Our Complete Review of the Adidas Ultra Boost
The Adidas Ultra Boost is designed with one goal in mind: to be the best shoe ever made. It was also an ambitious goal for the sportswear company. But by combining key technologies such as Boost Mitsol, Primeknit Top, and their patented Torsion Bar, Adidas created a responsive running shoe that changed the game.
When boost technology was first introduced, it was as if the world had never seen it. Combined with hundreds of foam capsules, Boost technology delivered a 20% more energy return than EVA rubber, which is the industry’s Mitsol standard. High energy return refers to a shoe that responds with every step, giving back what you gave in your run.
In 2015, Adidas tested their Boost technology: Kenya’s long-distance runner Dennis Kimeto ran the Berlin Marathon in a shoe with Boost technology. He did not win, breaking the world record in 26 seconds at 2:02:57. Boost was not fast, it was record-setting. With this technology, Adidas was one step closer to their famous Adidas Ultra Boost.
Despite being made to sign miles, the sleek shade and neutral tones of the Adidas Ultra Boost didn’t take long to pick up streetwear.
With the help of Kanye West, who performed a couple of shows at Triple White Adidas Ultra Boost, the shoe quickly sold out and Adidas Ultra Boost became a staple of street style. Their color paths were easy to match, and the Boost Mitzol was immediately recognizable.
New Boost repeats such as the Adidas Ultra Boost Uncaged coming out of the Midfoot Cage and the Adidas Ultra Boost Barley made from recycled waste continues the game for streetwear.
With that background in mind, let’s focus on the review of the latest three versions of this amazing footwear.
Adidas Ultra Boost 21 First Impressions
When we first saw the leaked image of Ultra Boost last year, we thought it was likely to be a fake, concept film because it looked like the ridiculous size of Heel Boost.
When we saw more pictures and videos near the release date, we were very excited because they confirmed that the initial leaked image was accurate.
The radical new Mitsol design is completely different from the previous Ultra Boost.
When they arrived and we took them out of the box we expected them to be heavier, but they felt heavier than they thought they would feel. They weigh an ounce compared to the Ultra Boost 20.
My first run on them was 10km and they didn’t impress me. They felt brave, tough, and determined. We expected them to be very soft, but the boost was firm through the mattress at the base at the same time.
The foot landing was very loud as there was crystal rubber on the outsole and it sounded like a horse getting off the road.
They reminded me of when runners wear ankle weights when running to develop strength and endurance. With Ultra Boost 21 you have tied the ankle weight in the shoe.
On the positive side, the changes felt smooth due to the new beveled heel and outsole configuration.
I don’t mind heavy shoes for easy runs because it makes it easier to run fast when you switch to a lighter shoe on tempo days.
The problem with the Ultra Boost 21 is that the heavier boost heats the bottom of the midsole shoe, so there is a lot of heel lift due to the loose heels.
Adidas Ultra Boost 2020 First Impressions
After making significant changes to the Adidas Ultra Boost formula for 2019, Adidas has chosen the minimalist update for the version of the 2020 shoe. That’s why the marketing campaign for Ultra Boost 2020 is more about space than the shoe.
The space theme comes due to the partnership with the Adidas International Space Station (ISS) US National Laboratory. In practice, what that partnership means to the shoe is that it has a slightly gap-y look, mainly due to the contrast boost foam in some colorways. What we want is to be fair.
However, changes in the structure of the shoe are often limited to the surface, which now includes the designed fiber placement technology. This means aiming at the place where your foot will run because the knit tops will be a little loose, especially around the corners, though I do not have this problem with the Ultra Boost 19.
The top changes are noticeable. It’s tight enough to not let the shoe slip without activating the laces as you did in the past Ultra Boost, which is a little annoying. However, when running on wet and icy sidewalks in the winter, getting the most secure fit is not a bad thing.
Otherwise, Ultra Boost 20 offers features like 19. The large slab of boost foam in the mitzvah makes for an interesting bouncy ride, and that foam is incredibly durable. When you add the Continental rubber outsole, you have a durable shoe, for all practical purposes, and you can use it for hundreds of kilometers.
The shoe is great for long and easy runs, but even though it is very heavy it can be used for quick runs thanks to the responsive boost foam. It would be a great choice for marathon runners.
It comes at a cost, but the current price is somewhat offset by the fact that you can wear the Ultra Boost 20 when not running, as it is much more stylish than the average running shoe.
Adidas Ultra Boost 19 Running Shoe
Meet the new boost, which is not the same as the old boost for the first time. Since Adidas introduced the original Ultra Boost in 2015, there has been more content to tinker with the formula to combine interesting boost cushioning with a fashionable knitted surface, rather than modifying it with each new version. Until the new Ultra Boost 19 arrives, Adidas sees some significant changes to the shoe.
It starts with beating 20% more boost foam mitzvah, which Adidas has done without adding anything to the shoe’s weight (men’s size is 8.5 to 310 grams per the UK). The upper bouts featured two cutaways, for easier access to the higher frets, and two cutaways, for easier access to the higher frets.
The midfoot cage has also been modified, which will delight many racers, especially those who took it for cutting plastic in the original Ultra Boost. In Ultra Boost 19 the cage is replaced by a translucent mesh that locks the foot without pushing itself.
What these changes mean to your experience while running in the shoe is important. The good news is that the ride has improved, especially in terms of how safe the top fit is.
Past Ultra Boost shoes didn’t lock the foot: the knit top was comfortable, but a little slower when running fast or taking sharp turns. The top of the Ultra Boost 19 is a full sock that sits on top of the midsole and the braid is shorter than previous versions, especially around the forelegs, resulting in a more secure fit.
That fit does not come at the expense of comfort – on the contrary. The mesh around the midfoot is more undoubted to wear than the old plastic cages, while the heel counter, which is now the wireframe instead of the plastic cage, allows the heel to expand to land without facing uncomfortable resistance.
The shoe’s ride difference is less pronounced, but it’s solid than the original Ultra Boost. If you try to run fast, a large part of the boost at the base makes the Ultra Boost 19 a little inefficient, but it is ideal for easy and steady flows, especially when the energy-repellent properties of the boost foam help you to resist happily without slowing down over long distances.
Part of the appeal of the Ultra Boost shoe is that it always runs and runs to the point where it is discarded, which I do not fully believe is the new “unfinished” style. Again, no one is going to misunderstand me for Shoe Trendspotter, so Adidas might have tapped it.
The German company certainly believes so because other brands offer infinite bounce and street-ready looks by releasing shoes that follow its original success. The Nike Epic Reaction Flyknit is our favorite of these, and it is significantly lighter than the Ultra Boost (size 239 g males 9), making it a very versatile option for a wide variety of runs.
Adidas’ Solar Boost is very closely related to Epic Reaction because it has slightly more light and responsive boost cushioning for longer and easier runs than Ultra Boost. However, neither Solarboost nor Epic Reaction is compatible with Ultra Boost’s feature for long distances, but they are best suited for fast running, and even decent racing-day options.
The redesigned Ultra Boost is a better shoe than its predecessors, although I am not a fan of the new style, the safest top, and firm, bouncer ride. It’s a lot of fun for long distances at easy speeds, but it’s not my first, second, or third choice for any other type of run – and many shoes compete for its comfort when it’s lighter and heavier.
Despite the extra competition, Adidas Ultra Boost has been an incredibly popular shoe with all types of racers, and Adidas has done little to update the formula of the original shoe since its introduction. You get a more comfortable and stylish Primeknit top, which is slightly tighter to provide a more secure fit than the latest version of the shoe, and you still get a chunky slap of boost cushioning.
That boost cushioning provides a more responsive and comfortable ride, energizing the spaces to help you move forward happily no matter what distance you take. We found that Ultra Boost was particularly good at helping to maintain decent speed on long runs and traveling with easy runs.
Looking for more ideas on awesome kicks? Check out our blog here for more Adidas men’s high tops.