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 Paul Smith Multi Stripe Socks Navy N42m5360 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 Dunk High Top Mens Navy Coffee Red J86r7521, 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 Dunk High Top Mens White Navy Cherry W35d4639,Paul Smith Accessories Bullseye Polka Dot Odd Socks Navy Y3y5573Nike Dunk High Top Mens Yellow Black Grey Y78p4658, 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 Paul Smith Accessories Plain Ribbed Socks Navy A80m1519 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 Roshe Run NM BR Mens Black Pine Black Pine Sail Iron Ore Shoes W18b6528,Obey Base Socks Blue Z79o7576Nike Roshe Run FB Yeezy Mens Black Orange Shoes O88t9614,.
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 Nike Roshe Run Flyknit Mens Orange Black White Shoes G10c7476,Ralph Lauren Three Pack Boxer Shorts Navy/Red/Blue S85t8406Vans Half Cab Pro Black-Red S9g4616, 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 Paul Smith Accessories Multi Striped Trunk Brief Blue/ Grey B29t1161. But on two particularly grueling days, the first, an hours-long punk show on wood and concrete floors, and the second, Vans Authentic Lite DISNEY Donald Mickey Mouse Low Unisex Shoe J8d6803,Ralph Lauren 3 Pack Classic Pouch Boxer Red/Blue/Navy L17a3098Vans Surf Blue C10i7240,, 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 Paul Smith Accessories Mini Stripe Card Holder Black S50j1486.
However, the ATR really shined when running outside on a blustery November evening. Vans Classic Slip On Low Unisex Leisure SHOE J62f5563,Ralph Lauren Three Pack Boxer Shorts Black T16i12462016 Vans Era Picasso Paintings Low Unisex Shoes Z49m4033,, 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.
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Now, is all of this worth the $220 price tag? If your running shoe or fashion sneaker budget is high, then Discount Sale 2015 Nike Zoom Hypercross Trainer"Turquoise"Black Silver Mens Shoes In the UK online,Adidas Oinals Supershell Sculpted Super Star Z11g4370Discount Sale 2016 Nike Air Jordan 5 V Mens Basketball Shoes White Red Large Size 48 49 50 Sneakers In the UK online, 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. Discount Sale 2016 Nike Kids Basketball Sneakers Lebron 13 Gold Purple Black In the UK online,Pharrell x Adidas Oinals Supershell Super Star Sculpted White Q97r4627Discount Sale Air Max 90 Mens Shoes Cheap On Sale White Blu Gray In the UK online, 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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