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Category: Running (neutral)
Weight: 9.8 ounces
Best for: Runners who want to stand out amongst the competition
Star feature: Flexible adiWear outsole

The Energy Boost may be at the forefront of adidas running, but if you’re looking for a shoe that’s equally as impressive on the road, but will only cost you a fraction of the price, the Impact Runner is the one.

First and foremost, I want to personally thank the Three Stripes for the flat laces on the Impact Runner. It seems like somewhat of a trivial thing, but when you just want to go out for a distraction-free run to burn away all the stress you accumulated throughout the day, it’s nice to know your laces wont untie at every quarter mile.

Second, huge props to adidas for going crazy with the design of the shoe. Forget about trying to blend in—the Impact Runner is easily one of the most eye-catching sneakers on the road. Featuring a psychedelic zig-zag design, the shoe’s upper is constructed from a thin air mesh material that is built precisely for the summer months. It’s extremely breathable and soft on the feet, making socks completely optional. A seamless construction means no rubbing, no chafing, and no blisters. The inner lining of the shoe also holds up well against sweat, which means that’s one less thing you have to worry about.

The shoe caters to a variety of runner types. Whether you prefer a forefoot or midfoot strike, the Impact Runner’s adiWear outsole features a slightly contoured profile for natural gait efficiency. Multi-directional flex grooves along the length of the sole provide ground-hugging traction, as well as a more agile toe-off. A fairly generous adiPrene midsole offers just the right amount of padding, and the responsiveness runners rely on during crunch time. The shoe even held up surprisingly well on some mild off-road terrain.

Bottom line: The adidas Impact Runner is a solid choice for runners looking for maximum performance without breaking the bank. An enticing price point is just the start, though. The shoe over-performed in every important category, including comfort, support, flexibility, and of course the thing every runner strives for: speed.

$59-$85

Gurvinder Singh Gandu is a New York City-based writer with west coast roots. A resident wear-tester for Sneaker Report, and contributor to Complex Media, follow him @GurvinderSG for the latest in performance footwear and gear.

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