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adidas Ultra Boost ST Performance Review

Boost, Boost, Boost — it’s everywhere and should be. From my first Energy Boost runners to the Rose 6, I have loved almost every shoe with Boost in it (*ahem* Crazy Light Boost 2014 not in the mix). The Ultra Boost from a year ago was called “the best running shoe ever” by Three Stripes, and they weren’t far off.

Now we get the update, the Ultra Boost ST. As you may have guessed by now, the ST stands for stability, something I usually need since years of basketball make my ankles roll in. But how can adidas make a stable shoe that will be stiff enough to stop pronation but still have the Ultra Boost properties? Stay tuned…


ST Boost Traction

I know it says traction, but this will cover the whole outsole. The worst part of the Ultra Boost was the quick-wearing nubs on the outsole. Worst because they wore off just wearing them out of the store, which was good, because while they were new they were slick and not good at all for wet roads. Thank you, Continental Tires, for allowing adidas to use your rubber (stop it). The new outsole is thicker and more durable, but will still wear off in short time (mine was noticeably flatter after only about 40 miles). Being thicker, though, gives more coverage before hitting the Boost foam. Flexibility it still great and the improvement overall just shows adidas does listen.


ST Boost - Cushion

It seriously gets no better for foam than Boost, unless you don’t enjoy response and impact protection. Heel to toe, the Ultra Boost is all about energy return and over-use injury prevention. Boost allows the foot to sink, but only so far, and then rebounds better than Andre Drummond and Manimal together. The feeling is of your foot being pushed into a step — some companies claim it, adidas did it. You will still get tired after a run, you will still have to stop when you get tired, but Boost is designed to make that limit linger and further away. Boost works, nuff said. 


ST Boost Materials

Materials from adidas do NOT come better than this; PrimeKnit upper and full length Boost cushioning, what else do you need? The ‘Knit is not like we saw on the UltraBoost, stretchy and giving; the ST gives us a stronger, more supportive knit across the forefoot and especially around the ball of the foot, increasing lateral stability and containment (something the CLBoost 2015 could have used, btw). The toebox is still open and loose but not elastic. The midsole is the magic — Boost is still a fantastic cushioning system and feels as good on the first mile as it does on the 100th. The outsole also holds a change as the ST has Continental tire rubber for durability and traction. Let’s run…


ST Boost Fit

Fit is true to size, all the way. There was some debate — okay, a TON of debate — on message boards about the Ultra Boost. Here is the deal: if you run in the shoe, it is true to size. If you are buying to hype, or because some rapper from Chicago wore them one time going to the QuikMart for a Coke, you could go half up, half down, whatever. For performance, stay true.

The toebox is roomy enough for some flex but nothing extra, just a snug fit. The heel is unusual with the split cup and easy-entry tab, the foot feels like it could ocme out at any moment. It doesn’t, but there is no harsh ankle/heel cup in the back, so it is a loose, free feeling.


ST Boost Support

And here’s the change. While in the past normal support shoes have had a denser medial post, adidas tried a new trick: build up the medial side under the heel and arch with adidtional Boost foam and pack it tighter. But Boost is inherently unstable, so how do you control the compression to get the benefits? Add the blue strips. I originally thought those strips did nothing and that they were purely cosmetic. I was wrong. The way they are constructed, as the Boost compresses and expands out, the strips holds the material tight under the area and keeps the pronation to a minimum. Again, Boost works. Midfoot support is held down by the mandatory Torsion X-system, and the saddle straps on the sides of the upper hold your foot tight without the harsh edges of the Energy Boost and Ultra Boost.

adidas Ultra Boost ST Overall

ST BOOST overall

OVERALL – This is my fifth pair of adidas Boost runners and honestly, they just get better. I was not sold on the ability of Boost to be stable enough for a stability shoe, but what do I know? I only review, I don’t design. Let those people work.

If you are looking for a super-cushioned shoe with great fit, top-flight materials, and light-to-medium support, look no further. adidas improved on an already great design, and while it may not be as clean visually as the regular Ultra Boost, it is a more technical runner and feels like it. The Ultra Boost ST is a little pricey at $180, but Kanye has not worn them yet, so you may actually get a pair for retail.

ST boost Score
  1. Great review Duke! One question, should I go true to size or half size up if I’m wearing an ankle brace?

  2. Got mine for $140, got the black, had it already for 3 months,

    Awesome shoe and very comfortable for work,

    Sad part as mentioned by Duke is that the continental rubber sole is not that thick,

    Hope it would last long, since I just walk with them for work or casual walk at the mall or park.

  3. Still don’t dig the page layout, let me explain. First, no educated designer uses yellow type against against a white background, lol. Then there is the issue of that typeface being used for page layout, it is really more of a display face, ask your self how legible it would be at a size 12? Not very. My main beef however, is that you guys put a lot of work into PERFORMANCE reviews and this is not a performance layout. It draws far to much attention to its self when we should be focusing on your ideas. It’s like a flashy pair of basketball shoes with terrible traction.

  4. Just by looking the outsole is stupid thin .

    I guess the idea was to maximize articulation, but it’s arguably impractical long term.

  5. The traction is the only thing that hold me back…if they could just improve on that to make it last for quite some time, this is an easy must cop for all. Hell, Ultra Boosts/ST >>> Yeezy Boost 350s.

  6. Thanks for the review, super helpful!

    Just a question about sizing. I have found Adidas sizing to be quite different from Nike sizing. I wear a 12 in Nike shoes but wear an 11.5 in most adidas shoes. The exception is the Ultra Boost, wear I fit a 12 comfortably. Should I opt for the 12 in the Ultra Boost ST or will I be okay with an 11.5? I’ve read elsewhere that the Ultra Boost ST actually runs a bit larger than the Ultra Boost. Thanks for the help!

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