Adidas is a world-renowned brand, famous for its athletic footwear, so it’s often our number one choice when looking for new shoes. Hence today, we’re comparing two heavyweights to see which is better and potentially, which one you should choose. It’s Adidas Pure Boost vs Ultra Boost—so let’s get started.
These are our comparisons:
- Stability and support.
- Special technologies involved.
About Pure Boost
In 2014, Adidas was trying to make a comeback from an unsuccessful period where its rival Nike was leading the popularity contest. Around May of that year, it introduced the Pure Boost shoe and its luck began to change.
Although much of the technology involved in the shoe remained unaltered, Adidas included a few upgrades to the sole. The Pure Boost 1 displayed the latest in sole technology, making it an innovation in itself.
The sole sat on a cushy material, providing a better platform for street-running than previous Adidas shoes. The Pure Boost 1 marked a turning point for the brand, ending its unfortunate period.
Since the OG (original), Adidas has released a few follow-ups that all exceed expectations and look even more remarkable than their predecessor.
- EVA foam midsole.
- Reinforced heel counter.
- Single-piece knit upper.
- Self-adapting Stretchweb outsole.
- 8-millimeter heel drop.
- Detached collar fit.
- Weighs 10.3 ounces.
About the Ultra Boost
Fast forward to 2015, during the height of the athleisure trend. At this time, we saw retro footwear repurposed as fashion accessories. Suddenly, athletic shoes weren’t merely for sports as they re-surfaced on runways across the globe.
Adidas seizes the opportunity and launches its Ultra Boost shoe—a creation derived from intense research work. At the time of its release, the brand was around two years into an experiment with new technology on performance sneakers.
With the tech acquired, Adidas used ARAMIS motion capture technology to analyze different running techniques. The result was a rendition of the ultimate running shoe.
- Primeknit uppers.
- 10-millimeter heel drop.
- Includes torsion system.
- Stretchweb outsole.
- Responsive cushioning.
- Hard sole traction.
- Slipper collar fit.
- Weighs 10.9 ounces.
- High-level energy return.
Pure Boost vs Ultra Boost—Key Differences
The size is the major part of the fit, but sometimes, it’s also about the build of the shoe. And, the Pure Boost and Ultra Boost do have their differences.
The Pure Boost is more of a slipper-like shoe, designed with a wider forefoot and narrow heel. Having a broad forefoot is a great asset in a running shoe since it allows your toes to spread and relax naturally.
In contrast, the Ultra Boost provides a narrower fit all over, with less space upfront. It keeps your feet cozy and supported inside, but it might not be the best fit for wide feet. For more information, please read our guide on how Adidas shoes fit.
2. Stability and Support
Stability and support are two critical features in an athletic shoe to keep your feet going strong. For the Pure Boost shoe, it includes a rigid heel counter with a stack beneath it that offers stability. The outsole consists of a web pattern, providing a better grip on surfaces.
The Ultra Boost is a little different—the technology included is a bit further ahead than the Pure Boost. It offers a Torsion System—this consists of a plastic component placed underneath the foam midfoot. The system effectively promotes both traction and stability—we’ll expand on this later.
Under the sole, it includes a webbed outsole, similarly to the Pure Boost.
The Pure Boost offers outstanding responsiveness as well as impact-resilience. It features the Stretchweb rubber sole that absorbs shock and converts it into returning energy underneath your foot, maximizing your stride.
However, the Ultra Boost has the edge. It includes a slightly upgraded Boost technology sitting in the midsole. This provides a superior response and an overall better experience.
Another significant difference between the two is the price tag. Ultra Boost is essentially a premium version of Pure Boost and is also more expensive.
So is the Ultra Boost worth the extra cost?
In comparison to the Pure Boost, Ultra Boost offers better innovations that are useful for both road runners and training runs. Although they share the same Boost technology sole, the Ultra Boost has a 10-millimeter heel that offers better durability, ideal for serious runners.
Another feature that sets it apart is the level of cushioning and traction. The Ultra Boost provides a full footbed of padding and friction outsole, as opposed to the Pure Boost that offers slightly less. Both, however, are super comfortable thanks to their slipper collar fit.
5. Special Technologies Involved
Both shoes are famous for the innovative technologies that they offer. They each include the Adidas Boost system, but let’s take a closer look to see what exactly that is.
Adidas Boost Technology
Adidas began integrating its Boost technology into its running line in 2013. This is produced by the Adidas Innovation Team (AIT), together with German chemists BASF.
The vision behind the system was to combine the benefits of soft and responsive padding. At the time of its creation, EVA foam was a standard material used in performance shoes. What Adidas brought was something very different.
Instead of EVA foam, Adidas constructed its midsole using thermoplastic polyurethane particles, expanded to form closed cells sitting around tiny air pockets. This is also known as expanded thermoplastic polyurethane or eTPU. The makeup of the material works together, minimizing energy loss during the wearer’s stride.
Since 2013, Adidas has launched several versions of its Boost technology. The lastest being in 2019 with the Ultra Boost 20 and Pulse Boost HD.
To know more about Boost technology, please watch this video.
Adidas Torsion System
The Adidas Torsion system consists of thermoplastic arch support that’s specially designed to allow the rearfoot and forefoot to move independently. It adapts to the running surface, reducing the strain put on the foot through excess motion.
What’s impressive is that it allows the midfoot to adjust naturally to the surface you’re running on, offering superior support and stability. This makes the shoe suitable for a range of activities.
If you’re still a bit confused as to how exactly it works, think of it as a bridge between your heel and forefoot. The height of the bridge sits under your midfoot, supporting the arch, helping to combat improper flexing in the area. This has a snowball effect, shown in the fit, protection and control during your movements and strides.
This is another system that’s used in the Ultra Boost shoe, giving it a slight edge over the Pure Boost.
Watch this video for a quick look at how the Torsion system works.
Pure Boost vs Ultra Boost for Running
This isn’t as straightforward to answer as it may seem, especially seeing that the shoes receive equally great and poor reviews from runners. When viewed from a technical point, both provide a solid foundation, ideal for a running shoe.
Both models include Adidas Boost technology. However, that doesn’t mean it’s optimal for everyone. The technique behind Boost is that it returns energy to your stride, giving bounce to your pace, making you feel lighter.
However, this can have an impact on your joints if you lack supportive muscles, for example, if you just started running. To combat this, you need extra support, which is where the Ultra Boost has an advantage.
Because of the Torsion System, it cushions and supports your joints during your gait cycle. So, due to this, the Ultra Boost should arguably be your choice in running shoes. Still, we all have our preferences, so you may need something entirely different.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Pure Boost as Comfortable as Ultra Boost?
In terms of cushioning, Pure Boost shoes are as comfortable as Ultra Boost, thanks to the Boost technology. However, the Ultra Boost has a better upper, which makes them slightly comfier than Pure Boost.
Which Adidas Boost Is the Best?
Consumers and Adidas fans have varied opinions on which is the best Boost shoe, or collection. Still, it seems that it’s between the Pure Boost and Ultra Boost, seeing that both offer style as well as protection.
Do Adidas Ultra Boost Make You Run Faster?
Only hard work can make you run faster, but what the Ultra Boost can do is increase the efficiency of your stride. However, the Ultra Boost isn’t suitable for fast runners as it doesn’t offer enough torsional support. It’s better for long-distance runners who go at a more controlled pace.
Which Is Better?
Pure Boost vs Ultra Boost—both include the Adidas Boost technology, offering cushioning and energy return during your stride. Which is better depends on what you need—if you’re an avid runner, the Ultra Boost is best. If you’re a workout enthusiast, looking for a training shoe, then the Pure Boost is better.
They’re quite similar, and arguably two exceptional shoes that you can get a lot out of.
We hope you found our comparison helpful. Please share and leave a comment or question in the section below.