Updated: Feb 1, 2019
Ah, the Adidas Solar Drive ST. I've been looking forward to this! And when I saw it at the Runners Need store in Port Solent, I knew it was one I had to try! Belonging to the new Solar family, this shoe is an expanded selection of shoes which have some in to replace the only recently revamped Supernova range. Unfortunately for the Supernovas, they simply couldn't outshine the UltraBoost, even with the cheaper price tag! Along with the Solar Boost and Solar Glide, the Drive is a relatively understated addition to the Adidas range and we will have to wait and see how the market has taken it.
Stability: Moderate Stability
Durability: High (~450 miles)
Stack Height: 32mm (heel) - 22mm (toe)
PK RAVES SCORE: 77/100
Similar Shoes: Asics GT-1000 v7, Asics GT-2000 v6
- Great Value for money
- Size range is fairly limited, no extra widths available
- Very lightweight for a high mileage shoe
- Perfect stack height for long miles
- Fit is a little snug but, overall, decent for Adidas
- Offset is a little high for some
- Rather unique shoe with few others to compare to in its niche
Cushioning and Fit:
The cushioning is made up from the incredible Boost system which is Adidas' premium cushioning, which in itself is an exceptional piece of engineering. It's one of the bounciest cushioning systems around and offers one of the greatest energy returns in the running shoe industry. When they developed Boost back in 2012, they hit the ground running (pardon the pun!) and slowly, more and more of their shoes included the revolutionary cushioning. Boost is very soft, so for those who enjoy a bit of squidge in their shoes, this could be a potential!
The fit is fitted but not restrictive like previous Adidas models. However, it's still below average and not generous in space. The new Solar FitWing Tongue was build specifically for the Solar range to offer a supportive feel around the foot.
The stability in this shoe is pretty standard - and I don't mean that in a bad way! The structure isn't forced into the arch, despite the support taking the form of a medial support post (or Stableframe as Adidas call theirs) meaning, despite me being a neutral runner, I didn't feel like my foot was forced in an unnatural position. The cushioning to the inner side of the foot is firmer to encourage a more straight alignment for those experience a moderate amount of pronation/eversion of the ankle. It seems effective yet not intrusive. They also have developed a guidance system called the Solar Propulsion Rail, which, hinted at the name is exclusive to the Solar family. This technology is similar to Brook's GuideRails and helps support the foot in a way that reflects our more recent understanding of running biomechanics of the knees and hips. The idea is that it encourages your body to follow its natural, unique, joint motion.
Stack Height and Offset:
The offset for this shoe is 10mm, so one of the higher heels in the running world, but by no means the highest. The heel is well cushioned to accommodate for a hefty heel strike particularly with the overall stack height being fairly generous. The heel has over 3cm of cushioning sitting right underneath it, meaning you'll have brilliant shock absorbing properties. But even the toes have over 2cm of cushioning underneath for you forefooters! But, the main downside is that the Boost cushioning doesn't extend all the way to the toes, and is replaced by a firmer, more traditional foam based cushioning.
Surfaces and Durability:
The Solar Drive ST is build for road. It can also be used for treadmill work and track surfaces. The shoe can be taken off-road, but this will erode the shoe faster as the tread is designed for minimal wear and tear. The shoe itself, if used on the correct surfaces, should last ~450 miles, which is pretty resilient for such a soft shoe.
This is a brilliant little shoe and definitely worth trying for those who need a bit of stability, a shoe that can take the miles and offers a slightly softer and fitted ride!
You can check out the Adidas Solar Drive ST at the brands website here: