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Running Shoe Review: Adidas Supernova Rise ($140)




Although the year is winding down, there are several new 2024 shoes getting early exposure at running retail outlets in December. Brands have fast-tracked a few everyday training models with higher level component packages to reach the notable holiday and end-of-year purchase moments and also generate buzz heading into the late-winter buying season.


One of those key models is the Adidas Supernova Rise, an everyday trainer bolstered with some similar materials and technologies found in its top-level performance shoes. While it’s not specifically called a stability trainer, it’s a higher-level training shoe with a lot of built-in stability. What’s notable about the Supernova Rise is that it represents an overhaul of the brand’s Supernova franchise of shoes with a new super-foam midsole and a gait-smoothing technology system to deliver a good amount of comfort, cushioning, control and modest energy return. 


In other words, while top-tier racing shoes are still all the rage, brands are now developing versatile, midrange everyday trainers with better materials that perform at a higher level. In the case of the Supernova Rise, it’s an up-leveling of previous models like the Supernova 3 ($100), but not quite as performance-oriented as the Adidas Adizero Boston 12 ($160), a lighter and quicker up-tempo trainer that went through an overhaul a year ago. 


What’s New: The Supernova Rise features Adidas’s new Dreamstrike+ midsole material, a soft and semi-responsive PEBA-based supercritical foam with a 20% bio-based foundation. (Adidas says it’s similar to its Lightstrike Pro found throughout the Adizero franchise, but not quite as bouncy, of course.) It also contains its brand-new Support Rod System that runs the length of the foot, a composite mechanism embedded in the midsole that was inspired by the physiology of the foot in motion to provide stability from heel to toe. Other aspects include an updated semi-firm internal heel counter, a new engineered mesh upper and an improved design to accommodate various foot shapes.

Fit/Feel/Ride: The Supernova Rise fits true to size with medium interior volume and a roomy toe box. It has a moderately plush step-in feel, thanks to a thick soft tongue and ample padding around the heel counter. The ride is easy and gentle for a midweight everyday training, creating buttery smooth transitions from heel to toe. Although it’s slightly heavier than I would have expected, it’s modestly energetic and infinitely stable. It’s not a shoe that would be ideal for up-tempo paces, but it’s great for just about everything else.


Why It’s Great: It’s cushy, comfy, resilient and very stable. It has a wide footprint for inherent stability, but it also has the new Support Rod System – a more stabilizing version of the energy-enhancing EnergyRods found in the elite Adizero racing shoes – to provide optimal support and easy transitions in every stride. While it’s not as light or vibrant as some faster and more energetic everyday trainers, it’s equally as comfortable and more stable than most.


Why You’ll Love It: You’ll love it because it feels good and helps you run with a consistent stride pattern. If you’re an age-group runner who wants to stay fit through the months while you’re not following a race-specific training plan, this is a good stability-enhancing model to consider. No matter what kind of running you’re doing – a long run, an easy run, a recovery run – you’ll feel like you’re running with a smooth stride and a comfortable shoe. The two-layer engineered mesh upper will adapt to the shape of your feet for a precise, accommodating fit, while the midsole cushioning chassis will adapt to your stride as you roll through the gait cycle from heel to toe. The downside is that it’s not an overly exciting or energetic shoe.


Specs

Weights: 8.6 oz. (women’s 8); 9.9 oz. (men’s 9)

Heel-Toe Offset: 10mm (34mm in the heel, 24mm in the forefoot) 


Pro: Basd on my first bunch of runs in this shoe, I give the Dreamstrike+ midsole foam high marks. It’s not exceptionally lively, but it’s not the muzzled feeling of some midrange EVA-based foams. It’s definitely an upgrade to the bouncy but heavy Adidas Boost foam and the firmer and not nearly as lively Adidas Lightstrike midsole compound. It’s best attribute is that it feels so good I didn’t think about it during most of my runs.


Con: My take on the Supernova Rise is that it’s a good everyday training shoe, but more comfy and stable than it is responsive. And that brings up the dilemma of what kind of shoe you want to train in most of the time. I’ve gotten used to the high-energy sensation of racing shoes with carbon-fiber propulsion plates, but I know I can’t run in those all of the time. Just below that on the spectrum of shoes there are a handful of electric, high-performance training shoes (such as the Saucony Endorphin Speed 3, ASICS Magic Speed 3 and Hoka Mach X), some of which have rigid plates and some of which have semi-flexible plates. As a mid-priced everyday trainer, the Supernova Rise is great. But for a few dollars more, you can get a much more lively shoe.

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