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 Womens Sandals ECCO Touch 45 T-Strap Sandal Black/Black 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 Reebok SubLite Train 4.0 L MT Black/Gravel/Fearless Pink/White, 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 Sandals Rocket Dog Vuno Black/Desert Floor,Womens Sandals ECCO Touch 25 T-Strap Slide WhiteWomens Shoes Rocket Dog Treasure Black Hawaii Dream, 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 Womens Shoes ECCO Touch 15 Tassel Burgundy/Burgundy 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 Sandals Sam Edelman Gene Malibu Blue Vaquero Saddle Leather,Womens Sandals ECCO Damara Strap Sandal BirchWomens Shoes Sam Edelman Nadine Bronze Shimmer Leopard Fabric,.
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 Mystic Grey/Blue/Aqua,Womens Shoes ECCO Aimee Warm Grey/Warm GreyWomens Shoes Saucony Originals Bullet Grey/Blue, 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 Womens Shoes ECCO Aimee Midnight/Midnight. But on two particularly grueling days, the first, an hours-long punk show on wood and concrete floors, and the second, Womens Shoes Superga 2095 Nappa Red,Womens Shoes ECCO Babett Premium Tie Black/BlackWomens Boots Timberland Ashdale Ankle Waterproof Black,, 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 Womens Shoes ECCO Bluma Summer Ballerina Chili Red.
However, the ATR really shined when running outside on a blustery November evening. Womens Boots UGG Classic Short Leather Peacoat,Womens Shoes ECCO Aimee High Top Sneaker Moon Rock/Moon RockWomens Boots UGG Cierra Lodge Leather,, 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 Boots UGG Lodge Moonrise Suede,Womens Shoes ECCO Touch 15 Scale Ballerina Marine/Navy/MarineWomens Boots UGG Classic Short Crazy Plum Twinface,. Maybe it was because the Old Town sign was extra-glittery that evening, but, Womens Boots UGG Collection Stella Grigio Leather,Womens Shoes ECCO Aimee Casual Slip-On Black/BlackWomens Slippers UGG Ansley Chunky Crystals Burgundy Suede, as one wants when on a fairly intense run, I barely noticed the shoes on my feet as I jogged along the Willamette.Womens Boots Vaneli Jillian T.Moro Ecco Suede,Womens Shoes ECCO Golf Biom Hybrid Black/TurquoiseWomens Sandals Vaneli Ertha White Pito Print, 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 Sandals Vaneli Taletha Multi Darry Print,Womens Shoes ECCO Aimee Nautical Sneaker Steel/Warm Grey/Warm GreyWomens Shoes Vaneli Raymon Black Pesca Fabric/Black Smack Patent, 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 Shoes Vaneli SELY Black E-Print,Womens Shoes ECCO Golf Classic Golf Hybrid White/TrooperWomens Shoes Vaneli Remy Cuoio Nubia Print, 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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