In this showdown we will answer the question, which is better the Adidas Cloudfoam vs. Boost? After scouring the internet we found the Boost to be the better product, but it comes at a price.
I spent an entire day researching the difference between the Adidas Boost and Cloudfoam technologies and learned the ins and outs of both of these types of shoes. And since I started this article with my findings, let’s go through my comparison.
What Is Adidas Boost?
You probably already know what Adidas boost is if you found this page and this site. But in case you don’t, your secret is safe.
Boost is a trademarked polymer that Adidas uses in the midsoles of their shoes. This material is small balls or pellets of thermoplastic urethane (TPU). They basically act as small bubbles of foam. These air bubbles in the shoe both absorb energy and are designed to return energy with some bounce.
What does this mean for us? A comfortable material that springs and has a responsive cushioning.
What Is Adidas Cloudfoam?
How does one foam a cloud? The Cloudfoam sole is an ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) memory foam. EVA foam is a technology that has been used in sneakers since the 1970s and is considered to be the foundation of the modern sneaker.
The Cloudfoam is the low end of the Adidas line with this midsole EVA shoe foam. It is a soft foam that does a good job at molding to your foot providing a great fit.
The shoes that are made of Cloudfoam are designed for both comfort and arch support. The name Cloudfoam is meant to inspire the mental image of walking on a cloud all day.
Shoe Design and Materials
Adidas makes a great shoe. The shoe design of either the Boost or the Cloudfoam shoe is going to be fantastic. Both are engineered with foot comfort and responsiveness in mind.
The materials they are made from have different properties. The Cloudfoam sole is made from EVA as we discussed earlier. All major sneaker brands have shoes with an EVA sole. This is for a good reason. This material is flexible, light, and provides shock absorption.
The Boost material is a new technology that was introduced in 2013. Its designers created a sole that has tiny air bubbles all over the sole of the shoe. Creating tiny engineered air pockets that expand, contract, and provide some energy return.
Anatomy of the Sole: Insole, Midsole, and Outsole
Both the Boost and the Cloudform soles are designed with comfort in mind. They provide excellent support to the heel and the arch of the shoe and are designed for dispersion of energy on impact and energy return.
These shoes have similar insoles. Some shoes in the Boost line do not have insoles like the Adidas Pure Boost where they are fused with the midsole.
As a side note, do not be fooled by third party companies that claim to make Boost insoles. Adidas is the only company that can make Boost and the knock off insoles are not made from Boost TPU.
But when we are comparing the insole of these two shoes, there is not one that came out as the clear winner.
The midsole of the Boost shoe is where the TPU air bubbles provide a lot of the heavy lifting. They are designed for energy absorption and energy return. The boost design shines when it comes to energy absorption. This will help them be the more comfortable of the two especially for heavier people.
One criticism of this midsole is most boost shoes do not have enough boost in the sole to provide the initial energy return of a brand new EVA shoe. But they will retain their energy return longer since TPU is more durable.
The Cloudfoam shoe is the more traditional EVA midsole that right out of the box provides a light, reactive, and comfortable energy absorption and a spring like energy return feel to the shoe.
The criticism of this midsole is that over time the compressed EVA will lose its energy return faster than the Boost.
The outsole of the Boost is another area this material shines it has a great grip when walking, running, or playing sports. The TPU material is also energy absorbent and provides some energy return.
The Cloudfoam outsole is the also a great product. It is a lightweight energy absorption that provides more of a standard sneaker feel. It doesn’t have the same grip as the Boost, but is also less expensive.
Let’s Discuss Breathability and Overall Comfort
Breathability has less to do with the sole of the shoe and more with the material of the vamp or the upper of the shoe.
Both the Boost and Cloudfoam come with great options for breathable uppers. You want to look at the breathability of the upper for the specific shoe you have your eye on. But consider that the Boost, is the top of the line shoe for Adidas, so they tend to come with more advanced uppers.
The overall comfort of the Boost shoe is unmatched if you plan to use the shoe for walking, running, or high impact sports. The Boost has better energy absorption since it has hundreds or thousands of tiny air pockets all around the sole. They are also better for heavier people due to the way they disperse energy more uniformly.
The Cloudform is a very comfortable alternative and some athletes prefer the EVA style of sole due to the performance when the shoe is brand new. Some reviewers say it gives a little better “pop” than the Boost. If you are using the shoe for a sport like basketball, you may want to consider the step up from the Cloudform and choose the Bounce line of Adidas.
Does The Boost or Cloudform Weigh More?
When it comes to the weight of the material the Cloudfoam EVA material is a little lighter than the Boost material. So for an everyday sneaker a lot of people prefer the Cloudfoam.
As everything in life, it depends. If you are a lighter person you may find that you like the EVA material because it will give you enough cushion and find the shoe to be more responsive when new.
If you are a heavier person you may find the heavier Boost shoe to be the better of the two. This is because of the better energy return you will get and the better absorption due to the material.
Durability: AKA Will One Last Longer Than The Other?
The Boost is the clear winner when you think of what foam will last longer. The TPU material is a plastic that is more durable and will not lose it’s cushion as quickly.
If you are like me then price is one of the biggest considerations.
You will find the Boost line of shoes to be more expensive since the TPU material is more expensive than the EVA in the Cloudfoam. You are looking to spend about twice as much on a Boost shoe as a Cloudfoam. But you do have to remember the Boost will last you longer.
When Should You Use Boost and When Does Cloudform Make Sense
If you are a heavier person or athlete the Boost shoe is the way to go. It has better cushion, energy absorption, and return. It is also more durable.
If you need this shoe to last longer, then the Boost is the shoe. The TPU material is more durable and this means your shoe will feel like new longer.
If you are looking for a lighter shoe, it depends on shoe to shoe, but overall the Cloudfoam tends to be lighter since the EVA material is lighter than the TPU.
When considering price the Cloudfoam is the winner. The Cloudfoam line is about half the price of the Boost. But you may also want to think about the shoe’s life.
“Price is what you pay, value is what you get” -Warren Buffett
The Bottom Line
As I mentioned at the beginning of the article, I feel after reading all of the resources and reviews that the Boost is the better choice when it goes head to head against the Cloudfoam product line.
If you found this article informative, take a look at our article about how to size a running shoe.