Tried & Tested: Adidas Supernova Rise Review

Tried & tested: adidas Supernova Rise

Adidas’ Supernova Rise proclaims itself to be the comfiest running shoe money can buy. To see if any shoe can live up to such a superlative claim, we put it to the test

WHETHER YOU’RE A seasoned marathoner or just getting started, there are few runners who wouldn’t stand to benefit from a comfier shoe. That’s because comfort doesn’t lose any value the more experienced you get. No matter what stage you’re at in your running journey, getting into a comfier shoe can have a tangible impact on performance – and logically, the frequency of your runs.

Comfort is at the top of most runners’ minds when purchasing a new pair – and no, we’re not just making that up. An adidas-commissioned global study recently found that uncomfortable shoes topped the list of runners’ biggest pain points. That’s why earlier this year adidas revamped its Supernova lineup, with a focus on improving comfort.

The new adidas Supernova lineup features three silhouettes: Stride, Solution and Rise. These names are more vague than descriptive, so allow us to provide a brief explanation. The three models are all designed to be daily trainers, but the Stride offers the most speed, the Solution the most stability, and the Rise the most comfort – although all three were designed for enhanced comfort, the Rise just has the most.

While I didn’t participate in adidas’ study, I wouldn’t argue with its findings. Responsiveness, speed and weight reduction have become the focal points of many a brand’s daily trainer line. But what they seem to have forgotten is that if a shoe is to truly become the workhorse of anyone’s rotation, comfort is absolutely necessary. This, along with some nagging knee pain I’ve been dealing with thanks to some of the aforementioned non-comfort-focused shoes, positioned the Supernova Rise high on my wish list. But does it deliver on its promises?

The look

The adidas Supernova Rise comes in five colourways, but they all play it fairly safe – at least compared to most shoes nowadays. The plainest variety is all black, another adds a touch of white, and even the most out-there of the palettes only use sparks of green or orange but maintain primary bases of white, black and navy blue while sticking to three or less colours total.

The lack of boldness amongst the colourways is one of my biggest knocks against the Supernova Rise. Many have bemoaned the running industry’s transition into flashier colour schemes and attention-grabbing highlights, but I for one like my running shoes to be loud and lurid, which the Supernova Rises aren’t. Not everyone feels that way though. Subtlety and muted tones are much more popular and much more marketable – you need only to glance at adidas’ sales numbers for proof of that.

Adidas Supernova Rise

The specs

On the surface, the adidas Supernova Rise looks like any regular daily trainer, but under the hood are a series of advancements in design that give it the right to call itself the most comfortable shoe on the market. Like the other two models in the revamped Supernova lineup, the Supernova Rise features adidas’ re-engineered super foam, Dreamstrike+. Not just any old foam, the new midsole foam is made super by striking the ideal balance between support and comfort.

The Rise’s sole is also filled with an intricate system of support rods which are bottom loaded to ensure neutral support – meaning it has more support in the heel than the forefoot and an upper that conforms to your foot shape. Topping off the ultra-comfortable design is a heel fit that combines softly supportive cushioned foam with a gentle textile feel to make your heel feel like it’s resting its head at the end of long day.

Now for the numbers, the Supernova Rise weighs in at 277 grams, which is nearly unbelievable considering its solid frame and surplus comfort enablers. The shoe has a 10mm heel-to-toe drop, which is on the higher end but seems like its becoming the new normal as we continue to move away from the minimalism and barefoot feel that was popular around 15 years ago.

The test

As a daily trainer, the Supernova Rise should be able to handle anything I throw at it – be it a dry paved road or appallingly damp conditions on a debris-laden trail. Due to some unavoidable circumstances involving poor weather, my test of the Supernova Rise took place on something more similar to the latter, in what was essentially a baptism of fire that almost made me feel sorry for my shoes.

The site of my Supernova Rise test was an area in New South Wales’ Great Lakes region on the state’s midcoast. As anyone familiar with the area will doubtlessly know, calling it leafy would be an understatement. Towering trees surround the region’s roads – which are seldom flat and always winding. A seemingly relentless lashing of rain and wind to begin the East coast’s winter also meant that my path was slippery and littered with obstacles. Apologies to my Supernova Rises, which, if they were sentient, probably would’ve felt like a weary warhorse being led into battle.

You might be wondering if running in these conditions was really necessary, but when you’ve got a new pair of super comfy shoes to try out, it’s hard to resist. Still, I was immediately apprehensive, but my doubts were quickly smothered after lacing up the Supernova Rises for the first time.

Review enough running shoes and you come to expect some recurring issues that come part and parcel with a new shoe, including but not limited to: unfamiliar fits, stiff frames and inevitable blisters. With the Supernova Rise, none of those problems presented themselves. Instead, my feet were immediately enveloped in a sense of near-divine comfort. Clearly, adidas was serious about addressing the need for comfier shoes – a fact I became more certain of with every stride, as the Supernova Rises continued to hug my feet like pillows with cushioning that softened every impact.

Adidas Supernova Rise

On the downside, the shoes did struggle to master the conditions. The Supernova Rise uses a rubber ADIWEAR outsole that is made with weight reduction in mind. It’s certainly lightweight, but it also had trouble gaining traction on slippery surfaces. Then again, the conditions were about as abysmal as possible. I repeat, sorry Supernovas.

While the Supernova Rise’s extensive comfort features don’t exactly imply a great deal of pace or responsiveness, the shoes offer plenty of speed. There’s no carbon plate, rocker profile, or excessive bounce to promote this, but the Supernova Rise still felt as if it wanted to move fast – which is more than could be said for me as the downpour showed no signs of letting up.

All in all, the Supernova Rise impressed me. The test did not result in a personal best, but it did leave me eager to come back for more. That’s saying something considering the woeful conditions, but such is the level of comfort offered by the Supernova Rise that it feels as if you could slog out any number of kilometres in any environment without any bodily or muscular complaints.

The verdict

adidas has built enough trust among consumers to render any goodwill generated by my opinions rather redundant. There’s a reason it’s one of the bestselling brands in the world. That being said, shoes like the Supernova Rise prove that adidas isn’t simply resting on its laurels. Everyone wants their shoes to be as fast, bouncy and flashy as possible these days, but when it comes to daily trainers, we can’t forget the most important factor: comfort. If you’re searching for a do-it-all shoe to log most of your kilometres in, comfort should take priority – and the Supernova Rise has it in spades. Plus, generously priced at $220, it’s hard to argue against a bargain.

For more information on the adidas Supernova Rise, click here.

Adidas Supernova Rise


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By Cayle Reid

Cayle Reid is a fan of everything sports and fitness. He spends his free time at the gym, on his surfboard or staying up late watching sports in incompatible time zones.

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