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We tried the new Adidas Ultraboost Light – this is what we really thought

adidas ultraboost light
Adidas Ultraboost Light: tried and testedRunner's World

The shoe

Adidas’ Ultraboost franchise is extremely popular, and for good reason. Stylish with plush cushioning, the Ultraboost has become a trainer synonymous with both trendy brunches and cardio gym classes alike. But the thing that let it down as a running-specific shoe? It was too heavy.

Enter the Ultraboost ‘Light’ – a neutral running shoe that’s 30% lighter than its predecessor. But don’t let that stat fool you into thinking this shoe is super lightweight – weighing 293g (for a men’s size 8.5), it’s still quite heavy compared with the competition. In comparison, Hoka’s Clifton 9 weighs 248g, while Asics’ Gel-Nimbus 25 weighs 255g – both of which are marketed as cushioned, neutral road shoes, just like the Adidas’ Ultraboost Light.

Simon Lockett, footwear product marketing category director at Adidas, describes the Ultraboost Light as an ‘evolution of a running icon’.

‘Ultraboost isn’t built for a specific distance, it’s not built for a specific body type or running experience – or a forefoot, heel-strike or midfoot striker. It’s for every single runner,’ he says.

Yet while Lockett says this shoe is for everyone – from the rookie runner to the more advanced athletes to use as part of their rotation – the main target audience for this shoe is for the runner that heads out two to three times a week, with the aim of just enjoying it.

How is the Ultraboost Light different to the Ultraboost?

Other than being a lot lighter than previous Ultraboost shoes – thanks to the new ‘Light Boost’ midsole technology – the Ultaboost Light also features a redesigned sole (engineered with LEP – Linear Energy Point) to compliment the new Boost midsole and to help provide a smoother transition from heel to midfoot to toe-off.

The upper uses Ultraboost’s popular (and ever-so-slightly tweaked) primeknit material – which is lightweight, soft and offers that familiar locked-in, sock-like fit.

And the Continental natural performance rubber sole means the Ultraboost Light is designed to provide traction in any weather.

What is the Ultraboost Light like to run in?

We tested the Ultraboost Light on a series of easy 5-8km runs. At first, we thought the shoe felt a little flat, like it wasn’t giving us much energy return. We expected it to feel lighter, bouncer, even. Perhaps, due to the lightness, the cushioning was compromised slightly here. But the more we ran, and the more we got used to that closer-to-the-ground feeling, the more we liked it.

How does the Ultraboost Light fit?

Similar to the Ultraboost 22, the super stretchy knit upper means these have a snug sock-like fit that really hugs your foot – and they’re comfy. They’re the type of shoes you can pull on straight out of the box and not need to worry about blisters or rubbing. We would recommend sizing up an entire shoe size (from your normal everyday shoes), though, as the fit is super snug.

RW verdict

Seriously comfy and, of course, stylish, we loved that this shoe is 30% lighter than the Adidas Ultraboost 22. But it still has a fair way to go to be seriously considered a ‘lightweight’ running shoe in our minds. With lots of cushioning and a solid lockdown, this is a great option for easy, relaxed runs.

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