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adidas Ultraboost 20 vs Ultraboost 19

What changed on the adidas Ultraboost 20 vs Ultraboost 19? Since the adidas Ultraboost 20 was announced, it’s a question we’ve seen over and over again.

And thanks to the good people at adidas, we have the Ultraboost 20 in hand for a comparison with the Ultraboost 19 (read our UB19 performance review here) and our first impressions of the new model.

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Ultraboost 20 vs Ultraboost 19: What’s the same?

  • TPU heel clip
  • Continental rubber outsole
  • Torsion bar
  • Midsole shape
  • Collar height
  • Insole
  • Laces 

The Boost midsole, TPU heel clip, and Continental rubber outsole look exactly the same. Nothing has changed with the heel clip or the outsole. However, adidas tells me the stack height has changed. 

Ultraboost 20 vs Ultraboost 19 Back

While I couldn’t see or feel the difference (my Ultraboost 19s have 100+ miles on them and  may be riding lower than when they were new), the Ultraboost 20 measures 7mm closer to the ground in both the forefoot and heel. It features the same 10mm drop as the Ultraboost 19 but has less Boost. It’ll be interesting to see if I feel a difference while testing them. Don’t automatically think of less Boost as a bad thing. The Ultraboost 19 featured too much cushion for some runners. Shaving a little bit of cushioning off shouldn’t affect overall performance. 

The overall weight is almost exactly the same. In a size 9, the Ultraboost 20 weighs in at 10.9 ounces and the Ultraboost 19 weighs 11.0 ounces. Some of the upper materials on the Ultraboost 20 are heavier so the thinner midsole allows for the weights to be almost equal.

Ultraboost 20 vs Ultraboost 19 Outsole

Ultraboost 20 vs Ultraboost 19: What’s the difference?

  • Heel materials and lockdown
  • Lace closure materials
  • Primeknit+ upper
  • Forefoot sidewall reinforcement
  • Tongue tag

The main differences in our adidas Ultraboost 20 vs Ultraboost 19 comparison are the materials. The heel is now more sculpted and made completely of polyester instead of last year’s polyester interior/Primeknit exterior. The achilles pillows were removed in favor of more padding overall. Your heel gets sucked into the Ultraboost 20 and overall lockdown feels better.

Another material change that will produce mixed reactions is the new lace closure. Last year’s fused TPU mesh is replaced with a mostly synthetic version with thicker but flexible TPU edges. The lace closure is larger overall and is more attached to the TPU heel clip. The new version will add lockdown and support but some will prefer the smaller and lighter lace closure from the Ultraboost 19. I’ll refrain from passing judgement until I see how it performs.

I loved how the Primeknit upper of the Ultraboost 19 felt. The airflow was fantastic. This year, adidas has used Primeknit+, which is a finer knit. Airflow should still be very good as the top of the toe area features a larger knit pattern that mirrors last year’s pattern.

The Ultraboost 20 upper features added support with thin foam backing the edges of the entire forefoot. The Ultraboost 19 also featured foam backing but the foam didn’t go as high or all the way around the toes. In addition, the Ultraboost 20 has extra stitching around the entire forefoot to further improve the support. This should be a good change for those that run on uneven ground as it beefs up the overall support of the shoe.

Ultraboost 20 vs Ultraboost 19 Side


The results of the adidas Ultraboost 20 vs Ultraboost 19 comparison are less Boost, different upper materials, and extra support/lockdown. I’m optimistic that these changes will have a positive effect on performance. Keep an eye on our Running Shoes Reviews category as I’ll get a performance review done as soon as possible. 

If you want to grab the adidas Ultraboost 20, it launches Friday December 6th at 3am EST on adidas.com.

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