Adidas Ultraboost 22 review and lab test

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The Adidas Ultraboost 22s are probably more popular as a sneaker than a running shoe. Even so, Adidas has put huge care and thought into the construction of this super comfortable, plush runner.

Who the shoe is for

The Adidas Ultraboost 22 utilizes its comfy foam midsole to provide a cushioned and protective ride for users. As such it’s perfect as a daily runner or for longer, easier runs

Who the Ultraboost 22 is not for

The Ultraboost 22 might not be for you if you:

A tried and tested design

At 11.2oz (318g), the Ultraboost 22 isn’t the lightest running shoe out there, but with a heel stack height of 33.9mm it’s a real surprise that it’s not heavier.

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The lightweight pairing of the midsole and knitted sock liner felt barely noticeable on foot for my runs.

The Adidas Ultraboost 22 has a tight upper

Although not noticeable due to the weight of the shoe, the super stretchy knit made for an overly snug fit (poetic, I know).

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While there is some structure in the form of padding throughout the upper, the fit is super snug, and I can imagine people with wider feet really finding these uncomfortable.

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The toe-box is especially tight, and I found them uncomfortable to wear over a long period.

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It’s a shame because I don’t think it would have added much weight just to reinforce the toe-box a little to stop it wrapping around the end.

Excellent lockdown

One benefit of the restrictive upper is the fantastic lockdown when paired with the lacing.

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Hard TPU plastic supports the sides of the shoe, tightend by the laces, which ensure a secure fit. I felt absolutely no movement in my testing, meaning there was also no break-in period for these. 

The Ultraboost midsole is the stuff of dreams

Probably purposefully constructed to resemble clouds, the midsole on the Ultraboost 22 is incredibly comfy. They’re perfect for heavier runners who want to look after their joints.

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With a stack height of 21.2mm in the forefoot, there’s plenty of cushioning throughout the shoe and a relatively neutral drop. The shoe feels like it’s there for long, slow runs.

The Adidas Ultraboost 22 tries to add speed

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The midsole cushioning really dampens every step in the Ultraboost, which is great for comfort and my joints, but gave absolutely no energy back to me.

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Adidas has added a TPU shank to help give the shoe structure (with all that foam it needs it). I suspect it also helps the shoe not suck all the energy out of my legs, but it still felt like running through sand.

Flexible and fairly consistent

In our lab testing, we measure the force needed to bend a shoe to a 45° angle. The Adidas Ultraboost 22 has a pretty flexy 27.6N score (average is 34.5N). This isn't too much of a surprise and I welcomed the flexibility on my runs, allowing the shoe to shape to my foot. 

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We also lab test the flexibility of shoes after they've spent time in a freezer to see how consistent that flexibility is in different conditions. The Ultraboost 22 scored 35.1N a 27% change, which is also relatively close to the average. 

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It's always good to know you can rely on your training shoes to take on all weather.

The Ultraboost 22 also look incredible

The Ultraboost line is one of Adidas’ most popular thanks to their supreme comfort but also the style and number of colorways.

To capitalize on this, Adidas have released the Ultraboost 22 in a huge number of colorways. I picked up the Magic Grey/Turbo colorway and love them for the muted blue look.

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At $165 for a daily running shoe, it’s a great addition to be able to wear them casually as well.

The Continental grip is insane

With a 5.8mm rubber outsole from Continental (the people who also make car tires, so they know their way around rubber), the Ultraboost 22 has an incredibly serious grip.

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On wet and dry tarmac, with or without leaves (you rarely get a choice in Scotland), I found the Ultraboost 22 to be secure underfoot, which always helps with confidence on downhills.

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What’s more, the injected rubber means the shoes are highly durable.

Conclusion

The Adidas Ultraboost 22 is a seriously comfy and stylish shoe. With excess padding and a solid lockdown, this is a great option for longer distances and relaxed runs.

Complete lab-specs overview 

  Adidas Ultraboost 22 Average
Whole shoe
Weight (g) 318 270
Drop (mm)

12.7

8.3
Flexibility of the shoe (N)

27.6

34.5
Flexibility of the shoe (Freezer 20 min) (N) 35.1 48
Flexibility of the shoe (% of change) 27 34.1
Lace slip test with the knot (N) 28.4 24
Longitudinal flexibility (1-5 scale, 5 being the stiffest) 4.0 3.2
Torsional flexibility (1-5 scale, 5 being the stiffest)

3.0

3.4
Upper
Thickness - Tongue (mm) 5.9 6.2
Width Upper - Forefoot (mm) 104 98.7
Width Upper - Heel (mm) 88.7 82.5
Lace Stretch (1-5 scale, 5 being the most stretchy) 3.0 2.7
Flexibility of the heel counter (1-5 scale, 5 being the stiffest) 3.9 3.0
Tongue: gusset type Full -
Heel: pull tab None -
Midsole
Width Midsole - Forefoot (mm) 117.7 112.2
Width Midsole - Heel (mm) 98.3 89.0
Stack - Forefoot with insole (mm) 21.2 24.2
Stack - Heel with insole (mm) 33.9 32.6
Durometer Midsole Heel (Room temperature) (HA) 35 26.9
Outsole
Outsole thickness (Heel) (mm) 5.8 3.7
Lugs Depth (mm) N/A 3.3
Durometer Outsole Heel (Room temperature) (HC) 83.8 81.1
Insole
Insole Heel Thickness (mm) 3.8 4.3
Insole: removable Yes  

Facts / Specs

Terrain: Road
Weight: Men 332g / Women 283g
Drop: 10mm
Arch support: Neutral
Collection: Adidas Ultraboost, Adidas Boost, Adidas Continental, Adidas Primeknit
Pronation: Neutral Pronation / Supination / Underpronation
Arch type: High arch

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Author
Doug Turner
Doug Turner

Doug is a Scottish documentary and fashion photographer and filmmaker. Stumbling into the sneaker game later than usual, he started out behind a camera through long hiking expeditions around the world. Seeking a cleaner aesthetic, Doug now works mostly in fashion and sport, opting for outdoor locations rather than a studio.