Not everyone is a trigger-happy sneaker shopper ready to clean out their local spot on a weekly basis. No shade though, we at Highsnobiety appreciate that you aren’t so financially frivolous. We also understand that you may have questions about the latest models: can I wear these to the gym? Are they comfy? If I wear these will I be the trendiest guy at the office and finally earn the acceptance and adoration of my coworkers?

These are all valid questions, so in consideration of those who like to be educated about footwear purchases, we present Test Drive: a hands-on series that gives you a first-person look at the latest sneakers to hit the streets.

We all have grails for the ‘gram flex and beaters for the gym, but sometimes we just need one pair to carry us through the day with both style and comfort. The adidas AlphaBOUNCE comes in at $100, offering new performance features complete with a frenzy-inducing YEEZY-esque print.

Curious to see what the all hype was all about, I decided to test drive the AlphaBOUNCE myself.

Material

adidas’s newest technology, FORGEDMESH, builds the entire seamless upper of the shoe. The material is lightweight, soft and surprisingly secure, providing a true one-to-one fit through the mid and forefoot. Support comes primarily from the density of the mesh, which does sacrifice a little of the ventilation qualities. However, natural movements are unbothered and the shoe flexes freely.

Comfort

As adidas pushes its BOUNCE cushioning, the same question keeps reoccurring: is it as comfy as BOOST? I wouldn’t say the two are the same, but definitely not far apart. The full length BOUNCE cushion feels…well, bouncy, like Super Ball bouncy. It doesn’t give the same shock absorption as its big brother, Ultra Boost, but feels a little firmer and delivers more of a spring.

As soon as I put these on, the foam had me doing warmups in the office. If I had to make a comparison I would say it feels similar to the original adidas Pure BOOST.

Quality

Considering the price point, I’m fairly impressed with the AlphaBOUNCE’s durability as a cross trainer. Visual inspection showed no signs of a poor paint or glue job, which was a good start. I wore the shoe through my regular gym routines but also found myself running and playing some pickup basketball. I’m usually pretty cautious about this because I’ve had plenty of runners and crossover models tear or separate when I tried to hoop in them, but these held up great.

The FORGEDMESH showed no signs of fraying or separating from the midsole, nor was the print even damaged after one of my teammates dunked on me and landed on my foot.

Another detail is the outsole, which is pretty tough. One complaint I had with my Ultra Boosts and Pure Boosts was that I felt the rubber wore down quickly outdoors, but the AlphaBOUNCE sole looks to be tougher.

Wearability

Trying to follow up on the crossover success of the Ultra Boost is a tall order, but adidas has kept its hot streak going. The BOUNCE foam carried me through morning runs and the FORGEDMESH was even enough to keep me from getting crossed on the court. I would be wary of the ankle support, however, as it is fairly minimal and true support mainly comes from the mid and forefoot.

Performance aside, you can rock these jawns outside the gym, I mean just look at the sweet fade across the midsole. As a low-top trainer, they work with jeans, joggers (if you’re into that), or whatever else you and the bros might wear to the club.

Hell, the traction is so good it’ll keep you from slipping on the beer your drunk homie in the oversized Timbs just spilled (someone please tell him it’s already July).

TL;DR

For $100, these sneakers will hold you down on the streets and in the gym. It’s a solid deal.

Words by Contributor
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