…it felt like my feet were wrapped in clouds.
A little over 2 years ago I picked up my first ever pair of adidas Ultra Boosts in Barcelona, Spain. The first time I slid my feet in them and walked around, I was stunned because it felt like my feet were wrapped in clouds. Since then I’ve thoroughly abused them in different parts of the world. They’ve been regular go-to shoes for running, traveling, and weekends because of how extremely comfortable they were.
Fast forward to today and we have a battered and bruised pair of shoes. There’s so much history with them and after spending over 2 years, let me share our story.
Extremely Comfortable Shoes
You have got to try them on because words can’t capture how extremely comfortable Ultra Boosts are.
adidas used a lot of breakthrough technology to be able to make this happen. First we have the upper weave of the shoe that covers the top and sides of your feet which is called the Primeknit. It’s soft and it just moves with you. They’re like beautifully and purposefully engineered meshes that flex with you as you run or walk. The mesh also delivers excellent ventilation with the top of the forefoot having a little more space.
They’re Great for Working Out and Running
The midsole of the Ultra Boost is made from TPU. They’re like rice-like grain balls that stick together to deliver a responsive sole that pushes you upward (returns the energy when you walk or run). The outer sole is made from rubber and protects the midsole from punishment when the shoe hits the pavement. For a more detailed explanation of what the “adidas boost” technology is, watch this video.
Apart from the sole, there are also two more key components that help with the comfort.
First is the achilles heel lip and the thermoplastic heel guard. Not only does it help with allowing you to comfortably slip in your feet without a fight, it also cups the foot all the way through which gives fantastic support to your heel.
Second, we have the “cage”. These are the thermoplastic pieces along the side and the heel. It gives the shoe more structure and I believe it helps keep the integrity of the shoe in harsher running/walking conditions.
So yes, the Ultra Boost is a fantastic shoe to run and walk in, regardless if you’re in the gym or you’re outdoors.
Comfort Starts to Decrease After Punishment
There are just three main problems with the Ultra Boost after using them for over 2 years.
The rubber outsole bottoms out after a lot of abuse. Those black dots that you see used to be longer but over time they look like they’ve been pushed inward closer to the TPU of the sole. This means that the “boost” part begins to take more punishment and eventually breaks down, especially a the point of the underfoot that usually hits the floor.
The sole support bottoms out after a lot of abuse.
Notice where the discoloration is. That’s where the sole takes a lot of beating.
Next is how easy the Ultra Boosts get dirty and how hard it is to clean them! The Primeknit and the TPU boost get stains from dirt and grime. Over time the white part starts to yellow, the plastic cages get scuff marks and scratches, and even the paint job of the “Ultra Boost” name starts to chip off.
That said, this is actually the best way to use your Ultra Boosts because it means that you’re actually using them and they’re not just sitting in your shelf in pristine condition.
Lastly is the price. Ultra Boosts usually sell for around Php10,000 in adidas stores here in the Philippines so it’s not the most affordable running shoes that you can get. There are a lot of more cheaper alternatives from adidas and other brands.
Will I Buy Again? I Already Did!
I loved my Ultra Boosts. They were the most comfortable shoe I’ve ever worn and they’re a big reason why I’ve been more active and gone to the gym more often (lost a lot of weight in the process). They’re definitely not as comfortable anymore due to the damaged soles, but I think I can still get 1 more year’s use out of them before they really need to retire. I want to extend the lifespan a bit though so I already went ahead and bought my second pair of Ultra Boosts, this time the Uncaged version.
I copped this pair earlier this year when I was in Tokyo for a business trip.
So do I recommend the Ultra Boosts? If you want versatile and ultra-comfortable shoes that you can use for running, training, and working out, the answer is a resounding yes. If you want to go extreme, you might want to get another pair for casual wear so you can preserve the clean look when you’re out and about.