The Adidas Solarglide 5 will make short and medium-length training runs just a little more lively thanks to its rigid plastic plate. It's also super comfortable thanks to its ample midsole padding and roomy toebox, though heel strikers might find that its rubber outsole just isn't thick or durable enough.
Responsive, springy plastic plate
Well cushioned midsole
Uses recycled materials
Laces too short for heel lock
Lots of exposed foam
Signs of early wear on outsole
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Adidas Solarglide 5: first impressions
The Adidas Solarglide 5 (review sample provided by SportsShoes.com) is an everyday road running shoe that makes your regular training runs just a little bit more fun. That's largely down to the rigid plastic plate that runs from the midfoot to the heel, which Adidas claims provides extra stability and improved energy return. It's certainly noticeable on the road, putting an extra spring in your step that's particularly noticeable on hills as you rise up onto your forefoot.
• List price: $130 / £120
• Weight (average men's): 11.8oz / 335g
• Colors: black, black/white, green, gray, and more
• Drop: 10mm
• Best for: everyday road running
It's certainly not the most padded shoe we've tested in recent months (that would be the marshmallowy Hoka Bondi 8), but there's still ample Boost cushioning surrounding the stiff piece of plastic. The midsole has an outsized profile, which helps provide stability.
The outsole is furnished with Continental rubber for traction. There's quite a lot of foam visible, and this does stain, but that's not a major concern.
The upper (made from 50% Parley Ocean Plastic 50% recycled polyester) feels reassuringly robust, and has a little extra reinforcement on the toe to protect the fabric from scuffs.
The laces are flat, with minimal stretch, which allows you to get a good, tight fit if that's your preference. However, I found they weren't long enough to create a heel lock, which is unusual for modern road shoes.
The tongue isn't gusseted, but is wide enough to prevent ingress of grit and dirt on grimy roads and (during my tests) wet canal paths. It's quite thickly padded at the top to protect your metatarsals, but the lower section has no padding at all to cut down on weight. There's plenty of padding in the collar, which sits nice and high at the back to prevent rubbing
At the time of writing the shoe is discounted to £82 in the UK, making it much more affordable than most carbon or nylon plate running shoes. It certainly doesn't feel like a budget option either thanks to its well thought out design.
Adidas Solarglide 5: on the road
The Solarglide 5 gives your everyday training runs just a little bit of extra pep. It's not light enough to be considered a race shoe, and the relatively thin rubber outsole means I wouldn't recommend it for your longest sessions (more on that shortly) but for midweek jaunts it's excellent.
I found it one of the most comfortable road shoes I've tested this year, which was partly due to its width. Although the Solarglide 5 is described as a standard fit, the toe box is definitely a little wider than average, giving your feet plenty of room to spread, even in warm weather.
The effect of the LEP 2.0 sole insert is also noticeable. Although it doesn't feel as springy and fun as a full nylon plate, it make the ride a little livelier. There's plenty of flex in the shoe's toe, so if you don't live the rigidity of a full-length plate, this could be a good halfway house. The shoe feels reassuringly stable throughout,
After lots of long miles, there's no visible wear to the upper, which is reassuring. Durability is always a concern when it comes to materials made using recycled plastics, which typically have a shorter lifespan than virgin nylon.
However, some of the tread pattern has already worn away on the rubber outsole, which leads me to believe this might not be the best shoe for heavy heel-strikers (of which I am one), particularly considering the amount of exposed foam.
Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.