Let me preface this article by saying a few things about Boost.
In 2013, I was traveling in Europe with my brother, and we were on a budget. When we stopped in Berlin, coincidentally where I live now, one of my first stops was the adidas flagship store, where I didn’t think twice about dropping a chunk of that aforementioned budget on a pair of the newly released adidas Energy Boost. Boost was a brand new cushioning technology and I absolutely needed a pair to test out. They’re thoroughly beat and the Boost sole is stained, but I still have them at home.
Boost has actually evolved considerably since 2013. Subtle updates have been made via new iterations, and in 2016, adidas started using new 3D-printed components to create Boost tooling. To date, adidas has created multiple generations of Boost that may not be evident to the naked eye, so the innovation that has gone into the new Ultra Boost 19 has truly been years in the making.
In 2019, Boost is still a remarkable technology, but the excitement has faded slightly (for me at least) since it debuted in 2013, when it was a brand new innovation. Boost is much more commercial now, and over the years Boost tooling has become ubiquitous, prompting naysayers to crawl out of the woodwork, partly due to the fact that adidas ran with the phenomenal success of the Ultra Boost and imagined the shoe in a plethora of colorways and versions. Eventually, the shoe just didn’t feel that special anymore. It was no longer a statement shoe.
For those reasons, when I arrived in Paris for fashion week, I had a feeling I wouldn’t be the only one wearing them. They ended up being an incredibly clutch pair of sneakers to have at my disposal. When picking a few pairs to bring to Paris, there is a lot to deliberate on, even if you’re not a member of the regular street style set (I’m not but my colleague Jian DeLeon is). You need something that won’t leave you with blistered feet after long days moving around the city, rarely sitting down, or eating for that matter.
It’s tough to imagine a more comfortable and versatile shoe to bring to fashion week – and I had a few other more limited, “cooler” pairs with me – but each morning I found myself gravitating back to those Ultra Boosts. It’s this undeniable, engineered comfort that has gained the Ultra Boost legions of followers. I almost felt bad for the masses of people I spotted dragging their feet around in the comparatively stuff and rigid Union x Jordan 1.
I’m not going to wax poetic about the new features of the Ultra Boost 19, you can read about them in detail here, but the on-foot comfort cannot be overstated, and the signature Continental outsole provided some much-needed traction between my feet and the slick, wintery Parisian sidewalks. A lot of people (most people) attend fashion week to see and be seen, and it’s those chunky fashion sneaker-clad fashionistas that were probably looking skeptically at my Ultra Boosts.
Here’s the kicker. White Mountaineering was holding their show right across the river from my hotel, at 7PM. Google Maps told me it was a 20-minute walk. At 6:23 I get a text that the show has been moved to 6:30. That 20-minute walk turned into a 10-minute run to the venue. You already know where I’m going with this. These shows typically start late anyways, and it wasn’t exactly a life or death situation, but I made it to my seat with time to gawk at Jun Takahashi sitting across the runway from me.
Fashion week is a marathon in its own way, and next season, I’m definitely packing some Ultra Boosts.
For more adidas highlights from Paris Fashion Week, check out White Mountaineering’s forthcoming adidas Originals Nite Jogger collaboration, the OAMC x adidas Originals TYPE 01, Etudes’ customized adidas Originals SC Premiere sneakers, and Raf Simons’ latest Stan Smith collaboration.
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