Fan power: adidas uncage the UltraBOOST

On sale in the UAE, the Uncaged is proof that today's Instagram crowd can demand what they want.

Neil Churchill June 27, 2016

This might be an overreaction, but something monumental has happened in the world of fashion.

Last year, adidas brought out its UltraBOOST running shoe, a pretty decent-looking athletic trainer that targeted long-distance runners but also unapologetically drew in Instagram sneaker heads. It was quickly lauded as the brand's most comfortable shoe ever. 

Its sock-like Primeknit hugged the back of the foot, the plush midsole ‘returned energy to every step’ and the outer cage-like stripes kept everything rigid. However, some fans didn’t like that last addition, and so they took action.

After a few tutorial videos appeared online, a trend was started to cut away the rubber cage, modifying the shoes and giving them a far more relaxed, lifestyle look. 

In the pre-social media era a brand would probably have ignored this, as without viral content the trend may never have caught on. But today adidas has done the complete opposite, bowing to customer pressure and launching an updated version to recognise the trend: the UltraBOOST Uncaged.

It’s a perfect example of a brand listening to its consumers and giving them exactly what they want. It’s particularly noble in this case as the cage was in the shape of adidas’ three stripes, so in removing it adidas has removed the shoe’s biggest logo.

It can also be seen as a sign that the company now feels its ultraBOOST sub-brand has become big enough to be recognised on its own, although it has also added a subtle three stripes to the toe. Either way, it's a notable day in the fashion world when one of the biggest brands recognises what its audience is asking for and gives them exactly that. Could this be the future of fashion? Products tailored to mass requests? 

Adidas insists the Uncaged is still a running shoe with a new unique tiered lacing system, internal skeleton and re-engineered Primeknit upper keeping things tight in the wake of the late rubber stripes. It’s also retained its supportive heel, energy returning tech and flexible rubber sole – a partnership with tire-maker Continental.

As such, we don’t doubt for a second that it still feels good on the treadmill. But let’s be honest; the Uncaged has come to be because of the power of the Instagram generation and their accessibility to scissors. It is far more a lifestyle shoe than its predecessor, and it's all the better for it.

Available to buy online already, the Uncaged is on sale in UAE stores from June 29, retailing at around AED 660.