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 Asics Gel-Lyte III Pure Pack Trainer CP4196, 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 501 - Composite Grey/Blue, 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 Free 5.0 Black/Dark Grey/Dove Grey/White,Asics Gel-Kayano EVO Trainer CP4240,Womens Shoes Nike Air Max Invigor Seaweed/White/Vivid Purple, 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.
Womens Shoes Nike FS Lite Run 3 Ocean Fog/Squadron Blue/White/Fierce Purple,,Converse Chuck Taylor All Star MA-1 Zip Trainer CP4295,Womens Sandals PATRIZIA Dema Pewter,,Womens Shoes PATRIZIA Imaginative Dark Brown,Cruyff Pep Trainer CP4389,Womens Shoes PUMA Sky 2 Lace Mid 3D White/Fair Aqua/Glacier,.
The original Ultra Boost is an extremely popular fashion sneaker, and new colorways are regularly sold out online and in store (check Portland's Fred Perry Stockport Suede Trainer CP4453, 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 Shoes Reebok YourFlex Trainette 8.0 L MT Fearless Pink/Merlot/Black/White,New Balance ML373 Trainer CP4557,Womens Sandals Rocket Dog Diver Cream Woodblock,.
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 Boots Sam Edelman Joey Pure Gold,Nike Air Force 1 Mid Trainer CP4573,Womens Sandals Sam Edelman Mae Saddle Velour Suede Leather, 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 Free Socfly Trainer CP4699,. But on two particularly grueling days, the first, an hours-long punk show on wood and concrete floors, and the second, Womens Shoes Sam Edelman Arizona Black Kid Suede Leather,Nike Internationalist 'Fleece Pack' Trainer CP4734,Womens Shoes Saucony Originals Jazz Low Pro Light Green/Pink,, 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 Koth Ultra Mid Trainer CP4858,.
However, the ATR really shined when running outside on a blustery November evening. Womens Boots Timberland Swazey Tall Waterproof Boot Black Forty Leather,Ralph Lauren Polo Hanford Leather Trainer CP4949,Womens Boots UGG Kisses Short Black Sequin Skulls,, 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 Meadow Chocolate Suede,Reebok Furylite Trainer CP4994,Womens Sandals UGG Lyndi Chestnut Leather,. Maybe it was because the Old Town sign was extra-glittery that evening, but, Womens Boots Vaneli Laryssa Black Nappa/Black Elastic/Mtch Zipper,Vans ISO 1.5 Native Trainer CP5080,Womens Sandals Vaneli Marlina Old Gold Cabry Print, as one wants when on a fairly intense run, I barely noticed the shoes on my feet as I jogged along the Willamette.Womens Shoes Vaneli Chineka Navy E-Print/Mtch Elastic,Y3 Qasa High Trainer CP5127,Womens Shoes Vaneli Armida Navy Trama 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 Vans Marina Black/Ibis Rose,adidas Originals Womens ZX Flux Zero Tech NPS Trainer CP5257,Nike Baseline Stock, 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. Nike Sweater Tech,Womens Shoes adidas Volley Response Boost Black/Silver Metallic/Power Red,Women’s Mesh Hoodie, 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.
Men's Trefoil Shoe Box Hoodie,Womens Shoes adidas Originals SL Loop Racer W Black/Surf Petrol/White,Golf Women’s Pounce Sleeveless Polo,
(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.)