Adidas Ultraboost just destroyed Nike Vaporfly… but not on the race track

Nike's ultimate running shoes only just scraped the top five on one particular survey

Most searched for running shoes in the UK
(Image credit: Adidas)

Running has never been unpopular but the sport is experiencing a boom in recent months, with more and more people looking at ways to stay healthy and get fit in lockdown. Worldwide searches for "best running shoes" and "running shoes" were up by 106% and 163% respectively in April. (opens in new tab) decided to some research on what are THE most searched-for shoes online at the moment.

• Shop running shoes at Nike UK (opens in new tab)

• Shop running shoes at Adidas UK (opens in new tab)

You might think the top position on this list would be taken by the likes of Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT% (opens in new tab) or Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 37, given the buzz around these running trainers, but as a matter of fact, the fastest running shoe in existence has only just made it to the top five. The most searched shoe of all, then? Adidas Ultraboost.

Adidas Ultraboost 21 price release date

(Image credit: Adidas)

The research commissioned by (opens in new tab) looked at search data for 65 different shoes across 40 countries to find the creps that get people the most excited. 

The research revealed the Adidas Ultraboost to be the most popular running shoe worldwide with 327,000 monthly searches on average, followed by Nike React with 121,000. It's worth mentioning that Nike took six places out of 10 with big hitters such as the Pegasus series and Nike Joyride Run Flyknit (opens in new tab).

Asics' two most popular models – Gel Nimbus and Gel-Kayano – also made it to the top ten, while Brooks is represented with one of its most comfortable shoes, the Brooks Ghost.

The UK’s top five most searched for running shoes are:

  • Adidas Ultraboost - 327,000 monthly searches
  • Nike React - 121,000 monthly searches
  • Nike Pegasus - 85,000 monthly searches
  • Asics Gel-Kayano - 55,000 monthly searches
  • Nike Vaporfly - 53,000 monthly searches
  • Nike Joyride - 52,000 monthly searches
  • Nike Zoom Fly - 46,000 monthly searches
  • Asics Gel Nimbus - 33,000 monthly searches
  • Brooks Ghost - 32,000 monthly searches
  • Nike Pegasus Turbo - 24,000 monthly searches

This is perhaps no surprise, as Ultraboost crosses over with the fashion market much more than Vaporfly – you would have to have a very distinctive 'look' to make Nike's mad-looking wonder shoes work as a fashion piece. 

It would have been great to see brands and models like the amazing Hoka One One Carbon X or the new On Cloudflow, not to mention the New Balance FuelCell TC or stuff like the Under Armour HOVR. There's also no sign of Mizuno or Saucony – surprising given how great their shoes are, although perhaps not so surprising if you compare their marketing budgets with the real big boys of running shoes.

• Shop road running shoes at (opens in new tab)

In case you are in the mood for shopping for running gear, make sure you check out our Top 10 guides to the best running gear…

Matt Kollat
Fitness Editor

Matt is T3's Fitness Editor and covers everything from smart fitness tech to running and workout shoes, home gym equipment, exercise how-tos, nutrition, cycling, and more. His byline appears in several publications, including Techradar (opens in new tab) and Fit&Well (opens in new tab), and he collaborated with other content creators in the past, such as Garage Gym Reviews (opens in new tab). When he isn't working out, he loves roaming the countryside and trying out new podcasting and content creation equipment, including microphones, cameras and more.