Review: Adidas Ultra Boost Uncaged Parley

The Ultra Boost is one of only a few running shoes that have transitioned into the mainstream. And it’s easy to see why: they’re comfy as ffffuuuuu—

Anyway, the Uncaged Parley edition aims to provide even more comfort, along with an ecologically friendly design. It uses 95% recycled plastic for the upper, including some pieces that are 100% recycled. Since there’s been a lot of talk on the Paris Accords, let’s check out something Adidas is doing to reduce their environmental impact.

The midsole is that sweet Boost we all know and love. Boost is a foam that takes plastic BBs and “explodes” them with air, so they have both a lot of softness AND energy return. It feels super-duper cushy, but you never feel slow in it. So essentially, you’re good no matter what speed you’re at. I know it’s a favorite of sprinters as a warm-up shoe, since it handles the massive forces they’re generating. Even though they state that the Parley version uses Continental rubber, it looked and felt different, and I have some concerns about the durability. Even on a short run, it seemed to start wearing a bit.

IMG_20170602_162805
The laces REALLY need one more row, but the Three Stripe toe bumper is a nice touch.

The upper, called Primeknit, is the big difference between this and the regular Ultra Boost. It’s very similar to Nike’s Flyknit, but the heel clutch is more pronounced. This lets you have a very flexible experience, and ironically, the minimal upper complements the maximal underfoot very well. It does have a problem with the laces, however. They’re kind of a pain to tie, but the big issue is that they don’t come down far enough on the foot. They needed one or two more rows of lacing to really lock in the foot, because tight or long turns can feel really slippery, as is. Don’t even think about cutting. They can for sure handle a straight away, but you might want to walk the curves. Also, I felt it, and the Adidas site confirms: these run half a size short. So if you’re a 9, go up to a 9.5. Check the heel counter, though. I was all good in these, but I’ve had a Flyknit training model that had a similar set-up in the heel and it rubbed my ankle the wrong way, so that’s foot-shape-dependent.

In the Adidas Ultra Boost Uncaged Parley, your runs can be as long as the shoe’s name. Just make sure those runs are nice and easy, like recovery runs. I would not say this is a shoe for the serious athlete, but for someone who puts comfort above all else and likes to stay fashionable, these aren’t too shabby.

Score: 7.0/10


Men’s Adidas UltraBoost Uncaged Running Shoe
Women’s Adidas UltraBoost Uncaged Running Shoe

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