This Solar Glide shoe aligns itself with other shoes in the $140 price range that carry modern foam tech in a stylish ensemble. Shoes like that are the Saucony Freedom Iso 2, or the Reebok FloatRide Run.
All of them are ready for longer distance running, but wouldn’t be totally out of place as high priced “athleisure” wear.
The weight at 10.8 ounces is enough to keep the shoe from being classified as lightweight, but not heavy such that you’d avoid taking it to speed workouts.
Paired with a 10mm midsole drop that’s done on a 32mm heel and a 22mm forefoot and you have a deeply comfortable shoe for those with a heavy landing that want a shoe that supports them well and doesn’t bottom out.
Similar cushioned shoes can be found in the Hoka line of running shoes.
Adidas SolarGlide General Info
The adidas Solar Glide enters into the “solar” family of adidas shoes, offering a neutral running shoe with a casual looking upper and a daily training ready outsole.
Similar to to the Solar Glide is the Solar Ultraboost which has a $20 higher price point, additional torsion stability and a better upper.
The Solar Glide ST variant of this shoe is also very similar, but with a $10 price bump for stronger medial support.
There really isn’t a predecessor for this shoe, but I would place this Solar Glide shoe as a branched development off of the UltraBoost shoe.
The Solar Glide takes the sole design, and some of the upper, but saves on price by simplifying the lacing system down to melded overlays on the fabric versus the thicker plastic overlays on the Ultraboost shoes.
The major difference if you run it Solar Glide shoes versus Ultra Boost shoes will be the stability and cushioning, where the Solar Glide shoes will be less soft with more support.
These Solar Glide shoes were pleasant to lace up for the first time, as the flared heel counter made it simple and comfortable to put on the shoes.
I was a little annoyed with the stiff laces that seemed to be included for form over function, but managed to get an ok fit after a few minutes of adjusting the shoe. The midsole felt good, and ready for 50 miles of testing!
Adidas SolarGlide Sole Unit
Adidas is now in their prime years of their Boost foam technology. A large amount of their running shoes feature this cell-structured foam that’s comprised of TPU cells that feel like rubberized marshmallows.
This is pretty much the reason for the high price tag, as this foam is expensive to make but brings strong performance benefits.
Compared to standard EVA foam, Boost foam lasts longer, returns more energy, and stays springier when it gets cold.
This would be my third adidas shoe with Boost foam, and I can say it’s worth a $40 premium to get over regular foam.
As a note, you can look for other brands that use TPU foam, you’ll just have to find their special marketing term for it. The outsole of this shoe is a relatively thin single piece of rubber that’s just a few mm thick.
It resembles an evenly spaced grid of squares with exposed foam in between the patches of rubber, the iconic “web” look for most adidas shoes. This rubber is made by Continental, yes, the same group that makes car tires.
What you get with this rubber is high abrasion resistance with less material. Unfortunately, you also get pretty squeaky shoes when you walk on tile. Good thing to keep in mind if you plan on wearing these guys around as regular shoes.
I was originally suspicious of this thin amount of rubber on a shoe, but testing these and other adidas shoes out with the same layout showed me that adidas shoes easily last 100 miles before starting to show signs of wear on the outsole.
Traction is good for road, treadmill, track, and light trail use. Just don’t count on these shoes to save you if it’s a rainy day in the woods.
In terms of how these shoes feel when running, I’d say they’re like running on top of a firm bounce. The shoes absorb lots of shock, but return most of the energy in the process.
Adidas SolarGlide – Medial Side
What keeps the shoe from flopping around with all this bouncy foam is a layer of additional stiffer foam around the lateral and medial sides of the outsole/midsole meeting point.
Also providing additional support is a plastic torsion element under the midsole of the shoe that extends upward against the medial side of the heel.
This plastic element resists twisting motions on the shoe, and increases the strength of the medial sidewall.
Adidas SolarGlide Upper Info
I think this one of the first upper designs on an adidas shoe with Boost foam that I actually like!
Most other adidas variations on their Boost platform stretch the adidas logo across thick plastic overlays around the middle of your foot.
Although this makes for a strong fit, it feels like your feet are wearing a belt.
The adidas logo overlays that make up the lace support system on this Solar Glide shoe are thinner, flex more, and meld right to the fabric of the upper. You end up with a cleaner looking design and less of a restrictive feel.
I also like the use of this wrinkled looking tech fabric around the upper. It adds breathability, structure, and a design I haven’t seen on many uppers.
It’s on the edge of looking distressed and stylish, so be sure to check them out a little closer before grabbing a pair. Also worth mentioning is the bizzare heel counter.
If I had to ask adidas one question, it would be “why did you put a gap in your plastic heel counter to expose stretch fabric?”
Adidas SolarGlide – Heel
This gap at the back of the shoe does reduce pressure on your achilles, but is horrible for making a tight fit.
It gets even worse on a run, since your feet slide back further than you’re used to in your stride. I really noticed this when I’d jump into a workout. The fit felt sloppy at high speeds.
Another issue I have with the upper is the lacing system. Adidas got it right with the supports on the side, and even did a good job with the low profile tongue.
But they picked the wrong kind of laces! These laces are more like rope than real running shoe lace material.
They’re bulky, hard to tie, and do not flex at all when laced up which means you might get some sore spots when running in these shoes.
The top of my feet feel uncomfortable pressure spots at the base of the laces even when the shoes are light-moderately tight.
I’m pretty sure this was an aesthetic decision to go with the thick laces, as this was a similar problem I had with their Energy Boost shoes.
Adidas SolarGlide Conclusions
This shoe felt like a forced pop music hit by your favorite artist. You can tell there’s talent behind the design, and you like many elements of what’s going on. But gosh, there’s something forced about it that makes you feel discouraged.
In the case of the Solar Glides, the large price point paired with the loose heel and mediocre lacing system offset the boost foam and nice looks which left me feeling discouraged.
This could be a decent shoe for someone that loves the adidas family of Boost shoes, and I could have had a bad experience due to my running style, but I would suggest trying out similar shoes before testing the Solar Glides.