The best adidas shoes for standing all day

by Solereview editors

The heel view of the adidas Ultraboost 22.

This article has been updated with current models for March 2022. The adidas Solarglide 4 has been replaced with its updated version.

Though this article only contains adidas products, a multi-brand buyer’s guide on the same topic also exists.

We prefaced that guide with the selection criterion for a standing-friendly shoe. To be specific, basic performance requirements like the outsole and midsole design, traction, upper fit, and the heel-to-toe offset. You can read all about it here.

We won’t repeat that information. However, besides the basics outlined in our multi-brand guide, here are some adidas-specific things to look for. Having these design features in an adidas shoe will make it comfortable enough to spend long hours on the feet.

Boost, Boost, Boost

The Boost foam used on the adidas Ultraboost 22.

Having a midsole made of this expanded Polyurethane foam vastly increases the probability that the shoe will be comfortable enough for standing all day.

While adidas Boost has been overtaken by lighter and more responsive foams – including the adidas Lightstrike Pro – its suite of tricks still work. Boost is extremely durable, and very weather-resistant as well.

Unlike EVA foams or rubber blends like Nike React that harden in freezing temperatures, Boost maintains its cushioning softness regardless of how cold it is.

adidas Boost also offers excellent resistance to cushioning fatigue.

The thick midsole of the adidas Ultraboost 22.

The Boost foam material is very resistant to deformation.

Whereas lesser cushioning materials like EVA will lose their cushioning after a few hundred miles, most Boost midsoles will outlive the shoe. Being on your feet for many hours requires a cushioned foundation, so a Boost midsole is excellent for that use case.

That’s why we have excluded the adidas Adistar. Sure, it’s a firmly-cushioned and stable shoe that works for a high bodyweight, but it lacks the ride comfort of Boost midsoles.

Solereview recommends: The adidas Ultraboost 22

Though the adidas footwear catalog is full of Boost-equipped footwear, the adidas Ultraboost 22 is our favorite pick as a standing shoe.

Its high-volume midsole provides a deep reservoir of cushioning, and is also wide enough to be supportive. The firm Continental rubber outsole and LEP shank help with traction and stability. An elastic and secure fit prevents the foot from sliding over the midsole.

It’s worth noting that the small updates made to the Ultraboost 22 make it an improvement over the 21. Our ultra-detailed review can be found here.

For colder weather, adidas sells a winterized version called the Ultraboost 22 COLD.RDY.

A Continental-branded rubber outsole

The Continental rubber used on the adidas Ultraboost 22.

Though a cushioned midsole has a positive influence on the ride comfort, the role of the outsole should not be overlooked.

Having an adequate amount of rubber coverage adds support and safety. A shoe needs to grip well on artificial floors, and here’s where rubber outperforms foam-based outsole materials. It also makes a shoe durable – something that’s desirable in a shoe that’s intended to be worn all day.

adidas’s Continental rubber is a proven outsole material that offers excellent traction and durability. It’s not to say that other adidas outsoles like Adiwear are bad, but we’ve always found the Continental compound to be safe and reliable.

On this list, only the NMD R1 V2 has a regular rubber outsole.

A secure upper

The stretchy Primeknit mesh of the adidas Ultraboost 22.

The Primeknit mesh is elastic and accommodates a range of foot profiles.

Most adidas Primeknit uppers pass the fit test, and so do the standard uppers used on models like the Solarglide and Solarboost. It does help that adidas shoes have an inherently snug fit.

Believe it or not, having a secure fit improves the shoe’s performance when spending many hours in one place. A secure fit enhances the cushioning feel by keeping the foot closer to the midsole.

In addition to the adidas Ultraboost 22, here are four adidas alternatives that make standing all day less punishing on the feet.

1) adidas Solarboost 4

Unlike the Ultraboost, the Solarboost 4 lacks the exaggerated midsole sidewalls that cup the foot on both sides. That being said, the Solarboost’s midsole has something that’s missing on the Ultraboost – a firmer EVA rim above the Boost midsole.

This way, the Solarboost is cushioned as well as supportive – a combination of traits that proves useful when being on the feet all day. The soft and springy Boost foam is laid out in a heel-to-toe configuration for multi-hour comfort, whereas the EVA rim brings stability to the ride.

The outsole layout isn’t all that different from the Ultraboost. A two-piece Continental rubber outsole provides uninterrupted coverage, and the large plastic shank helps create a stable base.

The traditionally designed upper uses a soft mesh with fused overlays rather than stretchy Primeknit. Nonetheless, the ends justify the means – the Solarboost 4’s upper is equal measures plush and secure.

2) adidas NMD R1 V2

We reviewed the NMD R1 a couple of years ago. It’s a modern sneaker that’s inspired by vintage adidas design elements. For example, the color-blocking plugs on the midsole are vaguely based on the 1984 Micropacer or Boston Super.

However, none of the materials on the NMD R1 are retro. The Boost foam is a modern cushioning tech that makes the NMD R1’s midsole comfortable enough for standing duties. The outsole isn’t made of Continental rubber, but it offers supportive traction as well as durability.

The upper is mostly mesh, and plastic trims on the heel (with the adidas Trefoil logo, no less) add some functional detail. So what’s changed on the NMD R1 V2?

The V2 has nearly identical levels of ride and fit comfort as the V1. There are a few updates, and two of them are of a cosmetic kind. The midsole side plugs are larger, and the molded heel piece has been replaced with a pull strap.

The lacing panel has been reinforced, and the latter now includes four rows for a slightly improved midfoot grip – whereas the NMD R1 V1 had only three. Regardless of the updates, the sock-like upper still has the smooth and secure fit from the V1.

3) adidas UltraBoost 4.0 DNA

adidas also sells a ‘DNA’ variant of the Ultraboost – which is a nod to the original design that we reviewed seven years ago. It’s a softer and lighter shoe than the 2022 model because of its minimal design.

However, it’s easy to forget that the Ultraboost’s legacy was built on the blow-out success of the first few models. The full-length Boost midsole, the soft and elastic Primeknit upper, and Continental rubber outsole made the Ultraboost a very comfortable everyday sneaker.

The cushy Boost foam stack keeps the foot cushioned during extended periods of standing, and the plush upper keeps the foot securely held inside the shoe.

4) adidas SolarGlide 5

The just-released Solarglide 5 is a much better standing shoe for than the Solarglide 4. There’s more Boost packed inside the midsole, and the footprint is much wider too. Learn more about the Solarglide 5 in our review.

As a result, the SG5 delivers all-day cushioning with plenty of support. The firm EVA frame and plastic LEP shank also make the ride very supportive. The Continental rubber outsole offers excellent traction on most surfaces, and the large windows (that expose the Boost foam) reduce the stiffness.

At 13-ounces, it’s a very heavy shoe, so its versatility as a running shoe is rather limited.

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