4 Reasons Why Adidas NMD Is Not Good For Running

The Adidas NMD R1 is a casual sneaker that combines modern-day comfort, thanks to its super thick Boost midsoles, with retro running shoe aesthetics. However, is it good for running?

While the Adidas NMD is okay for light workouts and jogging, it is not good for high-performance running. The substantial midsole is unstable and the thin upper does not provide “foot security”. Additionally, the outsole does not provide the best grip.

It is best worn as daily trainers or casual lifestyle sneakers.

If you’re still not convinced, read more below as we dive deeper into the Adidas NMD. We break down each component of the shoe to decide whether it is good enough for running or not.

4 Reasons Why Adidas NMD Is Not Good For Running

The term “NMD” is a shortened version of the word “Nomad”. Basically, this shoe is intended for the urban nomad. Someone who is always on the go, who needs not only comfortable footwear for the journey but the person who wants to stand out stylishly too.

That being said, the Adidas NMD is best worn as casual sneakers, not for rigorous outdoor activities. Here are 4 reasons why you should not wear the Adidas NMD shoes for running:

1. The substantial Boost midsole is too unstable

The NMD R1 is known for having one of the tallest midsoles out of all the Adidas shoes. This is due to the Boost midsole and cushioning technology found in most Adidas sneakers.

For those who don’t know, Boost is a trademarked polymer used by Adidas. It is basically a group of pellets (made of thermoplastic urethane) that are compressed together and used on various shoe models including the Ultraboost, Energy Boost, and NMD lines of sneakers.

Unlike several Nike shoes that are equipped with Air Unit bubbles as the midsole, the Boost cushioning isn’t going to flatten and lose its bounciness after a couple of wears. 

However, the Boost on the Adidas NMD is not as stable as the ones found on the Adidas Ultraboost. As a result, the shoe is not comfortable for running because it feels clunky.

It is responsive for walking, but the Boost midsole on the NMD won’t provide you with the shock absorption needed to endure the harsh, rugged terrain of high-performance running.

The midsole of Adidas NMD is also too thick to be effective running shoes.

According to a study published in Scientific Reports, running in thick shoes may increase leg stiffness and lead to greater impact loading when your foot hits the pavement.

To summarize, wearing thick athletic sneakers, like the Adidas NMD, is okay for casual walking and light workouts. However, it is not capable of meeting the demands of running.

2. The sock-like fit is breathable, but not secure enough

Adidas NMD athletic sneakers are designed with a sock-like fit for comfort. It is made of 50% textile, and 75% of the textile is made of Primeblue yarn (recycled material).

The stretchy sock-like upper of the Adidas NMD is easy to slip on and is constructed in one piece for a flawless fit. Because of this, the shoe is supremely lightweight and breathable.

Unfortunately, the thin upper material is not the best for running. It does not provide enough ankle stability and foot security. Your foot may slide around the sneaker while running. The thin upper also does not hold up well to abrasions. 

A high-performance running shoe should be able to secure your foot inside. This prevents friction and stops the formation of blisters while optimizing your stride for better force.

Reviewers also noted that despite the inclusion of laces, they weren’t great for tightening the shoe, which is why the sizing is very important to get the most out of the Adidas NMD.

3. The outsole is not optimal for high-performance running

The outsole is the bottom surface that is in touch with the ground. Its job is to be durable because we pack on the miles during running and have to make the shoe last.

Unfortunately, the softer rubber on the outsole of the Adidas NMD will tend to have better traction on damper surfaces, but be less durable than its harder equivalents.

The sole of the Adidas NMD is well-cushioned but will wear down quickly during running.

Think of it this way: A regular car tire would not last one lap on the racing track. If you want to race, you better equip your car with a set of racing tires that do not wear out quickly.

The same thing goes with the Adidas NMD.

You can wear the shoe for indoor light workouts and day-to-day walking, but the outsole will wear out quickly if you wear the shoe for high-performance running outdoors.

4. The outsole does not provide the best grip

Lastly, the Adidas NMD’s outsole does not provide the best grip.

The outsoles for the typical road running shoe are specifically designed for hard surfaces such as pavement. You’ll find they have a fairly even, low-profile tread pattern.

On the other hand, a trail running shoe will have deeper, more aggressive lugs. The deeper the tread, the better it will perform in slippery conditions during outdoor trail running.

Unfortunately, the Adidas NMD outsole does neither. If you take a closer look at the bottom of the shoe, you will notice several hexagonal shapes. This does nothing to provide grip.

Once the tread pattern wears out, you will have a hard time standing on both feet. 


Now you know why you should not wear the Adidas NMD for running. The midsole is too unstable for running and the thin upper does not protect your foot against abrasions.

Lastly, the outsole does not provide the best grip and will wear out quickly if you wear the shoes outdoors. If you are serious about running, do yourself a favor and get appropriate running shoes.

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