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As the running market becomes saturated with similar looking shoes, some brands are looking to push the envelope to stand out from the crowd. Either through flashy colorways or unique technology, companies are constantly looking to innovate to stand apart.
With this goal in mind, Adidas introduced the Adidas Springblade which is equal parts fashion statement and technological advancements. The Adidas Springblade footwear is a neutral running shoe featuring prominent, eye catching blades aimed to propel the runner forward during liftoff.
- Very unique design and eye-catching configuration.
- Upper is extremely comfortable
- Very comfortable during landing and compression due to the unique design of the blades.
- The design style may be a bit too risky for even fashion forward minded individuals.
- The blades did not propel the runner enough during liftoff.
- Traction is almost nonexistent due to the engineered design of the sole.
- Price is a bit too high for a sneaker even at discounted prices.
The Adidas Springblade style is by no means an understated shoe. The prominent blades style sweeping along the bottom of the shoe is head-turning and it is unmistakably a running shoe with futuristic tendencies. The Adidas Springblade footwear features Adidas’ unmistakable three stripes branding across the midfoot and text near the heel promoting the Springblade.
Outside of the distracting blades, the upper of the Adidas Springblade is quite sleek and on par with other offerings from Adidas. On first glance, we thought the upper closely resembled Adidas’ extremely popular Energy Boost footwear line. The upper features strategic overlays that seem to disappear.
We found that fans of Adidas continue to enjoy the sleek upper and three stripes branding style. We also noticed that the overall aesthetic of the shoe to elicit polarized opinions. Fans of the Adidas Springblade noted that the shoe looked futuristic and unlike anything else. Opponents of the Adidas Springblade commented that the blades were too aggressive and absolutely limited its use outside of athletic activity. We even found that some mentioned that even in athletic use, the Adidas Springblade may be a bit too aggressive.
We found that the design of the Adidas Springblade to be enjoyably different. Many companies only offer two core offerings in terms of silhouettes for their running products: chunky or minimal. The Adidas Springblade toes the line at being a little of both and with added engineered technical features. We disagree with those that say the Adidas Springblade is an impossible shoe to wear casually. We feel that for those looking to make an extremely bold statement, the Adidas Springblade has few equals.
Lastly, the Adidas Springblade is offered in a number of attractive colorways from navy blue to zebra print to bright orange. However, even with understated colorways, the springblades style make the shoe seem louder and flashier.
As a result, we recommend the Adidas Springblade sneaker to those looking to make a statement outside of its technological considerations. For those on the more conservative end of the spectrum, we recommend other offerings from Adidas such as the boost series.
SCORE: 4/10 – Fashion forward or risk-taking runners will love the design of the Adidas Springblade. It simply does not look like any shoe that is currently available. However, for most runners the design will be too aggressive and others may find it gimmicky.
The Adidas Springblade features Adidas’ popular Techfit upper. Used in other Adidas running models such as the Energy Boost, Techfit is a stretchy, breathable mesh material. It closely hugs the runner’s foot without constricting it an ounce. Unlike knit uppers which have some rigid properties, Techfit is more similar to lycra material popularized in workout pants.
The Adidas Springblade also features a highly secure bootie design. This allows the Adidas Springblade to avoid the common problem of other running shoes of a moving tongue during runs. Instead, the connected tongue allows the runner to stay locked in during the run. The collar of the Adidas Springblade is also well-cushioned promoting additional comfort and security. Finally, the Adidas Springblade features a semi-rigid heel counter to minimize instability.
Techfit on the Adidas Springblade is also extremely breathable as well. We found the breathability of the Adidas Springblade to be on par with other popular models such as the Brooks Ghost’s Air Mesh and Saucony’s open mesh systems. We found that runners commented that the Adidas Springblade was an easy runner for spring and summer months along with areas with year-round warmer climates.
Because of the expandable and breathable upper, runners also commented being able to run barefoot and also enjoy quick-drying for sweaty runs. However, like other breathable mesh uppers, we caution those in colder or damp climates as Techfit is extremely porous and will soak the runner’s foot quickly in wet conditions.
Despite the breathable mesh upper, the Adidas Springblade is one of the heavier shoes for running. Weighing in at 13.1oz (men) and 12oz (women), it is difficult to mediate between Adidas’ claim that it will propel you forward, while still weighing this heavy. We found that much of the weight is due to the plastic sole unit, but still affected the overall performance of the shoe nonetheless.
Since the close fit also hugs the runner’s foot, we found that sizing on the Adidas Springblade to be quirky. Some runners commented that the shoe ran large, while others commented that the shoe was true to size. Therefore, when shopping for the Adidas Springblade, we recommend runners get properly fit at a running store.
The Adidas Springblade also features strategic overlays to provide additional support and fit. Most prominently, the Adidas Springblade features a detached midfoot cage that allows the runner to customize their lockdown. We found this added detail highly praised from runners as other shoes glue the midfoot cage to the upper limiting its flexibility.
The Adidas Springblade also features a synthetic toe bumper fused to the toebox to provide additional security and impact protection. We found that runners did not complain that the synthetic overlays restricted the flexibility of the Techfit upper and maintained its breathability as well.
SCORE: 7/10 – Adidas Techfit continues to be a solid upper material option for Adidas even with their primeknit material being available. Techfit is extremely flexible, breathable, and comfortable. Adidas has also mastered the art of placing structural overlays in proper places to ensure a secure and comfortable fit.
The midsole of the Adidas Springblade is the real focus of the shoe. It features 16 plastic blades or springs with rubberized tips on each to provide the runners with a sole unit and traction. The midsole is simply a segmented midsole where instead of a traditional foam unit, Adidas replaced it with plastic ridges in a curved configuration.
The goal of the Adidas Springblade is to both absorb impact and then subsequently spring back giving the runner a propulsion effect. Adidas calls the propulsion effect “energy return.” We found this to be a curious description considering their highly successful and well-reviewed boost foam features similar properties. We also found this misleading moniker to be emblematic of the shoe overall.
We found that the sole unit did a good job, as advertised, in providing compression on impact. We found that runners commented that the Adidas Springblade provided a soft landing for heel, midfoot, and forefoot strikers alike. This is an advantage of the Adidas Springblade. It is equally effective at providing soft-landing cushioning to runners of all types. Additionally, upon impact, the Adidas Springblade does compress considerably almost bottoming out as the blades essentially stack upon each other. We found this to be advantageous since it limited height instability upon impact.
The Adidas Springblade achieves this comfortable cushioning partly due to the springblades and partly due to the drop-in foam sockliner Adidas calls “Adipower.” The closest equivalent we could find to Adipower was in Nike’s basketball line-up such as the Kobe Bryant line. Those shoes also feature a drop-in sock liner which provides for an amazingly comfortable and cushioned experience. We found the Adidas Springblade to feel similarly.
The other part of the equation of the Adidas Springblade is that it is supposed to spring back essentially propelling the runner forward. We found that despite its intention, the spring back effect was minimal. The plastic configuration of the Adidas Springblade did not “snap” back into place as it would visually suggest. Instead, we found that runners would land and struggle to achieve true lift off. Simply, the plastic lacked the bounce back rigidity to achieve the propulsion Adidas initially intended.
The Adidas Springblade also features a relatively minimal offset. While this may be a selling point in other models, the low heel-to-toe drop is indicative of the shoe’s unique compressive properties. At full compression, the runner’s foot is relatively flat from heel to toe. Theoretically, the turnover and speed performance would improve as a result, but we found that runners could not consistently land and takeoff to achieve the quicker rate of turnover indicative of other low drop running shoes.
SCORE: 4/10 – The Adidas Springblade does a great job of providing impact protection on impact. The blades act as a spring compressing under the runner’s foot. However, it does not have nearly enough responsiveness and liftoff giving the runner a sinking feeling. We found that runners did not feel that they Adidas Springblade bounced back into place properly essentially hindering its overall comfort and performance.
Due to the unique design of the Adidas Springblade, Adidas had to feature a similarly unique traction pattern. The disconnected sole unit of the Adidas Springblade features a disconnected traction sole unit as well. The Adidas Springblade only features small rubberized tips on the end of each Springblade essentially reducing the overall area that contacts the surface. As a result, we found the reduced surface compromised significantly on the shoe’s overall traction.
We found that many runners listed this as their number one complaint. The reduced surface area in addition to the disconnected design causes inconsistent ground traction and increased slippage and instability. Also, because the sole unit is not connected, not all of the sole unit is utilized in every foot strike.
As a result, we would recommend that users of the Adidas Springblade run on dry surfaces with minimal moisture and/or dust. We found that those who used the Adidas Springblade specifically for track or indoor running found the most success in terms of the shoe’s traction properties.
Additionally, the design of the Adidas Springblade forces the traction pods to perform heavily. As a result, we found that users commented that the traction would wear thin rather quickly. Combined with the need to use the Adidas Springblade on dry road conditions, we anticipate the durability of the shoe to be minimal.
SCORE: 3/10 – Because of the design of the Adidas Springblade, the traction is lacking. The blades are separated individual pieces with rubber traction affixed to the end of each blade. Due to this, the surface area of the sole is almost cut in half making the Springblade compromised on certain surfaces and encourages slippage in certain conditions.
The Adidas Springblade touts its Springblade tech as a premium offering from the brand. Therefore, Adidas prices the Adidas Springblade accordingly at 179.95 retail. At this price point, the Adidas Springblade is the same cost as the mega-popular Ultra Boost and nearly 50 dollars more expensive than the Supernova line, both from Adidas. Similarly, for those looking for premium runners with added technology, the Hoka One One Vanquish 3 is listed at a similar price point.
For both hardcore and casual runners, we feel that the initial price point is too high given the lack of performance. Even with the well-designed upper, we feel that runners can find a blend of eye-catching design with performance at similar or lower price points from brands such as Hoka One One and Mizuno.
Additionally, the traction unit may wear quickly limiting the Adidas Springblade as a multi-season running shoe. If the runner has a stable of running shoes and stomach the higher price tag, the Adidas Springblade may be an interesting option for rotation, but we feel there are better value running shoes available.
At the time of this writing, we were able to find the Adidas Springblade for roughly 80 dollars. Even at this price, we feel that runners could find better options in other brands such as On Cloud’s running shoe, which also features a unique, hollow midsole.
SCORE: 5/10 – The Adidas Springblade is a premium running shoe with a hefty price tag. The tech is not outstanding and comparable models offer the eye-catching flashiness of the Adidas Springblade with better performance.
The Adidas Springblade is a neutral runner with uniquely plush cushioning provided by plastic springblades. We feel that the primary audience for the Adidas Springblade will most likely be hardcore running hobbyists looking to try new tech. We feel that performance-based runners who truly care about performance may shy away from the Adidas Springblade, however.
The Adidas Springblade is also ideal for casual users looking to make a statement with a loud, yet comfortable shoe. The Adidas Springblade does well in providing a plush landing and cushioning system. For those who are on their feet a lot or want to just use the shoe for walking, may enjoy the Adidas Springblade. However, we feel that the price and looks may crowd out the casual, leisure crowd.
SCORE: 4/10 – Curious runners may find the Springblade technology appealing. However, for hardcore runners, casual enthusiast, and everyday wearers, we feel that they may be better served elsewhere.
Should you buy it?
No – We feel that the price for Adidas Springblade is too high considering Adidas offers their super popular Ultra Model for nearly the same price. As a running shoe, we found that users generally felt underwhelmed by the technology and never really were able to appreciate the propulsion properties advertised by Adidas.
However, for those looking for a statement shoe and are not overly concerned about performance, we feel that the Adidas Springblade is an interesting choice. It is almost a guarantee that wearing the Adidas Springblade will turn heads immediately and prompt inquiries into the shoe. We liken this phenomenon to the eye-catching success the Vibram Five-Finger shoe had a few years ago.
Bottom Line: Even at lower prices, the Adidas Springblade is not an immediate buy. Instead, we recommend that users look at other minimalist models and further explore the Adidas Springblade in store as well.
Total score: 27/60