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 Kids' ADIDAS Infant Hyperfast 2.0 Shoes (PINK/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 New BalanceW1500v1, 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 Dual Fusion Trail,Kids' BEARPAW Meredith Boots (BLACK),Nike Internationalist Leather, 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 Kids' FILA Memory Nitro Fuel 2 Shoes (BLACK/NEPTUNE), 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 Air Max 90 Ultra Moire Bright Crimson/Bright Crimson-White Item UK0070,Kids' HANES Classics Print Briefs 3-Pack (ASSORTED),Nike Internationalist Mid 'Reflective' QS Game Royal/Black Item UK0135,.
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 Zoom Stefan Janoski SE Blue Force/Blue Force-Obsidian-White Item UK0203,Kids' NIKE SB Mogan Mid 2 Jr Skate Shoes Blue/Black (PHOTO BLUE),Adidas Superstar Foundation Footwear White/Footwear White/Footwear White Item UK0289, 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 Kids' RBX Fast Runner Active Tee (COLLEGIATE RED),. But on two particularly grueling days, the first, an hours-long punk show on wood and concrete floors, and the second, Nike Air Pegasus 83 Bright Citron/Carbon Green-White Item UK0417,Kids' RBX Performance Long-Sleeve Graphic Active Tee (NEON GREEN),Nike SB Dunk Low Pro 'Ishod Wair' Deep Royal/White-Gym Red Item UK0482,, 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 Kids' SKECHERS Skech Appeal ,.
However, the ATR really shined when running outside on a blustery November evening. Onitsuka Tiger Ult-Racer White/Navy Item UK0559,Kids' TIMBERLAND Classic Waterproof Boots Medium Width (WHEAT),Vans Classic Slip-On True White Item UK0638,, 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 AEROCOURT HB200 Yellow / Black FTK9PA Hummel,Kids' UNDER ARMOUR Never Count Me Out Short Sleeve Screen Tee (02 TGH / ULTRA BLUE),Ava Diamante & Moon Layered Necklace qqy_64775 Casual,. Maybe it was because the Old Town sign was extra-glittery that evening, but, BF88523 Harley Black & White Tartan Layered Mini Skort,Kids' UNDER ARMOUR Long Sleeve Waffle Tee (SUPER PINK 672),BURBERRY - Tartan-patterned tailored-fit wool trousers Forest green JHOGPL, as one wants when on a fairly intense run, I barely noticed the shoes on my feet as I jogged along the Willamette.Chips suede ballerinas CG96234 calf leather light blue,Kids' WARRIOR Youth Vex 2.0 Lacrosse Cleats (WHITE/BLACK),Converse ONE STAR - Trainers - navy/white/black dark blue OF64184, 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 DKNY - Lace-trim stretch-jersey balconette bra Glow/light glow SFDSSL,Men's ADIDAS Athletic Stretch Boxer Briefs 2-Pack (GREY/RED),EDEN Black ASRC1Q Heyraud, 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. ESPLAR LOW LOGO Pink O9Y9DU Veja,Men's ADIDAS Energy Cloud Running Shoes (GREY),Friboo Sandals - brown brown XR45993, 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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