Adidas’ Boost foam was first launched in 2013, marking an epoch-making change in the manufacturing method of running shoe midsoles. Before Boost, Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA) was the industry standard foam.
Adidas’ innovation team worked with chemists from BASF, a German chemical company, to explore how to give running shoes a softer and more comfortable sole, breaking the tradition while maintaining high responsiveness.
Now what is the result? A more effective material, called Expanded Thermoplastic Polyurethane (ETPU). By dispersing thousands of tiny closed-cell particles in thousands of air, the research team hit a gold mine.
The new midsole material is not only softer and more comfortable than any other midsole on the market, but it also provides better energy feedback. The only downside? weight. With a weight of 10.9 ounces, Ultraboost is one of the heavier daily runners on the market and is not ideal for anything faster than your daily pace.
So if you’re a fan of the bouncy feeling of the Adidas UltraBoost but wanna reduce the weight significantly, here’s one alternative, the New Balance Fresh Foam. Now, let us see whether the alternative is really worth the price and change or not.
Adidas Ultra Boost
Adidas Ultraboost is the most important shoe in the past two decades. It has just received an update to Ultraboost 21. The original silhouette combines high-performance technology and commendable design, bringing Adidas’ innovative Boost foam into the world of sports shoes, thereby promoting Adidas’ leading position in the field of sports shoes. The innovative Boost foam triggered a revolution in energy feedback, a real housing for street lovers.
|Adidas Ultra Boost||New Balance Fresh Foam|
|Product Dimensions||12.2 x 8.4 x 4.8 inches||12.83 x 7.17 x 4.96 inches|
|Shipping Weight||11.6 ounces||7.87 ounces|
|Best offer||Check price||Check price|
Well, we couldn’t really avoid the fact that the original Ultraboosts were the best of its kinds. They can just fit right away without any problem, and even provided incredible cushioning to everyone’s feet. Looking great and stylish, the pair enhance your look and increase your confidence as you walk around the city. But since it had some problems, they were not always the first choice for a daily run.
The key to Ultraboost 21 performance is the fundamental redesign. Some changes have taken place in the previous series, and the 19 and 20 variants have been adjusted, but the updated visual effect is not as good as 21.
The shoe, however, still has many similar features, including the elastic Primeknit upper, Boost foam, the torsion element in the midsole and the Continental Rubber outsole, but because of the ultimate design of Boost, it blows up the midsole. The heel frame is gone, and the foam stack is significantly higher than before.
Adidas approached a new way by increasing the foam by 6% from the previous Ultra Boost. It sounds like there is not much material, but when you compare OG to 21 side by side the difference is notably amazing.
According to Stephan Scholten, global director of Adidas Footwear, this is not just random amount. This 6% figure is the result of trial and error by the design team. He found a balance between the two “contradictory elements” that make the Ultraboost series unique: comfort and responsiveness.
However, the feeling of the shoe on the road, the feeling of being pushed by the responsiveness making it largely the product of a new torque system, which the brand calls Linear Energy Push System, which sits under the Boost midsole. Adidas said that compared with the previous Ultraboost series, the product can increase the bending stiffness of the forefoot by 15%. Read also: Adidas Ultra Boost vs Pulseboost.
New Balance Fresh Foam (Fresh Foam Beacon 2)
New Balance Fresh Foam Beacon 2 marks the second iteration of all new Beacon models last year. Like we always know, the Beacon always provides a soft cushion in a lightweight package. This year’s version uses the same cushioning as last year, and includes an upper made of engineered knitted materials, which is designed to be softer and more comfortable.
New Balance also promotes a novel heel design to minimize Achilles tendon irritation. What we love about this shoe is that it’s very light, reaching only 7.3 ounces and even completed with Fresh Foam on the midsole area. The shoes are designed to work out of the box. The new sleek heel design immediately caught anyone’s attention. Most people would describe the first impression of this feature as “pointy.”
Wearing them for the first time, the first thing you might notice is their light weight. The midsole of Beacon 2 uses fresh foam ground to contact the midsole material. The foam is designed to provide a soft sole feeling. In addition to providing soft cushioning, it is also a very lightweight material.
Most of the outsole consists of bare ground contact EVA foam, with a small amount of blown rubber strategically placed in the high-impact area. To reduce weight, this is a common theme in the lightweight cushion category.
We found that the foam in Beacon 2 provides enough cushioning, but it feels that it tends to be firmer than the hard side. On the basis of researching the previous version, we’ve expected this foam to feel more plush than it.
Due to the thickness of the foam, the foam does have some major shock absorption properties, but some people think this absorption does not really provide a soft feeling under the foot. The new engineering woven mesh material is lightweight and breathable. The updated heel is made of a thin and strong mesh material that gradually moves away from the heel/Achilles tendon area and becomes thinner.
The design also includes small rectangular hexagonal impressions in the mesh material, which surround and form the heel part of the upper. Although we’re not sure if it is necessary, the geometric pattern and heel design bring a unique look to the upper of the Beacon v2.
Adidas Ultra Boost vs New Balance Fresh Foam
Now, if you prefer an alternative to Adidas Ultra Boost, New Balance Fresh Foam Beacon 2 is really worth it. This is indeed the daily trainer. Through computer modeling and lasers, New Balance carved out geometric dents in the EVA.
Fresh Foam Beacon 2 is a bit stronger than Boost, reflecting the lively feeling of Boost. Beacon 2 weighs only 7.7 ounces, which is lighter, but durable enough to withstand the daily abuse of daily trainers. A truly outstanding shoe that can be worn every day and is versatile. For less cost, it all becomes more worthwhile.