adidas’ Ultraboost 21 Is the Best Gift for Your Stylish Fitness Friend

The adidas Ultraboost 21 may be built for workouts, but it’s not hard at all. In fact, these shoes are the most stylish (and sophisticated) model in the Ultraboost line. They have the signature bouncy, Tic-Tac-looking sole but the shape is streamlined and lifted. They are the kind of sneakers you want to give and get and have several pairs as a backup.

While the Ultraboost 21 debuted in February, adidas has been putting Boost technology into sneakers since 2013. Instead of using the classic EVA foam found in most running shoes at the time, adidas created their signature thermoplastic polyurethane (or eTPU) midsole. It is a plush and yet a highly responsive material made by the German chemists at BASF. The material uses small pockets of air to provide a lightweight bounce, making these sneakers a favorite for running. (EVA is flexible, but tends to be softer than TPU, which reduces the support needed for rapid movements.)

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Admittedly, I hate running, but these sneakers got me excited to hit the treadmill for some awesome sprints. They are tender, and don’t make my ankles roll or my toes roll inside my shoes. Plus, my knees that tend to irritate while running stayed silent. For a light jog or a few rounds of sprints, these felt supportive and bouncy enough that I forgot what I was wearing and just focused on running.

I’ve also worn high-intensity interval training, boxing, and a full range of walking. I wear it four times a week, maybe four or five hours at a time, and have been doing it for a little over two months. I like them for HIIT and walking, but I don’t like them for boxing. Any movement that requires a quick reaction time and any kind of jump beg for a soft Boost bounce. But I found a quick sideways movement and any kind of pivoting pattern you might do in boxing wasn’t quite as smooth. My toes slide to the sides of the shoe, and the side of my foot pushes the soft sock upper over the Boost midsole. Any up and down movement is great – but for side-to-side exercises, not so much.

However, these shoes are easy to wear joints And the eyes, too. Before Ultraboosts debuted, running shoes were chunky and usually worn as an “anti-fashion” advertisement at the height of Normcore. While thick sneakers are back in the zeitgeist, they can be tough to wear and style. On the other hand, Ultraboosts are versatile no matter which way your clothing tastes like. Even the most stylish of listeners like Hailey Bieber and Olivia Wilde regularly wear Ultraboosts. Perfect for wearing to the gym or running errands, it looks especially great with casual ensembles such as T-shirts and leggings or an oversized hoodie with cropped shorts and long white socks.

Beyond the street style photos I’ve seen on Instagram, I’ve found this to be true in my personal experience. As I hesitated to take my white husband onto the streets of New York City, I started wearing it during my weekly walk to and from the gym (a trip I started helping clear my head during the pandemic). Now that more parts of the world have opened up again, my tours often include stops at the coffee shop, the grocery store, and, for the most part, a quick dinner with friends after a workout. I used to wear my Ultraboosts and fell in love with the way they look, I no longer hesitate to wear them anywhere with practically anything.

Overall, these are some of the best adidas running shoes, the best adidas shoes ever, and the best gifts for anyone on your list. If they love the gym, they will love these. If they like sneakers, they’ll love them. And if they like comfortable shoes and don’t have to think twice before wearing them, they will love them too.

I’m biased towards the all-white colorway for the best wearability, but the sneaker is constantly being released in fun color combinations. There’s muted pinks and purples, yellowish neutrals, and some simple colors with neon strokes—just the variety you need to get a different color for each activity.

adidas ultraboost 21 pink

adidas ultraboost 21 pink



adidas Ultraboost 21


$180
$126



Buy now

adidas ultraboost 21 gray and green

adidas ultraboost 21 gray and green



adidas Ultraboost 21


$180
$135



Buy now

adidas ultraboost 21 gray

adidas ultraboost 21 gray



adidas Ultraboost 21


$180
$126



Buy now

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