Over half a decade since launch, the hype of the adidas Ultraboost still lives on, with new versions releasing every year and the OG pairs getting brand new colourways consistently month on month. The Boost Shoe that changed the game back in 2015 is still one of adidas’s most popular lines. But is it true when they say Ultraboost is the most comfortable sneaker of all time? Are they worth the hype compared to all of the new cushioning technologies emerging in recent years? Let’s take a look.
Debuting in 2015 and introduced as a crossover sneaker for high-performance running and every day wear, the Adidas Ultraboost is now more commonly worn as a lifestyle sneaker despite being also one of the most popular Adidas Running Shoes. It’s one of the most versatile shoes in the adidas archive providing the perfect blend of midsole cushioning with impeccable upper design.
Interestingly the Ultraboost, has its roots with the Adidas Innovation Team by using ARAMIS motion capture. A technology also used by NASA to test their space shuttles.
ARAMIS was used to capture the stress and tension on the different parts of a runner’s foot, giving Adidas the drive to create the most comfortable underfoot experience. They achieved this by combining Primeknit and mesh, a lace cage for its structure, torsional support bar for the arch, and of course, the iconic full-length Boost foam midsole.
The Ultraboost uses the same concept as the original Boost, but instead of having two separate layers of foam, it has a single layer of Boost Foam which is wrapped around a carbon fibre plate. This creates a continuous foam layer that provides better shock absorption than the traditional double layered foam.
The Ultraboost didn’t just cater to runners, it catered to everyone, resulting in its massive success. It even gained more momentum as Kanye West sported a triple white with black sole colourway during his 2015 Billboard Music Awards performance.
The sneaker quickly became one of the most sought-after sneaker by resellers as it doubled and even tripled in price depending on the colourway.
Ultraboost wasn’t the first Boost sneaker by Adidas, so its rise to mainstream success wasn’t solely down to that innovation. Despite being heralded as one of the most comfortable sneakers of all time during its release the shoe just hit all the right notes aesthetically.
The combination of the Boost Cushioned Midsole and Primeknit upper made the Ultraboost a notably lighter shoe with an exceptionally comfortable ride. As soon as it was seen on the feet of mainstream celebrities this is when everyone wanted to take a ride on the Ultraboost train.
The OG Ultraboost, now often referred to as the 1.0, returned in 2018 just three years after its first release. This just goes to show how it was loved by sneakerheads. We all know that nothing beats the OG.
We then saw new releases in the following years with subtle adjustments that improve the overall fit to prevent any possibility for heel slippage no matter how narrow or wide the user’s foot is. Pushing the boundaries of running performance and providing maximun comfort to those using the Ultraboost as an everyday trainer.
At first glance, you probably wouldn’t notice any difference until you take a good hard look at both. The minimal changes are actually enough to improve the wearer’s experience of the Ultraboost that’s why it was tweaked from 1.0 until the Ultraboost ‘20.
Key features: Full-length Boost midsole, Primeknit Upper, Separate lace cage, Stretchweb outsole
As the sock-like comfort provided by the Primeknit and mesh upper also gives a highly ventilated sneaker, the shoe’s sizing is TTS (true-to-size). Go half a size up for those with wider feet.
The lace cage stabilizes and strengthens the structure of the shoe if you plan to take it for long runs and marathons, so there’s nothing to worry about.
Key features: Full-length Boost midsole, Primeknit Upper, Separate lace cage, Continental rubber outsole
Highly similar with the OG, the Ultraboost 2.0 incorporated the Continental rubber outsole, a highly durable rubber that grips well on dry and wet surfaces.
The 2.0 also had a tweaked Primeknit upper weave so the shoe can hug the foot for a better fit. The shoe fits like the OG so check your 1.0 size.
Key features: Full-length Boost midsole, entire Primeknit upper, Separate lace cage, Continental rubber Stretchweb outsole
Returning for another tweak (that doesn’t really matter for non-runners because the shoe has been great nonetheless.)
The Ultraboost 3.0 also ignited the colored Boost midsole options.
The entire upper is also constructed of Primeknit with a new weave for a more flexible ride that makes your runs more enjoyable without worrying about any problems with the fit.
With a stretchy Primeknit upper, the shoe is true-to-size for all.
Key features: Full-length Boost midsole, Primeknit upper, Separate lace cage, Continental rubber Stretchweb outsole
The Ultraboost 4.0 saw the return of the mesh upper on some parts of the upper (it isn’t even noticeable so it doesn’t really matter). The heel piece counter has been vastly improved to support the Achilles better.
Once again, a great shoe that’s been adjusted to be even greater. Go true to size for those with narrow feet, half size up for those with wide feet
Key features: Full-length Boost midsole, Reinforced Primeknit upper, Sock-like fit, Continental rubberStretchweb outsole
The Ultraboost Uncaged bids goodbye to the separate lace cage that adds structure and support to the shoe’s overall fit. You may doubt the stability of this shoe, but Adidas reinforced the upper for a strong sock-like fit that can handle the long runs on all surfaces.
As with most Ultraboost, go with your true size and go half a size up if you have wider feet.
The Ultraboost line entered a new era that reinvented the running shoe into an even greater performance sneaker that looks good on-foot too.
Key features: Optimized Boost, Torsion Spring, Primeknit 360, 3D Heel Frame, Continental rubber Stretchweb outsole
A totally new look for the Ultraboost sneaker line, the Ultraboost 19 incorporated the use of 3D printing technology to improve various key areas.
The Primeknit 360, a 3D knit upper that is woven to fit your foot so well you wouldn’t even notice you’re wearing a shoe. Although lightweight, it’s still retains the same supportive shoe that we all loved.
The 3D heel frame cradles the footwell despite its minimalist appearance.
It also introduced a brand new Torsion Spring that is meant to propel you forward without exerting too much effort. Bringing the capability of Boost to even greater heights.
With the shoe’s new technology, go true to size for all kinds of feet. The Primeknit 360 will cater even the widest of feet.
Adidas started going out of this world with the collaboration of the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Library.
Key features: Optimized Boost, Torsion Spring, Primeknit with Tailored Fibre Placement, 3D Heel Frame, Continental rubber Stretchweb outsole
Following the innovation of the Ultraboost19, the Ultraboost 20 and the Adidas Ultraboost 21featured an updated Primeknit with TFP upper that is data-driven to deliver calibrated support and an even more flexible fit for the runners’ foot.
You may wonder what the involvement of ISS is all about, well, Adidas planned to bring Boost pellets up to the ISS to study its molding process without the presence of Earth’s gravity. Even the sneaker game reached space nowadays.
Adidas’s drive to create the world’s most comfortable shoe has driven sneaker technology up to new levels, literally into space.
There are a lot of Adidas Boost sneakers that released since debuting in 2013 with the Energy Boost, the Boost midsole foam extended to lifestyle, basketball, and even tennis among other sports. The comfortable midsole setup is such a widely-appreciated feature that it spread widely across the adidas categories.
Here are some of the notable Boost-cushioned non Ultraboost sneakers:
There are lots more in other sneaker categories that isn’t listed in here. To check out the full boost range at adidas follow this link
Just like Nike’s Air Max sneaker series, the Adidas Ultraboost line marked another piece of iconic sneaker history that people will never get tired of, starting as a humble running trainer that made its way on the feet of the biggest celebs, Adidas isn’t done reinventing the Ultraboost over and over again and we expect the trend to continue for some time.
One thing is for sure, the Ultraboost achieved its sneaker immortality with its countless colourways and retros. And it’s not stopping anytime soon.
Shop the full adidas Ultraboost range HERE
Are Adidas Ultra boosts good for running?
Yes, very good for running in. The Adidas Ultraboost has always been designed for running privng an incredibly cushioned, comfortable running experience through the use of their boost midsole and primeknit upper.
Although very popular as a lifestyle shoe, the adidas Ultraboost has always been designed with running in mind.
Are adidas Ultraboost true to size?
In general across the full adidas Ultraboost range. The sizing is trues to size (TTS) meaning if you take a size 10, you’ll be good wuth a size 10 ULtraboost. One thing we would recomend is that if you have a wider foot, you may want to consider bumping up a half size.
Do adidas Ultraboost run big?
No adidas Ultraboost do not run big or small. Adidas Ultraboost fit exactly true to size. If you measure up as a size 8 then be confident a size 8 will be the perfect fit. If you do have a wider foot, we recomend going a half size up
Are adidas Ultraboost unisex?
Yes adidas Ultraboost is a unisex shoe with a number of colourways specifically for women and a number of colourways specifically for men. But in genereal most of the core colourways take advantage of a full unisex size run. For example, the Triple Black and Triple White can be purchased in size 3 all the way to 16.
Where can I get adidas Ultraboost for the best price?
We recomend heading to adidas as a first point of call, shopping by app often gives you an exclusive discount code. Other than that, Footlocker usually has a good stock of Ultraboost as does END clothing and Offspring. It’s worth taking a look at all of these stores when looking for competitive pricing.
How much do Ultra boost retail for?
In general the adidas Ultraboost is priced in the region between £140 and £180 depending on the colourway and style. We’ve seen the Ultraboost on sale for as as low as £65, but it is uncommon to find a pair below £100.
How do adidas Ultraboost fit compared to Nike?
The adidas Ultraboost fits true to size and in general will match up to Nike sizing. However Nike sizing is not the most universal, so please tread with caution when following this advice. An Air Huarache fits very differently to an Air Force 1.
For best results we advise measuring your foot and selecting that size. Adidas Ultraboost fit TTS (True To Size) so using this method, you cant go wrong.