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Finlay McAndrew  •  Running Gear •  15.12.2023 •  6 min read

adidas Supernova Rise Running Shoes Review

adidas has been making waves across pretty much every major marathon in recent times. While many elites are topping podiums, and even breaking records in Adizero racing shoes, lots of amateurs are setting new personal bests in them too. There’s no doubt there’s a lot of justified hype around what adidas offers within the supershoes category. However, there hasn’t been quite the same level of excitement around adidas’ ‘everyday’ mileage running shoes. This is hopefully about to change, with the launch of the brand new adidas Supernova Rise running shoes. 

Brand enthusiasts may recognise the Supernova name. This product title has been used by adidas for a long time, but not necessarily in the specialty running category over recent years. So yes, the adidas Supernova Rise may resemble an element of familiarity when it comes to the name, but rest assured, they feature an entirely new set of technologies. Hopefully unlocking a new level of performance within the core daily mileage running shoes category. 

The midsole

The adidas Supernova Rise features a new midsole foam called DREAMSTRIKE+. For the technical enthusiasts, this is a supercritical foam that is tuned for the comfort needs of the everyday runner. It’s rumoured to be a takedown of adidas’ LIGHTSTRIKE PRO foam, and is meant to possess very similar qualities: softness and resiliency. 

Image of adidas Supernova Rise running shoe deconstructed

In a new twist, the midsole features a variation of the popular ENERGYRODS system that features in models such as the Boston 12 and Adios Pro 3. To explain further, a bottom loaded denser EVA foam mirrors the shape of the metatarsals so it can aid transitions and offer more support throughout the gait cycle. adidas has called this structure SUPPORT RODS.

Touching on the outsole, there’s no Continental rubber. However, an Adiwear outsole is meant to offer very similar levels of traction and durability. 

The upper

An engineered sandwich mesh fabric makes up the majority of the upper. While the upper looks distinctly simple in comparison to what adidas typically produces, there’s more than meets the eye. Every element of the upper has been meticulously designed to deliver the most comfortable fit. For example, they reportedly went through 132 samples of the heel design, named Comfort Heel Fit, until they were happy with it. 

Medial view of adidas Supernova Rise running shoes in black/green colourway

We expect a lot of people will agree adidas has done a great job on the aesthetics too. They’re undeniably athletic and sleek.

How do the adidas Supernova Rise feel to run in?

Given that DREAMSTRIKE+ is a supercritical foam, I was expecting to feel a lot of underfoot cushioning. However, on the initial step-in, the midsole felt relatively firm. Of course, cushioning can feel radically different when you’re actually running on it instead of just standing on it though. 

I took them out on a steady paced run to test them out properly. Running at ~4.30 minute/kilometre pace, the midsole felt very protective and fluid underfoot. By fluid, I mean the transition from landing to take-off was very smooth and felt easy. The SUPPORT RODS were clearly working well and aiding my gait-cycle. It’s also important to note how stable the midsole feels - the SUPPORT RODS provide an extremely structured platform for your feet. 

4 sequence image showing gait cycle of runner wearing adidas running shoes

However, I found myself craving more softness under my feet - particularly in the forefoot area. To elaborate, while the heel strike felt really good, the forefoot area felt noticeably firmer. At the same time, one run isn’t always enough to break in a pair of running shoes. With this in mind, I tested them out further and at some different speeds. 

Although the midsole didn’t soften, I found them really comfortable to run in at slower speeds - closer to 4.45-5.00 minute/kilometre pace. This is perhaps because my feet are on the ground for longer and not transitioning to the forefoot as quickly. When I tried to run faster, the firmness in the forefoot became more noticeable. As a result, the cushioning didn’t feel as comfortable or natural. This sensation may be down to the way the SUPPORT RODS are constructed. 

How does Adiwear compare against Continental rubber?

We don’t normally spend a lot of time talking specifically about outsoles, but we need to in this instance. adidas has been working alongside Continental rubber for many years and adding the compound to their shoes. Continental rubber offers industry leading levels of traction in wet and dry conditions, alongside great durability. 

Outsole of adidas Supernova Rise running shoe

However, it looks like Continental rubber is going to be reserved for Adizero shoes moving forward - and core mileage running shoes will feature Adiwear rubber. In summary, Adiwear feels very grippy on wet terrain. So, there doesn’t appear to be significant differences in performance. The only slight gripe is that the rubber squeaks a bit on wet surfaces. However, this is common in a lot of running shoes. 

How do they fit?

The fit is very impressive. There’s no doubt the work that has gone into the upper design has resulted in a great fit experience. The stand out feature is the ankle design - the Comfort Heel Fit. It’s soft, supportive, and secure. Everything you could want from a heel counter.

From a size point of view, I go up half a UK size from my normal running shoes size in all adidas running shoes. This is ultimately down to how they convert sizes. Even though the toe box feels spacious, I find the Supernova Rise runs slightly neater than the Boston 12.

It’s worth noting that the adidas Supernova Rise is made in a women’s and men’s specific last, to accommodate key differences in foot anatomy. 

How can the adidas Supernova Rise improve your run?

The adidas Supernova Rise are incredibly stable and very protective neutral running shoes that are best suited to easy paced runs. As the majority of your weekly training should be easy, this makes them great everyday mileage running shoes. 

Whilst some runners will enjoy using them for steadier paced runs, more resilient midsoles typically feel better at steady efforts. This is because more resilient foams should feel bouncier. This is why we’re suggesting the Supernova Rise are most suited to lower intensity runs. 

Close up detail of upper on adidas Supernova Rise running shoes

Given the relatively high stacked midsole (36mm to 26mm), they should perform well over longer distances. Again, backing up the idea that they should function well as core daily mileage running shoes. Whether you’re running an easy 5km, or heading out for a long marathon training run, you should expect the cushioning to keep your feet and legs feeling comfortable. 

Is there a stability version?

Yes, the adidas Supernova Solution is due to release in February. The main difference between the Supernova Rise and Supernova Solution lies in how the SUPPORT RODS are constructed. In the Supernova Solution, the two middle rods are splinted together. There’s also a greater level of structure on the medial side of the SUPPORT RODS System. As a result, the more supportive structure should help reduce instability and greater ranges of pronation. 

The rest of midsole construction and upper design is very similar, so the overall experience should be very comparable.

Shop the adidas Supernova Rise

incredibly stable and very protective neutral running shoes that are best suited to easy paced runs.

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