Adidas Pulseboost HD provides good boost for running

The Pulseboost HD is the first pair of Adidas running shoes to feature the German sport giant's new Boost HD midsole technology.

It is an evolution of Adidas' Boost technology, acclaimed for its stability, ability to allow quick directional changes by the runner, comfort and high energy return.

The Pulseboost HD features the artificial intelligence-developed Adaptive Traxion rubber sole which provides excellent grip on both dry and wet surfaces. Also new is its highly stretchable and comfortable Adapt Knit upper.

As a huge fan of Adidas' Ultraboost running shoes, I was excited to give the Pulseboost HD a try.

  • FOR

    • Cheaper than the Ultraboost

    • Great rebound

    • Double as trendy sneakers


    • Slightly heavy

    • Lacks grip on wet surfaces


    PRICE: $200

    MATERIAL: Adidas' proprietary Boost HD midsole with Adapt Knit upper and Adaptive Traxion rubber outsole

    HEEL DROP: 8mm

    WEIGHT: 340g (Men's, US 9)


    DESIGN: 4.5/5

    PERFORMANCE: 4.5/5


    OVERALL: 4/5

It impressed me right away with its streamlined profile and clean looks. It can easily double as a pair of trendy sneakers. The review pair's black-and-red design scheme, in particular, is an easy match with colourful jeans and bermudas.

The tongues of the shoes are integrated with the upper, with pull tabs to aid wearing. The right tab has a QR code that links to a custom Spotify playlist created by Adidas. I scanned the code with both my iPhone and Android smartphone, but managed to get it to work only with the former.

The integrated tongues give the Pulseboost HD a sock-like feel. This, plus the snug uppers, makes the shoes feel really secure. Yet, there is enough room for my toes to wiggle.

My initial worry about the integrated tongues giving me blisters proved unfounded after I wore the shoes for two weeks. Not only were the shoes comfortable, but they also provided great rebound on every stride during runs. But the energy return seemed less than that of its Ultraboost cousins.

When it comes to changing directions, I feel more stability than with the Ultraboost, which tends to be "squishy" when I stop and turn.

I am also impressed by the ample support provided by its heel counter to my injury-prone ankles.

On the downside, the Pulseboost HD is heavier - around 30g - than the Ultraboost. I also find its grip to be a little lacking on wet surfaces.

But the best part is it is $80 cheaper than the latest Ultraboost 19.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 11, 2019, with the headline 'Good boost for running'. Print Edition | Subscribe