Adidas PulseBOOST HD (Rs 12,990)
Adidas has determinedly been attaching the Boost midsole to its running, training and lifestyle pairs since 2013. It seemed a variation of its cushiony technology wasn’t on the cards until the Boost HD arrived. The PulseBoost HD, which stands for “High Density”, compresses more Boost particles into the midsole to make it stiffer and more stable. The pair is aimed at short- and medium-distance city runners who prefer more contact with the ground. A lot of runners swear by the Adidas UltraBoost 19 for its energy return and cushioning, and the PulseBoost HD is a departure from its best-selling technology. What seems like a gamble for Adidas, in my opinion, is a keen twist for the better.
The PulseBoost HD’s single-piece, sock-like knitted upper is a summer blessing. It’s probably the most breathable running shoe in the market. Adidas is calling it AdaptKnit, which is more flexible than the UltraBoost’s PrimeKnit. A second layer of knit is reinforced only in the areas that need more stability, such as the heel counter and all along the stitch at the bottom. It’s the most comfortable my broad, neutral feet have felt in Adidas.
The pair I tested came in black with an extra knit of orange trails running horizontally on both sides of the forefoot area for colour and character. The other colourway is orange on grey. Both are extremely versatile and go well with most of my randomly collected running gear, athleisure wear and denims.
I wore the PulseBoost HD on hard, concrete roads and pavements to clock five, seven and eight km at a leisurely pace of around 6:30” on three consecutive days when the weather was more forgiving. And here comes my favourite part about this pair. Forget roads, the Continental outsole gripped the pavement after it had just rained. The traction this pair offers is better than any other running shoes, Adidas or otherwise, that I have tried in the last couple of years.
It’s an almost-perfect pair for city runners who can use its best-in-class traction and very breathable upper. The PulseBoost HD also doubles up as a great-looking pair of kicks. For its new and improved Boost HD midsole, which provides a low-to-the-ground, stable ride and a good energy return, the price tag of Rs 12,900 is not steep.
Skechers GoRun7 Hyper (Rs 9,990)
The new GoRun7’s “Hyper Burst” is an EVA-based midsole, which is engineered to be light, stable and cushiony at the same time. The brochure doesn’t say this. It’s what I experienced over the course of two weeks. I was blown away by how such a light-weight midsole is much less stiff and gives a really good energy return.
Skechers GoRun7 Hyper
The pair is meant for short and medium distance and tempo runs. Apart from the roads, I utilised its full potential in HIIT, or High Intensity Interval Training, sessions at the gym. The pair comes so close to being perfect that I hate the fact that it’s not.
The GoRun7 Hyper that I tested has a blue, sock-like, single-piece upper with fluorescent accents around the midfoot. It is neatly sporty but does not compete with the more versatile kicks out there. It takes a bit of pulling to get into the shoe. But once your foot is in, the shoe stretches beautifully despite being a single-piece upper. It’s airy and comfortable even though it wraps around your foot. The removable insole also adds another variation to its fit. The laces help lock the midfoot in place, but despite it, I felt like it could have been sturdier around the forefoot area.
The “Hyper Burst” midsole is a great new discovery. It’s got the necessary bounce for you to feel the cushion and enjoy a light underfoot feel at the same time. At 220 grams a piece, you spend less energy lifting the foot with each stride, which adds up to be considerable over long distances. I had several five and seven km runs without any hiccups. Just choose running socks over inner socks to make sure the high sock liner does not rub against your skin.
The GoRun7 Hyper feels refreshingly new on the feet. It’s “Hyper Burst” midsole is comfortable, responsive, and is the most innovative technology in its price range. At Rs 9,990, this pair is for running with the big dogs without having to burn a hole in your pocket.