Reviews> adidas Ultraboost Light vs adidas Ultrabounce


In this article, we discuss how $190 shoes compare to $80 shoes. Do they really justify their price? Is the advantage significant enough to warrant paying double the price, or is it just a ploy by modern brands to extract more money from you? This is RUN FAQ, and we're starting now.

The first question is, "Are these shoes even comparable?" The answer is yes. Both of them belong to the extra cushioning, extra comfort segment, which is perfect for new runners looking to complete their daily runs. Ultrabounce is made with basic EVA foam, two-layered engineered mesh, and doesn't have many additional elements, while Ultraboost Light uses premium materials like Boost Light foam, Primeknit mesh, and a stability plate. Based on the materials alone, we can confidently say that the shoes are worth the extra money. But do premium materials make that much of a difference in performance? That leads us to our second question.
Let's start with the design. Ultraboost is the clear winner in this comparison. The elements are much smoother, more elegant, and the shapes are more futuristic and fresh. Although we believe some people might prefer the design of the Ultrabounce, Ultraboost clearly dominates in this aspect.

Next, let's compare the step-in comfort. Please note that this is not about overall comfort, but rather the initial feeling when you first put the shoes on. We have observed that Ultraboost feels a bit unnatural, with the heel lockdown being pulled forward and the toe box feeling a bit too tight. On the other hand, Ultrabounce feels a bit looser, which is better in terms of step-in comfort. It's a close call, but Ultrabounce has a slight advantage over Ultraboost in this comparison.

When it comes to lockdown, there is a clear winner here. Ultraboost's Primeknit mesh is extremely tight. On top of that, the extra reinforcement on the front, sides, and heel contribute to the exceptional level of lockdown. We would even call it the best on the market. Meanwhile, Ultrabounce, as mentioned earlier, feels a little bit loose. There is no good lockdown in the front, while the middle and back have a very good level but not as strong as in Ultraboost.

When we talk about ventilation, we have to admit that engineered mesh is always better compared to knit upper. Even though Ultrabounce has two-layered engineered mesh, it still ventilates a bit better than the knit on Ultraboost. You could argue that it is good for cold weather, but let's not forget that knit upper absorbs water much more, which means during cold periods, the knit upper will have an even bigger issue. So, all in all, Ultrabounce is the clear winner here.
The next comparison is shock absorption. Ultraboost does use premium TPU foam, which is definitely a bit softer. Although softness is not the only measure of shock absorption. When it comes to real numbers, we would say it is pretty even. Both shoes can handle a runner with increased weight. Both shoes can be offered to a new runner to avoid unnecessary damage.

Responsiveness, on the other hand, is where Boost Light shines. Due to being compressed a bit more and its unique resilient qualities, it provides much more energy return. While Ultrabounce feels more natural, which is standard for what we see on the market. That is why Ultraboost is the clear winner in this comparison.

When we talk about transition, TPU foam also provides a more positive feeling. Boost Light is a much more flexible foam, and its futuristic bubble-like shape makes it super steady, predictive, and smooth. While Ultrabounce feels bulky without any smoothness in transition. We would even say dull. That is why Ultraboost has a clear advantage here.

Next, we talk about stability. And once again, Ultraboost has a significant advantage here. The heel is lowered down in the midsole, which guarantees consistency in landing. In the forefoot, they have a plastic plate L.E.P., which ensures even distribution of pressure and guarantees an increased level of stability. This is not just in comparison with Ultrabounce; we believe it is one of the best stability features on the market in the max cushioning segment. While Ultrabounce lacks a little bit of stability in the forefoot. Sometimes you even think that the front and back sides are not connected and twisting separately.
When it comes to grip, both shoes perform equally well. Even though Ultraboost uses more premium Continental rubber, you would hardly find any improvement.

The final comparison is durability. TPU foam like Boost Light loses its qualities much slower compared to EVA foams like Bounce. It seems like Ultraboost has an advantage here. But when it comes to the upper, knit will get dirty and wear off faster. All in all, we think these shoes are equal in this aspect.

Okay, now we have the full comparison. Let's draw a few conclusions.
The first one is mathematical. We have two shoes: Ultraboost costs $190, Ultrabounce costs $80. Ultraboost collected 14 points, Ultrabounce collected 8 points. We also add an extra two points to Ultraboost due to it being significantly lighter. If we calculate the price per point, we see that the difference is almost negligible, which means that the price is fair.

The second conclusion will be rhetorical. To be honest, we did not expect such a result. Going into this video, we wanted to show that you should not always go for high-end shoes. After this review, we are in doubt. We have strengthened our opinion that new runners should always go for premium models. It is clear that they do need this extra stability, extra lockdown, and extra transition improvement. For advanced runners, it also seems quite important to have all these improvements. The only situation where we can recommend going for cheaper models is when you are limited by budget. However, if that is the case, you can always look for previous year models, which are offered at discounted prices.

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