If you’re looking for cushy midsole foam that offers both comfort and bounce, robust stability for overpronators, and a sustainable manufacturing process, you might just like the adidas Solarcontrol.
We tested this shoe out on several runs and came away pretty impressed. Let’s get into the details!
Pros and Cons
Overall, the pros seem to outweigh the cons on the adidas Solarcontrol.
- Offers strong support without being intrusive
- Reinforced upper adds to the stable structure of the shoe
- Thick layer of cushioning with a chunky stack height
- Linear Energy Push 2.0 plastic plate gives it some bounce
- Excellent coverage of grippy Continental rubber on the outsole
- Minimum of 50 percent recycled content in the upper
- On the heavier side, at close to 12 ounces for a regular-sized men’s shoe.
- Sizing is a bit big
Who Should Run in This Shoe?
The adidas Solarcontrol is designed for overpronators. If overpronate and you’re looking for a daily trainer, this could be the one. Runners who like max-cushioned shoes will also appreciate the 33 mm of foam in the heel and 23 mm in the forefoot.
It’s also ideal for runners who want a versatile shoe that looks just as good during a run as it does with jeans. Those who need extra grip on the road will also benefit from the superb rubber outsole.
Who Should Not Run in This Shoe?
Neutral runners and supinators might find this shoe to be somewhat stiff and uncomfortable. It’s also not ideal for overpronators who prefer less cushioned, more responsive shoe.
It’s also fairly heavy for a daily trainer – not great for speedwork. It also may not be the ideal choice for runners who live in a hot climate, the reinforced upper isn’t very breathable.
The upper has two interesting features that make it stand out. One, it’s made from at least 50 percent recycled materials, which is a great step by the brand to become more sustainable. If you care about the planet, this is a good choice!
You’ll find a robust ankle collar, which does a good job of holding your foot firm as you move but still remains comfortable. The heel cup is solid and goes a long way towards providing that stability, keeping your foot in a neutral position and preventing excess motion.
A plush, gusseted tongue is a handy feature that helps you get a good lockdown with the flat laces. The plushness of the collar and tongue add to the stable feeling of the shoe.
There’s also a large toe bumper and the classic adidas stripes down the side act as reinforcing overlays for even more stability. On the medial side of the upper, there’s another overlay that increases the structural stability.
For some, the thickness of the upper might reduce the breathability, but this is an individual experience. They come in a few different colorways, but nothing drastic.
In the midsole, a layer of adidas’ well-loved Boost foam gives you all the cushioning you need. It’s a pleasant feeling underfoot—not too soft, but not so rigid that it causes you pain.
The midsole is dual-density, with less compressibility in the medial side to give you that support underneath the overpronator’s arch. You can see the distinction in the visible sections of the midsole on either side, with the darker gray on the inner side of the shoe being the denser foam.
While the foam is comfortable and cushioned, there’s a plastic LEP plate—Linear Energy Push—which provides a really nice bit of spring in every step.
It’s not as effective as a carbon plate for speed, especially with such a heavy shoe. But it does serve as a kind of anti-rotation feature, which improves the stability of the shoe and offers a rocker-like effect for more effective heel-to-toe transitions.
There’s an impressive layer of Continental rubber across the outsole of the Solarcontrol. You can see sections of the Boost midsole foam in the gaps between the rubber, but it’s not likely to wear down to the point where the midsole is affected.
There are also two different densities of rubber on the outsole. On the medial side, you’ll notice that the rubber is a different color to the rest, which adds a little more support to the arch area for overpronators.
On the road, the Continental rubber does an excellent job of gripping to the surface, as well as helping you with a powerful push-off. It’s a thick enough layer that it should be a good few hundred miles before you wear it down to the point that it needs to be replaced.
We found it to run a bit big. Although we wouldn’t recommend sizing down. Just be prepared for some extra room.
The upper fit can be adjusted more specifically by taking advantage of the extra eyelet. Flat laces also help you to get a comfortable but effective lockdown on your foot, and the padded tongue eliminates lace bite in most cases.
The Solarcontrol features a 10 mm heel-to-toe drop, which is kind of in-between. The general standard is 12 mm, so if you’re moving down from that, it should be relatively easy to adjust to.
If you’re moving up from using a lower drop shoe, it could take a bit of time to get your legs used to a higher drop again.
The weight of this shoe is possibly its biggest disadvantage, although stability and motion control shoes are generally heavier than neutral shoes.
An average-sized men’s shoe weighs close to 12 ounces, which is significantly heavy in a world where running shoes keep getting lighter and lighter.
It goes without saying that despite the bounce-adding plate in the midsole, this shoe definitely isn’t for speedwork.
The Solarcontrol is expertly manufactured and robustly reinforced in multiple high-wear places. A serious layer of top-quality rubber on the outsole means you should be able to run for hundreds of miles before it wears down.
The upper is also reinforced, which means it’s less likely to wear through, especially in the toe box thanks to the chunky toe bumper.
All in all, this shoe should last you a good long time before needing to be replaced. If you rotate it with another pair, even the foam midsole will have an impressive lifespan.
The adidas Solarcontrol is currently going for $130 on the adidas website, for both the men’s and the women’s shoes. Keep an eye out for specials, though, as you may be able to get them for close to half that if you’re lucky.
Real World Testing
We had a chance to take this shoe out for a run a few times. Overall, we found it comfortable and well-cushioned. The support is fairly robust, meaning it’s stiff and keeps your foot aligned.
The weight didn’t exactly slow us down, however, it was noticeable. This shoe is great for a daily trainer, but you won’t be burning up the track on speed workouts.
We also found it a tad big. Not a huge issue, since you can tighten it up pretty well with the laces.
We also liked that this shoe didn’t stand out too much. In fact, we’ve been wearing it more as a casual shoe than a running shoe. It’s comfortable and ideal if you are out on your feet all day.
The comfort is great, and it has a nice in-foot feel. We also like the recycled materials in the upper.