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 Men's - Nike MS78 LE Anthracite / Varsity Red-Black-White Shoes, 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 - Nike ACG Trainerendor Stussy Blueprint / Prize Blue-White Shoes, 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 - Nike ACG Air Lava Dome 2.4 Black / Magenta-Anthracite Shoes,Men's - Nike Max H.A.M. Low Stadium Grey / Bright Citrus-Sport Turquoise Shoes,Men's - New Balance 580 Racing Pack Blue / Yellow Shoes, 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 Men's - Nike LunarGlide+ 4 Black / Reflect Silver-Dark Grey-Wolf Grey Shoes, 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 - Jordan VI 6 Retro Toddler Metallic Silver / Vivid Pink-Black Shoes,Men's - Nike Lunarglide 3 Preschool City Grey / Metallic Silver Shoes,Men's - Jordan II 2 Retro Toddler White / Dark Concord-Black-Wolf Grey Shoes,.
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 - Jordan 1 Mid Flex Toddler Ion Pink / Black-Gym Red-White Shoes,Men's - Nike LunarElite 2 Cool Grey / White-Black-Sprint Red Shoes,Men's - Generic Surplus Slip On Mesh Natural Shoes, 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 Men's - Nike Lunar Rejuven8 Mid+ Team Orange / Team Orange-Anthracite Shoes,. But on two particularly grueling days, the first, an hours-long punk show on wood and concrete floors, and the second, Men's - Creative Recreation Solano Navy Forest Brown Shoes,Men's - Nike Lunar Hyperdunk 2012 White / University Gold-Gorge Green Shoes,Men's - Creative Recreation Kaplan V Grey Suiting Shoes,, 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 Men's - Nike Lunar Force 1 VT Mesh University Red / University Red-Black Shoes,.
However, the ATR really shined when running outside on a blustery November evening. Men's - Creative Recreation Cesario XVI Plaid Shoes,Men's - Nike Lunar Force 1 Fuse BHM Total Orange / Total Orange-Brown Shoes,Men's - Creative Recreation Cesario Low XVI Foam Shoes,, 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 - Creative Recreation Cesario Classic White Shoes,Men's - Nike Lunar Blazer Brave Blue / Silver-Green Glow-Pink Foil Shoes,Men's - Converse Chuckout Ox Mesh Athletic Navy Shoes,. Maybe it was because the Old Town sign was extra-glittery that evening, but, Men's - Converse Chuck Taylor Plaid Ox Brown Shoes,Men's - Nike LeBron X PS Elite Total Crimson / Fiberglass-Black-Volt Shoes,Men's - Converse Chuck Taylor Clean Low Black Shoes, 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 - Converse Chuck Taylor All Star High Blue / White Shoes,Men's - Nike LeBron 7 Low VII White / Cool Grey-Team Orange Shoes,Men's - Ateliers Arthur Tuskegee Rio Red Shoes, 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 Men's - Asics Onitsuka Tiger Corsair White / Red Shoes,Men's - Nike Kobe 8 System Blue Glow / Strata Grey-Gym Royal Shoes,Men's - AJF 9 White / Varsity Red-Black Shoes, 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. Men's - Air Jordan XX2 PE White / Varity Red - Black Shoes,Men's - Nike KD VI 6 Anthracite / Total Orange-Team Orange Shoes,Men's - Air Jordan VIII 8 Retro Preschool Cool Grey / Voltage-Electric Yellow Shoes, 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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