Part of being a fitness writer means that I get to try on shoes for a living. No matter how many new pairs I try, though, the Adidas Ultraboost 21 ($109+) continues to hold rank amongst my top five favorite sneakers. The reason? They’re breathable, compressive, cushioned, and comfortable, making them a joy to wear.
These sneaks have been in my regular rotation for the past two years. But all along, I’ve had one main complaint: Their 11-ounce weight makes them heavier and more cumbersome to run in, which feels counterintuitive considering that’s their purpose. Clearly the folks at Adidas agree because the brand just dropped its latest Ultraboost iteration: The Ultraboost Light ($190).
TL;DR: From the moment I scooped them out of the box, I was wowed by the feather-light weight; mere steps after the moment I first put them on, they replaced the Ultraboost 21s in my top picks.
My honest review of the Adidas Ultraboost Light
Details of the new design
The Adidas Ultraboost Light is, as the name implies, the lightest-weight Ultraboost ever. Looking at the shoes, though, you wouldn’t know it. Like the many iterations prior, the Ultraboost Light features the signature chunky heel and a 10 millimeter heel-toe drop. What sets it apart, though, is that the midsole is made of ultra-lightweight BOOST foam that features a molecule design, which effectively cuts the weight of the shoe by a couple of ounces.
Beyond the updated BOOST midsole, the Adidas Ultraboost Light is very similar to the Ultraboost 21 (and the Ultraboost 22). The shoes are outfitted with the classic knit uppers that shoppers have come to know, love, and expect of the brand, and the outsoles continue to offer stellar traction in both dry and wet conditions.
What it’s like to actually wear them
From the moment I first laid hands on these, I couldn’t wait to put them on my feet. While I normally just slip in and out of my Ultraboost 21s with ease, I found that Ultraboost Lights to be a bit snugger, with a narrower heel, so I had to actually unlace them and finagle my feet inside. (After doing that just one time, though, the fit was set and I could easily slip them off and on without unlacing.)
While the compression and stability of the shoe feels practically identical to the Ultraboost 21s, the Ultraboost Lights are much, well, lighter. While shaving a couple of ounces may not seem like a big deal, I genuinely felt like I could walk and jog further in these shoes, as well as actually enjoyably run in them. Part of that is likely due to the new and improved energy point in the shoe’s sole, which is designed to be more responsive, ultimately lending to more effortless forward propulsion.
Why I love them—and what could make them even better
After wearing the Adidas Ultraboost Lights for a week—testing them on the sidewalk, on the treadmill, at the gym, and while out and about running errands—I can confidently say that these shoes are worth every penny. My favorite thing about them is their versatility. While they’re specifically designed as a running shoe, I consider them to be one of the best everyday sneakers on the market. If you like an athletic look, tons of cushion, and a form-fitting silhouette, these shoes are really hard to beat.
The only thing that could make them better in my book is if they came in more exciting colorways, like pink, purple, or royal blue. Knowing Adidas, though, it’s only a matter of time before more colors debut.