Sneaker cushioning are of several types normally ranges from air and boost to gel and foam. Branded cushioning technologies for improved sneaker experience include Hovr, React, Ignite, Fresh Foam, and ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA), among others.
Sneaker cushioning technologies offer various benefits, with comfort being the ultimate. Asics began to use gel in the 1980s as a cushioning material.
Nike introduced air cushioning in the 1970s while Adidas invented Boost in 2013, undoing foam cushioning.
On the other hand, New Balance, Puma and Under Armour continue to upgrade EVA for extra cushioning. New Balance also uses foam on its many running shoes for prolonged use.
This article compares New Balance Fresh Foam vs. the Adidas Boost.
We also look into the New Balance Fresh Foam Zante v3 and Adidas Ultraboost running shoes to help compare the two shoes and cushioning technologies from the two brands.
Read on to find out more about the differences between the two.
Foam - What is Used in the Shoes
Foam is used in running shoes to boost marketing, performance and comfort. Softer yet more durable foams are used to give comfortable runs and maximum return of energy over the life of a sneaker, usually 300 to 500 miles.
Some proprietary foams license out foams that big chemical engineering firms produce while others are backed with data obtained from company athletes.
You’ve got a wide options for running shoes due to increasing advancements and innovation for the ‘best’ foam.
The New Balance Cushioning Technology
New Balance enhanced EVA over many years to provide extra cushioning on its running shoes. Polyurethane was added to EVA in the 1980s to improve stability, and isoprene rubber (ABZORB) obtained from Dupont in the 1990s.
The REVlite structure resembled a sponge by 2011. Manufactured through a 3D shaped heat process based on injection, Fresh Foam was invented in 2014 to develop different resistance zones.
Although it’s still foam based on EVA, a chemical compound is added to improve stability, especially when integrated with 3D computer mapping technology.
According to the New Balance running’s strategic business unit manager, Claire Wood, Fresh Foam is also an engineering philosophy. Data metrics on force, speed and pressure-mapping of running is input into a program to aid “scientific calculations backing up shapes and geometries.”
Fresh Foam technology involves the use of single pieces of foam to make innovative midsoles for comfortable, natural rides. Featuring convexes and hexagonal concaves, the foam ensures you run without discomfort.
The technology is used on various New Balance shoes ranging from casual and lifestyle running shoe designs to winter boots.
Adidas Cushioning Technology
Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) was integrated with EVA cushioning in 2013 to produce Energy Boost in 2013. With durability, energy return, and TPU temperature resistance, Adidas was able to capture EVA’s weight, comfort and smooth transition. The approach revolutionized the foam cushioning world.
Five years after inventing Boost, Adidas now features the technology in other lifestyle and sports products. It has continued to evolve beyond its initial creation agenda.
Developed in collaboration with BASF, the boost cushioning technology has given one position to Adidas.
BASF is a global chemical company that uses an automotive process of manufacturing for blowing pellets together using steam at high pressure.
Solid granular TPU material, according to Matthias Amm (the international category director for Adidas running), are blown up and converted into small capsules of energy to make up the midsole. This occurs during the process.
Unlike EVA midsoles, Boost cushioning technology has a high resistance to cold and heat, top energy return (leading in the industry), and increased durability.
Amm states, “With their unique cell structure, the energy capsules offer soft, lightweight cushioning for better energy efficiency and storage.” Boost cushioning improves performance for longer, comfortable runs.
Race sneakers feature Boost Light, a light form of boost that evolved from boost for similar energy return. The cushioning technology leverages its potential to construct shoes using denser material on your shoes’ medial side for better stability.
Although the midsole was originally white due to a technical process, it now comes in various colors on the Boost midsoles.
Amm goes ahead to state that, “We’re not stopping with Boost, but innovating within it to produce other products in the line as was done with Boost Light.
The boost technology will continue to adopt advancement in aesthetics, innovation and design.”
The New Balance Fresh Foam Zante V3
The New Balance Fresh Foam Zante v3 has a logo with 3M detailing, giving it reflective properties. The effect makes even black colors visible in the night.
The varied knitted mesh patterns on the upper give a perfect fit in the toebox, meaning you may find them tight if your feet are wide.
The different patterns also enable your feet to breathe in hot weather due to better breathability and temperature control. The Fresh Foam technology supports comfortable rides with a barefoot feel during runs.
The heel counter is comfortable yet supportive for long-distance races. The 6mm Fresh Foam drop makes it easier to run even for longer distances in the shoes without developing sores on your feet. However, the drop differs from one show model and size to another.
The Fresh Foam design resembles the appearance of honeycomb for added comfort when running at faster speeds. They’re also perfect for sprints training. Featured on the outsole of the running shoes, the design gives good grip on certain mixed terrains.
- Fresh foam midsole
- No-sew material application. 6 mm drop: due to variances created during the development
- Bootie construction. Dual density midsole
If you run on pavements or roads, you’ll find the tread on the outsole handy when changing directions at fast speeds. They minimize slipping due to good traction.
Available in three color options, choose from black/thunder, black/electric blue, and alpha orange/outer space. The designs are attractive and glow in the night even for black colors.
However, socks become soggy in damp and wet conditions. This means that the running shoes don’t dry out fast.
The Adidas Ultraboost 19
The Adidas Ultraboost 19 is the company’s best-selling running shoe on the market. Designed for neutral pronation runners or daily wear, the shoes support long and speed runs. It’s available in various color options.
The improved Boost foam is more energy returning and bouncier than its predecessors (up to 20% more).
The visible 3D heel frame in bold red pentagon offers flexible support (minimal straining and flexing) with independently moving torsion spring lying between the heel and your forefoot.
The underfoot torsion spring makes your turnovers snappier. The Prime Knit upper is Goldilocks-approved for improved stretch and breathability.
It’s neither too firm nor too soft. The continental rubber outsole offers good grip over ice and snow, including tracks and road.
- Lace closure
- Supportive adidas Primeknit 508
- Flexible Stretchweb outsole; Continental Rubber outsole for extraordinary traction in wet and dry conditions; Midfoot cage
- Responsive Boost midsole; Stabilising Torsion Spring
- Lightweight and adaptive
Ultraboost 19 is made from more Boost foam than its predecessors, making its footfall soft. It’s also more breathable and stretchable with an improved upper structure.
The shoes weigh 10.9 ounces and have thinner upper than its predecessors. The latter provide more stability to prevent your feet from rolling in or out when running.
So, what’s the Difference?
The Adidas Ultraboost is considered the most comfortable and this has seen the company market it as a lifestyle shoes. The Adidas boost technology is also being integrated into other shoes the company manufactures.
The New Balance Fresh Foam is comparable to Adidas Boost in comfort. The shoes is most comfortable in the midsole while Adidas Ultraboost isn’t.
The latter is less comfortable on the heel, increasing the risk of developing Achilles. The heel support and comfort on the former shoes is superb.
However, The New Balance Fresh Foam is bulkier (especially on the upper) and less expensive than Adidas Ultraboost.
The New Balance Fresh Foam Zante v3 is ideal for comfortable runs at high speeds. Bold colors and details make the shoes perfect for night use.
It’s also more cost-effective than the Adidas Boost.
On the other hand, the light and bouncy Ultraboost supports neutral running for casual runners. They’re more breathable, comfortable and supportive.
They support fast and long runs. Neutral runners don’t need excessive support from under or over pronation.
Opt for the Adidas Ultraboost running shoes based on the boost technology if you want shoes for neutral runners.
They’re comfortable, breathable and made from premium materials to support durable use, up to 500 miles or more.
Last update on 2020-06-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API