SHOE REVIEW: adidas Sequence 9

by Erin Engelson, assistant marketing manager

IMG_6131I think the best way to decide if you really like a running shoe is to take it out on dead legs.

So that’s exactly what I did last weekend. I wasn’t sure what to expect with this update – I had run in the adidas Sequence 8 and felt okay about it – wasn’t in love with it, but also didn’t really notice it during the run (which is generally a good thing in a running shoe). I was excited to see how a 50/50 BOOST and EVA midsole would feel during my run.

WHAT IS EVA? EVA foam has been the main component of running shoes for many years. EVA is a soft yet durable polymer that is resistant to stress, and is soft and flexible without being spongy.

WHAT IS BOOST? adidas‘s proprietary midsole cushioning system, created in 2013. Contains thousands of tiny capsules of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), which are resistant to temperature change and significantly more durable than EVA. This particular TPU was developed by BASF, the leading chemical company in the world.

WHY BOOST OVER EVA? EVA compresses and rebounds with each step, but after hundreds of thousands of steps, the foam loses its rebound capabilities (this is when we need to replace our shoes – about every 400 miles). It can also be sensitive to change in temperature. BOOST does not change performance in extreme temperatures, and does not break down in the same manner as EVA. Additionally, the TPU provides more energy return through its springy response (EVA is generally firmer and provides less of a bounce with each step).

IMG_6140Within the first mile, all I could think of was marshmallows. This shoe is soft, man! To be honest, it felt nice on these beat up quads of mine. I generally tend to favor a firm shoe offering more of a road feel (currently in the Mizuno Wave Catalyst) – but after a mile or two in the Sequence 9 I was thinking how nice this shoe would feel when you’re deep into a long run. And it’s not so soft that you lose the feeling of control over the road surface. The EVA portion of the midsole helps you feel stable and controlled as you go through the gait cycle.

Heel-to-toe was pretty smooth; the softness of the BOOST combined with the stability of the EVA gave me a nice roll through the gait cycle.

IMG_6203The Sequence 9 is a traditional stability shoe with a 10mm offset, so you’re not breaking any speed records in this shoe – but that’s not its intent. It’s designed to prevent mild to moderate overpronation and cushion your ride – it definitely delivered on both counts.

IMG_6206Adidas has retooled the outsole to provide more inherent stability without the need of a hard post in the midfoot. By slightly widening out the midfoot, the shoe becomes more stable without added bulk (more surface area = more rigidity = more stability).

Another thing adidas has improved upon in this shoe is the upper, with a soft, flexible engineered mesh and a little arch-lock piece that wraps the midfoot nicely. Although the shoe is a little bit wider than the last model, it feels locked in and secure on the foot.

IMG_6210The good thing about a little extra width is that this shoe is now a great option for people that usually run in a shoe like the Saucony Guide or Omni, or Brooks Adrenaline (three wider-fitting stability shoes). These runners can now find a nice home in the Supernova Sequence.

The adidas Supernova Sequence 9 ($129.99) is available in men’s size 8-13 and women’s size 6-11 in all Marathon Sports locations and at