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 Air Max 1 Ultra Womens Dark Citron/Dark Citron/Bright Citron Running Shoes V49053, 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 Womens Shoes New Balance Classics WL574 Grey/Red Textile, 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 Womens Shoes Nike Flex 2015 RUN Cool Grey/White/Pink Pow,Nike Flex Experience Run 4 Womens Black/Anthracite/White/Metallic Dark Grey Running Shoes V14050,Womens Shoes Nike Free 5.0 Print Black/White/White, 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.
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The original Ultra Boost is an extremely popular fashion sneaker, and new colorways are regularly sold out online and in store (check Portland's Men's Nike Air Max Dynasty Deep Royal Blue/Racer Blue/White UK#N5-9537, 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 Boots Sam Edelman Caldwell Leopard,Nike Kids Mercurial Victory V CR IC Soccer Black/Total Crimson/White UK#N5-9598,Womens Shoes Sam Edelman Laura Brown Black Leopard,.
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 Saucony Originals Jazz Low Pro Grey/Blue 1,Women's Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 32 Menta/Liquid Lime/Ghost Green/Black UK#N5-9243,Womens Boots Timberland 6" Premium Boot Dark Grey Waxed Canvas, 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 Calvin Klein Cotton Stretch 3 Pack Boxer Short CP403,. But on two particularly grueling days, the first, an hours-long punk show on wood and concrete floors, and the second, Womens Boots UGG Analise Black Suede,Nike Infant Air Force 1 Low Trainer CP530,Womens Sandals UGG Lyndi Black Leather,, 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 Nike Junior Air Max 2016 Trainer CP684,.
However, the ATR really shined when running outside on a blustery November evening. Womens Boots Vaneli Rasha Black Nival Suede/Mtch Elastic,Kickers Nursery Kick High Core Boot CP782,Womens Shoes Vaneli Aleka Lime Belly Print,, 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 Vaneli Saula Platino Met Nappa/Platino Met Nappa Woven,Antony Morato Metal Badge Hooded Top CP962,Unisex Shoes Vans SK8-Hi Decon SPT (Stripes) Washed/Tawny Port,. Maybe it was because the Old Town sign was extra-glittery that evening, but, Hurley One And Only,Nicce Diamond Hooded Top CP1106,Nike Range Crew, as one wants when on a fairly intense run, I barely noticed the shoes on my feet as I jogged along the Willamette.Men's Classic Team CLRDO Windbreaker,Antony Morato Wet Look Bomber Jacket CP1215,Golf Glitch Fade Polo, 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 Pitch Shorts,Creative Recreation Cary Hybrid Reflective Jacket CP1321,Nike Dry Washed, 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. NikeCourt Victory,Only & Sons Nylon Sleeve Bomber Jacket CP1487,Nike All Time 8 Bit Pullover, 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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