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 Men Adissage Slide - Black/White, 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 adidas NMD_R2 PK W (navy / blue), 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 Asics Gel-Lyte III Cellery (yellow),Adidas Men ACE 16.3 Primemesh IN - Solar Yellow/Silver Metallic/Core Black,Nike WMNS Air Max Thea Premium (black / white), 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.
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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 Originals Men Post Player Vulc - Black/White/Ray Yellow, 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 Mens Brooks Trail Running Shoes - PureGrit 3 - Red Item M0455,adidas Originals Men Top Ten Hi - Collegiate Burgundy/Scarlet/White,Mens Merrell Hiking Shoes - Phoenix Bluff Waterproof - Dark Brown Item M0596,.
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 Mens Merrell Trianers - Encore Slide Pro Grip Nubuck - Black Nubuck Item M0721,adidas Originals Men Tubular Runner - Black/White/Sun Glow,Mens New Balance Training Shoes - 1267 - Black Item M0878, 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 Originals Men Gazelle - Black/White/Metallic Old Gold,. But on two particularly grueling days, the first, an hours-long punk show on wood and concrete floors, and the second, Mens Nike Running Shoes - Flyknit Lunar 3 - Green/Grey Item M0980,Nike Men Air Huarache Run Ultra - Cool Grey/Black/White,Mens Nike Trianers - Air Pegasus '83 - Charcoal Item M1089,, 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 Nike Men Air Max Bw Og - Black/Persian Violet/White,.
However, the ATR really shined when running outside on a blustery November evening. Mens Saucony Running Shoes - Omni 14 - Black/Grey Item M1246,Nike Men Air Zoom Pegasus 32 - Racer Blue/Volt/Black,Mens Timberland Trianers - Chestnut Ridge 6" Insulated Waterproof - Black Item M1352,, 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.
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Now, is all of this worth the $220 price tag? If your running shoe or fashion sneaker budget is high, then Womens Nike Free 3.0 V5 Blue Shoe Store Wholesale,Nike Men Lunar Force - Black/Lt British Tan-Gold Dart-White,Womens Nike Free Run 4.0 V3 Grey Green Shoe Online Store, 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. Womens Nike Roshe Run Grey Blue White Running Shoe Buy Online,Nike Men Mercurial Pro Ic - Midnight Navy/Pink Blast/Racer Blue,Adidas La Trainer W Women Pink, 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.
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