Boro picked up a point on a drizzly day at the bet365 Stadium.
Chris Wilder made two changes to the side that had beaten Swansea City a week ago, Joe Lumley and Dael Fry coming in for their first starts under the Boro boss.
After a cagey early period characterised by timely blocks and tackles at either end, albeit with Boro taking the lion’s share of possession, both sides then squandered golden opportunities to take the lead.
Boro’s came first, Isaiah Jones sweeping an early ball across the face of goal which was begging for Duncan Watmore to tuck home, but the forward seemed to slip at the worst moment on the greasy surface and couldn’t apply the killer touch.
Stoke then came close to making the breakthrough, as the troublesome Tyrese Campbell beat Boro’s offside trap but as he went one-on-one with Lumley got his dinked effort all wrong and sent the ball drifting wide of target.
The game began to open up somewhat, and Campbell had another opportunity from a low ball into Boro’s box but his flicked finish was watched wide by Lumley at the near post.
Ex-Boro man Danny Batth went into the book for a rugby challenge after his misstep had momentarily given Watmore a free run at goal.
Andraz Sporar tested Stoke keeper Adam Davies with a driven shot after Anfernee Dijksteel had picked him out with a ball over the top, and Matt Crooks saw a curling effort sail wide from the edge of the City area before the break.
The second half was to follow a similar pattern to the first, but with chances even more of a premium.
For a second, Mario Vrancic snuck around the back of Boro’s defence only for Fry to stab clear his pull-back, while Batth was on hand to hack clear when Jonny Howson tried to feed Andraz Sporar with a through pass.
Sporar had perhaps the half’s clearest opening when sub Onel Hernandez showed some trickery out wide then found him with an arrowed cross, but the Slovenian volleyed over.
Substitute Sam Surridge headed wide from a deep City free-kick in what appeared a let-off for Boro, then the assistant’s flag went up for offside.
Another sub in Sol Bamba could have snatched a late winner for the Boro, but as he arrived around the back post to meet Jonny Howson’s corner he powered wide.
Stoke City: Davies, Smith, Fox, Allen (c), Batth, Clucas, Vrancic (Ince 84), Fletcher (Surridge 83), Campbell (Brown 80), Tymon, Wilmot
Unused subs: Bonham, Chester, Doughty, Oakley-Booth
Boro: Lumley, Dijksteel, Fry, Tavernier, Sporar (Ikpeazu 90), Howson (c), McNair, Watmore (Hernandez 74), Crooks (Bamba 71), Bola, Jones.
Unused subs: Daniels, Taylor, Payero, Lea Siliki
Attendance: 21,140 (1,686 Boro)