Disclaimer: I received a pair of Adidas Ultra Boost X shoes as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find and write race reviews!
As all runners in training know, logging more miles means going through more shoes, so I was more than happy to test these new shoes from Adidas! I was a little skeptical about going back to a shoe with a higher drop (10 mm), but figured it was worth a try as the promised "ultra-cushioned boost" and "extra ordinary grip in wet and dry conditions" sounded good to me after having run in minimalist shoes that didn't have much grip in the rain. (And I seem to have a talent for picking road races in the rain...)
Unboxing the shoes was a surprise. I expected "regular" running shoes, but the Adidas UltraBOOST X is clearly different "out of the box". It's hard to describe if you've never seen a shoe like this before, but the fabric of the shoe is more like a sock. It wraps around your foot, leaving a gap between your arch and the footbed—you can literally see through the arch of the shoe. You can catch a glimpse of it in this short running shoe unboxing video in my Instagram feed.
On feel: These are quite a bit different than any other shoe I've tried! Again I find it hard to describe, but it feels a bit like my heel is in a cup. Not good or bad—just different. The shoe also gives me the sensation of falling forward when walking, though not so much when running. I imagine it's nudging me toward better running form and that beautiful forward lean that all of the fast kids have, and that could only be a good thing, right? ;-)
On fit: Another unique thing about these shoes is the fit of the "sock" around your foot. It really is like a sock as the laces only adjust the fit around your arch and the sock hugs around your foot vs. the laces making the closure. A heads on up socks: to comfortably wear these shoes I needed to get new socks. Typical low-cut athletic socks hit below the "sock" of the shoe, causing uncomfortable rubbing on the heel. I picked up some low crew cut Balega socks at the local running store, and they're perfect—just high enough to provide protection from the seam on the heel of the shoe.
On sizing: It seems a little tricky to me on these shoes, but I bet part of that is due to the way my very narrow feet fit in a shoe like this which is meant to hug the foot. The initial pair I ordered was my typical running shoe size (8), but I wound up going a 1/2 size down and still debate whether I could possibly go down one more half size. TIP: We worked with Dick's Sporting Goods on this promotion, and they do offer free shipping both ways on shoes. If you're on the fence, you might just want to order a couple pairs and keep the one that works. (Dick's also offers some pretty good coupons and discounts if you sign up for their points program—I've long been a member with 2 kids in soccer...)
Overall, while the very different feel of this shoe has been slow to grow on me, I like them more every time I wear them. The cushioned ride is a welcome relief, and feels like I'm easing the stress of all of the training miles when I'm wearing them. Thumbs up!