Adidas AlphaBounce Review
Adidas owns the running shoe game. With their Boost cushioning system, Ultra Boost silhouette, and the combination of style and performance, Adidas has taken over the world. Adidas dropped a shoe that they hope will be their next big thing in performance/casual running shoes, the AlphaBounce. The idea was to use their Bounce cushion, which is firmer, bouncier, and more responsive than Boost while still being very comfortable and providing excellent impact protection, and introduce a new silhouette that would perform well as a runner and trainer, but would also turn heads as a fashion/casual shoe. The other crazy idea behind this shoe is to use excellent performance tech without breaking the bank, the AlphaBounce only costs $100. Sammy will be giving us his Performance Review of the Adidas AlphaBounce, and although he is not a hardcore runner, this test will focus on how the shoe performs as a trainer, how it feels casually, and how it performs and feels as a casual runner.
The AlphaBounce uses a solid rubber outsole with raised, textured circles. Many of the design features of the AlphaBounce take cues from the motion capture technologies Adidas used to develop the shoe, and the outsole is one example. The raised circles resemble the dots used in motion capture tests. The outsole provides good traction for running, training and casual use and the little bumps on the circle areas do not seem to wear out easily which bodes well for the durability of the outsole.
As the name implies, the AlphaBounce implements Adidas’s full-length Bounce cushion. Bounce seems to be a combination of EVA with added rubber content for bounciness. The heel to toe transition in the AlphaBounce is very good and Sammy reported that the heel feels very bouncy, while the forefoot is not bouncy at all. One way to describe how Bounce feels is to say that it feels like a firmer and bouncier Boost. Bounce cushioning gives you a faster rebound than Boost. The midsole provides excellent impact protection, bounce, and response. The AlphaBounce feels very nice while running, and the cushion is great for training since it gives you response, impact protection, and is more stable than Boost. The AlphaBounce provides a comfortable cushion for just about any activity.
When Adidas announced the AlphaBounce, they also introduced a brand new material that they used to construct the upper, Forged Mesh. Forged Mesh is a stretchy, soft, supportive material. The most impressive thing about Forged Mesh is how Adidas decided to implement it. Using their motion capture research, they created areas where the upper is sort of folded to create areas where it will not stretch and provide support in areas where you need it most. The materials feel like a stretchy and softer jacquard. The AlphaBounce’s Forged Mesh upper is very comfortable in every setting.
The AlphaBounce does fit slightly long, so go down 1/2 of a size. If you have a wide foot, you should probably either try it before buying it or avoid it altogether. Sammy said that at first, the materials fit very tightly, but after just a few days it stretches out and conforms to your foot. The upper is also very supportive while running, but it does not feel intrusive at all. In fact, Sammy said that it does not feel like you are wearing a shoe at all, it becomes one with your foot. There is no dead play anywhere in the shoe. The only time the shoe does not feel supportive is during hard lateral cuts, but to be fair the shoe was not designed for these types of cuts, but to get a more detailed analysis of how it performs under extreme conditions, check out our “Does It Basketball?” video for the AlphaBounce. The AlphaBounce provides good lockdown. Sammy said that his forefoot always felt contained (except during cuts or crossovers) and he had no heel slipping. The lockdown and support are so good that you really don’t need to tighten the laces to feel secure in the shoe.
The AlphaBounce should turn out to be a pretty durable shoe, the outsole does not seem like it will last forever if you run on hard or rough concrete, so keep that in mind.
This silhouette is very nice, and the design touches like the folded upper and crazy looking outsole all add up to a very interesting aesthetic. The AlphaBounce is a dope looking shoe, and it seems like a versatile one, meaning that it will look good in a wide variety of colorways. The black and white dotted colorway, another design cue inspired by motion capture technology, is one that Sammy loves. I was not a fan at all of that colorway, but every time I see it, I like it more and more. The black upper with the purple midsole and outsole is my personal favorite, as it blends bright colors with a simple design. Sammy mentioned that he didn’t think these look as good as the NMDs or Ultra Boosts, but I like the AlphaBounce more than either of them.
At $100, this shoe is an incredible bargain considering the excellent performance and high-level technologies. If you are a weirdo like Sammy and don’t like the mushiness of Boost, this is an ideal alternative. As mentioned earlier, the AlphaBounce is far better as a trainer than the Ultra Boost, but I think that it accomplishes exactly what Adidas wanted it to, to be one of the best shoes all around. The idea is that you put on the AlphaBoucne to train or to run, and you can keep wearing it when you go out, or even wear it on the hardwood if you feel the urge to hoop in them and forgot your basketball shoes. The AlphaBounce feels great as a runner, trainer, or casual shoe, and with its budget-friendly price and dope aesthetics, you cannot go wrong with this one.