While this means Adidas gets to sell more shoes, we get the sense the brand wants to rediscover the DNA of the Ultraboost, which is rooted in running, and bring it to the forefront once again. To achieve that, the brand went back on the ground and gained insights from the people the shoe was built for – runners.
Runners asked for a simpler product with fewer pieces but equally high performance. To reflect that, the Ultraboost 19 has been stripped down to focus on just 4 key components from the 17 pieces found in the original Ultraboost. They are:
1. Optimized Boost – 20% more Boost in the midsole compared to the first-generation adidas Ultraboost to bring greater energy return.
2. Torsion spring – a lightweight construction for enhanced support on landing and a snappy transition to propel runners forward.
3. Primeknit 360 – gives the shoe a flexible upper, combining comfort with lightweight performance.
4. Updated 3D heel frame – a stripped-back design cradles the heel for adaptability and support.
Tried and tested
To test out the Ultraboost 19, Adidas launched a multi-city running event called the Recode Running Festival. In Singapore, the event took place on Saturday, March 16, where runners were flagged off from the Asian Civilisation Museum. With the guidance of an app called District, we were given an hour each to visit various checkpoints and complete challenges. To score more points, we had to move faster, i.e., run. We saw what you did there, Adidas.
Aside from the Recode Running event on Saturday, we also did a second trial run in the UB 19s on Sunday. We find that the shoe is comfortable to wear and move about in. The Primeknit 360 lives up to its reputation of offering a sock-like fit and lightweight comfort. Putting the Ultraboost 19 on, we felt grounded and stable. It’s snug in the mid-foot, which provides great support for the feet. The bottomline: it’s a great shoe for leisurely runs and so to that end, it meets the brief of being a democratic running shoe – a performance trainer for runners of all levels.
The torsion spring in the UB 19, however, was not particular springy. As far as propulsion goes, the Nike Epic React or Zoom Fly series of shoes – both of which we have run extensively in – propel more. We suspect the Asics Metaride launched earlier this month, which also promises propulsion what with its bright red spring sole, is likely to propel further than the UB 19 – though having never tried it on-feet, we are unable to confirm.
Going at S$280 a pair, the Ultraboost 19 is more costly than both the Nike Epic React (S$229) or the Zoom Fly (S$239). It is, however, cheaper than the Asics Metaride (S$399). We see the UB 19 being a shoe for hardcore fans of Adidas or for runners who can’t get used to that feeling of ‘taking-off’ that the two comparable Nike shoe models provide. All in all, the UB 19 is a great shoe for runners of all levels and it’s good to see the Ultraboost back on the feet of the people who actually hit the ground.
The Ultraboost 19 is now available at adidas.com.sg, Adidas stores and select retailers.
Have you tried the UB 19? What’s your experience with the shoe? Leave a comment below.