We know adidas as a perfectionist: the Franconian company keeps striving for more, is rarely really satisfied and never stands still. And then they suddenly came around the corner with the idea of developing the best running shoe. A shoe that makes you lean back and say: Here it is – it couldn’t be better! And then, bam! It’s hard to believe, but they actually did the impossible – with the adidas Ultra Boost.
A shoe that revolutionized running and at the same time shaped street style. Which achieved the best results with an innovative technology. And which made it from professional sports into the closets of sneakerheads, fashionistas and notable stars all over the world. The Ultra Boost is a true phenomenon in the sneaker scene and defends its position to this day – and rightly so. But what is behind the sneaker legend? In this article, we’ll go back to the beginning and introduce you to the special features and the most hyped variants.
Of course, adidas could have further optimized existing technologies and used them for the new model. But the sports brand wanted more. It wanted to revolutionize running, wanted to make runners even better. The idea was to develop a new technology that would help runners regain their energy: The birth of the Boost Shoe.
This idea was followed by years of research and development – with none other than chemical giant BASF. The result was a sole that resembles Styrofoam and consists of many small foam beads, so-called expanded thermoplastic polyurethane. This foam absorbs the runner’s energy and returns it to him instead of being swallowed up by the cushioning. This rebound effect means that the runner needs significantly less power and can perform better – it’s not for nothing that professional runners like Dennis Kimetto have been able to record numerous victories and set world records. In addition to the unique technology, the sneaker offers enormous comfort – a unique running feeling. The sole is soft and at the same time responsive – a unique performance technology.
Before the hyped Ultra Boost, the Energy Boost was launched in 2013. It was the first professional running shoe with the famous Boost midsole and a rather plain design and practical Techfit upper. After the Boost capsules finally saw success in the field and were celebrated by runners worldwide, it only took 2 more years before the Ultra Boost was dropped: A shoe that was also visually poised for success. From its more than victorious launch in running, it quickly made its way into the sneaker scene, where it is still indispensable today. Not only did it have a lot more going for it visually, but it swapped out the midsole for a sole made entirely of Boost capsules. A completely new level!
Since the more than successful release, the sneaker has appeared in a variety of colorways and collabos. We have all come to love the Uncaged model, which prevailed at adidas due to the customs of individual sneakerheads. But the Parley versions are also quite something to behold. The Ultra Boost is still one of the top models in the running community. But it didn’t take long for sneakerheads and fashion fans to take notice of the shoe and it established itself as a lifestyle sneaker. Responsible for this were, among other things, special collabos and limited releases like the Lego version, the Ultraboost Wood Wood or the version with Ivy Park, which made the shoe something special. Other models such as Stella McCartney’s ensured that the Ultraboost for women in particular gained in importance. Which variants are particularly hyped, we reveal to you here.
The successor to the 2020 version of the Ultra Boost wasn’t just given a quick makeover – it was taken to the next level. With more boost, a brand-new upper and optimized sole, it offers a significantly better feel. The sole is a third higher than its predecessor, making the shoe visually wider, but the fit remains narrow. The Primeknit upper hugs the foot comfortably while offering really good support. Partly responsible for this are the three stripes that are coupled to the lacing and ensure good grip on the sides as well.
The wider sole and narrower cut shaft of the Ultraboost 21 provide significantly more stability and support. The sole at the heel is divided into two parts and thus absorbs much more impact force than its predecessor – a real revolution for runners with a history of Achilles tendon. The Linear Energy Push Torsion System in the midsole provides more stability in the area of the forefoot and thus gives significantly more security while running. This also applies to rain, snow or other weather conditions – the grip is always right.
In the 2021 version of the sneaker, adidas also scores with sustainability: A large part of the textile part consists of plastic waste. The so-called Primeblue comes from the collabo between adidas and Parley for the Oceans, which collects plastic waste from the sea. An important step as a global player in the sportswear industry.
Even more stability, optimized energy recovery and better support – the Ultraboost 22 combines all this. It combines comfort with an energetic running feel, which is due to the Boost midsole and of course the further optimized Linear Energy Push System. Despite this explosive top performance, the Ultraboost 22 provides safety, because the outsole made of Continental Better Rubber offers the best grip at all times – no matter what the weather. Comfort is provided, among other things, by the soft padding in the heel area and, of course, the Primeknit Upper, which fits the foot like a sock. The upper of the 2022 also ensures that the heat of the foot is better dissipated.
Especially in the version for women, the female fan base gets its money’s worth, because the shoe was adapted to the female foot. The outsole was adapted to the running cycle of women and a new last was created, which makes the shoe so incredibly comfortable. But special features for men have also been taken into account and the fit has been revised so that it is even better adapted to the respective needs overall.
This variant of the coveted sneaker also comes with an upper that is made partly from the Primeblue and partly from Primeknit material. But that’s not all: the outsole is also made of environmentally friendly material, namely natural rubber. Thus, the 2022 version of the Ultra Boost is perfectly aligned with the need for sustainability.
The DNA 4.0 is the model for maximum comfort – of course with the same best Boost technology. The fit is reminiscent of the comfort of socks and the breathable Primeknit material gives you a pleasant and free feeling. This model is also a bit lighter than other variants, which makes it another notch more comfortable. The Boost beads ensure a smooth rollover and optimal energy return. At the same time, the shoe gives perfect support, as the area around the midfoot is reinforced and the heel counter is stabilized. This Ultraboost is particularly popular in white or black, the classic sneaker colorways. The successor, the DNA 5.0, places even more emphasis on the use of recycled materials, but in no way forgoes the proven Boost technology. Here, too, the focus is on performance and comfort, which is given in any case with the Primeknit and the pre-shaped Fitcounter heel cap.
Another popular version is the Ultraboost DNA Web. This version already stands out visually, because the famous Boost midsole is hidden behind a kind of mesh here. Technically, this shoe makes use of the proven technologies.
The name alone made the launch of the Ultra Boost Uncaged a legend. But of course, the kicks do not disappoint on the visual and technical side. A few months before the actual release, there was already an “Uncaged” version as a collabo with Solebox. The version is elegant and bold at the same time: light gray Primeknit meets suede details – the red outsole provides the optical dynamics.
This success was followed by the Ultra Boost Uncaged, in which a reinforcement of the area around the midfoot replaced the Cage with the three stripes. This meant that the shoe lost none of its stability, yet still looked freer and slimmer. The flat laces also ensure that the shoe looks much more minimalist overall than the OG version. The entry into the shoe is once again reminiscent of socks and the upper encloses the foot without constricting it. This transition was deliberately chosen by the design team and thus fits perfectly into the streetwear area visually. The development of the Uncaged took about 20 months, which was mainly used for the development of an alternative option for stability.
There are now many hyped variants of the Uncaged on the market. One of them is the adidas Uncaged Parley collabo – the first mass-produced shoe made largely from recycled material. For example, the upper is made of 95% recycled marine plastic, but the heel cap or the laces are also made of recycled materials. Visually, the shoe is fresh and minimalist: on the heel is a subtle embroidery reminiscent of waves and the “Parley” lettering.
Popular colorways of the silhouette are the Grey Two, Chinese New Year and of course the Uncaged Black and White. For those who prefer something a bit more unusual, there is the Ultra Boost Uncaged Linen Khaki or the Pink White.
Boost technology has been a milestone for adidas since the beginning – and with each successor to the Ultra Boost OG, they’ve taken it up a notch and become even better and more professional. With each release, we thought the end of the line had been reached – and then the successor came along and proved us wrong. In the meantime, the Boost technology has become so sophisticated that it is also used for many other models. The Ultra Boost is considered a role model – and has really come of age.
Lightness has been the focus of the Ultra Boost from the beginning. If you’ve ever had one of the hyped sneakers on your foot, you know exactly what we’re talking about. Thanks to the special sole technology, it’s like walking on clouds. This is true not only for a leisurely shopping trip, but also for a professional sprint or a marathon. Together with BASF, adidas developed the Boost midsole, a completely new foam material that provides maximum cushioning step after step. In the process, countless small capsules capture the runner’s energy and return it to the foot – completely independent of temperature and surface. But of course, adidas is not satisfied with just the Boost midsole. The Stretchweb outsole made of Continental rubber additionally guarantees good rolling behavior and best traction. The combination creates a sole technology that offers optimal grip in any weather situation. But that’s not all with the technology that is in this shoe. The heel cap is also a real plus for the running community and takes the pressure on the Achilles heel caused by the steps. Another gimmick that prevents over or incorrect stress.
Thanks to the textile upper, the sole construction and the three stripes, the Ultraboost provides optimal support while still allowing flexible movements. The lacing of the laces is almost superfluous, because the seamless Primeknit upper encloses your foot precisely. Even though the shoe now appears visually wider due to the sole, it turns out to be true to size in terms of sizing. It is comparable to other adidas models such as the Stan Smith or the adidas Forum, while Nike’s Air Force 1 is the reference model for the Ultra Boost.
It’s obvious: Whether you’re a sneakerhead, a professional athlete or a fashionista, you can’t go without a pair of the coveted adidas Ultra Boost. Whether you’re a fan of futuristic styles, like it simple or prefer an eye-catching colorway or unusual material – the Ultra Boost is as visually individual as you are! What is always the same, however, is that every single model comes with the best possible technology. And that’s exactly what makes the Ultra Boost one of the best sneakers ever!