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 Air Max 1 Monotone Vol. 1 Geyser Grey / Geyser Grey-Dust 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 - Converse Chuck Taylor Plaid Hi White / Blue 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 - Converse Chuck Taylor Double Zip Low Black Shoes,Men's - Nike Air Max 1 Fuse Matte Silver / White-University Red-Black ShoesMen's - Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Low Oyster Grey 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.
Men's - Converse Boot Mid Black Shoes,,Men's - Nike Air Max 1 Essential White / White-Dark Grey-Hyper Blue ShoesMen's - Clae Russell Black Patent Shoes,,Men's - Asics Onitsuka Tiger Runspark LE Yellow / Blue Shoes,Men's - Nike Air Max 1 Essential Medium Grey / Ultramrn-Dark Grey-Red ShoesMen's - Asics Onitsuka Tiger Colorado Eight-Five New York Royal Blue / White Shoes,.
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 Air Max 1 Essential Black /Geyer Grey-Cool Grey-Cool 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 - Asics GEL-Blur33 Apple Green / Black / White Shoes,Men's - Nike Air Max 1 Daybreak / Myth ShoesMen's - AJF 12 Preschool Black / Blue Sapphire-Cyber 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 - Air Jordan XIII 13 Retro Preschool Black / Volt-Voltage Cherry-White Shoes,Men's - Nike Air Magma ND Oxen Brown / Black-Light Bone-Salt Black ShoesMen's - Air Jordan VII 7 Retro Love Of The Game White / Metallic Gold-True Red-Midnight Navy 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 Air Maestro Flight Black / White Shoes. But on two particularly grueling days, the first, an hours-long punk show on wood and concrete floors, and the second, Men's - Air Jordan Trunner LX 11 Black / White-Varsity Red Shoes,Men's - Nike Air Griffey Max II Preschool Black / White-Anthracite-True Yellow ShoesMen's - Air Jordan Super.Fly 2 Varsity Maize / Gamma Blue-Game Royal-White 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 Air Griffey Max 360 Cool Grey / Black-Atomic Red Shoes.
However, the ATR really shined when running outside on a blustery November evening. Men's - Air Jordan Sky High Txt Low Black / White-Stealth Shoes,Men's - Nike Air Force Max 2013 White / University Red-Black ShoesMen's - Air Jordan SC-1 Black / White-Dark Grey 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 - Air Jordan Retro 1 White/Black-Varsity Red Shoes,Men's - Nike Air Force 180 Black / Black-Volt ShoesMen's - Air Jordan Phly Legend Premier Black / Varsity Red-White Shoes,. Maybe it was because the Old Town sign was extra-glittery that evening, but, Men's - Air Jordan Nu Retro 1 Lo Preschool Black / Green Bean - Black Shoes,Men's - Nike Air Force 1 White / Team Red ShoesMen's - Air Jordan Jumpman H-Series Black / Metallic Silver 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 - Air Jordan Hydro II White / Gym Red-Black Shoes,Men's - Nike Air Force 1 USA Mid Navy / Metallic Gold-Spirit Red ShoesMen's - Air Jordan Flight SC-1 Varsity Royal / Black-Light Graphite-White 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 - Air Jordan Flight 45 High Black / Cool Grey-Anthracite Shoes,Men's - Nike Air Force 1 Preschool Deep Royal Blue / White-Black ShoesMen's - Air Jordan CP3.VI White / Sport Red-Black-Gym Royal 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 CMFT Viz Air 11 Black / Varsity Royal-White-Stealth Shoes,Men's - Nike Air Force 1 Patent Leather White / White-White ShoesMen's - Air Jordan Big Fund White / Metallic Silver - White - Grn BN 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.
Men's - Air Jordan 9.5 Team Flint Grey / Metallic Silver Shoes,Men's - Nike Air Force 1 Mid '07 White / Gorge Green ShoesMen's - Air Jordan 2011 Q Flight White / Varsity Red-Obsidian Shoes,
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