We experienced some highs and lows with Adidas’s UltraBOOST X – all in 24 hours!

Hey lady, consume your sole!

Don’t get us wrong, we aren’t leftfield and we love art but we aren’t going to be stepping into the great M.F.Husain’s shoes anytime soon.

Hang on a minute..that would be a non-starter. We love shoes and we love running in em even more. So, a non-descript invite from Adidas to an undisclosed location, to participate in a women’s track and beach run day meant only one thing. Nominate the newest member and the only member in the Stuff (India) team that currently qualifies.

Adidas India clubbed women’s day celebration and to celebrate women in sports, a weekend away, sounds like a plan, but we didn’t know we’d signed up for bootcamp. All this, so we could take home the first-hand experience of wearing the shoe, using it in different climates, terrains – basically getting out of the couch potato mode, and register the point they couldn’t have made clear any other way – the UltraBOOST X is claimed to be the most advanced shoe and that means too many exotic materials we can’t name, taking care of too many ligaments we didn’t know existed in our feet. Too bad all you men would never know what we’re talking about... unless you don’t mind running in drag.

HMMM… INTERESTING

They’re nice to look at and light as a feather, but hello, there’s a gap in the midsole... is it there for a reason or did we get the wrong pair? We slipped it on and realised it was as good as wearing a pair of socks. So light and snug that all we felt in the immediate moment was the lack of something shoe-like on our feet.

The Primeknit upsole took the form of our feet and the bridge gave our feet the support we’ve never experienced before. Instant note to self – don’t get carried away in the first five minutes. Give it more time. Let’s see if it does what it’s made for and how it is to run in.

LITTLE BY LITTLE ONE TRAVELS FAR

The walk to the deck was comfortable, though there was still time before we got used to the lightness of the shoe. After a quick warm-up session and the drive to the starting point of the trail run to Kankeshwar Temple was where the real test of endurance [in this case both ours and the shoe’s] started. Pushing our personal physical limits was just one aspect of the event organised by Adidas India – earn your stripes, they say – the eight kilometre-long trail put to test everything the makers claim and we were left to pass our own verdict.

DOES THE ROAD WIND UP HILL ALL THE WAY?

The upsole had already taken form of our feet and the snug fit was quite comforting throughout the climb. The Adaptive Arch provided easy foot movement and support across the trail. Not having another equally adept shoe at “hand” for comparison, we were forced to deduce that this particular example was the best of its kind and at the risk of sounding immodest, we might be right!

WE CAN DO THIS

With a comfortable grip of the upper part of the shoe in place, now came the sole to the rescue. Every step down the steep hill was taken confidently once we figured there was nothing to be wary of. The sole seemed to understand the flaws and provided us the grip clumsy walkers like us need.

The ARAMIS system, a motion-tracking technology that enables a detailed analysis into the movement of the body, is what provides the woman wearing it the support her foot needs for natural expansion. Once we got a hang of the grip, downhill was a piece of cake. We reached the end point of the trail in shorter time than expected.

The comfort and technology provided by the shoe was directly proportional to the speed almost all 40 of us managed to maintain through the walk down. We can confidently say that any discomfort or injury caused was the wearer’s fault, not the shoe’s.

BEACH PLEASE

The next day is when all the aches and pains come in and act as a reality check for your fitness levels. Even after appreciating the shoe the day before, our cynical mind was still questioning the comfort, and the night would be the ultimate litmus test for us. To say it had been a tiring day would be an understatement, but surprisingly, our legs survived the day and the next morning we were as fresh as a leaf on the first day of summer.

Ready to kill it on the beach this time, we didn’t know what we were in for, until we reached Mandwa. A 500-metre run isn’t a lot for these athletes in the group, so we could surely survive this. A terrain vastly different from the one we were at just the day before – test round two for the UltraBOOST X! A kilometre-long run and the shoe passed again with flying colours. The beach in case isn’t like your regular waterside. It’s a flat and stiff ground, good enough to go for a run and test our newly earned pair.

The shoes flawlessly played the hero of our story on the beach too. Every part of the design – the Primeknit upper, the midsole and the narrow heel support, all designed keeping the female runner in mind – was understood while running in the most practical way possible.

There are shoes, there are good shoes and there are great shoes. This epic example is available from Adidas for 15,999 and yes, we aren’t the Kardashians but the exorbitance is worth the pain it’ll spare you in the longer run. Get yourself a pair now and celebrate womanhood.

I’ve been an occasional, happy and willing trekker, but “easy” is what I look for when opting for a day trek. Waking up the next morning crying in pain is not my high of choice. This “medium” level trail in question was a steep uphill climb, one only a semi-decent shoe would have survived without causing injuries, slips or falls, and I must give credit where it’s due – the UltraBOOST X made the uphill task not-so-daunting. Times like this you wish you’d worked out a little more often back home. The shoe did pass Test #1 and their point taken home.

As a pattern, I end up using up a large chunk of my energy going uphill. Hence downhill, which should be comparatively easier, is what I usually dread. Anything slow doesn’t work – whether it’s walking, driving or running – life’s too short to do things slowly. Even though the downhill walk did give me the jitters initially, I put up a brave front and didn’t give up. The UltraBOOST X came to my rescue and all fears were done away with, within 10 minutes of starting the downhill walk.