Neutral / cushion / high arch
Shoes for runners who do not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with normal, high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.
Stability / overpronation / normal arch
Shoes for runners who need mild to moderate arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a low arch. See the best stability shoes.
Motion control / severe overpronation / flat feet
Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.
Good to know
Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.
Lightweight shoes good for races, interval training, tempo runs and fartlek. Here are the best competition running shoes.
Good to know
If you want just one pair of shoes, buy a shoe for daily running.
WeightMen: 10.7ozWomen: 9.4oz
Heel to toe dropMen: 10mmWomen: 10mm
The height difference from the heel to the forefoot, also known as heel drop, toe spring, heel to toe spring or simply drop.
There are many opinions about what a good heel drop is. We do not recommend any in particular. Lean more in this video.
Heel heightMen: 22mmWomen: 22mm
Forefoot heightMen: 12mmWomen: 12mm
WidthMen: Narrow, Standard, Extra wideWomen: Standard, Wide
Release dateFeb 2015
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83 / 100 based on 51 expert reviews
Adidas Ultra Boost: Is it worth the purchase?
Adidas Ultra Boost was first released in 2015 and acquired significant good reviews and comments both on the internet and from close friends.
That intrigued me to try it out.
Appearance & Color Variation
As of now, I believe they have more than 30 color variations.
I choose the standard black for no particular reason, just maybe because after a while the dirt is less shown on the fabric.
In my opinion, Adidas could have worked harder on the appearance, as you can see it's just plain black throughout the entire shoe and the sides as well. I would prefer to have other colors on the side and back of the shoe for instance.
Comfortability & Upper
When you wear the Ultra Boost, you feel your feet is wearing a sock as the Primeknit make the fabric really soft and comfortable.
On the upper part, you can feel no manufacturing seam, and despite my concern on the first days, it is very well built.
As you can see below, after several months of usage it is still in good shape, it's just like new.
In terms of ventilation, it is also good and this new Adidas technology gives a smooth step feeling not only to the upper part but to the feet as a whole.
In terms of weight, it is also remarkably light for the amount of cushion it posses.
Running (Cushion, Stability & Sole)
As just said before, even though its lightweight, Ultra Boost provides a good amount of cushion, giving a smooth ride to the runner.
However, and this is very important for me and all the runners with ankles issue, the stability on the Ultra Boost is not good at all, and you can easily twist ankle and foot while running.
I tried to simulate on the photo below what happened to me a couple of times.
I believe this happens because there is no structured support that wraps up the ankle where they applied the same fabric as the rest of the shoe. This makes the ankle area very smooth as the rest of the shoe.
For that, I give a strong minus.
For the sole, it is good for different types of soils and more importantly, durable. The grip is also very good but just not in line with the stability needed.
As you can see, even after all these months, it looks just like new throughout the shoe.
The only thing that I disliked here is what I highlighted In the photo above, the excess of the sole on the back part which is longer than the foot itself.
It made the shoe just ugly, but I believe its objective is exactly to make the sole more durable. Anyways, my comment is noted.
For the back part, I was disappointed with the lack of reflective light in order to provide a safe ride for night runners.
The Day After
Before reviewing shoes, I always like to wait for the day after to completely evaluate it not only during the exercise but also its effect on my body after it.
And with Ultra Boost I got just what I expected. Very few leg sores due to its good cushioning system, but quite significant amount of pain around the ankle.
From the photo below you can see how lacking the support around the ankle is in comparison to similar premium shoes.
On the left part from the photo above, you can even see how the shoe lost its format around the ankle, which is very disappointing for the price you pay for.
- Durable well-built shoe with good upper support and high-quality materials
- Great energy returns while running, improving overall running experience
- High price tag
- Bad stability despite the amount of cushion it provides
- Bad support around the ankle
- Lack of retroreflective light on the back part for night practices
The Adidas Ultra Boost is indeed a new era for the cushioned shoes because of its soft solid fabric, weight, and comfortability.
It is a very flexible shoe with good responsiveness during exercises and even after several months it still looks just like new. It's also a very well built and durable shoe.
However, it lacks good stability and support around the ankle, so if you have ankle issues it is not recommended for you, or if you are planning to use it on uneven terrains.
In other words, its best fit for treadmills, but then again, is it worth the price you pay? You tell me.
This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.
Adidas Ultra Boost – Comfortable runner or confused slipper
I heard about the Ultra Boost from a mate, he told me that nothing can compare to the comfort you get from the Adidas Ultra Boost. I decided that I had to get a pair in order to cure my curiosity.
At first glance, the Ultra Boost seems to break all the norms. The upper is made of a knitted like material the midsole looks like polystyrene balls glued together. It really had my curiosity going and I could not wait to get my feet into them. Yes, it had the looks, the bounce, and comfort like a slipper.
Now for the true test, is it a running shoe or just a comfortable slipper?
Midsole & Outsole
The midsole is comprised of full Adidas Boost material from hill to toe. The outsole is Continental rubber which this model calls stretch web.
Midsole has a bouncy effect. When you first place the shoe on and start jumping on the spot, you get a good feel of comfort and cushioning.
The profile of the midsole is rather flat when on your feet as there is not much structure to support the mid and front foot. This does not make it a contender for a good racing shoe nor does it have enough structure for a marathon shoe.
Outsole has the Continental logo branded into the rubber. My first run in the Ultra Boost was 21km on asphalt. I expected a tough outsole – however, there was excessive wear by comparison to my Supernova Glide Boost. The stretch web outsole smoothed out quite quickly and you're basically left with a slick punched sole.
Often the words referred to is sock-like; here the appropriate metaphor would be “slipper-like”. The Primeknit upper is nothing short of comfort. Upper at the toe box area has a stretch knitted material that is airy and comfortable.
There is no tongue, which has the disadvantage of not having enough padding between the foot and laces. The laces can be felt on the bridge of the foot, if too tight.
The plastic cage keeps the foot locked down without a slide. The cage is made of a thick plastic and contradicts the whole concept of breathability and comfort.
I feel that the cage structure could have been made from a cloth material rather than plastic, Nike uses thin “flywire” - Adidas could have been a little more innovative with the lockdown system.
I do like the idea of the external hill support with the split, combined with an extra overhang of the Achilles' lip, making foot insertion really easy. In fact, I barely do my shoelaces with the Ultra boost, it slips on and off.
- Bouncy boost midsole
- Easy slide on and off – slipper like
- High Price
- Outsole not durable
- Plastic cage could be softer/breathable
- Laces can be felt on the bridge of the foot
The Ultra Boost is a comfortable shoe; the primeknit upper hugs your foot without any constraint. Your feet have a true sense of freedom, comfort and loads of breathability. The bouncy boost midsole offers plenty spring under your foot when running.
The excessive wear on the outsoles is disappointing to me, especially when one considers the price; I expected a lot more mileage before seeing such wear.
The Ultra Boost for me makes an ideal treadmill shoe, the soft outsole takes away that “clanky” sound at impact you normally get from a tough carbon outsole.
The outsole with the extra overbite at the hill makes for a good hill strike on the treadmill. I have seen this on trail shoes, but not really on road shoes.
In conclusion, I have found a place for the Ultra Boost and that it is destined for a life on the treadmill. That is not necessary a bad thing or a bad buy from my part, it, therefore, fits into a niche part of my shoe cupboard. I have done 200km on the treadmill with the Ultra Boost and will continue to use it for that purpose.
Now if you don’t own or have access to a treadmill, the Ultra Boost makes great slippers.
This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.
My Thoughts on Adidas Ultra Boost V2.0
At this point, almost everyone has heard of the Adidas Boost technology.
The Adidas Ultra Boost is one of the most comfortable and responsive shoes I have worn, and one of the sexiest too, but it came at a hefty price.
After putting over 500 miles on these shoes, the Ultra Boost has served me well for both short and long runs. Although a lot of people have complained about the breathability of the shoe, I never had an issue with this.
The primeknit fit my feet well and never felt too constrictive. The lightweight design never felt like it was weighing my feet down, even 10 miles into a run.
As you start seeing the outsole wear out, you will barely notice a difference in the comfort of the Boost midsole. It stays just as comfortable and responsive 300 miles in as it did the day you put it on.
One issue I did have with these was when I would stand for a long time, they made my heels hurt. If you're not moving for a long time the shoe can get a bit uncomfortable, almost as if it was too soft.
This has to be the best-looking shoe you could wear. It goes with absolutely everything. Put on some shorts and go running. Come back, shower hopefully, and put on some casual clothes and put these suckers back on. They go well with any outfit you could think of.
There are more color options for you to pick from than I could name here. Warning, some of the more exclusive colors can go for hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Absolutely insane!
Due to the overall popularity of these, they can be hard to find in your preferred color and shoe size so be ready to shop around a bit.
I own the Adidas Ultra Boost 2.0. The 1.0 had a lot of issues with the outsole wearing out too fast but with the 2.0 and forward, Adidas introduced the much more durable and grippy Continental outsole. Running hundreds of miles, and wearing them often to school and around town, my Ultra Boost finally started cracking and wore off after one year.
As long as you get a pair with the Continental rubber outsole, these will last you for hundreds of miles. They have great tracking no matter the conditions due to the Continental rubber outsole. Don't get caught in heavy rain in these though, you'll feel like you are running in a swamp.
Ah, the price. Short and to the point - way too expensive! What the heck is Adidas thinking about making these $180?
The hype around these shoes for runners and casuals means that these shoes never go on sale, and finding them in your size can be a challenge in itself.
- Incredibly comfortable
- Stays responsive no matter how many miles you put on them
- The 2.0 and forward have a durable outsole
- Great design
- Large color selection
- Soft inner lining
- Certain models can be hard to find in your size
- The plastic pieces scratch easily
- The white boost yellows with time, unwashable
- Gets wet easily in rain
The Adidas Ultra Boost is an incredibly expensive but a versatile shoe. Whether you're running a half marathon or going out on a date, these will serve you well. The price tag is heavy but they are a good value due to the hundreds of miles you will get out of them.
The shoe is lightweight, breathable, and comfortable making it the only shoe to date I would wear without a sock. I would not recommend it to anyone in a really wet climate as these don't mix well with rain.
Price tag aside, these were the first Adidas Boost I purchased. I instantly fell in love and now own 7 different models.
This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.
Adidas Ultra Boost after 50 miles and a lot of travel
I initially bought the Adidas Ultra Boost because I was traveling a lot for work, and I needed a shoe that could transition from a run to looking 'ok' with jeans if I needed to meet up with co-workers in the evening.
I also needed a shoe that provided enough cushion since I was still recovering from foot surgery. Overall, I think this shoe definitely checked all the boxes for what I was looking for, but I probably wouldn’t use it for my daily trainer.
The shoe has a thick single-piece knit upper that is flexible and allows your toes to splay in the toe box.
This was really important to me since some shoes rub too much and cause blisters or result in another lost toenail. While flexible, the upper seemed durable and I don’t feel like it will wear down and create a hole.
The midsole, however, is the star of the show and I think the reason is the Boost line. The midsole is Boost material throughout so you get that nice bouncy midsole from the heel to the toe.
The ankle collar has a lot of thick padding, which I think is to keep it secure.
But I found that it added a lot of extra weight and wasn’t too supportive. The tab at the back of the collar was nice since it helped get in and out of the shoe quickly.
The shoelaces are attached using this thick plastic piece that I feel didn’t allow for good lockdown since it created a lot of pressure points.
This was definitely my biggest problem while running in the shoe since I didn’t feel like I could make a lot of lateral movements.
The shoe’s outsole is a grippy continental rubber. The outsole is nice, but it’s very thin and is wearing down quickly after 50 miles running and a lot of walking.
This shoe is also not ideal for anything beyond pavement or a hard-packed trail since you won’t really get a good grip on any other surface.
This shoe is heavy! Don’t expect a lightweight foam shoe like the Vaporfly, but you definitely get the benefit of the energy return from all that beautiful Boost material.
In short, this was a fun shoe to run in. My favorite type of running to do in the shoe is hill repeats.
The forefoot of the shoe is thinner but well cushioned for the uphill and springy comfortable on the downhills. It is a very cushioned shoe and I found that I could do treadmill runs, outdoor long runs and everything in between with very few issues.
I found that the energy return made me feel like I'm faster than my normal runs, which is generally the pace of a turtle running through peanut butter.
I ran into some issues when I tried to take corners or do lateral movements. I found that my foot was moving around a lot in the shoe since my foot wasn’t very secure in it. If you don’t do a lot of sharp turns or have a foot shape that lends itself to a good lockdown in this shoe, you probably won’t have any issues.
This is an expensive shoe, especially considering the durability factors mentioned above. However, if you opt for the Parley version, you can take solace in the fact that you are contributing to less ocean plastic. Also, it is definitely good looking.
- Very responsive and springy ride
- Flexible midsole
- Knit upper is comfortable and doesn’t restrict foot
- Stylish shoe that you can walk around in
- Fit true to size
- Lockdown is either difficult or uncomfortable
- Not well suited for surfaces beyond pavement or treadmill
- Durability concerns with the outsole
Updates to Adidas Ultra Boost
- Adidas hypes the Adidas Ultra Boost as “the best running shoe ever.” Such bold claim is primarily anchored on its innovative and revolutionary Boost midsole foam that is not only very cushioned, but also superbly responsive. The superior responsiveness of the shoe is supported by The Three Stripes’ assertion that it is 20% more responsive than any of the Boost models.
- More than just the extremely responsive and cushioned midsole, the Ultra Boost boasts of ¾ one-piece Primeknit upper that hugs the foot in comfort. A Stretch Web outsole delivers more than adequate grip on the road and light trail while the newly designed split heel counter prevents slippage in this area and eases pressure off of the Achilles.
Adidas Ultra Boost size and fit
The fit of the Ultra Boost is unbelievably comfortable. Besides the generous padding all throughout, runners with average dimensions in their feet will love the adequate space in the heel, the secured midfoot, and the wide toe box. Available widths are the standard D for the men’s and B for the women’s. Sizing is on cue in this shoe as well. Sizes are from 6 to 15 for the men’s and 5 to 12 for the women’s.
The outsole literally resembles the form of a as it is rightfully called the Stretch Web. Like a real web that adjusts to the spider’s movement, Adidas’ proprietary outsole rubber adapts and stretches to maximize the power of every stride. Additionally, it offers flexibility and an element of natural running.
The midsole is undoubtedly the domain of 3,000 blown TPU energy capsules. According to Adidas, the Ultra Boost has an astounding 20% more of these shock-absorbing and responsive TPU pellets than any of the other Boost models. It means that there are 20% more pellets that lock themselves together to take on the impact of every stride and convert the same impact for a truly responsive ride. The same midsole element is used in the new Adidas Ultra Boost 19.
Another technology in the midsole is the Torsion System or the plastic bridge insert that offers torsional stability and enhanced transition without adding weight.
An engineered mesh that has precise stretch points that hugs the foot like a second skin. Adidas’ digital knitting process uses synthetic yarn that produces extremely breathable, supportive, and lightweight one-piece upper. Altogether, the engineered mesh and Primeknit material, adapt to the runner’s foot while offering maximum comfort and support.
Inside the shoe is a lightweight sockliner that enhances the plush comfort even more.
One very noticeable part of the upper is the sleek and catchy heel counter that cradles the foot in support and prevents untoward movement in this area. Comfort and stability are offered by this innovative heel structure.
Adidas Ultra Boost compared with the Nike Epic React Flyknit
The Ultra Boost is one of the flagship shoes in the Adidas stable of performance products. Many people have stood by this road companion’s capacity to provide enjoyment throughout the running sessions. The boost™ technology certainly gained traction as one of the most reliable cushioning systems in the world, especially since many people have taken the time to experience it and feel the reactive and impact-resistant nature of the amalgamated thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) pellets. It’s clear from the start that boost™ was here to stay.
Interestingly, most shoe companies didn’t immediately challenge the popularity of boost™. In fact, the widely used ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) didn’t phase out over the decades. A bevy of road running shoes still continues the trend of EVA utilization, though the need for innovation and change eventually stirred the companies to a thoughtful implementation of creativity and scientific methods. Midsoles apparently needed to be bettered to retain consumer interest and, maybe, encourage new ones.
The need to innovate
Nike, arguably one of Adidas’ most prominent competitors, sought runners out, asking them what they wanted for their running shoes. The general consensus was that people just wanted a cushioning system that offered high levels of energy-return, a lightweight ride, and a flexible experience that accommodated the natural movement capacity of the foot.
The challenge for Nike was creating a technology that would permit such desires and implementing it in shoes that kept up with the current expectations of consumers. Enter the “React” foam and the Nike Epic React Flyknit. It’s not the first shoe to ever use the React, but it’s the one that people are comparing to the Adidas Ultra Boost the most.
Let’s get to know what Nike did to challenge Adidas’ licensed midsole technology. But it’s also good to see the rest of the features in each shoe.
The material composition of Ultra Boost and Epic React Flyknit
The outsole units of the Ultra Boost and the Epic React Flyknit are the ones that bear the most difference; while the former has a rubber compound that fills the surface of the sole unit like a grid or web, the latter only has rubber on the heel and forefoot to ensure targeted protection and traction.
The upper unit of the Adidas Ultra Boost is made of engineered mesh, a material that has a cloth-like quality. It’s relatively well-known and is used in many running shoes. On the other hand, Nike’s offering is graced with the proprietary Flyknit material, a knitted textile that is stretchy yet securely woven. It is one of the first knit-uppers to ever be featured in the market. A bootie construction allows people to experience a sock-like fit, though a lacing system is still in place.
Now, to the midsole. It’s always been clear that boost™ is the main competition of the React foam, but the latter is vastly different in design. The compacted TPU pellets of Adidas’ line works to provide a springy and well-cushioned ride. The React aims to do that and more.
Nike’s creative minds created the formulation of the React unit to welcome the desire for balance in every aspect of the performance. They wanted to give a luxurious underfoot experience and a springy ride without putting too much weight, sacrificing flexibility or bringing too much energy-return. The piece that went out of the mold is arguably more substantial in form than the one licensed by Adidas. No compaction was involved as it’s a single-piece foam. Ripple-grooves (zigzagging trenches that line the external surface of the material) help in heightening responsiveness and flexibility.
To add extra structure to the underfoot experience, both companies employed their own version of an underfoot support unit. Adidas utilized the Torsion System, a thermoplastic layer in the midsole, to support the muscles and tendons of the midfoot. Nike’s choice was an injected heel clip that can be clearly seen from the back of the shoe. The task of this clip is to stabilize the heel of the foot while also attenuating impact shock.
A healthy competition
Many elements of the offerings from Adidas and Nike are stark images of each other. While some of them may be implemented in unique ways, it’s clear that they’re all for the betterment of a person’s performance.
Adidas paved the way for running shoes that are of superb quality. Every year, the brand finds new ways to make the running experience as pleasant as possible. Nike and other companies are also part of this cycle of innovation and integration. The Ultra Boost and the Epic React Flyknit are only two examples of friendly competition causing positive waves to the sports industry. There are more to come, and inventors and shoemakers are there to see them through.
Neutral shoes similar to the Adidas Ultra Boost
Brooks Glycerin 16
The Glycerin series has always been a pinnacle when it comes to providing copious amounts of underfoot comfort and excellent performance on the roads. People were highly appreciative of it as it’s apparently one of the neutral running shoes that have cared for their feet during their time on both flat surfaces and groomed trails. The new DNA Loft midsole technology also received waves of positivity for being highly responsive and durable. Even the design was given due praise for improving upon its immediate predecessor and working its way towards a simple yet contemporary look that’s great for both exercise and daily walks.
Altra Escalante 1.5
The Zero Drop specialization of Altra Running is in full swing with the Escalante 1.5. This shoe can be worn for daily speed training, yet it can help in doling out high levels of performance during races. The external pad features the FootPod technology, a pattern of grooves and traction centers that complement the bending capacity of the tendons and joints of the foot. A full-length, foot-shaped foam with a roomy forefoot construction permits the relaxation of the toes. Rounding out these form-accommodating elements are the InnerFlex midsole-integrated flex channels and the stretchy yet cloth-like engineered knit façade.
Skechers GOrun Ride 7
The Skechers brand has always been interested in perfecting the running form of a person. In fact, the designs of their shoes encourage an apparently more efficient way of taking each step, particularly the midfoot-striking technique. The GOrun Ride series has always been a proponent of such a method, and it is one of the reasons why the GOrun Ride 7 still has the Skechers-led Midfoot Strike Zone technology, which is fundamentally a slightly convex midsole shape that inspires the runner to land on the midfoot rather than the heel. Such action aims to mitigate the impact and cause speedier transitions through the gait cycle. Other conventional design elements such as an uncluttered façade and responsive underfoot experience help to better the performance.
Mizuno Wave Rider 22
The Wave Rider is one of Mizuno’s most enduring series. It has taken over 20 forms, evolving with the times and providing some of the most reliable products in the market. The purpose of the Rider products is precise yet straightforward: offer a robust and comfortable running experience that feels consistent, even after long miles. It features a bevy of technologies in the midsole like the full-length U4ic and the U4icX heel piece for well-rounded cushioning, as well as the thermoplastic Cloudwave layer that offers extra bounce and shock-attenuation. On the upper of the Mizuno Wave Ride 22 are the engineered mesh and Dynamotion Fit, stretchy and non-irritating elements that secure the foot and keep it in place.
Under Armour Dash RN 2
The Dash RN 2 from Under Armour is an entry-level road shoe that caters to those on a budget and those who still desire sporty shoe-façades and highly functional features. This shoe is lightweight and straightforward in its purpose. It has a cushioned foam midsole, a traction-ready outsole layer, and a ventilated upper that’s supported by stitched overlays. Some said that the silhouette of the Dash RN 2 is a throwback to early models of running shoes, the ones that date back to the early 2000s. Still, it’s considered as one of the most accessible models in the Under Armour stable, offering just the right performance for neophyte runners and exercise fans.