History of adidas Boost


Everyday runners and professional athletes alike know what stress running can put on their feet, legs, and knees. Running shoes have come a long way in the last decade to help manage and prevent injuries, including the development of the innovative technology known as adidas Boost. Known for providing superior comfort and support in a variety of running conditions, the technology is popular among runners.

The technology has been worn by record-setting runners and is also responsible for catapulting adidas from a performance shoe to one of fashion, culture, and style as new iterations catch the eyes of tastemakers like Pharrell Williams and Kanye West.

If you’re looking for a comfortable running shoe that can bridge both the worlds of fashion and performance, then the adidas Boost line is a good place to start. 

What is adidas Boost?

Adidas Boost is a revolutionary technology first launched in 2013 that has since become an icon in the running world and beyond. Boost was designed by the adidas Innovation Team (AIT) and German chemical company Badische Anilin & Soda-Fabrik (BASF). The goal was to create a soft and responsive cushion that broke the norms of the industry-standard EVA foam. 

In a five-year retrospective of the shoe, GQ recounts that the first time adidas saw the material that would become Boost it was in a tennis-sized ball being used by chemists at BASF demonstrating just how bouncy the material is. 

Adidas’ shoes were not in need of a performance overhaul when Boost launched. In fact, in 2012, Kenyan Patrick Makau set the world marathon record wearing a pair of adidas Adios 2s. The trouble was getting everyday runners in the United States to care about the product. The 2013 launch of adidas Boost helped adidas gain a market share, growing from 2% to 9% of the U.S. market between 2012 and 2015.

Boost introduced a midsole made from thousands of expanded particles working together that help deliver the energy return of a runner’s stride.

Boost delivers five main benefits to runners:

  • Comfort that feels like running on a precision-engineered cloud
  • Weather versatility that can handle a wide range of temperature, precipitation, and weather conditions
  • Durability that can withstand a runner’s strike mile after mile
  • Flexibility for a smooth running stride no matter the pace
  • Energy return that absorbs and returns more of the athlete’s kinetic output 

Boost got its name thanks to its unparalleled energy return and has since become an iconic staple for the running and fashion worlds. 

Original adidas Boost Styles

adidas Energy Boost

Boost made its first appearance in 2013 with the adidas Energy Boost. This running shoe paired an elastic polyurethane Technfit upper with the adidas Boost midsole. The result was a lightweight and neutral package that showcased the fledgling technology that would forever change adidas. 

Supernova Boost

The Supernova Boost launched in 2015. The shoe was designed for runners who experienced over- or under-pronation on toe-off or landing. This shoe proved that stability and style could work together, featuring an extended medial tab in a neutral, everyday shoe. 

adidas AdiZero Adios Boost

This running shoe was made for performance and competition. Fine-tuned for speed, this sneaker launched in 2014. That same year, both Wilson Kipsan and Mary Keitany both claimed gold medals at the New York Marathon while wearing adidas Boost shoes. Ketiany would later become the world’s fastest marathon runner wearing the adidas adiZero Boost and finishing the 2017 London Marathon in 2:17:01. This style continues to be in play in the adiZero Pro shoe, which Ketiany helped design.

Current adidas Boost Styles


The adidas Ultraboost was first launched in 2015 and was a huge moment for the future of the adidas Boost midsole. The original was developed using ARAMIS motion capture technology, which allowed AIT to look at how a runner’s foot was tested during a typical run on the level of submicrometers. This research led to the iconic silhouette of the UltraBoost, including the Primeknit upper, separate lace cage, and heel-to-toe boost. 

The Ultraboost would eventually become the first running shoe to be as popular in the world of fashion as it is, with athletes offering a sleek profile with substantial performance. In the years since, adidas has launched a variety of iterations of this shoe including “Game of Thrones” and “Consortium” editions. 


The adidas NMD was a hype magnet that propelled adidas to the forefront of sneaker culture in 2015. Nic Galway, VP of Global Design for adidas Originals, designed the original version of this sneaker. It blended the Boost midsole and PrimeKnit technologies with design nods to the Micropacer, Boston Super, and Rising Star sneaker models from the 1980s. Blending form and function, the 2015-version of this shoe was designed to conform to modern life. Over the last six years, numerous shoes have been released under the NMD line, many under a collaboration with Pharrell Williams. 


The adidas ZX line was originally launched in the ’80s but has more recently become an adidas staple. This series boasts a supportive adidas Boost foundation in every step with flexible uppers and updated heel clips. It embraces the streetwear aspects of sneaker culture with the addition of fun graphics and colorways, which adds a level of style to an already comfortable sneaker. 


The adidas Yeezy line is a collaboration between adidas and Kanye West that first launched in 2015. This line features the adidas Boost technology with some very unique silhouettes. Prior to the launch, West wore two pairs of adidas shoes, including the all-white adidas Energy Boost ESM and the triple-white adidas UltraBoost sneakers resulting in both shoes selling out. 

His collaboration with adidas has resulted in a variety of unusual shoes being attributed to the line, many of which include the adidas Boost technology. Top styles include the adidas Yeezy Boost 350 and adidas Yeezy 500. 

GQ reports a large part of this line’s success is the halo-effect of West, who is known for choosing sneakers that are comfortable. 

Snag a pair of adidas Boost shoes

Ready to try out this innovative running technology? Check out all the shoes featured in the adidas Boost collection at Finish Line