adidas Ultraboost 22 GTX Review

by Solereview editors

The adidas Ultraboost 22 GTX in the snow.

adidas’s marketing pitch: Don't let wet weather come between you and your run.

Upper: Waterproof Gore-Tex membrane, zipped shroud with bungee lacing, heel clip, Gore-Tex membrane.

Midsole: Full-length Boost foam with LEP shank. 10 mm heel-to-toe offset.

Outsole: Continental 'Wintergrip' rubber.

Weight: 400 gms/ 14.1 Oz for a half pair of Men's US 9/UK 8.5/EUR 42.5/CM 27.

Widths available: D - regular (reviewed).

Previous model: adidas Ultraboost 21 GTX.

The waterproof version of the Ultraboost delivers dependable performance in inclement weather. This is an 14-ounce shoe, so its versatility as a running shoe is limited.
Cushioned and stable ride, excellent traction, secure fit, effective waterproofing, reflectivity, cushioning unaffected by freezing temperatures
Heavy, no widths, the midfoot closure system could be better
Proof of purchase for the Ultraboost 22 Gore-Tex.

The adidas Ultraboost 22 GTX was purchased with our own money for the review. The amount is in Canadian Dollars.


The adidas Ultraboost 22 GTX in cold weather.

The waterproof (Gore-Tex) variant of the adidas Ultraboost 22 features in many of our buyer’s guides, so this shoe deserves a separate review.

This shoe shares the same name with the standard Ultraboost, but it’s different in more ways than one.

Except for the plastic heel clip, the upper has nothing in common with the Primeknit mesh shell of the regular model. The rubber outsole uses Continental rubber, but it’s a different compound called ‘Wintergrip’. The deep lugs also have an aggressive design for better traction over damp pavements.

The basic specs of the adidas Ultraboost 22 Gore-Tex.

The only part that the Ultraboost 22 GTX shares with the non-waterproof model is the full-length Boost midsole. Exception for the superior outsole grip, the UB-22 GTX’s ride quality is identical to the shoe that we reviewed over a year ago.

Here’s a quick summary of what this shoe is – the Ultraboost 22 GTX is a waterproof sneaker that works best for everyday casual wear and easy runs. This shoe weighs over 14 ounces, so its clunky feel reduces its versatility.

The overall score of the adidas Ultraboost 22 Gore-Tex.

There’s more; the adidas Ultraboost 22 GTX is a very capable shoe for winter conditions and rainy days. The Gore-Tex waterproofing is very effective, and there are several thoughtfully-designed features that are not found in most shoes of its class.


The side view of the adidas Ultraboost 22 Gore-Tex.

The GTX and non-GTX Ultraboost models share a common midsole.

Our review of the non-GTX Ultraboost 22 covers the ride character in great detail, so we’ll be brief here. And if you already own a pair of the other Ultraboost, feel free to skip most of this section.

The Boost midsole is a straight lift from the other model, so we get a full-length Boost stack along with the LEP shank. The Boost foam is neither too soft nor too firm, so the ride comfort is served with a high level of stability.

The heel view of the adidas Ultraboost 22 Gore-Tex.

The midsole is very stable – thanks to the wide base, raised edges, and plastic heel clip.

The midsole sidewalls have an exaggerated height – meaning they appear higher from the outside than the actual thickness.

This is the Ultraboost, so the plastic heel clip on the upper has a significant role in the midsole stability. It works in tandem with the raised midsole to create a ‘cupping action’ around the foot.

The midsole softness of the adidas Ultraboost 22 Gore-Tex.

The cushioning bounce of the adidas Ultraboost 22 Gore-Tex.

Also, the perforated lasting of the standard-issue Ultraboost is replaced by an opaque lasting fabric, presumably for weather-proofing purposes. This has a firming effect on the midsole cushioning.

The adidas Ultraboost 22 GTX has a heel-to-toe drop of 10 mm with rear and forefoot stack heights of 31 mm and 21 mm. Understandably, the heel feels very cushioned – and even the tapered forefoot isn’t lacking in comfort either.

The removable insole is the same as the non-GTX version. Also, the expanded PU foam (Boost) operates well in freezing temperatures when compared to EVA-based midsoles.

At over 14 ounces, this is a very heavy shoe, so it’s not versatile under a variety of situations. For example, the Ultraboost 22 GTX feels cumbersome at even speeds of 5 min/km (8 min/mile).

The outsole of the adidas Ultraboost 22 Gore-Tex.

This version uses a Continental Wintergrip outsole, the same kind that the Ultraboost 21 GTX had.

The Continental Winter grip outsole of the adidas Ultraboost 22 Gore-Tex.

A sticky rubber compound and aggressive lug pattern add functional value to this cold-weather outsole.

However, this works very well during slow winter runs on slushy and damp surfaces.

This model comes equipped with a very aggressive outsole design that’s ideal for wet weather. Short of icy surfaces, the Continental ‘Wintergrip’ rubber outsole delivers an excellent grip.

The outsole grip of the adidas Ultraboost 22 Gore-Tex.

The defined outsole lugs are placed in impact areas for grip.

The outsole lugs of the adidas Ultraboost 22 Gore-Tex.

The sharp lugs of the Wintergrip outsole deliver a satisfying bite.

It’s not just the specialized rubber compound; the traction delivered by the highly-defined lugs even outperforms Nike’s Stormtread outsole that’s used on the Pegasus Shield.

Naturally, given the relatively shallow lugs, the outsole works best on wet or thin slush. Like most outsoles, running on a blanket of snow will not produce an optimal outcome.

Hard ice is off-bounds, and so are trails. The lugs are densely clustered, so running on muddy trails will clog the outsole. If you intend to run on the trails, we have recommended alternatives at the end of this review.

The forefoot outsole of the adidas Ultraboost 22 Gore-Tex.

The forefoot has a floating outsole piece with sticky rubber lugs for grippy transitions.

Even though the lugs have the same layout as the standard Ultraboost, the aggressive lug structure makes all the difference. The forefoot outsole piece looks as if it belongs on a racing flat – in a nice way. The sharp lugs are mounted separately on the outsole for a wider range of movement.

Unsurprisingly, the forefoot transitions feel more satisfying than the regular Ultraboost. The grippy lugs have a superior bite on the road, so the take-offs are more efficient.

But in the end, the Ultraboost 22 Gore-Tex works far better as a casual sneaker for winter use than a performance running shoe. It’s comfortable, stable, grippy, insulated, and waterproof – all the essential ingredients of a reliable sneaker for the wet and cold months.


Is the adidas Ultraboost 22 Gore-Tex durable?

Like most Ultraboosts, this shoe should last north of 400 miles.

The Boost foam is good at resisting fatigue, so the cushioning doesn’t deteriorate over the life of the shoe. The lugs are sharper than what the non-GTX model uses, so the wear and tear will be more visible in the first few months.

The Gore-Tex upper and its zipped shroud is solidly put together, so that amounts to a durable build with low chances of material failure.


The side profile of the adidas Ultraboost 22 Gore-Tex.

Heavily layered and reinforced, the adidas Ultraboost 22 GTX is unapologetic in its heaviness.

Just one glance at the Ultraboost 22 GTX’s upper tells you where all that 14-ounce weight is coming from.

Unlike the regular Ultraboost, there’s no Primeknit mesh upper. Instead, what we have are layer after layer of weather-resistant meshes and reinforcements.

The toe-box of the adidas Ultraboost 22 Gore-Tex.

The toe-box and forefoot have fused splash guards.

The waterproof mesh of the adidas Ultraboost 22 Gore-Tex.

The ripstop mesh is waterproof.

In the front is a fused toe-bumper over a waterproof ripstop mesh. There’s another strip over the toe box, and this happens to be reflective. If this pattern looks vaguely familiar, that’s because the 2014-15 Energy Boost had a similar overlay.

The upper fit of the adidas Ultraboost 22 Gore-Tex.

The upper fit of the adidas Ultraboost 22 Gore-Tex.

From a fit perspective, the toe box is narrow and somewhat shallow. This isn’t specific to the waterproof variant; most Ultraboost uppers fit that way. Nonetheless, we recommend going true-to-size.

The top view of the adidas Ultraboost 22 Gore-Tex.

The midfoot system looks busy, but it works as advertised.

The heel collar of the adidas Ultraboost 22 Gore-Tex.

The soft and padded heel with its Achilles ‘lip’.

The midfoot design is interesting. The insides have a fully operational lacing system that relies on non-elastic bungee cords and a plastic stopper.

On the outside is a shroud with a water-resistant zipper. The tongue and heel are padded in typical Ultraboost-style, so the upper is comfortable when the foot is locked in.

The waterproof shroud of the adidas Ultraboost 22 Gore-Tex.

The midfoot is very waterproof, but the zipper could use a longer pull tab.

The bungee laces of the adidas Ultraboost 22 Gore-Tex.

There’s a proper lacing setup inside the shroud.

The lace stopper of the adidas Ultraboost 22 Gore-Tex.

This is our least favorite part of the midfoot lacing system. The stopper isn’t very smooth, and can potentially be dislodged due to the open lace ends.

Weather-resistant zippers usually take more effort to operate, and it’s no different here. It would have been easier with a pull tab attached to the zipper though.

The plastic stopper design isn’t perfect either; it looks like a cheap aftermarket fix. It doesn’t glide smoothly over the laces, and the plastic piece is not within a closed loop. Meaning, if you were to accidentally yank it off the laces, you’ll have to waste several minutes trying to put it back.

The reflective trims of the adidas Ultraboost 22 Gore-Tex.

But in the overall order of things, this is a minor complaint.

The Ultraboost 22 GTX has low versatility as a general-purpose running shoe, but its waterproofing is excellent. The Gore-Tex membrane and shroud are effective at keeping the water out, and there are other goodies too. Not only is the upper waterproof, but it’s also highly reflective.


The pros and cons of the adidas Ultraboost 22 Gore-Tex.

Even though the Ultraboost 22 GTX leans more towards the lifestyle sneaker side, it gets many things right.

It’s waterproof as advertised, the outsole traction is superlative, and the midsole is comfortable enough for all-day use. Reflectivity is available in abundance.

And despite the thick midsole stack, the heel is extremely stable due to the supportive midsole architecture.

The Ultraboost 22 GTX has its share of ‘need improvements’ fixes.

There are no optional widths, and the 14-ounce weight is a limiting factor in the shoe’s performance. The midsole closure system is a tad tricky to operate, so that’s also something for future adidas to work on.


The Gore-Tex version of the Salomon Speedcross 6.

The Salomon Speedcross 6 Gore-Tex is a versatile trail running shoe that can also be used on the road.

The lace garage/pocket of the Salomon Speedcross 6.

The excess bungee cords can be tucked inside the mesh pocket over the tongue.

The Salomon Speedcross 6 GTX may be a trail running shoe, but it’s comparable to the adidas Ultraboost 22 GTX. Just like the latter, the Speedcross 6 has bungee cord lacing. While it lacks a shroud, the ‘lace garage’ is useful to stow the unwanted ends.

What we love about the Speedcross 6 is how sorted the shoe feels. It’s neither too firm nor too soft, and the upper feels ultra-secure. It works equally well on the road as it does on the trail.

The outsole lugs of the Salomon Speedcross 6.

The spaced-out outsole lugs offer dependable traction.

The Speedcross’s outsole doesn’t have the aggressive bite of the Ultraboost, but it proves more versatile on slushy and muddy terrain. The GTX membrane works in sync with the inner gusset to prevent water from entering.

The Brooks Cascadia 16 Gore-Tex on wet roads.

There’s ample comfort for road runs, but that will speed up the wear and tear of the rubber lugs.

Waterproof running shoes are too many to count, so we’ll end this review with a couple of (other) solid picks. The Brooks Cascadia 16 GTX (our review) is a trail running shoe with a very comfortable ride that is also suitable for the road.

The Nike Pegasus Trail 4 on the road.

The soft cushioning makes it optimal for road runs.

Nike’s Pegasus Trail 4 GTX (our review) has always strived to hit the sweet spot between road and mild off-road use. It delivers on its stated promise with a soft ride and a waterproof upper with a faux gaiter.

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