Adidas ‘Ultra Boost’ sneakers: a marathoner’s dream?

When Adidas came out with what it called the world’s most high-tech sneaker two years ago, it was unclear if the embedded “energy boosters” — basically bits of bouncy styrofoam — into the sole was just a gimmick, or could actually improve a runner’s performance.

Since the debut, the company claims, more than 20 people have won marathons while wearing the Boost shoe — including three out of the five top race times in the history of marathons.

Now, the company is expanding the line with the Ultra Boost shoe, which it says is even more technically-advanced than the first iteration. Adidas is also closely working with Google to work on launching an unnamed wearable device, possibly a fitness smartwatch.

But first, let’s take a closer look at the sneaker. The Ultra Boost — which goes on sale in February for $180 — comes with a refined foam case, so it’s lighter than the previous model.

The midsole is made up of 3,000 styrofoam “energy capsules”; about 20% more than others on the market. The upper part of the shoe (the stretch web outsole) adjusts as your foot moves — and can supposedly expand by up to about 10 millimeters when it hits the ground. More

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