Despite collaborations, celebrity endorsements, and pretty pink shoes, the sneaker world is still very much a boy’s club. There’s a serious lack of women’s sizing in sneakers, an absence of female designers and partners, and higher resale rates on smaller shoe sizes. Brands have started to offer more women’s exclusive models, but there’s still a long way to go.
Adidas, which has notably celebrated women with its sneakers, is trying to change the game with its new Ultraboost 22 running sneaker — designed by, and made for, women. Created with input from a fully female design team, product developers, testers, the Adidas running community, and even an online anatomy database of 1.2 million foot scans, the shoe is thoroughly researched and ready to support Adidas’ diverse community of women.
Responsive running — “We created the Adidas Ultraboost 22 by taking a more holistic approach to the way we design our running shoes,” Nora Wilimzig, the Senior Product Manager at Adidas Running, said in a press release. “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.”
Offering 4 percent more energy return than the Ultraboost 21, the Ultraboost 22 features a new Linear Energy Push torsion system, which works in harmony with the Boost midsole and redesigned outsole for a comfortable stride. A reworked Primeknit upper, made of 50 percent Ocean Plastic, adds an adaptive fit so the sneaker can mold to runners’ feet. Finishing off the sneaker is an all-over mauve hue with hot pink accents.
Lots of feet went into this — The Ultraboost has been at the forefront of running since its debut in 2015, but this iteration marks the first time the shoe has been reworked based on female anatomy. Utilizing the aforementioned database of 1.2 million foot scans, the Adidas design team identified key differences across instep height, heel anatomy, and womens’ gait cycle trends to re-engineer and refine the Ultraboost to better serve women. As a result, the sneaker boasts a narrower heel, lower instep, and retains its unique S-curve heel to let the Achilles tendon move more freely when running.
To celebrate the new model — and further support the Adidas Running community — Adidas plans to launch a “Hi Energy” playlist on December 11, set to help boost runners’ energy. Athletes are also encouraged to partake in the brand’s “Countdown to 22” December running challenge to motivate themselves to get moving.
As for the Ultraboost 22, the innovative sneaker arrives December 2, with availability limited to Creators Club members. A global release happens later on December 9, with the shoe launching in Adidas stores and online.