I received the adidas ultraBOOST X towards the end of February, so I’ve had it for about a month now and really put it through its paces while doing the Takbo.PH Women’s Stride Virtual Run. I logged all my March kilometers on this shoe, so we’ve gotten to know each other very well. ;)
BOOST has been around for quite some time and of course competing brands have released their own responses to this technology, but adidas still touts itself as the first and the best when it comes to really good cushioning and energy return.
According to the adidas press release, the big change of this edition is that the ventilation holes returned to the upper across the foot’s key sweat zone: the cage and forefoot.
This is integrated into the PrimeKnit upper, which now has reduced stretch to provide runners with a prime fit and additional support. The heel counter also has a split down the middle to allow the Achilles tendon more freedom of movement.
The ultraBOOST X, otherwise known as the version marketed exclusively to women, still has the adaptive arch first introduced in the pureBOOST X. However, now it feels like the arch is a bit lower to the shoe and it doesn’t move as much. The footbed is also wider so that even if your foot slides sideways it doesn’t feel like it will come off the shoe.
The PrimeKnit holds your foot in place even if it looks deceptively pliable like it’s just fabric — but it’s actually not. The knit itself depending on the pattern and the material contains all the reinforcing and support a neutral foot would need. There is also no tongue section and the laces seem to be there more for decoration than actual adjustment and structure. It really felt many times like I was wearing two pairs of socks rather than a pair of socks and then shoes over it. That’s how snug it felt. Overall though this PrimeKnit is super breathable, and my foot never felt swampy inside.
The one big issue I experienced was that as I ran longer distances and my feet swelled (this is a natural occurrence), the PrimeKnit got quite snug. If you like a snug shoe this won’t really bother you, but if you wear your shoes laced loosely, or if your feet are wider than the usual narrow last that adidas builds most of its shoes around, you won’t like it.
As for the shoe weight and cushioning, the ultraBOOST X is a very responsive shoe when it comes to change-up in speed. Sometimes with a very cushioned shoe you’re gonna feel like it’s a bit more leaden when you try to peel your foot up off the ground faster. with the ultraBOOST X was really easy to pick my feet up off the ground and drive them down for extra speed.
I’ve previously reviewed the ultraBOOST X All Terrain shoe, so of course this review of the sleeker version has a side-by-side comparison. There aren’t really a lot of differences between the adidas ultraBOOST X and the ultraBOOST X All Terrain. The ATR has a bit of a higher cut and it’s meant to keep, things out of the shoe versus the ultraBOOST X which has a lower, more stylish cut. I think the ultraBOOST X would best translate between performance and lifestyle, like if you’re coming from the gym and you’re gonna go straight to a girl’s brunch you can still wear this.
The ATR also has a slightly beefier Continental outsole with a different tread pattern. It also has a cage around the arch of the foot, which is also where the laces are threaded. So the ATR really expects to be taken on uneven terrain. The ultraBOOST X expects a more urban environment.
Maybe one thing to note is that the PrimeKnit for the ultraBOOST X is woven just a little bit different from that of the ATR, especially across the top of the foot and toes. I did feel like my ATR was softer — but then again I ran more kilometers in them, so maybe the ultraBOOST X will soften in due time.
This shoe is a bit pricey at almost ten thousand pesos, so it is an investment shoe. Additionally, if you already own the ATR you don’t really have to get this one as they are practically the same.
Watch my full review here: