Select BITR Apparel On Sale. Shop Now
General Running • February 27, 2023

How Adidas is Reinventing Boost with the All-New Ultraboost Light

red adidas ultraboost light shoe on white background

We independently review everything we recommend. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission.

What You Need To Know

The Shoe

Adidas Ultraboost Light featuring new Light Boost midsole

The Tech

New and improved Ultraboost Light benefits from 30% lighter Boost material

The Team

We interview Simon Lockett, Footwear Product Marketing Director of Ultraboost, and Anita Bartl, Development Manager for Running Footwear about the development of the shoe

Behind The Development of The Ultraboost Light

The Ultraboost franchise has been around for a quite a while now. For me, the word ‘Boost’ conjures up a certain kind of nostalgia for middle school gym class, when kids left and right were decked out in Ultraboosts that I just know they begged their parents for. As we’d begrudgingly group-up to run a mile loop in the midday heat of the Texas sun, the flash of the ultra-plush Boost foam seemed to soak it all up, Sheryl Crow-style.

That was then and this is now, and we’re coming up on the 10th year of Boost technology, a shoe that in some ways has grown right alongside me (in other ways it hasn’t).

So I was excited when I heard the recent announcement from Adidas– that the iconic Ultraboost franchise would be getting a facelift. After all, for everything Boost brought to the table in its original, game-changing midsole foam, it also failed to clear the dishes while we waited far too long for another course. As other brands caught up and passed the phenomena of Boost, Boost itself became stale. 

That’s all changed, and dessert is on the way for those who’ve waited around. It comes in the form of the all-new Ultraboost Light, an upgrade to an icon, featuring a ground-breaking material at its core – Light Boost.

We had a chance to catch up with Simon Lockett, Footwear Product Marketing Category Director of Ultraboost, and Anita Bartl, Development Manager for Running Footwear, from Adidas to learn more about this revolutionary introduction to the Ultraboost franchise, as well as the new Light Boost foam. (I also try to get them to divulge on what’s coming next for Adidas.)

Learn more about it in our conversation below.

adidas ultraboost light - running

About The Shoe

BITR: The new Light Boost foam is an incredible 30% lighter when we look back at the boost material of previous models in the Ultraboost Franchise. When you set out in the early stages of the design process, how do you set your sights on these targets? 

ANITA: We started to think about what we could do to bring the Ultraboost to the next level, and really began looking into the performance criterias. We focused on the material itself, as we knew that it provided a great opportunity for innovation. As a result, we now have the newly innovative Light Boost material which is not only 30% lighter, but also still provides the ultimate comfort, cushioning, and responsiveness. 

At the same time, we can’t neglect the other details like the upper, the cage, really all the single details of the shoe that we could make adjustments to while ensuring that we keep the right functional performance.

BITR: We’re definitely curious to hear more about how the LEP (Linear Energy Point) has been optimized specifically to the Ultraboost Light; what adjustments had to be made in response to the incorporation of the new Light Boost foam? In turn, how will these changes to the LEP impact performance? 

ANITA: Yeah! When we compare the linear energy point on this mode to previous iterations, we see that in this newly engineered piece it takes on a different geometry in order to mesh cohesively with the new Light Boost material. This midsole itself is also a different shape, contributing to the lightening of the product. We did still incorporate some important pieces that are traditional to the Ultraboost, like the continental rubber outsole for example. We really were focused on providing the ultimate fit and comfort, so it’s important that each component from the LEP, to the midsole and outsole are working harmoniously to make that happen.

BITR: Out of curiosity, when did discussions of introducing a product like the Ultraboost Light begin? How long has Light Boost foam been in the works for the iconic Ultraboost Franchise?

ANITA: We’re constantly looking for ways to innovate here at Adidas, and with the current Boost material having been in markets for almost 10 years, we wanted to try to fine-tune it even more. The Light Boost foam is the result of pushing innovative boundaries as we try to bring our product to the next level. When we started working on the Light Boost foam itself, we created a truly new, updated formula that’s unique to this shoe. Our focus has always been to deliver a new product while still maintaining key benefits like comfort, cushioning, and responsiveness for all of our runners.

(continued below)

A Closer Look at The Ultraboost Light

BITR: When you’re handling something as iconic as the Ultraboost Franchise, how do you find balance between continuing to innovate and improve your product without changing too much, as you risk upsetting loyal fans of the franchise?

SIMON: It’s always daunting releasing any new shoe, right, because you’re always a little worried about what people are going to think. That being said, we know that if we bring the true performance tech – and we’ve got over 70 years as a company producing high end performance product from the very first track spikes, to the Ultraboost Light that we have in hand now – that we’ll have a successful release.

We’ve got so many years of knowledge in the many people within our teams like Anita; they’ve got such a great depth of knowledge and experience with the product that we know the decisions we make are informed, we know where they come from, and we know they’re tested to the Nth degree, we always test.

One of the dozen standards is test, test, and test again and we’ve certainly done that with this shoe. So even though we might be a little bit on edge to get a first read and to get the first consumer and runner feedback, we’re absolutely confident we’ve got the best possible shoe in the hands of runners.

ANITA: It’s definitely a great development journey. We take consumers’ experience and feedback during the creation phase to help as we fine tune our product to be the best it can be for the majority of our running community.

man jumping in adidas ultraboost light shoes wearing black athletic shorts

Sustainability in Adidas Footwear

BITR: How do you continue to prioritize carbon reduction during the design and process while ensuring that you’re still creating the best possible product for runners of all skill-levels?

ANITA: Sustainability is one of the key elements we take into consideration during the design process, in addition to the performance of the product. For the Ultraboost Light, we tried to use recycled content as much as possible, without compromising the performance of the shoe.

At the same time, we aim to reduce the carbon footprint which we successfully did here, as the Ultraboost Light has a 10% lower carbon footprint compared to previous Ultraboost iterations. This 10% difference comes from a few places- the material extraction process itself, as well as the packaging of the product. We ultimately communicate and calculate this from an internationally recognized standard, staying true to one of our key initiatives here at Adidas to reduce our greater carbon footprint.

What’s Next For Adidas?

BITR: We’re definitely excited to see how runners respond to this release, considering how well-loved the traditional Ultraboost is. Anything you’re able to share with us as we continue to follow the progression of this franchise into the future?

SIMON: Now we obviously don’t want to reveal too many secrets today, but it’s absolutely true that the innovation here doesn’t stop. We’ve got such an amazing team here that’s constantly at work. Whilst you and other consumers have this first version of the Ultraboost Light on foot, the next version and the next idea is already ongoing. 

The cycle of innovation is constant, so we certainly will keep moving forward. You’re definitely going to see more Ultraboosts in the future, but for now we’re thrilled to celebrate this launch as it comes out.

BITR: Any last messages you’d like to share as you release the Ultraboost Light, a culmination of so much hard work, to runners across the world?

SIMON: One of the major things that we want to emphasize with this release is that this is a true performance tech product built for all runners at any stage of their journey. Whether it may be rookie runners, or experienced runners, it’s a multifunctional tool. Doesn’t matter if you’re couch to 5k, or whether you’re training to run your next Boston Marathon, there is somewhere in that training program where the Ultraboost Light is going to be the best shoe for you.

As much as that’s important, when people put this on foot we just want people to enjoy it. We want to see smiles on faces as you run around your local park or route, whatever it might be. As long as we get a smile and that sort of nice realization of what people are wearing, I think we consider ourselves having done a good job.

The Ultraboost Light is available for $190 to Creators Club members now, with the global release set for March 3rd in-store and online.

Portions of our interview were condensed and edited throughout this story.

Shop The Shoe

Adidas Ultraboost Light Men
adidas ultraboost light - shop women
Adidas Ultraboost Light Women

Watch The First Look
Watch BITR on Youtube

Adidas Ultraboost Light Preview • Live From The Running Event

About The Author

rachel bernardo
Contributor Rachel Bernardo
Read Rachel's Posts

Rachel is a graduate student at UCF and ran collegiately at Texas A&M University. She still enjoys catching miles in her spare time and is always on the hunt for the best coffee in the area. She can also be found scouring Spotify for the latest indie-pop hits, so never be shy about sending new artists her way.


Have something to say? Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous Post
Next Post
Previous Post
Read Article Featherstun recipe - hot pockets 2
Nutrition & Training • February 27, 2023

Recipes from Meghann Featherstun: Hot-Hands Pockets

Next Post
Read Article tokyo marathon medal
General Running • February 27, 2023

Tokyo Marathon Recap: A Journey Across The World