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Under Armour Drive 4 Performance Reviews


Traction: Under Armour doesn’t mess around here; it has used what has been proven to work for years and that would be full-length herringbone. Not only did UA use a tried and true formula, it made the tread thick and deep so it’ll last longer (shout out to all our outdoor ballers). Also, dust has less of a chance of getting caught in between the grooves since the pattern is spaced out very nicely.

The rubber compound could’ve been a little tackier but that didn’t keep these from working on virtually every floor condition you can think of. However, since they’re not as tacky as something like the Kobe 9s I did have to wipe every now and then when the floor was in less than ideal conditions.

It’s also worth mentioning that the outsole started to separate from the midsole. If you take a look at the 4:07 mark in the video above, you’ll see the outsole separation. I didn’t notice this during use but honestly, I’m not surprised by the wear and tear since I easily put about 50 hours of playing time in these. If you’re looking for something that’ll last you an entire season, these might not be for you.

Cushion: Under Armour could’ve and should’ve used full-length MicroG, but instead it only used it in the heel — that’s the equivalent of having a really nice crossover but no jumper.

We’re assuming that the forefoot is just straight EVA foam which could be worse but when compared to the MicroG in the heel, it’s obsolete. It can feel dead at times but the silver lining is that you’re going to get a real responsive ride that is very low to the ground — those guards who don’t really get up in the air are really going to like how quick the forefoot feels. However, more explosive players are going to wish there was more impact protection and bounce, kind of like the Micro G section in the heel.

I don’t know why UA didn’t just put Micro G full-length. The good news is that I never felt sore at the end if my runs so the while the cushion could’ve been a lot better, what we do get isn’t bad at all

Materials: It looks like ClutchFit is going extinct on the hardwood because Under Armour decided to replace it in the Drive line with what it calls a lightweight and breathable textile upper. It’s basically a woven mesh material that doesn’t really stretch but at the same time isn’t very stiff or uncomfortable, it’s kind of just there. The materials aren’t terrible but they aren’t amazing either. However, the neoprene-like padding in the medial forefoot and collar area was very comfortable.

The downside of the materials is that they don’t really conform to your foot for a snug one-to-one fit. There’s quite a bit of dead space in the toebox area and no matter how tight I laced them up, the materials just did not snap to my foot the way they should. Under Armour curry 4 black gold also says that the upper is breathable but trust me, it isn’t. It isn’t really a big deal, they’re not a hot box by any means, but they will start to smell pretty bad after just a couple of uses

Fit: Wide-footers listen up,  you should seriously consider putting these on your radar because a wide fit like this doesn’t come around very often. 

Like I said in the materials section, there was a ton of dead space towards the front of the shoe and while the length and overall fit of the Drive 4 was true to size, I just couldn’t get the materials to snap to the front of my foot the way I wanted them to. The midfoot area was snug and responsive just as long as I tied the laces up nice and tight. Moreover, the back end of the shoe, towards the heel area, also provided a less than ideal fit. It isn’t as bad as the forefoot but there was definitely some wiggle room that couldn’t be eliminated.

There was also some stabbing in this area on hard cuts and drives where the heel cup would go under my ankle and pinch against my foot. When this happened, it was not comfortable whatsoever and one night in particular, there was nothing I could do to avoid it. Oddly enough, after that one night, the problem didn’t really come back to me so i’m not sure if I broke these in or I just got used to it, but when it did happen, it was pretty annoying. If you’re a side to side mover who does a lot of v-cuts and goes from baseline to baseline, you might also experience this issue, but the problem did eventually go away.

Support: Despite the loose fit, the Drive 4 does a solid job keeping you on your feet thanks to its wide fit that in turn provides a wide base. That wide platform in the forefoot, coupled with the low to the ground cushioning, made for a very responsive and stable ride that is going to favor quick guards or anyone who doesn’t really get off of the ground.

The heel cup also did a pretty good job with lateral stability but like I said, it did cut into my ankle a few times so perhaps it does too good of a job. The lacing system is another star feature in the Drive 4’s support system because it does a very good job at keeping your foot in place — it just doesn’t do a good job snapping the materials to your foot but this is more of a weird feel than a knock on its actual performance.

You’re not going to get top tier performance in this category for the Drive 4 but you will get everything you need to keep you on your feet during play. (You’re going to get a different experience depending on how it fits.) If you can fill in a lot of the dead space that these have, the support will be above average; if you can’t fill in those dead spaces, internal slipping may be an issue.

Overall: Look, as much as we want a sneaker shoes that costs $115 and provides top tier performance, it just isn’t that common. The Drive 4 is about what you would expect from a sneaker at this price. There are some good things it does (traction) and then there are some things that need work (fit and materials). 

Sure, the outsole separation is pretty bad but the good news is that it didn’t affect my play on the court. Also, the wide fit could be viewed as a positive since wide-footers are always saying that shoe companies don’t provide enough wide-footer friendly models. For better or worse, Under Armour gave you guys what you wanted — even if it may have been by accident. Overall, if you’re someone who plays low to the ground, prefers a stable ride and has a wide foot, these are going to be great for you, just be aware of the lackluster impact protection — and watch out for that heel cup. http://www.kd10sale.com
11:43:55 25 Augustus 2017 Permanente link Reacties (0)

Jordan Brand CP3.XI Performance Review


Sometimes a shoe comes out of nowhere to completely change your opinion of a model or line. The Jordan CP3.XI, Chris Paul’s latest signature model, is that shoe. When we at WearTesters heard the news that Jordan Brand was killing the Melo line our first question was “What about the CP line?” It was never a great seller, and it had become an afterthought in performance rankings. Surely, it had to go too, right? Well, if this is the death stroke, it’s a killer. Herringbone forefoot is almost always a good idea, and the Jordan CP3.XI has that in spades. The tread is multidirectional across the main part of the pattern and broken up at the toe-off area. The pattern is wide but the grooves are fairly shallow, so dust collection did become an issue after a few trips down the court. However, it was nothing a quick wipe couldn’t handle. The heel area is a different pattern altogether. It looks like a feather, and grabbed more dust than the forefoot, but I don’t play a ton on my heels so it didn’t really affect playability for me. As for durability, this is a translucent rubber and it’s fairly soft. Also, the pattern is shallow, so outdoors is a no-no. That is the only thing holding the CP3.XI back from a Hall of Fame badge — this stuff could climb walls, at least to the second story, before the tread would wear down. Heel and forefoot Zoom Air encased in a soft Phylon midsole? Yes, please. The forefoot of the Jordan CP3.XI is shaped like the PG 1 and 2, almost oval but also rectangle Zoom, and to be honest you can’t really feel it. The heel is a large hex Zoom bag, and, again, to be honest, you can’t really feel it. This isn’t bad. The Phylon midsole encases the units, and while this is normally a bad thing, the midsole seems softer than previous models and similar to the Cushlon used in the Kyrie 4. The foam does depress and bounce back, and when it depresses too far, the Zoom units are there for some additional bounce. Honestly, it is almost like the Why Not Zer0.1 — you know the Zoom is there, and it works when you need it, you just can’t really feel it. The Jordan CP3.XI feels fast and low in the forefoot with no impact issues at all, and the Phylon keeps everything from wobbling and being unstable while playing. Well, almost all was good. Actually, I shouldn’t be too harsh on the upper of the Jordan CP3.XI — it worked and worked well. If you enjoyed the Nike Kobe AD Mid this colorway is for you (I say this because unlike this colorway, the white/red build uses a mesh upper with a synthetic toebox). What was supposed to feel like suede or nubuck ends up feeling like felt with a stiff backing, which sucks for breathability but is great for containment. The heel is a nice synthetic leather and adds a little touch of class in the back (it also has the killer CP3 logo). The materials do break in fairly quickly; flex points are learned and the shoe begins fitting and feeling better within a couple of trips down the floor. Now, the strap: it is rubberized (again, on this colorway) and fairly stiff, but sits behind the forefoot flex point so even the stiffness doesn’t hurt while playing. The ankle is lined with a thick padding that isn’t quite memory foam but dense nonetheless. The mesh tongue tries to dissipate heat and moisture but it’s fighting a losing, soggy battle. The fit of the Jordan CP3.XI is freaking awesome, but only after the break-in stage. Before that, there are empty spaces around the toebox and midfoot. The lacing system does a great job of pulling those around the foot, but until the upper materials soften up and begin creasing, be ready for a little clunkiness. Afterwards, the CP3.XI turns into a form-fitting foot rocket that feels great in transition and jumps. The heel is locked in by that foam lining I mentioned above, and the opening of the shoe is a little more narrow than normal (but not difficult to enter). The lacing system works. Unlike the last shoe I reviewed, the CP3.XI fit-straps run back into the foot and the top hole pulls the foot into the heel of the shoe, locking everything in for no movement at all — until the thin, round laces come untied, which they will. Go true to size for length. Wide-footers may even get away with true as well, but going up a half may be best if you are extremely wide. The strap does loosen and should accommodate the wide-footedness. For a low-riding, low-cut “guard” shoe the CP3.XI holds it down in the support/stability category. Much like Westbrook, Chris Paul needs containment and stability to cover his shifty game. Granted, he is fairly ground-bound, but like Kyrie, he changes speeds and directions in a heartbeat. Starting at the bottom, the Phylon is stable and solid while not being overly dense; it’s just enough to keep the midsole from crushing when changing directions and slowing you down. The strap ties under the ball of the foot, and uses a three-point anchor to pull the midsole into the foot and lock in for lateral movements. Yes, it is a strap that actually works. Again, like the Why Not Zer0.1, there is no real outrigger. Instead, the shape of the midsole flares out and then wraps up the sidewall to contain the foot. From what can be seen and felt, there is no midfoot shank, although it could be small and not obvious (tech specs are not out yet for the shoe). Even so, the Phylon is thick enough in that area to stop any unwanted bending. The CP3.XI is solid but not restrictive, and while playing, that is exactly what’s needed. If any of you doubted the ability of Jordan Brand to bring a true performer back on the scene, look no more. The Jordan CP3.XI does everything and does it well. If you need traction for days, cushioning that is stable but provides great impact protection, and a supportive, stable base look no further — the CP3.XI should be a shoe for you, no matter the position. If you just don’t like CP3 the man (we see you Austin) or the Rockets in general, get over it because the shoe works. Jordan Brand is more than retros people, and the CP3.XI takes it back to what we all used to believe in: performance engineered for the greatest athletes. Some shoes are just fun to wear, you can lace them up and just play ball. The Jordan CP3.XI is a ballplayer’s shoe, through and through.
09:44:00 14 April 2018 Permanente link Reacties (0)

2001 vs. 2013 vs. 2017 Air Jordan 1 Retro 'Royal' Comparison


It's only been four years since the last go-round, but the 'Royal' Air Jordan 1 Retro is one of the year's most anticipated sneaker releases. Originally released in 1985, the black and blue colorway first returned in 2001, before a 12-year hiatus until the next retro. This time, Jordan Brand is promising remastered quality, which means they tried to construct it as close to the original as possible.To determine how well they did with the 2017 version, we compared every 'Royal' Air Jordan 1 Retro to date, breaking them down by each detail. Read on to see how this year's release stacks up against its predecessors.

QUARTER

The leather is different on each pair and the shade of blue gradually got brighter. Unlike the 2013 and 2017 releases, nubuck fills the Swoosh of the 2001 retro.

TONGUE

The font used for Nike Air embroidery is different on each tongue, as is the material used to construct them.

LINING

There's less padding on the 2013 retro compared to the 2001 and 2017 pairs, along with a different lining pattern. The backside of the tongue on the 2001 pair features the Jumpman logo and production number. Logo on the back of the tongue and lining color is white on the 2017 retro and black on the other two.

HEEL

Sizing of heel tabs varies each year. There's no black stitching on the heel tab on the 2013 pair and the tab is a bit higher on this year's retro. The 2013 pair appears to be more narrow when looking at it from behind when compared to the 2001 and 2017 pairs.

COLLAR

Note the size, shape and positioning of the Wings logo on each pair.

INSOLE

After the Jumpman graced the insoles of the 2001 Jordan retro, Nike Air returned in 2013 and again this year, but this time on OG-style white insoles.

TOEBOX

The size and arrangement of the perforations differ on each pair, as does the general narrowness of the toeboxes.

SHOE BOX

The 2001 release came with the 'Jordan for all Face' box, while the OG-style box returned for the 2013 and 2017 releases.

12:20:22 11 April 2018 Permanente link Reacties (0)


Jordan Brand dresses their newest futuristic silhouette, the Air Jordan Future in the classic “Bred” color scheme. Having a similar built as the iconic Air Jordan 11 “Bred” both having a Black based-upper with Red accents, a White midsole and Red translucent outsole. The Air Jordan Future has slowly made its way into the hearts of many. Becoming a regular sneaker in people’s rotation, the Air Jordan Future is one sneaker everyone can love. Coming in a plethora of colorways, the newest design to hit retailers is the Air Jordan Future “Bred.” This iteration of the sneaker is dressed in a black woven upper with red on the upper lining and outsole. A white midsole contrasts the look as 3M is worked into the upper. This flashy look is inspired by the classic Air Jordan 11 “Bred,” Air Jordan 11 Bred backpack sample, an apparel item that combined the outsole of the famed patent leather gem as the base of the backpack. We never thought that the brand would release something as outlandish as a backpack turned shoe, and yet here we are. The Air Jordan 11 Bred backpack is available today. Complete with a cordura fabric to mimic the shoe’s upper with alternating black panels, accents of red arrive on the zipper. The only differences between the two silhouettes besides the model itself is the built. The Jordan Future sports a 3M reflective Black woven upper inside of the traditional mesh from the Air Jordan 11. The tongue, laces, heel tab and inner lining on the Jordan Future are dressed in Red. To complete the comparison both pairs sit atop the same White midsole, but the Jordan Future is finished with a more milky Red translucent outsole. Check out the additional comparison photos below as well as a few extra of the Air Jordan Future “Bred” colorway
12:13:17 10 April 2018 Permanente link Reacties (0)

Air Jordan 31 Black Cat Performance Reviews


While the reviews have admittedly gone away, I still keep hooping, but my beloved Kobe VIs aren’t getting any younger. My go-to shoes for the last two years are shot. With the heel foam permanently broken down and traction wearing smooth, I had tried hooping in other shoes. The Harden Vol 1s were ok (I actually really liked them through the first couple months of wearing, and gave them a positive review here) but multiple rolled ankles in them eventually forced me to retire them for something that fit more snug. I grabbed the Zoom Run the One at the outlets for a cool $35, but the traction and cushioning left something to be desired. Cheap Zoom relegated these to workout status. Next came the Flyknit Hyperdunk 2016s from the outlets, which are still partially in the rotation. They offer fantastic cushioning (like, XX8-level cushioning) and fit, yet heel lockdown wasn’t quite perfect and I was left wanting something more traditional. I had eyes on the Air Jordan 32 thanks to its gorgeous materials and carbon fiber support, but the $185 price tag is pretty steep. I had tried on the Air Jordan 31 in store and at the outlets a couple different times, and when Eastbay’s Final Score closeouts featured the 31 on sale plus 40% off, I pulled the trigger on the Black Cat colorway. Schwollo, my go-to source for reviews right now, likened them to TGRR-favorite Zoom BB. After having tried them for myself for over a month now, it is uncanny how similar the 31 feels to the original Zoom BB, especially from a Zoom feel standpoint. The 31 does have some minor drawbacks, but it’s a consistent and solid performer. It’s not the newest shoe on the market but if you’re looking for a performance shoe on a budget, these can now be had at serious discounts all over the web (I believe Weartesters’ duke4005 found them as low as $79.99 in some stores, too). Fit I went true to size with an 11.5. I typically like to go a half-size down in my hoop shoes in order to get a better fit thanks to a narrow foot, but having tried these on a couple times I knew the toebox ran a little short for that. I can’t imagine anyone going down a size in these so TTS is the move if you don’t get to try them on first. There are a couple different aspects with the fit to touch on, and some of it is going to overlap into materials. The tightly woven Flyweave forefoot portion makes the shoe flexible, comfortable, and allows it to conform to the foot within a wearing or two. It felt more robust and structurally strong than the weave used on the 29 or 30. As it transitions to leather in the heel portion, you also get a thick neoprene inner collar. The neoprene inner collar is exceptionally well padded in the Achilles area and gives the shoe a plush feel on the interior. I did not experience any Achilles pain, as some have noted in their testing. I had zero issues with lockdown – even forefoot containment was acceptable by standards although I’d have preferred a raised midsole or bigger outrigger. I didn’t care for the traditional detached tongue as it created some pressure points on the medial sideon the ankle bone. Because of the detached tongue, leather heel portion, woven upper and neoprene inner collar, I didn’t necessarily get a second-skin type of fit. There are a lot of moving pieces there and I felt that when fully laced there was a bit of excess material or volume. I happen to prefer the 1:1 kind of fit but it was certainly not a deal-breaker for me considering the lockdown itself was really good. With a narrow foot plus being used to the Kobe VI and Anta’s KT2 Outdoor (review to come), this may have been an issue more unique to me than most wearers. Transition Transition is butter-smooth right out of the box. No slap at all as the outsole is not decoupled. Initial impressions of the shoe raised concerns about the fact that the outsole in the heel and forefoot protrude slightly, giving the illusion that the shoe might be tippy or unstable. I didn’t notice any instability – not even when standing still – and I feel like the weight of most wearers will compress the bags enough that it won’t be noticeable. This is one area where the shoe especially reminded me of the Zoom BB that I played much of my freshman year of college practice in. I loved that shoe for its consistent traction, court feel and cushioning, and the 31 ticks the latter two of those boxes. The Flightspeed platform does not provide as much support as the Flightplate of a few years back, but does allow for a more natural feel. Cushioning The full length Zoom bag is how Zoom is supposed to feel – thick, allowing good court feel, and super responsive. There’s a noticeable bounce with these Zoom bags that’s not like budget Zoom-based models. I know the 31 came at a premium retail, but the Zoom setup is worthy of that price. Responsiveness is important to me but so is ride height and court feel, and the 31 presents a fantastic combination. You don’t get the big volume, bouncy, effect that you do with the Flyknit HD 2016, but court feel is better and I felt like the ride was lower and more stable. Again, it really is like the Zoom BB or some early 2000s Zoom model reborn. If I could design a cushioning platform from scratch, the first two criteria would be court feel and responsiveness – and the Air Jordan 31 nails both. Speaking of 2000s Zoom cushioning platforms, if anyone reading has a pair or knows someone that has a pair of deadstock/good condition Zoom Drives, in an 11/11.5, with the caged heel Zoom and forefoot strap PLEASE HIT ME UP. Traction This has been and continues to be the biggest point of contention with the Jordan 31. The translucent outsole models were panned for below average traction, so I went with the Black Cat colorway mostly because of that solid outsole. Traction, to be honest, is not fantastic. I have one league at local elementary school gym, with a floor that’s exceptionally well kept. Zero complaints with the traction in there. At the two YMCA courts I play on, the floors are not nearly as nice and traction suffers. Some shoes shed dust from the outsole, but the 31 seems to collect it. I don’t feel like the pattern is deep enough to bite the floor and isn’t spaced wide enough to flex and grab either. I don’t feel unsafe in the shoe, but I certainly wish it was better on average floors. The top of the traction class is the Rose 7/Rose 8, and I feel the air jordan 32 why not probably falls somewhere below average compared to most high-end shoes on the market. This is also the one area that the Zoom BB is far and away better than the 31. I gave it an average rating on the scale because it still plays well on good surfaces. Materials Simply put, the 31 uses fantastic materials across the board. Flyweave > Flyknit, and actually has good performance properties besides being a fancy marketing piece. Full length Zoom feels like vintage Nike cushioning, and you get real leather on a performance hoop shoe in the heel portion – supple, quality leather at that. The neoprene inner collar is a great touch (although it’s apparently the source of Achilles pressure for some) and I enjoyed the excessive heel/Achilles padding. The materials used and application of each component are extremely well-executed in the Jordan 31. Conclusion It’s been awhile since I’ve written up a review and this one feels clunky to me but in conclusion, I like the Jordan 31 a lot. It’s got the familiar feeling of a favorite hoodie right out of the box. It’s comfy, fits well, and plays consistently underfoot. The full Zoom setup is fantastic in all aspects. Transition is smooth. I know what I’m getting every time I slip on the 31. That said, do I love the shoe? Sometimes. The traction is iffy on some courts and the shoe doesn’t fit like a super snug extension of the foot, two things that I typically don’t care for in my go-to shoes. Stumbling into the KT2 Outdoor, which fits and plays like my favorite Kobe VIs, makes it harder for me to choose the 31 every time too. I do know that I’ll play in the 31 for a long time, and that’s probably the best indication of my overall feeling towards the shoe. With one of the best cushioning setups I’ve ever played in and great materials across the board, put the 31 on your short list this holiday season if you’re looking for a high-performance shoe on a budget.
11:42:11 05 April 2018 Permanente link Reacties (0)

Nike LeBron Ambassador 10 performance review


The Nike LeBron Ambassador 9 was a top performer last year that I liked more than the LeBron 14. But does this latest overseas alternate signature model, the LeBron Ambassador X, continue to take the reigns as a top performer? We’re here to find out. The LeBron Ambassador X uses the same diamond grid traction pattern used on the Ambassador 9, and it has strategically placed herringbone waves that help you stop on a dime. When I tell you this traction pattern and the XDR rubber combo is amazing it’s because it’s freakin’ amazing! Why we don’t see the Swoosh use more XDR (Extra Durable Rubber) with a pattern like this on Stateside shoes nowadays still causes me to scratch my head. The XDR rubber outsole and pattern combination is literally Goku morphing into his Ultra instinct form. Whether you hit the blacktop outdoors or play on the hardwood indoors, you’re in for not just a treat, but the whole nine-course meal. Again, not once did I need to wipe the bottom of the shoe. Consistency is key and this pattern, material compound, and extended outrigger add up to the best of the best. Like it’s predecessor, the LeBron Ambassador X features heel and forefoot Zoom Air unit. Needless to say, a shoe that bears LeBron’s name would need cushioning and ample support that a player of his stature needs. While the cushion combination works well, I was disappointed in finding out that there were some minor modifications towards the Zoom Air units utilized. While the forefoot Zoom unit got thicker at 8.5mm thick, the width of the unit shrank. So for those that have heavy forefoot drop placements and have wider feet, you might feel the slight difference, but it’s minimal. The heel unit also increased in thickness to 11.16mm, which is perfect for those plant heavy on their heels. The LeBron Ambassador X USA cushions well above average, but I still wish it used the heel unit from the Ambassador 8. That cushion worked so well, so why change it? However, getting heel and forefoot Zoom Air in a Nike Basketball shoe these days is a blessing — the only thing is you have to check overseas shops to find this model. Mesh is used from midfoot to forefoot with TPU reinforcement at high wear areas, just like its predecessor. What has changed is the synthetic suede-like panel from midfoot to heel and the elastic band overlay right above the midfoot. The interior of the shoe features a heavily padded bootie-like construction for support purposes. The shoe is finished with the wonderful XDR outsole while heel and forefoot Zoom units are implemented within the soft Phylon midsole. The construction and materials bear resemblance to the recently released Nike PG 2 (both shoes were done by the same designer, shout out to TH), which isn’t a bad thing. For its price point, the Ambassador X can withstand the battles on court indoors and outdoors, with decent materials that make the shoe durable. It’s simple and well done. The fit of the Ambassador X, for me, was decent at best. I experienced some heel slippage in the shoe, which was a surprise considering previous Ambassador models never had this problem. I also went true to size (I have a wide foot). The slippage isn’t a total deal breaker, but coming from the previous Ambassador models that worked very well, it threw me off. I even tried wearing thicker socks but moisture buildup became a problem. The elastic band across the midfoot helps contain the foot and it’s a nice addition. However, I believe that the throat lacing structure and the extra padding layer between the inner bootie and the rounded external material at the heel didn’t allow the foot to be fully contained. The support in the Ambassador X comes directly from the fit of the shoe, which includes the elastic band at the midfoot, the mesh upper, the forefoot and heel cushion, and the traction. The traction is top notch, the forefoot and heel cushion feel above average, and the elastic band on the midfoot provides ample lockdown. Again, the heel slip doesn’t deter from the rest of the shoe when it comes to proper support because everything else worked very well. The LeBron Ambassador X had a lot of positive points but fell slightly short due to some minor issues. For a big man that plays like LeBron’s and Draymond’s positionless game, the shoe does everything well. If you can look past the minor heel slippage, then the shoe would be fantastic. Like the 9, the Ambassador X offers everything you need for a basketball shoe. And I’ll say this again — how the Swoosh has decided not to bring the Ambassador line Stateside is still a shock. Perhaps its solely a business decision — if the Ambassador line came here it could wipe out the Soldier/Witness Line completely, and I truly believe it would. If Nike makes some minor adjustments and takes cues from the previous Ambassador models to improve the next Ambassador sneaker, the Nike Lebron 15 could be next year’s top performer. Salute to T. Hardman for creating another gem — we’re looking forward to the next one.
09:00:47 31 Maart 2018 Permanente link Reacties (0)

Nike Zoom Kobe 1 Protro Performance Review


“Make the old new again” — that’s the mantra of retro product, right? Well, Nike and Kobe Bryant decided to take those words to the next level with the Zoom Kobe 1 Protro, which debuted for All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles. The original Kobe 1 was an absolute killer on court, so does the “new and improved” build match up? Here we go… If there was a ranking higher than Hall of Fame, the Kobe 1 Protro would get it. Using the exact same pattern as the original Kobe was a great thing because it sticks like glue to any floor. Plus, it’s thick and hard enough to hoop in outdoors. The herringbone is multi-directional and spaced wide enough that dust is no issue. During one wear at 24 Hour Fitness — a four-game session of full court — I made a point to count how many times I wiped… Two times, that’s all. That is amazing. Since the first Kobe came out over 13 years ago, this traction has been one of my favorites, and it still is. Keep your storytelling — give me herringbone. Full-length Zoom is rarely a bad thing, right? Right, especially when it is responsive and protects from impact. The Kobe 1 Protro is both. The Zoom unit can be felt as soon as you step down on that first wear and it only gets better as the midsole foam begins breaking in. It isn’t a LeBron 15 Max Zoom feeling — this is fast and agile, because that’s what Zoom was meant to be before it became an impact-absorbing monster. Don’t get me wrong – impact protection was there, as I never felt anything jarring while playing or excessive aching afterwards (well, no more than my age would allow). It’s just that when Zoom appeared, it was the low, fast, speedy, responsive cushioning while Air Max was the impact protection. Now it seems Zoom is marketed as impact protection. No difference here because the Kobe 1 Protro keeps doing it and doing it and doing it well. One minor addition to the shoe that was found in the original but not in many other shoes is the Poron inserts on the bottom of the insole. Poron in a highly resilient, highly responsive urethane (usually blue) that can be placed in thin layers on the undersides of insoles — usually in the heel and forefoot — that adds a little initial impact protection without adding a ton of weight or height. The original had these as well, and for step-in comfort it can’t be beat. This is it: leather, suede, and leather, and more suede. I won’t say this is premium leather, because it isn’t — if it was we would be paying $400 for these. This is the leather for leather-lovers that play ball, at least. It is thick and takes a couple of hard wears to break in and crease, but when it does, it forms to the foot and feels great. Durability is also a plus as the Kobe 1 Protro is built like a tank (yet hard to hit). I am still playing in my original Kobe 1 and the Kobe 1 Protro feels like it will still be playable in 13 years as well. The medial side is made up of a nubuck that, again, feels like the best you can get at this price point for basketball. It is smooth and soft and should take a couple of wears to crease and feel right, but when it does…yeah. Carbon fiber — what appears to be real carbon fiber — comes back for the heel cup and midfoot shank, and it is so nice (more on that in Support). The only real change on the Kobe 1 Protro as far as materials is the Pro Combat in the ankle collar and the missing leather circles that covered the ankle bones. Not a big change and neither one makes a difference in performance, so no harm, no foul. The one area on the Kobe 1 Protro Reviews that takes some work is fit, and it all goes back to the previous category, the materials. As anyone who has played in a ton of leather shoes from the ’90s and early ’00s will tell you, most leather shoes take a couple of wears to crease and “learn” the foot. All those wrinkles mean the shoe is learning to flex and shape to your foot and activity. The Kobe 1 Protro is no different. The leather upper is backed internally by a layer of foam that gives the shoe a bulky, disconnected feeling, at first. You can pull the laces as tight as you want but there is still a feeling of dead space in the forefoot. No worries! Just let the shoe break in and fit improves dramatically after the second or third day of playing. Length-wise, stay true to size. Again, it may feel like you should have went a half-size down, but let the shoe break in before panicking. Heel slip is non-existent as long as you lace tight. The hole in the collar was seen as gimmicky when first released but does allow for ankle mobility while also locking the heel in and stopping movement. One note: lace behind the Shozoku logo on the tongue. It will make locking the laces down tight easier. The Kobe 1 Protro offers serious support with tools in just about every category. Starting at the bottom, the base is wide and features a large outrigger on the lateral forefoot. Above that outrigger, we get foam teeth rising from the midsole over the side of the foot; they keep any lateral movements locked and caged so your foot doesn’t slide off the footbed on your Kobe-copying-Dirk one legged fadeaways. In the midfoot, we get a carbon fiber shank that keeps the arch and midfoot rigid and supported. That shank ties into a carbon piece that circles around the heel cup, tying the midfoot to the back of the shoe. Let’s face it — even if your foot asks for permission, nicely, it ain’t getting out. Moving up, the leather and nubuck upper may eventually stretch out and become a bit sloppy, but the lacing system allows the upper to be pulled tight in all directions, so even if the Kobe 1 Protro does lose a little shape over the years, just yank harder and you’re good to go. It is only March, but the Kobe 1 Protro has the potential to be my Performer of the Year. It may be an opinion clouded in sentiment, as the Kobe I is my second favorite Kobe shoe ever (behind the VI), but there is no denying it: the Protro is a great, great, great performer. If you can put up with a little extra weight (supposedly lighter materials were used, but these were within an ounce of the original Kobe I in my size 10.5) and a short break-in time, you will be blessed with a serious shoe. If you want light, thin, minimal, non-supportive uppers you may want to keep looking. The Kobe 1 Protro should suit any player at any position, period, and if you wore the Kobe 1 the first time around and liked it, look no further. With more colorways soon to come, don’t miss the chance to wear the latest, greatest Nike performer — that first appeared 13 years ago.
12:23:25 29 Maart 2018 Permanente link Reacties (0)

Nike Kyrie Flytrap Performance Reviews


If the Nike Kyrie Flytrap had a sound all you would hear are crickets chirping. The outsole the Nike Kyrie Flytrap resembles a watered-down Kyrie 4 outsole. The herringbone doesn’t look as aggressive as the Kyrie 4’s, but that doesn’t matter, because the traction on the Kyrie Flytrap was excellent. I broke this shoe out on a super dirty court and probably wiped a few times the entire session. Every session after that the traction was an absolute beast on everything it touched, and I play on hardwood, rubber, tile, plastic, etc. and the traction held up nicely. I wish Nike put this outsole on the Kyrie 4 — game changer, I’m telling you. The Kyrie Flytrap uses a Phylon midsole with a small Zoom unit underneath the balls of your feet. Now, if you are expecting this cushion setup to be on marshmallow mode, then you might want to start looking at another shoe because this ain’t that. However, this cushion setup wasn’t horrible; the Phylon is a little softer than what was used on the last Kyrie models (excluding the Kyrie 4 BHM and its Cushlon). At the same time, you still get some excellent court feel. Those that love that low-profile and minimal cushion setup may really like Kyrie Flytrap. The shoe features a knit upper with a textile panel on the inside of the shoe. The knit feels like a light mesh and surprisingly it’s held up so far. I thoughts it would have torn up by now but I was wrong! The knit does support and contain my foot just fine, and the breathability was on point. However, there is a slight issue with the fit that makes me dislike the materials just a tad. Everything about the fit for me was weird. The sizing is pretty much true to size for both narrow and wide footers, but narrow footers may feel the need to go down a half size because of dead space in the toebox. However, I don’t recommend you guys do that because your toes will bust out the front like a jack-in-the-box. I don’t know if it was because of the asymmetrical lacing but all I know is that when I tie these shoes the dead space in the toebox folds over my foot like a damn burrito with extra beef and that ain’t what’s up. On top of that, the footbed feels like a banked turn on a NASCAR race track — it slopes inward a bit — which I never got used to. Lockdown was OK, only because I had these bad boys tied tighter than a jelly jar. The elastic band over the forefoot wasn’t bad, I could feel it holding me down, so it served its purpose. I just wish the folded burrito-style material wasn’t an issue in the toebox; it would have significantly improved the lockdown. The support was slightly below OK. You still have your usual support features like an internal heel counter, which cradles the heel, and a midsole that cups the foot to keep it atop the footbed. I didn’t have any issues with containment. However, the stability is where my problem lies. Remember when I said the footbed feels like a turn on NASCAR race track because it slopes inward? Try running up and down the basketball Shoes court and feeling your ankles leaning in a bit every time you plant your foot. Yeah! That’s a real uneasy feeling, let me tell you. I don’t know if my pair was a defect or what but I don’t like it at all. If the footbed were a little flatter then this review would have been different. The Nike Kyrie Flytrap is a nice shoe casually. Is it worth your $80 bucks? I don’t think so. I would much rather spend that $80 on a great sneaker from last season that’s on sale, like the PG 1. If you want the Kyrie logo on your shoe and just absolutely need a Kyrie signature shoe, I say do some chores, sell some shoes or whatever you have that you don’t need, and save an extra $40 to buy the Kyrie 4, which isn’t an expensive shoe at $120. However, if traction is all you care about then you will love the Kyrie Flytrap.
12:59:36 27 Maart 2018 Permanente link Reacties (0)


Two of the more limited versions of the Air Jordan 11 was the “Pinnacle” and “Jeter” releases.
The Air Jordan 11 Pinnacle was only available at Concepts and Kith in NYC. It came constructed in a full premium “Grey Suede” upper atop a semi-translucent outsole. As a nod to Derek Jeter’s retirement in 2017, Jordan Brand designed an exclusive Air Jordan 11 that was limited to only 5 pairs, each were released via a scratch-off auction. They were only available at a pop-up shop nearby Yankee Stadium. Constructed in a premium “Navy Suede” upper with Jeter’s famed number “2” on the heels in White atop a semi-translucent outsole.
Air Jordan 11 Retro Pinnacle Initially released this past November 11th at KITH and CNCPTS in New York for a promotional/celebratory 11/11 theme, the sneaker is essentially a more fashionable/lifestyle-inclined variation with smooth suede covering its upper. that comes with a premium suede upper in a “Cool Grey” colorway. It looks remarkably like a similar pair that sprung up back in October, however these look lighter in color and slightly more sophisticated in comparison. The model is stripped of the beloved patent leather upper for a deconstructed aesthetic, while squared leather laces, a leather quilted insole, a rubber midsole, a carbon fiber spring plate and a semi-translucent outsole keep the shoe feeling Jordan-like. Interestingly, the shoe also takes a minimalistic approach to branding, with little to none besides a debossed side panel Jumpman. Distinguishable design elements consist of leather quilted insoles, debossed Jumpman logos and no traditional “23” embroidery on the heels. Finally, a crisp white midsole unit and slightly milky translucent outsole rounds out its clean, yet luxe design. the The super exclusive Air Jordan 11 Derek Jeter that was limited to only 5 pairs and released at a pop-up shop outside of Yankee Stadium in 2017, is now turned into a Air Jordan 11 Low Derek Jeter RE2PECT version this year, and it’s releasing to the public. Basically featuring the very same theme, the sneaker features a navy blue suede upper and matching waxed laces for a premium finish. Other details include Jeter’s number 2 embroidered on the heels, along with “RE2PECT” and “2” printed on the insoles. A contrasting white midsole and milky translucent outsole finally completes the design altogether.
While 99.9% of us don’t have both pairs in our collection, if you had the opportunity to purchase one for retail, which would it be?

16:52:51 26 Maart 2018 Permanente link Reacties (0)


Kith is opening up their Los Angeles flagship store during All-Star Weekend and to celebrate they are releasing the Kith x Nike LeBron 15 ‘Long Live the King’ Chapter 2 Collection. Included in the collection is four different Nike LeBron 15 releases which two land in the performance line while the other two represents lifestyle. For performance we have King’s Cloak’ and ‘Suit of Armor’ while the lifestyle features the ‘King’s Crown’ and ‘City of Angels’. Each pair is constructed with Primeknit across the uppers with unique embroidered detailing, zippers and straps. At the Kith x Nike LeBron 15 Long Live the King Black Gold This Nike LeBron 15 comes in predominate Black while the straps reads ‘Long Live The King’ done in Gold. In addition we have floral and unique designed embroidered throughout done in Gold and Red. Finishing the look is a Matte Black on the outsole. at the KITH x Nike LeBron 15 ‘Rose Pink’ ,This first look comes from LeBron James’ friend Frankie Walker. Looking closer at this Nike LeBron 15 they feature Rose Pink across the uppers while Rose Gold is applied to the zipper. When its unzipped you can see the tongue comes in White while constructed with leather. Also displayed is ‘KITH x Nike LeBron 15’ and ‘Long Live The King’. Finishing the look is a translucent outsole. at the KITH x Nike LeBron 15 Floral As you can see, this Nike LeBron 15 features White across the base however the highlight would be the Floral embroidery seen wrapping the uppers. Following we have Gold on the lace tips and White on the rubber outsole. The LeBron 15 is constructed with BattleKnit and BattleMax technology. The Kith x Nike LeBron Long Live the King Chapter 2 Collection will first release this Friday, February 16th
07:10:26 24 Maart 2018 Permanente link Reacties (0)

Nike Air Max 95: The Story Behind the Revolutionary Runner


It’s been 20 years since Nike first debuted the classic Air Max 95, which marked a big shift in the performance running sneaker market at the time. With its distinct rippled design across its upper, gradient gray color scheme, and bright neon yellow accents, the original model was a bold, provocative silhouette that had not been preceded by any sneaker before its time. Nike brought on board Nike ACG designer Sergio Lozano to spearhead the project, a trained industrial designer whose four-year experience with tennis and training shoes would bring a fresh perspective to the Air Max family.

The ’90s Sneaker Market

In the early ’90s Nike Basketball was dominating the sneaker market, with the popularity of basketball shoes gaining traction well ahead of runners. Lozano positioned the revolutionary Air Max 95 project as a means to recapture the public’s attention towards the performance running category.

New Color, New Swoosh

Lozano wanted to minimize the appearance of dirt, mud, and wear-and-tear that the shoe would achieve over time and use, so he prioritized the use of the gradient gray even when told that the colorway would not sell. The signature neon yellow shade too is a direct nod towards Nike’s race kit that continues to incorporate bright colors. This neon “Volt” colorway has since become a heritage-defining Nike color theme that is consistently reissued for other silhouettes. The first 95 prototype didn’t have the Swoosh logo at all. Eventually it came to incorporate the minimal branding as a small accent, with an unconventional placement that could not distract attention from the undulating lines of the upper. Lozano told Sneaker Freaker, “from the design to the color to the little Swoosh, it all caused controversy. I had initially designed the shoe without a Swoosh because we believed the design was aesthetically strong… so we positioned it as a signature, a sign off on the shoe for jordans for all .”  

Reception

The 95 was a brand new approach to runner cushioning by being the first-ever shoe to also feature the visible Air unit in the forefoot. It was also the first Air Max model to have a black midsole. Despite these innovations, the Air Max 95 was considered an outcast. Even the advertising was quite unconventional for Nike – check out this retro commercial advertising the bold atmos x Nike Air Max 95 2006 Supreme “Animal” silhouette that was made in collaboration with the Tokyo-based streetwear boutique. With its unique colorway, Swoosh placement, and dual air-powered cushioning system, the unapologetically brash Air Max 95 quickly progressed into a youth culture icon. This was especially so throughout Europe and Australia. A smaller following in America includes much of the hip-hop community, with artists like Gucci Mane and Danny Brown having dropped bars about the sneaker. “I’ll kill you if you try me for my Air Max 95s,” rapped The Game in “Hate It Or Love It” (2005) as a direct reference to the Bloods adopting the Air Max 95 as their signature shoe, while the Crips had the Air Max 98s. Other fans of the beloved sneaker include 2 Chainz, Big Boi, Eminem, The Game, Busta Rhymes, DJ Khaled, Nelly, T.I., T-Pain, Wale, Spike Lee, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Floyd Mayweather, Jr., and J.R. Smith.

Notable Colorways and Collaborations

Though not the most often reiterated Nike model, the Air Max 95 has seen its share of vibrant colorways and modern collaborations, especially so throughout the 2000s. Colorways like the Air Max 95 “Black Grape” and the Air Max 95 Pure White/Black exhibit cleaner iterations of the sneaker, while special models like the NFL x Nike Air Max 95 “NFC East” Pack and the Air Max 95 “Country Camo” Japan exemplify the silhouette’s versatility in adopting bold themes.

The Air Max 95 Legacy

“The Air Max 95’s greatest strength, its individuality, was also its greatest hurdle,” Nike’s website states. As the first of its kind, the model considerably paved the way for other forthcoming silhouettes of similarly ostentatious designs, such as the Air Max Plus — known on the street and overseas as the Tuned 1 or TNs — that released in 1998. The subsequent Air Max 97 was also another iteration of the wavy-lined upper. In celebration of its 20th anniversary, Nike will be releasing the original model in its original box along with two new Air Max 95s: the Air Max 95 White Red, designed by Air Max Ultra and Roshe One designer Dylan Raasch, and the Air Max 95 Ultra “Jacquard,” designed by Ben Yun. The Ultra “Jacquard” will be launched in the classic neon “Volt” as well as other colorways like Total Orange, Stealth Black, White/Grey and White/Blue. The new releases drop July 16.
11:53:47 23 Maart 2018 Permanente link Reacties (0)

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