The Adidas Ultra Boost road running shoe is among the best of spring’s new models—an extremely comfortable, extremely nuanced runner so perfectly engineered and built that you can pull it out of the box, slip it on, and bang off ten miles of training without an afterthought.
The main contributor to this comfort is the much heralded midsole, which is made of a Styrofoam-like material that’s cushier and springier than the EVA foam found in most running shoes—3,000 capsules of it, molded together. The soft upper, which embraces your foot, is woven—it feels like a sock and stretches as needed—but unlike the similar, ubiquitous Nike Free runners, the Ultra Boost has plastic ribs on either side of the foot to provide far better lateral support.
The Ultra Boost is soft in all the places you want it to be and firm where it’s needed. There’s a plastic heel counter than keeps the rear of your foot locked into place, but it has a generous cutout to prevent irritating your Achilles. For runners who need a little pronation control, i.e., most of us, there’s a small but effective wedge on the medial side of the heel. And finally, the web-like, low-profile outsole delivers just enough grip and feel for the road, without impeding the comfort of the springy midsole.
It all adds up to a fantastically comfortable, responsive shoe, and one heck of a new way of gobbling up the miles.
Get It: $180; adidas.com
- Nat Geo Expeditions