Shoe Review: Adidas Ubersonic 4.1


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Jul 26, 2023

Shoe Review: Adidas Ubersonic 4.1

Incremental updates pay substantial dividends as the popular speed shoe boasts notable improvements in fit, comfort and support. Published Aug 04, 2023 Price: $140 (Purchase now at

Incremental updates pay substantial dividends as the popular speed shoe boasts notable improvements in fit, comfort and support.

Published Aug 04, 2023

Price: $140 (Purchase now at

Weight: 13.6 oz. (men’s 10); 11.6 oz (women’s 8.5)

Size Run: 6.5-15, 16 (men); 5-11 (women)

Outsole Warranty: None

The Ubersonic 4.1 dots the I’s and crosses the T’s of the Ubersonic 4. The guts of the previous model remain intact, with small tweaks intended to improve the overall performance. Most notably, the cut has been restructured to offer a narrower and more supportive fit. The lacing system has also been fine-tuned for better security and comfort, and additional fortification around the upper makes it sturdier and more durable.

When a brand issues a partial update, it’s generally an indication that the outgoing model has some inherent weaknesses that need immediate revisions.

The Adidas Ubersonic 4.0 has its merits—lightweight and comfortable—but full disclosure, I never published a review of it. The cut was so spacious that it felt never secure enough for anything more than a casual hit. If I tried to up the ante, I had to tie the laces so tightly that they strangled the top of my foot.

Fortunately, the new Ubersonic 4.1 goes a long way to righting these wrongs.

Built to more closely resemble the cut of the popular Ubersonic 2, it has a much more streamlined profile. It also has a denser reinforced abrasion area on the medial side of the toe box for enhanced protection and durability—correcting another issue players reported of its predecessor.

The Primeknit upper has a full-bootie construction that eliminates any possibility of a tongue gathering on one side of the foot during play. It provides a supportive squeeze, but is flexible enough to allow the foot to spread on contact. Compared to its predecessor, this shoe is noticeably more stable and trustworthy during aggressive lateral movements.

In addition to being supple and requiring zero break-in, the woven mesh of the upper is also highly breathable. It’s made of a high-performance yarn that is half reimagined plastic from ocean waste, and half recycled polyester. I wore the shoe on several unusually hot and humid outings, and each time, the ventilation earned its stripes.

The medial side of the toe box has been reinforced for greater durability.

The tweaks to the lacing system are also welcome improvements. The new outrigger eyelets and fatter laces offer smooth cinching and are kinder to the top of the foot. The top of the bootie also has increased padding to up the protection, which makes getting a locked-in fit more accessible and comfortable.

Lightstrike cushioning in the midsole lives up to its moniker, as it keeps the weight off with just enough thickness and resilience to absorb court contact. The heel padding and support has also been given a bump to bolster comfort. It’s not as plush as some, but the low-to-the-ground feel promotes good court connection, responsiveness, and fast footwork.

The Adiwear outsole comes in a full herringbone design for clay courts, or a modified herringbone pattern for hard surfaces. I opted for the clay model, which did an excellent job of digging in on drier courts, and fostered slides when needed.

The sock-like, full-bootie design can be an acquired taste. It’s not difficult to slip on, and an improvement over the previous design, but it’s still thin enough that it can bunch up a little bit in spots when the shoe is cinched tightly. It’s more aesthetic than anything, as it doesn’t hinder performance.

That said, players who prefer more of a traditional and plusher tongue may be left wanting.

And depending on needs, the cushioning may not be enough. It’s certainly in step with expectations for a lightweight, speed shoe. However, heavier movers who beat up their shoes and require extra shock absorption and support—especially on hard courts—could feel unprotected in this model.

Adidas Ubersonic 4.1

The updates to the Ubersonic 4.1 make the speed shoe a marked upgrade. It’s light, fast and comfortable, with a much-improved fit and support. If the previous version disappointed, this latest has the franchise ably rediscovering its footing.

WATCH: Is this a fair or foul play? | Tennis Channel LivePrice: $140 (Purchase now at 13.6 oz. (men’s 10); 11.6 oz (women’s 8.5)Size Run: 6.5-15, 16 (men); 5-11 (women)Outsole Warranty: NoneWhat’s NewWhat WorksWhat Needs WorkBottom Line