Originally released in 2015, adidas had an instant classic on their hands with the Ultra Boost. Comfort, innovation, and style made this a must have for any and all sneakerheads. Personally, I own one pair of the original black and white colorway, but I remember trying to get the “Triple White” and “Cream” 1.0s…talk about heartbreaking. Those bad boys might as well have been myths. And of course, the resale market for them was just ridiculous. This hybrid of a technical runner and casual sneaker made huge waves in the sneaker community. The Ultra Boost was gaining traction with sneakerheads everywhere, and to top it off (pre-crazy) Kanye was captured in what may be the most famous photo of the Ultra Boost to date. Now let the perfect hype storm commence. The Ultra Boost phenomenon led to many crowning the underdog, adidas, as the new champ in the sneaker space. Although, not necessarily true, the spike in sells made the “Brand with the 3 Stripes” more relevant than ever. This placed a huge divide within the sneaker community. The rivalry had all but spilled in the streets. Chants of “Boost is Life” filled the sneaker world, and rightfully so. This new innovation was just the thing sneakerheads have been waiting for.
3 years later, the Ultra Boost, still recognized for its extreme comfort, has lost a bit of its cool factor. Maybe it just ran its course, right? Not quite. adidas continued to pump out new versions of their “bell cow” sneaker, but with very minimal changes. 2.0, 3.0, and 4.0 didn’t seem to stray too far from its 1.0 predecessor. The only visible change was the pattern of the PrimeKnit. Recycled colorways began to sit on shelves. Sneaker reviewers would claim that they felt a difference in the Boost’s comfort between models, but I’m not sure if I buy it. Seemed like a way to entice the uneducated consumer to spend their hard-earned cash on relatively the same shoe with a different number attached. So as expected, the hype pretty much fizzled out. So much so that the sneaker that never saw a price drop and was always excluded from promotions found itself carrying sale tags. So what’s the next move for Adidas to reinvigorate their prized sneaker model? How about retro-ing the 1.0 only 3 years after its original release. Seems like such a forced move, but this would give sneakerheads the chance to pick some of the more coveted colorways (Creams *cough cough*). But, will this sustain? Once adidas runs out of these colorways to release, what will happen next?
Well, enter the Ultra Boost 2019. With this recent release, we finally see some drastic changes to the aesthetics of the sneaker. With more of a performance focus on this version and 20% more Boost in the midsole from the 1.0, the Ultra Boost looks to take a fresh take on its legacy. My only question is, was this change too late? Will the Boost heads out there faithfully come back in droves as they once did? With a sell out on adidas.com and resale prices looking to average around $270 on StockX, it looks like adidas may have been able to raise some interest (because as we all know, resale prices tell you all you need to know about how the sneaker community feels about a sneaker). But, I think that an earlier redesign from the 1.0 to the 2.0 (and so on) would have kept the brand fresh and in the forefront of the culture’s mind, but with so many new sneakers on the horizon and an unreasonable amount of releases every week, its hard to say that Ultra Boost is still here to stay. Yes, its super comfortable, heck I can say with confidence that the Ultra Boost its top 3 in comfort to me, and I definitely plan on securing a pair myself, but will the masses feel the same. In a world that is consistently wanting to know what’s next, that slight misstep has left the Ultra Boost in an odd place. Will this redesign put adidas back into the competitive ring with the Swoosh? Or will we have to wait for the next innovation from the brand? Maybe it’ll be the 4D cushioning technology, but until it becomes readily available and not upwards of $300, we could be looking at the same mistakes being repeated. I guess we will just have to wait and see.