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 Presto 5 Mens Flannelette Blue Green 3127857 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 Super Ligera II HG Dark Orange Metallic Silver Black 3130370, 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 The Premier FG Leather Soccer Cleats Blue White 3130413,Nike Air Presto 5 Mens Anti Fur Sneakers Brown White 3127869Nike Tiempo Legend V FG Mens Soccer Cleats White Lawn Green 3130474, 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 Nike Air Presto 5 Mens Anti Fur Sneakers Deep Blue Green 3127863 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 Florsheim Almansa Men DH27909,Nike Air Presto 5 Mens Anti Fur Sneakers Wine Red 3127864Julius Marlow Raptor Men CM37780,.
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 Lacoste L.12.12 Men ED18230,Nike Air Presto Mens Anti Fur Embroidered Black White 3127907Nike Air Huarache Run Men IP27060, 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 Nike Air Presto Camouflage Mens Salmon Pink Blue 3127916. But on two particularly grueling days, the first, an hours-long punk show on wood and concrete floors, and the second, Nike Air Max Tavas Men OV29836,Nike Air Presto Weave Mens Sneakers Black White Red 3127940Timberland Timberland Icon 6" Premium Boots Men AT68294,, 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 Air Presto Camouflage Mens Charcoal Gray Blue 3127924.
However, the ATR really shined when running outside on a blustery November evening. Vans Old Skool Men MG35287,Nike Air Foamposite 1 Galaxy Obsidian/Anthracite-Black Basketball Shoes 3128039Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Ox KJ49869,, 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 Vans Sk8-Hi Reissue Zip IL91589,Nike Air Yeezy 2 Bird of Paradise White/Grey/Silver Basketball Shoes 3128066Mens Shoes BR-550 (Navy) Sneaker Sports Athletic Running Shoes Training Shoes Shade: Mult,. Maybe it was because the Old Town sign was extra-glittery that evening, but, New Style Mens Sports Free Running Shoes Breathable Flat Slip On Trainer Sneakers Multi-C,Nike Lunar Hyperdunk X 2012 James Fluorescent Green Basketball Shoes 3128077Footwear Mens New Sports Shoes Hiking Trainers Running Football Athletic Gym Black, as one wants when on a fairly intense run, I barely noticed the shoes on my feet as I jogged along the Willamette.2016 Mens canvas shoes Korean fashion sport casual Athletic outdoors ShoesAAA +,Nike Lunar Hyperdunk X 2012 James Black/Blue Basketball Shoes 3128082Fashion Breathable Sneakers Sports Casual England Recreational Boat Mens Shoes & 3, 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 Hot New Fashion Sports Hiking Shoes Breathable Mesh Mens Shoes Slip-on Shoes,Nike Lunar Hyperdunk X Low 2012 White/Blue Basketball Shoes 3128105Mens Casual Classic Style Lace-Up Sneakers Flats Boardsports New Air Shoes Q35, 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. New Athletic Sports Fashion Sneakers Mens Running Walking trainer Lace up Shoes,Nike Lunar Hyperdunk X 2012 James Black/Red Basketball Shoes 3128094New Mens Fashion Casual Sports Running Shoes Breathable Sneakers Lace up Shoes, 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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