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Winter can be a tough time for running shoes, especially given the current trend towards knitted uppers, which are comfortable to wear but do little to prevent water soaking through to your foot when it’s wet out.
To combat this Adidas has tweaked the ever-popular UltraBoost to make it more suitable for winter running, with a thin film over the Primeknit to repel water, a high collar to prevent water entering the shoe from above and a stronger-gripping outsole with deeper lugs.
I didn’t have the chance to take the shoe out on a truly stormy day, but the new upper coped well with the perennial mild drizzle, repelling rain and not soaking up enough water from puddles to reach the foot.
To test the upper more strenuously, I poured half a cup of water over the shoe while at work (attracting several funny looks from colleagues). Impressively, most ran off onto the office floor, but some did penetrate through to the foot. So the All Terrain will probably not keep you dry if you plough through every puddle you see or run during a particularly heavy downpour, but that would be asking a lot of it.
Adding a raised collar is always risky because when running shoes extend their collar towards the ankle, the extra fabric has an unwelcome tendency to rub against the achilles and produce blisters. I am happy to report this was not the case with the UltraBoost All Terrain, though it was more comfortable to wear it with socks that extended up past the collar, rather than with the fabric of the shoe in direct contact with the skin.
I’ve always found that the Continental Rubber outsole on all UltraBoost shoes offered impressive grip on roads and pavements in any weather, and unsurprisingly this is still the case with the deeper lugs on the All Terrain. It also handled the mild mud of city park paths pretty well. It’s not a shoe to take for a day on the trails, but if you want to take an off-road detour through a local park or run on icy pavements, the extra grip will be welcome.
All the changes on the UltraBoost All Terrain do add some weight, with the shoe weighing in at 338g (UK size 8.5). It does feel substantial on the foot, mostly in a reassuring manner rather than being uncomfortably heavy, but it’s more suited to everyday training than race day.
As with almost all the shoes in the Boost line-up, the All Terrain is also stylish enough to wear when not running – and given the hefty £169.95 price, you’re going to want to wear it as much as possible to justify the expense.
There are some useful adaptations for winter weather on the All Terrain, and the Boost midsole, as always, makes for a bouncy, comfortable ride. I preferred running in the regular UltraBoost or the PureBoost DPR, both of which are lighter (especially the DPR), cheaper and aren’t going to fall apart at the first sign of rain, but the All Terrain is another solid addition to the Boost family.
Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.