When it comes to naming the world’s two biggest running brands, most of us would say Adidas and Nike. So when Adidas announced they were adding the Ultraboost 22 to their iconic lineup, their very first women’s specific running shoe, I wanted to find out what the new technology entails, but more importantly, how they to feel run in it.
As soon as I took delivery of the Ultraboost 22, I forgot about the job, put on my racing kit and left straight away. Super passionate I know, but mostly because I haven’t really run in an Ultraboost shoe in years and wanted to see what Adidas was doing. I was curious: Did Adidas create the best running shoes for women or is the approach specific to women just a marketing plot?
Whether good or bad, you instantly form an opinion about a shoe by its color, just as you often buy a book based on the appearance of the pouches. The first option for the UB22 is a very subtle “magic mauve” colourway, with a little touch of neon pink on top of the laces and a complementary stripe in the midsole.
Initial thoughts? Not too girly if you are a tomboy, stylish and they grow up quickly on you. One of my teenage daughters grabbed them saying, “I love them”, and I replied, “I don’t think soâ¦”
And with that, I was off to see how the Adidas Ultraboost 22 feels and behaves on the road …
Adidas UltraBoost 22 price and release date
The Adidas Ultraboost 22 will be available from December 9, 2021 at Adidas US, Adidas UK, through the Adidas app and in stores for a suggested retail price of $ 180 / â¬ 180 / Â£ 165.
AUS price to be confirmed.
Adidas Ultraboost 22: Designed by women, for women
Before moving on to the experience itself, I wanted to explain the technology behind the Ultraboost 22 and how it came about. To help me understand all this new version has to offer, I spoke to Nora Wilimzig, senior product manager at Adidas and one of the main people behind the shoes.
“We used a database with 1.2 million foot scans to identify the main differences between instep height, heel anatomy, and the female gait cycle so we could rethink and refine the latest Ultraboost to better reflect the female foot, “she explained,” The latest in this shoe, born from the foundations of the iconic Adidas Ultraboost 21 S-curve shape, has been refined to create a heel pocket narrower, a shallower forefoot profile and lower instep area, while the newly refined outsole is designed to help you say goodbye to overpronation. “
Rumor had it that only women had worked on the Ultraboost redesign and I wanted to know if that was true? Nora reassured me: “Yes! We are very proud that this is the first Adidas shoe where every member of the team that created it was a woman. We thought it was about time that an all-female team is responsible for a female-specific shoe, and we wanted to create a 360 degree improvement for our runners! “
âThe foot scans that we analyzed showed us that we had to change the shape of the shoe, which is the mold in the shape of a foot, like the silhouette of a foot,â Nora explains the process, âWe realized that we had to create a lower instep height on the new shape because that is the area that is significantly different on a woman’s foot, compared to a man. “
So even though the latter was based on the unisex Ultraboost 21 model, Adidas made it narrower in the new iteration. The area on the heel, down to the Achilles tendon has been reshaped to give a tighter fit. Pronation was also taken into account when designing the Ultraboost 22.
âWe spent a lot of time looking at the gait cycle of women, which revealed that women tend to overpronate more than men,â says Nora. “So the other main area of ââdevelopment is on the outsole where there are holes in the rubber on the rear foot area to allow the boost to move.”
She continues, âThese holes are flexible and they are longer and taller than on the men’s shoe because of the difference in women’s gait. When your foot lands, these holes can open up, allowing the midsole boost. to stretch and stretch This makes your landing smoother and allows the Boost to move and support your feet. “
The most important question I saved for last: can you feel the to reinforce when running in the Ultraboost 22? âYou also have Adidas Linea Energy Push, which works in harmony with the Boost midsole to give you a responsive ride,â says Nora, âAnd we’ve determined that you get 4% more energy return from the redesign. , Boost and LEP system, which you would get with the UB21 for women.The Boost literally wraps around your feet, so your heels are fully integrated into that ultimate comfort zone.
Adidas Ultraboost 22: first impressions of the run
After just two (relatively short) runs, I would agree that the Adidas Ultraboost 22 scores extremely high in terms of comfort, cushioning and responsiveness. There is an internal comfort pad visible on either side of your heel, which looks like a micro pad supporting your Achilles on either side.
The Primeknit + upper, made with a thread containing 50% Parley Ocean plastic, is familiar and flexible and offers a sock-like fit. It’s thick enough to be snug and comfortable, but still soft and thin enough to keep your feet dry. It’s a simple design but the foot is held in place and won’t move when you hit the ground.
There’s a really deep layer of Boost cushioning on the back of the shoe (rear height is 22mm, front 12mm) and it’s really amazing. There is a nice feeling of your feet gently touching the ground before receiving a welcome boost on the push.
The lacing is simple and effective, although the plastic bands that hold the laces, while proudly displaying the three-stripe Adidas logo, seem less consistent with all of the other re-designs. They feel a little awkward. The flared Achilles heel support and heel counter feel deliciously soft against your ankle.
These have a big footprint and feel bigger than my normal shoes, however, I like the fit and support of the upper and although it’s only the first few days I think they’re going to be. live up to what Adidas promises and give my legs a lot of energy. Well done to the all-female team who gave us the Ultraboost 22.