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 AIR MAX 90 ESSENTIAL Villain Red/Champagne/Pink Pow/White 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 Adidas Pure Boost Womens White/Soft Pink/Cear Grey/City Blur Running Shoes V94329, 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 Adidas Springblade Ignite Womens Solar Pink/Silver Metallic/Black Running Shoes V77632,NIKE AIR MAX PLUS Black/White/Challenge RedAdidas Anyanda Flex Womens Solid Grey/Raw Purple/Clear Onix Slippers V78764, 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 Air Huarache Womens Black Running Shoes V12710,,NIKE AIR MAX 95 Black/Tour Yellow/Anthracite/Cool GreyNike Air Max 1 Ultra Womens Brigade Blue/Blue/Squadron Blue/Platinum Running Shoes V41227,,Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 32 Womens Black/Pure Platinum/White Running Shoes V24549,NIKE AIR MAX 90 ULTRA BREATHE White/Hot Lava/Sunset GlowNike Air Max Tavas Mens Dark Grey/Total Orange/Wolf Grey/White Running Shoes V50719,.
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 AIR MAX 2015 White/Black/Bright Crimson 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 Free 5.0 2015 Womens Bright Citrus/Hot Lava/Black Running Shoes V41579,NIKE AIR ZOOM PEGASUS 31 Classic Charcoal/Green Glow/MentaNike Shox Nz Womens Black/Dark Grey/Pink Blast/Pink Blast Running Shoes V17476,.
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 Nike Lunar Code Pro 3/4 D Black/Anthracite/Metallic Silver UK#N5-9631,NIKE AIR MAX THEA PRINT Black/Bright Magenta/Red Violet/WhiteMen's Nike FS Lite Run 2 Dark Grey/White/Voltage Green UK#N5-9542, 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 Air Presto Unisex Shoe (Men's Sizing) 789870-413. But on two particularly grueling days, the first, an hours-long punk show on wood and concrete floors, and the second, Men's Nike SB Satire Canvas Premium Black/White/Gum Light Brown/Black UK#N5-9452,NIKE AIR ZOOM PEGASUS 31 Hyper Cobalt/Volt/BlackNike Kids Flex Fury Pink Pow/Liquid Lime/White/Vivid Pink UK#N5-9333,, 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 AIR ZOOM PEGASUS 31 Vapor Green/White/Flash Lime/Black.
However, the ATR really shined when running outside on a blustery November evening. Nike Air Zoom Structure 19 Flash Womens Black/Cool Grey/Pure Platinum/Reflective Silver Running Shoe,NIKE AIR ZOOM PEGASUS 31 White/Clearwater/Antarctica/Blackadidas Originals Gym Sack CP14,, 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 Sneaky Shoe Trees CP353,NIKE FINGERTRAP MAX FREE Black/Metallic Silver/Hyper CrimsonConverse Infant Chuck Taylor All Star High Trainer CP480,. Maybe it was because the Old Town sign was extra-glittery that evening, but, Women's Nike Zoom Fit 2 Chalk Blue/Ghost Green/Racer Blue/White UK#N5-9555,NIKE FLYKNIT AIR MAX BLUE LAGOON/BLACK-BRGHT CRMSNNike Junior Air Force 1 Trainer CP651, as one wants when on a fairly intense run, I barely noticed the shoes on my feet as I jogged along the Willamette.Converse Nursery Chuck Taylor All Star 2V Ox Trainer CP749,NIKE AIR MAX 2015 Black/Volt/Hyper Jade/WhiteDuck & Cover Boxren Regular Tapered Jean CP839, 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 adidas Originals Original Trefoil Hooded Top CP949,Nike Flyknit Racer Unisex Running Shoe (Men's Sizing) 526628-800Criminal Damage Space Long Hooded Top CP1028, 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. Religion Tokyo Sleeveless Hooded Top CP1146,NIKE FREE 4.0 Fuchsia Flash/White/Ice Cube BlueCreative Recreation Garfield Skinny Jean CP834, 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.
Brave Soul Flyermac Longline Bomber Jacket CP1280,NIKE INTERNATIONALIST Black/Dark Grey/Black/WhiteEllesse Messier Outdoor Tech Jacket CP1368,
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