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adidas Ultra Boost Performance Review | Duke4005

“Best Run Ever”. Tagline for the new adidas Ultra Boost, as put out by adidas Running. I have heard some outrageous claims in my life, but basically saying you have created he “best running shoe ever” is pretty large. But is it false? I know – we should find out!!!!

adidas Unveils the Ultra Boost 4    Materials – We start here because it was the first thing I noticed. Upper is PrimeKnit, and it feels completely different from the PrimeKnit Boost from last summer. For one, it is more forgiving, meaning it stretches and flexes more. Last year the PrimeKnit wasn’t rigid, but it was more structured. This version feels like a padded sock, which, think about it, feels pretty good. There are some tighter weaves in high-stress areas, such as around the toe box, which is what makes these weaves and knits so amazing – they can be woven for specific uses, becoming flexible when needed and loose and comfy in other areas. I know I stay ranting on leather uppers for basketball, but mesh and knits in running just make sense.

adidas Unveils the Ultra Boost 1   Cushioning – Of course the next thing we have to hit is the Boost midsole. If you haven’t tried Boost, stop reading this right now, go to the nearest shoe store, find a pair, and get them on feet. See if I don’t preach the truth – Boost is the best foam cushioning in running right now. Hands down. IT is responsive, protective, consistent (same front to back and day after day) and durable. Like 3000 tiny little toe pillows, the pebbles compress and spring right back, giving a sensory feedback that your foot is being pushed into running. They sink in and push back and do it all again on the next step. As for durability, I have only had these about three weeks, but the Energy Boost I got last February still feel like new. Boost just lasts. It’s good.

 adidas Unveils the Ultra Boost 3

adidas Unveils the Ultra Boost 2   Support – Here is where the shoe should be failing. Primeknit can’t possibly be supportive – it’s only yarn!!! And you would be correct, except for that big, split, purple heel counter and that black support cage around the midfoot. The cage I could take or leave. It did add a more secure and snug fit to the upper, but the upper is spandex and knit – it already fit great. If a way could be found to just lace up tight without the cage it could go away completely. The heel counter, however, is a thing of beauty. Matte finish and gold lettering, it is split in the back because, let’s face it, no one has ever rolled an ankle backwards. Cuts down a little weight, looks cool as he!!, and ties into the midfoot to secure the fit and hold it together. I wore these for running, both road and treadmill, and some crossfit and weight workouts, and the support was substantial enough to get me through. I won’t say they are cross-trainers – they aren’t going to hold up to lateral training you would find in basketball or football, but for normal gym workouts you should be okay.

adidas Unveils the Ultra Boost 6   Transition – I always feel weird doing a “traction” section in a running review, so we will call it “transition” – how did the shoe feel while moving. I love shoes that have one cushioning system – ClutchFit Drive and Micro G, full foot Zoom in Lebron XI, full Boost in the Ultra. The shoe just feels smooth and effortless – you don’t get that slappy feel as the shoe moves from one system or element to the other. The Ultra falls into the smooth category. The rocker toe (it is bent upward) coupled with the Boost and the Torsion system make the next step as easy as the first. I am normally a heel striker, but found myself running on forefoot and midfoot more in the Ultra, especially the midfoot. And I usually need some support as I pronate, but the neutral support of the Ultra felt good straight away. I was wondering about the outsole and its resemblance to the Pure Boost, which is NOT meant for running, and was told the rubber is spaced in this pattern to allow the Boost to expand as it compresses with no restriction. Seems to work so far. As for wear, some of the   nubs in the midfoot have began flattening after 50 miles or so, but no noticeable wearing or breaking down.

adidas Unveils the Ultra Boost   Overall – adidas nailed the cushioning innovation two years ago when it introduced Boost and it just gets better with every release. This is my seventh pair of Boost shoes and only one has disappointed (but not because of the Boost — lack of Boost, yes). Price may be a deal-breaker for some, as they will release February 11 for $180. You can find Boost shoes for cheaper, and they are all monsters. If price is no object,  and if you need a neutral, highly cushioned, responsive, well-fitting shoe, the Ultra is for you. Seeing what adidas is doing in the running category only gets me more excited about the basketball direction. Until then, I guess I will have to run more.

  1. Thanks for the review man! Appreciate it 🙂
    I’m dying to buy these, just waiting for the release date…

    Just a quick question, how does the cushioning differ from the previous boost models? I had pure boost and they felt great. Adidas says ultra boost’s cushioning has more boost, but I want to hear if there was any difference at all from other boost models regarding cushioning.

    1. the ultras are a more firm shoe but not rigid. It feels like they packed the Boost extra tight to get it all in. Step in and step down comfort is still there, but the response is faster compared to the Pure. They are very similar on the upper feel though.

    2. Also, if you have the Energy Boosts, (the 1’s or 2’s), they both have a thin eva foam liner on the Boost. In the Ultra Boost, they turned all elements of cushion into Boost, ultimately adding in 20 percent more Boost foam than the Energy Boost. so yeah, they packed a whole lot of Boost in there

          1. Jonathon said “In the Ultra Boost, they turned all elements of cushion into Boost”, so I assumed that they didn’t have an insole and that your foot was sitting on top of the Boost itself. Isn’t that how the PureBoosts are setup?

  2. Great review, loving to see the refinement in Knit. And being a bigger guy, slightly more compressed-Boost = better response for me, so SWEET!!!

  3. I have a pair of energy boost and RG3 boost trainers and both have great cushioning. RG3 is Isa bit stiff because it’s and trainer but still awsome cushioning.

  4. I just got the Energy Boost 2 ESM, and boost hasn’t really blown me away. I like it but wish it had more Boost under the forefoot. JB has me hooked on forefoot unlocked zoom, SF2 is my favorite shoe ever.
    Love the review.

  5. Hey man, loved the review but I have one quick question. With the cage covering the midfoot did you find that besides applying some pressure to the top of your foot it potentially made the shoe narrower? I saw your unboxing but there wasn’t much of a mention of the width of the shoe. Recommendations or comparisons in terms of width?

    Keep up the great work.

    1. Width is good unless you have real shrek feet. The cage is not attached at the top so it widens with your foot, and the knit stretches perfect. I would say if you can wear one of the Energy Boost or even the Pures you are good.

  6. Very nice review, but I have a question….perhaps the most important question that should be addressed for any prospective shoe buyer.
    How do they fit as far as size is concerned? I’ve always ordered a .5 size up on all my boost purchases; energy boost 1 & 2. I’m usually an 11.5 in Nikes, but in Energy Bloost I’m a 12. Can the same be said for these Ultra Boosts? I’d hate to order a $180 shoe online and they don’t fit. Should we continue to order a 1/2 size up?


    1. Normally I hate the sizing question, because if I say TTS when I like a little room up front, but you like TTS with no room. But with all of the online only releases or shoes that are hard to find, I completley understand. That said, I wear a 10.5 in almost everything – roses, Kobe’s, UA. My energy boost and ESM Boost are 10.5 and are almost short / needing an eleven. These, in a 10.5, have about a half inch length in the toe. Might could go half down, for me, especially with the PrimeKnit being stretchy, but TTS is good.

  7. I am not in the market for running shoes, but these sound like they may be something to look into. I’ve tried the earliest iteration of Boost, and didn’t like it. I hate bouncy shoes, hate’em, hate’em, hate’em. It’s nice to hear that these are tighter, dense, and a bit more controlled.

    1. What’s cool about Boost is that it is cushioned and plush while walking around, and very responsive and bouncy while running and sprinting (or any intense movement that pushes hard and quick onto the Boost). After wearing the Energy Boost for eleven months now, I went and tried on a new pair, (same model, same size, same colorway even haha) and found that the Boost foam in the new pair had way more bounce. I then put on my old pair, and found that after running about 500 miles in them, the Boost had actually changed. Definitely not negatively. DEFINITELY. It feels way more esponsive, and lost that plush marshmallow effect where it feels like your sinking into the shoe. It still was very cushioned, and has awesome impact protection. I just wish that they lost the kind of wedge shape that they formed Boost into, but I guess they lost that in the Ultra Boost

  8. Two pairs arrived today one in 11 the other 10.5 (UK) I have driven myself to distraction comparing and trying them out I am normally a 10 or 10.5 in most makes but was a size 11 in Energy Boost 1 which I love but these seem to be slightly truer to size but concerned the prime knit could give hot spots at 10.5 but too loose at 11. It does seem to give more cushion and support but less bounce and you do notice the extra weight. In the end went for 10.5 and will give them seven miles tomorrow plus half marathon on Sunday – Hoping these will be my London Marathon shoes (wore Nike Pegs last year)

  9. Do you think that these can be a sprinters shoes? Or do you think this is more geared towards longer distance running?


    1. I tried these on yesterday and I think they will serve as both sprinting shoes, as they feel like runner’s flats and will be good for distance. As a Podiatrist and 10 time marathon runner, I have never seen such a shoe innovation as I have seen in the Ultra. I have worn the Energy Glide Boost for about a year and love the shoe, but the Ultra is a game changer. I am very sensitive to the feel of the forfoot and the web/mesh material on top expands with your feet as needed. I will recommend this shoe for people with bunions and hammer toes, as the shoe expands as needed. I also like the opening in the back that will help distance runners in their achilles tendons.

  10. You mention that you prefer to use the term transition rather than “traction” but I’m looking to see if anyone is have a problem with the traction of the rubber outsole in wet conditions.
    I was running on wet asphalt and concrete without any problems but as the surface transitioned to pavers and bricks the raise nubs of the Ultra Boosts felt very skittish. I lost traction on toe off and started dropping 30 seconds per km off my pace and changing direction was very unnerving. I’m going to check out my Supernova Boost and compare the grip from the regular Continental rubber outsole in the wet but I don’t recall an issue with them. I may well be taking the Ultras back for exchange or refund. These feel like and accident waiting to happen on certain surfaces in the wet.

  11. Sometimes when I wear these, the pinky toe of my right foot starts hurting. Not sure if it’s cause I went TTS cause I might just have wide feet (I never got around to checking), but I only encounter this problem if I sit more than I stand/walk; walking around helps make the pain go away.

    Just wondering if anyone else has the same problem as me. Thanks in advance to anyone who can help!

  12. I have a pair of
    ultra Boost the latest one (msytery grey) and the upper has a problem. A little bit of knit came out.How do I solve the problem?

  13. I have a pair of womens Ultra boost, loved them at first and run 20 k per week. Only wore them twice a week for 6 weeks.
    However the liner around the top of the foot on the top inside has began to wrinkle, oh it hurts so much pressing on the top of my foot. The material has compacted together and is like a lump.
    The left shoe is fine, I am going to ask for an exchange and see how I get on with them.

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