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 Shoe Nike Air Presto Ultra Flyknit 835570-800 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 Supernova Boost Glide 7 Mens Collegiate Navy/White/Solar Yellow Running Shoes V46076, 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 Adidas Voloomix Mens Scarlet/White Slippers V74074,Men's Shoe Nike Air Zoom All Out Flyknit 844134-313Adidas Adizero Ubersonic Mens White/Collegiate Navy/Blue Tennis Shoes V90436, 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 Sprintstar Mens White/White/Green Track & Field Shoes V95219,,Men's Shoe Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 32 749340-800Nike Air Max Tavas Mens Black/White/Black Running Shoes V33209,,Nike Air Zoom Structure 19 Mens Bright Crimson/Volt/Voltage Green/Black Running Shoes V42014,Men's Shoe Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 32 N7 822783-043Nike Free 4.0 Flyknit 2015 Mens Blue Lagoon/Glacier Ice/Volt/Black Running Shoes V39849,.
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 Shoe Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 33 831352-004 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 Nike Lunartempo Mens Black/Sonic Yellow/Wolf Grey/Laser Orange Running Shoes V28895,Men's Shoe Nike Air Zoom Odyssey 749338-003Nike Zoom Vomero 11 Mens Black/White/Anthracite/Dark Grey Running Shoes V32885,.
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 Adidas Cosmic Boost Womens Black/White/Solar Blue Running Shoes V36315,Men's Shoe Nike Air Zoom Odyssey 749338-005Adidas Solar Boost Womens Clean Onix/Crystal White/Halo Pink Running Shoes V44091, 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 Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 92 844652-100. But on two particularly grueling days, the first, an hours-long punk show on wood and concrete floors, and the second, Adidas Gymbreaker Bounce Trainer Womens Shock Green/Halo Blue/Mineral Blue Training Shoes V74578,Men's Shoe Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 92 Premium 844654-002Nike Air Huarache Run Ultra Womens Bright Crimson/White Running Shoes V42045,, 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 Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 92 Premium 844654-400.
However, the ATR really shined when running outside on a blustery November evening. Nike Air Max Thea Womens Black/White Running Shoes V32320,Men's Shoe Nike Flex Experience RN 4 Premium 749174-018Nike Air Zoom Vomero 11 Womens Cool Grey/Black/Hyper Orange/Optical Yellow Running Shoes V46502,, 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 Free 4.0 Flyknit 2015 Womens Copa/Blue Lagoon/Grand Purple/Black Running Shoes V47957,Men's Shoe Nike Dunk Retro QS 850477-100Nike Lunaracer + 3 Womens Black/White/Hyper Orange/Vivid Purple Running Shoes V34657,. Maybe it was because the Old Town sign was extra-glittery that evening, but, Nike Zoom Elite 8 Womens Black/Volt/Pink Pow/Ghost Green Running Shoes V30269,Men's Shoe Nike FL-RUE 880994-001Men's Nike FS Lite Run 2 Dark Grey/White/Voltage Green UK#N5-9542, as one wants when on a fairly intense run, I barely noticed the shoes on my feet as I jogged along the Willamette.Nike Kids Roshe One Mid Winter GS Dark Grey/Deep Royal Blue/Anthracite/Dark Grey UK#N5-9032,Men's Shoe Nike Free Train Versatility 833258-410Nike Kids Downshifter 6 Clearwater/Blue Lagoon/Pink Pow/White UK#N5-9553, 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's Nike Juvenate Total Orange/White/Laser Orange UK#N5-9152,Men's Shoe Nike Free Train Instinct 833274-100The North Face Jester Backpack CP93, 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. Creative Recreation Junior Sawtell Hooded Top CP417,Men's Shoe Nike Hypershift 844369-011Kickers Infant Core Kick High Boot CP529, 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.
Nike Junior Flight Huarache Trainer CP655,Men's Shoe Nike Kwazi SE 861687-200adidas Originals Nursery Superstar 360 Trainer CP715,
(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.)