More prosecco than champagne Supernova, but the Prima is a great choice for those who want to run in cushioned comfort.

The Adidas Supernova Prima is a shoe to turn to when you need miles in your legs and want something that prioritizes comfort, support and protection over something you’d step up to a start line with to race in. It’s one of the best running shoes on the market right now.

Men’s Fitness verdict

Made for long, easy runs, the Prima is a polished addition to the revamped Supernova family – a good option for beginners or seasoned runners looking for a comfortable shoe to clock up big miles.
  • Good level of cushioning for shorter and longer runs
  • Some nimble bounce
  • Comfortable uppers
  • Padding could be slimmer in areas
  • Cushioning can feel dull at some paces
  • Already seeing some outsole wear

How we test the best running shoes

Our testers put each shoe through their paces over a mixture of distances and paces to see where they excel, and clocked up significant distances in each one to examine how they wear over time. Each reviewer focuses on speed, stability and comfort during, while also assessing the effectiveness of any specialist features on offer.

Joining the Supernova Rise and the Supernova Solution, the Prima comes packing in more of Adidas’ new DreamStrike+ cushioning technology. According to JT Newcomb, Global Category Director for Running Footwear at Adidas, DreamStrike+ is built for the “everyday runner”. It uses the same material found in the Lightstrike Pro cushioning included in Adidas’ speed-focused shoes. “We’ve tuned it to be slightly more dense and a little bit more supportive”, Newcomb told me. “That’s to meet the needs of everyday runners who need the combination of comfort and support and not just the lightest, fastest materials.”

The Prima does cost more than other shoes in the Supernova range, putting it up against cushioned daily trainer shoes like the New Balance 1080 v13, Asics Gel-Nimbus 26 and the Nike Invincible 3. So it’s going to have to be pretty special to stand out from the competitive cushioned crowd. I’ve been lacing up to find out if the Prima is in fact the perfect daily training partner.

Adidas Supernova Prima features and fit 

The Prima sits in Adidas’ Supernova range, which Adidas has dubbed its line for ‘everyday runners’, making it one that’s easy to slip on and off with minimal fuss.

It does come in just a regular fit option, which in my typical UK men’s size 8 has been fine on my skinny feet. There’s a typical mesh upper that holds the foot well at the middle and heel, with no issues of rub to report. There’s also generous padding at both the heel and the tongue and good room up front in the toes to spread out on longer runs.

Adidas Supernova close-up
Adidas have included more of its Dreamstrike+ foam on the Prima than the older Rise

Below that lies Adidas’ latest DreamStrike+ cushioning, which uses the PEBA material found in the Lightstrike cushioning packed into its racing-focused Adizero line. It’s a foam that prioritizes comfort and cushioning over all-out speed, however. Adidas has added more DreamStrike+ than was featured in the Supernova Rise and the Solution, particularly up front to give it a more protective profile.

PEBA foam can be pretty bouncy, so to counter that the Prima includes support rods that are wider than the ones used to do the same thing on the Supernova Rise to stop that PEBA feeling too excitable or unstable. Adidas also uses a new Lighttraxxion outsole design, which doesn’t cover the entirety of the shoe, focusing on the key areas where Adidas believes you’ll be landing your feet most in the Prima.

Adidas Supernova Prima performance

Adidas says the Supernova Prima is built for long runs and base runs, so the ones where you’re building your base running fitness. So I spent the majority of my 50km in the Prima doing those types of runs. I stuck to pavements and roads with some treadmill time thrown in too, plus a sandy beach run to see how they handle different running terrain.

I’ve already run plenty in the Supernova Rise, which sits below the Prima in price and has less of Adidas’ new DreamStrike+ foam. That shoe was a solid one, well designed for easy, moderate and slightly more up-tempo runs. The Prima feels fit for the same type of efforts, though the added foam does make it one I felt more comfortable going longer with, compared to the Rise.

Adidas Supernova outsole
The new Lighttraxxion outsole only covers the areas Adidas thinks you’ll land most often in

That extra foam is more noticeable up front and means there’s a more consistent spread of cushioning so that bouncy feel of DreamStrike+ is felt more consistently too. It makes for a more balanced running experience overall and adding more DreamStrike+ is definitely a good move here. One negative is that it does lead to a slight jump in weight from the other Supernova shoes, and slightly lessens its credentials for up-tempo running. Easy to moderate paces is where the Prima feels most at home.

Cushioning and comfort

While that cushioning feels comfortable and protective, with some welcome bounce, how it felt across runs seemed to vary for me. At times it felt really lively and others a touch dull compared to some other foams. That was particularly the case on longer runs when I was hoping the DreamStrike+ would feel a little more dreamy when my legs started to tire.

What Adidas has done with the outsole on this shoe reflects its decision to make the Prima well suited for midfoot to forefoot strikers. I’m a heel striker, so typically my foot lands further back. What I’ve seen in that area of the outsole where there’s less coverage is already some signs of wear. That could be down to straying away from pavements for a couple of runs, but it’s not the kind of wear I’d expect to see after 50km of running. The grip has felt fine in dry conditions, so I’m reserving judgement on how it handles wetter ones, though Adidas’ outsoles do generally impress on that front.

Overall, the Prima does feel like an elevated version of Adidas’ previous Supernova shoes, where having more of its new foam is positive. I’ve enjoyed running in the Prima more than I have in the Rise and it feels like Adidas has a good alternative here to other big cushioned daily training shoes that are made for soaking up a lot of time on your feet. It doesn’t necessarily better the competition, but it’s one you’d class as solid and dependable with just enough midsole magic to make it one you’d want to step out regularly in.

Adidas Supernova Prima technical specs

MaterialsMesh upper; PEBA-based DreamStrike+ foam; Lightraxxion rubber outsole
Weight276g / 9.7oz (UK men’s size 8)
ColorsSolar red, Dash grey
Sizes6 – 17