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Wearing Adidas' UltraBoost 21: As perfect as running shoes get

With a fresh design and upgraded performance, the flagship silhouette is such a pleasure.

Adidas is back with another UltraBoost, and this year the brand's flagship running sneaker looks better than ever. And we're not just talking about a new appearance, but also its completely revamped performance attributes.

With the UltraBoost 21, which drops January 28 for $180, Adidas says it worked closely with the running community to develop a shoe that delivers "incredible energy return with every stride."

That promise of improved performance comes along with a completely revamped design, which includes a beefier Boost midsole, an overhauled torsion system on the outsole, and Primeknit upper that's made from recycled materials.

According to Adidas, its redesigned "Linear Energy Push" (LEP) system offers a 15 percent increase in forefoot bending stiffness. That means the UltraBoost 21 should give you a more responsive stride during your runs, which is complemented by the six percent thicker Boost that curves around the heel.

That same Boost midsole is what makes the UltraBoost extremely (and uniquely) comfortable, making it the ideal running shoe for every type of runner — whether you're a beginner or someone who avidly loves to crush miles. A pillow for your feet.

As someone who has been running in these, I can confirm Adidas' spec-touting isn't just marketing talk. The UltraBoost 21 feel incredible and has just the right amount of weight, support, and comfort to make every step feel balanced.

The chunky Boost midsole, for example, doesn't keep me far enough off the ground to give my strides a wobbly sensation — which happens with high-end sneakers like Nike's Alphafly Next%, which are arguably considered the gold standard for running footwear.

Yes, the performance is fantastic, but it also helps that the UltraBoost 21 look great. A big reason for that is because Adidas went back to the UB's original aesthetic and, simply, put a modern twist on it.

2015

The year Adidas debuted its UltraBoost running shoe.

Of course, the UltraBoost has been a hit thanks in large part to Adidas' Boost cushioning technology, which is also featured in hyped sneakers like its Yeezy 350, Yeezy 380, and Yeezy 700.

Now, with the UltraBoost 21, the Three Stripes brand will be hoping to get more runners onboard — or even people who just want to get a taste of one of the most comfortable shoes to ever exist.

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