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 Women's Cole Haan Abbot Bootie Stormcloud Suede Boots (Black) - 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 Women's Sam Edelman Okala Black Leather Heels (Black Leather) -, 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's Saucony Originals Bullet Navy/White Sneakers (Black/Silv,Women's Cobb Hill RevChi Black Flats (Black) - OR218N31EWomen's Seychelles Snare Silver Metallic Suede Boots (Black) - L, 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's Sofft Alexie Sandals (Black M-Vege) - RN996K36Y,,Women's Cobb Hill Bethany Grey Boots (Black) - PA242P38HWomen's SoftWalk Ivanhoe Boots (Black Tumbled Leather) - NR797C7,,Women's Spring Step Dezi Flats (Blue) - OV522K51R,Women's Cole Haan Catalina Wedge Black Patent Heels (Black PatenWomen's Steve Madden Stecy Black Heels (Black) - GJ906O19Q,.
The original Ultra Boost is an extremely popular fashion sneaker, and new colorways are regularly sold out online and in store (check Portland's Women's Cobb Hill Sasha Black Heels (Black) - NO630A69B 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's Superga 2750 Cotu Classic Blue Velvet Sneakers (Blue Vel,Women's Cole Haan Juliana Pump 45 Blazer Blue/Silver Metallic HeWomen's THERAFIT Sienna Sneakers (Black) - HG074J14P,.
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's TOMS Alpargata Open Toe Flats (Black Metallic Linen) - M,Women's Cole Haan Juliana Pump 75 Black Leather Heels (Beige CroWomen's Trotters Simmy Black Veg Tumbled Leather Flats (Black Ve, 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 Women's Cole Haan Juliana Pump 75 Black Patent Heels (Beige Croc. But on two particularly grueling days, the first, an hours-long punk show on wood and concrete floors, and the second, Women's Vince Camuto Ellen Black Lamb Flats (Bisque Patent) - WU,Women's Cordani Daylee Sandals (Black Suede) - OG403Y74YWomen's VOLATILE Kittery Sandals (Black) - ZT181R32Z,, 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 Women's Cole Haan Tali Lux Wedge Heels (Black Patent) - XT116I92.
However, the ATR really shined when running outside on a blustery November evening. Adidas EQT Racing OG W (O20s3693) - Ftw White/Cblack - Adidas Women Shoes Online,Women's Dan Post Cha-Cha Boots (Brown) - HH539W48NAir Jordan 5 (G16s3671) - White/Infrared 23/Light Poison Green - Jordan Women Shoes Online,, 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 Nike Air Max 95 (Z59c8535) - White Pure Platinum - Nike Women Shoes Online,Women's Crocs Sienna Flat Flats (Black) - HF153U08INike W Roshe One DMB (K10v5044) - Red/Red/Red - Nike Women Shoes Online,. Maybe it was because the Old Town sign was extra-glittery that evening, but, Nike Juvenate Woven Premium (A58f1538) - Pink Blast/Orange Total Crimson - Nike Women Shoes Online,Women's Dan Post Happily Ever After Boots (White) - BB091W21NNike Juvenate (X79m5221) - Oatmeal/Linen White - Nike Women Shoes Online, as one wants when on a fairly intense run, I barely noticed the shoes on my feet as I jogged along the Willamette.Puma Basket Platform Reset (A92m8613) - Black - Puma Women Shoes Online,Women's Cycleur de Luxe Navan Sneakers (Light Grey) - HJ934G10UUa Curry 1 Under Armour Curry 1 Low Friends And Family Xxl Buy Discount New Ua Curry One Women At Lo, 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 Air Jordan 13 Sneakers Air Jordan 11 Xi Retro Bred Air Jordan 11 Xi Women Air Jordan 13 Air Jordan W,Women's Dansko Reggie Heels (Black Milled Nubuck) - XV372L82QAir Jordan 5 Men Women Air Jordan 5 Retro Ls Jordan 5 V Retro 70 Off Lowest Price On Jordan 5 V Retr, 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. Air Jordan 6 Kids Authentic Womens Air Jordan 6 For Sale Jordans 9 Air Jordan 9 Air Jordan Retro 9 A,Women's David Tate Petal Black Heels (Black) - JP189B75PNew Balance 373 Men Women New Balance 373 Find New Balance 373 Womens Burgundy New Balance 373 Suede, 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.
New Balance 574 Men Women Shoes By New Balance From Destination Xl Ended New Balance 574 Style Stori,Women's David Tate Palm Black Heels (Black) - VH638D95HNew Balance 576 Men Women Gorgeous New Balance 576 Series Zero Profit Balance 576 Sale Up To 70 Off,
(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.)