Women’s Adidas Ultraboost 22
- Weight: 333g (M), 289g (W)
- Heel-to-toe drop: 10mm
- Type: Road
- Price: £165
Buy now – women
Buy now – men
The first – and most important – point to mention about the latest iteration of the Ultraboost is the fact that there is now a female-specific offering. Of course, you could get the Ultraboost 21 in a “women’s” version, but they were built on a unisex last (foot model). The Women’s Ultraboost 22, however, has been designed around the shape of the female foot, which means a lower instep height, narrower heel fit and shallower forefoot profile. (toe) – plus a redesigned outsole to better suit the female gait cycle. And, thanks to this new women-specific design, the shoe promises to deliver 4% more energy return.
So what did we think of the new design? RW tested the Women’s Ultraboost 22 within the last month. Here’s what we think…
When we tested the Ultraboost 22 on long, slow recovery runs, we were pleased to find that the shoe offered the same superb comfort as its predecessors, thanks to the signature Boost midsole foam, which remains unchanged in the last iteration. Soft yet firm quality, the mattress-like foams provide excellent shock absorption upon landing, making them perfect for long miles – we could honestly wear them all day.
A secure fit with excellent lockdown
In both women’s and men’s versions, the heel counter retains the same S-shaped heel pocket, designed to provide a secure fit around the achilles while allowing it to move freely. But, in the Ultraboost 22, padding has been added to either side of the heel pocket – an addition we liked, as it gives a comfortable supportive feel around the heel bone as soon as you put the shoe on. .
The fit around the heel is much tighter in the new women’s specific version and also rides higher, which we can vouch for, provides a noticeably more secure locked-in feel and creates a wonderful feel of the shoe hugging the tendon of Achille. This, together with the one-piece knitted upper, means you get excellent support, both in the heel and midfoot – with the structured fabric providing a secure fit but with plenty of stretch, and we have loved how it fit our feet. The Primeknit+ fabric is also made from materials that contain 50% recycled ocean plastic, so it also ticks the boxes for durability.
There could be a little more energy return
When we tested the shoes in faster sessions, we thought they could have been a bit more responsive. When tested on 5k efforts they provided plenty of pop and our energy wasn’t sapped by the shoe in any way, but in the days of carbon plated running shoes these are not not the fastest shoes we’ve tried. But speed is not what these shoes are designed for.
Lots of structure
We’ve always been big fans of the Ultraboost’s Stretchweb outsole – made from grippy and extremely durable Continental natural rubber – but in the new Women’s Ultraboost 22 the design has been tweaked to prevent overpronation. This is because women are anatomically more likely to have excessive pronation, as Adidas discovered when analyzing 1.2 million foot scans as part of the redesign. ‘Ultraboost.
The holes in the midfoot area were closed off to prevent the Boost midsole from stretching in the midfoot area and while it’s hard to quantify how much this improved our gait, we can say that our overpronator tester felt the shoe offered a surprising amount of stiffness for a neutral shoe.
Do we think the Ultraboosts 22 justify the £165 price tag? Yes if: a) your budget can stretch and b) you are a runner looking for a tailored fit, good cushioning and achilles support. It is certainly an impressive shoe and delivers in spades when it comes to cushioning and comfort over longer miles.
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