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 Air Max 90 EM Gradient Blue Yellow Mens Mesh Trainers 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 Jordan AJIV Stencil 642586-405 Light Retro/Black/Black, 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 Jordan Flight Woven 642245-687 Gym Red/Black/Black,Nike Air Max 90 EM Mens Mesh Trainers Sapphire Blue/White/Silver/BlackJordan S. Flight OD 632039-010 Black/Black, 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.
KD AS 717313-100 White/Court Purple,,Nike Air Max 90 Engineered Mesh (EM) Black/Pine/Green/Volt Mens Training ShoesLeBron "Striv2 for Greatn3ss" 745251-677 Team Red,,NFL Atlanta Falcons Limited Jersey (Julio Jones) 468912-690 Gym Red/Black/White,Nike Air Max 90 Black/Yellow/White Mens Training ShoesNFL Cincinnati Bengals Game Jersey (Jermaine Gresham) 468948-014 Black/White/Brilliant Orange,.
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 90 Essential Mens All Black Nubuck Leather Winter Trainers 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 NFL Detroit Lions Elite Jersey (Calvin Johnson) 468890-484 Battle Blue,Nike Air Max 90 Hyp Premium Mens Mesh Training Shoes White/Navy Blue/RedNFL Kansas City Chiefs Game Jersey (Dwayne Bowe) 479390-104 White,.
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 NFL New York Giants Limited Jersey (Jason Pierre-Paul) 479185-103 White,Nike Air Max 90 Glow in the Dark Mens Training Shoes Acid BlueNFL Pittsburgh Steelers Game Jersey (Troy Polamalu) 726288-020 Black, 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 Air Max 90 Hyperfuse Independence Day Black/Volt/Blue/Light Green Mens Mesh Trainers. But on two particularly grueling days, the first, an hours-long punk show on wood and concrete floors, and the second, NFL Seattle Seahawks Limited Jersey (Fan) 479221-054 Wolf Grey/Fan,Nike Air Max 90 Hyperfuse Premium Volt Yellow Black Blue White Mesh Mens TrainersNike "Every Damn Dunk" 589479-010 Black/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 Air Max 90 Hyperfuse Independence Day NFL Black Silver White Mens Shoes.
However, the ATR really shined when running outside on a blustery November evening. Nike 7" Gladiator Premier Printed 645037-010 Black/White,Nike Air Max 90 Jacquard White Dark Grey Black Infrared Red Mens Running ShoesNike 9" Court Graphic 645053-010 Black/Black/White/White,, 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 Advantage Graphic 633178-121 Ivory/Light Magnet Grey/Cool Grey,Nike Air Max 90 Lunar C3.0 White Tribal Green Atomic Teal Blue Black Yellow Mens Mesh TrainersNike Air AF1 Print 645161-494 Blue Graphite/Black/Black,. Maybe it was because the Old Town sign was extra-glittery that evening, but, Nike Bonded Dot Futura 644186-063 Dark Grey Heather/Black,Nike Air Max 90 Premium Infrared Black White Red Mens TrainersNike College Basketball Performance Fleece FZ (Connecticut) 00030274X-UC1 College Navy, as one wants when on a fairly intense run, I barely noticed the shoes on my feet as I jogged along the Willamette.Nike Crossover Raglan 607798-104 White/University Red,Nike Mens Air Max 90 Hyperfuse Premium Black/Silver/Volt/White Mesh Training ShoesNike Diamond Quest Elite (Oklahoma) 00032408X-OK1 Team Crimson, 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 Dri-FIT Knit Novelty Crew 619953-328 Rough Green,Nike Mens Air Max 90 Engineered Mesh (EM) Prussian Blue/UC Davis Blue/White/Gym Red Training ShoesNike Dri-FIT Touch Long-Sleeve 644371-100 White/Pure Platinum/Heather/Cool Grey, 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. Nike Dri-FIT Touch Tailwind Striped 596198-021 Dark Grey/Black,Nike Mens Air Max 90 Premium White Red Wine Red Mesh TrainersNike Elite Wing 645079-401 Clearwater/Total Orange/White/White, 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 Field General 623426-313 Action Green/Dark Grey Heather,Nike Roshe Run 2014 Summer Photo Blue White Black Mens ShoesNike Football Fly XL 3.0 639877-068 Cool Grey/Volt/Volt,
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