Like slang, how we reference sneakers changes over time. For instance, a simple Black sneaker was commonly referred to as "black on black," while the preferred jargon these days is "Triple Black."
The greatest beneficiary of this new terminology is adidas, whose "Triple Black" shoe releases are known to shake up the sneaker world. Stadium Goods highlights the tonal black Ultra Boost options that we've seen in recent years.
Every notable version of the Ultra Boost model has a "Triple Black" colorway. It feels almost as if the tonal black motif is a right of passage reserved for stylish footwear that has an uncanny ability to affect the culture. The Ultra Boost is a combination of woven Primeknit on the upper, Boost cushioning on the midsole, and a caging system on the lateral and medial sides, along with the heel. Later, we'd see cageless options as well, not to mention collaborations that brought avant garde renditions to life.
Find all of the above below, as we explore the "Triple Black" Ultra Boost phenomenon from its root.
adidas Ultra Boost Uncaged LTD
Release: July 16, 2016
Stadium Goods Link: adidas Ultra Boost Uncaged LTD
Not quite "Triple Black," but this adidas Ultra Boost Uncaged LTD isn't exactly murdered-out – though it is comprised of the ingredients that would inspire later all-black colorways of the shoe. Grey is interwoven throughout a black Primeknit upper with a glitch camo look. This also marks the first time we saw a colored Boost midsole. (This Ultra Boost was released in a trio that also includes a "Triple Red" shoe.)
adidas Ultra Boost Uncaged "Triple Black"
Release: November 30, 2016
Stadium Goods Link: adidas Ultra Boost Uncaged "Triple Black"
Once again, we see a "Triple Black" colorway on an adidas Ultra Boost Uncaged. Like the previous shoe, a glitch camo design coats the entire upper, with grey having an almost gradient effect throughout the black motif. Three Stripes branding appears on the toe in an overlay look, with identical detailing appearing on around the laces.
adidas Ultra Boost LTD "Triple Black"
Release: December 1, 2016
Stadium Goods Link: adidas Ultra Boost LTD
The adidas Ultra Boost 3.0's arrival on December 6, 2016, was anticipated to say the least. However, the Brand With Three Stripes diverted attention back to the original Ultra Boost silhouette with this "Triple Black" shoe. This marks the first time we saw a caged version of the silhouette feature the completely black look.
Porsche Design x adidas PDS Ultra Boost "Triple Black"
Release: March 1, 2017
Stadium Goods Link: Porsche Design x adidas PDS Ultra Boost "Triple Black"
German design powerhouses Porsche Design Sport and adidas connected, and the resulting version of the Ultra Boost is so far from the norm that you should use air quotes when saying "Ultra Boost".
adidas uses significantly less Primeknit on an upper that's generally created entirely of the woven material. Opting for a "Triple Black" motif, we see Primeknit appear on the forefoot of the upper, with a soft perforated leather overlay coating the bulk of the shoe. A midsole with Boost cushioning finishes things up.
adidas Ultra Boost Uncaged
Release: March 1, 2017
Stadium Goods Link: adidas Ultra Boost Uncaged
Yes, we know what you're thinking. We use the term "Triple Black" loosely when referencing this cageless Ultra Boost that arrived spring 2017. A combination of black, white, and grey are integrated throughout the Primeknit upper. The simple yet striking look is completed by matte black heel counters, with a black Boost midsole and white outsole.
adidas Ultra Boost 3.0 "Triple Black"
Release: March 1, 2017
Stadium Goods Link: adidas Ultra Boost 3.0 "Triple Black"
The introduction of the adidas Ultra Boost 3.0 saw the popular silhouette with modifications we didn't know were needed. Most noticeably, the woven Primeknit upper is the thickest it's ever been, as an entirely new pattern provides a textured look. The heel-cap and the cage remain true to the original form.
The Ultra Boost 3.0 launched in the fourth quarter of 2016, but the "Triple Black" colorway didn't arrive until March 1 of this year. Here, the Primeknit upper is complemented by a cage overlay and heel cage with a matte look.
adidas Ultra Boost 3.0
Release: March 31, 2017
Stadium Goods Link: adidas Ultra Boost 3.0
There's plenty of ways to skin a cat, if the cat in question is a "Triple Black" Ultra Boost. Not even a month after the first Ultra Boost 3.0 released in a tonal black colorway, we saw another version with a more eye-catching look. Released alongside two other colorways that hit retailers on March 31, this shoe features a few slight modifications to the woven Primeknit construction. The upper is accented by silver streaks that give this release a heathered look, despite “Triple Black” name tag.
The remainder of this Ultra Boost 3.0 is essentially uniform, though the Three Stripes branding on the caging system and heel cage feature a translucent look. A black colored Boost midsole and inner lining complete the design.
Haven x adidas Ultra Boost Uncaged
Release: April 8, 2017
Stadium Goods Link: Haven x adidas Ultra Boost Uncaged
Sneakers in all-black, murdered-out colorways have a certain uniformity to them. When attached to an innovative design, monochromatic tones can bring the best out of a silhouette.
Enter the HAVEN x adidas Consortium Ultra Boost, born out of a collaboration with Vancouver, Canada, retailer HAVEN, adds some nuance to the Ultra Boost model. With adidas Consortium assisting, the city's typically heavy rain and overall gloomy weather inspires the look.
The Ultra Boost model receives some technical upgrades akin to the Hypebeast and Solebox collaborations. This is a rare case of a Primeknit upper having a supporting role, with the details accounting for the true beauty. A reflective toebox and strands run through the lacing on a cageless silhouette with enforced eyestays reinforce the laces. Premium leather tongues feature co-branding to match the adidas Consortium leather insoles, and a perforated mudguard to weather the elements in style completes the look.