Designed by women for female bodies: What’s different about the new running shoe from adidas


Words by Kate Streader

The new environmentally-conscious Ultraboost is an exciting step for female runners.

A good running shoe is hard to come by. Balancing support, comfort and aesthetic is a fine line to tread and many joggers don’t quite get it right. Not only can the wrong shoe impact your runs, but they can take a big toll on your body. 

The adidas Ultraboost has been a favourite in the running shoe game since launching in 2015. The brand’s goal for the shoe was ambitious: it wanted to create the best running shoe ever made. 

Interested to hear how others navigate the world? Head to our Life section. 

The brand tested it out with the help of Kenyan long-distance runner Dennis Kimetto, who trialled adidas’ Boost technology running the Berlin marathon. Not only did he take out first place but he broke the world record. 

The Ultraboost isn’t just popular among runners, either. They’ve become a street style staple, too, partly thanks to Kanye West who caused the Triple White Ultraboost to sell out after wearing a pair during his 2015 Billboard Music Awards performance. 

In the six years since launching the Ultraboost, adidas has continued to up the ante across numerous iterations of the shoe, fine-tuning the popular design and upgrading its Boost technology to be better and faster with each new release. 

Now, with the new Ultraboost 22, adidas has redeveloped the design to cater to the needs of female runners. Designed as part of the brand’s commitment to providing products created for female bodies, the Ultraboost 22 has been carefully engineered specifically for women’s feet. 

The brand’s team of female designers worked closely with the adidas running community, as well as combing through 1.2 million foot scans, to design a new silhouette and a shoe that can keep up with the demands of female runners. 

Through analysing heel anatomy, gait cycle trends and instep height trends, the team fine-tuned its existing model to create the Ultraboost 22, featuring a narrower heel and lower instep, while allowing the Achilles tendon to move freely with its unique S-curve heel which works in sync with the heel counter. 

Other exciting features of the new model include foam around the heel to prevent blisters, a bouncy midsole for maximum energy return and a breathable, adaptive knit outer that mimics a sock-like fit.  

It’s lightweight and flexible without sacrificing support and impact absorption, plus the famous Boost technology puts more spring in your step – literally.

We created the adidas Ultraboost 22, by taking a more holistic approach to the way we design our running shoes,” said Nora Wilimzig, Senior Product Manager of adidas Running. 

“The Ultraboost 22 is crafted with the goal of supporting our female running community by providing them with a shoe that delivers ultimate expression of comfort and responsiveness,” she said.

Launching on Thursday December 9, the Ultraboost 22 will be available in nine colourways, including various shades of mauve and classic purple, as well as neutral hues like black, grey, and white. 

The sleek, minimalist design and clean lines mean they’re stylish enough that you can wear them even when you aren’t running. 

As well as catering to female bodies, the Ultraboost 22 was developed with our oceans in mind in line with the brand’s ongoing mission to embrace eco-friendly practices and reduce its impact on the earth. 

Made with yarn containing 50 per cent Parley Ocean Plastic – plastic waste collected from remote islands, beaches and coastal communities and shorelines – and 50 per cent recycled polyester, as well as featuring a natural rubber sole, the design exemplifies adidas’ commitment to utilising recycled and sustainable materials.

It’s part of the brand’s Own the Game strategy which lays out a clear roadmap to decrease its carbon footprint, increase water efficiency and quality, opt for more sustainable materials across both its stores and products, and create a more circular business model.

The adidas Ultraboost 22 is out on Thursday December 9 via the adidas website

Lazy Loading