Sneaker Trends

The Adidas Ultraboost 22 Completely Redefines How a Running Shoe Should Fit

Photo: Adidas
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Whenever I try on a pair of running shoes, I always think about the age-old cliché: "It's what's inside that counts." While a certain color or style of shoe may be a nice touch to your mileage, the X-ray of the shoe is what makes the difference between a good run and great run. That's why, with the launch of the Adidas Ultraboost 22 ($190), Adidas is re-imagining the anatomy of their most iconic running sneaker with technology designed specifically for women's feet, and, FWIW, the colorways are pretty excellent, too.

For years, Adidas has been one-upping its own Ultraboost technology with bouncy shoes that go the distance—but 2021 is different. This year's design took into account that, despite the fact that over 50 percent of runners are women, sneakers are mostly designed by and for men. "We created the Adidas Ultraboost 22 by taking a more holistic approach to the way we design our running shoes," says Nora Wilimzig, Senior Product Manager, Adidas Running. "The Ultraboost 22 is crafted with the goal of supporting our female running community by providing them with a shoe that delivers ultimate expression of comfort and responsiveness."

To achieve this lofty goal, Wilimzig's team took data from 1.2 million foot scans of women's feet and found that many women need a shoe with a narrower fit and a lower instep (the distance from the bottom of the foot to the bony structure on the top). The brand then streamlined this information into a more accommodating fit equipped with a PRIMEKNIT+ upper made with yarn containing 50 percent Parley Ocean Plastic for a supportive fit that's also environmentally friendly. However, the real crowning jewel of the Ultraboost 22 is how much energy you get back with every single step.

"The Ultraboost 22 is crafted with the goal of supporting our female running community by providing them with a shoe that delivers ultimate expression of comfort and responsiveness." - Nora Wilimzig, Senior Product Manager, Adidas

Way back in 2013, the Adidas Ultra Boost put the term "energy return" on every sneakerhead's radar. The buzzword refers to the fact that when a runner’s foot hits the ground, the cushioning on the shoe compresses. A shoe with great energy return compresses less than others for a bouncy, (almost) effortless stride. Nearly a decade later, Adidas is still finding ways to get that spring in your step. The 22 contains a handful of bells and whistles, including linear energy push (for a responsive run), as well as the company's signature "BOOST" midsole, which Adidas says delivers 4 percent more energy return than the Ultraboost 21 for women.

From heel to toe, this running shoe was designed by and for women. Remember that as you're logging mile after glorious mile.

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