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 Training Shoe Nike Zoom Train Complete 882119-001 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 Roshe One Mens Loyal Blue/University Red/Loyal Blue Running Shoes V62397, 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 Adizero Boston 4 Womens Night Shade/Tech Grey Metallic/Vivid Berry Running Shoes V66707,Men's Training Shoe Nike Zoom Train Complete 882119-002Nike Air Max 95 Mens University Red/Wolf Grey/Black/Pure Platinum/White Running Shoes V83469, 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 Adissage 2.0 Womens Black/Silver Metallic/Shock Pink Slippers V26815,,Nike Men's Shoe Air Force 1 Mid 07 315123-026Adidas Volley Response Boost Womens White/Silver Metallic/Collegiate Navy Volleyball Shoes V94253,,Nike Air Max 1 Ultra Womens Light Silver/Shark/Turquoise/Spring Leaf/White Running Shoes V62279,Men's Training Shoe Nike Zoom Train Complete 882119-600Nike Air Max 90 Ultra Womens Loyal Blue/Loyal Blue/Blue Grey/Bright Crimson Running Shoes V62281,.
The original Ultra Boost is an extremely popular fashion sneaker, and new colorways are regularly sold out online and in store (check Portland's Nen's nike KOBE X 705317-676 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 Flex Fury Womens Vivid Purple/Copa/Blue Lagoon/Black Running Shoes V84979,NIKE AIR FORCE 1 07 Black/BlackNike Free 4.0 Flyknit 2015 Womens Copa/Blue Lagoon/Grand Purple/Black Running Shoes V47957,.
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 Juvenate Womens Stealth/White/Pure Platinum Running Shoes V79315,Nen's nike KOBE X 705317-403Nike Zoom Vomero 10 Womens Copa/Black/Fuchsia Glow/Vivid Purple Running Shoes V47828, 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 Training Shoe Nike Metcon 1 704688-616. But on two particularly grueling days, the first, an hours-long punk show on wood and concrete floors, and the second, Men's Nike Free 5.0 Print Pure Platinum/Hot Lava/Black UK#N5-9184,NIKE AIR FORCE 1 HIGH 07 Black/Dark GreyMen's Nike Lunartempo 2 University Red/Black/Bright Crimson/White UK#N5-9490,, 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 Roshe One 511881-112.
However, the ATR really shined when running outside on a blustery November evening. Nike Kids Tri Fusion Run Pink Pow/Bright Citrus/White/Metallic Silver UK#N5-9159,NIKE AIR MAX PLUS Black/Team Orange/Anthracite/Wolf GreyWomen's Nike Racquette Leather Black/White/Black UK#N5-9434,, 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 Women's Nike Golf FI Impact White/Medium Base Grey/Vivid Pink UK#N5-8771,NIKE AIR MAX 90 ESSENTIAL White/Wolf Grey/Black/Cool GreyNike Zoom Structure 18 Womens Lyon Blue/Black/Pink Pow/Clearwater Running Shoes V62935,. Maybe it was because the Old Town sign was extra-glittery that evening, but, Converse Infant Chuck Taylor All Stars Ox Trainer CP477,NIKE AIR MAX 90 ULTRA BREATHE White/Light Retro/Lava Glow/Whiteadidas Originals Junior ZX Flux Trainer CP552, as one wants when on a fairly intense run, I barely noticed the shoes on my feet as I jogged along the Willamette.Nike Junior Stefan Janoski Suede Trainer CP638,Nike Air Presto Unisex Shoe (Men's Sizing) 305919-041Converse Nursery Chuck Taylor All Star Ox Double Tongue Trainer CP746, 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 Asylum Native Spray On Jean CP826,NIKE AIR ZOOM PEGASUS 31 FLASH Black/Reflect Silveradidas Originals 3-Stripe Sleeve Fitted Hooded Top CP936, 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. Criminal Damage Shoreditch Hooded Top CP1036,NIKE AIR ZOOM PEGASUS 31 Pink Pow/Fuchsia Flash/BlackPuma Evolution Full Zip Hooded Top CP1144, 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.
Antony Morato Chevron Quilt Puffer Jacket CP1212,NIKE DUAL FUSION BALLISTEC ADVANTAGE White/Midnight Navy/Black/Total OrangeCondemned Nation Mia Bomber Jacket CP1300,
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