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Ultraboost vs NMD: Which Adidas Sneakers Are Best?

Two of Adidas' most popular Boost-infused sneakers are the Ultraboost and NMD, but which of the two models is best?

To help you decide, we've compared some of the similarities and differences in price, performance, and comfort, before coming to an overall conclusion on which we think you should buy.

With that being said, we'll begin by comparing the two on their price tags...

Ultraboost vs NMD - Price

One of the first things you'll likely consider when trying to decide which of the two sneakers you should buy is the price.

Generally speaking, Adidas NMD's are cheaper than Ultraboost's. For example, these triple-white Ultraboost 21's cost slightly more than these triple-black NMD's.

Adidas Ultraboost 21 product image an all-white sneaker above an all-black NMD.
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Credit: adidas

The main reason for this is most likely because NMD's were always built to be lifestyle sneakers, while Ultraboost's are designed primarily to be high-performance running shoes, hence the additional cost.

Ultraboost vs NMD - Performance

As touched on above, comparing the two from a performance perspective is not necessarily fair as the NMD was never designed to be used primarily for exercise.

A great example of their two different purposes can be seen from the shape of the midsoles. Although both are made from Boost, the Ultraboost's midsole has been curved into a 'rocker' shape for better energy transfer and forward momentum.

Adidas Ultraboost 4.0 DNA product image of a triple black trainer.
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Credit: adidas

It is worth mentioning though that both sneakers feature Adidas Primeknit uppers, which means they should both be incredibly lightweight which is ideal for running.

Having said that, the Ultraboost does come with the additional cage and heel counter for a secure lock-in once you lace them up ready for a workout.

Ultraboost vs NMD - Comfort

Choosing which of the two sneakers are the most comfortable is a tough one to call as deciding what's comfortable and what's not is entirely subjective.

As mentioned above and in our comparison of Yeezy's and Ultraboost's, both feature Adidas' Boost technology in the midsoles which is widely regarded as one of the most comfortable materials around right now.

To try and separate them, we've had to look into the construction of each sneaker's Primeknit fabric. The Ultraboost's Primeknit is far more weaved than the fabric seen on the NMD's, thus giving you the benefit of the flexible material with a more secure fit.

Adidas Ultraboost 4.0 DNA grey product image above an all-grey NMD R1.
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Credit: adidas

With that being said, you may find the added flexibility and the absence of the cage to be more comfortable with a pair of NMD's, hence the reason why they are often seen as the more comfortable of the two if you have wider feet.

Which Should You Buy?

It's hard to say which out of Ultraboost's and NMD's you should buy as they're not designed for the same purpose.

If you're looking for a high-performance pair of trainers to run in, then we'd say your better off going for some Ultraboost's. However, the decision becomes a bit harder when choosing a pair for everyday wear.

In our opinion, we'd perhaps still stick with Ultraboost's for everyday wear, although it's worth keeping in mind the slightly higher retail price compared to NMD's

Ultimately, the choice comes down to you though. If you're really unsure, we'd recommend trying on a pair of each in-store and seeing which of the two fits best for you.

Read More: Best Running Shoes - Our Top Picks

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