The world of running technology does not stand still. Instead, it is an ever-evolving race to the top where even the slightest improvements can bring huge gains to the runner. adidas is a brand that has been pushing performance tech for decades and continues to do so with its latest running shoe. The adidas Ultraboost Light delivers the lightest BOOST shoe to date.
The brand has created a 30% lighter BOOST material in collaboration with its partners. This alone pushes runners to the next level regarding performance gains. However, adidas doesn’t rest there, adding many changes across the design to provide an overall improvement.
Design and Build
Also known as the Ultraboost 23, the Ultraboost Light offers quite a few changes over its predecessors. Besides the obvious in the title, there are acceptable changes that are only noticeable with a side-by-side comparison. However, the DNA of the Ultraboost persists, despite the updates.
Starting with the BOOST midsole, the Light has a smoother outward appearance. The visual pattern of the BOOST particle technology is wrapped with an outer covering but still maintains the shape of its predecessor. The BOOST midsole is also 30% lighter. You’ll notice this improvement immediately when putting it on for the first time. The Ultraboost 22 did an excellent job of shedding some of the weight packed onto the 21 variant and made further strides on the Light.
Further changes are on the overlays, the heel stabiliser, the cage and the sole. The overlays are much more pronounced on the Ultraboost Light. Not only are they slightly more prominent, but they also stand out due to the colourway, which was previously hidden in the monotone approach of the Ultraboost 22.
Next, the heel stabiliser offers a narrower approach, keeping your foot more secure from the bottom of the heel to avoid slippage. There is also more cushioning around the collar, providing increased stability and locks in below the ankles.
Overall, the changes are slight but make more of an impact when in motion than on aesthetics. Therefore, these improvements are appreciated overall rather than in isolation. What’s also great about the shoes is that adidas decreases the shoe’s carbon footprint by 10%.
adidas Ultraboost Light Comfort
The Ultraboost Light is not an overhaul on this front. Instead, it offers more for less. Comfort is aided using the reduced weight, which impacts the ankles, calves and the rest of the lower leg. As a result, running feels lighter, which extends even to general use as you walk about.
As mentioned earlier, there is added padding around the collar. Not only is it a design change, but it also adds more comfort around the ankle to reduce chafing and similar irritation.
Lastly, the comfort is also enhanced through the improvements of the lighter BOOST midsole. The 30% decrease in weight provides improved energy return in each stride while also softening the impact thereof.
Despite any design changes, it all comes down to performance. The adidas Ultraboost Light is a performance shoe, after all. That said, it does an excellent job at eking out that little extra from your daily runs without putting additional strain on your bones, joints and muscles. This is often a side effect of pushing everyone to better times with advanced running shoes. However, for many, making small gains and just being able to run as much as possible without increased risk of injury is where the sweet spot lies.
Runners have particular needs regarding their shoes, even if they don’t know it. Proper support for your foot is one of the most essential features of a running shoe. For the Ultraboost Light, adidas has redesigned its Linear Energy Point (LEP). This is the brand’s supportive system found on the shoe’s sole. Here, it has been redesigned to be more responsive with each step. When you land, it absorbs as much of the impact as possible, returning this with elasticity to push you forward into the next stride.
Coupled with the lighter BOOST midsole, it pushes maximum performance for wearers. The more lightweight body makes for a more effortless stride that doesn’t bog you down as you press ahead. It seems trivial initially, but even the most minor gains on weight reduction scales increase enormously the longer the run. For perspective, saving 50-60g of weight on the Ultraboost Light equates to about 200-240KG of weight saved during your stride. That’s a lot of energy saved lifting this weight during a simple 5KM run over 30 minutes of about 4,000+ steps.
Then there’s the enhanced PRIMEKNIT+ upper. The technology has been available for most of the Ultraboost range, and that’s no different with the Light. It still has an adaptive build with flexible and durable materials that adjusts to your steps. Furthermore, it also offers excellent breathability to keep your feet cool during your run.
One aspect that I noticed has also continued to improve with every new edition is the Continental rubber on the outsole. It feels more grippy even when off-road. The grip often felt too strong when I wasn’t used to it. This is especially true on dry tarmac. After a few days of running, however, it felt a lot more natural.
Overall, although the changes seem minimal, there’s enough of a difference across the board to make it quite worthwhile. This is especially true regarding the reduced weight of the adidas Ultraboost Light.
Is the adidas Ultraboost Light Worth Buying?
As with many iterations for a product range, some new releases may not always toss the cart when it comes to overhauling the design. However, over the years, adidas has provided regular improvements over its predecessor by streamlining certain aspects of the Ultraboost to make it more efficient. That’s the same with the adidas Ultraboost Light.
Reducing the overall weight by 30% is no small feat. That alone would be a good reason to upgrade your running shoes. Additionally, depending on the distance you’ve already covered on your previous daily driver, running shoes are one of the products that do require regular updates to avoid injury and other issues.
Furthermore, with the exchange rate all over the place over the past 12 months, what’s excellent with the Ultraboost Light is that it keeps the same pricing, if not slightly less, than the previous release. This is fantastic news for consumers, especially in the running community.
adidas Ultraboost Light
Although its no an evolution on design and build, the adidas Ultraboost is 30% lighter and has sufficient enhancements across the board to make significant strides forward for runners.
- Ultralight build
- Improved design
- Enhancements throughout
- Same price as predecessor
- Not the major overhaul some runners require