New ‘Boost’ running shoe cushioning could be game-changer for adidas

NEW YORK — My BS detector goes off when marketers promise a product will be the “game-changer” that will absolutely, positively turn the category upside down. But I think adidas has found a contender with their new Boost running shoe technology.

During a launch event here, adidas’ top executives unveiled the softer, more comfortable Boost cushioning they say will changing running forever by providing the “highest energy return” in the industry. Eventually, they’ll add the new foam cushioning to training and basketball shoes.

The key for adidas will be getting runners to try on the shoes. Once they do, they’ll be hooked, said Eric Liedtke, head of sports performance for adidas. “The technology speaks for itself,” he told SportsBizUSA.

To demonstrate the technology, adidas showed a video of steel balls being dropped on Boost, the standard EVA foam used in most running shoes and concrete. The balls bounce higher and longer on the Boost cushioning.

I took these kicks for a run and they delivered.

As soon as I laced them up, I could feel extra springiness of the new Boost foam cushioning. I also liked the spartan look of the shoes. There’s breathable, stretch mesh across the top. The bottoms remind me a bit of those old Styrofoam coolers your grandparents used to haul to the beach. But they delivered where it counts, especially for people like me who prefer comfort over style points.

Image 2adidas will start selling the shoes online and at specialty retailers starting Feb. 27.  The price: $150. But be warned. The new Boost shoes run small. So if you normally wear a size 10, order a size 11.

The athletic company declined to comment on how much it will spend to advertise and promote Boost. But Ryan Morlan, head of brand marketing,  said it will be the company’s “largest running campaign” in the last 10 years.

“It’s a significant spend within the U.S. — but mostly global worldwide,” Morlan said.

The company spared no expense for its swanky launch event, flying in hundreds of journalists from around the world and hiring celebrities such as actresses Rosario DawsonMorena Baccarin of Homeland and Maggie Grace of Taken to try on the shoes.

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