Adidas Ultraboost DNA review

The Ultraboost DNA is a reliable Adidas running shoe specifically for people doing easy-paced running while enjoying a lower stack height.

Priced at $180, the Ultraboost DNA is expensive and there are so much better options and options that excel in almost everything else at a lesser price.

Who should buy it

Buy the Ultraboost DNA if you are looking for a neutral running shoe:

  • for easy, short distance runs
  • with a lower stack height

Who should NOT buy it

Consider other models if you need:

Pros

  • True to size
  • Great midfoot lockdown
  • Impressive traction
  • Durable

Cons

  • Easy & short runs only
  • Not for sharp turns
  • Adaptation period needed
  • Heavy
  • Not breathable
  • Pricey

The Ultraboost DNA runs true to size

The shoe runs really true to size, it’s pretty perfect. 

For <10miles long runs only

I really enjoyed the comfort in this shoe, even with the slightly lower stack height. I found it to be comfortable enough to run the lower end of my miles (6-8 miles). Once you get into double digits the legs start feeling the lack of high stack (more so in the forefoot) and the heaviness of the shoe. 

Not for fast runs either

The ride of this shoe was good, it's just the shoe for me personally. In my training block I do about 5 different types of runs; intervals, tempos, long runs, easy runs, and moderate runs. I found it did well for easy runs (7:20-7:40 pace/mile, 5-8 miles). It was too heavy for anything faster than an easy effort and too low of a stack height (and heavy) for longer runs over 10 miles. 

adidas-ultraboost-dna-side.jpg

Adaptation period needed

I think the shoe has a period where the upper needs to conform to your foot which happens after about 3 runs. In terms of the midsole, there wasn't any type of adaptation period. 

The Adidas Ultraboost DNA is heavy

Now, this shoe is heavier than I prefer for a running shoe, which is why I recommend this for people who don’t really care about pace and more so a fast pace. It’s 11oz (312g), so it’s definitely not a light option ( road running daily trainers weigh 10oz/296g on average). 

adidas-ultraboost-dna-ultraboost.jpg

Long-lasting durability

I think this shoe will have really good durability. I say that because Continental Rubber is known to have very great durability around 400-500 miles. It also has the same pattern essentially as the Solarboost 19, which I had got just about 600 miles out of. I think the midsole itself should have a lifespan of at least 350-400 miles, as Boost is known to be very durable. 

adidas-ultraboost-dna-outsole.jpg

Good traction on road and dirt trails

The grip of this shoe was pretty good. I ran mostly on roads but also ran on grass/light buffed trails and had no complaints.

Soft but heavy upper

The upper of this shoe is Adidas Primeknit upper and was pretty nice in the way it fit and was engineered. It is soft but unfortunately, I just feel all of it was pretty heavy. 

adidas-ultraboost-dna-upper.jpg

Thick upper traps heat

In terms of actual breathability, the toe box has mini perforations that allow for breathability, but the problem is that the material used on the rest of the shoe is very thick and seems to retain heat very much. 

Great midfoot lockdown

I thought the lockdown of this shoe was fairly good. I think the midfoot lockdown was superb thanks to the midfoot cages (which unfortunately add a lot of weight.) 

adidas-ultraboost-dna-midfoot-cage.jpg

Heel slipping on faster paces and/or sharp turns

The heel area had okay lockdown, there wasn't much slipping, only when hitting faster paces and/or sharp turns. Otherwise, the lockdown was really good. 

adidas-ultraboost-dna-on-feet.jpg

The Ultraboost DNA is overpriced

Now the price of this shoe is where things get unfortunate in the running market side of things. This shoe is priced at $180, which in the running shoe world, especially for this type of shoe is a pretty rough price (average price is $125).

Conclusion

Overall, I enjoyed the Adidas Ultraboost DNA for running. It's a stylish shoe that is super comfortable for casual wear as well as it's a pretty solid runner, it’s the main downside is it is just for a specific group of runs/people, specifically for people doing easy-paced running while enjoying a lower stack.

Tip: see the best running shoes.

Rankings

How Adidas Ultraboost DNA ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 5% road running shoes
All road running shoes
Top 4% Adidas running shoes
All Adidas running shoes
Top 5% neutral running shoes
All neutral running shoes

Popularity

The current trend of Adidas Ultraboost DNA.
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Author
Zack Dunn
Zack Dunn

I race distances between 800 meters and 10K whether it be on the track, the roads, or on cross country courses. My typical training consists of easy days, long days, workouts (fartleks, tempos, interval training, etc.). My typical training paces range from 7’30 a mile on easy days to sub-5 minutes a mile on fast interval days, and with many paces in between. I run anywhere from 40-60 miles a week. My personal bests are 2:00 for 800m, 4:30 for 1600m, 9:50 for 3200m, 15:57 for 5K, and 34:10 for 10K.