Review: adidas UltraBOOST 19
I’ve spent the last two weeks putting these sneakers to the test. It has accompanied me to work, to the gym, on runs, to events, to the pub, everywhere. After all, 900Dh ($250) is a chunk of money to drop on these kicks.
Before we jump in, here’s adidas’ epilepsy -inducing promo video for the UltraBOOST 19.
The UltraBOOST 19 is one of the boldest editions yet. adidas have claimed their UltraBOOST line of sneakers is “The Greatest Running Shoe Ever” and that’s believable.
Regardless of what ‘sneaker unboxing specialists’ on YouTube or ‘fashion influencers’ have to say – these are amazing running shoes – because runners and athletes wear the UltraBOOST themselves.
The original ‘OG’ pair was launched by Spanish footballer David Villa back in 2015. Four years later and closer to home, Mo Salah was spotted with the new UltraBOOST 19 at an adidas event in Dubai.
If the pair has Salah’s stamp of approval, read no more.
Here’s a link to buy it. Go away.
For those who need a detailed breakdown on support, construction and comfort…read on. But first: here’s all the colourways available as of mid-April 2019.
Having just come off a long term review of Reebok’s flagship runner the Sole Fury – I would have to admit that the Clear brown colourway isn’t the prettiest of the lot. Unfortunately, it’s the colourway we received, so for this section, I’m going to pretend we reviewed the cleaner ‘Laser Red’ instead. adidas have made design changes with the new sneaker – however when compared to other recent sneakers, it’s not as daring as the Puma RS-X or as futuristic as the Reebok Sole Fury. It’s gorgeous in its own ‘adidas way’.
The pattern is intricate – as one would expect from a flagship. The upper largely consists of the Primeknit 360, where the intertwined vertical and horizontal stitching makes it look like a perfectly woven tapestry.
The extra support on either side of the midfoot that hold the lacing together have a similar web-like, netted design and the three strips are embossed on both sides of the panels rounding off the typical adidas aesthetic.
Generally, UltraBOOSTs are performance sneakers. You find them in gyms or on the feet of early morning runners. If you wanted to flex – you would prefer the NMDs or EQTs. UltraBOOSTs on the other hand were never considered to be a ‘show sneaker’. Luckily adidas fixed that with the 19 – perhaps due to their rampant marketing campaign – and it is now one of the most recognisable sneakers of the year.
The UltraBOOST 19 effectively killed sales of any previous UltraBOOSTs still out there. There’s a lot more bounce in your step and a greater rebound than previous models and other runners from other brands.
The new UltraBOOST is stuffed with extra foam as well. Adidas state that there is 20% more Boost in the midsole alone.
The Primeknit is tight and comfortable. It essentially moulds around your feet so much so, that you don’t even need laces on the sneaker. If you are someone with feet that heat up – stay away from these sneakers. Outdoor runs, especially in a Dubai summer will be incredibly difficult with the tight and intricate Primeknit.
Adidas completely reimagined the UltraBOOST 19. They stripped the sneaker bare and started from scratch. The entire shoe comprises 17 pieces with only 4 being integral to the overall performance.
The collar is a nice touch, from a design point of view and from a practical standpoint as well. The collar is padded, and this helps cradle the ankles and support the Achilles.
Another point worth mentioning is the construction of the outsole. Expecting runners to drift across tarmac, adidas teamed up with Continental: yep, the guys who make tires for vehicles. Look closely at outsole, towards the tips of the sneakers and you’ll find the Continental logo staring back at you.
The Continental rubber was specifically included for the new generation of urban runners and city dwellers who regularly hit the tarmac. The special undersole tackles the wear and tear that asphalt or tarmac can cause on your running shoes. Good shout adidas.
The collar has mild padding on it to support the ankles and the Achilles. My only issue with its fit would be that the sneaker is so snug that it tends to suffocate your feet if you’re wear it for over 10 hours.
Surely, they weren’t made for all-day use since these are performance trainers not daily-wear sneakers. I bet sneakerheads would have a separate adidas collection of street wear sneakers anyway such as the NiteJoggers for example (in-depth review on these coming soon).
They fit true to size, however if you do get uncomfortable after a few hours, remove the insole and you’re good to go.
The see-through panels with the embossed three stripes on either side of the lacing system are just not pretty design add-ons. The panels are designed to prevent vibration during a run.
And since we’re on design elements doubling up with dual jobs, lets talk about the 3D heel frame. It comes in an “OMG-Notice-Me” bright neon orange on the Laser Red and Clear Brown colourways; and a toned down grey and black on all the other colourways.
The heel frame wraps around the back of the heel and extends up to the midsole. The futuristic tech is a replacement of the much-moaned-about TPU heel counter in previous models.
If you have read our previous reviews, you would know we’re massive fans of sneaker support systems such as propulsion plates, shank structures and sneaker cushioning.
The UltraBOOST comes with its own special tech in the form of a torsion spring; a thermoplastic layer within the cushioning unit that steadies the foot during a run.
Adidas stayed true to their promise of creating ‘The Greatest Running Shoe Ever’. While this does replace every training sneaker currently in my collection – I wouldn’t be inclined to wear it out on the town or use it as a show sneaker.