What You Need To Know
- Inspired by a partnership with ISS/NASA
- Not exactly weightless at 12.5 oz./ 355g for a US M10.5
- New upper but same BOOST midsole and Continental outsole
- Finally, a shoe for astronauts, sparkly vampires, and fashionable runners
THOMAS: Ladies and gentlemen, we are floating in space.
The adidas Ultraboost 20 is a tribute to a partnership between adidas and the International Space Station (ISS) National Laboratory, as this edition of the shoe prepares to embark to space, 250 miles above the earth. In what capacity, I’m not sure, but the collab makes for a good-looking shoe.
If you follow us, you already know I was a big fan of the Ultraboost 19. If you follow adidas, you’ll already know the Ultraboost 20 isn’t a radical update to the Ultraboost family. Most of the performance changes are in the upper. It’s still a good shoe.
Anyway, enough prologue. Open the pod bay doors, HAL, let’s get this review started.
THOMAS: Some of you think looks don’t matter with a shoe, and those some of you are wrong. This shoe starts with the #hypebeast styling. I received the Dash Grey/Blue Violet colorway and was immediately wowed by the iridescent coating on the BOOST midsole. Depending on the light, the midsole fades from purple to radiant blue. As your eyes scan the Ultraboost 20, you will enjoy all the detailed markings like ISS-themed tongue patches and footbeds. The new Primeknit upper has a faint sparkle when the sun hits it, just like Edward Cullen of Twilight fame. In the words of Dave Bowman: “My God, it’s full of stars.”
The upper is a new configuration of adidas Primeknit with stitched reinforcements. The toebox feels different than the Ultraboost 19 in that it seems less restrictive and more structured with the stitching. I would guess it will accommodate wider feet. The elastane heel gets some softer padding and the lateral and medial cage is updated to an embroidered material replacing the soft plastic mesh on the Ultraboost 19. The UB20 fits true to size and is very comfortable.
The midsole is fundamentally the same as the UB19, lots of BOOST with a Continental Stretch Web rubber on the outsole. If you liked the ride of the UB19, then you will like the UB20. The same Torsion Spring as the UB19 is integrated with the midsole to provide support during landing and propulsion at toe-off.
The shoe is a beauty, but does that matter if the slipper doesn’t perform on the run? The UB19 was on the heavy side, and the Ultraboost 20 actually weighs a bit more at 12.5 oz./ 355g for a US M10.5. That said, the difference is slight, so overall it performs similarly to the predecessor.
This shoe is great for me right now, as I’m doing things to make my easy day runs more beneficial. Stuff like slowing the pace, adding more hills, and running in heavier weight shoes. All with the goal to make the days when I want to go fast feel lighter and easier.
Strapping on a fast day shoe that weighs half the weight of the Ultraboost 20 will make me feel like I am flying. I personally like the Ultraboost 19 better, but I think a wider foot individual may appreciate the UB20 toebox.Shop adidas Ultraboost 20 – US Shop adidas Ultraboost 20 – EU
THOMAS: I don’t like it when a shoe gets heavier. Even if you are adding more BOOST. This shoe isn’t going to be for the runner that is looking for a fast and light shoe. Good news for you if you like the light bois– adidas is launching their new lighter boost foams in 2020, so keep an eye out for those.Shop adidas Ultraboost 20 – US Shop adidas Ultraboost 20 – EU
adidas Ultraboost 20 Conclusion
THOMAS: This shoe is perfect for the runner looking for a shoe to straddle performance and style, with a slight lean towards style. I certainly don’t hate running in the Ultraboost 20, quite the contrary. They are fun to run in—soft, bouncy, and smooth.
The price of this shoe may be out of this world for some, but for those who need that Space Station drip, you can pull it out of orbit and bring it down to earth for $180 at Running Warehouse by using the shop link below.Shop adidas Ultraboost 20 – US Shop adidas Ultraboost 20 – EU
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.