adidas’ new top of the line spikeless golf shoes, both in terms of price ($230 MSRP) and performance, is the adipower Boost Boa. adidas touts the use of new technology, including Boost foam cushioning (visible in the heel of the shoe), gripmore “spikes” for traction and our favorite new gadget, the Boa closure system (essentially a replacement for shoelaces).
We’ll delve into the technology in greater detail below, but note that the Boa closure system is not only a fun toy, but also an extremely useful advancement to enhance comfort and performance on the course.
The adipower Boost Boa is waterproof on the outside and extremely comfortable on the inside. The $230 MSRP isn’t chump change, but if you’re looking for a pair of golf shoes that will make a difference in how tired your feet are at the end of the round and might actually save you a stroke or two by providing you with better balance, it could be money well spent.
The adipower Boost Boa is available in white (with silver trim, including the trademark adidas stripes) or black (with gray trim). The uppers are made of leather and the styling is conventional other than the heels, which frame and accentuate the pebbled Boost foam. We’d probably prefer that the toes were a little less pointed, but that’s purely an aesthetic opinion – the shape did not adversely impact comfort. The design is upscale enough to wear the shoes with long pants, and indeed the adipower Boost BOA may be slightly better suited for that use case (although we wore them with shorts and didn’t notice any disapproving stares).
We didn’t encounter direct rain during our test rounds, but played on some soggy courses, and the shoes held up as waterproof. Adidas backs this up with a two-year waterproof warranty. Mud wiped off of the white leather uppers of our test pair with ease, but the straps used as part of the Boa closure system are cloth and are probably tougher to keep clean in the long run.
The adipower Boost Boa is only offered in one standard width, but strangely enough, the label on the exterior of the box indicates that the shoe is “Wide”. This was true of every box we saw at a large golf chain store and also the box for the pair that we ordered online (where we were careful to order a standard width pair). Maybe it’s just a printer’s error…
Let’s jump into the technology that is featured so prominently in the name of the shoe. Boost is a proprietary foam that, according to adidas, is “comprised of thousands of TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane) energy capsules fused together by way of a proprietary high pressure steam molding process.” As mentioned earlier, the foam is visible in the heel, both from the side and the bottom of the shoe. adidas claims that Boost foam retains a consistent shape as temperatures vary, unlike traditional ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) foam. We can’t validate that assertion, as our test rounds were in 60-70 degree weather, but we can tell you that the heels are nicely cushioned and felt supportive and responsive (as opposed to soft and gooey).
Traction is provided by a number of mini “gripmore” spikes of varying sizes positioned the length of the outsole, with additional pointed spikes at both the toe and heel, and what we can best describe as “tab-like” spikes at the perimeter of the forefoot. All of this combined to provide slip-free test rounds. The gripmore spikes did occasionally retain clumps of grass and dirt, so it’s worth taking a look down every once in a while to see if you need to stomp hard on the cart path to free things up.
But what made us really love the adipower Boa Boost was the closure system that replaces shoelaces. adidas licensed the closure system from Boa Technology, which first made its name replacing laces in snowboard and ski boots. A wire runs through the traditional eyelets on both sides of the shoe, through the tightening knob, and then connects on both sides to a strap that runs across the back of the heel/ankle. To tighten the shoe, you push down on the knob to engage the system and then turn it clockwise. Tightness is reduced by turning the knob counterclockwise for fine adjustments, or alternatively by just popping the knob up, which releases the wire entirely. By connecting to the strap across the back of the heel/ankle, the Boa closure system ensures a more uniform snugness, rather than just the tightness across the tongue that happens when you use traditional laces.
“Seriously?!? You want us to get excited about a replacement for shoelaces?” Yes, Dear Reader, we do. We really do! Balance is critical to a good golf swing, and we were shocked by how much keeping our shoes properly tightened helped stabilize our base. How many times have you felt like your shoes were a hair too tight, but were too lazy to bend down to re-lace them, particularly when you might just wind up going too far in the opposite direction? Or you wanted to tighten up your shoes just a bit to give you confidence in a particularly mighty swing? Problem solved – just turn the knob a couple of clicks (there are little ratchets that emit a sound) in either direction. We also note that our feet tend to heat up and expand a bit over the course of a round, and having a quick and easy way to slightly loosen the shoes can be a godsend.
At 1.8 pounds for the pair, the adipower Boa Boost isn’t the lightest fella around (it actually ties with two other shoes for the heaviest shoes we’ve tested). And the outsoles are less flexible than some of the lighter competitors that we’ve reviewed. But the shoes were comfortable right out of the box and did not require any break-in period.
Of course the catch is that with an MSRP of $230, the adidas adipower Boost Boa is the most expensive pair of spikeless golf shoes that we’ve tested. But if you can spare the cash, we highly recommend that you give them a try. The Boa closure system is just that cool.