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.