One shoe, above all others, is responsible for turning me into a sneakerhead*. I had my pair before Kanye was ever spotted wearing them (hipster point for me!), way before the hype. I wore them as an everyday trainer- in the rain, in the mud, to the office and to the gym. I beat the hell out of those shoes.
From the first wear, they were instantly the most comfortable shoes I’d ever put on. But the reason why I got really attached to the Ultra Boost “OG” was because for two years they went all around the world with me.
First, they came on a stag weekend in Budapest (and survived). Then, the pillowy Boost foam carried me all the way to Australia and New Zealand (they were the only shoes I packed). On to Dublin (twice), to the US, and they came with me when I visited Bangladesh. They came back from that trip caked in the dusty soil from my grandparents’ village.
I tried everything to keep them going just a little longer – that’s how I became a sneakerhead*: from the care I put into that one pair. Finally, after two years of loyal service, it was time to let them go.
So when adidas recently revealed the OG colourway as a ‘retro’ release, I had to cop mine.
In my experience, despite not being an exact clone, the new pair holds up so well to the original and even improves certain elements. Gone is the ridged outsole in favour of flatter and more durable Continental rubber which was introduced from the 2.0 model onwards, and lasts much longer than the original 1.0. The experience of Boost has to be felt to be understood – if you haven’t tried on a pair of Boost trainers, go put some on.
The sock-like Primeknit upper feels as comfortable as ever and the arrowhead pattern on the forefoot is a favourite among sneakerheads. Interestingly, the use of mesh around the ankle area is retained from the original – initially designed as a running shoe, the mesh support provided lockdown for runners, but adidas saw the Ultra Boost trend toward the lifestyle market and eventually made the entire upper out of the more relaxed Primeknit material.
Unfortunately, this means that I’ll have to live with the mistake I made in all the excitement of buying the shoe: I got my regular size 9 instead of the recommended half size up. Due to the sturdy mesh ankle, they’re quite tricky to put on. Because of the snug fit, I removed the Boost insole for more room; I think I actually prefer my feet being directly on top of the Boost foam! (The insoles
If I had one minor aesthetic gripe about the Ultra Boost 1.0, the gold lace tips look a bit cheap in a plastic material, but new laces with metallic gold will fix that.
If I were a true sneakerhead, perhaps I’d have bought these just to flip them; thankfully StockX doesn’t appear to be too crazy, meaning I can just wear them as I wanted to do all along. The OG Ultra Boost is a modern footwear icon, that pop of purple on the heel against the hybrid runner/lifestyle silhouette is one of those ‘if you know, you know’ designs. Kanye didn’t make these shoes what they are today, he just accelerated its meteoric rise.
* I’m not really a sneakerhead. I don’t even one any Jordans.