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adidas Boston 12 Performance Review

adidas Boston 12

The adidas Boston 12 is the little brother of the adidas Adios Pro 3 in shape, looks, and feel. There are plenty of differences but the adidas team designed the line so the Boston 12 can be the daily shoe while the Adios Pro 3 can be saved for longer, harder workouts and races.

The adidas Boston 12 also saw some changes from the Boston 11, all of which I’d classify as improvements. And they get the Boston 12 closer in the feel of the Adios Pro 3. Is the Boston 12 a perfect daily trainer? No. But it’s the best Boston since adidas drastically changed the silhouette with the introduction of the Boston 10.

adidas Boston 12

Price: $160

Weight: Men’s 9.1 oz., Women’s 8.0 oz.

Drop: 6.5mm

Sizing: Typical adidas size

Buy Men's Boston 12 Buy Women's Boston 12
  • Rundown: The adidas Boston 12 is the perfect complement to the Adios Pro 3. It can handle daily training, speed work, and easy running.
adidas Boston 12 Exploded View


As you can see from the exploded view of the adidas Boston 12, the midsole includes a large layer of Lightstrike Pro up top, interconnected Energy Rods 2.0 in the middle, and a layer of Lightstrike 2.0 on the bottom.

Like the past two iterations of the Boston, the midsole starts firm. It’s not as stiff as either the Boston 10 or 11 and the break-in time is faster, but you won’t feel the true underfoot comfort of the Boston 12 until you hit 20-25 miles.

Once the adidas Boston 12 does break in, you’ll get a nice propulsive feeling from the Lightstrike Pro layer, a pop upon toe-off from the Energy Rods, and a stable ride from the Lightstrike. The new lateral support wing built into the Energy Rods also helps the shoe feel more stable around turns (though I’m not sure it was necessary as the Boston 10 and 11 felt plenty stable).

The midsole design mirrors the Adios Pro 3 in both looks and general underfoot motion and transition. When you put the Adios Pro 3 on your feet for race day it won’t feel like a completely different shoe, but a lighter, bouncier version of what you wear every day. If you value that type of consistency, you should consider buying the Boston 12 and Adios Pro 3 combo.

adidas Boston 12 Upper


The upper on the adidas Boston 12 has fewer overlays and layers than previous Boston models. The mesh upper is more flexible and breathable. Straight out of the box, it feels compliant, ready to go, and requires no break-in time. The mesh is plasticized for durability and strength but doesn’t feel as rough as most mesh uppers that get this treatment.

The tongue is a thin synthetic suede that almost matches the Adios Pro 3 except the Boston 12’s tongue doesn’t feature as many cutouts for ventilation.

The lacing is also improved versus previous Boston models. The adidas Boston 12 has a quick lacing structure for eyelets 2-4. Those same eyelets are part of a set of synthetic suede wings that connect to the strobel board beneath the insole from midfoot to heel. Like similar lacing structures before it, this allows the wearer to better customize the midfoot fit and lockdown. The upper can better hug the midfoot no matter your foot shape meaning the Boston 12 upper is way more accommodating than the narrower uppers on the Boston 10 and 11.

adidas Boston 12 Outsole Traction


As usual, the adidas Boston 12 sports a Continental rubber outsole. The pattern is basically the same as the previous two Bostons and the adidas Adizero SL. There’s ample rubber coverage and it’s plenty deep. It also hardly showed any wear during an extended testing period of over 50 miles. The outsole on the Boston 12 is highly likely to outlast the cushion (especially if you’re a larger runner). Its durability isn’t a question.

adidas Boston 12 Cushion Midsole

Is the adidas Boston 12 wide foot friendly?

While the adidas Boston 12 is more accommodating than previous Boston models, I’d still recommend wide footers choose the wide version. The regular version’s heel and midfoot will be a bit narrow for some wide footers. The wide version will provide better all-around comfort or all of our wide-footed readers.

Is the adidas Boston 12 worth $160?

Yes, the adidas Boston 12 is priced correctly given the included technology and use case. That said, it’s hard to recommend buying it at full price when the Boston is such an oft-discounted model and rarely, if ever, excluded from adidas sales. Savvy shoppers will likely be able to grab it in the $120-$140 range if they shop for it in the right moment.


The adidas Boston 12 is still a stiffer, firmer (in the heel) shoe than other race day companion shoes on the market. If you prefer more flexibility in your daily running shoe, choose the adidas Adizero SL.

There’s a reason the SL is on the top of our best adidas running shoes list. It’s a great value at $120 and isn’t quite as aggressive as the Boston 12. It’s got a similar design and look but without the Energy Rods, it’s more flexible and easier on the feet.

adidas Boston 12 on the beach

adidas Boston 12 Summary

The adidas Boston 12 is the perfect complement to the Adios Pro 3 and can handle daily training, speed work, and easy running. Its upper is ready for running right out of the box. You’ll need about 20 miles to get the midsole feeling softer and more flexible. The Energy Rods make it an aggressive shoe for daily use so I wouldn’t recommend it to beginners. But the Boston 12 will appeal to many because it’s also usable on race day due to the energy return from the Energy Rods and Lightstrike Pro foam.

Long-time Boston fans will be happy as the Boston 12 modulates the polarizing features of the Boston 10 and 11. And those looking for a feistier daily running shoe will find exactly that plus a shoe that’s not really offered by other companies as many brands save this type of ride for their race day options.

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