We independently review everything we recommend. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission.
9.2 oz. (260 g) for a US M9
More Lightstrike Pro in mid-to-forefoot, softer Lightstrike 2.0 in heel, new EnergyRods 2.0 configuration, lower stack height
Available June 15 for $160
The word “Boston” is iconic to running, so it’s only fitting that the Adidas Boston model has become iconic within Adizero, the Adidas performance line. Originally launched in 1982, the Boston is a shoe that can accommodate anything from daily training to race day and is back with some big improvements in the Adidas Adizero Boston 12.
To capitalize on these improvements, the shoe was tested across 19 sessions with Adidas pro athletes in Kenya, including Peres Jepchirchir, Abel Kipchumba and Angela Tanui. According to Adidas, “the unique insights obtained during those sessions were leveraged throughout the development process to ensure this shoe would best serve the needs of Adidas’ ambitious running community.”
We talked with Charlotte Heidmann, Senior Global Product Manager, Running Footwear about the shoe, and what we can expect when we lace it up.
Let’s get into the changes and what we think about them at first glance. (Note: this is a first look at the shoe, a full review will be posted when we have the chance to put in adequate miles into the shoe in the coming weeks.)
The Boston made a complete stylistic overhaul two years ago with the Boston 10. Hardcore fans who were accustomed to the streamlined, Boost-midsole look of previous versions were split on the updated design. While it looked good and fell in line with the Adios Pro vibe, it almost seemed like the cart was put before the horse. Translation: while the shoe looked good, the midsole kinda sucked and took a very long time to break in before it didn’t.
Adidas had to know this, and it seems like the shoe may be where it finally needs to be with the changes in the Boston 12. While the midsole is still a dual-layer construction, there is more Lightstrike Pro in this version, especially in the forefoot. For those who don’t know, Lightstrike Pro is Adidas’ bounciest and most energetic foam and is found in all its premium shoes.Shop The Adidas Boston 12
The bottom layer/heel section of midsole foam is Lightstrike 2.0– lighter, softer, and bouncier than the original version of Lightstrike. Which is good, because Lightstsrike 1.0 was/is a dense and clunky formulation in just about every shoe in which it’s featured. We will see if the marketing holds up to the experience with Lightstrike 2.0. Interestingly, the shoe has lost both stack height and drop over last year’s version, now coming in at 37 mm in the heel and 30.5 in the forefoot.
In between the layers of the midsole we have glass-fiber infused EnergyRods 2.0, an updated design to the half-length EnergyRods found in the last version, and the same structure found in the Adios Pro 3. Instead of individual rods, it’s one cohesive unit. They sit lower in this version so the step-in feel is more plush. The Boston 12 also features tooling that’s similar to the Adios Pro 3, providing a little window for the EnergyRod layer on the lateral side of the shoe.
An engineered mesh upper made of 50% recycled materials is breathable, simple, and straightforward, and foregoes the overlays found in the last two versions. A new lacing system looks more like the Adios Pro 3, which could be good or bad; good if you can find the right fit, but a long process to get there. The outsole still features Continental rubber, though instead of a split layer in the forefoot, it’s now one cohesive unit with a two-piece section in the heel. The midfoot still features exposed EnergyRods.
The shoe has lost 10 grams over the last version, so while that’s not a ton, at least it’s something. (Though, according to the spec sheets, this shoe actually lost 25 grams, or nearly an ounce). Either way, a lower stack height will do that.
Talking to Adidas, we pointed out that the total overhaul of the Boston 10 seemed to be a bit jarring, and maybe the performance was a bit behind the design. They didn’t disagree on that point; in fact, they essentially implied that this version is the pinnacle of that evolution from the OG Boston to the new design of the past three models.
We are always rooting for the Boston, because we remember the love we had for it back in the early days, up through the Boston 8. When Boost was the bomb, it really was the shoe that did everything. If we can somehow get that magic back, then we’re all in.
If the Lightstrike 2.0 actually holds up to its end of the bargain, then we could have a winner, especially with the full-length EnergyRods 2.0, which we already love in the Adios Pro 3.
We also tried to get more information on the Prime X Strung 2, but Adidas wouldn’t budge and told us to be patient, but that it is coming. We’re hoping early 2024.
The Adidas Adizero Boston 12 launches in a Lucid Lemon colorway with Core Black accents for men, and a Wonder Blue colorway with Lucid Lemon accents for women retails for $160. It is available now at the shop links below.Shop The Adidas Boston 12
Robbe is the senior editor of Believe in the Run. He loves going on weird routes through Baltimore, finding trash on the ground, and running with the Faster Bastards. At home in the city, but country at heart. Loves his two boys more than anything. Has the weakest ankles in the game.More from Robbe