The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Adidas Supernova Review

Great for runners who need lots of padding and comfort.
Adidas Supernova
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Price:  $150 List | $129.95 at Backcountry
Pros:  Comfortable, padded, stable
Cons:  Pricey, bulky, warm
Manufacturer:   Adidas
By Ryan Baham ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 26, 2018
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72
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#12 of 22
  • Responsiveness - 25% 7
  • Landing comfort - 25% 8
  • Weight - 20% 7
  • Durability - 10% 6
  • Upper comfort - 10% 8
  • Breathability - 10% 6

The Skinny

The Adidas Supernovas were surprisingly comfortable - some of the most comfortable shoes on the market right now. They don't have the flash or speed their name implies, but they are undoubtedly one of our favorite shoes for short trots around the block. Their responsive midsole and flexible outsole work together to cushion impact and return energy so your strides are clean, smooth, and powerful. It also offers quite a bit of stability, using a few control features in the midsole and heel to keep your strides efficient and controlled. Those looking for comfortable, stable shoes will get a lot out of these comfy kicks.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

To deliver the best advice we could, we put the Adidas Supernovas through hell and researched them to pieces. We broke them down across 6 measures to get a solid picture of their performance and then compared them to other top models to see where they excel and where they lag. Read on to see if they're a good fit for you.

Performance Comparison



Responsiveness


They had among the best responsiveness of any model we tested. Their plush midsoles get their excellent cushion and bounceback by using boost™ capsules, which are made of an expanded granular a TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) material. The TPU makeup is a bit of an improvement over many of the midsoles made up of EVA and other less responsive materials. They also use a few stability features to add a bit of pop. They placed their Torsion System in the sole to improve midfoot support without sacrificing flexibility. In the heel they use their FitCounter to increase stability and support for the ankle and Achilles tendon.

The Adidas Supernovas are among the most responsive kicks out there  owing largely to their TPU boostâ„¢ capsule midsole.
The Adidas Supernovas are among the most responsive kicks out there, owing largely to their TPU boostâ„¢ capsule midsole.

If that's simply not enough responsiveness for you, we suggest looking at the HOKA ONE ONE Elevon, our Top Pick for Stability, which use a thicker sole and internal stability structures to kick out even more energy. If that's too much bulk for you, try the speedy On Cloud X, our Editor's Choice or the more traditional Under Armour Charged Bandit 3, our Best Bang for the Buck winner.

Landing Comfort


It's no surprise that these were among the most comfortable landers in our lineup. The heel stack is about 27mm, largely made up of boost™ capsules in the midsole. The proprietary capsules that make up the midsole are TPU (granular thermoplastic polyurethane), giving them a pillowy landing with a bit of kickback. That combination of pillow and pop made them really easy on the knees and feet when we were out pounding the pavement. They were also really forgiving with the larger stones and sticks that occasionally popped up on the road. They're helped along by the tough, but flexible Continental Stretchweb rubber outsole that protects without inhibiting the landing and toe-off.

The Supernovas' fat stack and wide base make them awesome for heavy steppers and those looking for a pillowy landing.
The Supernovas' fat stack and wide base make them awesome for heavy steppers and those looking for a pillowy landing.
As great as they are, there were a few others that do just slightly better in this measure. Runners looking for a speedy plush shoe will get a lot out of the Nike Pegasus 35, whose thick stack provides all the comfort and cushion a runner could need. The Editor's Choice On Cloud X also deliver superior landing, but are closer to a racing flat with less cushioning, but a more natural landing. The Lightweight Racing Flat winner, the Brooks Pureflow 7 use a plush midsole and a thick stack to achieve optimum balance between lightweight racing flat and cushion and they're also top scorers for this measure and worth your time.

Weight


At 24 oz. a pair in men's 11, these aren't especially heavy, but they're among the heaviest in our lineup, alongside bulky models like the Brooks Glycerin 16 and HOKA ONE ONE Elevon. You'll recognize that there's tradeoff happening here, where heavier shoes offer a lot more comfort with added in padding and cushion. If you don't mind a heavy shoe, these are great. If you like the comfort, but want something smaller on your foot, we suggest looking a the Top Pick for Lightweight Racing Flat Brooks PureFlow 7, which comes in at just 20.1 oz. a pair, but has top marks across comfort measures.

Durability


The Supernovas should last at least a good season or two. Overall, its threading and mesh are thick and strong enough to last quite a while. We couldn't find any serious degradation of the upper from either our testing or user reports, but it has other design issues that might limit that longevity, especially for foot-scuffers and those that get a lot of miles in a season.

The Supernova has a solid upper  but its thin Stretchweb midsole leaves the midsole exposed  wears down a bit quickly  and can detach from the the rest of sole within a season or two.
The Supernova has a solid upper, but its thin Stretchweb midsole leaves the midsole exposed, wears down a bit quickly, and can detach from the the rest of sole within a season or two.
The Continental rubber outsole does a fine job of protecting the cushy TPU midsole, but the Stretchweb design that improves flexibility includes open holes that not only expose the midsole, but create vulnerable peel spots where the outsole and be picked, pulled, and grabbed by road debris, eventually separating it from the shoe. It's also noteworthy that the outsole is a few mm thick, so it wears down like crazy, hence the warning about scuffers.

Upper Comfort


As we noted under the weight section, these are on the heavier side, but they make up for it with a lot of padding in the upper, paying serious dividends in comfort. To achieve their excellent comfort, they use all of our favorite tricks: smooth sockliner, smooth mesh across the forefoot and toes, natural-feeling sole insert, and cushy padding along the collar and in the tongue. It's hard to argue with that equation.

The Supernovas use extra padding in the tongue and collar and a smooth sockliner to achieve their excellent upper comfort.
The Supernovas use extra padding in the tongue and collar and a smooth sockliner to achieve their excellent upper comfort.

All of the other top scorers in this measure used the same equation to varying degrees. The standout in comfort here is the Brooks Glycerin 16. Again, it follows the same design of extra padding, smooth sockliner, and the rest, but it does each just a bit better than other contenders. If your aim is to have silkiest, smoothest, cushiest upper out there, take a look at the Glycerin 16s.

Breathability


Larger padded shoes like the Supernovas tend to retain more heat and moisture than lighter, less padded shoes. They're a bit warmer in the summer and tend to hold more sweat (and water from rain and puddles) than stripped-down models like the On Cloud X, which was a top scorer for this measure. If you want to retain the cushion and padding, but need something more breathable, the PureFlow 7 also had a top score here. It has a super thin mesh upper, but retains a good deal of padding in the collar and tongue.

Their mesh upper allows a good deal of breathability  but the thick padding can retain more moisture than is ideal.
Their mesh upper allows a good deal of breathability, but the thick padding can retain more moisture than is ideal.

Best Applications


They're versatile enough to serve just about any runner on most types of standard terrain, but they're best suited to heavy trotting along roads and paved trails.

Value


The Supernovas come with a premium. $150 is a lot to ask for a shoe, but runners in need of huge amounts of padding and cushion might find the premium to be well worth it.

Conclusion


These kicks were tough to review because they had great overall scores and were so close to winning an award, barely losing out to other top sneakers. It gave the Top Pick for Stability HOKA Elevon a real run for its money, coming up just barely short on responsiveness and breathability. We suspect there will still be quite a few runners that will prefer the Adidas' price and more traditional style to HOKA's maximalist revolution. They slay in comfort, will last a while, aren't super heavy, and have a bit of pop. We suggest trying them out if you're a traditional kind of guy and just want something to trot around in without crushing your soles.

No  they're not lightweight racing flats  but the Adidas Supernovas are really darn comfortable and will make any runner happily stay out on the road just a little longer.
No, they're not lightweight racing flats, but the Adidas Supernovas are really darn comfortable and will make any runner happily stay out on the road just a little longer.


Ryan Baham