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Under Armour Drive 4 Performance Reviews

Traction:†Under Armour doesnít 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 itíll 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 couldíve been a little tackier but that didnít keep these from working on virtually every floor condition you can think of. However, since theyíre 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.

Itís 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, youíll see the outsole separation. I didnít notice this during use but honestly, Iím not surprised by the wear and tear since I easily put about 50 hours of playing time in these. If youíre looking for something thatíll last you an entire season, these might not be for you.

Cushion:Under Armour couldíve and shouldíve used full-length MicroG, but instead it only used it in the heel ó thatís the equivalent of having a really nice crossover but no jumper.

Weíre assuming that the forefoot is just straight EVA foam which could be worse but when compared to the MicroG in the heel, itís obsolete. It can feel dead at times but the silver lining is that youíre going to get a real responsive ride that is very low to the ground ó those guards who donít 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 donít know why UA didnít 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 couldíve been a lot better, what we do get isnít 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. Itís basically a woven mesh material that doesnít really stretch but at the same time isnít very stiff or uncomfortable, itís kind of just there. The materials arenít terrible but they arenít 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 donít really conform to your foot for a snug one-to-one fit. Thereís 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 isnít. It isnít really a big deal, theyíre 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 doesnít 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 couldnít 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 isnít as bad as the forefoot but there was definitely some wiggle room that couldnít 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 didnít really come back to me so iím not sure if I broke these in or I just got used to it, but when it did happen, it was pretty annoying. If youíre 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 doesnít 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 4ís support system because it does a very good job at keeping your foot in place ó it just doesnít 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.

Youíre 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. (Youíre 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 canít 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 isnít 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 didnít 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 donít provide enough wide-footer friendly models. For better or worse, Under Armour gave you guys what you wanted ó even if it may have been by accident. Overall, if youíre 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 ó and watch out for that heel cup. http://www.kd10sale.com
11:43:55 25 Augustus 2017 Permanente link Reacties (0)

UA HOVR Havoc Low Performance Review

Almost one year ago, Under Armour unleashed HOVR cushioning on the world and for a company that was desperately in need of a top-flight signature cushioning system HOVR was magical. It only took nine months to get HOVR in basketball, and here it is: the HOVR Havoc Low. Does the Havoc live up to the promise of the Phantom and Sonic runners? Letís goÖ One thing you can (almost) never say about Under Armour basketball shoes is that the traction sucks. The HOVR Havoc Low is no different. Thereís herringbone from heel to toe, at least where the shoe touches the court, with horizontal lines breaking up the pattern for flexibility in the forefoot. This is basically the same pattern as what the Drive 4 used and it works on any surface, even outdoors. Dust is no issue because the grooves are wide and deep and push away any debris you may pick up. It isnít the squeakiest, but we know that means nothing ó you are stopping when you want. Donít worry about the missing areas because if you need traction in those areas you are already lost. It says HOVR, but it ainít the same. First of all, part of the magic of the HOVR system is it can be tuned differently for specific uses. The KD 11 is soft, really soft, and is a more cushioned, relaxed ride for long running days or when you need a little more protection. The HOVR Sonic was tuned tighter and stiffer for fast, racing-style training and runs. The HOVR Havoc is more to the Sonic, but even tighter. Honestly, there isnít much HOVR feel at all ó no cushy step-in, no bounce-back response. The reason? The HOVR is supremely caged by both a stiff foam midsole on the perimeter and underneath by an almost-full-length TPU shank plate. Honestly, this is good; I couldnít imagine trying to play ball in a shoe as cushioned but unstable (for lateral movements) as the Phantom. Itís not all bad though: there is a quickness to the midsole that only comes from a lack of compression. Your steps happen quickly, and your movements are not slowed down waiting for the midsole to respond. The HOVR is thin and doesnít beef up the midsole at all so court feel is fantastic. And if you absolutely, positively need to feel some sort of bounce give it time. Once that foam midsole starts breaking in a little, you will notice a more HOVR-y feel. Best of all, while you are playing, impact protection is no issue ó which is especially surprising given the thin midsole. You may not be able to feel the bounce, but when you are done playing in the HOVR Havoc Low you wonít feel the pain either. Mesh and fuse. Fuse and mesh. Weíve all heard the story before, so what else is new? Well, really, nothing ó but itís all about the usage of the fuse and mesh, and the HOVR Havoc Low uses the materials well. With a full-mesh one-piece upper, fuse overlaid on the toebox and lateral forefoot, and backing by a super-comfortable foam liner, the curry 5 is a supremely comfy sneaker. While fuse does sometimes make a shoe stiff and inflexible, the toebox of the Havoc breaks in within minutes of wearing and flexes like a second, rubbery skin. Soft padding is found along the heel, helping lock in and cut down on the heel slip, but honestly, that needed to be more like a memory foam or at least a little denser. The only other thing to mention is the TPU heel counter, and that is what it is. Simple, but effective. Through the forefoot and midfoot, fit is really, really close to 1:1. Like, really close. There is a little bit of dead space over the top that you donít find until you pull the laces up and the one-piece upper pulls in a little, but around the toebox and midfoot you are completely blanketed. I almost went up half a size but I wanted to see how well the shoe felt after a couple of wearings and the HOVR Havoc Low didnít disappoint; it broke in perfectly and began flexing and moving right with me. The forefoot laces run through the fuse/synthetic side panels and do a serious job of pulling the upper around your foot as well as pulling your foot down into the midsole. So many shoes just want no extra room instead of actually making the shoe a piece of the athlete, but not the HOVR Havoc Low. The lacing system does sit back and high on the ankle area, which helps lock the heel into the heel counter, and it does a good job. However, for my desired level of cinch-down, I did get some lace pressure along the top set of laces. Nothing to cry about, but I did have to loosen them up every now and then to keep from chafing and blistering. When I did loosen up, there was a sensation of heel slip, but not real slip. What Iím saying is this: when the heel doesnít feel locked in I couldnít feel anything around my heel at all, but I didnít have any serious slipping. This is where the denser foam in the heel area would have helped. If the foam was a little stronger, the heel would feel secure. It isnít a safety issue, but if you need that Aunt Mabel hug around your foot to feel safe and warm, you may want to look at the high version. This HOVR Havoc is a low-lowtop, possibly the lowest Iíve worn since the Kobe 8, and it feels like it. That isnít to say the shoe isnít supportive or safe, because, as you loyal WearTesters readers and watchers know, it ainít the height of the collar that helps. The HOVR Havoc Low has a super-wide fat-booty heel that rides flat on the floor. All those heel-strikers and big-man post moves are stable and supported perfectly ó especially with the HOVR foam not being mushy. The forefoot is more of the same, wide and balanced with a stable midsole. The foot doesnít sit inside the midsole ó no raised areas on either side ó but the synthetic lace system works the same and keeps the foot snug over the footbed on lateral movements. The midfoot is solid thanks to the huge TPU plate under the HOVR and above the outsole rubber. The plate runs completely across and from heel to nearly the toes so there is no twisting or turning underfoot while playing. This should make the HOVR Havoc Low stiff but the shoe just flows. When I first tried on HOVR in November of 2017 I was immediately hit with the thought, ďI wonder when this will hit basketball?Ē Since I was with Under Armour reps at the time, I was told not until August. Since that day, I have been anticipating this shoe like no other. HOVR in running is magical. In basketball, well, it needs a little tuning, but the concept and vision is there. No, it isnít bouncy like Boost, or responsive like Zoom, but it does absorb and rebound on impact and is stable on any and all movements. If you need that cushy cushioning you will have to drop some dollars on another brand. If you are looking for a seriously quick, responsive, biting-traction shoe, the HOVR Havoc Low will more than satisfy. Coming in an abundance of team colorways (canít wait for all the Dallas Mavericks/Dennis Smith Jr. colors to pop), the† UA Curry is a shoe that works and works well in any environment. Now, letís make sure HOVR doesnít end up being Micro Gís new neighbor in Florida (#retired).
03:31:31 13 Oktober 2018 Permanente link Reacties (0)

adidas Pro Bounce Performance Review

adidas†Hoops has been pretty quiet in 2018. The brand hopes that will change with the introduction of the†adidas†Pro Bounce. This is one of the best outsoles weíve gotten from†adidas†since the†Harden Vol 1. Its rubber compound feels nearly identical to the kd 11 and it acts like it as well. Spiral patterns usually work well but the bite these offer is on another level. There were no issues no matter which court I played on. I just had solid traction from start to finish. Itís capable of handling outdoor use as well which is a big plus. If consistent and reliable traction is your thing then the†adidas†Pro Bounce should be on your list of options when shopping for a new pair of†basketball†shoes. Bounce cushion appears to be replacing Boost in most of†adidasí basketball models. Itís replaced Boost in†adidasí awful D Rose 9, and it looks like itís completely replaced the Crazy Explosive line altogether. Itís almost like†adidas†is trying a little harder to distinguish the two cushions ó which one is its premium offering and which one is its more affordable option. Now, if youíve worn Bounce before then you wonít be disappointed. Bounce offers a slight bounce in terms of feedback underfoot while retaining a ton of court feel. Itís one of the most well-balanced rides from a foam currently available on the market. It did leave a bit to be desired when I took the Pro Bounce outdoors, so for that Iíd rather grab my Harden Vol 2, but for indoor use I think itís perfect for players from the 1 to 5 spot. adidas†applied ForgeFiber, a lightweight mesh with additional stitching for reinforcement and strength, on the upper of the Pro Bounce which is similar to the Harden Vol 2ís build. And like the Harden Vol 2, it feels a little cheap in-hand and on-foot. However, ForgeFiber works just fine. Itís breathable. Itís lightweight. It moves with the foot rather than against it. It requires zero break-in time. But it still feels a little cheap ó itís something Iíd be okay seeing on a $90 shoe instead of a $120 shoe. Is it a deal breaker? From a performance perspective, not at all. If you like to feel like you have something premium then it could be. Those preferring the lightest shoe available will enjoy the Pro Bounce more than those that prefer leathers. Iíd suggest going true to size or down 1/2 size. My†adidas†Pro Bounce was my true size and I didnít experience any issues with the fit or support. However, there was a little bit of dead space above the toe. I personally prefer my shoes to fit closer to the foot and going down 1/2 size would have given me the fit I prefer. However, it would haven also rammed my toes into the rubber outsole that wraps up the toe area so if you donít mind having a tiny bit of dead space then TTS is the way to go. If you donít mind your toes touching the tip of the shoe then going down 1/2 will suit you best. Wide footers, youíll likely be okay going TTS with this type of material setup. Lockdown, despite my dead space issue, was solid. The lacing system is comprised of Flywire-like cables, something I donít like, but they worked well once you adjust everything to your liking. Support was very good, even with the cheaper mesh build. Its lockdown and overall fit works well and keeps you on the footbed of the shoe. Torsional support comes in the form of two split TPU spring plates that run into the forefoot of the shoe, something I really enjoyed. The midsole is wide and flat while we have two large exaggerated outriggers ó awesome. Support, despite how the overall package looks, is very much on-point. Do I recommend the†adidas†harden vol 3 ? Yes.
Itís a very solid shoe ó everything it offers works and works well. The shoe can be used for all positions, on top of that. However, there are a lot of consumers that prefer to have a premium feeling shoe without the premium price tag ó and in that sense the Pro Bounce is not that. If you can find the shoe for under its $120 retail price then Iíd definitely give it a shot because youíll be pleasantly surprised. If the shoe happens to be your upcoming team shoe for school then you wonít be disappointed. If you want something that translates easily from on-court to off-court then, as the young Internets would say, this ainít it chief.

16:47:51 05 Oktober 2018 Permanente link Reacties (0)

nike lebron 16 performance analysis and test

Yes I know the Lebron XVI was released ten or eleven days ago but sometimes a shoe doesnít need three weeks of break in time to get everything working correctly. I do want to note that my pair had some broken Zoom fibers which I can honestly say Iíve never seen but it didnít affect the cushioning at all. Maybe Iíve just been eating too much Pros: much improved traction, same cushioning, maybe a touch lower and firmer, fit, improved stabilty and containment Cons: still rides high, some heel slip to start Sizing advice: true to size or whatever you got in the†XV Best for: Players wanting maximum balanced cushioning, bigger guards-bigs Buying advice:†hypebeasts will go nuts for these since Bron is in LA but players should still wait. $185 is the priciest bball shoe out there due to the Nike and Lebron name. $150 or less is fair (what I paid, thanks Dickís, Twss) $80-95 is around the bottom. Weight I could care less about the weight and at 18.5 ounces the XVI is a chunker even for a mid (this is not a low). Most mids weigh around 15 ounces while lows average about 13.5-14 ounces. Hit the gym kids if you canít handle a few extra ounces. Traction Easily the most improved area from the XV to the XVI. The XVI incorporates a pattern very very similar to the†KD 11†which coincidently I reviewed last month. It isnít quite as thin and pliable like the Soldier XII but it works well, far better than the XV. Think swolled up Soldier Xii blades. The rubber used on the XVI is softISH but the blades are thicker than what the Soldier XII used so it doesnít bite or brush quite as well. You also have to break in the traction a few hours especially in the forefoot to get better bite but it doesnít take long. Some occasional wiping is needed on dusty floors as well but not often. Easily the most improved part of the shoe from the†XV†and itís the best traction on a Lebron sig since the X. Well done Nike! Cushioning These started out a stiffer than the XV but broke in within a few hours to give a very similar albeit still a little stiffer ride to the XV. If you loved the cushioning on the XV youíll love these. Both the XV and XVI ride fairly high so if you prefer a lower ride donít buy these. Last yearís XV rode very high so at least these are back down to Lebron X range. These still sit around 25-26 mm on the forefoot (down from 28-29) and 30-31 in the heel (down from 34-36) which is a good 3-4mm lower than last years (10-15% ish) so if you like Kobe or Curry low to the ground these are not for you. I personally like them lower but itís all preference and there is no right or wrong answer here. One of the best players I know who is an ultra shifty guard, Lifetime Fitness Ultimate Hoops MVP, semi pro MVP (who literally won the championship and MVP yesterday) and one man wrecking crew loves his XVís so just comes to show you it ainít the shoes. Zoom done right is a perfect balance of impact protection and responsiveness and well, thatís what you get with the XV and now XVI. Well done Nike! Fit I went true to size with the XV and I went tts with the XVI as well (finger width at the toe). I tried on half a size down as well but I just preferred true to size. Iíve said it many times before but you can fit more than one size so experiment with each shoe if you can. Notice how the ďtongueĒ pulls up for easier access. Iíve never had issues putting one piece shoes on but this should help those who do. No deadspace at all in the toe box for my fat feet (I think narrow footers can go down half a size) but I did have a little heel slip in my left shoe the first few nights in the XVI. I decided to use the lower eyelets to help and it really worked since it is lower and further back.†HOWEVER, it is a pain in the as*†to do it because there is glue inside and between the holes (kinky I know) so it took a solid ten minutes to relace just the top eyelets! Maybe arthritis is setting in but it was difficult and made the Harden V1 relacing seem easy. Letís just hope Nike doesnít call extra eyelets something like ďlace customization technologyĒ†#marketing Here you can see how far back the eyelets are set up a standard Kobe VI This is how you accelerate break in time What was really affecting the heel fit was the stiffness of the midsole out of the box. It really wants to stay straight but if you bend them like I do with a lot of shoes, it helps soften up the foam so it conforms to your foot much faster. Once again this is a mid called a low so heel slip really shouldnít be an issue. Overall the fit was very good but the heel took some time to break in. After break in, it felt a lot like the Hyperrev 2016 heel where itís locked in but just feels kind of ďfloatyĒ. Very similar design in terms of how the padding is set up around the Achilles. If you donít like the feeling, go find a Kobe or another shoe but it just takes some time to get used to it. Materials Battleknit Part Deux I think shoe companies and so called shoe experts are finally realizing that softer and stretchier doesnít equal better. Nikeís Lebron 16 was soft with more reinforcement than previous Flyknit applications. Knit 2.0 feels like itís backed by a thicker backing but remains flexible but with less stretch. It wouldnít shock me if itís the same type of fuse used on the Lebron X but covered in knit. I really like how these were done and feel nice to the touch. Flyknit really allows a lot more texture and color blocking that mesh doesnít allow. Thatís the main benefit of FlyknitÖwell that and higher profit margins. Support and Stability The NBA has gone postionless and so have the shoes. We now have mids called lows and lows called mids (See Kobe AD Mid). These are lower tops not low tops but are higher than my Soldier VI. The only difference is how the slope of the shoe is more gradual. Whatever Regardless of nomenclature, support is minimal and comes from the heel counter and fit just like the XV. Stability drastically improved just by adding a tiny outriggers along the entire lateral side. I didnít worry about tippiness at all because those little millimeters added a lot of extra stability. Thanks Nike, no consulting fee this time around. Containment Battleknit 2.0 works! Actually itís a combination of the large heel counter, thicker Battleknit and the raised portion of the toe. No issues here Conclusion Maybe Nike and Lebron visit my site after all haha. Iím not that egotistical nor do I care but everything I didnít like about the XV (aside from the ride height) was fixed. Better traction, better stability and containment. Hell, next thing you know, a leather hole puncher will be included with each shoe. So should you buy the XVI now for $185? Ten dollars more than the upcoming AJ 33††btw. Nope, I walked into Dicks (that just sounds wrong) had a 20% off coupon and got these for $148 plus tax. Like all basketball shoes that arenít artificially limiting supply , these will be coupon eligible and then eventually discounted and then discounted again as the season progresses. Expected these to get down the $149 mark within a month or two then slap a 20% coupon to get you down to a solid $120. The longer you wait, the more you sav Although I†prefer†a lower ride height, this is the best all around Lebron to come out in years. Great traction, cushioning, fit, stability and containment make this a great shoe for most players. Great performer all around with no major weaknesses which sounds a lot like the shoeís namesake. Finally a Nike sig shoe done right. First team rating
14:45:43 04 Oktober 2018 Permanente link Reacties (0)

nike kyrie 3 vs 2 performance test and comparison

Executive Summary: plays almost exactly the same as the Kyrie 2. Similar firm cushioning and very good traction. Shoe starts stiff but breaks in. No real reason to buy the 3 when the 2 does nearly everything the same or better though. Kyrie 2 Review Pros: traction, court feel, fit, support and stability, containment, very durable Cons: traction pods protrude and cause a little bit of inconsistent traction in the heel, needs periodic wiping on dusty floors on Non pod portions, cushioning needs break in and is very stiff and firm like the†KD 11†, materials start stiff but break in, not the best value out there especially now that sale time is upon us. Sizing: true to size, very wide footers will probably want to go up half a size Best for: guards looking who value response and quickness; players who liked the Rose 4 Buying Advice: wait for sales, Nike made a lot. $90 is fair, $65 is near the bottom. Or just buy the†Kyrie 2 Weight 14.5 oz which is pretty average Kyrie 2 is the exact same weight Traction If there is one thing you can say about the Kyrie line, itís that itís traction patterns look aggressive. The main attraction of the†Kyrie 3†traction is the use of traction pods in the forefoot that ride up the sides. The rubber is softer and raised a millimeter or two from the rest of the shoe. The concept works and the pods do their job very well. The rest of the shoe is a blade pattern or modified herringbone and feels softer than the Clutchfit Drive herringbone but firmer than the Kyrie 2 rubber. I wish the entire outsole was made of the podsí rubber or Nike put some of these pods throughout the entire outsole like the AJ XX because on a few occasions Iíd spin out at the heel since the forefoot stuck better than the rest of the shoe. This occurred even on pristine floors. Nitpicky I know. One concern with the traction pods is durability and efficiency once they wear down. I think they will still work fine once they wear evenly with the rest of the outsole but expect more wear in that area due to the softness of the rubber. Overall traction is very good overall but I feel the Kyrie 2 provided better consistent traction overall especially on dirty floors since it is the same rubber, pattern, and depth throughout the outsole. Neither required too much wiping but the 3 needed a few more wipes per session. Not quite top tier stuff but still good overall. Cushioning Here is the tech highlight of the Kyrie 3. The rest of the shoe is Phylon just like last yearís. If you did not like the cushioning on the Kyrie 2, you will not like the cushioning on the Kyrie 3. Say with me again, if you did not like the cushioning on the Kyrie 2, you will not like the cushioning on the Kyrie 3. One last time.. Cushioning is very firm on the Kyrie 3 just like the 2. It starts off very very stiff but softens a little with break in. I could feel the Zoom a tiny bit just like on the 2. It is serviceable and responsive as Randy noted but I just prefer a little more softness in the forefoot because I have Mortonís neuroma in each foot. The good news is that the neuromas didnít flare up badly but I could feel some buzzing after an hour just like the 2ís. I prefer a more balanced cushioning feel overall and these are just a little too hard for my tastes. The set up feels almost exactly the same as the Rose 4 except the Rose 4 has a thicker PU insole. Very low to the ground and quick feeling. *interstingly enough if you check out Fastpass see the Kyrie actually sits at nearly 18 mm which is higher off the ground than the Harden V1 or CLB. Of course thatís not accounting for the insole thickness which probably evens it out. Thanks reader Pflite* Although this didnít really affect cushioning much, these two changes make the cushioning on the 3 feel a smidge firmer: Number 1 The Kyrie 2 featured Poron in the forefoot while this yearís does not. Hard to really tell a difference but to the touch Poron is softer. Number 2 The Kyrie 2 had an ortholite insole while this yearís doesnít have the ortholite markings so in guessing itís not ortholite. Anyways, the name doesnít matter but the Kyrie 3 insole is very thin and flimsy like a limp noodle (it can barely hold its shape when I took the pic) plus it feels slightly thinner towards the middle than the Kyrie 2 insole. Itís as if someone wore down the insole of the Kyrie 2 and put it into the Kyrie 3. Thatís how thin it feels to me. On Adidas Boost models, the thin insole is fine since it has all that Boost below it but with this firm set up, Nike really should have given us a thicker insole. If youíve ever played in basketball ball in tennis shoes like the Adidas Barricade or even the Nike Zoom Vapor 9, thatís what the cushioning feels like. Actually the Zoom Vapor 9 has the exact same size Zoom and a similar if not thicker Phylon set up from heel to toe including the foam strobel. However, the Zoom Vapor feels better because the insole is thicker. If you want to improve the comfort level of the Kyrie 3, get a bigger size and put in a thicker insole to add a couple of millimeters more of cushioning. Keep in mind that it might feel better underfoot but one or two millemeters isnít going to fix any knee issues you might have. Fit I bought my true to size 11 and initially thought I should have gone up half a size. However, after playing in them a few weeks, true to size was the way to go. Even though Iím a wide footer, these stretched out enough for me. If youíre Fred Flintstone, you should at least try half a size up before deciding on the correct width though. There is no movement in the forefoot, very little deadspace above the foot in the toe box and zero heel slip. Midfoot fit is still tight like the previous models but not deathly like the Kyrie 1. After a few hours of break in time, you almost forget they are on your feet as the upper softens up. Almost Even though the Kyrie 3 has a very good fit, the Kyrie 2 has an even better fit due to the strap that helped pull the ankle and heel back further. Materials In case youíre part of the Nightís Watch or need to defend WinterfellÖ. The materials start off stiff but soften up quickly. They donít feel Flyknit soft or anything but they do soften up enough after a few hours of break in time. The spiked look doesnít really convey a soft warm comfy feel does it? The lateral side of the upper is a similar fuse as last yearís model Not cracker crispy like the Kyrie 1 but not definitely not Snuggles soft. The medial side and toe box is mesh with a nylon backing and feels a lot softer than the lateral side. The front of the toe box does have a hard rand for durability as well. Iíve noticed this is a trend these days as shoe companies have added strength and stiffness to the lateral side for containment and support while leaving the medial side soft for flexibility. Hmmm, maybe I did make a difference .(Iím kidding I donít have that kind of pull) Of course we canít forget the featured marketing portion which is the forefoot flex area. Across the top of the foot, a long stretchy band flexes with your foot for support during quick cuts and sprints. Nike used a thinner mesh and Flywire to allow extra flexibility at the forefoot. I donít it feel stretches at all but that thinner mesh allows for a more natural flex area. Plus itís hard to quantify if it really works since the rest of the upper is so much stiffer than this little area. If youíre big on materials and have to have that pure Flyknit or Primeknit or mesh feel, you probably will want to steer clear of the Kyrie 3. I think the materials are fine and donít affect playability but every person has different needs and wants. Support and Stability Support is good with the Kyrie 3 thanks to the fit, heel counter and stiffer fuse on the lateral side. Just plain and simple, solid support. As stiff as the upper starts off, it is plenty flexible like the Kyrie 2 and isnít going to save any ankles Nike continued with the curved outsole but didnít choose to market it this time around. It seems slightly less curved in the forefoot than the Kyrie 2. After not playing in the Kyrie 2 for a year you can feel a difference with the curved outsole but it doesnít make a difference for me in terms of performance. Also helping with the stability was the firm, low to the ground cushioning. Overall just a solid supportive and stable shoe. Same as the Kyrie 2. Containment No surprises here as containment was excellent thanks to that stiffer lateral fuse upper as well as the raised midsole. Softer materials might be all the rage but there are benefits to using stiffer and stronger materials like Fuse. Conclusion Not the best value out there but a good performer overall. The Kyrie 3 has great traction, a good fit with solid support and stability and very firm cushioning. I had no issues with aches or pains but then again donít have knee or back issues (knock on wood). The Kyrie 3 just feels like a quick high cut tennis shoe for players that value lateral quickness over everything else. Cushioning will come down to personal preference and if you didnít like the 2 cushioning you will not like the 3. Iíll even qualify that statement with this; If you donít like UA Charged you will not like cushioning on the Kyrie 3. Charged foam is easily thicker bouncier and softer. If you want to improve the comfort of the Kyrie 3, size up and swap out the cheapo insole. Is the Kyrie 3 an upgrade over the 2? No I donít feel it did anything better than the Kyrie 2. Is it worth paying $120? No probably not. There are plenty of shoes out that at the $120-$130 range that do everything just as well or better than the Kyrie 3. Curry 2, 2.5, 3 all come to mind. Plus itís almost mid season so there are plenty of sales on earlier launches. Do not buy these if you want a softer cushioning set up or if you want a Charmin soft upper material. Iím guessing Nike made a lot of these to capture the new Kyrie fans post championship. If Kyrie 2 sales are any indication, these should hit $90 under range soon and bottom out around $65. If you want a marginally better performing and cheaper shoe, stick to the Kyrie 2.
14:35:58 02 Oktober 2018 Permanente link Reacties (0)

Nike Kobe AD Exodus 2018 Performance Test

Nope, Nike and Kobe arenít done. There is another AD in town. So how does the Kobe AD Exodus perform? Letís goÖ What took so long for this review? Didnít these get purchased on release day? Well, yes, but the traction held me up. On first wearing I was ready to sell the Kobe AD Exodus because I slipped and slid all over the court, falling twice on first steps from a standstill position while trying to drive. Of course, it was a dirty, bad 24-Hour Fitness court, but when I changed into the Jordan 32 I was good to go. Two days later, same court, same results. Someone was about to get a deal on these. Third wearing, I went to a local college court and played ó better floor, better results. I was sticking and moving like Ali so these could work! I went back to the original court for my last wear, and lo and behold, the floor was clean and the results were serious stickiness. All that said, if you are playing on a fairly clean court, you will be good. I guarantee on dirty courts I wiped these every 4-5 trips down the floor and was still iffy. Once the floor was swept I no issues at all. The soles will suck up every particle of dust in a three mile area, so keep them clean. Outdoors? NextÖ Once again, we get a Kobe model with a dispute about the cushioning. We know the heel is Zoom Air, and after seeing the Kobe AD Exodus deconstructed we know itís a huge heel unit. But whatís in the forefoot? Yeah, itís foam. Itís basic injected Phylon. On a budget model (the under-$80 silhouettes) this might not be a bad thing. But on the Kobe AD itís a littleÖunderwhelming. The caged in forefoot, which uses the same outsole rubber, makes it stiff and dead-feeling. Not as dead as the Kyrie 3 but just a budget foam/forefoot feel. While playing, however, I had no complaints; the forefoot rode low and with very little compression of the midsole so the response was great. Once traction dialed in, change of direction was quick and landing on jumpers or drives was no issue. Not the best, but not a deal-breaker at all. The heel unit, as mentioned, covers the whole area and is thick (14mm). The only issue I had at all with the heel was coming off screens/curls and planting. I heel plant and turn into my shot to square up and the edges of the Zoom unit would compress under pressure, causing my foot to lean slightly as I planted. I gradually got used to this issue and after a couple of wears it wasnít an issue. I would gladly trade that feeling for full-length Zoom for impact protection on those back-leaning landings. Iíve seen better, but the materials work. Yes, we get the felt/suede upper from the Kobe AD Mid, but luckily it isnít the full upper, so that initial stiffness from the Mid is gone. It still doesnít breathe, and after every run my shoes were soaked in that area. The tongue area is Nike Pro/Torch material, which is a padded mesh with holes strategically cut into the internal foam for ventilation. Doing this lets the tongue remove lace pressure with the foam but provides ventilation from the holes and mesh; it helps a little. The forefoot is a combination of two materials: composite mesh and Nike Basketball mesh. The composite is the band you see over the first lace loops, and it provides no-stretch, no-give stability for lateral movements and hard steps. The rest of the toe moving forward is thin mesh, like the PG 1, and it is so light and thin it almost isnít there. There is a fused area over the big toe ó we know why ó and thatís it. Schnug. Not unbearable-in-true-to-size snug, but a really close, tight fit. The materials having little to no give laterally help with that, and honestly, it fits perfect for me. It feels too small until you play and realize the shoe just moves with you with no slow-down or issues. The one issue I can see some having is around the arch; itís narrower than any Kobe I can remember in that area and some will want to go a half-size up when buying. I wouldnít unless you are a wide-footer and canít stand it. The feeling goes away and the fit will be appreciated later. The heel is completely locked in with a thick padding around the collar and Achilles. It is still amazing that a shoe with four lace holes can fit like this, but lockdown is complete and total. As for length, true to size should give you about a quarter-inch of extra space on your big toe, just enough to expand a little on those long days. For a lowtop that is meant to be light and fast, the Kobe AD Exodus isÖlight and fast. Support is okay, with a standard heel counter and a raised midsole in the heel and forefoot. There is no midfoot shank, but that isnít always a deal breaker ó the Kobe AD Exodus has a flat sole and serious internal arch structure so midfoot support is good. The forefoot is built without an outrigger, but the sole is rounded off and is slightly wider than the upper so there is no sense of rolling over while playing. Additionally, the composite mesh across the toebox does a fantastic job of holding your foot over the footbed with no give while the regular mesh is soft and feels free. The rest of the stability and support comes from the simple lacing system and the fit. The Kobe AD Exodus fits almost perfect, as stated above, and when the foot isnít allowed to slide inside of the shoe it is amazing how support improves. Transition is another extremely strong point on the Kobe AD Exodus. Often, when a shoe has a flat bottom and different heel/forefoot cushioning, there can be a ďslappyĒ feel when running, like you borrowed your big brotherís shoes or something. This Kobe is smooth in every motion, and that is credited to the fit and the materials being soft in the right places (toebox) and rigid in others (heel counter). Nope, the Kobe AD Exodus isnít the best Kobe ever. It isnít even the best Kobe on shelves right now (still the Protro I). It is, however, a really solid effort from the Swoosh. It does almost everything well on-court (especially clean courts) and is smooth on-foot. Yes, Zoom in the forefoot would have possibly been better (we never know ó it may have made the ride stiff and clunky), but the foam does create a quick, low-riding shoe suitable for small guards and wings. If you are a quick, Kyrie-type, you will love the Kobe AD Exodus. If you are a Kobe-type bigger guard who can get up, you will love this Kobe. If you are a Spurs or Kings fan and still hold grudges about the last 10 years of Kobeís career, you will probably still like the Kobe AD Exodus on-court. Just sweep it first, trust me.
17:44:25 01 Oktober 2018 Permanente link Reacties (0)

Converse Weapon EVO Performance Review

In life, first impressions can often be dead wrong. I'll be honest -- I was 100% certain that the Converse Weapon EVO was going to absolutely suck the first time I saw it. It's clunky as hell, right? I figured there was no way this heritage-based model could actually feel†modern†on a basketball court today.†While the Weapon might have been worn by the league's best over twenty years ago, there's no way anyone was ever going to confuse it as a sleek and ahead-of-it's-time silhouette. It debuted in 1986. And ever since, it's felt exactly like a shoe....from 1986. But that's what makes the Weapon EVO so great. Converse and Converse Basketball's Design Director Mike Ditullo pulled a fast one on us. The intent was to create a shoe that emphasized the brand's heritage, offer it at a nicely affordable price and debut the brand's new visible technology. And they've done just that. After initially being very skeptical, it took all of about five minutes on the court to realize that the Weapon EVO is a damn good basketball sneaker. Not without its faults, but for everyday hoopability and for being accessibly priced, it gets the job done. As Ditullo (seen below) explains by phone, remastering the Weapon has been a task he's been trying to get after for over two years now. "I had been toying with doing a Weapon-based shoe ever since I got to Converse," he says. "The thing is, the Weapon is pretty hard to draw. It doesn't really flow...and it doesn't really have many organic parts. When we really decided to do a new Weapon...I just drew it. My [first] sketch actually looks just like the original." As he'd come to find, evolving the shoe into its more modern state over the course of the development process would be the right move, as he wanted the EVO to be equal parts heritage and yet a marker for the future of the brand, all at the same time. "I think because the Weapon had kicked my ass for two years, I was really determined to do it," he laughs. "When you put this Weapon next to the original now, it really doesn't look like it. That's one of the things I'm most psyched about this shoe...when you work on these projects...you want to do something that pays tribute to the shoe but you don't want it to be a slave to it." As we've (with grinding teeth at times) come to find out in recent years with "tribute" shoes, there's something to be said for a designer who takes simple inspiration from classic models of the past, like the Nike Refresh program, as compared to simply slapping together parts and pieces and calling it a shoe, as the Jordan approach of late has proven to a fault. The "design" feels it. Sometimes harshly. What that means in terms of a performance feel, in this case, is that the Weapon EVO is surprisingly smooth. Surprisingly, I say, because of the original's slap-like and dated feel. While I normally tackle a review from an upper-midsole-tooling standpoint in bullet-point-like fashion, it's probably better to start off with the tooling this time around. There's BALLS Technology afterall, as Converse White has so boldly proclaimed it. While it might not look like something from 1986 or something from the future, and more likely somewhere in between, if you walk into any sporting goods store and try these on, you'll notice that unlike Shox, which take a few break-in wears before softening up, the Balls platform feels nicely cushioned and yet supportive right from the start. "We wanted to make sure we made a shoe that was for every type of player, get the technology right, and get it right for the consumer and contain the technology in a understandable way," outlines Ditullo. In my size 13, the TPU-encased cushioning unit is made of eleven, well, balls, that circle the perimeter of the heel, with more polyurethane balls filling in the inner chamber of the unit. The result is a low-to-the-ground, more bouncy than expected heel cushioning unit. "The more you compress the sphere, the more it wants to return to the shape of the sphere," Ditullo explains. "Just getting the technology right was tough...it's a combination of chemistry and geometry and you're playing with chemicals and urethane compounds. ...We wanted to make sure that that energy was constrained in a vertical XY axis." When you immediately lace the EVO up and hit the court, there's a nice softness in the heel that lies somewhere between a heel Air-Sole unit and the uber-responsive bar-setter that is Zoom Air. At just $80, the unit delivers great cushioning that we're all used to seeing for $10-$20 more. Above:†A look at Ditullo's sketch of how the Balls could react, and a look at the unit on a final production model. Note the sipes through the TPU encasement, which took inspiration from the headlights of a Porsche. Historically, the Balls Technology set-up isn't the most ground-breaking advancement yet, and looks like a mysteriously similar re-working of the forgotten†Sox Spotlight's heel unit†(which Nike Basketball has coincidentally stopped using). The one thing that you'd expect the TPU window to provide is some firmness underfoot or maybe some pressure points in the heel because of the stiff plastic that it's made of. Luckily that was never the case. "It had to have the visual clearness that we were looking for, but also it had to keep the support and rigidity," Ditullo says. What I liked most about the Balls Technology is its reliability and longevity after several weeks of use. It won't ever deflate or lose pressure like Air. It provides far more lateral support and stability than Shox. It won't go from harshly rigid to only less firm like Formotion. There's a consistency to the feel of Balls that never wavers from the first wearing on. It's not the most responsive in the world, but it's not particularly heavy or anchor-like either and is consistently cushioned. For the everyday baller looking for durable cushioning, that's a huge positive. For $80, you're hard-pressed to find great forefoot cushioning outside of foam and insole padding from any company, and it's no different with the EVO. During your first week of wearings, the forefoot is still nicely padded, and never over the course of my wearings did it feel firm or stiff. However, I wouldn't be doing the "Cushioning" category justice if I ranked the shoe too highly, as the forefoot cushioning is nothing that'll win anybody over. Despite the lack of forefoot responsiveness, one thing the EVO does do wonderfully well is excel in both transition and feel. You'll notice "FEEL" scribed into the heel cushioning unit, but it's at the forefoot where the shoe does a nice job of providing great court feel and smoothness. Along the outsole, there lies a sculpted forefoot flex groove, and it's perfectly executed. When running on the break and out in transition, the shoe moves flowingly to the next step. The smoothness is a great, and greatly needed, improvement over the original Weapon. "The simple thing of removing rubber for a flex groove...it's a simple groove but it moves with the foot all of a sudden," confirms Ditullo. While other shoes that rely on larger rubber allowances can feel stiff for a few wearings, the broken up tooling, that also benefits from the large midfoot cutaway, feels natural and ready to go from the first wearing. It had Kirk Hinrich immediately upon his first wearing telling Off White x Converse reps, "This shoe feels like it was broken in before I put it on." Or so the reps tell me. (Not that they'd have a personal interest in the matter, of course!!) Above:†The EVO boasts a sculpted outsole with nice flex grooves and a heel window glance at the shoe's Balls Technology. While the shoe's tooling and midsole offer a solid blend of cushioning at the heel and flexibility and transition during play, a bright spot of the EVO is its biting traction and great support. The leather upper of the shoe is a bit stiff to start, but after a game or two it breaks in nicely, and offers a firmly supportive feel on all cuts. Part of the great support is also the squeaky traction, which even on a dusty court does a great job. "The herringbone on the bottom is the original herringbone from the original 86," says Ditullo. "By breaking that herringbone it actually helps you move a little better." Unlike traditional herringbone patterns, the EVO's configuration keeps with the original and is split by Chevron, adding some flexibility but also working great in terms of just raw traction. Another great factor in support is the shoe's use of an outrigger, seen on the forefoot lateral side and ever-so-slightly on the medial side as well. There's a nice balance to the shoe's stance, and never during play will you worry about tipping over or losing your footing, as you might in other visible heel cushioning shoes. Along the upper, the support overlay that wraps the toe, seen here in red patent, coupled with the added foam above the outrigger, does a nice job of keeping the foot over the footbed on lateral moves. [Though, it's worth mentioning, the toe rand does scuff quite easily. THIS†was on just my first wearing.] If you lace the EVO up securely, your ankle, heel and forefoot are all locked in accordingly. An absolute must design cue when remastering the Weapon is the original's Y-Bar, which we've seen carried over to the EVO. The underside of the Y-Bar collar is stitched through as well, providing a nice notch to comfort your ankles. A three-way tie for best attribute can easily be handed to the support, traction and heel cushioning departments. While I've only seemingly covered the shoe's bright spots up to now, surely the EVO isn't without its faults. The forefoot cushioning wasn't great by any means, but at $80, it's hard to recommend an improvement. The shoe's breathability was tremendously poor, as the full leather upper and multi-layered construction did its best to keep all airflow entirely trapped. My socks were†soaked†at the end of every night's games. Perhaps the tongue doesn't need to be entirely leather-based, but either way, if heat build-up is a category you're not high on, that might be an issue. The other problem I noticed during several of my wearings was the lack of hold from the top two eyelets. The original punched holes work a ton better, while the EVO's rounded shape didn't secure the flat laces quite enough, and during play and after sudden movements, you might notice the laces can loosen up a bit. Double knot them for the most security. The Weapon EVO isn't a perfect shoe, but for $80, it offers a ton of positives and is also a great team option. It doesn't feel position-specific, and has needed attributes of affordability, great traction, support and durability that make it a worthy contender for teams. Everyone from points looking for support to big men who enjoy a sturdy build should like the EVO. The shoe weighed in at a flat 19 ounces, which is a bit on the heavy side for most, but because of the forefoot flex groove and the shoe's smooth transition, it actually plays lighter than you'd think. For Ditullo, accomplishing his goal of creating a shoe for today's game inspired by a classic from two decades ago made it all worth it. "When Kobe was in between contracts and wore the Weapon '86 on-court, he proved that a modern player could still wear the original shoe," he says. "It was really important that we kept the shoe flexible enough that somebody now could wear it." He and the team of developers, led by Alex Alpert, did just that, crafting a well made re-interpretation of the Weapon for today's level of technology and styling. There's cool details to be found throughout the shoe as well, like the Star pivot point along the outsole, and the shoe's tech specs just under the lateral outrigger, which read "Patent Pending >>> Patent Number 6568102." Only the truest of sneaker nerds like myself will take to those finer details, but when celebrating heritage, those are the small touches that count most. [See for yourself†-- the patent number is a real thing.] "That patent number was actually the idea of [Developer] Chris Edington," reveals Ditullo. "That's a pretty sweet design detail. When Apple says, 'Designed in California,' that's a pretty cool thing that they celebrate that." While proudly showing off the shoe's technical merits, the EVO also serves as a great stepping point for the brand's new Wade-less direction, touching back on the brand's most iconic model. The Star Chevron logo is prominently displayed along the midfoot of the upper, and the heel Balls Technology offers a look at the future of Converse Basketball. It's a technology I'm excited to see evolve, and maybe even make its way to the forefoot, despite the brand's reluctance to hover much higher in retail price. Regardless, the first installment of Balls is well done, and the EVO's great price, traction, support and durability earn it a commendable B+.
13:40:23 28 September 2018 Permanente link Reacties (0)

The Nike Air Foamposite One Is Still Ahead Of The Curve

In 1997, everything about the Nike Air Foamposite One screamed future. 20 years later, itís still screaming. Eric Avar, the mind behind the Foamposite and Kobe Bryantís partner in crime at Nike a few year later, had an interesting inspiration for the shoe Ė a beetle. Or to be more specific, the skeleton of a beetle. Usually when you hear about stories behind the design, itís man-made stuff like cars, planes, etc. Nope, the Foams were inspired by a beetle. The shoe was the result of Avar being ahead of the curve. The actual making of the Foamposite forced Nike to look outside of the box. Because the material that was to be used on the shoe was unlike anything Nike had worked on before, it required a wholly different method than ever before, so they tapped car manufacturer Daewoo to help devise a method in making it a reality. Youíve no doubt heard the story of the $750,000 mold that was created just to build the Foams, but let that sink in for a second. Nike spent $750,000 Ė not including all the money burned on research and development Ė just to create something that was at the time yet to be proven to work. The process Ė which took two years to go from concept to reality Ė was not only out of this world, but it could have been out of reach if Nike hadnít taken that gamble. To get to the future, you need to take some risks sometimes. For such a revolutionary and highly experimental shoe, Nike needed an athlete who represented not where the game was but where it was going. So it made sense that they were going to have Scottie Pippen launch the Foams. Thatís right, one of the great sneaker ďwhat ifsĒ is who Foams should have gone to. According to legend, Avar wanted Pippen to wear the Foams but Penny wanted them for himself when he caught a peek of them in a design meeting. Penny had the foresight and Nike let him have it, breaking from his own signature shoe line to rock them. Penny wasnít the only the player of the future that would earn the distinction of debuting the Foams to the world. The 1997 Arizona Wildcats all received pairs of the Royal Blue Foams during their run to the National Championship, but Mike Bibby was the only star who actually put them to use on the court. At the time, many believed Bibby to be the next superstar point guard. So the shoe of the future was being worn by the point guard of the future. Makes sense, right? The Shoe Game It wasnít always easy for the Foamposite, of course, as while it might have been futuristic, it was maybe too futuristic for many. With a premium price point and a look that nobody was feeling, there was a time when you could find them at Nike outlets in the middle of the 2000s. It would take a mix of nostalgia, Wale, hip-hop, and the DMV to bring the shoes back to the forefront. A new and futuristic colorway, the Eggplant, might have also helped matters too. In 2012, the sneaker world was shaken up when graphics appeared on the Foamposite for the first time with the release of the Galaxy during NBA All-Star Weekend. It set the stage for the future of the Foams, as many more colorful takes on the shoe would follow. It was impossible to follow up the Galaxy, but Nike tried their damnedest to hope lightning would strike twice. Now we see Foams of all kinds sit in stores once again, much like we did before itís late 2000s revival. This time around, theyíre sitting because sneakerheads have shifted in favor of sneakers with minimalist design and maximum comfort, whether it be adidas NMDs, Nike Lunarcharges or even New Balance 247s. But donít count the Foams out as we celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Royal colorway this past weekend. Between the expected rollout of new Foams in 2017 and kids once again looking for whatís new and fresh, we could be at the cusp of the cycle starting once again for the shoe. And if not, then 20 years as the sneaker of the future is not a bad title to have, right?
11:38:07 20 September 2018 Permanente link Reacties (0)

20 Things You Didn't Know About the Nike Foamposite

When the Nike Foamposite One first dropped in 1997, it was like nothing anyone had ever seen before but people wore it in some impressive performances. The sleek $180 shoe had no Nike branding on the upper, save a small Swoosh near the toe, and the synthetic upper and prominent carbon plate gave the shoe a decidedly futuristic look, one that many sneaker designers still strive to achieve. With interest in Foams that never ceases to fade, here are 20 Things You Didn't Know About the Nike Foamposite. Nobody thought it was possible. Like all great sneaker stories, the naysayers were a plenty. The Foamposite was one of the most unbelievable designs, so it's probabaly not a huge surprise that everyone from designers at Nike, all the way to manufacturers in China, said that it couldn't be done when the original idea was presented. The Foamposite was not designed for Penny Hardaway.   Eric Avar didn't design the Foamposite One Denim with Penny Hardaway in mind. If the apocryphal stories are true, it was originally intended for Scottie Pippen (no word on whether it then would have been called the "Foamposite 33"). But in a session with Penny, where he wasn't moved by any of the other designs, he saw the Foamposite in Avar's bag, and the rest was royal blue history. It was inspired by a beetle. Not the Volkswagen, but the little annoyances that wander around your garage, were actually part of the inspiration for the Foamposite's aerodynamic features. People thought it would ruin the footwear industry. The design of the Foamposite was so absurd compared to the traditional usage of leather and rubber that many people actually thought Nike would ruin footwear with the design. Fast forward 15 years and now nearly everything is made out of plastic-based materials. It hasn't seemed to keep anyone from buying sneakers yet, either. Daewoo was the company that made it happen. A number of companies were approached by Nike with the Foamposite concept. Many of them couldn't come up with the correct formula to make it happen but Daewoo came through. Yep, the Korean company that makes TVs and cars were the ones behind your latest Foamposite purchase. The upper of the Foamposite begins as liquid. If the sleek, logoless shoe itself wasn't enough to pry your $180 (plus tax) from your wallet, maybe the T-1000 backstory was. In order to create the Foamposite One's seamless upper, the "foam" material started as a liquid, which was then poured into molds. How does that add up to $180? Well, the molds weren't cheap. Read on. The perfect temperature is between 130 and 175 degrees. No, not to wear them. In case you were wondering, Foamposite material is created at a temperature range of 130-175 degrees Fahrenheit. If we see anyone melting down Foams on Youtube, though... The average cost of the mold was $750,000. $750,000 for the mold alone. Considering that doesn't include the cost of labor, packaging, shipping or marketing, you can see why the price of the Foamposite was steep. The midsole had to be 5 times stronger than a traditional sneaker's. When the Foamposite was created, the process was so different that traditional ways of manufacturing had to be revamped. In order for the molded upper to stay attached to the midsole, it had to be 5 times stronger than traditional glue and stitching. So, in a way, the development of the Foamposite helped with other future technologies just by pushing the limits. The original price of the Foamposite One was $180. So, this might be something you do know but there seems to be some serious confusion amongst the always knowledgable group of Internet sneaker blogs. We're just going to clear the air, the Nike Air Foamposite One retailed for $180 when it first released and the Nike Air Foamposite Pro retailed for $170. Eastbay catalogs don't lie, bruh. Foamposites didn't sell well at all. $180 price tags may be commonplace now, but back in 1997 that was a real jump. And when you put that price tag on a brand-new technology that doesn't even feature the usual visible cues of "high-dollar" ó like a Max airbag or a Jumpman or a yeezy 350 Static ó it's gonna be a tough sell. Fortunately enough people stepped up to keep Foamposite in the line. The NBA didn't approve of the sneakers. The NBA said that the colorway wasn't fit for the court because it didn't have enough black to coincide with Penny's Orland Magic uniform. Penny did what any sneakerhead would do, and busted out the Sharpie to fix the problem. Penny Hardaway didn't debut the Foamposite One. Mike Bibby first hit the court as an Arizona Wildcat wearing the Royal Foamposites on March 23 of 1997. That same day, Penny Hardaway laced up his Nike Air Penny IIs. It wouldn't be until a few games later that Penny finally laced up the Foamposite One with his Orlando Magic uniform. Penny Hardaway had white Foams 15 years before you. Penny Hardaway may not have been the first to wear his own signature shoe in a game, and he may have never worn them in an All-Star Game or NBA Finals, but at least he was getting exclusives before anyone else. The best part is that it's been damn near 20 years and you STILL don't have these. The phone number has been disconnected. One of the shoes to be featured in Nike's simple - and brilliant - print ad campaign that simply showed a shoe on a white background with a Swoosh and a 1-800 number, the Foamposite One never looked better. Tragically, the phone number has been disconnected. We were hoping to get Lil Penny on the line, seeing that he still owes us for the dry cleaning from his Super Bowl party. Foamposites became the ultimate takedown model. The Clogposite is one of the most unexpected sneakers ever created by Nike ó who turns a $180 shoe into a slipper? But don't try to front in your new camo Foams this weekend, the O.G.s been rockin' digi camo Foams, son. It was the first sneaker people were willing to trade their car for. Crazy shit happens when the hype hits all time highs. This dude really tried to trade his car ó with a full tank of gas, even ó for Galaxy Foams. This can't be life.
13:16:45 14 September 2018 Permanente link Reacties (0)

The Most Important Air Max in Years Is Here - Nike VaporMax 2018 Revie

Do you remember the Nike Air Max 2016? Can you even conjure up an image of the Air Max 2017 in your head? We wonít blame you if the answer is no. While the Air Max line has been responsible for millions of dollars in sneaker sales since its inception in 1987, recent models have not been entirely memorable. The revolution described in the first ad campaign around the shoes feels significantly less rebellious now. Gone are the days of iconic designs like the Air Max 90 and Air Max 95, and the now yearly main offerings in the franchise have felt somewhat stale since the big bag of the Air Max 2009. If thereís anything that can reverse the trend itís the Nike Air VaporMax ($190), a highly-touted model first unveiled at Nikeís Innovation Summit event in 2016 thatís set to release on Sunday, exactly 30 years after the debut of the original Air Max. The shoe has an exaggerated bubble on bottom paired with a sleek Flyknit upper, a combo that Nike claims results in the ďmost flexible Air Max ever.Ē The cushioning system is especially notable for its lack of foamóthe traditional midsole is gone and the Flyknit upper sits directly on top of the Air bag. In removing a layer separating the foot and the sole, Nike hopes to address a design issue thatís been there for years. ďWhatís different here is that the properties of Air are still thereóthat protection, that durability, that resiliencyóbut whatís been always elusive to us is that sensation of air,Ē said Nike VP of Innovation Kathy Gomez at an event for the VaporMax. ďNike Air Max hasnít really felt like you can imagine it should feel like, and thatís what we unlocked here.Ē While Nikeís been very focused on the tech aspects of this shoe, itís clear how much the brand cares about things from a visual standpoint. In this regard, perhaps the best outcome for Nike with the VaporMax is for it to operate in a space like Adidasí celebrated Ultra Boost, its home in sport recognized, but its place in casual wear much more salient. Itís mostly touted as a runner, but remember that the first pair to hit retail before Sundayís wide launch was a fashion collaboration with Comme des GarÁons. Nike Sportswear Design Director Nate Jobe says itís the first time the brand has debuted a shoe like this through this lens. ďIt's always been launching first as a performance-true product, and then later being adopted by culture,Ē Jobe told Sole Collector. ďIn this case, we worked directly with Rei [Kawakubo, founder of Comme des GarÁons,] in the beginning to have sport and style coming together in the beginning versus the end.Ē All this is not to say that the VaporMax doesnít have performance chops. Finite element analysis informs the patterns and tubes that shape the sole. The shoeís been in development at Nike for seven years, with rigorous product testing throughout. Gomez speculates that it might be the most-tested Nike model ever, saying that around 350 athletes ran a total of 126,000 miles in them. But even at a wear-test event for the shoe Nike reps arenít shy about its casual appeal, mentioning that it falls somewhere between hardcore runner and lifestyle silhouette. While gushing about the VaporMax in 2016, Nike CEO Mark Parker referenced its spot between these lanes. ďIt's a great example of an innovation that stands at the intersection of high-tech, pure function, and aesthetic beauty,Ē Parker said. How well does the VaporMax deliver on Nikeís promise of the ďrunning on airĒ sensation from a functional standpoint? When wearing the shoe, itís difficult to separate oneself from all the marketing dollars spent convincing the wearer the sensation is there. Do I actually feel that Air underfoot, or do I just want to after hearing Parkerís eulogizing and eagerly anticipating the shoe for so many months? At least some of it is the formeróon a run the shoe delivers a very bouncy ride thatís more present in the back half of the sole. The feeling of Air is certainly there to a greater extent than on any Air Max Iíve worn before. To really test the bubble, the wearer can bounce up and down on the heel for a piece of tactile evidence. The tubular Air sections toward the front arenít as apparent, although one gets the idea the shoe would be too bouncy were the forefootís cushioning shaped the same way the heelís is. Note that this isnít the firm energy return feel of Adidas Boost; what the wearer gets with the VaporMax is something more exaggerated. The fit of the Flyknit upper is snug, but not tight. The Flyknit material has more stretch to it than that of models like the Flyknit Racer, which is welcome given the somewhat constricting shape of the midfoot. (Think the stretchy stuff used on 2016ís Nike LunarEpic.) The VaporMax is a statement product from Nike, that much was clear when the shoe was debuted at the brandís Innovation Summit last year. The statement translates to the wearer too; itís a visually striking model that almost demands the attention of onlookers with its alien sole. Thereís an auditory element to the sneaker as an announcement as well, although that one is not totally positive. Itís a bit loud, the VaporMaxís big bubble still squeaking after a few days of regular wear. The jumbo bubble also evokes a sense of fragility. The first thing many ask when seeing the sneaker is whether it can withstand the rigors of everyday wear without popping. But that fear has been there since the beginningówhen designer Tinker Hatfield first developed Air Max, the feedback from Nike was that the exposed cushioning looked like it would pop, which wouldn't fly for consumers. Nike says itís prepared for that fear on the VaporMax, where the bubble is more exposed to the elements than ever before, by testing it on the rugged trails of Colorado. ďWe test a lot of things in Colorado,Ē Gomez explained. ďThereís a great community of athletes and runners there, also lots of trails that can be really hard on the shoes, which we want to see. You can put a lot of miles on shoes in a short amount of time.Ē Opposite efforts like the testing to prove the shoeís worth while logging miles are moves like the color choices that highlight the shoeís fashion aspirations. While Air Max designs of yesteryear leaned on bright accents to establish themselves, with colorways like the Air Max 1ís bold blue and red or the Air Max 90ís sharp infrared helping to change the look of running footwear, the VaporMax aims for something more subdued. Its debut colorway is a foggy mixture of flat platinum and grey with a metaphorical meaning ďWe wanted to reinforce the idea of running on air,Ē said Andres Harlow, VP/Creative Director of footwear for Nike Running. The idea is channeled through Flyknit material made to look like an actual cloud with blended neutral colors that are more intricate than they appear on first glance. Again style points are mentioned, the shoeís lack of popping colors being a play toward contemporary palette trends. As much as the VaporMax is able to win from a style perspective, one suspects it wonít quite end up with the performance accolades of the Adidas Ultra Boost. The short history of Boost suggests it's currently a more effective performance platform than Air, one with marathon wins to help back up all its claims. But maybe that doesnít matter that much given that the majority of sportswear is not worn for its intended purpose. Regardless of adoption by runners, the VaporMax is a win from Nike in this writerís opinion in that itís a reminder of what the brand can do to push the look of footwear forward. And beyond aesthetics, it feels how one imagines Air Max should. The win is especially big when one considers how much agreement there was about Adidas besting Nike with product in 2016. The shoe is a confirmation and realization of innovation, the brandís favorite buzzword. And thereís more VaporMax to comeóParker has said that Nike is scaling the technology to bring it to a wider range of products. Through this, the brand will look to deliver on something else that Air Max has promised from the start: a revolution.
13:36:28 11 September 2018 Permanente link Reacties (0)

Nike Hyperdunk X Performance Review

10 years is a long time for a shoe line to live and after that decade the Hyperdunk may have hit its peak. We present the Nike Hyperdunk X Performance Review. 10 years. The Nike Hyperdunk has been around since the 2008 Olympics, so we have gotten 10 years of the ďultimateĒ Nike team shoe, a shoe made for every player at any position. We have seen Lunar, Zoom, and React cushioning on it. Nike has put Flywire, 2nd generation Flywire, mesh, knit, and fuse on the uppers. Now letís see how the 2018 version does. One thing the Hyperdunk has never lacked is traction, and the Nike Hyperdunk X is no slouch either. The shoe uses a multi-directional pattern that looks like soundwaves (not the Decepticon), so there is coverage in any directionÖalthough the pattern does†look†more linear than lateral.
Once on-court, the Hyperdunk X is solid and stops quick but smooth due to the softer rubber and spaced out pattern (a hard stop, to me, is the Jordan XX8 and Kobe Protro). The Hyperdunk X were put to the test on four different floors ó normal (dirty) 24-Hour Fitness, swept and clean 24-Hour Fitness, clean high school court, and rubber church court ó and there was not one instance of slipping or skating. Matter of fact, Iím not sure I ever wiped. The pattern is set wide and pushes dirt and dust out, making the outsole extremely reliable from court to court. Outdoors? At this point, why even ask ó itís easier to find Waldo than a suitable outdoor shoe. The Hyperdunk X uses a soft rubber and a shallow pattern, knowing this is a team shoe and will last just until the last buzzer sounds and then no longer. Donít even think a couple of months on concrete/blacktop is possible because it ainít. Okay, get this out of the way now: the Hyperdunk should never†ever†go away from responsive Zoom Air cushioning. I donít care what new foams are out or what Nike has to push, and I know the original was the vehicle for Lunar Foam, but Zoom Air is still (over 20 years later) the best cushioning Nike has ever made for basketball, period.
If the Hyperdunk is your ďeverymanĒ†basketball†shoes, why not give the cushioning that makes ďevery manĒ happy? After the disaster that was React in the 2017 HD (and if you liked React, I donít know what to say about you), the Hyperdunk X brings back the heel and forefoot Zoom from the HD2016, only†a lot†thicker. The heel unit in the Hyperdunk X is 14mm thick, where the 2016 was around 8mm. The forefoot is almost the same and feels it. The biggest difference is the foam carrier; the Hyperdunk X still uses Phylon but a much softer makeup, giving the shoe a better†compression†and rebound ability. The foam takes the initial landing force and compresses until the Zoom takes over, providing a stiffer response that springs into your next move ó just like Zoom was meant to do! Zoom was never about impact protection; it was first and foremost about low ride, court feel, and response. After almost three weeks of this being the only shoe I have played in (the Kobe AD made an appearance towards the end), the cushioning is actually fantastic. No pain, no aches, no harsh jarring from landing, and it feels quick and bouncy on every move. From the first time I put the Hyperdunk X on I could tell this was the way Zoom should feel, and itís magic. Still, after 20 years, good Zoom makes me smile. From pushing off laterally on defense to my first step driving off of a pump fake three, I felt quick on court. If there is area that lags behind the others on the Hyperdunk X, it is materials. The shoe features a textile upper with strategic foam backing (although it looks like jersey mesh in-hand), the materials areÖokay. Nothing is premium except for the little hit of leather on the heel cup, but it works. The mesh isnít stretchy at all, providing serious containment in the forefoot on lateral movements, while a fused area over the toebox gives a little extra durability in that area for toe drags. The one deviation from the mesh is a big one and thatís the midfoot saddle. Made out of a smooth nylon that feels more neoprene than mesh, the area has a little more stretch than the rest of the shoe, but also provides some†compression†around your arch. Itís a cool little touch that wasnít needed but certainly is appreciated. The ankle collar has dense memory foam padding around the ankle bones that form perfectly around the joint to stop heel slip and movement once laced up. Again, nothing new, but it works and works well with everything else. Since the Hyperdunk is the shoe for every position and player, it makes sense the fit is accommodating to different foot-shapes and needs (unlike the KD 11 or Curry series, which appear to be made for one athlete). The lacing system is set wide and allows for loosening if needed (and the midfoot stretches to allow more room), and, on the opposite, the laces can be pulled tight for slightly narrow feet. The upper doesnít have a true traditional tongue system but does open up wider than most one-piece shoes for ease of entry. Again, the heel padding locks in your foot until movement is gone, so no worries about heel slip if you mess up and get a half-size too big. As for length, I tried on my true 10.5 and a half-size down to a 10. I honestly could have went either way, but I normally go with the larger size if Iím not sure just because I know after a few games in a row my feet will need a little room (if itís too much room I can add a sock ó easier to fill space than to stretch a mesh upper). If you like a little room up front, go true to size. If you like as little space as possible, go down a half size and enjoy. Nothing special here; the Hyperdunk X uses a lacing system that pulls the shoe tightly and securely around your foot, with a solid heel counter (both internal and external), and a midfoot shank placed between the forefoot and heel Zoom.†But, and a big but it is, there is an added piece that helps a ton, at least on lateral movements: the TPU Swoosh piece on the midfoot. It looks like it would make the midfoot restrictive and stiff, but it is placed off of the midsole, right around the foot, giving the player something to push off of to slide and cut but not interfering with the function of the cushioning. The rest of the your foot sits slightly below the top level of the sidewalls, providing even more lateral support. There is a small outrigger on the forefoot that provided the one true problem I had with the Hyperdunk X. On some hard stops and plants (yes, Iím the guy who gets a steal and pulls up full-speed to shoot a three pointer on a one-on-three break) I could feel the outrigger kind of pull under the forefoot. It was a strange feeling, and didnít happen all the time, but it almost felt like the sole was separating from the shoe when I would stop to jump. If the outrigger was larger this probably would not be a factor, and it isnít enough to mark the shoe off my list, but be aware. The Nike Hyperdunk X is a top 5 shoe this year. Well, maybe top 8 ó itís been a good year. The Hyperdunk X definitely gets a vote for most improved shoe in 2018, mainly just because of the killer cushioning that returns to the line. If you need a dependable shoe for any indoor surface, with great cushioning, a semi-durable upper, and killer fit, look no further. The Hyperdunk X achieved what Nike always looks for in the shoe: it works. It isnít flashy (although I like the way it looks) and it gets the job done. From high-flying wings to quick guards to mobile big men, the Hyperdunk X is your slide. There isnít much else to say ó itís a great shoe for every player you will ever be. Nike: please, please, please keep us happy next year.

13:15:37 05 September 2018 Permanente link Reacties (0)

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