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 Victory XC 3 Unisex Track Shoe 654693-034 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 Max 90 Womens White/Metallic Silver/White Running Shoes V92677, 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 Flex Fury Womens Vivid Purple/Copa/Blue Lagoon/Black Running Shoes V84979,NIKE SB STEFAN JANOSKI MAX Black/Wolf Grey/Flash Lime/Wolf GreyNike Free 4.0 Flyknit 2015 Womens Blue Grey/Sail/Voltage Green/Black Running Shoes V39487, 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 Juvenate Womens Solar/White/Deep Royal Blue Running Shoes V78702,,NIKE ZOOM CAGE 2 Pink Pow/Classic Charcoal/WhiteNike Zoom Terra Kiger 3 Womens Cool Grey/Anthracite/Ghost Green/Black Running Shoes V46397,,Men's Nike Alpha Strike 2 TD Metallic Silver/White UK#N5-9416,NIKE SB STEFAN JANOSKI MAX SUEDE Blue Graphite/Pink Pow/MetallicMen's Nike Flex Supreme TR 4 Black/Volt/White UK#N5-9586,.
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 SB ZOOM STEFAN JANOSKI CANVAS PREMIUM Anthracite/Black/Whit 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 Men's Nike SB Check Canvas Cool Grey/White/Dark Obsidian UK#N5-9380,Nike Zoom LJ 4 Unisex Jumping Spike (Men's Sizing) 415339-100Nike Kids Flex Fury Black/Wolf Grey/Cool Grey/White UK#N5-9569,.
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 Women's Nike Genicco Print Black/Wolf Grey/White UK#N5-9566,NikeLab Gyakusou Zoom Streak 6 Unisex Racing Shoe 875850-400Ellesse Regent Nylon Backpack CP45, 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 NIKELAB X SACAI AIR MAX 90 White/Wolf Grey/Volt/White. But on two particularly grueling days, the first, an hours-long punk show on wood and concrete floors, and the second, Mr Lacy Flat Laces CP357,Women's Shoe Nike Air Max 2016 806772-001Converse Infant Chuck Taylor All Star Mono Trainer CP489,, 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 Women's Running Shoe Nike Flyknit Lunar 3 698182-603.
However, the ATR really shined when running outside on a blustery November evening. adidas Originals Junior Gazelle 2 Trainer CP594,Women's Running Shoe Nike Air Zoom Structure 19 806584-005Nike Junior Air Max 1 Trainer CP640,, 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 adidas Originals Nursery ZX Flux Trainer CP727,Women's Running Shoe Nike Air Max 2016 Print 818101-401Duck & Cover Rouren Tapered Denim Jean CP835,. Maybe it was because the Old Town sign was extra-glittery that evening, but, adidas Originals Chaos Full Zip Hooded Top CP953,Women's Shoe Nike Air Force 1 07 Premium 616725-104Good For Nothing Veneto Biker Jean CP855, as one wants when on a fairly intense run, I barely noticed the shoes on my feet as I jogged along the Willamette.Nicce Track Hooded Top CP1109,Women's Shoe Nike Air Huarache Ultra 819151-100Antony Morato Driver Jacket CP1206, 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 Carhartt Anchorage Parka Jacket CP1285,Women's Shoe Nike Air Max 1 Ultra LOTC (Paris) 747105-300Hawksworth Mac Jacket CP1403, 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. Jack & Jones Violin Fur Trim Puffer Jacket CP1420,Women's Shoe Nike Air Max 90 Premium Jacquard 807298-300The North Face Glacier Delta Zip Fleece Jacket CP1518, 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.
Jack & Jones Anders Roll Neck Knit CP1829,Women's Shoe Nike Air Max 90 Ultra Essential 724981-603Franklin & Marshall Small Logo Fleece Short CP2138,
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