I was recently given the opportunity to test out Adidas’ latest addition to the boost family, one specifically designed for women (thanks KyserunKrew and AdidasMy!). The designers and manufacturers at Adidas had one thing in mind when they crafted the Ultraboost X – it was set to redefine running performance for women.
One of the first things that stand out when you slip a pair on is that the upper portion is detached from the bottom cushioning and outsole. What that means is that it has a floating arch – You can literally slip your fingers through the arch.
The upper part of the shoe, made from a woven, breathable fabric-type material (Adidas calls them Primeknit), wraps tightly around your mid-foot. This was the source of my initial misgivings.
I’ve never worn shoes that has that snug-as-a-bug-in-a-rug sort of fit, so I was concerned at first that they would hurt, just as a new pair of tight jeans would for my expanding waistline. I was even more concerned that the design of the shoe would impact my healing knees (after months of rehab, the last thing I want is to have to go back to the doctors with a worse injury).
But they didn’t hurt – In fact, after a couple of runs, comfort became their middle name. That ‘snugness’ eventually shifts and moulds to the shape of your foot, giving more support and spring in your step. And because I was such a notorious heel-striker, these shoes somehow encourage me to land mid-foot.
The Ultraboost X is far lighter in weight than any other shoes I’ve worn, and the lightness of your feet landing makes every running experience feel like you’re gliding even on hard surfaces. So instead of clomping around like a hungry buffalo, I felt like a springy, light-footed gazelle for once.
They’re supposed to be worn without socks, but as new shoes are wont to do, the collar did bite into my heel, so it’ll be socks-on for now. The shoe’s design also looks pretty badass – That’s always a plus point for me.
A combination of three important factors – the follow-your-foot-shape upper, the midsole and extra springy layers, the cushioning and the stability of the heels, provide stability and flexibility for a better run.
In the absence of cycling shoes (because I’m terrified of clip-ons), I’ve actually started training for my first duathlon in them. The Ultraboost X’s lightness and flexibility remains a selling point for me.
The only caveat I would mention is that because of the shape my knees are in right now, I will only use these shoes for short-distance races. Nothing more than 15 kilometres. For longer distances, I will need the heavy weights, at least until my knees fully recover.
The Ultraboost X retails for RM799 at the moment. I know that would leave a dent on anyone’s wallet, and I winced at the price too, but you truly get what you pay for, and great shoes don’t come cheap for good reason.
You can buy a pair at any Adidas store here in Malaysia, or purchase them online at the Adidas Online Store.