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 Yepme Mens Running Shoes Blue 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 Men's/Women's Air Jordan 13 GS Basketball Shoes Wolf Grey/White-Deadly Pink 439358-018, 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 Men's/Women's Asics Gel Lyte III "Full Bloom" Running Shoes Dark Grey/Sheer Lilac H503K-1635,Best Adidas Adidrill Vulc - Bold Aqua / Ftwr White / Bluebird FootwearMen's/Women's Asics Gel Lyte V "Desert Pack" Shoes Beige Pink H40UK-0517, 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.
Men's/Women's Asics Gel Lyte V Shoes Light Grey/Jade/Pink,,Provide Adidas Dash Jacquard - Solar Orange / Solar Orange / Power Red FootwearMen's/Women's Asics Onitsuka Tiger MEXICO 66 Canvas Shoes Beige/Navy,,Men's/Women's Atmos x Adidas Originals Superstar 80s G-SNK 7 Shoes off-white M25977,Fashion Adidas Adi Court Stripes - St Stonewash Blue / Ftwr White / St Stonewash Blue FootwearMen's/Women's Clot X Asics Gel Lyte III "Sand & Lavender" Running Shoes Sand H60XK-9797,.
The original Ultra Boost is an extremely popular fashion sneaker, and new colorways are regularly sold out online and in store (check Portland's Provide Adidas Bb9Tis Jacquard - Dark Grey / Core Black / Solar Green Footwear 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 Men's/Women's New Balance 597 Shoes Grey/Teal ML597AAD,Cheap Adidas Bslim - Core Black / Ash Blue / Pearl Grey FootwearMen's/Women's Nike Air Huarache Leather Shoes Black/White,.
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 Men's/Women's Nike Air Max 90 American Flag Independence Training Shoes Gray/Orange,Top Quality Adidas City Racer - Blue / White / Power Red FootwearMen's/Women's Nike Air Max 90 Premium Tapes Running Shoes Fluorescent Green/Light Gray/Brown/White, 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 Best Adidas Run9Tis Jacquard - Grey / Ftwr White / Solar Yellow Footwear. But on two particularly grueling days, the first, an hours-long punk show on wood and concrete floors, and the second, Men's/Women's Nike Air Max 90 Shoes Gross Green/Yellow,Checkout Adidas Ar 2.0 - Core Black / Bold Gold / Matte Copper FootwearMen's/Women's Nike Air Max Tailwind 5 Shoes Black Silver,, 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 To buy Adidas Run9Tis Tm - Lead / White / Flash Green Footwear.
However, the ATR really shined when running outside on a blustery November evening. Men's/Women's Nike Blazer High Vintage Casual Suede Shoes Black/Brown,Best Adidas B Hochmoos H - Core Black / Ftwr White / Bluebird FootwearMen's/Women's Nike Blazers Low Starry Sky Casual Shoes Grey/Bright Red 555281-100,, 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 Men's/Women's Nike Free 6.0 Shoes Red/Gray/White,Comfortable Adidas Ease Woven - Blush Blue / Core Black / Solar Red FootwearMen's/Women's Nike Kwazi Shoes Midnight Navy/Midnight Navy 844839-440,. Maybe it was because the Old Town sign was extra-glittery that evening, but, Men's/Women's Nike Roshe One Print Running Shoes Tropical Jungle Blue,Top brand Adidas D-Rose 773 3 - Orange / Ftwr White / Core Black FootwearMen's/Women's Puma Fierce Core Kylie Jenner Mesh Training Shoes Puma white-Puma White 188977, as one wants when on a fairly intense run, I barely noticed the shoes on my feet as I jogged along the Willamette.Men's/Women's Under Armour UA Stephen Curry One Low Basketball Shoes White/Gold,Cheap Adidas Nxt Lvl Spd 3 - Core Black / Scarlet / Scarlet FootwearWomen's Adidas Marathon Print 3D Running Shoes Grey/Light Carmine, 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 Women's Adidas Originals ZX 700 Shoes Triblue/Runwhite D65876,Perfect Adidas J Wall - Ftwr White / Core Black / Gold Met. FootwearWomen's Air Jordan Hydro 6 VI Black/Pink Sandals Slippers Slides 881475-009, 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. Women's Fenty Puma By Rihanna BOW Sneakers Olive Branch-Olive Branch-Olive Branch 365054-04,Cheap Reebok Npc FootwearWomen's New Balance 990 Shoes Roseo/Black M990RBG, 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.
Women's New Balance 998 Shoes Orange/Green W998GFG,Cheap Reebok Sole-Trainer FootwearWomen's Nike Air Max 1 Ultra Essential Running Shoes Grey/Plum/Black/White 819476-110,
(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.)