You know that moment in a run when you feel like your ankles are shards of glass dragging through cement? And that moment when you're suddenly aware of how your body is constructed and how the cogs all function together? An entire industry is built on trying to stop that from happening (or at least help contain it). However, unless you're willing to get your gait analysed - which I actually recommend you do if you get the chance - buying running shoes is a difficult process. And let's just say you do find a pair that feels good in the shop - you'll never really know if it's a perfect match until you clock some serious miles.

But look, it's not all doom and gloom. Some companies make such great all-around great shoes, you're almost guaranteed a high base-level of comfort and performance, and the UltraBOOST Laceless shoes by Adidas are prime examples.

These neutral running shoes feature a Boost midsole, a Primeknit upper, and an incredibly grippy outsole. But clearly, the first thing you'll notice about it is the fact that they've ditched the laces - which, I've gotta say, I wasn't too high on before I received them. From an aesthetic point of view, it's about as Marmite as it comes, and in terms of adjustability, I was worried about how connected they'd feel. Sometimes I want a tight fit, especially on speed runs, but if I'm going for a long run I tend to tie my laces in a more relaxed fashion. However, not only do they look much better in person - the navy and grey colourway in particular - they somehow manage to feel responsive and relaxed at the same time.

The Pros

As you can probably tell by just looking at them, the UltraBOOST Laceless shoes are quick. Weighing in at around 304g (UK 8.5), and boasting incredible grip and bounce, you'll find your pace increase with little effort, which is something most runners would agree is a good thing. During speed training, I was able to really dig in and push ahead.

The support in the heel is solid, without compromising the advantages of being such a streamlined shoe, and no, this isn't like that one time you decided to get running in your NMDs, these are the real deal.

Over 5k, you really start to understand the beauty of these shoes, especially on flat surfaces. I've yet to take it a proper track, or even on a treadmill, but it's easy to imagine they'd feel great in those environments too.

And can we talk about that bounce again? It's so beautiful. Every damn step feels like the perfect exchange of energy - resulting in one of the most comfortable rides I've ever experienced.

The Drawbacks

Hill running is where I felt like I'd want a slightly thicker structure for support, and once you get past the 15k mark, the payoff becomes less obvious. Though oddly, despite the lack of laces, the potential issue of fabric expansion doesn't appear to be making itself known - which is a good thing (but at this stage - 30k - it would be hard to really give an answer either way).

It would be unfair to comment on these as a casual fashion shoe, so my list of issues ends here.

Would we recommend them?

Yes, absolutely, but mostly for 5k runners looking to get their times down. The build quality is strong enough to last the distance, but where they truly shine is in those aforementioned glass shard moments when it feels like every metre is a mile. You'll smash through it with ease.


The adidas UltraBOOST Laceless shoes retail at £149.95. For further information on the shoes, and to purchase them, head here.