There are workout shoes for every kind of session: easy runs, long runs, brisk walks, full-body circuits, and heavy strength days. If you wear a dedicated one for each, well, that can mean a whole bunch of sneakers. So a pair that can do it all can definitely be worth the investment.
Enter: The Adidas Ultraboost Light, the sveltest version in Adidas’s classic Ultraboost line. The shoe, which was made for everyday runs, also brings an added benefit: It’s pretty damn good for all the other times you’re on your feet too. Read on to find out which workouts worked best for these comfy and cool everyday sneakers.
How I Tested
I wore the Adidas Ultraboost Light on and off for about a month during a range of activities, including runs ranging from 20 to 60 minutes, hour-long interval sessions on the elliptical, upper-body strength-training workouts, and hours of walking. The majority of my runs were on the road, though I did take the Ultraboosts on a few miles of densely packed, non-technical trails to check them out on a slightly different kind of terrain.
Then I evaluated the Adidas Ultraboost Light based on the criteria set by our experts for considering running shoes, hitting on things like fit, feel, shape, and how my body felt during—and after—each activity.
One of the cool things about the Ultraboost Light is that it was specifically designed for a woman’s foot: It has a narrower heel, which Adidas says helps prevent slippage. The specialized fit may explain why the Ultraboosts fit truer to size for me than other running shoes. I’m a 6 in street shoes, but I pretty much always size up a half size for trainers. I took the Ultraboosts for a few runs in 6.5s, but they felt a little too big. I ended up going back to my normal street shoe size, which ended up fitting a lot better.
The Primeknit material on the upper is stretchy, so there’s a good amount of give there too. I’m a big fan of that socklike design because I really feel like it keeps you secure without feeling too constrictive. It actually reminded me of the original Nike Infinity Reacts, the shoe that I wore training for my first marathon.
Another cool thing about the fit? The Ultraboost Light is a neutral running shoe—meaning, it’s not made specifically for people who overpronate (meaning your foot rolls inward with each stride) or supinate (your foot rolls outward)—but I felt like it provided solid stability. That may be due to the thick foam pods along either side of the heel, which can prevent side-to-side ankle movement. In fact, my sports medicine doctor even mentioned that the shoes kept me stable during tests like single-leg hops and squats, despite my natural tendency for ankle wobbling.
Running shoes have been looking a little elvish lately, and the Ultraboost Lights are no exception: They have a whole bunch of foam underfoot (more on what that does in a moment), and even more of it extending around the heel, giving it that cute little point at the back.
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