Two of the most well known brands in footwear. Today we are comparing the Adidas Ultra Boost vs Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit. One is the brand’s iconic road runner, with over 20 years of production refining it into one of the most popular road runners on the market. The other comes from a long pedigree of road running excellence. Featuring updated running technology and providing one of the most breathable shoes available.
But which one is right for you? Picking the right running shoes is an important part of enjoying your training. So let’s take a look at the designs and differences below.
Adidas Ultra Boost vs Nike React Infinity Run Flynit
- The Adidas Ultra Boost are heavy. They are a full ounce heavier than the Nike React Flynit and for some reason the Adidas sight lists the women’s model at the same weight as the men’s. Over 2 ounces heavier than the Nike women model.
- The Nike React Flyfit has a 7mm drop compared to 10mm on the Ultra Boost. This 3mm difference in drop is going to make the Adidas Ultra Boost feel faster than the Nike. People tend to run in larger drops for shorter distance runs.
- Nike React Infinity Run features Flyfit material while the Adidas Ultra Boost features Primeknit. Both of these shoes feature a knit style upper build. But when compared head to head I found the Flynit to be the more breathable of the two shoes.
- Both shoes are neutral in stability. This means they will work for the majority of runners.
- Adidas Ultra Boost features a boost capsule midsole. The brand claims that these cores increase energy return in the form of increased rebound while running. I didn’t notice any difference when I tested them.
- The Nike has a wider forefoot providing added stability. This is not a “wide” shoe, just wider in the toe box. You can see this in the photos below. And is better for runners looking to have space for their toes.
- The Adidas Ultra Boost is made with PrimeBlue. Otherwise known as recycled ocean plastic. Adding to the sustainability of these shoes.
Both of these brands have a long history of great running shoes. But when looking at the Adidas Ultra Boost vs Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit there are some key differences that could make or break the shoe for you. Let’s take a quick review of each of the shoes.
Adidas Ultra Boost
The Adidas Ultra Boost has been around a long time. And is a popular choice for runners and people that have jobs working on their feet all day. In it’s 21 iteration there have been a lot of changes over the years. The shoe itself is pretty heavy on the feet but still feels fast. This is probably from the 10mm drop. One of my favorite things about the Ultra Boost is the amount of cushioning the shoe has. You can tell where the extra weight comes from.
On the down side, the Ultra Boost feature an insert in the shoe that has a tendency to slide while running. They also have added passing around the arch and outside which does not work with everyone’s feet. Definitely not a shoe for people with wide feet. Overall I enjoyed my runs in the Ultra Boosts but that insert and high arch were not right for my feet.
Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit
Next up is the Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit. The first thing I noticed when putting on the Nikes was the tighter fit and arch support. Both were noticeable for the first couple of runs but broke in nicely over time. They also have that Nike fast feel. With a medium amount of padding the weight is right. And the upper mesh is light and breathable. The toe box of the shoes are wide. The shoe is not wide but allows for your toes to spread a bit in the toe box.
Overall I liked the Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit but wish they would break in a bit more than they have. For me the arch is still noticeable. But after about 50 miles the shoes already started to show signs of breaking down in the upper construction. This with the break in time are red flags for me when looking for a running shoe.
Below is an image comparison of the Adidas Ultra Boost vs Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit side by side.
You will notice in the profile shot the added padding in the heal of the Ultra Boost.
Adidas Ultra Boost 21 Profile
Nike React Infinity Run Flynit Profile
The top view of both models. The two shoes have a very similar shape. You will notice the added width in the toe box of the Nike. And if you look closely, the extra padding in the heal of the Addidas.
Adidas Ultra Boost Top
Nike React Infinity Run Flynit Top
Below you can see the difference in the soles of the two shoes.
Adidas Ultraboost 21 Sole
Nike React Infinity Run Flynit Sole
Conclusion – Adidas Ultra Boost vs Nike React
Two of the most popular shoe brands in the world. It’s understandable that so many people turn to these options for their running shoes. The Adidas Ultra Boost is a classic that has been around forever. And while not perfect, they live up to their reputation and get the job done. The Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit are everything that people have come to expect from a Nike runner. They are light and feel fast. But quality concerns and a tight fit for people with wider feet, they have their issues.
Which road running shoe to buy?
If I’m deciding between these two shoes. To me it really comes down to overall build quality and the ability to break in over time. While the Ultra Boost has its faults as I mentioned above. Overall once they broke in, they are great shoes to run in and even to wear for day to day use. And the build quality feels better than the Nike.