adidas Ultraboost Light Running Shoe Review

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The adidas Ultraboost Light, the latest Ultraboost running shoe from adidas, features Light BOOST midsole, offering a lightweight, energy-packed ride.

While it weighs less than prior models, it doesn’t compromise on the springy responsiveness that makes runs feel faster and smoother. And with less weight, you’ll be running faster than ever!

Let’s dive into the details of this running shoe so you can decide if it’s worthy of being your next running shoe.

Pros and Cons

Overall, the pros seem to outweigh the cons on the adidas Solarcontrol.

PROS:

  • Weighs more than an ounce less than other Ultraboost shoes
  • Great heel lockdown for extra stability
  • Nice energy return
  • Soft, stretchy upper is comfortable with a good fit

CONS:

  • No extra eyelet for different lacing techniques
  • Expensive
  • Firm foam could be a dealbreaker for some
 

Upper

The Ultraboost Light’s one-piece upper has a slightly relaxed fit that places emphasis on comfort rather than performance. The material will stretch and move with your feet as you run, so although the shoe fits true to size, it’s not a snug fit.

It’s made with ocean plastic, so it’s a sustainable and eco-friendly shoe. The thickness of the material does make it a little less breathable than other similar shoes.

On the first few wears, the shoe might feel low-volume. It should stretch out after a few runs and feel more comfortable.

It isn’t sloppy, though. There’s a synthetic midfoot cage attached to the laces, which secures your foot in the shoe.

It’s missing the extra eyelet that allows for a runner’s knot. But there’s an external heel clip running down either side of the heel cup, which helps to prevent lateral movement of the heel.

This is paired with a well-cushioned inner heel, which does a pretty good job of locking your foot down. The heel is a little on the wide side, so it’s best for those with a normal-to-wide heel.

Fashion-conscious runners will be pleased to know that the adidas Ultraboost Light comes in many colors.

Midsole

A full-length slab of Light Boost foam provides both firmness and responsiveness. Boost foam is unique in that it contains small pockets of air, which gives it its lightness as well as extra bounce (i.e. boost!).

Light Boost foam is formulated to be about 30 percent lighter and provide 3 percent more energy return. The difference between regular Boost and Light Boost makes the Ultraboost Light almost an ounce lighter.

There’s 29.3 mm of foam in the heel, which is good news for heel strikers as it offers a soft, shock-absorbing landing.

The 10 mm heel-to-toe drop helps take pressure off the Achilles, so it’s ideal for those who need extra support for Achilles tendonitis.
There’s a unique reinforcement system in the midsole called Linear Energy Push, which stiffens up the forefoot a little so there’s less flex and more responsiveness. This makes it a great shoe for faster runs or races.

Outsole

The outsole of the Ultraboost Light is made of Continental Better Rubber—the same material as their tires. It’s grippy and highly durable, so you should get plenty of miles out of these shoes.

Rubber is carefully placed on the most wear-prone areas of the sole, leaving a section of exposed foam down the middle of the shoe. This helps to lighten the shoe, and it also makes your heel-to-toe transitions a little more responsive.

Other Features

Heel-to-Toe Drop

The adidas Ultraboost Light has a 10 mm heel drop. This is just below the traditional 12 mm, so those switching from a 12 mm drop should get used to it quickly.

For runners with Achilles problems, 12 mm is an excellent drop. It’s high enough to take some load off the Achilles but doesn’t place as much pressure on the forefoot as a 12 mm drop shoe.

Weight

The women’s running shoe weighs 9.1 ounces for a size 6. The men’s shoe is 10.3 ounces for a size 9. It’s around an ounce lighter than the original Ultraboost, but this differs across sizes.

If you liked the original Ultraboost, you’ll appreciate the lighter weight of this one and your runs will be better for it, both in comfort and responsiveness!

Durability

The tough rubber on the outsole of this shoe is highly durable. You should be able to get a good few hundred miles out of them, but it does depend on your mileage, the surface you run on, and how hard you usually are on shoes.

The Boost foam in the midsole is also durable and should resist damage from compression for many hundreds of miles. Even the upper is surprisingly long-lasting, thanks to its thickness.

Price

At $190 per pair, the adidas Ultraboost Light is on the more expensive end of the spectrum.

However, if you’re an adidas fan and you loved the previous Ultraboost, you’ll most likely get your money’s worth. Its durability means you won’t need to buy new shoes for at least a few hundred miles, and you also get a much wider range of color choices than most other shoes.

Who Should Run in This Shoe?

The adidas Ultraboost Light is designed for neutral runners. It’s an excellent choice for runners who enjoy a responsive shoe that can be used for everyday runs.

Those who prefer their cushioning on the firm side will appreciate how the Ultraboost Light feels underfoot.

And because the shoe is so light, it also works well as a race-day shoe.

Who Should Not Run in This Shoe?

If you prefer soft cushioning, you might find it uncomfortable. It also might not be the best choice for runners with narrow heels, since it’s hard to lock your heel.

The stretchy upper of the Ultraboost Light might also feel too unstructured for some runners. If you like a firm, secure upper, this shoe might not be for you.

It also runs a touch wide, so if you have narrow fit, you may not get the best fit.

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AUTHOR

Ben is an avid road and trail runner, and has completed multiple marathons and ultras. A former running store owner, he now shares his knowledge and experience writing these articles.