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 Shopping 179413 Nike Free 5.0 V4 Women Grey Blue White Shoes 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 Men's Baseball Cleat Nike Zoom Trout 3 Turf 844628-410, 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 Men's Basketball Shoe PG1 878627-001,Authentic 196564 Nike Free Run Women Blue Pink ShoesMen's Firm-Ground Soccer Cleat Nike HyperVenom II Phinish NJR x Jordan FG 820122-106, 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 Buy 201634 Nike Free Run Women Light Blue Black Shoes 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 Men's Indoor/Court Soccer Shoe Nike MercurialX Proximo IC 718774-206,Cheap 178371 Nike Free Run 2 Women Black White ShoesMen's Running Shoe Nike Free 4.0 717988-064,.
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 Men's Running Shoe Nike LunarTempo 705461-001,Buy 153553 Nike Free Run 2 Women Gray Jade Fuchsia ShoesMen's Shoe Jordan Heritage 886312-003, 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 Authentic 220938 Nike Free Run 3 Women Yellow Grey White Shoes. But on two particularly grueling days, the first, an hours-long punk show on wood and concrete floors, and the second, Men's Shoe Nike Air Force 1 Ultra Flyknit 817420-001,Comfortable 153061 Nike Free Run 3 Women Grey White ShoesMen's Shoe Nike Air Max 2016 Print 818135-800,, 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 Shopping 241624 Nike Free Run 3 Women Grey Pink White Shoes.
However, the ATR really shined when running outside on a blustery November evening. Men's Shoe Nike Air Presto Mid Utility 859524-003,Discount 243217 Nike Hyperdunk Women Red Blue ShoesMen's Shoe Nike Cortez Ultra BR 833128-800,, 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 Men's Shoe Nike Flyknit Lunar 3 698181-405,Inexpensive 151737 Nike Free Tr Fit Women Grey Blue White ShoesMen's Shoe Nike LunarCharge Premium 923281-014,. Maybe it was because the Old Town sign was extra-glittery that evening, but, Men's Shoe Nike Roshe Two 844656-400,Authentic 157363 Nike Lunareclipse 2 Women Purple White Green ShoesMen's Shoe Nike Zoom All Out Low 878670-301, as one wants when on a fairly intense run, I barely noticed the shoes on my feet as I jogged along the Willamette.Men's Training Shoe Nike Free Trainer 3.0 V4 749361-075,Authentic 159363 Nike Free 5.0 Women Green Light Green ShoesMen's Training Shoe Nike Zoom Train Complete 882119-001, 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 AIR MAX PLUS Black/Team Orange/Anthracite/Wolf Grey,Shopping 168818 Nike Lunarelite 2 Women Grey Orange Black ShoesNike Air Zoom Streak 5 Unisex Running Shoe (Men's Sizing) 641318-308, 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 FREE 4.0 FLYKNIT Black/Dark Grey/White,Comfortable 178395 Nike Lunarswift 2 Women Purple Black ShoesNIKE LUNARGLIDE 6 Blue Lagoon/Tide Pool Blue/Dark Obsidian/Black, 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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