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 Shoe Nike Air Huarache Premium Suede 833145-002 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 Free 4.0 Flyknit 2015 Womens Black/Hyper Orange/University Blue/Sail Running Shoes V20656, 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 Internationalist Womens Dark Grey/Racer Blue/Black/Spring Leaf Running Shoes V50538,Women's Shoe Nike Air Huarache Ultra 819151-002Nike Tri Fusion Run Womens Dark Grey/Blue Lagoon/Copa/White Running Shoes V50043, 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.
Men's Nike Dart 11 White/Dove Grey/White/Black UK#N5-9355,,Women's Shoe Nike Air Huarache Ultra 819151-100Men's Nike Elite Shinsen Team Red/Metallic Gold/Black UK#N5-8981,,Nike Zoom Fly 2 Womens Pink Blast/Electric Green/White/Black Running Shoes V68666,Women's Shoe Nike Air Max 1 Essential 599820-024Nike Kids Jr Mercurial Pro IC Soccer Bright Crimson/Hot Lava/Black UK#N5-9348,.
The original Ultra Boost is an extremely popular fashion sneaker, and new colorways are regularly sold out online and in store (check Portland's Women's Shoe Nike Air Max 1 Ultra Essentials 704993-102 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 Women's Nike Air Max Muse Artisan Teal/White/Volt UK#N5-9400,Women's Shoe Nike Air Max BW Ultra 819638-002Women's Nike Golf FI Impact White/Medium Base Grey/Vivid Pink UK#N5-8771,.
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 New Balance Mellow Backpack CP71,Women's Shoe Nike Air Max Sequent 719916-403adidas Originals Infant ZX Flux Trainer CP473, 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 Women's Shoe Nike Air Max 90 Premium 443817-008. But on two particularly grueling days, the first, an hours-long punk show on wood and concrete floors, and the second, Nike Kids Jr Tiempo Rio II FG-R Soccer Black/Black/White Multi Snake UK#N5-9620,Women's Shoe Nike Air Max Tailwind 8 Print 806804-401Nike Junior Air Max 90 Mesh Trainer CP633,, 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 Shoe Nike Air Max Zero 857661-006.
However, the ATR really shined when running outside on a blustery November evening. Nike Junior Air Jordan 8 Retro BG Trainer CP669,Women's Shoe Nike Air Max Thea Joli 725118-900Nike Nursery Air Max 90 Trainer CP785,, 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 Only & Sons Avi Slim Jean CP904,Women's Shoe Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 33 831356-001Antony Morato Silver Hooded Top CP965,. Maybe it was because the Old Town sign was extra-glittery that evening, but, Cuckoos Nest Towelling Gym Hooded Top CP1041,Women's Shoe Nike Air Zoom Strong 843975-800Nike Tribute Hooded Track Top CP1119, as one wants when on a fairly intense run, I barely noticed the shoes on my feet as I jogged along the Willamette.Asylum Depay Harrington Jacket CP1225,Women's Shoe Nike Air Zoom Strong 843975-004Brave Soul Nipton Longline Puffer Jacket CP1272, 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 Good For Nothing Belmont Long Puffer Jacket CP1399,Women's Shoe Nike Air Zoom Strong 843975-500Only & Sons Nylon Sleeve Bomber Jacket CP1487, 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. Glorious Gangsta Karcher Knit CP1803,Women's Shoe Nike Free TR 6 Metallic 849805-001Antony Morato Fleece Short CP2076, 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.
Nike MPT Track & Field Fade Alumni Short CP2184,Women's Shoe Nike Free Focus Flyknit 844817-601Oiler & Boiler East Hampton Shortie Swim Short CP2333,
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