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 REVOLUTION SKY HI Black/Clearwater/White/Metallic Silve 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 Response Boost Womens Clear Sky/White Running Shoes V45342, 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 Adilette Supercloud Plus Womens Black/Mineral Blue/White Slippers V22672,NIKE AIR ZOOM PEGASUS 31 Black/Clearwater/White/Blue LagoonAdidas Volley Response Boost Womens Black/Silver Metallic/Power Red Volleyball Shoes V26795, 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 Max Tailwind 8 Womens Racer Blue/Chalk Blue/Hyper Orange/Black Running Shoes V70883,,NIKE AIR TECH CHALLENGE II White/Liquid Lime/BlackNike Air Max 90 Womens Black/White Running Shoes V32298,,Nike Flex Fury 2 Womens Black/Wolf Grey/Dark Grey/White Running Shoes V37950,Nike Air Max Zero Unisex Shoe 789695-004Nike Free Rn Distance Womens Black/White/Grey Running Shoes V34611,.
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 ZOOM PEGASUS 31 Titanium/Total Orange/Bright Citrus 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 Roshe One Womens Black/White Running Shoes V32483,NIKE DUNK SB LOW PREMIUM FT Black/Midnight Navy/Metallic Gold/WhMen's Nike Tiempo Rio III IC Light Crimson/Total Crimson/Metallic Silver UK#N5-9520,.
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 Max Bw Ultra Mens Midnight Navy/Hyper Cobalt/Midnight Navy Running Shoes V65111,NIKE AIR ZOOM STRUCTURE 18 Bright Crimson/Black/Blue Lagoon/TotaMen's Nike Free Trainer 3.0 V4 Black/University Red/Volt/Team Red UK#N5-9234, 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 DUAL FUSION BALLISTEC ADVANTAGE Hyper Crimson/Dusty Cactus/White/Hyper Crimson. But on two particularly grueling days, the first, an hours-long punk show on wood and concrete floors, and the second, Nike Classic Cortez Womens Loyal Blue/White Running Shoes V62458,Nike Flyknit Racer Unisex Running Shoe (Men's Sizing) 526628-008Nike Kids Hyperdunk 2015 Black/University Red/Metallic Silver UK#N5-9121,, 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 FLYKNIT AIR MAX TOTAL ORANGE/BLACK-VOLT-FRBRRY.
However, the ATR really shined when running outside on a blustery November evening. Women's Nike Free 5.0 TR Fit 5 MTLC Black/Purple UK#N5-8950,NIKE FREE 1.0 CROSS BIONIC Polar/White/Pink PowHype Speckle Backpack CP69,, 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 Creative Recreation Junior Ridge Puffer Parka Jacket CP421,Nike Flyknit Racer Unisex Running Shoe (Men's Sizing) 526628-800Kickers Infant Core Kick High Boot CP529,. Maybe it was because the Old Town sign was extra-glittery that evening, but, Nike Junior Roshe Run Trainer CP644,NIKE FREE 4.0 FLYKNIT Black/Dark Grey/Whiteadidas Originals Nursery ZX Flux Trainer CP701, as one wants when on a fairly intense run, I barely noticed the shoes on my feet as I jogged along the Willamette.Kickers Nursery Kick High Core Boot CP780,NIKE FREE SOCFLY Bright Citrus/Total Orange/Anthracite/Light RetroOnly & Sons Warp 3082 Skinny Ripped Jean CP908, 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 Creative Recreation Reese Full Zip Hooded Top CP1009,NIKE INTERNATIONALIST Blue Force/Ice Blue/Black/WhiteJack & Jones Rider Raised Print Hooded Top CP1089, 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. Under Armour Stom Fleece Overhead Hooded Top CP1176,NIKE FREE TRAINER 5.0 Blue Lagoon/Black/Bright Crimson/WhiteAsylum Truma Borg Lined Jacket CP1222, 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.
EA7 Golf Light Jacket CP1351,NIKE LUNARGLIDE 6 White/Volt/Liquid Lime/BlackJack & Jones Violin Fur Trim Puffer Jacket CP1420,
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