Basketball Tech Uncovered: What Is adidas Boost? January 25, 2017 16:18

Adidas Boost

It's no secret that adidas has been hard at work developing new shoe technologies over the past few years, in order to grab a bigger share of the basketball footwear market (and of the footwear market in general), and Boost has been a huge part of those developments. 

Here at Hardwood Ventures we currently see Boost on a daily basis, in shoes like the Crazylight Boost, D Rose 7 and Harden Vol. 1, but what exactly is Boost, and why is it changing the face of adidas basketball footwear?

Adidas Crazylight Boost 2016

ON A MATERIAL LEVEL

On a material level, Boost is an innovative cushioning, that is made up of loads of tiny pellets, formed from a material called Thermoplastic Urethane. Even in pellet form, this material has properties that are rarely seen together at the same time, but are ideal for use in footwear.

As described by Mikal Peveto, adidas' senior director of innovation, these Thermoplastic Urethane pellets are "super soft, but also super springy". When they're formed together in the midsole of a shoe, the inherent properties of those individual pellets are almost magnified to provide excellent cushioning, but also excellent energy return. 

ENERGY RETURN, WHAT?

The term 'energy return' is used to describe a function of Boost, but it's more of an adidas marketing term because what Boost actual does, is control the loss of energy. You can't get more energy out of your shoes than you put in, so a big feature of Boost is that it hugely limits the amount of energy lost when your foot hits the floor. 

With Boost holding on to more of that energy that you're putting into walking, running or jumping, effectively this means that you should be able to perform the same exercise or action, with less effort. Or you should be able to run up the court faster, or run further than normal, without expending more energy. 

(Sadly this doesn't extend to putting any serious inches on your vertical - keep doing those squats.)

Adidas D Rose 7 Boost

BOOST ON FOOT

Boost offers a better energy return than anything else on the market right now, and having tried Boost personally (in the adidas D Rose 7), it's crazy soft to walk and run in. It definitely lives up to the performance hype AND it looks good, which has been a key aspect of Boost being able to transcend the performance market, and cross over into straight fashion and streetwear.

In store, sometimes just talking about Boost and it's properties isn't enough, you really have to get it on-foot to truly showcase how good it feels, and how different it is to the other midsole materials in the market right now. 

There's on overwhelming sense of adidas making some serious gains in the basketball footwear market on the back of technologies like Boost. It's going to be interesting to see how things develop from here.