On paper, the changes to the Boston 3 are minimal, but the redesigned package fits us in all the right places and feels better underfoot.
Every now and then a shoe model makes a big leap in the real world even though it looks pretty much the same as its prior model on paper. Adidas made no earth-shattering changes to the adiZero Boston 3, but a few tailored updates result in a fit and ride that pleased pretty much every one of our staffers who tried out the shoe.
Before even taking your first step in this shoe, you notice the snug fit. The fit manages to give you a secure feeling without any claustrophobia or immediately apparent hotspots. We didn't detect any hotspots, and weren't at all worried about heel rub since we were locked so securely in the heel cup. You can get a sense of the slim fit by looking at the top of the shoe.
Another thing we're pleased to report is solid build quality. This shoe looks and feels well put together from heel to toe. We hope that translates into long-lasting durability.
The shoe rides on the firm side, but impact is never punishing or harsh, thanks in part to the decoupled heel and adiPRENE cushioning. There's plenty of responsiveness at toe off as well. The shoe fulfills its purpose as a neutral, lightweight trainer good for daily workouts and tempo runs, and it can also do dual duty on race day as well.
I really like the responsive, low to the ground feel, which Adidas achieves without the leg-shattering harshness of some lighter racing shoes. The prior model felt kind of like a beefed-up Adios, but the 3 is clearly its own shoe.
I have a tough time describing the midsole of this shoe. On one hand, it doesn't feel as thin as it looks. The ride is on the firm side, but there's also a base layer of cushioning that's always looking out for you too. On the other hand, the shoe feels even closer to the ground than the height of the midsole would suggest. I don't know how Adidas did it, but I like the result.
The Boston 2 fit me pretty well, but the Boston 3 fits even better. I really like the way the shoe hugs your foot – I felt especially cinched down in the midfoot. I also enjoyed the smooth ride, though if I was searching for a complaint I'd say the heel strike feels just a bit too heavy.