For the longest time, I never made running a priority in my fitness routine. I’d run a few kilometres consecutively for days and then it would take an indefinite backseat until about three to four weeks ahead of an impending running event. I guess you could say I was running’s fair-weather friend, but I know, like me, more fall under this category.
The on-off relationship is due to a combination of many factors. But perhaps one major overlooked reason is poor choice of footwear. What shoes we wear affects our run. It matters. Whether running for general fitness or looking to compete, we want to have the right footwear on to sustain us and/or improve our performance.
Now, spend a few weeks with the 2018 Adidas UltraBoost and there might just be a new-found love for running altogether.
The first time I wore the UltraBoost I felt as if I was on wheels, in the sense that I had to be in constant motion or I’d lose balance. Don’t get me wrong, the shoes are as stable as any other pair, but there’s that impulse of speeding it up.
Though they don’t appear to be, when worn the soles feel like they taper on the sides, so ground contact isn’t spread wide, kind of like how tyres are. So it’s no surprise when I recently found out the footwear’s outsole is made by Continental, the German automotive company specialising in tyres. I knew there was something about its firm grip and its durability — I wore the UltraBoost in cross-training sessions and was surprised by how tough they were, taking on numerous rope climbs and what not.
As for the actual road test, I’m happy to say that running with these on made for a more enjoyable experience. Depending on the stage of my run, I often switch from heel first to flat to forefoot, so I particularly love UltraBoost’s responsive cushioning system for its landing support and energy return. I’ve worn many running shoes before and this is definitely right up in my top 3 when it comes to performance.
I can’t say enough how comfortable UltraBoost shoes are. Its upper is made with enhanced primeknit technology, which means they wrap your feet for maximum comfort without being so stretchy that your feet slip out of place. It’s lightweight, with just the right tightness all over. Its ventilation holes allow for much needed breathability, especially during long-distance runs. Furthermore, its sockfit feature helps in stabilising ankles. It’s a joy to wear.
I have the burgundy-coloured UltraBoost and it’s a head turner, which is great for casual wear, too. The red isn’t flashy but you’ll take notice because of its form. From the side, the footwear’s tongue leans perfectly parallel with the collar, heel notch and heel counter.
Contrast that with the thick foam midsole complemented by a thin stripped outsole and you have subtle balance. UltraBoost employs a minimalist approach, leaving only its primeknit pattern and texture to accentuate the rest of the shoes’ functional parts. Very cool, indeed.
TOTAL SCORE: 9.7/10
Ultra-functional running shoes that are incredibly comfortable and stylish.
Though Adidas established the line of foam-soled running shoes with the 2015 UltraBoost, Nike and Under Armour have recently caught up and have released their own. These may potentially give the competition a run for its money.
Nike Epic React Flyknit
Nike asserts this one gives 13 per cent more bounce and energy return than Nike’s Lunarlon. Its upper Flyknit technology is stretchy and sock-like.
Under Armour HOVR
HOVR comes in two kinds — Phantom, for comfort and lifestyle, and Sonic, for speed and distance. Its foamsole technology claims “zero gravity feel” and energy return.
— Dwynn Ronald V. Trazo is an award-winning visual journalist who has gone from fat to fit. He’s an active advocate of fitness and is a certified trainer