Adidas Ultraboost 22 | £165 | Tester: Laura Fountain
From pro athletes to Kanye West, the Adidas Ultraboost has been a firm favourite among famous faces. Laura Fountain checks out the latest version, designed specifically for women...
The Adidas Ultraboost 22 is a running shoe that makes me very happy and a bit sad all at once. As anyone who has read Caroline Criado-Perez’s book ‘Invisible Women’ will know, we’re living in a world designed around the male body. So the fact that, in designing this shoe, Adidas acknowledged that and based the fit on the shape of women’s feet makes me happy. But it also makes me sad that it’s 2022 and our feet are only just starting to get the attention they deserve.
But, you know what helps when you feel sad? Going for a run. So I popped these on and took them for a few easy miles around the streets of London to see how they performed. Here’s my Adidas Ultraboost review…
Want more? Check out the best women’s running shoes.
What is the Adidas Ultraboost for?
This is a road shoe designed for women. It’s a cushioned, everyday running shoe for doing easy miles. It’s a good general running shoe – it could cope with a bit of speedwork or a PB attempt at your local parkrun, and will stand up to a gym class or two as well. But it probably isn’t going to be your first choice for the long runs of marathon training.
Adidas Ultraboost 22 technical details
Sizes: UK Women 3.5-10
The yarn in the upper contains at least 50% Parley Ocean Plastic and 50% recycled polyester. The Stretchweb outsole features Continental™ Rubber and the shoe comes in 21 different colourways.
Adidas Ultraboost 22 pros:
- Specifically designed for women
- Comfortable for easy running
- 21 different colourways to choose from
Adidas Ultraboost 22 cons:
- Not ideal for longer distances
- More expensive than your average running shoe
What’s new with the Adidas Ultraboost 22?
The Ultraboost 22 has what Adidas calls a ‘360° fit improvement’. The designers (an all-female design team apparently) used an online anatomy database of 1.2 million foot scans of female feet. Because women’s feet aren’t just smaller versions of men’s feet. They’re actually pretty different.
Looking at all these foot scans, helped the designers to identify key differences across instep height, heel anatomy and female gait cycle trends. This all informed the redesign of the Ultraboost to better suit the female foot. As a result, the shoe has a narrower heel, shallower forefoot profile and a lower instep.
Are the Adidas Ultraboost comfy?
The upper is super comfortable as well as the sole. It’s a stretchy fabric that is supportive but moves with your foot, so there’s no rubbing and no uncomfortable seams.
Since that first run a few months back I’ve been running in them regularly. They’ve become a shoe I reach for if I’m heading out on an easy 5K round the local park – I know they’ll give me a soft ride.
Adidas Ultraboost running review
My first run in them involved pounding the streets of London, just off Oxford Street. So there was a lot of tourist-dodging. But the shoes were responsive and coped well with the quick changes of direction as I weaved through shoppers wielding their shopping bags.
From looking at the shoe, with that big pillowy sole, you’d expect a soft, squishy run and they do give you that as well as a bit of a, well for lack of a better word, ‘boost’ to your stride. That squishy, iconic Boost midsole gives a big energy return, (and 4% more than the Ultraboost 21 for women). Every little helps, right?
How does the Adidas Ultraboost 22 compare to the Ultraboost 21?
The Ultraboost has been around since 2015 and Adidas promised us the biggest update to the shoe yet with the 22 version. Creating a women’s shoe actually based on women’s physiology has gone a long way to delivering that.
This update definitely has an improved fit on the Ultraboost 21. The previous version was a bit baggy on my narrow feet. While the laces allowed me to pull it tight and the comfort was ok, there was a small amount of leftover fabric. Because of the upper being one piece rather than having a separate tongue, there wasn’t anywhere for that extra room to really go. But those issues are behind us now as the Adidas Ultraboost 22 is here and there’s no baggy upper in sight.
Adidas Ultraboost v HOKA Kawana
If you’re looking for a cushioned shoe for easy, comfortable running, the HOKA Kawana is a similar shoe doing the same job as the Adidas Ultraboost. The Kawana, however, is going to save you a bit of cash though coming in at £125.
Where can I buy the Adidas Ultraboost?
You can buy directly from Adidas, but if you shop around online you can pick up a pair with a big discount if you’re not fussy about the colour.