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The Adidas Ultraboost Light Makes My Easy Runs Feel Even Easier

The sneakers are more versatile than you’d think too.


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Adidas Ultraboost Light Review This Shoe Makes My Easy Runs Feel Even Easier
Christa Sgobba / Amanda K Bailey
Adidas Ultraboost Light
Multiple Buying Options Available
  • Cushiony yet stable feel
  • Versatile beyond running
  • Attractive enough to wear outside of workouts
  • Not enough bounce for speed workouts or races
  • Pricey for everyday trainers

There are workout shoes for every kind of session: easy runs, long runs, brisk walks, full-body circuits, and heavy strength days. If you wear a dedicated one for each, well, that can mean a whole bunch of sneakers. So a pair that can do it all can definitely be worth the investment.

Enter: The Adidas Ultraboost Light, the sveltest version in Adidas’s classic Ultraboost line. The shoe, which was made for everyday runs, also brings an added benefit: It’s pretty damn good for all the other times you’re on your feet too. Read on to find out which workouts worked best for these comfy and cool everyday sneakers.

How I Tested

I wore the Adidas Ultraboost Light on and off for about a month during a range of activities, including runs ranging from 20 to 60 minutes, hour-long interval sessions on the elliptical, upper-body strength-training workouts, and hours of walking. The majority of my runs were on the road, though I did take the Ultraboosts on a few miles of densely packed, non-technical trails to check them out on a slightly different kind of terrain.

Then I evaluated the Adidas Ultraboost Light based on the criteria set by our experts for considering running shoes, hitting on things like fit, feel, shape, and how my body felt during—and after—each activity.


One of the cool things about the Ultraboost Light is that it was specifically designed for a woman’s foot: It has a narrower heel, which Adidas says helps prevent slippage. The specialized fit may explain why the Ultraboosts fit truer to size for me than other running shoes. I’m a 6 in street shoes, but I pretty much always size up a half size for trainers. I took the Ultraboosts for a few runs in 6.5s, but they felt a little too big. I ended up going back to my normal street shoe size, which ended up fitting a lot better.

The Primeknit material on the upper is stretchy, so there’s a good amount of give there too. I’m a big fan of that socklike design because I really feel like it keeps you secure without feeling too constrictive. It actually reminded me of the original Nike Infinity Reacts, the shoe that I wore training for my first marathon.

Another cool thing about the fit? The Ultraboost Light is a neutral running shoe—meaning, it’s not made specifically for people who overpronate (meaning your foot rolls inward with each stride) or supinate (your foot rolls outward)—but I felt like it provided solid stability. That may be due to the thick foam pods along either side of the heel, which can prevent side-to-side ankle movement. In fact, my sports medicine doctor even mentioned that the shoes kept me stable during tests like single-leg hops and squats, despite my natural tendency for ankle wobbling.

Christa Sgobba

Running shoes have been looking a little elvish lately, and the Ultraboost Lights are no exception: They have a whole bunch of foam underfoot (more on what that does in a moment), and even more of it extending around the heel, giving it that cute little point at the back.

Like earlier iterations of the Ultraboost, the new model has a rocker-like shape to help propel you forward with each step, which I felt worked with—rather than fought against—my natural stride.

Christa Sgobba

Overall, the shape of the shoe combined with its fun colorway—I tried it in bright white with black and orange accents—made it a shoe I actually wanted to wear outside my workout. It looked so fresh, modern, and nearly futuristic paired with jeans that it became my go-to footwear when I was traveling.


This is an area where the Ultraboosts really shine. They simply felt good to put on, and keep on, whether I was running, walking, lifting—whatever.

Like all of the shoes in the Ultraboost line, the Lights are super cushiony, thanks to all the foam under the foot. I wouldn’t call it pillowy soft—it had more of a responsive feel—but it definitely felt forgiving with each stride. The foam gives energy return with each footstrike, and while it’s not as much as what you’d see with carbon-plated super shoes you’d use for races, it still provided a bit of pep. As a heel striker, I especially appreciated the foam under the back of my foot, and it felt particularly nice on downhill portions of my run. But even when I was running on flat terrain, the thick foam felt really good.

So good, in fact, that I wanted to test them out outside of my runs. I enjoyed that same softness on elliptical workouts, and the plushness felt great on low-impact walks too. I think all that cushion played a role in allowing me to explore a new city by foot for hours without wanting to call an Uber to haul me back to my hotel. Whether you’re walking or running, having that cushion and energy return to ward off fatigue when you’re on your feet for a while is crucial.

How My Body Felt During and After My Activity

I’ve been dealing with persistent outer lower-leg discomfort after an injury pulled me out of training for a half-marathon last fall, and my doctor thinks my ankle instability likely plays a role there. If my ankles wobble too much with each strike, it ends up overstressing the muscles, tendons, and ligaments on the lateral side of my lower leg. So if my running shoes don’t provide enough stability, I’ll probably end up feeling it later.

I felt supported with the Ultraboost Lights, even when I took them on easy trails, where the terrain was more uneven than the flat roads. I didn’t have to cut any runs short due to any lateral leg discomfort, and I was able to keep on keeping on.

And the ride felt good too! While you don’t feel the obvious bounce with each step that you would with carbon-plated super shoes, you do get responsive feedback with each impact that pushes you to keep going. The energy return, coupled with all that cushion, made easy runs feel even easier. So much so that it was really tempting not to go off plan and turn my short runs into long ones! With the Ultraboost Lights, I felt like I wanted to keep going.

I do think the Ultraboost Lights are more suited to lower-intensity runs with easier pacing than they would be for specific workouts, like tempos or intervals. When I picked up the pace in the shoes, they still felt like a comfy ride, but I’d probably go for a lighter pair with more of a bounce—like the Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT% 2—if I was specifically looking for speed.

Company Return Policy

Adidas offers full refunds within 30 days of receiving your purchase, which is helpful because, like I mentioned above, the shoe seems to run a little bit large. If possible, I think it’d be helpful to try on the shoe at a physical store first to see if your normal running shoe size would work or if you’d have to drop down a half like I did.

Should You Buy It?

The Adidas Ultraboost Light is a great pair of shoes for everyday runs where comfort is key: They provide a cushiony, stable ride that allows your body to keep moving without you having to think too much about it. The result? You can turn your brain off, get lost in the sunshine, and simply enjoy your me time.

They’re also a solid option if you’re looking for shoes that you can take beyond your runs: They felt great during walks, elliptical routines, and upper-body strength sessions. I wouldn’t recommend these for lower-body or full-body workouts, though, because the stack height and rocker shape doesn’t allow your foot to lay flat on the floor, which you need for moves like squats or deadlifts.

If you're specifically looking for speed or race shoes, you can probably find other options that are more specifically suited for that goal. But if you just want a shoe you can wear on the majority of your training runs, these are a solid choice both for feel and performance. And the fact that they look so cool that you’ll want to wear them well after your run is in the books? That’s just an added bonus.