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 Zoom Mercurial Flyknit 844626-101 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 Nike Flyknit Lunar 3 Mens Black/Metallic Pewter/Anthracite/Barely Green Running Shoes V21865, 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 Nike Free 5.0 2015 Mens Pure Platinum/Wolf Grey/Cool Grey/Black Running Shoes V70495,Men's Shoe NikeCourt Air Zoom Ultra 845007-006Nike Roshe One Mens White/White Running Shoes V95010, 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.
Nike Zoom Elite 8 Mens White/Dark Grey/Black/Pure Platinum Running Shoes V90885,,Men's Shoe Nike Zoom Mercurial Flyknit 852616-001Adidas Energy Boost Reveal Womens Black/Neon Pink Running Shoes V23088,,Adidas Ultra Boost Womens Sun Glow/Solid Grey/Purple Glow Running Shoes V79681,Men's Shoe Nike Zoom Train Incredibly Fast 844803-001Adidas Ace 16.1 Primemesh Fg/Ag Womens White/Solar Gold/Black Soccer Shoes V94342,.
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 NikeCourt Zoom Cage 2 705247-840 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 Air Max 1 Ultra Womens Dark Purple Dust/Ocean Fog/Blue/Crimson/White Running Shoes V51557,Men's Shoe Nike Zoom Train Incredibly Fast 844803-400Nike Air Max 90 Ultra Womens White/Wolf Grey/Metallic Silver/White Running Shoes V96721,.
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 Air Zoom Structure 19 Womens Anthracite/Hyper Orange/Chalk Blue/Sail Running Shoes V10973,Men's Soft-Ground Soccer Cleat Nike Tiempo Legend VI SG-PRO 819680-010Nike Free 4.0 Flyknit 2015 Womens Blue Grey/Sail/Voltage Green/Black Running Shoes V39487, 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 NikeLab ACG Lupinek Flyknit Low SFB 853954-002. But on two particularly grueling days, the first, an hours-long punk show on wood and concrete floors, and the second, Nike Free 5.0 2015 Womens White/Black Running Shoes V87071,Men's shoes Nike Tiempo Legend VI SG-PRO 819680-307Nike Zoom Fly 2 Womens Black/Cool Blue/White Running Shoes V15002,, 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 Training Shoe Nike Air Max Full Ride TR 1.5 869633-011.
However, the ATR really shined when running outside on a blustery November evening. Men's Nike Free 5.0 Print Pure Platinum/Hot Lava/Black UK#N5-9184,Men's Training Shoe Nike Lunar Caldra 803879-013Men's Nike Free Trainer 3.0 V3 Blue Graphite/Pure Platinum/White/White UK#N5-9403,, 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 Kids Flex Experience 4 Print Prism Pink/Fuchsia Glow/Pink Foil/Tide Pool Blue UK#N5-9505,MEN'S TRAINING SHOE NIKE METCON 1 704688-017Nike Kids Air Max Invigor Black/White UK#N5-9582,. Maybe it was because the Old Town sign was extra-glittery that evening, but, Women's Nike Free 5.0 Flash Black/Cool Grey/Pure Platinum/Reflect Silver UK#N5-9063,Men's Training Shoe Nike Lunar Caldra 803879-007Mitchell & Ness Two Tone Label Snapback CP229, as one wants when on a fairly intense run, I barely noticed the shoes on my feet as I jogged along the Willamette.Creative Recreation Infant Kaplan Trainer CP507,Men's Training Shoe Nike Train Quick 844406-038Women's Nike Zoom Fit 2 Chalk Blue/Ghost Green/Racer Blue/White UK#N5-9555, 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 Junior Stefan Janoski Trainer CP661,Men's Training Shoe Nike Metcon 3 852928-001Converse Nursery Chuck Taylor All Star Ox Trainer CP738, 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. Foray Blaze Regular Jean CP841,Men's Training Shoe Nike Zoom Train Complete 882119-400Antony Morato Metal Badge Hooded Top CP962, 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.
Creative Recreation Wilmington Lounge Hoodie CP1021,Nike Air Force 1 07 LV8 University Black/Gum Light Brown/BlackOriginal Penguin Maple Hooded Top CP1139,
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