The process that led to the current iteration of Adidas’s top-tier running shoe, the Ultraboost, was all about grounding. To ensure that its buzzy technologies worked outside of testing facilities, Adidas tapped into its international community of runners, pro and amateur, for feedback. The resulting improvements were exactly what runners wanted: a new upper, updated Boost foam and a new heel frame.
Well, Adidas just announced the next evolution of Boost with the Ultraboost 20, and this time the company has taken a markedly loftier approach — literally. In partnership with the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space and the International Space Station, scientists will study the Boost molding process in outer space in hopes of gaining further insight into how Adidas can further improve it.
The Ultraboost 20 itself does not include space-molded foam. Still, it is functioning as a symbol for the mission with interstellar colors — the bubbly boost foam is a metallic violet and blue instead of the typical white — and an ISS US National Laboratory patch. The new shoe also has a more supportive knit upper, which runners here on Earth will appreciate.
Tanner Bowden is a staff writer at Gear Patrol covering all things outdoors and fitness. He is a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School and a former wilderness educator. He lives in Brooklyn but will always identify as a Vermonter.
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