Adidas Pure Boost DPR vs Ultra Boost

In ‘Boost’ adidas owns the most popular innovation in sneakers, loved by sneakerheads and athletes alike. Historically the majority of the focus has been on the new Ultra Boosts and NMDs, but the Boost range has steadily broadened, and the new men’s Pure Boost DPR is the latest and greatest addition. Nick Paulson-Ellis, of The Sports Edit looks at how the new DPR stacks up against the established Ultra Boost.

Visually the Pure Boost DPRs have a nice sleek, streamlined silhouette, clean white Boost midsole and lower offset. Even the 3 stripes have been optimised for enhanced running with a two-toned grey knit upper, to improve breathability.


The shoe is aimed at the road runner doing 5-10k distances or would feel equally as comfortable at a HIIT class. The new Pure Boost DPR has a rigid knit upper design with its focused support and wider forefoot that provides a stable base to pivot from on a typical stop/start city street run. The PrimeKnit upper on the Ultra Boost, particularly version 3.0, has a much softer upper knit which allows more movement than you would want when weaving around people on urban runs.

In the words of Stephen Schneider, product manager at adidas Global Running; 

“All over the world, runners are exploring cities and expressing their creativity in the routes they choose and the challenges they take on…we wanted to build something purely designed for this type of runner, and loved the idea of creating a more adaptive running experience. This led us to design an 8mm heel-to-offset, that when paired with signature BOOST technology allows the feet to sit lower, deeper, and much closer to the streets.”


Pure Boost DPR

Ultra Boost

258g weight

312g weight

8mm differential

10mm differential

29mm/19mm stack height     

24mm/16mm stack height

The offset differential doesn’t sound like much at only a 2mm difference, but as soon as you put them on you’ll notice it!


This comes under many names, but “heel-to-toe drop”, “offset” or differential – are all just the difference between heel height and forefoot height on a trainer. If a shoe has a drop of zero the heel and ball of the foot are at exactly the same height off the ground. 5mm means the heel sits 5mm higher and so on. A traditional running shoe tends to have a drop of 10mm or more, whereas minimalist, racing shoes have a lower offset and more natural stride.

As expected, both shoes have the Boost foam midsole. Since the inception of the Boost, adidas has turned away from the traditional EVA foam midsole as that meant sacrificing cushioning for responsiveness and vice versa. The responsiveness of a shoe is how much energy it releases every time you hit the ground. The cushioning of a traditional shoe will absorb that energy so you'll have to work harder to recreate that lost energy with each stride.  No such problem with the Boosts.

The Boost midsole is made from 3000 TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) capsules so can return energy whilst still reducing the impact on your joints. Studies have shown a 10-15% improvement in energy retention versus traditional EVA.

The Pure Boost DPR fits closely around the arch of the foot providing support without ever feeling too restrictive. However, the wide forefoot promotes fantastic traction in both wet and dry conditions. That combined with the “StretchWeb” traction on the sole means the traction is solid not to the detriment of the run.


Honestly, it depends on how you run, there are new trains of thought about finding your body’s ‘preferred movement path’ where the trainer feels like an extension of your feet when you run it in, and allows you to run with your natural movement. Some runners like greater differential, others prefer more natural inclines.

Ultra Boost is generally better for long distance runs as I love the energy rebound from the Ultra Boost when my heel hits the pavement. But the Pure Boost DPR is top for a more dynamic and adaptable shorter distance shoe (up to 10k). You still get the comfort and energy release of Boost but in a lighter shoe. The DPR would also be equally at home in a HIIT class as a 5k, whereas the Ultra Boost may struggle to keep your feet steady as you jump and move from side to side. Combine this with the new DPR design and adidas has a winner on its hands in the DPR.

The adidas Pure Boost DPR is available at The Sports Edit for £109.95 in Black/Grey or Grey. To get an exclusive 10% discount, use code FARBoost10 at the checkout.

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