To help you find workout gear that's as functional as it is stylish, we're trying out the latest products and letting you know how they fare when we put them to the test.
Today, Adidas released a new running shoe that they claim will "shatter your excuses" for missing a workout just because the weather sucks. They're called the Adidas UltraBOOST X All-Terrain, and they'll cost you $220. Essentially, they're supposed to be a more durable, water-resistant version of the brand's UltraBOOST X running shoe.
The most obvious difference between these shoes and previous UltraBOOST X releases? These have a knit, sock-like upper (the part of the shoe that covers your foot) that extends to just above the ankle, to keep you warm and prevent water from getting in your shoe, according to Alexa Andersen, category director for women’s running at Adidas North America. "Just think about those times when you go for a run in the cold weather, and your ankles get cold due to the gap between your tights and shoes," Andersen said. When we wore the shoes, it was pretty warm out, but they definitely have just enough height to fill that shoe-legging gap for when it gets colder (and the fabric is breathable enough to wear when it's 80 degrees out). They're also designed with "more aggressive outsole lugs," so you have better traction and grip in wet conditions, Andersen said.
And if you prefer extra foot and ankle support, you might like the high cut. "Since my ankles are narrow, I tend to feel like some shoes don't hug my feet enough, which leads me to run and walk semi-awkwardly," Rebecca Adams, senior health and sex editor at Refinery29, told me, so she really liked the fit. When I wore these shoes for a run, however, I ended up with a dramatic bloody blister on my Achilles from the high-cut ankle (a friend posted on Instagram that she had a similar issue). Technically, you don't have to wear socks with these shoes because they're knit, but I recommend wearing crew socks for at least the first few wears if you tend to blister. (FWIW, reviews for comparable high-top running shoes feature similar complaints.)
Unsurprisingly, we both liked the bounce of the UltraBOOST technology for running. (If you're not familiar with UltraBOOST, there are thousands of "energy capsules" in the sole of the shoe that are designed to respond to your movement, so that "the more energy you give, the more you get," as Andersen put it.)
"I honestly hate running, so I do very little of it, but I actually did feel a difference running in these versus my usual shoes," Rebecca said. I mostly run on the pavement, and I liked that they're lightweight, yet cushioned enough for a long run. If you're weight-lifting in these shoes, you might find that the sole is too cushioned, though. "I prefer lifting in shoes that are flatter and less bouncy," Rebecca said after trying them out during a barbell workout. "But to be fair, that's not what these particular shoes were made for." Also, when I wore these for The Class by Taryn Toomey, an indoor workout that involves lots of repetitive motions, floor work, and calisthenics, I found that the knit fabric gave a little too much, so my feet slid around.
So, would we recommend buying these?
If you're an avid runner and you mostly run outdoors, you'll appreciate the durability, structure, and bounce of these lightweight sneakers. At $220, they're an investment, but they also look cool enough to wear when you're just running errands and you're not, you know, actually running.
*Adidas provided Refinery29 with the product for testing purposes.