Adidas Ultraboost 19 review
This year, Adidas totally revamped the most famous running shoe in their line up, which was launched in early 2015 and instantly became hit. However, in spite of its being a running shoe, it was used more as a lifestyle shoe.
This year, Adidas decided to relaunch Ultraboost, and specifically designed it for running. The Ultraboost 19 was soft-released in late December and in February large scale release took place.
The Ultraboost 19 does not look even a percent similar to any of the previous Ultraboost's iteration. It looks like a totally different shoe. Adidas has changed the look and materials from top to bottom. Adidas has also reduced the number of pieces, from 17 to 4, and these are the following:
- Continental outsole
- Boost midsole
- Knit upper
- 3D heel frame
Let's see; do these changes make the Ultraboost 19 the greatest running shoe ever?
- Primeknit 360
- 3D hell frame
- Torsion system
- Boost midsole
- Continental rubber outsole
- Pronation: Neutral
- Offset: 10mm
- Cushion: Soft
- Weight: 305gm or10.8oz (9UK)
- Closure: Lace-up
- Fit: True to size
- Terrain: Road
- Best use: Long-distance runs
Upper of the Ultraboost 19
The Ultraboost 19 features Primeknit 360 rather than the plain Primeknit used in the earlier versions. Primeknit 360 is rough on the outside, and it has some lateral stitching for added support. The material snuggly wraps 360 degrees around the foot.
Those who complain about the lack of support in Primeknit will love the Primeknit 360. Primeknit 360 is not as stretchy around the midfoot, adding support to the upper.
Primeknit 360 is soft, which means it can also be used without socks. The material feels very premium against the foot and does not cause any irritation or chafing. Breathability is also good. I have worn them in high temperatures of around 45°C or 113°F, and they felt airy and kept my foot dry.
The Ultraboost 19 features a bootie construction. Primeknit 360 wraps the foot much better than the Primeknit in the earlier versions. It provides enough support when taking turns, keeping the foot in place.
When I tried Primeknit 360, it felt more secure and functional as it provided support during lateral movements. The knit is stretchy around the toe box, which helps with toe splays during long runs. Primeknit 360 is less stretchy around the midfoot for better support and stability.
This time, the midfoot cage is made of translucent plastic that is stitched to Primeknit 360; this provides more than enough support during longer runs when legs get beat up. This plastic cage does not cause irritation at all when laces are tightly tied.
Primeknit 360 has a reinforced pattern in the lateral direction for more support on the midfoot. This material does its job pretty well.
As usual, the toe box is of average width. However, people with wide feet will not find any problem with this because Primeknit 360 is stretchy around the toe box area.
Adidas replaces the traditional heel cup with the 3D heel frame, reducing the shoe's weight while adding more support. This 3D heel frame keeps the heel locked in place even when taking sharp turns during street runs. It also stops the heel from riding up while picking up pace.
Unlike the previous versions of Ultraboost, Adidas significantly decreased the padding in the heel, providing only pods of foam for padding. Adidas has also added soft suede lining across the heel counter.
I just loved the new fit of the heel counter with its reduced padding, even though I know that this might hurt those who used the previous versions of Ultraboost as lifestyle shoes.
20% more Boost in the Ultraboost 19
Adidas has put 20% more Boost in the midsole; one can visually compare the amount of Boost in the previous iterations and in the Ultraboost 19. One might think that the chunky Boost midsole feels clunky; however, the Ultraboost 19 provides a very smooth ride.
The texture and feel of the Boost in the Ultraboost 19 is kind of rough. The shape of the Boost is also different as compared to previous versions.
The Boost in the Ultraboost 19 is much more responsive and lively. It will not bottom out or loose it's responsiveness even after hundreds of miles. One might get suspicious by looking at the chunky boost midsole and think this shoe might feel clunky but on the contrary ultraboost 19 provides very smooth ride.
Picking up pace in the Ultraboost 19 is easy and effortless. The Boost midsole also helped in maintaining the speed over longer distances without any effort.
In the earlier versions, there was a piece of plastic visible on the the lateral side of the Boost midsole. This time, Adidas has changed the shape of the torsion system and it is no more visible on lateral side, ensuring stability and a smoother transition from heel to toe.
The new torsion system is like two "Us" connected by a small rod. This torsion system works much better, and pushes off more explosively.
Durable, grippy outsole
The Ultraboost 19 has a Stretchweb continental rubber outsole , but this time the tread pattern is changed. The treads are much wider and looking more like the patterns on a tire, hence they provide much more grip and traction on all kind of surfaces.
The continental rubber outsole is much more durable than the normal Stretchweb outsole. This outsole did not show any kind of premature wearing and provided good traction on all kind of surfaces, be it wet road or wet grass.
Adidas has corrected all issues regarding support of the shoe. Primeknit is replaced with Primeknit 360, which is less stretchy so it keeps the foot locked in even during sharp turns and lateral movements.
Also, Adidas has stitched the midfoot cage to the Primeknit 360, making it more comfortable. In the Ultraboost 4.0, this cage caused irritation when the laces are tightened and it did not do its job efficiently. The translucent plastic cage in the Ultraboost 19 is much softer and does not cause any kind of irritation.
I mostly run on streets and have to dodge people and change directions frequently. Fortunately, the same plastic cage did its job by providing more than enough support.
Adidas has also replaced traditional plastic heel cup with the 3D heel frame, which has more coverage around heel area and keep the heel locked down.
Ride and flexibility of the Ultraboost 19
The ride delivered by the Ultraboost 19 is surely an improvement because it has 20 percent more Boost and has a new torsion system.
The Boost midsole of the Ultraboost 19 feels much more comfortable than the previous iterations. It is more responsive and provides more impact protection. The longest run I have done in them is 10 miles, and the Boost midsole provided a smooth and bouncy ride from the 1st to the 10th mile on the road, and my legs were not sore at all after running.
The Ultraboost 19 is not so flexible, but it is flexible enough not to alter the runner's gait. The Primeknit 360 upper wraps the foot and moves with the foot. The grooves on the continental rubber outsole also adds to the flexibility of the shoe.
The new tread pattern on the continental rubber outsole provides better traction than the earlier versions of Ultraboost or any other continental Outsole. This is mainly because the tread pattern now covers more surface area, so it grips the ground in a much better way. This also leads to an increase in the durability of the outsole.
The continental rubber provided great traction on every kind of surface, be it wet road or wet grass. It will continent will not let you down and you can step onto any kind of surface with confidence.
Adidas is a German brand and we know how famous Germany is for its quality products. The Ultraboost 19 is no different. An amalgamation of Boost, new tread pattern on its continental rubber outsole, and Primeknit 360 upper makes the Ultraboost 19 far more durable than any other shoe.
I have ran multiple times in them and they still look new. No wear and tear on outsole, no fraying of upper and boost has not bottomed out at all.
Everyone loves the looks of the previous versions of Ultraboost. I found the looks of the Ultraboost 19 much better than the previous versions'. The unfinished look of the heel collar, lateral stitching on the forefoot, and 3D heel frame make the Ultraboost 19 look different from rest of the shoes available in the market.
In spite of the 20% increase in Boost in the midsole and replacement of Primeknit with Primeknit 360, Adidas still kept the retail price at $180, and I think this shoe is fairly priced and really worth every penny.
If a buyer does not have problems with the weight of the shoe and wants a solid durable daily trainer, I would suggest that they go with the Ultraboost 19 without thinking twice.