for a go-to companion for your regular runs. These are also the most suitable for beginners.

For your speed workouts, training runs, or other athletic-level runs, the brand’s competition running shoes can help you achieve your goals. Adidas also offers several advanced racing flats with a carbon plate.

Here is a quick comparison between the two shoe categories:

Daily vs competition.png

Arch support

Runners with normal arches and neutral pronation can pick up a pair of Adidas neutral running shoes. These shoes are perfect if you have no issues with foot stability.

Conversely, if you feel there’s a need for additional arch support, or if you want to correct your overpronation (when the foot rolls inward excessively), Adidas stability running shoes are recommended.

If you are a beginner, or if your pronation does not interfere with your running at all, neutral shoes are always a good choice. You can also read more about pronation and running shoes in our arch support study.

Arch types and recommended shoes.png

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.