Adidas Ultraboost vs DNA: The Differences That Matter

Walking is one of the most common physical activities anywhere in the whole world. Whether you are a professional athlete, a casual fitness enthusiast, or just a regular person, you can’t avoid walking.

The same goes for running, even if it is slightly more uncommon than walking. In any case, both of these activities require different foot mechanics and gait patterns.

As such, it’s important that you protect your feet with the right pair of shoes. If you do not have adequate arch support, heel support, and overall stability while walking or running, it may lead to long-term injuries and other complications.

Fortunately, brands like Adidas have taken it upon themselves to launch stylish shoes with support for athletic activities along with other design features.

In recent years, Adidas has been at the top of the market because of two of their most popular models – the Ultraboost and Ultraboost DNA shoes. While they do sound highly similar, the iconic siblings have some key differences as well.

So, what are these differences? What are the strengths and nuances that lie within the soles of these revered shoes?

In this article, we’ll talk about the two shoes and the differences that separate them.

Is There a Difference Between Ultraboost and Ultraboost DNA?

Is There a Difference Between Ultraboost and Ultraboost DNA

Yes, there are some key differences between Ultraboost and Ultraboost DNA. While both of them are designed to provide comfortable cushioning and superior energy return to athletes and runners, there are some important aspects that can separate the two.

The differences in the design features and the build of the two shoes create these distinctions. If you are a casual shoe enthusiast, you might not be able to notice the strengths and weaknesses of either of the shoes.

But if you are an athlete with higher demands for support, stability, and breathability, these small changes can actually make a lot of difference.

Both Adidas Ultraboost and Adidas Ultraboost DNA serve the same function. But they have slightly different target audiences.

If you want to figure out which one is the best alternative for you, you should be acquainted with all the major differences between the two iconic product lines of Adidas.

Adidas Ultraboost vs Ultraboost DNA: Head-to-Head Comparison

Adidas Ultraboost vs Ultraboost DNA

According to a research study, an average American walks anywhere between 4,000 steps and 10,000 steps. That’s roughly around 2-5 miles of walking each day.

For professional runners, athletes, and more physically active people, the number can go even higher.

So, even the slightest differences between two different pairs of shoes can make a huge difference, depending on your requirements. For example, shoes with better cushioning is well-suited for running and other high-impact cardiovascular activities.

That’s because running exerts a greater strike force upon impact with the ground. According to a study, the force with which your feet hit the ground is 1-1.5 times compared to your body weight when you are walking. The number goes to 2-3 times your weight when running. 

So, choosing the right type of shoes for yourself should be a priority.

Both Ultraboost and Ultraboost DNA serve the same function – to help athletes and runners get the support and stability required to cover long distances efficiently. However, the shoes also have a stylish touch so that they can be worn casually as well.

While both of these legendary categories share many similarities, it’s important to know about the differences as well.

So, if you want to choose the perfect product for yourself, here’s a head-to-head comparison detailing each important aspect of these shoes when pitted against one another.

Basis of Comparison

Adidas Ultraboost

Adidas Ultraboost DNA


Less breathable compared to Adidas Ultraboost DNA.

More breathable than the alternatives because of the updated Primeknit upper design.


Snug fit with little space in the toe box.

Comfortable fit with more space in the toe box for maximum wiggle room.


Recommended for serious runners and athletes who train every day.

Recommended for fast-walking, low-mileage running and athletes with light to moderate requirements. Can also be suitable for casual wearers.


More streamlined design with floating overlays and a thicker outsole compared to Ultraboost DNA.

A futuristic design with comparatively flat outsoles and overlays attached directly to the soles.


More comfortable cushioning because of the updated Boost midsole.

Good cushioning but is not as comfortable as Ultraboost.

Traction Pattern

Better traction pattern as it features a scientific and functional stretch-web pattern for maximum grip.

Features grid patterns with extruded circles.


More durable to withstand athletic applications.

Comparatively less durable for handling high-impact activities.

Energy Return Technology

Linear Energy Push

Expanded TPU Particles


More suited for athletic activities and less for casual wearing.

Equally well-suited for casual and athletic activities.

As you can see, all of these differences can make a major difference in how these shoes serve your needs and requirements.

For example, if you are a person with longer or thicker toes, you should go for a pair of Ultraboost DNAs. That is because they have some extra wiggle room in the toe box and have a comparatively less sleek design at the front. But this also results in a negative trait for serious athletes and runners. Because the fit is not as snug, the shoes might feel loose and uncomfortable while running.

So, if you are an athlete training for marathons on a running track, you should go for the Ultraboost models. That is because they have an exceptional traction pattern featuring functional stretch-web designs, ensuring maximum grip and stability in these terrains.

So, depending on your needs and requirements, it’s important that you choose the pair that is most compatible with what you expect out of your kicks.

Adidas Ultraboost

The Adidas Ultraboost line was developed in 2015 and soon became the cornerstone of the brand’s excellent presence in the shoe market.

Ultraboosts feature innovative technologies and design features like BOOST and breathable mesh patterns for maximum efficiency. They also have stylish designs to be associated with lifestyle sneakers for casual wearers.


  • Sock-like, snug fit for maximum efficiency during cardio activities like running.
  • Responsive cushioning in the soles without making the runs feel unnatural.
  • Available in multiple colors and designs with different models.
  • Features stylish designs to be worn for casual outings.
  • Features an updated BOOST midsole for more efficient performance.


  • The BOOST cushioning technology might feel uncomfortable at first.
  • Comparatively heavier compared to other running shoes.
  • Slightly expensive on the market.

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Adidas Ultraboost DNA

Ultraboost DNA was a variation of the original Ultraboost line and was introduced shortly after. While both of them featured the proprietary BOOST technology, the shoes had some differences in catering to separate markets.

For example, the DNA shoe line was less athlet-centric and also featured design features to serve effectively as lifestyle shoes.


  • Comfortable for wearing throughout the entire day.
  • Provides a bouncy and supportive feel.
  • Lightweight and flexible build.
  • Stylish and timeless design.
  • Good for casual wearing as well as for sports applications.


  • Extra space in the toe box is not comfortable for everyone.
  • Comparatively less durable for athletic activities compared to Ultraboost models.

Which is Better: Ultraboost or Ultraboost DNA?

Looking at the comparison table, you must have understood that both Ultraboost and Ultraboost DNAs have some significant differences.

So, which one is the better of the two? The answer depends totally on your demands and requirements.

If you are someone who wants to purchase a pair of shoes specifically for training, running, or working out, go for the traditional Ultraboost models. That’s because the shoes are designed to withstand the pressure of high-impact applications. They also have more enhanced design features to support activities like running for longer periods.

They are also better suited for high-impact cardio activities like running because the cushioning is equally divided in the heel, midfoot, and forefoot regions. This is an advantage as runners can be toe-strikers, midfoot-strikers, or heel strikers.

On the other hand, if you are looking to get a pair of shoes for casual purposes or light to moderate exercises, then Ultraboost DNA should be your first choice. These shoes feature a stylish design and also have the proprietary Adidas features to support workouts and runs.

The cushioning is also majorly concentrated in the heel region, making it excellent for walkers, who are primarily heel strikers.

Based on the comparisons, therefore, we can conclude:-

  • Adidas Ultraboost is better for strict and strenuous training, running, and walking applications.
  • Adidas Ultraboost DNA is better as an all-around pair of shoes that can serve as both lifestyle sneakers as well as training shoes.

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Final Words

Adidas Ultraboost and Ultraboost DNA models have taken the market by storm. Both of them perform exceptionally well for various applications.

However, the few differences that they share can make a huge difference in which of the two is perfect for you. 

Therefore, understanding these distinctions such as the design variations, material choices, and specific performance features will help you make an informed decision based on your individual preferences and needs.