Adidas Alphabounce vs. Alphaboost Shoes Comparison

Two Alphas (literally) from Adidas collide in this edition of the battle of running shoes.

One features the explosive Bounce foam midsole, while the other comes equipped with the durable Boost foam midsole. Let’s compare Alphabounce and Alphaboost.

So, what is the difference between Adidas Alphabounce vs. Alphaboost?

While both the Adidas Alphabounce and Alphaboost have mesh uppers with sock-like construction, the Alphabounce is more springy and explosive. Alphaboost, on the other hand, is better for shock absorption and is more durable because the foam is denser.

That said, there is more to this comparison than just the midsoles alone. In this post, we will compare the Adidas Alphabounce vs. Alphaboost to find out which one is better.

Adidas Alphabounce vs. Alphaboost Comparison

Adidas Alphabounce (buy on Amazon)

  • Flexible BOUNCE foam midsole
  • Regular rubber outsole
  • Weight: 10.5 oz. (297 grams)
  • 10 mm drop

Adidas Alphaboost (buy on Amazon)

  • Durable BOOST foam midsole
  • Continental™ Rubber outsole
  • Weight: 10 oz. (283 grams)
  • 10 mm drop

1. Upper Comparison

In all honesty, there are very few differences between the upper of Alphabounce and Alphaboost.

They are made with the same materials, adopt a similar look, and are both true to size. However, I will do my best to examine any differences that might come up.

Adidas Alphabounce Upper

Let’s start with the upper part of the Alphabounce first.

The upper is made of a Forged Mesh, which is designed to stretch and pull, conforming to the shape of your foot. In other words, the upper provides natural movement and flexibility. 

But how did Adidas manage to do this?

Take a closer look at the side of the shoe, and you will notice vertical lines which look like shark gills. Not only do these “gills” allow the shoe to flex without rubbing, but they promote excellent breathability as well. As a result, my feet were cool all day thanks to the mesh.

The Alphabounce is made of forged mesh, which is very breathable and flexible.

The overall build of the shoe is also quite tall. In fact, the Alphabounce looked like a basketball shoe to me when I first saw it. This provides a snug fit even without lacing it. 

Speaking of snug, I like the sock-like comfort the Alphabounce provides because it allows me to slip into the shoes without lacing them. I personally like to slip into my shoes without tying them when I walk casually, so this is something that I find very convenient.

In terms of style, I find the Alphabounce to be very sleek and modern. Sure, there are colorways that are bright and vibrant, but there are plenty of neutral colors to choose from. I personally like grey and white, which provides a subtle, clean, and minimal aesthetics.

The Adidas logo is only seen on the heel area of the shoe, which is not too big, but still visible for everyone to see. Below the logo, you will find a small “ALPHABOUNCE” text which adds a nice regal touch, without adding too much to the shoe.

Overall, I’m really digging the upper part of the Alphabounce. I personally love the comfortable nature of the inner textile, which keeps my feet irritation-free. The modern silhouette and neutral colorway also make it an underrated shoe that you can wear all day.

Adidas Alphaboost Upper

Now let’s move on to the upper part of the Alphaboost.

Similar to the Alphabounce, the Alphaboost also has a tall build, which looks like a basketball shoe at first glance. For those of you familiar with basketball sneakers, the Adidas Alphaboost looks similar to the Adidas Harden Vol. 2, doesn’t it?

Material-wise, it features the same material found on the Alphabounce, which is Forged Mesh. It is a lightweight and breathable upper that offers support in all the right places. 

The Alphaboost also has the shark gill pattern, similar to the Alphabounce, which provides great flexibility in addition to its breathability. It’s easy to see why many people compare the two because of the multiple similarities when both shoes right out of the box.

The Alphaboost is also made of forged mesh. It’s very snug thanks to its sock-like construction.

Just like the upper part of the Alphabounce, the Alphaboost has a comfortable sock-like construction, which allows you to slip into the shoes easily because the tongue is a part of the upper. Even without lacing the shoe, it feels very snug and secure.

When I’m not running, I personally like to slip into my sneakers without lacing them.

The Alphaboost, thanks to its sock-like construction, is able to secure my feet very well, even with the laces untied. Of course, I will tie my shoes when I’m running, but I like the fact that I’m able to walk casually in the Alphaboost without much care for the laces.

Another aspect of the Alphaboost that appeals to me is the subtle branding of the shoe. With Alphaboost’s design, less is more. In fact, it’s very simple and clean.

Unlike the Alphabounce, the logo found on the Alphaboost is camouflaged into the shoe.

It’s located on the heel area, adopting the same color theme as the upper. Personally, I think that this is brilliant because it offers a clean and minimalistic look.

On the tongue, you will find a simple, three-stripe branding. It’s subtle, but the placement of the three stripes complements the modern look of the shoe very well. Every single detail is perfectly placed, which combines to add a contemporary flair to the overall design.

So no matter which colorway you go for, the design of the Alphaboost’s upper part is both stunning and beautiful, finished in a way that is not over the top. In fact, I find it very versatile because the shoe goes well with anything. You can wear it for training or casually.

Verdict on Uppers

Based on the materials, comfort, and design, both shoes are pretty much identical, so it’s very hard to choose one. Sure there are subtle design differences, but both the Alphabounce and Alphaboost are made with the same Forged Mesh material.

However, if I really have to choose one, I would choose the Alphaboost over the Alphabounce because it looks more minimalistic. This is just my personal opinion and is based on how I feel about the design of both shoes. Again, both shoes look amazing.

As far as shoe design, I’ll let you decide on which one you like better.

2. Sole Unit Comparison

While the upper of the Alphabounce and Alphaboost are similar, there are plenty of differences between the sole units. Think of it as the same car, but with different engines.

We are going to compare two of the most popular midsole shoe foams out there, the Adidas Bounce vs. Boost foam. And while both of these midsole shoe foams are well-engineered, they both have different performance traits that suit different athletes.

Adidas Alphabounce Sole Unit

Let’s start with the Bounce midsole first.

Bounce foam midsoles are actually made of EVA, short for Ethylene Vinyl Acetate. If that sounds familiar to you, it’s because a lot of shoes are made with EVA midsoles.

They are very moldable. In fact, when you press down on the material hard enough, you can make dimples and ridges on it — that’s how moldable EVA is.

When Adidas was designing the Bounce midsole, they found out where the most stress and strain was on the human foot and injected more elastic particles into the EVA.

The Bounce foam midsole gives you more “bounce” and explosiveness, especially brand new out of the box.

This does two things. One, this provides the midsole with a nice fit for the human foot, and two, provides the shoe with more “bounce” and elasticity. In other words, a Bounce foam midsole gives you more explosiveness and more “pop” off your first step.

And so from that, not only do you get a lighter midsole foam, like EVA, but you also get something more elastic than the Boost foam. But you need to keep in mind that the Bounce foam is made of EVA, so it’s going to bottom out and not be as durable as Boost.

That being said, if both shoes are brand new out of the box, the Bounce foam is going to perform much better than the Boost foam in terms of pure, raw athletic performance.

Because of the elastic nature of the EVA foam, you can get more explosiveness and get a little bit more speed off your first step with the Bounce. In short, you get more “bounce”.

This translates to different types of sports, since the Bounce and Boost foam midsoles are available for basketball, tennis, and running. But in my experience with both the Alphabounce and Alphaboost, the Bounce foam provides more speed than the Boost.

Overall, I find that the Alphabounce provides good stability, but it excels in providing the wearer with a comfortable sense of “bounciness” which is very pleasant on my feet. This makes the Alphabounce easy to wear all day, whether for walking, running, or training.

In fact, some wearers said that they love the Alphabounce because it feels like walking on clouds. Hopefully, Adidas would make this entire line consistently due to its popularity.

The outsole of Alphabounce does not have the best traction. It’s made of regular rubber.

However, as you can see in the picture above, the outsole is made of average rubber, not Continental™ Rubber. The outsole traction is mediocre at best and can be improved. I think that they are not performance-oriented and may not be suitable for wet surfaces.

Adidas Alphaboost Sole Unit

Now let’s move on to the BOOST foam.

Boost foam is actually expanded thermoplastic polyurethane or eTPU for short. In simpler terms, they are expanded bubbles of plastic, since eTPU is actually plastic-based foam. 

What these “bubbles” do is they expand and are injected with air, so you’re actually walking or running around in these airpods. Adidas claims that BOOST midsole foam gives you better energy absorption, better energy return, and better temperature stabilization.

The Boost foam midsole distributes weight evenly and is much more durable than the Bounce foam midsole.

In reality, they are excellent for energy absorption since they disperse energy and weight equally. When you press down on the foam, they SLOWLY expand back up again, which is ideal for absorbing impact upon landing and protecting your foot from stress.

In fact, I find the Boost midsole to maintain its integrity very well. It can even make you look taller because the midsole is relatively thick and does not give up easily.

Because of its superior energy distribution, the Boost midsole is much more suitable for heavier athletes and runners. It disperses weight and energy evenly so it will help prevent injuries and stress fractures since it does not bounce back as quickly as the Bounce midsole.

However, not the same could be said about energy return in my opinion.

Since the Boost foam expands slowly after you press down on it, those air bubbles can’t expand fast enough to give you a boost of explosiveness and quick first step, unlike the Bounce foam.

But what it lacks in bounciness, it more than makes up for it in durability. Boost foam is made of more durable plastic, while Bounce foam is made of less durable EVA, which means that the Boost foam is going to last longer and not bottom out as quickly as Bounce foam.

Last but not least, the Alphaboost has a superior outsole than the Alphabounce.

Thanks to the Continental™ Rubber outsole, the Alphaboost provides amazing grip and traction.

The Adidas Alphaboost has a Continental™ Rubber outsole for extraordinary traction in wet and dry conditions. While it is more expensive than the Alphabounce, the Alphaboost is able to grip surfaces very well and will not wear out as quickly as most rubber outsoles do.

Verdict on Sole Unit

Bounce and Boost midsoles serve two different purposes. The Bounce adds more elasticity and explosiveness, while the Boost disperses weight and energy equally. Personally, I like the Alphaboost more due to better traction, thanks to the Continental™ Rubber outsole.

That being said, here’s what you should look for depending on your needs:

If you want more speed, especially for race day, the Alphabounce is perfect for you because it adds more explosiveness to each step, increases the amount of bounce, and makes you faster on your feet, especially when the shoe is brand new out of the box.

However, if you’re looking for a running shoe to prevent chronic repetitive injuries, the Alphaboost is perfect for you because it provides better shock absorption and helps you disperse your body weight more evenly. It’s much more durable too.

You may also want to read:

Final Verdict

WINNER: Adidas Alphaboost

Adidas Alphabounce (buy on Amazon)

  • Flexible BOUNCE foam midsole
  • Regular rubber outsole
  • Weight: 10.5 oz. (297 grams)
  • 10 mm drop

Adidas Alphaboost (buy on Amazon)

  • Durable BOOST foam midsole
  • Continental™ Rubber outsole
  • Weight: 10 oz. (283 grams)
  • 10 mm drop

This is a tight contest, with very little to separate the two. However, I will give the win to the Adidas Alphaboost because of its superior durability. The Continental™ Rubber outsole provides extraordinary traction in wet and dry conditions, which will not wear out quickly.

And there you have it, the Adidas Alphabounce vs. Alphaboost comparison.

I hope that my honest comparison of both amazing Adidas running shoes can help you choose your next pair of running shoes. Both shoes have different purposes. The Alphabounce is bouncier and more explosive, while the Alphaboost is more durable.

Reviewed by: Jason T.