(COVINGTON, La.) — The Adidas Ultraboost is one of the most iconic shoes to be released in the last decade. Known for its style and extreme comfort, the Ultraboost has earned a place in the hearts of many. The Ultraboost has been released in four different iterations, the 1.0, 2.0, 3.0 and 4.0, each one keeping relatively the same design.
That all changed with the Ultraboost 19, or 5.0. The new Ultraboost is a radical departure from what we previously expected from the Ultraboost line, and that initially disappointed me. The problem for me was that Adidas had done everything possible to make the Ultraboost 19 the best running shoe possible. But to attain that goal, they had to sacrifice the design and aesthetic that so many people, including myself, had fallen in love with.
In order to make the Ultraboost the best possible shoe for running, Adidas set out to redesign four major parts of the shoe: the midfoot cage, the knit upper, the boost midsole, and the torsion system.
The main complaint with the older Ultraboost shoes was the lack of a stable ride. The midfoot cage on the 4.0s was great from an aesthetic angle but failed to provide the needed support for long runs. The Ultraboost 19 replaces the old, bulky cage with a new, lighter cage that fits the form of the foot much better, giving people a much more stable ride and checking off one of the boxes for a great running shoe.
The second thing Adidas had to re-design was the primeknit upper. The old primeknit upper was made up of several pieces, making for a looser ride. With the Ultraboost 19, Adidas used one single piece of primeknit for the whole shoe, giving the sock-like feel so many runners appreciate. Furthermore, Adidas made a whole new type of primeknit just for this shoe. Dubbed “Primeknit 360” the new knit is said to be more flexible and supportive.
Adidas had to innovate on its boost midsole. When the Adidas Boost was introduced to the world a few years ago, it quickly became regarded as the most comfortable midsole technology ever, and, from my personal experience, it holds up to its reputation. In the new Ultraboost, Adidas added 20 percent more boost into the midsole, which should provide for a much more responsive and soft ride for runners.
Last but not least, Adidas needed to redesign the torsion system. The Torsion system is what helps give the Ultraboost its springy feel. The only downside with the Adidas Boost is that it can get mushy, which is not ideal for long runs. To remedy this, Adidas created the torsion system to offer extra responsiveness and stability. In the Ultraboost 19, it goes the whole length of the shoe as opposed to only the midfoot area in other models.
All in all, the Ultraboost 19 represents a departure from the standard Ultraboost formula. It shows that Adidas really cares about turning the shoe into a performance runner. While many people may not like the drastic design change, every change that was made was made to increase its performance as a running shoe. At first, I absolutely hated the design and the fact that my favorite shoe had been so drastically changed, however, as I read about the changes and looked more at the shoe, it grew on me. It’s not my favorite shoe ever, but I probably will buy a pair in February to see how it performs in person.