The adidas Ultra Boost has become one of the most recognizable silhouettes since it first debuted back in 2014. For 2018, the Three Stripes has updated the line for optimal performance, and we got our hands on a pair to fill you in on the new look.

The adidas Ultra Boost was first introduced as the pinnacle of adidas innovation, marrying the new Boost technology with the advantages of a Primeknit upper. The shoe caught fire soon after being worn by Kanye West, one of the brand’s most active creators. Since then, the Ultra Boost has become a staple in the wardrobes of sneakerheads and runners alike because of it’s unparalleled comfort and the huge variety of colorways available. For 2018, adidas went back to work on the coveted silhouette, producing a largely similar new model, but one with several technical updates to improve the performance. We got our hands on a pair of the recently released adidas Ultra Boost 4.0 “Noble Red” to give you a full breakdown of the updated performance model.

The Ultra Boost is well known for its beautiful Primeknit uppers, and the 4.0 model may take the cake. adidas has updated the pattern and construction on the latest issue of the line, creating a new pinstripe-like pattern that also combines elements from the traditional Ultra Boost 1.0 knit. The new upper is certainly an improvement over the previous 3.0 build because it feels noticeably thinner while retaining the same flexibility and sock-like qualities. Due to the larger gaps in the knit around the toe and padded ankle, the Ultra Boost 4.0 also feels much more breathable than it’s predecessor, making it a perfect candidate for hot summer days.

The new “Noble Red” colorway of the Ultra boost 4.0 is one of the most interesting yet, featuring a mainly red upper with black and white woven in. The striped pattern is broken up by knit red squares around the toe and ankle that resemble an octopus’ suction cup. In between the deep red stripes, the black knit base shows through, with minimal white strands randomly strewn throughout, forming a static-like pattern close up. The external support systems of this colorway are finished in a deep burgundy hue that is actually slightly darker than the laces and plush inner lining that appear to match at first glance. As you put them on, the bubbly new Boost logo shines in white on a bright orange insole.

Putting on a fresh full-length Boost midsole for the first time never gets old, especially with the Ultra Boost. Once again, adidas has provided the best for the key performance model, fitting the soft and responsive beads with an X-shaped Torsion Bar for stiff support throughout the midsole, which is protected from the elements by the usual Continental rubber outsole. For the new Ultra Boost 4.0, adidas has increased the amount of Boost in the shoe, with the tallest point standing at 29 millimeters as opposed to the previous iteration’s 22 mm height. This difference is also reflected throughout the 10 mm midsole drop which provides an optimal angle for your foot during more intense exercise. Additional Boost in the sole is a welcome inclusion, though may go unnoticed to the casual observer. The extra cushioning helps to retain the initial stiffness of the shoe a bit, addressing a long-standing complaint from sneakerheads and runners.

The adidas Ultra Boost 4.0 is a fantastic next step for the franchise. While the overall performance upgrades are not exactly something to marvel at, their aim is geared toward runners using the shoe for a standard high-performance run. If you are buying an Ultra Boost for everyday wear, the 4.0 is comparable to past versions of the shoe, aside from the new knit pattern. This change is mainly noticeable throughout the toes due to the thinning of the Primeknit; it is less noticeable in other areas due to inner padding or external support. adidas has so far released beautiful colorways utilizing the new upper’s pattern, and early images of upcoming pairs reveal they won’t be stopping this year. Once again, adidas has produced a killer running shoe that can be dubbed as the perfect casual sneaker.

adidas Ultra Boost 4.0 “Burgundy” 
Price: $180
Color: Noble Red/Noble Red/Core Black
Style Code: CP9248

Words by Ben Serleth, Images by JustFreshKicks

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