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Are Ultraboosts Good Running Shoes

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Adidas Ultra Boost Price Comparison

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By Thomas Caughlan

Tom Caughlan has been running since age 11 and ran competitively in college. Tom has six years of experience at running specialty stores and continues to test products for running shoe companies. Ever the gearhead, Tom enjoys testing shoes on the roads and trails of the rocky mountains in Colorado.

New Balance Fresh Foam Beacon 2

Weight: 7.7 oz.Drop: 6mmThe Everyday Trainer: Shortly after adidas introduced Boost, New Balance announced its new Fresh Foam midsole, with relatively modest fanfare. Using computer modeling and lasers, New Balance carved out geometrical dimples in the EVA. A bit firmer than Boost, the Fresh Foam Beacon 2 mirrors Boosts lively, bouncy feeling. And at 7.7 ounces, the Beacon 2 is considerably lighter, yet durable enough to withstand daily abuse as an everyday trainer.

Adidas Ultraboost 21 Sole Unit

Is Boost still a relevant midsole foam with the arrival of Lightstrike and Lightstrike Pro? In my opinion, no.

Its definitely the heaviest of the three Adidas foams by a country mile and the Ultraboost 21s hefty weight severely limits its use to only easy and recovery runs.

You might think that the entire heel is one massive chunk of Boost foam with a drop that looks like it could be 14mm however theres only a 6% increase in Boost and the drop is only 10mm.

The foam in the heel shoots up around the heel, creating sidewalls or rails that cup the heel. This setup allows the foot to sit inside the midsole rather than on top of it like with the Ultraboost ST.

The Boost in the Ultraboost 21 feels significantly firmer than in previous versions. There is none of the sink-in plushness which gave previous versions such great step-in comfort.

Adidas made the foam firmer which they claim makes it 20% more responsive. This change doesnt make much sense because the Ultraboost is supposed to be their plushest, most comfortable trainer.

There are other shoes in their lineup designed for responsiveness like the Boston, Adios and SL20.2.

Because of its loose heel and heavy weight, the Ultraboost 21 is only suitable for straight line runs at relaxed paces slower than 5.40 per km.

Now this might be a good thing because it stops you from running too fast on easy days but you expect a little bit more versatility from a $180 shoe.

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Shoes Similar To The Adidas Ultraboost 21

If the unfamiliar ride firmness of the 21 is a deal-breaker, then other DNA UltraBoost variants come to our rescue.

The DNA suffix is used by the previous generation Ultraboost models. For example, theres a DNA variant based on the original model, along with several others.

Also, there many colors of the Ultraboost 20 DNA models to choose from their uppers have the ventilation-friendly Clima Cool treatment.

It Starts In The Sole: Boost Technology

These Adidas Ultraboosts Are the Most Expensive We

When the Boost technology first debuted, it was like nothing the world had ever seen. Made from hundreds of foam capsules welded together, Boost technology delivered 20% more energy return than EVA rubber, the midsole standard in the industry. More energy return meant a shoe that responded to each stride, giving back what you put into your run.

In 2015, adidas put their Boost technology to the test: Kenyan long-distance runner Dennis Kimetto ran the Berlin marathon in a shoe with Boost tech. He didnt just win, he crushed the world record by 26 seconds for a time of 2:02:57. Boost wasnt just fast, it was record-setting. With this technology, adidas was one step closer to their legendary adidas Ultraboost.

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Adidas Ultraboost Shoes For The Streets

Though it was made to log miles, it didnt take long before the adidas Ultraboosts sleek silhouette and neutral tones took over streetwear.

With the help of Kanye West, who performed in a pair of Triple White adidas Ultraboost and quickly caused the shoe to sell out, adidas Ultraboost became a staple of street fashion. Their colorways were easy to match with, and the Boost midsole was instantly recognizable. New Boost iterations like the adidas Ultraboost Uncaged, which ditches the midfoot cage, and the adidas Ultraboost Parley, made from recycled waste, continue to up the game for streetwear. Learn more about our selection of adidas shoes.

Adidas Ultraboost 20 Running Shoe Review

After making significant changes to the UltraBoost formula for 2019, Adidas has opted for a far more minimal update for the 2020 edition of the shoe. That may be why the marketing campaign for the UltraBoost 2020 has been all about space, rather than the shoe itself.

The space theme comes as a result of Adidass partnership with the International Space Station US National Laboratory. In practical terms all that partnership really means for the shoe is that it has a slightly space-y look, mainly because of the iridescent Boost foam on some colourways. Which I do like, to be fair.

However, the changes to the structure of the shoe itself are largely confined to the upper, which now features Tailored Fibre Placement technology. This means targeted support to hold your foot in place on the run, because knitted uppers can be a little loose especially when rounding corners, though I didnt really have this problem with the UltraBoost 19.

The changes to the upper are noticeable though. Its certainly tighter, to the point where you cant slip the shoe on without undoing the laces like you could with every past UltraBoost, which is a little annoying in truth. However, when running on wet and icy pavements in winter its no bad thing to have a more secure fit up top.

It does come at a cost, but the £160 price is offset somewhat by the fact you can wear the UltraBoost 20 when not running too, since its significantly more stylish than the average running shoe.

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Are you planning to go for a 5-km or 10-km run this spring and wondering what would be the best pair of shoes to wear? I had a similar question, despite having a couple of Nikes and Sketchers. And then came the answer in Ultraboost 21, the latest in Adidas’ much-revered series for serious runners.

The Ultraboost21 draws a lot from its predecessors in cushioned sole and thick heel, but it has its own distinct visual appeal, strong enough to attract eyeballs just as you hit the field. It may not seem as fancy as the Nike Vaporfly 4%. But, honestly, that is not a fair comparison instead, you might like to pit it against Nike’s Zoomfly or Infinity Run.

The Ultraboost 21 is meant for serious runners, and has stuffed it with significant upgrades to make it a pair of strictly performance shoes. Its key highlight is the 6 per cent increase in Boost tech the midsole eTPU foam that absorbs your stride before bouncing back into shape over last years Ultraboost 20.

Note that it does take a bit of time getting used to. It feels somewhat different as you run wearing these shoes: It is like a slight bounce just as you touch the ground, but after some strides you realise that it propels you to go a little extra.

It’s not just the extra boost the energy return is great, too. brings a redesigned LEP for a 15 per cent increase in forefoot bending stiffness, this leads to, as Adidas says, a more controlled and responsive stride.

Is The Ultraboost Still A Max Cushion Shoe

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What I can say is that I dont really feel like this is a max cushioned shoe anymore. At best, its in that kind of new category of max cushion shoes. Max cushion shoes are daily trainers or trainers that have a little bit more cushion in them.

It has the weight of a max cushion shoe at almost 11 ounces for its listed weight, but I dont really get the sense that this is a shoe thats really designed for those recovery runs or those long runs where you really need some extra plushness and a little bit of extra forgiveness on your joints and on your muscles.

Im getting the sense that this UltraBoost wants to be more of a daily trainer. Again, I think that this UltraBoost is going to be a really good fit for you guys as a daily trainer but not necessarily as a max cushion shoe.

Ultimately, I think that this is a pretty exciting shoe because I really am going to enjoy putting lots of regular easy-paced miles on it and medium-paced miles on it, but I also think its a shoe in identity crisis at this point.

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External Design Adidas Ultra Boost Running Shoe

The upper of the shoe is made of a super breathable Primeknit material, covered with three-stripe overlays on the sides for more secure fit, and a heel cage for improved stability. On the inside, youll find a mesh lining and well-padded collar and insole.

The midsole is made of unique Ultra Boost compound, which is usually white, however in recent models Adidas experiments with different colors.

Adidas Ultra Boost Sole Unit

Ahhhhh.Boost midsole material. What a wonderful thing for those indoctrinated runners willing to spend an extra thirty dollars or so to experience a fantastic ride that will last upwards of 700 miles in many cases .

However, can there be too much a good thing? While testing the Adidas Ultra Boost I found their claim of designing the best running shoe ever to be inflated and almost laughable at times.

One has to wonder, Who wear-tested this shoe?, and Do the designers even run?

Adidas released the Ultra Boost as a possible replacement for the only slightly more affordable Energy Boost which has gained popularity over the years.

The Energy Boost works great as a high mileage trainer due to the fact that the Boost Midsole is bolstered on top by a harder EVA foam which reduces the unstable feel of so much Boost material.

While the Boost midsole is absolutely fantastic, most Adidas running shoes apply it sparingly throughout the midsole to produce a firm and responsive cushioning that almost seems to improve with age.

With the Ultra Boost Adidas piles on a whopping 27mm of Boost midsole which is unsupported by any material of a higher durometer.

The effect is a fairly sloppy feel which Adidas tries to mitigate by placing a very shallow primeknit upper and essentially a plastic cage around the mid-foot and heel of the shoe.

Adidas uses a thin layer of Continental tire rubber on the outsole of the shoe to increase grip and to protect the Boost midsole.

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Adidas Ultraboost 21 First Impressions

When I first saw a leaked image of the Ultraboost last year, I thought that there was a possibility that it could be a fake, concept image because it looked like a ridiculous amount of Boost in the heel.

When I saw more images and videos closer to the launch date, I got really excited because they confirmed that the initial leaked image was accurate.

The radical new midsole design was completely different from any previous Ultraboost.

When they arrived and I picked them out the box, I was expecting them to be weighty but they felt even heavier than what I thought them to feel. They have picked up over an ounce of weight compared to the Ultraboost 20.

My first run in them was 10km and they didnt impress me. They felt clunky, stiff and firm. I expected them to be a lot softer but the Boost underfoot felt firm albeit cushioned at the same time.

Foot landings were very loud because of the crystal rubber on the outsole and made a sound like a horse trotting down the road.

They also reminded me of when runners wear ankle weights while running to build strength and endurance. With the Ultraboost 21s you have the ankle weights built right into the shoe.

On the positive side, transitions felt smooth because of the new bevelled heel and the outsole configuration.

A Running Review Of The Adidas Ultraboost 19

Adidas Ultraboosts

We’ve been running in the latest version of the ultraboost and here’s what we think.

Behind the usual fashion orientated noise that proceeds a running shoe launch these days, adidas have been working hard on their flagship running shoe and they’ve now unveiled the new Ultraboost 19.

The Ultraboost has seen many iterations come and go along the way but it’s never really strayed too far from what was first put out in January 2015 and in that time, some of the biggest leaps forward in performance footwear have been made. So what have they done to bring the shoe up to date?

The main sell from adi is a reduction in the component parts that make up the shoe the original was made of 17 pieces and the new one is only made of four .

These four main parts are optimised BOOST with a reported 20% increase in energy return, a new torsion spring that runs the length of the shoe, a Primeknit 360 upper that behaves like a sock and a new 3D Heel Frame.

The new heel changes this. When you put the shoe on, there is real purpose at the heel to lock the foot in place at the back of the shoe. The fact the frame extends over the midsole highlights how much adidas have rethought the design here rather than there being an upper attached the midsole, the 19 has a more unified feel to it, the midsole and upper behaving as one.

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The 10 Best Adidas Ultraboost Shoes

Kimetto runs in them. Kanye raps in them. Boost foam does it all.

On February 13, 2013, the first shot in the foam wars was fired: Adidas released its revolutionary Boost foam. It debuted on the soles of the new EnergyBoost running shoe, and this unprecedented material was the first of its kind to promise more energy return with each step. Up until now, that idea was virtually unheard ofbut it would soon become the buzzy battle cry of every shoemaker on the market.

Do Ultraboost Run Big Or Small

Generally, the UltraBoosts fit true to size.

However, shoe fit is always a highly personal sensation.

Some wearers prefer a bit more room, whether theyre long-distance runners who want to accommodate for slight foot swelling, or whether theyre everyday UltraBoost wearers who may not be used to the fit of the Primeknit against their feet.

In these situations, it may be worth going up half a size.

In some cases, runners who are switching to UltraBoosts from another brand may find that the amount of give in the Primeknit upper is too much, and they want to go down half a size.

As with any shoe, its a good idea to try them on and take a few steps in them before you hand over your credit card, just to make sure you know what youre getting.

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Is The Adidas Ultraboost 21 Durable

The durability is excellent, thanks to the hard-wearing Continental rubber outsole.

The long-lasting adidas Ultraboost 21 also features on our curated list of durable shoes.

The translucent Continental rubber outsole will last hundreds of miles the Boost midsole is a tried-and-tested cushioning material with high resistance to cushioning degradation. Only the removable EVA foam insole is susceptible to flattening.

The Primeknit upper is thick and stretchy, so its going to outlast the rest of the shoe.

Who It’s Best For

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The Ultraboost 21 is a soft, lively everyday trainer that provides long-haul comfort and consistent flow in every mile. It doesnt have the pep for faster workouts or races, but its ideal choice for long runs, recovery runs and moderately fast tempo runs.

Runners who appreciate maximally cushioned neutral shoes with enormous energy return will really love the Ultraboost 21. Taller and bigger runners will appreciate the proficient shock-absorption in every stride. Smaller runners or runners who like to feel the ground might find the midsole to be excessively thick.


Our wear-testing runs determined that the Ultraboost 21 seems to help improve the recovery process after a long run. Normally it takes several days to recover from a two-hour training run. However, our wear-testers reported having fresh legs just a day or two after logging a moderately paced 15-miler.

There is a new Linear Energy Push torsion system embedded in the bottom of the midsole. This is essentially a curvy hard plastic plate with a two-pronged design that stretches from the midfoot to the forefoot. This system adds notable stiffness that works in conjunction with the shoes rocker geometry and Boost foam to promote forward prolusion.

The outsole feature three types of rubber with soft, medium and hard densities that combine to provide optimal traction, durability and flex.


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Adidas Ultraboost 19 Review: Comfy And Springy But Not One For Speed Freaks

The Adidas UltraBOOST 19 is an impressive update to the world’s favourite running shoe

UltraBOOST 2019 might not be a radical departure for this massively popular line of running shoes but it is a definite stride forward in terms of comfort and bounce

  • Extra Boost foam means more bounce in every step

  • +

    The upper holds the foot in place better than past UltraBOOST shoes

  • +
  • A little too heavy for fast training and short races

  • People may think you’ve bought them just to look cool

ByKieran AlgerLast updated 2020-01-13T08:41:41.587Z

Adidas UltraBOOST shoes have ruled the roads , the streets and the catwalks for the last few years. Now, the first major update to the brand that ate the world: UltraBOOST 2019 makes it springier and more comfortable. But of course it does. I’m going to stop using all caps for BOOST now, it’s too shouty.

Its fair to say that the original UltraBoost changed the world of running shoes. Its combination of bouncy Boost foam and a stylish upper prompted a wave of other brands taking up the formula to create street-smart shoes that had the technical chops for long distance running as well. Or maybe it was vice versa: great running shoes that also tempted dedicated followers of fashion. Either way there is a tonne of interest in Adidas Ultra Boost in its 2019 remix form.

And with that profound observation, let’s move on to the review.

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