Whether for everyday runs or simply an addition to your stylish trainers collection, the Adidas Pulseboost HD delivers an enjoyable performance
Photos by Samantha Ong
The Adidas Pulseboost HD is the latest release from the three-stripe brand that features its newest Boost technology. Simply called Boost HD (which stands for high density), the innovation is created to offer “more stability with the same energy return and comfort” according to its press release.
Moreover, the sleek shoes were designed specifically for individuals with a preference for navigating the urban environment. “Running in a city is unlike running anywhere else,” says Adidas Running senior product manager Stephan Schneider. “Traffic, lights, and crowds make for a unique experience. We wanted to create something that was born from urban runners.”
I had the chance to test this pair while on my trip to Madrid last month where the terrain is varied to say the least, thanks to its numerous tourist locations that throw curveball topographies—from the flat pavements and cobblestone streets of Centro to the more uneven textures of El Retiro and steep uphills of Lavapies.
How the Adidas Pulseboost HD looks
Starting off with the design, the shoe is basically all-knit. Adidas calls it Adapt Knit that flexes whenever you need it. In simple terms, it’s like wearing socks with an outsole attached to it. But even so, the technical construction is satisfying enough to mold onto your feet and comfortably grip into whatever foot shape you have.
Surprisingly easy to slip into, many will find these trainers as a go-to pair for everyday running, jogging, or even walking around the city. The fit was secure and snug without feeling too tight and the upper enabled decent ventilation, making it a breeze to use. That said, I found the sizing runs larger than usual. There was about an extra inch or two in the toe box that made it seem it’s going to cause a bit of trouble with every step.
The colors are nothing to scream about but the weaving of the “solar” red, which actually looks more orange to me, into the front of the largely black knit upper gives it a distinct look. Even non-runners would find this an aesthetically pleasing choice.
If anything, the laces didn’t feel secure enough, as if they were going to unravel anytime. Although they didn’t undo every time I used them, the feeling was always there. Even in the back of my mind. That could be an issue for rookie runners who have yet to find that singular focus on runs. But this feeling is mostly due to the integrated tongue, which also carries a QR code to a custom Spotify playlist. Which, let’s admit it, some may find gimmicky.
How it feels
One of the biggest benefits I got from the Adidas Pulseboost HD is how responsive and stable it was to shift directions quickly. Unlike the PureBoost Go where the energy return and elevation were more apparent, the low-profile was clearly designed to address any unexpected changes in the urban setting.
Not that it didn’t give me any boost at all but this one was more subtle in comparison. Its Continental Adaptive Traxion, a rubber outsole technology developed by—get this—artificial intelligence gives it powerful traction on hard surfaces like asphalt or concrete. I did have a bit of trouble on softer terrain around El Retiro where the impact on the slightly wet and squishy ground made it feel like I wasn’t as stable as I was on harder surfaces.
But the good thing is that the longer I used the Pulseboost HD, the more comfortable it felt and the more apparent the cushioning was on the soles—hardly noticeable but adequate and ample. It delivers comfort even after long use—no pain or foot fatigue—and that’s something many recreational runners can rely on.
At P5,500, the Adidas Pulseboost HD is at the lower end of the spectrum and that’s for a reason. The shoes aren’t necessarily groundbreaking and they are miles away from some of the best trainers Adidas has created.
Its UltraBoost 19 brother may have a slight edge to it but what the Adidas Pulseboost HD really is all about is pure, unadulterated fun in a sleek, streamlined, and stable package. Every element of the shoe shows that these running shoes are as versatile as they come and when you learn it was created in collaboration with runners from New York, Paris, and Berlin, it makes sense.
Whether for everyday runs or an addition to your stylish trainers collection, the Adidas Pulseboost HD delivers an enjoyable performance—and no, you don’t need to be in Madrid to appreciate them.