About the Author: Adam Terry is a thirtysomething salesman in the HVAC and hydronics industry. He enjoys bourbon, boots, sneakers, raw denim, and working on his
dad bod father figure.
The large majority of us Dappered readers are not professional athletes, but I’d wager that a bunch of y’all are runners, marathoners, triathletes, gym rats, and more. That’s not me, but I do run from my car to the office when it’s raining outside. That counts, right?! So, why on Earth am I reviewing some of the most popular running sneakers on the market? At the end of the day, a Porsche has to look as good as it drives and I really like comfortable, cool looking sneakers.
This #SneakerHeadReport is on the Adidas UltraBoost 22, the latest in a long line of running-focused sneakers from the Three Stripes brand. This is the men’s version of this shoe, which is an important note to make as the UltraBoost 22 was redesigned this year by a team of women, for women, as their running needs have some key differences that we men have been known to overlook. So, let’s break down the UltraBoost 22 tech and see if they’re really worth it.
#SneakerHeadReport coming your way…
The Adam Review Scale of Excellence (A.R.S.E.)
- 5 – Excellent! No issues and highly recommended.
- 4 – Good. Above average, but not perfect.
- 3 – Average. Minor issues, might be good at the right price.
- 2 – Fair. Below average due to defects, flaws, or imperfections.
- 1 – Poor. Significant issues, not worth purchasing at any price.
- Brand: Adidas
- Style: Running Sneakers
- Size: 11 US (45 EU)
- Last: N/A
- Construction: Glued
- Upper: Primeblue woven recycled knit upper
- Sole: Stretchweb and Continental Better Rubber outsole
- Details: N/A
- Extras: N/A
- Country of Origin: China
- Price: $190 USD
Bondesque black-out colorway.
My pair of black UltraBoost 22s was ordered directly through Adidas early one Friday morning. They shipped out that afternoon and arrived on my doorstep on the following Tuesday. You can’t argue with free two-day shipping!
FYI: Adidas has a decent 30 day return or exchange policy that gets extended to 60 days during the Christmas holiday season each year. As always, goods need to be new and unworn.
Score: 5/5 Stars – Adidas has a solid 30 day return policy. No complaints!
Bleh unboxing, but the shoes make up for it.
This pair arrived in a standard Adidas sneaker shoebox with absolutely nothing to write home about. The unboxing experience was equally as ho-hum with basic packaging materials and no additional laces or anything. Kinda sad at this price point, but maybe that’s the norm now.
Score: 3/5 Stars – The unboxing experience was less than eventful. Average at best.
Fresh out of the box, I’m liking this “core black” colorway. I usually prefer sneakers with a white or gum sole for a bit of contrast, but this all-black aesthetic is really pleasing to my eyes. I’m blaming this departure from my norms on the Adidas x James Bond 007 “No Time to Die” collection from 2020 which included a “tuxedo black” variant. Every man wants to be like James Bond at some point in their life, even if they’re just going to the supermarket. Also important to note is that there’s enough detail on these black UltraBoosts to separate them from food service footwear. Given the right athletic-focused outfit, you won’t be mistaken for a waiter or prep cook who has ventured outside of the kitchen. I’d highly recommend pairing these with either a sport polo and slim, dark jeans or go full athleisure with a tee and joggers.
Knit from Primeblue yarns spun from plastics plucked from the ocean.
Digging into the design, the upper’s Primeknit+ material is made from a high-performance blend of roughly 50% Primeblue yarns and 50% recycled polyester. These Primeblue yarns are spun from Parley Ocean Plastic – basically trash that’s plucked from beaches, remote islands, coastal communities, and shorelines around the world. This helps prevent this trash from ending up in our oceans again, continuing to pollute our environment. This material is somewhat sustainable, eco-friendly, and recyclable. Nice!
This one-piece knit upper is essentially a stretchy, close fitting sock that you’ll slide your foot into. Starting from the tip of the toe and working backwards towards the heel, you’ll first notice that the 3D knit has certain sections of denser, more durable yarns for strength and some sections of a more open, looser weave for airflow. The lacing system is slightly tweaked on the UltraBoost 22 model to allow for less pressure across the instep. Speaking of the laces, I really enjoyed using these thin, yet solid feeling laces when tying my shoes this week. They feel “premium” for some reason. The length is just right, too, so you don’t have a ton of extra lace flopping around when you’re walking or jogging to the fridge. Good laces get overlooked.
The UltraBoost 22 has a redesigned tongue that is now slightly padded. Out back, there’s a heavily padded “S-Curve” heel shape that more closely hugs your ankle and achilles tendon. This extra cushioning out back adds comfort while also helping to prevent blisters caused by heel slippage. If you’re a fan of sneakers, this feels like a similar take from Yeezy 350s, but with more (and better) padding. Comfort levels really are off the charts with these things. Fantastic!
Extra padded s-curve heel prevents slippage and boosts comfort.
While the men’s last and overall fit wasn’t changed much for 2022, it’s worth noting that the women’s version of this shoe was drastically changed from the 2021 model after the all-female design and development teams scanned over 1.2 million feet to help identify why women need a completely different last, not just a scaled down version of the men’s shoe. Some key changes included a narrower heel pocket, a shallower forefoot section, a lower instep section, and a new outsole with added bracing to help eliminate over pronation. Adidas claims that the women’s version of the UltraBoost 22 can deliver ~4% more energy return for women. All of this is to say that if you have a woman runner or shoe fan in your life, she may enjoy the updated model!
Looking inside, there’s a fairly thin removable insole. It might be as thick as a piece of Juicy Fruit gum. If you typically need a little extra arch support, you’ll probably want to swap these out for something with more substance. I like my Superfeet insoles, but to each their own.
Not the most robust insole, but that is easily corrected.
Looking at the midsole and outsole unit is like meeting with Bond’s tech and gadget friend Q. There are a number of things here and they all do something special, but man, without a cheat sheet it would be difficult to figure it out. Starting with the BOOST, that’s the white and black squishy bits that make up the midsole layer. The Boost provides that infamous comfort like you’re walking on clouds or pillows. The latest UltraBoost models have 6% more Boost pellets throughout the midsole, varying in thickness and tapering upwards from the toe to the heel. This Boost stuff is made of expanded thermoplastic polyurethane. Imagine one of those cheap, styrofoam drink coolers. Now imagine injecting each pellet with air in the middle so that it puffs up like popcorn. That’s Boost! That’s why these shoes are so dang comfortable to wear all day.
Flipping the shoe over and looking at the outsole, the outer tread ring is referred to as the Stretchweb outsole and uses Continental’s Better Rubber for more traction and less slippage while running on various surfaces. You can think of this layer like thinner, high performance tires on sports cars. You get tons of traction and grip, but with the slight sacrifice of long term durability. Underneath the ball of your foot is the Adidas Linear Energy Push (LEP) torsion system, which is essentially a hard plastic insert that helps decrease flex at the forefoot and increase responsiveness when you’re pushing hard. All in, runners get more efficiency. Neat!
That’s a lot of tech talk, but at the end of the day, how are they around town for the bulk of us fashion and style focused guys? Pretty dang great. They’re very comfortable and I could easily see myself wearing these all day. Wear them to the office on casual Friday with a polo and jeans. Then switch to a short sleeve henley tee and some flat front tech shorts or jogger-type pants for a little afterwork runabout with friends or your significant other. All in all, these are fantastic sneakers.
Score: 5/5 Stars – Fantastic comfort and modern, high tech performance bits.
Heavy traction and decreased flex make for better response during a run.
Comfort, Fit, and Sizing
In terms of fit and sizing, I recommend trying a half-size larger than your Brannock measurement. I tried this pair in my usual Adidas size of 11 and they’re spot-on. The widest part of my foot lines up with the widest part of the shoe and I have about a thumb’s width of extra space in front of my toes for expansion and splaying as I walk or run… to the fridge.
Air filled Boost pellets create a cloud-like experience for your feet.
Comfort is always subjective, but HOLY YEEZUS. These are among the most comfortable sneakers I’ve ever worn. The upper knit is stretchy without feeling constricting. The padded ankle and heel collar feels great, too, and I didn’t experience any rubbing or blister issues. You can definitely wear these both socked and sockless, should you choose to do so. Best of all, that squishy Boost midsole makes every step feel like you’re walking on little, personal clouds. If you’ve never worn shoes with this pelletized foam material, it can honestly be life changing.
For size reference, I am a 10.5 D/E on a Brannock device and usually take a 10 D in most roomy dress shoes, including Alden’s Barrie last and Grant Stone’s Leo last. I take a 10.5 E in Allen Edmonds 65 last, as that last runs too narrow for me. I also take a 10.5 in Converse/Vans and an 11 in most Adidas/Nike/Jordan/Yeezy sneakers. Have a size question? Email us!
Score: 5/5 Stars – Fit is great, comfort is off the charts good. Stretchy knit is a huge win.
I’m no athlete, so strictly from a sneaker enthusiast point of view, I love these Adidas UltraBoost 22s for their fit, comfort, and style. While I may never wear these in a marathon, triathlon, or Spartan race, I’d certainly wear these every weekday evening after work and all weekend with my casual hoodies, tees, jeans, and shorts. They’re fantastic shoes through and through and I do believe the UltraBoost line is worth the money. Note that despite the adidas website saying “This product is excluded from all promotional discounts and offers,” most frequent readers can recall plenty of times previous Ultraboost models have gone on sale. It’s worth keeping an eye on Nordstrom, since in the past they’ve price matched other 3rd party retailers who have put the Ultraboost on sale. So if you’re patient, you might be able to save quite a bit.
Avg. Score: 5/5 – Highly recommended, especially when on sale. Cheers!
Adam found his tootsies new casual BFF’s.