The Short History of the Ultra Boost in Sneaker Culture
What is the Ultra Boost?
The Adidas Ultra Boost first came about in 2015, debuting on the feet of runners such as Yohan Blake and David Villa in January of 2015. It then got general releases in triple white and core black colorways in February of 2015. The initial technology came from a collaboration of BASF and Adidas, making specialised TPU pellets pressed together to make a responsive and comfortable cushion for runners and lifestyle alike. The upper is constructed of Adidas' own primeknit material, making it more comfortable for casual wearers and runners alike. This is hands down one of my favorite sneakers ever, and I love that I have the opportunity to speak about it.
Kanye rocks the Ultra Boost at the Billboard Music Awards
Rapper and fashion mogul Kanye West even took a liking to Ultra Boosts and Boost technology in general (he has been using it in every Yeezy shoe since he partnered with Adidas after all). He was spotted many times, from just walking on the L.A streets, to various concerts and even the Billboard Music Awards rocking the Ultra Boosts. Needless to say, many people jumped aboard the Yeezy hype train an bought themselves a pair of Ultra Boosts to be more like Kanye. Many people (myself included) would argue that Kanye popularized the Boost due to the influence he had in streetwear and street culture. Whether you love him or hate him, the man is a cultural icon, and anything he touches almost certainly turns to gold. A modern Midas, if you will.
DIY projects and savvy custom channels on YouTube helped make the Ultra Boost Uncaged
A lot of people loved the Ultra Boost, yet they were not huge fans of the cage that was around the shoe. The Ultra Boost came during a time in fashion where minimalism was at its peak in popularity. So thousands of sneakerheads and fashionistas alike snipped off the three stripe cage and rocked a cageless Ultra Boost, and it was beautiful. Luckily, Adidas listened to the consumers and released the Ultra Boost uncaged in 2016. While the shoe had some mixed reception, it did show that the Ultra Boost was here to stay, and Adidas was more than willing to fulfill the consumer's wants for some more profit.
Adidas figured out how to color the Boost technology
People were beginning to grow tired of the same old same old of the Ultra Boost. By this time, they were on the 2.0 and people were getting tired of the same color midsole with new upper colors. So Adidas quickly found out how to color the Boost and began to release colorways such as the New York and the Triple Black. Boost was back, and people loved the new look coloring the Boost brought. Though the hype was short lived, it was strong, and many people waited in lines just to pick up the latest triple black release.
The Ultra Boost 3.0 gets released
The Boost 3.0 was slightly controversial, changing up the primeknit pattern people loved, and releasing with more and more colorways due to the ability to now color the Boost. However, the 3.0 was still as well received as its older brothers in the line. It also came with several collaborations that got scooped up relatively quickly. The most notable being the release of the Parley Oceans collab, using plastic taken out of the ocean in its cage and boost material, as well as its primeknit material. The Parley Oceans collab became a very popular one, and one that lead to a cleaner Ultra Boost, a cleaner ocean, and a better environment to live in.
2018, the future of Boost
The Ultra Boost has just become 3 years old, and Boost technology is already 5. So Adidas is looking at 2018 to innovate with new Boost shoes. This means that, unfortunately, the Ultra Boost will take a bit of a sideline for 2018. Though some really nice colorways are coming out for 2018, Adidas is largely keeping the line quiet as they work to revitalize Boost technology with new, interesting, silhouettes to keep the technology profitable and the company well alive. With new silhouettes getting some love, like the NMD Racer and the Boost You Wear, the Boost line is still getting exciting updates without the Ultra Boost. I very much look forward to this year in boost, and if you're a sneakerhead I heavily recommend keeping an eye on Adidas and Boost technology this year!
What's your favorite Ultra Boost?
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© 2018 Ian Barron