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 Shop Nike Zoom Lebron Soldier 6 Black White Red 207887 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 Basketball James-0557, 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 Jordans KID 11C-3y-0332,Shopping Cheap Kobe 7 Supreme Black Purple Gold,Man Max 90-1121, 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.
Basketball OTHER-0246,,Shopping Cheap Kobe 8 PP Gorge Green Black Silver 613959 003,Air Force LOW-0406,,Nike Free45-0817,Top Sale Cheap Air Jordan Future Low Gamma Blue,Jordans 10-0057,.
The original Ultra Boost is an extremely popular fashion sneaker, and new colorways are regularly sold out online and in store (check Portland's Shopping Cheap Kobe 8 System Black Red White 555035 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 Nike wonen Flyknit-0121,Top Sale Cheap Air Jordan XX9 Water Project Blue Force White Black,Max Flyknit-0070,.
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 Jordans 11--162,Where to Buy Cheap Curry 2 Red Blue Yellow Black,Man Max 90-1083, 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 Where to Buy Cheap Curry 3 Low All Black,. But on two particularly grueling days, the first, an hours-long punk show on wood and concrete floors, and the second, Basketball Harden--010,Where to Buy Cheap Curry One All Star,Man Max 90-1052,, 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 Where to Order Cheap Jordan Melo M11 University Red,.
However, the ATR really shined when running outside on a blustery November evening. Nike Free45-0686,Where to Order Cheap Jordan Super.Fly 3 Black White Dark Grey 684933 003,Nike Free45-0800,, 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 Basketball Kobe-0449,Where to Order Cheap Jordan Trunner Dominate Pro Black Electric Green 580610-031,Basketball Durant-0243,. Maybe it was because the Old Town sign was extra-glittery that evening, but, Nike Free44-0974,Wholesale Cheap Nike KD 9 Elite All Black,Man Max 90-0883, as one wants when on a fairly intense run, I barely noticed the shoes on my feet as I jogged along the Willamette.Man Air Max 2015-0119,Australia Nike Air Relentless 5 Running Shoes Mens Black/Green 605123KT,Nike Free45-0596, 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 Nike Flyknit-0138,Australia Nike Prime Hype DF 2 Shoes Mens Black/Silver 241970VT,Jordans 4-0198, 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. Basketball Kobe-0376,Hot Nike CP 2 Trainers Shoes Mens Black/Blue 525637UF,Air Force LOW-0291, 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 Free44-0877,Hot Nike Overplay VIII Basketball Shoes Mens White/Grey/Navy 987695QO,Jordans 6-0170,
(Cool Stuff is a new feature at Willamette Week where we feature product reviews, roundups, sales and other commerce and shopping-oriented content. All Cool Stuff reviews are editorially independent, meaning we provide honest reviews and aren't paid by the brands we write about. If you do choose to purchase something after following one of our links, Willamette Week may receive a commission, which helps fund our journalism.)