Adidas Ultra Boost: In Memoriam

Adidas Ultra Boost: Rise to Hype

In 2015 Kanye West may have single-handedly saved Adidas' brand image. What did he do to turn around an entire footwear empire? Simple, he started wearing their new revolutionary running shoe, the Adidas Ultra Boost. The shoe, originally designed to be the best running shoe on the market, now became universally sought after. Now, while still popular, the shoe is nothing compared to its former self. With pairs regularly finding themselves on the sale rack, the hype has officially died. The question we ask is simple. Why? What caused this iconic silhouette to fade to obscurity? Let's take a look.

Adidas Ultra Boost Reaches Peak Hype

The Adidas Ultra Boost was released in 2015 to much fanfare. It was lauded as the best running shoe on the market, and it quickly became a must-have item for sneakerheads and style-conscious consumers alike. The shoe's popularity reached its peak in 2017 - when it was regularly seen on the feet of celebrities and style icons. The silhouette was also sought after by brands looking to create their own take on the silhouette. Giants such as Kith, Wood Wood, and Social Status were all able to release Ultra Boosts. All of these collaborations were instant hits.

The Decline

The Adidas Ultra Boost had everything going for it. Limited releases, desirable collaborations, celebrity advertising, and unparalleled comfort resulted in hype for the shoe reaching record highs. However, by 2018, the shoe had begun to lose its luster. The Three Stripes began breaking down one of the pillars of hype hoisting their famed Ultra Boost. Adidas simply began releasing too many pairs. In 2015, Adidas released 18 different colorways of the silhouette (for men). In 2018, they released nearly 40. The market became flooded with Adidas Ultra Boosts, and the resale value of the shoe began to drop. As the hype behind the silhouette began to die, brands like Nike were releasing their own hit shoes. To put things in perspective, there was nothing the shoe could do in 2018 to compete against any Nike x Off-White release.

Rock Bottom

As the hype behind the once-popular silhouette was fading, the shoes would now have to rely on the general sneaker consumers to survive. There was one glaring issue, however. The general sneaker consumer liked the Adidas Ultra Boost, but the $180 price tag made it difficult to purchase. In the same price band, consumers weighed the Ultra Boost against retro Air Jordan, Nike Air Max, and Made in the USA New Balance sneakers. One could buy nearly two pairs of Nike Dunks for the same price of a single pair of Ultra Boost. All of these proved to have more hype than the Ultra Boost at this time. In order to make the purchasing decision easier for the customer, Adidas had to do something that was unthinkable just a few years earlier. Adidas had to put the Ultra Boost on sale. The Adidas Ultra Boost is no longer the hottest shoe on the market. It's a far cry from its former self. Adidas has released too many pairs, and the resale value of the shoe has dropped as a result. However, it is still a great shoe. It's comfortable, stylish, and versatile. If you're looking for a good deal on a pair of Adidas Ultra Boosts, now is the time to buy. The Adidas Ultra Boost may never regain its former glory, but it's still a great sneaker. Feature image via: Talia Azadian

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