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 Women's Nike Dual Fusion TR 3 Black/Wolf Grey/Pink Pow UK#N5-9277 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 Cortica Epic Runner Trainer CP4312, 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 Creative Recreation Kaplan Trainer CP4345,Mr Lacy Flat Laces CP356Fred Perry Hallam Chambray Trainer CP4457, 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.
The original Ultra Boost is an extremely popular fashion sneaker, and new colorways are regularly sold out online and in store (check Portland's Calvin Klein 1 Pack Power Red Cotton Trunk CP407 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 Kobe X Elite High 'American' Trainer CP4799,Ropes Classic Flat Laces CP371Puma Ignite PWRWARM Trainer CP4909,.
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 Ralph Lauren Polo Jermain Leather Trainer CP4961,Creative Recreation Junior Reece Hooded Top CP416Superga 2750 Cotu Classic Trainer CP5005, 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 Creative Recreation Junior Ridge Puffer Parka Jacket CP421. But on two particularly grueling days, the first, an hours-long punk show on wood and concrete floors, and the second, Vans Trig Trainer CP5072,New Era NY Pitch 2 Tone Backpack CP81Hunter Womens Original Tall Wellington Boot CP5155,, 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 Creative Recreation Infant Kaplan Holographic Suede Trainer CP506.
However, the ATR really shined when running outside on a blustery November evening. Puma Blaze of Glory 'Yin and Yang' Pack Trainer CP4906,adidas Originals Infant Racer Lite Trainer CP470Womens Shoes adidas Stella McCartney Barricade 2015 Minty Green/White Vapor/Light Flash Green,, 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 adidas BBNEO Raleigh Mid White/White/White,Creative Recreation Infant Kaplan Snake Trainer CP502Womens Shoes adidas Running Response Boost Techfit Dark Grey/Silver Metallic/Flash Orange,. Maybe it was because the Old Town sign was extra-glittery that evening, but, Womens Boots Aerosoles Thermal Grey Fabric,adidas Originals Junior Dragon Trainer CP554Womens Sandals Aerosoles Yetaway White Snake, 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 Aerosoles True Plush White,Vans Infant Old Skool Trainer CP548Womens Shoes Aerosoles Rotmail Dark Tan Snake, 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 ALDO Neria Grey,adidas Originals Junior ZX Flux Trainer CP561Womens Sandals ALDO Napoleone Bone, 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 Boots Anne Klein AKKacey Wide Calf Black Leather,adidas Originals Junior Racer Lite CP566Womens Sandals Anne Klein Kalene Black/Black Fabric, 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.
Womens Shoes Anne Klein Barb Dark Brown Leather,adidas Originals Junior ZX Flux Trainer CP589Womens Shoes Anne Klein Barb Dark Taupe Synthetic,
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