I probably like the adidas Ultraboost 19 more than I should. I mean, it is too pretty. It can’t be a “real” running shoe right? So I went full Fight Club on it. I wanted to destroy something beautiful. I wore the Ultraboost 19 for workouts that I normally wouldn’t wear this shoe for, specifically a speed workout. Between some easy runs, a speed workout, and a 15-mile run, I can confidently say the Ultraboost 19 is a real running shoe. A running shoe that looks like modern art.
Did you catch the part where I mentioned the looks of the Ultraboost 19? THE SHOE IS SICK LOOKING! Enough about that, you can stare at the pics on our Instagram feed. Let’s move on to performance.
The PRIMEKNIT 360 upper is solidly crafted and expands to hug the foot gently without feeling too tight. The laces support the fit, but I found myself loosening them up to barely put pressure over the top of the foot. On both sides of the foot support is added by two flexible, lightweight plastic/rubber sidewalls aka mono mesh. The new mono mesh is more flexible and moves with the foot a whole lot better than the hard cage the original Ultraboost had. I doubt we will see runners cutting the cages off of these.
The heel counter on the Ultraboost 19 is reinforced with foam on the inside that gently locks in the heel while the top of the heel counter peels away from the Achilles. To help the interior foam pods hold the ankle, adidas has a 3D heel frame that adds structure from the exterior of the shoe. All of these pieces come together flawlessly to create an amazingly well fitting shoe. Stick with your regular running shoe size. This one fits true.
Moving on to the midsole. You know boost by now. Exceptional energy return and lux cushioning that lasts forever, but the tradeoff has been weight. The UB19 adds 20% more boost in the midsole without adding that much weight. More top-notch cushioning a tiny bit of extra weight?! Magic.
While not light at all weighing in at 11.89 ounces/347 grams for a size 10.5 (SMDH never thought I’d ever give a shoe this heavy a thumbs up), the Ultraboost 19 is heavier than the OG Ultraboost by almost.5 ounces but doesn’t feel as heavy as it is due to the energy return. The UB19 has a 10mm drop with heel: 29 mm / forefoot: 19 mm. Under the footbed, adidas had a web to help the unpredictable boost stay headed in the right direction; that has been replaced with the PRIMEKNIT 360 that goes around, over and under the foot. You know, like a sock.
The Ultraboost 19 Continental Flexible Stretchweb rubber is fantastic at creating a smooth feel with loads of traction. Some of our Instagram followers complained about the durability of the rubber, but I haven’t had any issues with it. In between the boost and the Continental rubber is the secret sauce for the dynamic ride of the UB19. The “Torsion Spring is integrated with the midsole to provide support during landing and propulsion at toe-off.”
So those are the details of the shoe, but how does it perform?? Like a stud.
Easy runs were a treat; every step was met with soft cushioning and smooth strides. I picked up the pace on a speed day that went like this: 2-mile warm-up, 6x 5 min @ 6:58 pace with 4 min recovery between intervals, and finally a 2-mile cool down for a total of 10 miles. I was able to hold the pace without feeling the extra weight of the shoe. Finally, this morning I took these beauties out for 15 miles and finished with my tired legs feeling not too beat up. I would typically never do speed work in a shoe that I consider a daily trainer. The Ultraboost 19 did well, but I’ll go back to something like the adios 4 next week.
I’d say the weight, but it didn’t really bother me in these. Scratching my head on this, but it really wasn’t a factor. One thing that is a factor and could be a problem is the thermal dynamics of this shoe. I am running in cold temps, nothing above 40º F and the shoe gets warm like a foot sweater. The sidewall plastic panels had condensation in them after my runs. My fear is that the Ultraboost 19 will turn into swamps in higher temps. I will have to wait and see. Oh yeah, they ain’t cheap and they don’t really go on sale. The original model still sells for the same $180 price tag.
adidas Ultraboost 19 Conclusion
“I am in love and I don’t care who knows!” –Buddy the Elf
Last year the Nike Epic React was my pick of the year. I still love the Epic React and the Epic React 2. Strangely, I started comparing the Ultraboost and the Epic React during my runs. Here’s the bomb drop- both are super for easy runs and daily mileage, but why do I like running in the heavier Ultraboost 19 more?? WHAT IS HAPPENING? I can’t put my finger on it other than I really like the feel of the Ultraboost under my feet. And they’re real pretty. This all may change when the warmer temps come, but for now, I am reaching for the UB19, and yes coach, even over the adidas Boston.
Thomas is the founder of Big Run Media, Believe In The Run, and the Faster Bastards. His mission is to get everyone running. Life is better when you run and running is always better when you have the right gear.