Adidas' Ultra Boost is one of the best sneakers on the market.
Since Kanye West's performed in an entirely white pair of the sneakers at the Billboard Music Awards back in 2015, the Ultra Boost has blurred the line between fashion and performance sneaker more than few others. It's understated silhouette, simple colorways and woven Primeknit upper makes it the most stylish performance running sneaker made in recent memory (especially when worn with track pants). Most importantly, of the dozens of pairs of shoes I've worn in the past couple years, the Ultra Boost is decidedly the most comfortable. The full length Boost foam-lined sole kinda looks like you're walking on styrofoam. It feels like you're walking on memory foam.
But the original low top iteration of the ADIDAS SWIFT RUN PRIME KNIT White-Grey running training sneakers new, retails at a hefty $180, in the upper price echelons of performance running shoes and certainly closer to luxury sneaker pricing than casual. Now, how would you feel if you added on an ankle sock and $40 to the price tag?
Well, Adidas did just that with the Womens Jordan Retro XIII "Flint" French Blue/University Blue-Flint Grey, released back in September of this year. Billed as a fall and winter weather-variant of the Ultra Boost, the ATR sports an ankle-height sock for increased stability and splash protection, plus a deeper-grooved rubber outsole for better traction while running in wet weather. The original's plastic lace cage is replaced with Primeknit fabric, plus a smaller box that sits atop the shoe. Finally, the ATR comes in darker colorways Women Adidas Originals Stan Smith Luxe W Trainers - Rubber - Ftwbla Ftwbla Noiess - 6327332ca,Adidas NEO VS Advantage [F99256] Men Casual Shoes White/Black-Blue,Women American College Animal W Trainers - Rubber - Leopard - 5699088qx, as to not show winter muck after a damp run. Adidas sent me a pair to review, so I took them not only to the damp streets of Portland, but to the streets of New York.
Women Ash Liu Trainers - Rubber - Nappa Wax Black Tejus Donez Black - 43916rd,,Adidas Originals EQT Support ADV Mens Retro Running Fitness Gym Trainers Black,Women Bensimon Tennis Lacets Trainers - Rubber - Carmin - 2141511zi,,Women Birkenstock Madrid Flor W Mules Clogs - Rubber - Vernis Blanc Ls Bleu Clair - 3867025ii,adidas Originals Swift Run Grey Men Running Shoes Sneakers Trainers CQ2109,Women Camper Together Together Willhelm 22050 Trainers - Rubber - Af.Cem Pasan Pau Siba Pau-pa-mie - 9999819kd,.
The original Ultra Boost is an extremely popular fashion sneaker, and new colorways are regularly sold out online and in store (check Portland's adidas Alphabounce RC M Black Grey Men Running Shoes Sneakers Trainers B42653, for rare pairs!). The ATR keeps the original's subdued aesthetics, but the midtop construction adds a new design element which I think makes the sneaker well-suited for styling with jeans as well as athleticwear Women Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Animal Ox W Trainers - Rubber - Gris Black - 8705149dr,adidas Originals Superstar OG men lifestyle sneakers NEW off white black CQ2475,Women Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Stream Color Ox W Trainers - Rubber - Rose Multi - 8219756tj,.
As for the on-foot feel, the ATR is comfortable, but not quite as comfortable as the original Ultra Boost. Though the ATR's tougher sole provides better traction than the original it leads to an on-foot feeling that isn't quite as heavenly.
Further, the shoe feels slightly tighter-fitting and more socklike than the original. The ankle sock doesn't overheat the foot, but when tied tight, the tops of my feet develop a pinchy feeling after a few hours that doesn't Women Dc Shoes Tonik W Tx Trainers - Rubber - Denim - 1054206ar,1711 adidas Dual Threat 2017 Men 's Basketball Shoes BB8377,Women El Naturalista Viajero Tennis No273 Trainers - Rubber - Lila - 7199863aj, when left untied (the laces don't reach the ground) or tied loosely.
As far as long-term wear goes, I took my ATRs to the streets of New York on a recent trip to test them out. They held up nicely during what I'd consider an everyday amount of activity (~2-3 miles of walking broken up with extended sitting breaks), my feet not getting particularly sore despite a long stroll through ADIDAS TERREX TRAILMAKER MEN 'S ATHLETIC SHOES SNEAKERS NEW (BB3358),. But on two particularly grueling days, the first, an hours-long punk show on wood and concrete floors, and the second, Women Esprit Starry Lace Up 045 Trainers - Rubber - Rose 692 - 7933499bp,Mens ADIDAS SUPERSTAR TRIPLE White Trainers BB0993,Women Georgia Rose Benedith High Heels - Synthetics - Camoscio Nero - 8682861up,, my dogs were certainly barkin' when I returned home. Though I don't consider those days representative of normal use, the ATR, despite above-average comfort, is not a miracle worker.
Now, what about actually running in my running shoes? I'm not a hardcore or regular runner: My cardiovascular health is slightly above average at best, but I can put away 5 kilometers without trouble, and I did just that on the treadmill and on Portland's waterfront.
On the treadmill, the ATR provided a solid, comfortable ride. Perhaps it is because running on a treadmill is excruciatingly boring, but I found myself paying more attention to my body during this run, and I noted that the ankle sock kept my feet feeling more secured than with my normal low top running shoe Adidas Men 's Sneakers Cloudfoam Lite Racer CF Shoes Grey Trainers Sports aw4027,.
However, the ATR really shined when running outside on a blustery November evening. Women Geox D Mariele Plat H F D34w8f High Heels - Rubber - Tobacco - 9646464pb,Adidas Men 's Shoes vlcourt Low Trainers Blue Trainers Leather Retro NEW B74457,Women Glerups Porter Gomme W Slippers - Rubber - Grey - 2384888nf,, partially down the Eastbank Esplanade and back on a damp day. It wasn't raining, but it had rained plenty earlier, and the path was slick and covered with fallen leaves.
And I just completely disappeared into my run Women Ipanema Metalic Iii Flip Flops - Rubber - Bronze Bronze - 2849447bs,1706 adidas Neo Cloudfoam Lite Racer Slip-On Men 's Sneakers Shoes AW4185,Women Kangaroos Invader Dots Trainers - Rubber - White - 1909133dr,. Maybe it was because the Old Town sign was extra-glittery that evening, but, Women L.K. Bennett Sandy Sandals - Leather - Taupe - 3736788hc,Adidas Originals ZX Flux ADV Asym S76378 Shoes Runners Joggers Breathable Mesh,Women Le Coq Sportif Racerone W Classic Trainers - Rubber - Black Ibis Rose - 4775224sy, as one wants when on a fairly intense run, I barely noticed the shoes on my feet as I jogged along the Willamette.Women Little Marcel Samba Uni Trainers - Rubber - Rose - 7562829qo,Shoes Online - Nmd R1 Original Boost Runner Primeknit "White Gum",Women Moon Boot Vinil Sport Shoes - Rubber - Black White - 3564099rf, I had no issues with tightness, and the traction was excellent along wet concrete and the ostensibly slick floating metal bridge of the Esplanade. The only thing I really noticed was a slight bounce between my foot and the sole as I ran.
Now, is all of this worth the $220 price tag? If your running shoe or fashion sneaker budget is high, then Women Nike Nike Roshe One Print W Trainers - Rubber - Court Purple White-ttl Crimson - 6822405jl,Shoes Online - 13 Retro Low "Metallic Silver",Women Nike Wmns Nike Free 3.0 Flyknit Sport Shoes - Rubber - Blackwhite-midnight Fog-volt - 1137425wb, nabs you a stylish, high-performing variant on a cool sneaker that'll help you push through Portland's blusteriest winter days. Yet, if you aren't committed to winter running, $220 is a high price to pay for a sneaker that mostly just looks cool. Women No Name Arcade Slip On Trainers - Rubber - Tiger Black Gold - 4644594rr,Shoes Online - Super Trimm OG "Total Eclipse",Women Palladium Baggy Cvs F Trainers - Rubber - Mud - 8504891tg, As someone who gets my cardio in elsewhere, I wouldn't personally spend the $220 on a performance shoe which I am not using for its intended purpose.
Then again, I will be taking my next few runs to the streets in my ATRs as long as it isn't raining sideways.
Women Pataugas Zurton Trainers - Crepe - Orange - 4772645gg,Shoes Online - Air Max 1 Premium SC "Jewel Swoosh",Women Reebok F S Hi Bling Trainers - Rubber - Collegiate Navy-black-steel-silver Met - 9888461to,
(Cool Stuff is a new feature at Willamette Week where we feature product reviews, roundups, sales and other commerce and shopping-oriented content. All Cool Stuff reviews are editorially independent, meaning we provide honest reviews and aren't paid by the brands we write about. If you do choose to purchase something after following one of our links, Willamette Week may receive a commission, which helps fund our journalism.)