We’ll confess to not being entirely sure about the first colourway of Adidas’s updated UltraBoost running shoe, released in December. The Laser Red design wasn’t in keeping with the previous shoes’ design, which have remained relatively plain throughout its four-year lifespan.
However, Adidas has followed up the Laser Red with two more UltraBoost designs that have caught our eye. The Dark Pixel shoe featured a mix of black and multicoloured Primeknit, and the latest release – Refract – has that same multicoloured Primeknit but paired with a mostly white upper.
The Refract colourway will be available on 15th January at 9am on the Adidas website, priced £159.95, and judging by what’s happened with the Laser Red and Pixel editions we expect it to sell out fast. Then there will be one more special edition of the UltraBoost 19 launched before the full release of the shoe on 21st February.
This is the first major update of the UltraBoost since the original was launched in 2015, Adidas having changed the upper to a full sock design that wraps round the entire foot and added 20% more Boost foam into the midsole. The result is a more secure fit up top and a bouncier, slightly firmer ride on the bottom.
We’ve put the UltraBoost 19 through its paces on a variety of runs and while it doesn’t excel at the fast stuff, it provides an extremely comfortable ride on easy efforts while being springy enough that you can maintain a good pace over long distances.
Other changes to the shoe include the replacement of the plastic cage that wrapped around the midfoot with a mesh, and the solid plastic heel counter being swapped out for a plastic-wrapped wire outline. Both of these changes have improved the comfort of the shoe – some runners found that the cage and heel counter on the original UltraBoost could sometimes rub against the foot while running.
The UltraBoost is the most comfortable running shoe in Adidas’s Boost line-up, but also the heaviest, with lighter options like the SolarBoost, Adizero Boston 7 and Adizero Adios 4 better suited to fast training runs and races. However, you still can’t beat the UltraBoost on an easy or not-even-running day.