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 Cheep Hermes Shoes Men VGF0345, 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 NFL Pittsburgh Steelers Limited Jersey (Ben Roethlisberger) 477312-750 University Gold/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 NFL St. Louis Rams Game Jersey (Tavon Austin) 468968-429 College Navy/Club Gold/White,Cheep Mcm Shoes Men VGF2761,Nike "TNNS" Dri-FIT 611793-385 Bleached Turquoise/Bleached Turquoise, 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 Cheep Nike Air Max 87 Tape Shoes Men VGF3175, 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 Disruption Long-Sleeve (Connecticut) 00030931X-UC1 Navy,Cheep Nike Air Max 90 Shoes Men VGF3072,Nike Dri-FIT Sprint Full-Zip 596241-427 Rift Blue/Space Blue,.
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 Dri-FIT Wool Crew 553678-017 Dark Magnet Grey/Dark Magnet Grey,Cheep Nike Lebron James Sneaker Shoes Men VGF2954,Nike Elite Wing 645079-702 Volt/Black/White/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 Cheep Nike Lebron James Sneaker Shoes Men VGF3207,. But on two particularly grueling days, the first, an hours-long punk show on wood and concrete floors, and the second, Nike Fly Warp (NFL Dolphins) 614258-311 Turbo Green/Orange Horizon,Cheep Philipp Plein Shoes Men VGF3265,Nike Futura City (Boston) 777859-100 White,, 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 Cheep Philipp Plein Shoes Men VGF3367,.
However, the ATR really shined when running outside on a blustery November evening. Nike Innovation Color Block 620079-021 Dark Grey/Anthracite/Volt/Metallic Silver,Cheep Philipp Plein Shoes Men VGF3432,Nike KO Chainmaille Pullover 597790-691 Fuchsia Force/Deep Garnet/Deep Garnet,, 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 Legend Icon (NFL Dolphins) 605898-311 Turbo Green/Carbon Heather,Cheep Philipp Plein Shoes Men VGF3496,Nike Lightweight Innovation Color 585820-026 Dark Grey/Laser Crimson/Anthracite/Metallic Silver,. Maybe it was because the Old Town sign was extra-glittery that evening, but, Nike Player (NFL Packers / Aaron Rodgers) 810760-323 Fir,Cheep Philipp Plein Shoes Men VGF3522,Nike Pro Combat 6" Hypercool Compression 636159-088 Dove Grey/Total Orange/Total Orange, as one wants when on a fairly intense run, I barely noticed the shoes on my feet as I jogged along the Willamette.Nike Pro Combat Hypercool 659873-010 Black/Cool Grey/White,Cheep Philipp Plein Shoes Men VGF3639,Nike Pro Combat Hyperwarm Fitted Shield Max (NFL Cardinals) 608056-673 Tough Red/Black/White, 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 Reflective Long-Sleeve (NFL Seahawks) 554052-063 Dark Grey Heather,Cheep Philipp Plein Shoes Men VGF3664,Nike Air Foamposite One PRM Medium Olive Velvet Brown, 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 Air Force 1 Low Supreme TZ YOTD Year Of The Dragon Black White,Air Jordan 1 (I) Retro Mid WB White/True Red-Light Silver-Black,Nike Air Jordan 2 II Retro Low White Varsity Red, 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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