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 Nike Fs Lite Run 2 Mens Dark Magnet Grey/White/Black Running Shoes V51308, 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 Boots GUESS Cariss Brown Suede, 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 Womens Shoes GUESS Hotspot Red,Nike Zoom Structure 18 Mens Total Orange/Voltage Green/Ghost Green/Black Running Shoes V81578,Womens Boots Naturalizer Ballona Wide Shaft Brown Wide Shaft Smooth, 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.
Womens Shoes Naturalizer Mozart Black Leather,,Adidas Pure Boost Womens Grey/Grey/Clear Brown Running Shoes V56778,Womens Shoes New Balance WC1296 Yellow,,Womens Shoes New Balance Vazee Rush Purple/White 1,Adidas Adizero Ubersonic Womens Power Red/Solar Red Tennis Shoes V69446,Womens Shoes Nike Flex 2015 RUN Black/Hot Lava/White,.
The original Ultra Boost is an extremely popular fashion sneaker, and new colorways are regularly sold out online and in store (check Portland's Nike Air Max 1 Ultra Womens Summit White/University Red/White Running Shoes V79524, 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 Womens Shoes Nike Lunar Lux TR Stealth/Pure Platinum/Wolf Grey/Pink Pow,Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 32 Flash Womens Black/Pure Platinum/Cool Grey/Reflective Silver Running Shoes,Womens Boots PATRIZIA Insightful Dark Brown,.
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 Womens Shoes PATRIZIA Reilly Black,Nike Fs Lite Run 3 Womens Wolf Grey/Dark Grey/White/Hyper Pink Running Shoes V97736,Womens Shoes PUMA Ignite XT Core Purple Cactus Flower/Periscope/White, 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 Nike Zoom Fly 2 Womens Cool Grey/Lucid Green/Voltage Green Running Shoes V47111,. But on two particularly grueling days, the first, an hours-long punk show on wood and concrete floors, and the second, Womens Boots Rocket Dog Venise Chestnut Hush,Nike Flex Experience Run 4 Womens Bright Crimson/Atomic Pink/White/White Running Shoes V41790,Womens Boots Sam Edelman Mackay Black,, 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 Kids Jr Mercurial Victory Firm Ground Soccer Blue/Lagoon/White UK#N5-9308,.
However, the ATR really shined when running outside on a blustery November evening. Womens Sandals Sam Edelman Gene Black Vaquero Saddle Leather,Women's Nike Air Max Siren Print Pure Platinum/White/Metallic Silver UK#N5-9293,Womens Shoes Saucony Spitfire Green/Citron,, 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 Womens Shoes Superga 2210 LINW Lt Grey,New Balance Mellow Backpack CP71,Womens Boots UGG Sumner Grey,. Maybe it was because the Old Town sign was extra-glittery that evening, but, Womens Boots UGG Cassidee Chestnut,Creative Recreation Infant Kaplan Trainer CP501,Womens Shoes UGG Dempsey Cream Nubuck, as one wants when on a fairly intense run, I barely noticed the shoes on my feet as I jogged along the Willamette.Womens Sandals Vaneli Berdine Multi Fushia Blix Squama/Clear Vinyl,Kickers Junior Kick Low Core Shoe CP616,Womens Shoes Vaneli Maxy Grey, 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 Womens Shoes Vaneli Adella Taupe E-Print/Matching Elastic,Creative Recreation Nursery Cesario Low Ripstop Trainer CP751,Women's Running Climachill Short, 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. Active Forever Women’s Cover Up,Only & Sons Warp 3079 Skinny Ripped Jean CP907,Women’s AOP Hoodie, 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.
Men's White Mountaineering Tights,Criminal Damage Gatsby Overhead Hooded Top CP1027,Nike Epic Lux,
(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.)