The Adidas Ultraboost is one of the most popular everyday running shoes on the market—filled with Adidas’ Boost foam, and stylish enough to wear to the office after a run trip. Now in its 23rd edition, Adidas has released the Ultraboost Light running shoe, made with a “new generation” of Boost foam that’s 30% lighter than previous iterations.
Weight: 9.7 ounces (W), 10.3 ounces (M)
Drop: 10 mm
But how does it compare to Adidas Ultraboost 22and others The best running shoes In the market? Adidas made some big changes to its popular neutral running shoe last year, redesigning the Ultraboost to better fit the female foot. The Ultraboost 22 features a narrower heel, a lower instep, and an S-curve heel to allow the Achilles tendon to move more freely.
The new Ultraboost Light looks very similar, but does the new midsole foam make it worth the upgrade? I’ve been running in the Ultraboost Light to find out more – read my full review of the Adidas Ultraboost Light below.
Adidas Ultraboost Light review: Price and availability
Released March 2022, the adidas Ultraboost Light costs $190 / £170. The shoe is available in both men’s and women’s sizes and ranges from US 5 to US 18 in men’s, and US 5 to US 12.
At launch, the Ultraboost Light is available in 9 different colors for men’s shoes, and 8 different colors in women’s sizes. Since the new shoe has just been released, if you are on a tight budget, now is the time to buy the Adidas Ultraboost 22, which is likely to be on sale now that the Ultraboost Light has been launched.
Adidas Ultraboost Light review: Design and fit
Out of the box, the Adidas Ultraboost Light looks very similar to the Adidas Ultraboost 22. The shoe has the same upper and the same large wedge of midsole Boost foam under the foot. This feels like the Ultraboost shoe we’ve come to know and love over the past few years, and fans of this shoe won’t be disappointed.
Having said that, I’ve always struggled a bit with the Ultraboost fit—I have high arches, and find the shoe’s upper to be a little too narrow and narrow across the top of my feet. The shoe has always been fine for running, but I’ve never been able to wear it casually or commute, and then wear it around the office. I’m from UK 5, and tested UK 5 / US 7 in the Ultraboost Light – it’s true to size, but I still had the same problems as previous versions of this shoe when it came to fit.
The adidas Ultraboost Light upper is highly stretchy, and designed to fit close to the foot for a locked-in feel as you run. Yarn upper is made of at least 50% Parley Ocean plastic, and 50% recycled polyester. As mentioned above, it’s very challenging and takes a fair amount of miles before you give in to a few. While the fit of the Ultraboost 22 was definitely an improvement over the Ultraboost 21, especially for female feet, if you have high arches you may struggle a bit in this shoe.
The Ultraboost Light midsole is where things get interesting. adidas’ new LIGHT BOOST foam is 30% lighter than previous iterations of the Boost midsole foam for a more responsive feel underfoot. The Ultraboost 22, for example, weighed 11.7 ounces for the men’s $9, and 10 ounces for the US 7. The Ultraboost Light is 10.3 ounces in the men’s shoe, and 9.7 ounces in the women’s shoe.
The Ultraboost Light still has the same lower instep height as the Ultraboost 22, plus a narrower heel fit to reduce heel slip and prevent blisters. There’s also the same Linear Energy Propulsion (LEP) system—that’s a fancy name for the plastic Adidas insert added to the outsole, designed to give runners 15 percent more torsional rigidity, letting you use the shoe to pick up speed when you need it most.
When we look at the Light BOOST midsole foam, it’s important to note that even though there is a thick wedge of foam between your foot and the ground, there isn’t a huge amount of comfort here. This is not a lavish foam, and compared to the likes Nike Invincible 3the Asics gel nimbus 25 and the New Balance 1080v12This is definitely on the more stable side of the market. That’s not necessarily a bad thing—the firmer foam has a bit more variety while you’re running, but don’t expect this shoe to be overly plush.
The outsole of the Ultraboost Light is very similar to that of the Ultraboost 22—there’s still the same Continental rubber outsole, best suited for miles on sidewalks or light trails. There’s also still added plastic arch support for the outsole, which is designed to help prevent pronation while running.
Adidas Ultraboost Light review: Performance running
Does the new midsole foam make a big difference? With a word yes. This is a lighter shoe, when compared to the Ultraboost 22, and Ultraboost 21. However, it’s not a particularly light shoe. Still heavier than Nike Pegasus 39and New Balance 1080v12 on cloudmonster. In fact, it weighs about the same as the Nike Invincible 3 Maxi.
Again, this isn’t the end of the world—if you’re an Ultraboost fan, you’ll likely love the shoe’s lighter feel, which feels a bit faster and more responsive while running. However, if you’re new to the Ultraboost line, it’s not luxurious underfoot, or lightweight compared to other everyday running shoes.
I’ve tested this shoe in a number of different running sessions—from easy recovery miles, to long runs, and tempo sessions. The shoe handled pretty much everything I threw at it. And I was able to use it for faster miles, making it a versatile choice for runners looking for a one-size-fits-all running shoe. However, as mentioned above, this shoe didn’t quite fit me well, and I experienced hot spots on the top of my feet, and blisters on my heels during testing.
Adidas Ultraboost Light review: The verdict
This is a decent everyday running shoe that Ultraboost fans will love. The lighter foam gives it a little more versatility than other Ultraboost iterations, though it’s still best suited for easy miles.
However, Adidas still has a long way to go to make a truly lightweight running shoe. This still feels a little tight when running fast, and faster runners will likely want to choose something lighter for their tempo sessions. In fact, I’d argue if you only plan to use the shoe for easy miles, you’re better off saving your money and buying the Ultraboost 22. If you’re a beginner, they’re comfortable and have a moderate level of support for overpronators.