What changed on the adidas Ultraboost PB vs Ultraboost 20? The new adidas Ultraboost PB (Personal Best) recently launched on adidas.com. The price point of $180, which is the same price as the Ultraboost 20.
And thanks to the good people at adidas, we have the Ultraboost PB in hand for a comparison with the Ultraboost 20 and our first impressions.
Note: We have a similar Ultraboost 20 vs Ultraboost 19 comparison here.
Ultraboost PB vs Ultraboost 20: What’s the same?
- TPU heel clip
- Continental rubber outsole
- Torsion bar
- Weight (almost)
The Boost midsole including the plastic torsion bar, TPU heel clip, and Continental rubber outsole are exactly the same. The insole is also exactly the same.
You’ll get the same step in comfort as the Ultraboost 20. And since the midsole/outsole setup is the same, the midsole drop matches at 10mm. The stack height is 22 mm in the heel and 12mm in forefoot, an exact match to the Ultraboost 20.
And interestingly, despite what looks to be a much sleeker upper, the overall weight is almost the same. In a size 9, the Ultraboost PB weighs 10.8 ounces and the Ultraboost 20 weighs 10.9 ounces. The upper materials on the Ultraboost PB appear thinner and lighter but don’t make much of a practical difference when it comes to weight.
Ultraboost PB vs Ultraboost 20: What’s the difference?
- Upper design, materials, and fit
The Ultraboost PB is supposed to be a “faster” iteration of the Ultraboost 20. Would I say it’s faster? No. It’s just different. Whether you prefer the normal Ultraboost 20 or the Ultraboost PB comes down to what you prefer for the materials and fit of your running shoe.
The Ultraboost PB brings an all new upper to the Ultraboost line. Early Ultraboosts were engineered mesh and recent years have transitioned to Primeknit. The Ultraboost PB ditches Primeknit entirely in favor of Celermesh. It’s a super thin, light, plastic-y mesh. It’s breathability is amazing. Celermesh is adidas’ thinnest mesh and is clearly made for warm climates. The inside of the Celermesh has been layered with a criss crossed felt pattern that gives the mesh structure. While the support material does allow the Celermesh to retain its shape, it also prevents it from stretching. The Ultraboost 20’s upper has a lot more flex to fit various foot types while the Ultraboost PB’s upper is stronger and stiffer. Though the Ultraboost PB still fits true to size, the Celermesh makes it fit more narrow through the midfoot than the Ultraboost 20. Wide footers will need to try on the Ultraboost PB to be sure they enjoy the fit.
At the heel of the shoe, the felt material covers the entire inside of the shoe and even includes two nice-sized achilles pillows. This makes for a fairly comfortable heel, that, while not as comfortable as the plush heel of the Ultraboost 20, is very nice considering the minimal materials used.
The laces, which are slightly thinner and stiffer than the Ultraboost 20 laces, are strung through 5 traditional lace holes. The lace holes are fused to the Ultraboost PB’s upper versus the usual TPU lace closure of previous Ultraboost models.
The tongue is a thin neoprene-type material that is sewn to the outer edges of the fuse lace holes. It’s a comfortable tongue, featuring some holes for breathability, and some padding at the top middle where the adidas logo is found. While the tongue is a departure from the integrated socklike tongues of the Ultraboost 19 and 20, it doesn’t have any functional issues. I felt it was comfortable despite it’s non traditional construction.
The overall adidas Ultraboost PB vs Ultraboost 20 comparison results are the shoes feature the same midsole/outsole but with a completely different upper design and materials. The Ultraboost PB’s upper is stiffer, stronger, more breathable, and fits narrower. It’s a change that some will love and some will hate. If you’re considering the Ultraboost PB, go try it on to make sure you like the materials and fit of the upper.
For my part, I think the Ultraboost PB is a nice change up. After running multiple miles in the Ultraboost PB, I find I prefer the comfort and flexibility of the Ultraboost 20 upper for most regular runs while I use the Ultraboost PB for faster days or warmer runs where I need the extra airflow.