So my shoe tech of choice for trips has been Nike’s Air Max, preferably a full length Air Max setup ala Air Max 360. Several years back, the red-bubbled Air Trainer 1.3 protected my feet at Disneyland. In 2013, the Perry the Platypus-colored Air Max 90 rocked Alaska and Disneyland. Last year for HIChina15, I was hoping for the Nike Air Max PacFly but could never find them so instead, the old faithful (and Air Max-ed out) Griffey’s traveled China. But in 2016, finding a full length Air Max is not that easy.
As a default, there’s the annual Air Max runners but the 2015 didn’t feel right in the right places. Only old school retro Barkley’s and Chris Webber’s included Air Max in the forefoot. However, these were full priced and bulky so I passed them over. But I would have considered the crazy olive, bright crimson color way of the Webber/Air Max Sensation if I saw them.
Anyways to get back on track, I couldn’t find a suitable Air Max shoe to provide that endurance and support I like while on travel. So instead, I looked elsewhere and saw that popular Adidas Ultra Boost runners were available in a stability model, the Adidas Ultra Boost ST. While there’s a general consensus of the plush ride of the Ultra Boost, the regular models don’t work with my flat arches but a stability model addresses the shortcomings so I committed and went with Boost over Air Max.
What can I say other than not bad at all. Yep, the prices of the Ultra Boost are still at a premium, but I wanted to see what the hype was about. Ultra Boost did not disappoint and provided a soft cushioned ride. A running shoe, the Ultra Boost ST isn’t made to take a daily beating, but it held up fine while traveling even through light rock climbing, hiking through slushy trails, and walking miles of amusement parks. Along with the mega-padded Boost, Adidas’ Primeknit is definitely a draw. Supple, form fitting, and breathable, I love the knit upper and have gotten spoiled by it great qualities. The sizing of the ST seemed half a size big at first and not true to size, but I went with my typical size 10 though it seemed like I could have gone with a 9.5.
In general, Boost provides a different feel than Air Max, and I’m not sure which I like better. The Boost is pillowy while the Air Max feels more solid. To me, the Boost is passive, absorbing the weight and pressure via the foam nodules. Air Max seems aggressive with the encapsulated air fighting back against your weight creating a supporting underlying structure. There’s less of a sinking in feeling with Air Max compared to Boost. While it’s purely preferential, the stance provided by the Air Max just feels more supportive, creating a solid foot bed.
But hey, you really can’t go wrong with either. But since Ultra Boost is now the marquee of Adidas, it’ll be some time before discounted Ultra Boosts show up. You can find regular Boost shoes at a cheaper price but not yet with the Ultra Boost. Air Max, on the other hand, should be easier to find on clearance, but you’d just need to see if those Air Maxes work for you and your feet.
I’m still undecided over Boost or Air Max. Right now, if I find the right Air Max, I’d go that route with the nod to that solid base and slight fit issues with Adidas.