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 Zoom Vomero+ 8 Shoes Volt/Blue/White /Nike Jordan [ N1283] 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 Air Jordan 12 XII Retro MASTER BLACK GOLD 130690-013 Size 13 VNDS COND., 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 Air Jordan 4 Oreo With Receipt IV Retro Black Tech Grey Gray 314254-003 DS,Nike Zoom Elite+ 6 Shoes Lime/Blue /Nike Jordan [ N1067]New Nike Air Max Skylynx Sz 9 Mens 42.5 Boots Black Winter 844909-001 ACG 360, 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 Nike Zoom Kevin Durant 6 Basketball Shoes Black/Green /Nike Jordan [ N1122] 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 New balance Vazee Coast Men's Running Shoes Black COMUK:1381,Nike Zoom Hyperfuse Unisex Low Shoes Orange /Nike Jordan [ N371]Teva Terra Fi 4 Men's Walking Sandals Blue COMUK:1171,.
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 Asics Gel-Pulse 8 Men's Running Shoes Blue Black COMUK:1416,Nike Zoom Hyperfuse Unisex Low Shoes Black/ Lucky/Green /Nike Jordan [ N374]Merrell Chameleon Shift Gore-Tex Men's Walking Shoes Brown COMUK:8679, 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 Hyperfuse Unisex Low Shoes Red/ /Nike Jordan [ N377]. But on two particularly grueling days, the first, an hours-long punk show on wood and concrete floors, and the second, Asics Gel-Zaraca 3 Men's Running Shoes Green Black COMUK:2836,Nike Zoom Hyperdunk Unisex Low Shoes Blue/Orange/Gray /Nike Jordan [ N389]Adidas Kanadia 7 Tr Gtx Men's Running Shoes Green Blue Black COMUK:9291,, 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 Zoom Hyperfuse Unisex Shoes Black/Red/White /Nike Jordan [ N401].
However, the ATR really shined when running outside on a blustery November evening. Under-armour Armour Micro G Assert Men's Running Shoes Grey Green COMUK:6880,Nike Blazer Fluffy Unisex Shoes White /Nike Jordan [ N117]Adidas Climacool Voyager Men's Walking Shoes Orange Black COMUK:6941,, 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.
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Now, is all of this worth the $220 price tag? If your running shoe or fashion sneaker budget is high, then Discount Adidas Originals Climacool 1 Core Black Running Shoes for Men Online,Nike Air Max 90 Lover Unisex Couple Shoes Red Yellow /Nike Jordan [ N356]Discount Adidas Originals Tubular Shadow Knit Clear Brown Sneakers for Men Online Sale, 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. Discount Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Ox Midnight Navy Basketball Shoes for Men Sale,Nike Air Max 90 Hyperfuse Couple Unisex Shoes All Black /Nike Jordan [ N274]Discount Fila Original Fitness White Running Shoes for Men Online Sale, 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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