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 Creative Recreation Silverwood Hooded Puffer Jacket CP1323 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 Toms Womens Canvas Classic Espadrille CP5198, 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 Gandys Womens Original Flip Flop CP5222,Creative Recreation Culver Bubble Jacket CP1324Womens Shoes adidas Barricade Team 4 White/Solar Red, 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.
Womens Shoes adidas Cloudfoam Xpression DGH Solid Grey/Shock Green/Core Black,,D-Struct Terro Tech Bomber Jacket CP1335Womens Shoes adidas Originals SL Loop Racer W Clear Green/Dark Slate/White,,Womens Shoes adidas Running Springblade Ignite Clear Onix/Bold Pink/Grey,D-Struct Bosco Jacket CP1336Womens Boots Aerosoles Enamel Grey Combo,.
The original Ultra Boost is an extremely popular fashion sneaker, and new colorways are regularly sold out online and in store (check Portland's Converse Core Poly Fill Jacket CP1317 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 Womens Sandals Aerosoles Wip Free Black,Creative Recreation Alpine Nylon Bomber Jacket CP1320Womens Sandals Aerosoles Savant Mink Combo,.
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 Womens Shoes Aerosoles Dimperial Light Pink,EA7 Golf Light Jacket CP1351Womens Boots ALDO Genn Taupe, 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 Ellesse Casimiro Jacket CP1365. But on two particularly grueling days, the first, an hours-long punk show on wood and concrete floors, and the second, Womens Boots ALDO Realla Black Multi,Hawksworth Hawkbit Long Jacket CP1406Womens Shoes ALDO Forquer-U Gold,, 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 Franklin & Marshall Printed Windbreaker Jacket CP1378.
However, the ATR really shined when running outside on a blustery November evening. Womens Boots Anne Klein Inda Natural Leather,Good For Nothing Baychester Longline Bomber Jacket CP1400Womens Sandals Anne Klein Larow Pewter/Pewter Synthetic,, 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 Anne Klein Palmyra Ivory Leather,Jack & Jones Baron Quilted Puffer Jacket CP1424Womens Shoes Anne Klein Barb Dark Taupe Synthetic,. Maybe it was because the Old Town sign was extra-glittery that evening, but, Womens Shoes Badgley Mischka Lacie Navy Satin,Luke 1977 Me Duck Down Parka CP1436Womens Boots C Label Sandra-7 Black, as one wants when on a fairly intense run, I barely noticed the shoes on my feet as I jogged along the Willamette.Womens Sandals C Label Cider-4A Silver/Black,Kings Will Dream Oneya Bomber Jacket CP1430Womens Shoes C Label Liberty-13 Brown/Natural, 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 Boots Calvin Klein Clancey Black Leather,Only & Sons Skeet Parka CP1483Womens Sandals Calvin Klein Babel Black Leather/Muted Snake Print Leather, 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 Gerarda Ematite Metal Stingray,Nike Nike Alliance Jacket CP1477Womens Shoes Calvin Klein Ginae Ematite/Winter Taupe Metallic Box/Kid Suede, 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.
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