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 Men's Running Shoe Nike Free RN Distance 827115-014 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 Nike Huarache Run Boys Grade School Black/Gym Red/White/Cool Grey Running Shoes V19895, 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 Nike Air Max 90 Girls Grade School Fuschia Flash/Fuchsia Glow/Key Lime/Fuchsia Flash Running Shoes V,Men's Running Shoe Nike Free RN Distance 827115-018Nike Roshe Run Flight Weight Girls Grade School Black/White/Hyper Pink Running Shoes V34789, 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.
Adidas D Rose 6 Mens Scarlet/White/Scarlet Basketball Shoes V74265,,Men's Running Shoe Nike LunarEpic Flyknit 818676-005Adidas Real Deal Mens Light Grey/Prime Blue/Red Zest Basketball Shoes V61134,,Adidas Energy Boost 2 Esm Mens Black/Zero Metallic/Solar Yellow Running Shoes V38629,Men's Running Shoe Nike LunarGlide 7 Flash 803566-400Adidas Supernova Boost Glide 7 Mens Grey/Metallic Silver/Flash Lime Running Shoes V56835,.
The original Ultra Boost is an extremely popular fashion sneaker, and new colorways are regularly sold out online and in store (check Portland's Men's Running Shoe Nike LunarEpic Flyknit 818676-102 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 Adidas Adissage Mens New Navy/White Slippers V66235,Men's Running Shoe Nike LunarTempo 2 818097-601Adidas Powerlift Trainer 2 Mens Vivid Yellow/Black/Metallic Silver Training Shoes V85579,.
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 Nike Air Max 90 Mens Bronze/Baroque Brown/Bamboo/Bronze Running Shoes V43064,Men's Sho eNike Cortez Ultra 833142-300Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 32 Mens Black/White/Black Running Shoes V33253, 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 Men's Shoe Air Jordan 14 Retro 487471-106. But on two particularly grueling days, the first, an hours-long punk show on wood and concrete floors, and the second, Nike Cortez Mens White/Metallic Silver/Black Running Shoes V92460,Men's Shoe Air Jordan 12 Retro 130690-617Nike Lunartempo 2 Mens Black/Anthracite/Black Running Shoes V13431,, 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 Men's Shoe Air Jordan 3 Retro OG 854262-106.
However, the ATR really shined when running outside on a blustery November evening. Nike Shox Nz Mens Black/Varsity Red/White Running Shoes V29322,Men's Shoe Jordan B. Fly 881444-007Adidas Adizero Boston Boost 5 Womens Super Solar Red/Black Running Shoes V80066,, 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 Adidas Solar Boost Womens Clean Onix/Crystal White/Halo Pink Running Shoes V44091,Men's Shoe Air Jordan 6 Retro 907961-015Adidas Barricade V Classic Womens Midnight Indigo/White/Silver Metallic Tennis Shoes V64554,. Maybe it was because the Old Town sign was extra-glittery that evening, but, Nike Air Max 1 Womens Black/Gum Medium Brown Running Shoes V19680,Men's Shoe Jordan Eclipse Chukka 881453-001Nike Air Max 2016 Womens White/Black Running Shoes V87019, as one wants when on a fairly intense run, I barely noticed the shoes on my feet as I jogged along the Willamette.Nike Classic Cortez Womens White/Black/White Running Shoes V89163,Men's Shoe Jordan Horizon Premium 822333-010Nike Fs Lite Run 2 Womens Black/Fuchsia Flash/White Running Shoes V18846, 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 Nike Roshe One Womens Midnight Navy/Tide Pool Blue/Midnight Navy Running Shoes V65400,Men's Shoe Jordan J23 854557-011Men's Nike Alpha Pro 2 TD White/Black/Black UK#N5-9404, 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. Men's Nike Air Max Tailwind 7 Black/Pure Platinum/Dark Magnet Grey/Metallic Silver UK#N5-8726,Men's Shoe Jordan Trainer ST 820253-003Nike Kids Roshe Run Print Prism Pink/Fuchsia Glow/Pink Foil/Tide Pool Blue UK#N5-9506, 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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