Back in 2013, adidas unveiled a ground-breaking technology, something so unique it would forever change how we all viewed footwear. But take yourself back to that time and you probably can’t even remember hearing of Boost. Despite featuring to several running silhouettes, this innovation went very much under-the-radar, that is, until 2015 when adidas launched the Ultra Boost.
Just like most newcomers it didn't create much of a stir when it first landed but everything changed when Kanye West stepped on stage at the Billboard Music Awards wearing an all-white pair. A new footwear trend emerged; for the first time it was cool to wear a pair of running shoes and not just for the gym!
Today, the adidas Ultra Boost never stops evolving. With the recent launch of adidas Ultra 4D, a homage to the original, what better time to look back on some of the best-selling Ultra Boosts of all time?!
adidas Ultra Boost 1.0 "Triple White" (2015)
How could we not start this round-up without paying respect to the one colorway that started it all?! That’s right, it was this ultra-clean Ultra Boost that was given the Kanye West seal of approval. Sales shot up following his appearance at the BMAs with this pair quick to sellout along with the other three debut colorways. A re-release in 2020 proves these are just as popular as ever.
Highsnobiety x adidas Ultra Boost (2016)
Not long after making its debut, adidas partnered with Highsnobiety for a collaboration so stylish it’s still remembered as one of the greatest Ultra Boosts. That’s thanks to the wolf grey colorway which features to the soft Primeknit uppers. A suede crafted lace surround made these even more exclusive not to mention the subtle perforations across the ankle surround. To cap it all off, a Highsnobiety logo is stamped to the tongue.
Parley x adidas Ultra Boost Uncaged (2016)
Crafting sustainable footwear isn’t anything new for adidas. Over the last several years, no less than 40 styles have released in partnership with the Ocean Environmental Group, Parley. Each one of these is made using recycled plastic sourced from some of the most polluted beaches. That includes one of the first styles which also happens to be the most exclusive. Limited to only 100 pairs, this rare style is crafted using Parley’s signature blue fabric extended across an uncaged upper – talk about wavy!
adidas Ultra Boost 1.0 "Cream" (2015)
Another colorway made famous by Kanye West, the influential rapper made waves when he was seen rocking a pair of these with cargos and a military inspired jacket. It was another hype fuelled release and one that would later re-launch in 2018. It’s not hard to see the appeal; these are seriously versatile, featuring several shades of cream and matched by that contrasting slab of Boost underfoot.
adidas Ultra Boost Mid “Run Thru Time” (2017)
This Consortium exclusive is actually a homage to the adidas Boston Super, a running favourite from the early 80s. Although the colorway is clearly a nod to the old school, everything else it totally contemporary. It’s one of only a handful to feature that full bootie upper and is completely unique in that it’s crafted using a canvas material.
Wood Wood x adidas Ultra Boost (2015)
Copenhagen based retailer Wood Wood lent their design influence to arguably one of the most sought-after Ultra Boost collaborations. It was the speckled laces and uniquely designed lace cage that made these so popular and would explain why people still pay up to £1000 for these on the resell market.
adidas Ultra Boost “Medals” Pack (2018)
Gold, silver and bronze provide the inspiration for this pack of three colorways. The chrome panelling is totally unique but that’s not the best part. Each pair adopts their medals color across the Primeknit too. That’s right, metallic thread gets woven through each of these podium-ready pairs!
Hypebeast x adidas Ultra Boost Uncaged (2015)
An uncaged masterpiece and the first of its kind, Hypebeast joined adidas back in 2015 for this celebration of their 10-year anniversary. The look was minimal but don’t be fooled, there’s nothing plain about this Ultra Boost. A unique pattern is emphasised across the Primeknit thanks to that lack of caging and the look gets a bold contrast in the form of that white Boost midsole and heel overlay.
Packer x adidas Ultra Boost 1.0 (2019)
Packer, New Jersey’s premium sneaker boutique, are now world famous thanks to their colourful adidas collaborations. In 2019, they managed to live up to their reputation by unveiling this color-blocked style which pulls inspiration from three classic OG colorways. It’s just a shame these never actually launched here in the UK!
adidas Ultra Boost Uncaged “Core Black” (2016)
It’s impossible to not include at least one of the entirely Uncaged Ultra Boosts. Admittedly, this new creation wasn’t nearly as popular as the original but they deserve special recognition for spawning an ever changing design. This debut “Core Black” colorway was followed up by countless others from 2016 to 2018 and set the bar for all other Ultra Boost off-shoots including the Ultra Boost 19 and Ultra Boost 20.
Kith x adidas Ultra Boost “White F&F” (2016)
The other half of this collection, those unveiled for the general release, featured bright and bold colors in celebration of Aspen’s ski resorts. But KITH’s founder Ronnie Fieg chose something far more understated for the “Friends & Family” exclusive. Everything gets doused in an icy white colorway with the exception of a shimmering chrome heel tab!
Sneakersnstuff x adidas Ultra Boost 1.0 (2017)
Releasing as part of a golf-inspired duo, the SNS x Ultra Boost kept it simple yet unique enough to warrant plenty of hype. A two-toned use of black and white makes for a mesmerising design. The exclusivity factor gets turned up a notch with the addition of a leather crafted lace surround.
BAPE x adidas Ultra Boost 4.0 (2019)
Following on from the hype of the BAPE x adidas NMD, which released a year earlier, adidas joined the Japanese street-wear goliath once more for this camo covered pack. Two colorways were up for grabs, both featuring BAPE’s signature camo print. It was part of a wider collection to celebrate the 2019 Superbowl which included everything from matching apparel to a camo printed football helmet.
Game Of Thrones x adidas Ultra Boost (2019)
Who will sit on the Iron Throne; that was the one question we were all asking at the start of 2019! Fast forward several months and the Game Of Thrones season finale might have been underwhelming but the commemorative footwear pack certainly wasn’t. A collection of six shoes were each brandished with a character or house inspired theme from the fiery “House Targaryen” to the icy “White Walker”.
adidas Ultra Boost 1.0 “Miami Hurricanes” (2016)
£1,100 is the starting price if you fancy bagging a pair of these on the resell market – that is, if you’re lucky enough to find your size. Now considered a rare adidas gem, this limited-edition colorway is also one of the more colorful! It’s said that each member of the Miami Hurricanes football team were gifted a pair before a measly 36 pairs were raffled to the public!
Chinese New Year x adidas Ultra Boost 3.0 (2016)
adidas paid homage to the year of the monkey back in 2016 with this vibrant and fiery Ultra boost. It’s one of several Chinese New year inspired styles, all of which showcase a completely unique look. Each collector has their favourite but you’ve got to love this masterful creation. Red colored fabric gets offset by black detailing throughout, and each pair came with a set of oriental-themed laces.
Nice Kicks x adidas Ultra Boost (2019)
What looks more like a custom sneaker is actually a legitimate collaboration from US sneaker blog, Nice Kicks. Just like their NMD from back in 2017, this pair goes heavy with the tie-dye treatment only this time the look is even more radical. It’s all about peace and good vibes with a cosmic theme that celebrates the 50th anniversary of Woodstock festival.
adidas Ultra Boost 1.0 “Arizona State” (2016)
Right up there with the rarest ever colorways, a pair of these will set you back thousands of pounds – that is, if you can even find your size! Not available to the general public, this purple and maroon colorway was gifted exclusively to members of the Arizona State Sun Devils college team! The theme is a perfect match to their team colours.
Naked x adidas Ultra Boost (2016)
The adidas Consortium tour of 2018 made a stop in Copenhagen at premium women’s sneaker boutique, Naked. Their minty fresh version of the Ultra Boost features perforated fabric which even extends onto the lace surround. That deep shade of turquoise is matched across the outsole and dual branding features throughout. These were meant to be a womens exclusive but that didn’t stop plenty of guys from copping too.
Kith x adidas Ultra Boost Mid (2016)
Not nearly as limited as the all-white F&F version, this mid-top collaboration at the hands of Ronnie Fieg was still painfully difficult to get hold off. As one of the first designs to feature a bootie-like construct, this was a much needed winter upgrade for a shoe which wasn’t the most durable during the colder season. It was a hit with sneakerheads, all thanks to the thick and cosy uppers and that aspen-inspired colorway.
Ivy Park x adidas Ultra Boost (2020)
Beyonce’s first collaboration with adidas wasn’t without its controversy. Fans here in the UK were quick to point out the similarity in colour scheme to a certain UK supermarket. But try not to picture those maroon uniforms of the checkout staff and it’s hard to not to love this rich colorway. These launched alongside other footwear and several other womens exclusive clothing pieces.
adidas Ultra Boost 1.0 “Olive” (2015)
Amongst the very first styles to go live, this military-inspired colorway was simple in its execution but thanks to a limited size run, it remains a serious commodity on the resell market. It’s hardly surprising these were so popular; just take a look at that gradient effect Primeknit which makes this one of the best khaki sneakers of all time. If that wasn’t enough, a vibrant flourish of orange gives a subtle but eye-catching contrast.
Solebox x adidas Ultra Boost Uncaged (2016)
Following that Hypebeast collab, here the Ultra Boost got uncaged for the second time, now at the hands of German based sneaker store, Solebox. In terms of curb appeal, these are about as stylish as it gets. Those grey Primeknit uppers are matched by a subtle use of color in the form of a red colored outsole as well as lace-ends. Paying inspiration to Germany’s coat of arms, the collab was painfully exclusive which would explain why these can still resell for close to £1,000.
adidas Ultra Boost OG “Black Purple” (2015)
Another one of the legendary colorways from the OG pack, this might just be the most iconic colorway in the line-up. Who knew that black Primeknit uppers would look so good against a purple coloured heel counter? It’s so striking adidas chose this pair to remaster as part of their 2020 Ultra 4D release.
adidas Ultra 4D “Black Purple” (2020)
Not entirely part of the Ultra Boost family, what with the lack of Boost, but we think the new Ultra 4D deserves special mention. After all, this modern upgrade celebrates an iconic color and reminds us how far the Ultra Boost has come in the last 5 years. With transplanted 4D technology underfoot, the look is even more contemporary although it’s very much a matter of opinion as to whether Boost is still the comfiest when compared with that lattice structure midsole. The real question is, does this mark the end for the Ultra Boost as we know it?!
We’re guessing there’s plenty more Ultra Boost heat still to launch in the coming years.. To stay ahead of all of the latest release info, be sure to take a look here.