Adidas Soulstride Ultra Review: Rugged, Cushioned & Responsive – Ohh La La!

Alastair goes to work on the trails of Northern California, to test how these versatile trail running shoes tackle varying terrain, including roots, rocks, steep climbs and descents.

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In this Adidas Soulstride Ultra review, I’m going to start by walking you through the key specifications worth knowing about, then I’m going to explain who the Soulstride Ultra is best suited to, after that I’ll share my in-depth performance review, and finally let you know if I think these trail running shoes are worth buying.

I have been running in the Soulstride Ultra on my favorite mountain trails, here in Northern California, where the trails offer everything from steep climbs, rocky paths, and mud from recent rain storms.

Adidas Soulstride Ultra Review | Trail & Kale Running Co.
Adidas Soulstride Ultra Review | Trail & Kale Running Co.

I’ve tested them across a variety of conditions and in this review will be sharing how they handle climbs, flat stretches, and even steep technical descents – all of which you can also see in my video review here.

The Key Specifications

  • Price: $180 at Adidas.com
  • Sizing and fit: True to size, medium width. There’s a good amount of room in them for your feet to expand on long runs.
  • Weight: 11.3oz (320g) for a size US(M)9 (my pair).
  • Drop: 6mm – Stack height: 37mm at the heel, 31mm at the toe
  • Toe box width: Medium.
  • Stability: Neutral, so there’s no additional stability or support.
  • Upper: engineered mesh upper with seamless overlays. It’s breathable.
  • Midsole Cushioning: responsive yet cushioned BOOST Light with Lightstrike foam (the grey part). REPETITOR midsole design (the layering of the two) with a rocker geometry.
  • Outsole: Continental rubber
  • Best for: A do-it-all daily trail running shoe for all-terrain, and all distances

Who are they best for?

The Adidas Soulstride Ultra trail running shoes have been designed for anyone who needs a versatile, all-terrain shoe that can handle both long and short distances. In particular, they truly shine on longer runs (for those where a lightweight shoe isn’t a priority) due to their responsiveness and a bit of stiffness which aids in speed and endurance

The Soulstride Ultra is built to last too, which is a major plus for any trail runner but comes with its own set of trade-offs which I’ll go into shortly.

Their versatility makes them ideal for most trail runners, especially if you’re drawn to their style or you’re a fan of Adidas already. I personally love their look, so much so that I’m choosing to wear them for hiking as well.

They strike that sought after balance between a clean, minimal design with the cushioning, responsiveness, and protection you need on the trail whether you’re running or hiking.

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Adidas Soulstride Ultra performance review

The Adidas Soulstride Ultra trail running shoes are incredible on flat trails – the combination of Lightstrike and BOOST Light foam in the midsole, what Adidas is calling the REPETITOR Midsole, is just phenomenal.

The Lightstrike and BOOST Light foam in the midsole is what Adidas is calling the REPETITOR design.
The Lightstrike and BOOST Light foam in the midsole is what Adidas is calling the REPETITOR design.

Combined with a rocker geometry, 6mm drop from heel to toe and a medium stack height makes them feel light and responsive, which is surprising considering the overall shoe isn’t particularly lightweight.

The cushioning combined with responsiveness is exactly what I look for in a trail running shoe as I need my running shoes to be fast but also capable of covering long distances comfortably, and the Soulstride Ultra nails this for the most part.

In my test runs so far, I have nothing but praise for the REPETITOR midsole’s response and cushioning. How do they perform while climbing steep and gradual ascents then? Very well, that’s how. One improvement I’d recommend, however, is reducing their weight; a lighter version of the Soulstride Ultra would definitely enhance their long-distance capabilities and climbing efficiency.

The Continental outsole is a top contender and rivals Vibram's Megagrip in my tests so far.
The Continental outsole is a top contender and rivals Vibram Megagrip in my tests so far.

The Continental outsole also deserves a shout out because the traction is outstanding on every surface I’ve tested, which includes slick rocks, loose dirt, you name it – this is important to note, especially considering how many running brands are opting to include Vibram Megagrip outsole in their trail running shoes. It’s nice to see that Vibram still has competition in the rubber outsole technology space.

On hot days or during intense climbs, the breathability does everything it needs to do, allowing your feet to breathe and helping to keep the internal shoe temperature well regulated.

See the image of the engineered mesh below.

The engineered mesh upper
The engineered mesh upper

I have been lucky enough to be able to test these in the heat and during steep climbs, thanks to the warm Spring weather in California recently which is how I know they’re breathable.

A quick note on fit; initially, the comfort around the top of my feet was a concern. It was tight and noticeably uncomfortable, due to the laces protruding down on the top of my feet through the thin part of the tongue.

The rectangular padding in the tongue also put some pressure on the top of my feet, initially, as well as a badly placed seam on the internal tongue gusseting. See the gallery below to understand the areas I’m referring to.

However, the more I’ve worn them, the more they have broken in, adapted and expanded where needed. Now, they feel much more comfortable. Hopefully, Adidas might improve this in the Soulstride Ultra 2, as it would be great if they were more comfortable out the box.

Adidas Soulstride Ultra Review: Rugged, Cushioned & Responsive - Ohh La La! 1 - Trail and Kale | Trail Running & Adventure

The Soulstride Ultra excels on steep and gradual downhill trails too. The stability, response, and outsole traction provide excellent control, grip, and speed, making downhills a lot of fun to run in these. I feel confident that I have total control in them, and they’re very fast on flat sections as well.

Now, they’re not the lightest trail running shoes, which will deter me from choosing them for an ultramarathon, despite the “Ultra” in their name. There are lighter trail running shoes that I prefer for ultra distances, simply because every gram counts when you’re taking over 50,000 steps in a race – something to think about if you are looking for a suitable ultra running shoe.

That said, for distances like 5Ks and half marathons, these shoes are superb. You get control, responsiveness, and cushioning, plus they’re highly durable and the upper has been holding up really well too.

➡ If you’re enjoying this review do me a favor, drop a comment down below, and don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for more running shoe reviews just like this one. If you’re familiar with these running shoes, share your thoughts on them in the comments.

Is the Soulstride Ultra worth buying?

Are the Adidas Soulstride Ultra trail running shoes worth the $180 price tag? Yes, they justify their cost by performing well across a wide variety of terrain and trail types, and should last a long time for a pair of trail running shoes on account of their durable construction – with that said, in an ideal world I’d prefer to see them priced around $160, given they are heavier than the average trail running shoe.

Now, if you have a heavier than average build, you may actually prefer a slightly heavier shoe, and for $180, you’re getting a substantial shoe that performs well on climbs, descents and the flats, which I think you’re going to enjoy.

If you’re transitioning from asphalt or road sections to get to a trailhead, these shoes work well in that scenario too. The Continental grip provides excellent traction on all surfaces from the roads to most trails.

For those of you on the hunt for the ideal trail running shoes tailored to your needs, I recommend heading over to my comprehensive roundup of the best trail running shoes, which is a buyer’s guide that will help you find the best trail running shoes for you.

I really hope you found this review informative and enjoyable – If you did, subscribe to our Newsletter, so you don’t miss our other in-depth running shoe reviews as they drop.

Extra Extra: Adidas Soulstride Ultra Review [VIDEO]

Did you know we also create video reviews on our YouTube Channel? Click the image below to watch our Adidas Soulstride Ultra review on YouTube next.

Adidas Soulstride Ultra Review: Rugged, Cushioned & Responsive - Ohh La La! 2 - Trail and Kale | Trail Running & Adventure

More photos of the Soulstride Ultra

Alastair
Alastairhttps://www.trailandkale.com
As the founder of Trail & Kale, and seasoned marathoner & ultrarunner, Alastair loves bringing our readers independent running shoe reviews and gear insights to help you run your best. Learn more about Trail & Kale here.

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