Having not been hugely impressed (read: not at all) with Adidas current generation of Ultraboost running shoes (going from a comfortable & fast running shoe to a loose sock that barely holds your foot), and the previous version being mostly unavailable, I chose this time to go for a good price on the Ultraboost S&L version.
“S&L” apparently stands for “Suede & Leather” so, presumably, Adidas are aiming for the fashion/style conscious rather than the runner. That’s never a good sign.
Online, these look a lot like the previous version of Ultraboost. They arrived today and, in reality, they’re kind of a hybrid between the two versions. The sole is from the previous version (less durable), whilst the upper and shoelace supports are from the newer “sock” version. The ankle supports are from the older version.
I’ve tried these on today (not for a run in this weather!) and the “hybrid” effect feels like it might actually work. The “sock” upper is lined around the toes by this suede material which provides just enough support for the foot that’s lacking in Ultraboost 19. The ankle supports do the job of the older UBs. Yet the “sock” style upper is lighter/more airy/freer on the foot.
I think these could be good shoes (better would be to have the more durable sole of the UB 19s). I need some good weather to take them out, give them a try, and see if I want to buy in extra pairs.