Presented yesterday in New York in great pomp, the Ultra BOOST is, adidas believes, ‘the most successful running shoe ever conceived. Runners.fr has tested exclusively the little jewel of the brand with three bands. And gives you its opinion on the big new running winter of 2015 …
No need to rush into your favorite store as soon as you read this finished article. Indeed, the brand new adidas Ultra BOOST ™, officially unveiled at the press and the world yesterday afternoon, will be available for sale only from February 25 (preorders possible from February 11 on the Adidas website) . Runners.fr was fortunate to be able to test this shoe presented by the brand as ‘the most successful running shoe ever designed’ in preview. With such an antiphon, as much as to say that the brand with the three bands put big and places the bar very high, with the risk that the fall is all the harder as reality is in too much shift with advertising. Is that the case ?
The Ultra BOOST ™ is unlike any other brand shoe. Above all, it is a superb technological object. As its name suggests, it incorporates the now famous amortized BOOST ™ (last test in date, that of the adios 2) but adds, if I may say so, a layer with 20% more, full-BOOST in somehow. But that is not all, far from it.
The outsole (Stretch Web) is astonishing: a laying of a fine elastic and perforated plastic material with protruding studs arranged along the lines of flexion. But what about the mesh, evolution of Primeknit technology, one-piece, knitted, elastic, it totally matches the shape of the foot and deforms with it during the movement (like the Nike’s Free Flyknit). A real second skin (so do not over-prune to buy). The lacing system only serves to bring more or less, depending on your sensitivity, the two lateral holding elements to the shape of the ‘three strips’. The heel is reinforced by an external plastic shell which ensures that it is maintained in the axis of the stroke without causing internal friction.
I made four outings with the Ultra BOOST ™: a moderately low jogging, a 300-meter split session, a ribbing session and a 1:30 long exit. Not enough to judge the durability of intriguing plots-crampons of the sole but enough to make me a good idea of the shoe.
The Ultra BOOST ™ is not easy to put on and it is necessary not to hesitate to shoot frankly on the rear tongue to succeed in entering the foot. Once this one inside, what strikes in the first place is the absolute comfort of the footwear. The knitted mesh is applied to the front and middle of the foot in the image of a sock. By forcing the line on all sides, one quickly realizes its elasticity, it follows the movement and deformations of the foot.
Personally, I do not need lateral support, so I did my test with very loose laces (I could even have removed them). On the other hand, if you are not used to, you can tackle the side reinforcement elements more closely, thus obtaining a more ‘classic’ fit. The hull around the heel fixes this one in the axis of the race but without constraining it.
The outsole is particularly catchy. If it produces a rather unusual sound and may seem at first glance somewhat hard, combined with BOOST ™ cushioning, its mechanical behavior is perfect. On the one hand, it is impossible to take a fault, whatever the state of the road; On the other hand, it assures very safe supports, a stride all the more effective in spite of a seemingly narrow footwear at the front (but do not forget its elastic properties).
The Ultra BOOST ™ is not suitable for zero-drop runners. In the midfoot attack, one feels that the heel is not far from the ground, which is quickly troublesome. On the other hand, in flat attack of the foot or heel, the rider will benefit not only from all the advantages of the BOOST ™ technology already mentioned on Runners.fr in many occasions (significant damping coupled with an energy restitution for a propulsive effect ), But also the specific design of the sole (more BOOST ™, more flexibility) which induces an acceleration of the back forward transition for a smooth and efficient stride, which ‘flows of source’ in a way. Hence pleasant sessions especially at a moderate pace.
As always with the BOOST ™, alerted that one is by the effect produced under the heel, with a rendering of energy that one ‘feels’ really, one says that one would like a little more under the ‘before. So, it is true that there is more than on the adios but without one feels a real more in fractional for example or ribs. In order for the Ultra BOOST ™ to reach its full potential, it is necessary to carry out a complete stride cycle with attack on its fleshy part and impulse on the front.
Add to this that it is not a model of ultra-lightness (330 g in 45 1/3), so it is a shoe, which in my opinion, will be perfectly at ease on the sessions at constant pace Moderate to half-marathon speed. Ideal for urban runners but also for runners of all weights in search of an unfractioned drive trainer. In competition, it seems to me ideal for the half marathon.
The best ever?
Difficult to say whether this Ultra BOOST ™ is the best running shoe ever designed or not. For that, I had to have tested all the other models of the other brands! On the other hand, what is certain is that it is remarkably conceived. I am an absolute fan of its Primeknit mesh and Stretch Web outsole, two innovations that bring a real plus in terms of comfort and efficiency.
Add an extra BOOST ™ and you get an excellent shoe that really stands out and makes the stride pleasant and efficient. Intended for both urban runners who will love its look and competitive runners who will appreciate its qualities on their sessions at constant pace.