One of the questions I’m asked most as a runner is which trainers I run in, so I thought I’d dedicate this post to that. The answer: adidas UltraBoost X. They’re the bounciest, lightest, most free and comfortable running shoes I’ve tried, and having ticked off 2 marathons (and all the training!) in them, I can say with confidence that they’re excellent.
I should point out that everyone runs differently, has different likes and dislikes, and needs different levels of support, so I am aware that whilst these are right for me, they might not be perfect for everyone. BUT, if you’re new to running, or looking for a new shoe to try, I’d definitely recommend trying out the adidas Ultra Boost X — and the rest of the adidas UltraBoost range for that matter, I’ve tried my fair share— as they’re so bouncy thanks to the clever technology of the Boost sole. Now I’m not going to go into all the technical details — you can read about that here — but it’s the white, bumpy layer in the sole, which makes you feel like you’re a spring, walking on clouds. I’m kind of used to it now, but I remember the first few times I put them on, I couldn’t get over the sensation! For me, someone who’s prone to shin splints, the bounciness is essential for staying injury free. When I first started running, I ran in the Nike Free, which, though lightweight like the UltraBoost X, don’t have any bounce and really made my feel like I was hitting the floor so hard. The cushioning of the Boost makes you feel a lot lighter, propels you so you’re landing on the correct part of your foot (the ball, rather than the heel), and just generally feels a lot springier for running in. In terms of gait, the UltraBoost X are all pretty neutral, so if you overpronate or underpronate I would suggest going to a running shop to be assessed to check that they do work for you before you invest.
For me, I prefer the UltraBoost X to the UltraBoost as I like the snug sock-like fit which incorporates the free arch underneath, that adapts as you run and literally hugs the shape of your foot. The Primeknit fabric allows maximum free movement — it really does feel like you’re running in socks, with no restraints. The snug fit is quite narrow and they do come up small — I absolutely recommend going up a half size. I’m take a 7 but wear the 7.5 UltraBoost X, and even those are snug around the middle.
Lastly, they’re impressively light — great for when you are running but also for carrying around, traveling, going to and from the gym and so on…
At £100+ they’re not cheap, and there are plenty of cheaper options. However, having suffered running injuries and shin splints and overcoming them with physio, I really do believe that the shoes you run in DO make a difference. They completely affect performance and enjoyment, and can be the make or break for staying injury free, so they’re not something I’d skimp on.