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The Adidas Boston has long been a favourite of speedy amateur runners. It provides a little more cushioning than the racing flats used by elites, but is still being lightweight and responsive enough to chase down fast times, especially in long distance races.
As a well established line, The Adidas line is well established, so it tends to only tinker with each new ieration rather than rip it up and start again. Updated colourways are the main change from the Boston 6, along with refinements to the design of the upper to make it more breathable.(opens in new tab)
So with mostly prosaic changes there’s little surprise that there hasn’t been more of a fanfare around the release of the 7. But that doesn’t stop it being one of the very best running shoes available and one that will be the perfect marathon shoe for many runners.
The Boston 7 has a similar lightweight, narrow profile to a racing shoe like the Adidas Adios, but with slightly more cushioning and stability, making it perfect for long-distance races. You can still feel the road under your foot and the transition from heel-to-toe is outstanding. Heel strikers in particular will have a spring put in their step by the chunk of Boost cushioning on the rear of the sole, which propels you through your stride smoothly and helps keeps your legs in good shape over long distances. As a result, holding a fast pace in the Boston over long runs just feels… if not easy, then at least easier.
It is still a lightweight shoe, however, so some runners might find it lacking a little in cushioning for a marathon. I’d say the Boston is the perfect fit for an experienced runner looking to set a PB, while heavier runners and first-timers might benefit from extra cushioning over the 42.2km.
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But we’re not all looking to run a marathon, so is the Boston any good beyond – or should we say before – that? Unequivocally, yes. Turns out we’ve been doing it a disservice by banging on about its long-distance credentials, as it’s got the chops to handle much shorter stuff, too. I ran a mile race on the track and a 5K parkrun on grass in them, and logged PBs in both. It was proved a joy to wear for tempo training sessions and intervals. It’s fast and responsive, maybe not as much so as a shoe like the Adios or the New Balance 1400v6, but unless you’re a speed demon trying to cut seconds off PBs it’s unlikely you’ll notice the difference, while the reassuring cushioning on the Boston is a definite advantage for easy runs and longer races.
When it comes to easy runs, my preference is still for a more cushioned shoe, but the Boston is comfortable to wear even over long distances at a relaxed pace. The fit runs a little small on the Boston, so it’s probably worth going up a half size to ensure you don’t feel cramped. The upper fits snugly and the toe box is quite tight, but the mesh material is breathable so no discomfort arises from the close fit.
There are plenty of great all-rounder running shoes out there, with the Nike Pegasus Turbo and Saucony Ride ISO being our favourites of 2018 so far, but these tend to focus on providing comfort for training runs over true race-day pace. The Boston 7 is all about the latter, especially at marathon distance, but has enough cushioning that faster runners will enjoy using it for most training sessions too. If you’re chasing PBs and only want one shoe in your wardrobe, I’d take a very close look at the Boston 7.
Buy on sportsshoes.com (opens in new tab) | £107.95
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.
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