Adidas had been flirting with the idea of entering the snowboard market for a number of years (especially after its archnemesis Nike did — though they have since left) and it finally broke in during the 2013/2014 season. Now, with a few seasons under its belt, Adidas has refined its line of boots to be one of the best performing on the market, with the Energy Boost leading the pack. This is the only boot in the line to get the Boost treatment, Adidas’s proprietary foam that can be found mainly in its running line (and some of its fashion-forward offerings). The reason, Adidas says, for using the foam in the Energy Boost snowboard boots, is better shock absorption and better energy transfer from heel to toe when turning. After putting the Energy Boost through its paces in all manner of snow conditions, I found that declaration to be exactly right.
When first sliding into the Energy Boosts, they feel squishy and they fit snugly. It is a somewhat odd feeling in a snowboard boot, because the Boost foam is very soft. It’s comparable to wearing Hokas for the first time. The molded ankle in the boot liner can feel uncomfortable if it doesn’t fit just right, so if you are headed out on a trip, I suggest wearing them around the house as much as possible before you leave. They break in quickly, and the liner will mold to the natural contours of your foot, but they do take some work. The heat-moldable liner can also aid in this process, though I didn’t find it necessary.
Adidas Energy Boost
Lace System: Quick-Lace
Test Location: Park City Mountain Resort, Copper Mountain
The quick-lace system offers a nice middle ground between Boa and traditional lace, and it allows for dual-zone tightening and easy adjustments on the fly (which can be crucial if you like to fiddle with your boots, as I do). It can be difficult for some riders to lock their ankle into place, especially because the boots fit snugly at first, but after ample break in time, the boot will mold to your foot. Also, the cuff of the boot comes up fairly high on the calf, which provides ample leverage when carving.
While the boot fit is certainly important, the more important question is, are they worth the extra $125 over the Adidas Blauvelt boots that come with Adiprene rubber instead of Boost? The answer, quite frankly, is yes — it’s worth the Benjamin-plus. I had reservations about how the Boost foam would translate to a snowboard boot, questioning whether I would have to fight through the cushioning before registering input in the bindings and board. But the performance of the boots quickly dashed any concerns. The rebound associated with the Boost foam made transitioning from toe-side to heel-side turns a breeze, and overall, turn initiation felt snappy and lively.
In the park, the Boost Energy boots performed well. They provided good board feel on rails, enough support on jumps and ample cushioning for the occasional (and unfortunate) flat landing. They are slightly soft for what I prefer my boot flex to be on larger jumps, but they handle small- and medium-sized jumps well.
At $500, the Energy Boost isn’t cheap. But, if you compare it to boots at a similar price point, namely Burton’s Ion, you are getting more comfort and performance out of the Boost platform versus Burton’s ReBounce cushioning and EST-optimized sole. If you are a rider who takes on the groomers and side country most days, but also likes to dabble in the park, the Energy Boost is for you. It offers performance in a wide range of snow conditions and, perhaps most importantly, it’s comfortable from first chair to last call.