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 Nike Shoe Air Max TR180 AMP 723973-007, 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 Pretty Green Forthsea Paisley Track Top CP3588, 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 Havaianas Brasil Flip Flop CP3845,Men's Nike Shoe LeBron XIII Elite 831923-606,adidas Originals Gazelle Indoor Trainer CP3953, 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.
adidas Originals Hamburg Freizeit Trainer CP4100,,Men's Running Shoe Nike Air Zoom Odyssey 749338-607,Asics Gel-Lyte V Trainer CP4226,,Creative Recreation Cesario Low XVI Canvas Trainer CP4334,MEN'S RUNNING SHOE NIKE LUNARGLIDE 7 747355-700,Hugo Boss Spacito Trainer CP4480,.
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 Air Jordan 4 Retro 308497-032, 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 Stefan Janoski Premium SE Trainer CP4647,Men's Shoe Jordan Galaxy 820255-010,Nike Roshe NM 'Fleece Pack' Trainer CP4735,.
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 Puma Basket Trainer CP4916,Men's Shoe Nike Air Huarache Premium 704830-007,Supra Hammer Run Trainer CP5023, 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 Nike Air Max 90 Ultra Essential 819474-402,. But on two particularly grueling days, the first, an hours-long punk show on wood and concrete floors, and the second, Flossy Womens Plimsole CP5190,Men's Shoe Nike Air Presto Ultra Flyknit 835570-006,Womens Shoes adidas Essence Stabil White/Tech Metallic/Cinder,, 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 Shoe Nike Aptare SE 881988-300,.
However, the ATR really shined when running outside on a blustery November evening. Womens Shoes adidas Running Kanadia TR 7 Night Flash/Black/Light Flash Purple,Men's Shoe Nike Free Train Versatility 833258-806,Womens Sandals Aerosoles A2 by Aerosoles Photo Plush Gold Metallic,, 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 Womens Shoes Aerosoles A2 by Aerosoles Rock Solid Black Fabric,Men's Shoe Nike LunarEpic Low Flyknit 843764-002,Womens Boots ALDO Allisson Black Nubuck,. Maybe it was because the Old Town sign was extra-glittery that evening, but, Womens Shoes ALDO Newbrook Champagne,Men's Shoe Nike Roshe Two Flyknit 365 859535-700,Womens Sandals Anne Klein Cailina Black/Black Fabric, as one wants when on a fairly intense run, I barely noticed the shoes on my feet as I jogged along the Willamette.Womens Shoes Anne Klein Tapio Black Multi Synthetic,Men's Shoe Nike Air Huarache Ultra 819685-011,Womens Shoes Badgley Mischka Amanda Ivory Satin, 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 Womens Sandals C Label Cider-4 Gold/Brown,Men's Training Shoe Nike Free Trainer 3.0 V4 749361-601,Womens Sandals Calvin Klein Babel Deep Coral Nubuck, 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. Womens Shoes Calvin Klein Lanai Black Scuba/Patent,MEN'S TRAINING SHOE NIKE ZOOM HYPERCROSS TR2 749362-610,Womens Shoes Calvin Klein Karmen Indigo Haircalf/Leather, 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.
Womens Sandals CARLOS by Carlos Santana Kelly Brulee,NIKE AIR MAX 2015 Black/White/Summit White/Reflect Silver,Womens Boots Clarks Tempt Althea Black Leather,
(Cool Stuff is a new feature at Willamette Week where we feature product reviews, roundups, sales and other commerce and shopping-oriented content. All Cool Stuff reviews are editorially independent, meaning we provide honest reviews and aren't paid by the brands we write about. If you do choose to purchase something after following one of our links, Willamette Week may receive a commission, which helps fund our journalism.)