When Adidas launched the UltraBoost in 2015 there weren’t many, if any, running shoes like it. This was the only place you could find such a combination of style and substance in the form of Adidas’s impressive Boost cushioning and the fashionable knitted upper.
However, the landscape has changed since, and more brands have brought out proprietary foams that mimic the bounce of Boost and combined them with stylish uppers. Some shoes, like the Nike Epic React or Pegasus Turbo, are also far lighter than the UltraBoost, making them better suited for faster training runs and racing. The UltraBoost also faces increased competition from within, with Adidas having launched the lighter, speedier SolarBoost in early 2018.
Despite all this extra competition, the UltraBoost remains an incredibly popular shoe with all kinds of runners and Adidas has done little to change the formula of the original shoe in the updates since it launched. You still get the comfortable and stylish Primeknit upper, which is a little tighter on the latest version of the shoe to provide a more secure fit, and you still get a chunky slab of Boost cushioning on the bottom.
That Boost cushioning still delivers a responsive and comfortable ride, returning energy in spades to help you bounce merrily through whatever distance you’re taking on. I found the UltraBoost particularly good for helping to maintain a decent pace over long runs and cruising through easy runs.
However, when you want to push the pace the UltraBoost is slightly cumbersome, especially when compared with lighter shoes in Adidas’s line-up like the SolarBoost or Boston. It’s not built for sprinting or racing, and although the upper’s now tighter than in past versions of the shoe, I still found that my foot would slip a bit when turning corners at speed. There’s a plastic cage that wraps around the midfoot section of the UltraBoost, which helps a little in this regard, but if you tighten the laces too much the cage can become uncomfortable.
On the plus side, the Continental rubber on the outsole provides excellent grip in all conditions, although the knitted upper is less suited to wet weather and will do nothing to stop your foot getting drenched if the heavens open.
While it would never be my first choice for speed sessions, the UltraBoost is still a versatile running shoe that you can tackle all of your running in, and it is a joy to pull on for easy days in particular. If you’re a runner who has two or three shoes in the wardrobe at any one time the UltraBoost pairs perfectly with the Adios (for racing and fast training) and the Boston (for the rest of your running). And even if you only ever have one pair of shoes in your arsenal the UltraBoost bears consideration, because not only is it a solid all-rounder, it’s one that you can wear with your civvies without people casting pitiful glances at your hideous footwear.
Buy from Sport Shoes | £149.95