Adidas Adizero Boston 12 Review

The new-and-improved Adidas Adizero Boston 12 is one of the most versatile running shoes available

Adidas Adizero Boston 12
(Image: © Nick Harris-Fry / Future)

Our Verdict

The updates to the Adidas Adizero Boston 12 have turned it into a fantastic daily trainer, capable of handling everything from relaxed long runs to track sessions. It’s a true all-rounder and would make a great addition to your running shoe rotation.


  • Versatile ride
  • Good outsole
  • Lighter and softer midsole


  • Upper not that comfortable

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Plenty of runners hated the previous two versions of the Adidas Boston. In particular, the 11 drew ire from long-term fans of the shoe for being bulky, and too big a change from the more minimalist Boston 9. I didn’t hate either, though in my testing of the Boston 10 I felt it was more cumbersome than earlier iterations.

Adidas has responded to the criticisms of the Boston 10 and 11 by making substantial changes to the shoe and, in general, these updates are for the better. The Boston 12 is one of the best running shoes available.

Adidas Boston 12 Review: Price And Availability

The Adidas Boston 12 launched in June 2023 and costs $160 in the US and £140 in the UK. That’s the same price as the Boston 11 and good value for a “super-trainer”—comparable shoes from other brands that use tech from super-shoes usually cost more.

Design And Fit

Adidas Adizero Boston 12

(Image credit: Nick Harris-Fry / Future)

The Adidas Boston went from a lightweight, fairly low-stack training/racing shoe in its ninth edition to a maxed-out daily trainer with the 10th and 11th. The 12th version moves the shoe back towards its roots, though it’s a more versatile shoe than any previous Boston, thanks to the balance of comfort and speed it provides.

As with the 10 and 11, the Boston 12 uses a dual-density midsole made of two foams, with Adidas’s best foam—the lightweight, bouncy Lightstrike Pro—on top and a layer of firmer Lightstrike EVA underneath. However, on the Boston 12 the bottom layer is now made from Lightstrike 2.0. This is a softer, lighter foam than the Lightstrike used on past Bostons. 

The shoe’s stack and drop have also changed: It’s now 38mm at the heel and 31mm at the forefoot, for a 7mm drop, where the Boston 10 and 11 has 39.5mm at the heel and an 8.5mm drop. Between the two layers of foam are Adidas’s glass-fiber infused EnergyRods 2.0, which are designed to help you run more efficiently in the same way as a carbon plate, while being more flexible than a full plate.

Adidas has overhauled the upper on the Boston 12 to be much lighter. It’s now a thin mesh material with minimal padding around the heel. It gives the shoe more of a race feel, though I found it less comfortable than the upper on the Boston 10 for easy runs. I also had to heel-lock the shoe to avoid heel rub, and the thin tongue means that you get pressure from the laces when cinching them tight. The shoe fitted well in my normal running shoe size.

Adidas Adizero Boston 12

(Image credit: Nick Harris-Fry / Future)

The result of the changes to the midsole and upper is a big drop in weight for the Boston 12, which is 9.1oz/259g in my US 9.5/UK 9, in contrast with 10.4oz/296g for the Boston 10 in the same size. 

It’s a light shoe given the high stack and the amount of rubber on the outsole, which covers the forefoot of the shoe and most of the heel through two wide strips. The outsole is made from Continental rubber, and gives the same reliable grip I’ve experienced with all Adidas shoes that use Continental rubber.

How I Tested This Running Shoe

I’ve run 30 miles (about 50km) in the Adidas Boston 12, including a mix of easy and steady daily training runs, one speed session and a 13-mile Sunday long run. I have also tested the Boston 10, plus older versions of the shoe, along with most of the other super-trainers available from other brands.

Running Performance

Adidas Adizero Boston 12

(Image credit: Nick Harris-Fry / Future)

The changes to the Boston 12 are immediately apparent on the run. The new upper makes the shoe feel lighter and airier, while the midsole is softer, especially at the heel where there is more Lightstrike EVA foam. 

I found the transition from heel to toe to be much smoother because the two foams in this shoe are more similar. With the Boston 10, moving from the firm, dull Lightstrike EVA foam to the soft and springy Lightstrike Pro felt awkward, whereas the two foams mold into each other more naturally with the Boston 12. You get a softer landing, smoother transition and more pop off the deeper chunk of Lightstrike Pro in the forefoot of the shoe.

For my speed session in the shoe I ran two sets of 2km at 3min 30sec/km pace (5min 38sec/mile) followed by five 400m reps in 75 seconds. Despite not being the lightest shoe, the Boston 12 felt quick and more than capable on the 400m reps, and it was comfortable for cruising through the 2km reps at around my marathon pace.

The shoe felt so good for speedwork I started to doubt that it was likely to be comfortable for long, easy runs, something I did enjoy in the Boston 10. However, my concerns were unfounded. A 90-minute Sunday long run felt great in the shoe, ticking over at a relaxed pace. 

It’s cushioned and comfortable enough underfoot for longer runs. My only lingering worry on that front is to do with the thin upper, which is not as comfortable and padded as I’d like for a daily trainer. But it didn’t cause serious problems during my testing.

Is The Adidas Boston 12 Worth It?

Adidas Adizero Boston 12

(Image credit: Nick Harris-Fry / Future)

I rate the Boston 12 as one of the best and most versatile daily trainers available. It’s enjoyable to use for easy plods as well as all-out reps. While many of the new breed of super-trainers seem to be focusing more on easy daily training—like the Saucony Kinvara Pro and Hoka Mach X—the Boston 12 uses the tech in its midsole to impress at faster speeds as well as slow ones.

It’s comparable to the Saucony Endorphin Speed 3, which in my opinion is the best all-rounder on the market. The Boston 12 has a more traditional, snappy ride than the Speed 3, which is smooth because of its rocker, but both are great for a variety of runs. I still prefer the Speed 3 because it has a more comfortable upper and so is better for easy runs, but the Boston 12 won’t disappoint anyone looking for a versatile trainer, and it offers better grip than the Speed 3.

Nick Harris-Fry
Senior writer

Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.