Our verdict

The Adidas Pureboost 23 stands out as a versatile option for beginners and casual runners. Its design boasts a highly breathable and top-notch upper, paired with a thin-and-plush midsole, effortlessly transitioning between a running shoe and a trendy sneaker. Despite these positives, we noted the lack of cushioning and a bit of extra weight make it a favourable option mainly for those aiming for shorter, occasional runs.

Pros

  • Breathable and comfortable upper
  • Doubles as a casual shoe or gym companion
  • Spacious toebox
  • Crafted for heel strikers
  • Performs excellently in cold weather
  • Remarkably stable, even at a easy paces
  • Full-length plush Boost midsole

Cons

  • Insufficient cushioning
  • Excessively heavy considering its low stack height
  • Makes no sense for forefoot strikers

Audience verdict

81
Good!

Who should buy

In our opinion, the Adidas Pureboost 23 emerges as a robust option for:

  • Beginners seeking a versatile option that effortlessly transitions between a running shoe and a cosy sneaker.
  • Heel strikers on the hunt for a shoe featuring a plush yet thin midsole, complemented by a wide upper.
  • Adidas enthusiasts who love the Boost technology and don't mind the additional weight.

Adidas Pureboost 23

Who should NOT buy

Advanced runners may want to explore other alternatives, as we concluded that the Pureboost 23 falls short in terms of cushioning and responsiveness. Several superior options exist for daily running, including the Nike Pegasus 40, Saucony Triumph 21, and ASICS Novablast 3.

Additionally, the Pureboost 23 has a substantial heel-to-toe drop, making it a bad choice for forefoot strikers. We are convinced that those who favour this running style will do better in shoes with a smaller drop, such as the Saucony Kinvara 14 or the Hoka Clifton 9.

Adidas Pureboost 23

Breathability

One of the first features to catch our eye about the Pureboost 23 is its upper, generously filled with ventilation holes. This design, in theory, promises superb breathability. However, at RunRepeat, we believe in rigorous testing and concrete proof rather than speculation.

Utilizing our specialized smoke-pumping machine, we evaluated the shoe's breathability in our lab and determined that it deserved a perfect score—5 out of 5.

What makes this achievement remarkable is the shoe's comfort. To counterbalance the potential for heat-related issues, the designers strategically incorporated large ventilation holes, ensuring a cool and airy experience.

Adidas Pureboost 23 microscope

To examine the ventilation holes closely, we placed the shoe under our microscope.

Adidas Pureboost 23 micro2

The upper reveals two distinct layers—a white exterior layer with holes every few millimeters, and a well-ventilated yellow layer providing structure.

This results in a winning blend of a cushioned, comfortable, and airy upper, one of the best we've ever tested in a daily running shoe.

Test results
Pureboost 23 5
Average 3.8
Compared to 189 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Toebox durability

Shoes that are well-ventilated and achieve this status through large holes often result in less-than-stellar durability, as we experienced with the Adidas Ultraboost 1.0.

However, as we discuss in our guide about running shoe uppers, mesh shoes generally prove more resilient than their knit counterparts. That's why the Pureboost 23 secured a not-so-disappointing score of 2/5.

Adidas Pureboost 23 Toebox durability
Test results
Pureboost 23 2
Average 2.2
Compared to 123 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

The heel impressively flips the script, effortlessly earning a perfect score of 5/5.

This means that even runners who typically wear out this area due to their Achilles can confidently rely on this shoe, ensuring a hole-free experience. The contrast when compared to the Under Armour Charged Assert 9 is truly remarkable!

Adidas Pureboost 23 Heel padding durability
Test results
Pureboost 23 5
Average 3
Compared to 119 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

Regrettably, this shoe lacks Continental rubber, often associated with top-notch durability and grip.

Nonetheless, the outsole holds its own in terms of grip, and we're eager to assess its performance in the durability sector.

Adidas Pureboost 23 outsole

Adidas incorporated several cutouts in key areas of the outsole to reduce weight.

First up is the hardness test, registering a below-average 75.1 HC. Could this result in less-than-ideal durability?

Adidas Pureboost 23 Outsole hardness
Test results
Pureboost 23 75.1 HC
Average 80.3 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 241 running shoes
Number of shoes
55.5 HC
Outsole hardness
92.8 HC

Outsole durability

A softer-than-average rubber might suggest compromised durability.

We used the Dremel again, this time in the outsole, as is our standard practice for all running shoes. We observed a 0.9-mm indentation, which, while being an average score, is quite favorable for such a soft, grip-enhancing rubber.

Adidas Pureboost 23 Outsole durability
Test results
Pureboost 23 0.9 mm
Average 0.9 mm
Compared to 101 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm

Outsole thickness

This is a training shoe, so it should last at least 500 miles for the majority of runners. The 3.0-mm rubber should help to meet that standard.

Adidas Pureboost 23 Outsole thickness
Test results
Pureboost 23 3.0 mm
Average 3.2 mm
Compared to 261 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole thickness
6.6 mm

Weight

Weighing in at 10.8 oz or 305g, this shoe can hardly be considered lightweight. The use of Boost foam, known for being among the heaviest in the industry, is the main culprit here. 

Perhaps Adidas will introduce a more streamlined Pureboost Light in the future, featuring the same foam we experienced in the Ultraboost Light. However, for the time being, this is what we have to contend with.

Adidas Pureboost 23 Weight
Test results
Pureboost 23 10.76 oz (305g)
Average 9.42 oz (267g)
Compared to 261 running shoes
Number of shoes
5.26 oz (149g)
Weight
12.56 oz (356g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

We discovered a heel stack height of 27.6 mm, which appears adequate for short to medium-distance runs. However, it evidently falls short in providing sufficient cushioning for long runs or for individuals with a heavier build.

Adidas Pureboost 23 Heel stack
Test results
Pureboost 23 27.6 mm
Average 33.5 mm
Compared to 260 running shoes
Number of shoes
7.6 mm
Heel stack
42.7 mm

Forefoot stack

The forefoot prompted us to double-check our measurement—it seemed unreal. With a mere 16.1 mm of cushioning, this ranks among the least cushioned shoes we've tested in the lab.

As a result, we find it hard to endorse this shoe for serious runners who strike the ground with their forefoot. We think that Adidas opted for less foam due to the shoe's overall weight constraints.

Adidas Pureboost 23 Forefoot stack
Test results
Pureboost 23 16.1 mm
Average 24.7 mm
Compared to 260 running shoes
Number of shoes
7.6 mm
Forefoot stack
34.8 mm

Drop

Adidas promotes the Pureboost 23 as having a 10-mm heel-to-toe drop. Yet, our detailed measurements reveal a different fact—we find an 11.5-mm difference between the heel and the forefoot.

This finding further supports the idea that the shoe is primarily designed for heel strikers.

Adidas Pureboost 23 Drop
Test results
Pureboost 23 11.5 mm
Average 8.8 mm
Compared to 260 running shoes
Number of shoes
-0.8 mm
Drop
16.1 mm

Insole thickness

The insole is really thin, measuring just 3.1 mm. We believe this falls short for this shoe, as adding a bit more cushioning would have been a straightforward fix without significantly affecting the weight.

Adidas Pureboost 23 Insole thickness
Test results
Pureboost 23 3.1 mm
Average 4.4 mm
Compared to 256 running shoes
Number of shoes
1.5 mm
Insole thickness
9.8 mm

Midsole softness

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.

Moving to the Boost midsole, we discovered its remarkable softness, registering at just 13.5 HA.

Even though Boost technology, a decade old, has transitioned from running shoes to sneakers, it continues to provide a comfortable and enjoyable ride!

Adidas Pureboost 23 Midsole softness
Test results
Pureboost 23 13.5 HA
Average 23.6 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 242 running shoes
Number of shoes
6.5 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
52.5 HA

Midsole softness in cold

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.
Adidas Pureboost 23 Midsole softness in cold

Difference in midsole softness in cold

After chilling the shoe in the freezer for 20 minutes and testing it again, we observed a consistent measurement of just 15.8 HA. This consistency verifies that the Pureboost 23 maintains its softness even in colder conditions.

The variance between the two most recent measurements shows only a 17% increase, surpassing the performance of many other shoes.

However, we must admit that we anticipated this exceptional performance, as the TPU-based Boost is known to excel in winter conditions.

Adidas Pureboost 23 Midsole softness in cold
Test results
Pureboost 23 17%
Average 26.3%
Compared to 241 running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in midsole softness in cold
125%

Stability

Lateral stability test

The Pureboost 23 incorporates two TPU lateral pieces from the Ultraboost design to enhance stability in the heel. When paired with the low stack height and wide platform, this feature elevates the shoe's stability beyond that of many other neutral running shoes.

Torsional rigidity

The low stack height also makes this shoe exceptionally flexible (1/5), contributing positively to everyday comfort.

Indeed, the Pureboost 23 is an versatile choice for individuals seeking a pair suitable for casual runs, gym workouts, and everyday wear.

Test results
Pureboost 23 1
Average 3.2
Compared to 238 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

It's evident that Adidas prioritized enhancing heel stability in this design, as demonstrated by the two TPU pieces in the heel and the notably rigid heel counter, which we scored at 4/5.

Such a feature is uncommon in shoes of this type, yet it promises to greatly benefit those experiencing minor stability concerns.

Test results
Pureboost 23 4
Average 2.7
Compared to 222 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

During our test runs, the shoe felt notably broad and stable with each landing, including while taking corners.

Upon inspecting the actual dimensions, we indeed discovered a generous width, measuring 115.0 mm at the broadest part of the forefoot.

Adidas Pureboost 23 Midsole width in the forefoot
Test results
Pureboost 23 115.0 mm
Average 113.4 mm
Compared to 261 running shoes
Number of shoes
100.5 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
126.5 mm

Midsole width in the heel

The shoe's design also contributes to its width, which, at 92.0 mm, is again broader than that of many running shoes.

This ensures stable landings even for individuals experiencing mild pronation.

Adidas Pureboost 23 Midsole width in the heel
Test results
Pureboost 23 92.0 mm
Average 90.3 mm
Compared to 261 running shoes
Number of shoes
74.9 mm
Midsole width in the heel
106.6 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

Upon twisting the shoe, we immediately noticed its extreme flexibility, making us eager to conduct our signature 90-degree bend test on the Pureboost 23, expecting a notably low score.

As anticipated, a mere 13.4N of force was required to bend the shoe to the measurement point, affirming its mind-blowing flexibility and comfort for daily activities.

Test results
Pureboost 23 13.4N
Average 29.0N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 244 running shoes
Number of shoes
2.2N
Stiffness
94.4N

Difference in stiffness in cold

The most impressive aspect is that this incredible flexibility remains consistent even on the coldest days of the year.

After placing the shoe in the freezer for an additional 20 minutes, we conducted the experiment again and observed a 15.0N reading.

With just an 11.9% increase, the Pureboost 23 stands out in this regard. Few other shoes, many of which are more expensive than this one, can boast such exceptional performance when temperatures plummet.

Test results
Pureboost 23 11.9%
Average 38.8%
Compared to 244 running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in stiffness in cold
148%

Size and fit

Toebox width at the widest part

This shoe is a dream come true for those with wide feet.

Adidas Pureboost 23 wide feet

After testing and measuring the toebox, we found it to be exceptionally accommodating. The measurement at the widest part clocked in at 102.4 mm.

Adidas Pureboost 23 Toebox width at the widest part
Test results
Pureboost 23 102.4 mm
Average 98.2 mm
Compared to 262 running shoes
Number of shoes
89.5 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
109.1 mm

Toebox width at the big toe

The spacious area for the big toe is also notably generous, measuring at an impressive 80.4 mm, which is wider than most running shoes.

While this design might not suit those with narrow feet, everyone else will delight in the comfortable and accommodating upper.

Adidas Pureboost 23 Toebox width at the big toe
Test results
Pureboost 23 80.4 mm
Average 77.8 mm
Compared to 134 running shoes
Number of shoes
67.6 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
90.4 mm

Tongue: gusset type

Adidas chose to forgo a gusseted tongue, and although we favor them for enhanced lockdown, they aren't crucial for running at easy paces—those best suited for this shoe.

Adidas Pureboost 23 Tongue: gusset type
Test results
Pureboost 23 None

Comfort

Tongue padding

We clocked the tongue padding at 4.9 mm, good enough for short or medium-distance runs.

It's comfy, and we believe that any additional padding would have unnecessarily added weight to an already hefty shoe.

Adidas Pureboost 23 Tongue padding
Test results
Pureboost 23 4.9 mm
Average 5.7 mm
Compared to 258 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.5 mm
Tongue padding
14.2 mm

Heel tab

The heel design, taken from the OG Ultraboost, includes a convenient pull tab that simplifies sliding your feet into the shoe and provides comfort to the Achilles tendon.

Adidas Pureboost 23 Heel tab
Test results
Pureboost 23 Pull tab

Removable insole

The insole isn't glued down, allowing for easy replacement with orthotics or third-party insoles due to the shoe's generous width.

Adidas Pureboost 23 Removable insole
Test results
Pureboost 23 Yes

Misc

Reflective elements

Regrettably, Adidas neglected to include any reflective elements in the Pureboost 23.

Adidas Pureboost 23 Reflective elements
Test results
Pureboost 23 No