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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)

Nike KD XII 12 Performance Analysis and Review


“Innovation” is what every sneaker head wants these days. Despite all that I write about newer rarely means better, new tech speak gets everyone’s attention. Thankfully, Nike went with the ol’ tried and true with a sprinkle of innovation to give us one of the most well rounded KDs to date. Pros: traction, low to the ground yet bouncy cushioning, fit, stability, containment Con: runs narrow Sizing Advice: true to size length wise but runs narrow. True to size for regular and narrow footers, wide footers will probably want to go up half a size. Best for: any position Buying Advice: KD is not MJ, Steph, or Lebron so just wait a few weeks or months and you’ll see more and more discounts as always. I got these at Dick’s for $120 on release day which is fair. More fair is $100, bottom around $60-75. Weight 15.5 ounces which is average for a mid Traction Pretty much the same set up as the XI but with more segmentation within each semi circle which helps the sole brush dirt away. This translucent outsole isn’t as sticky as what we’re used to seeing and it still picks up some dust but the segmentation allows it to brush most of the dust away. My first few hours days on dusty floor weren’t great but I suspect it just needed a very light break in. Nike has done a nice job with its subtle yet effective micro grooves in my opinion. From the Kobe AD to the KD 12, I have been happy overall, albeit at different degrees of successThese are not the absolute best traction ever but it is far better than average and will keep the majority of hoopers including my picky ass self happy. Nice job Nike! Cushioning Let’s face it, cushioning marketing is every sneaker companies sweet spot. 99.9% of the world could care less about different lace set ups, new ways to improve ankle mobility or what street superstar ABC’s great, great second uncle lived on; people want good looks and a good feeling cushioning set up. Yippee! There is a lot of tech marketing surrounding the KD12 with the articulated zoom seemed in directly to the strobel plus an extra hex zoom in the heel. Cool, sounds awesome right ? It feels like full length Zoom should, you know like the Zoom BB with an extra Zoom unit in the heel to give it just a little extra sexy sauce. With all that cool new tech speak, I don’t think attaching the Zoom directly to the shoe feels any different than using a cloth strobel like the Zoom BB. It’s like sleeping with sheets on your bed vs no sheets at all. Same diff, both feel great is the bottom line (yep that bed reference goes back a few years and stand true still). I really like how they shaped the insole to match the gaps in the Zoom so there isn’t any wobble from the outer rim space . Stupid simple details like that are important. I personally can’t tell the difference between articulated versus regular full length Zoom but even so if you didn’t tell me the tech specs of the Zoom set up, I still would have been happy. Did I mention the cushioning gets even better with break in as the foam breaks in? Well well well well done Nike! Did I say well done? Well done, how I do not like my steak but how I like my Zoom. Fit Wide footers will want to go up half a size, regular and narrow footers can go true to size. Length is true to size while width is narrower than normal. I tried both true to size and half size up and while there was a little more space at the toe, the width just felt better for me from a comfort perspective without any excess shifting or movement inside. If you can’t figure out how to get your foot into the KD12, maybe you should pick up a different sport. Half tongue construction gives you plenty of space to get your foot in Ankle collar construction holds the ankle and heel down with some contouring. The collar portion above the contours does not conform around your ankle like a Hyperdunk does so you will see and feel some space around the upper part of your ankle. Overall it’s just a simple semi traditional set up, no heel slip, no side to side movement. Both lateral and medial sides are raised to keep your foot in place (see support). Nothing much to say here, it just works. Nice job Nike! Materials Oh wheww, if it’s labeled it must be legitNo editing allowed Nike (see Protrogate) Quad axial flywire. What’s that mean? It means the flywire is going up and down and left to right. Using the word quad and axial makes it sound way more impressive but it’s really just a mesh with some flywire haphazardly mixed in for strength and texture. It pops a little but to start but not much and it’s a nice blend of strength and flexibility. People that want a material to looks or feels expensive will not think much of this upper What happened to the flyknit movement ? These could have been made out of regular mesh but what fun is that in a sig shoe? Did you know KD loves baking? Why else would Nike put parchment paper on his shoeThis little tag is annoyingly cheap looking and feeling but it saves Nike 2 cents per shoe thanks to Ted from accounting Overall materials are fine, nothing ultra luxurious and it works fine with a splash of color and texture with the QuadAxial Flywire. Support and stabilityPer usually, support comes from the fit and normal flexibility heel counter. In addition the raised Phylon on both sides of the shoe keep your foot upright and on the footbed. Midfoot support is good, not overly flimsy but not board like either.   Stability is good nothing outstanding. I would like a little more width like the PG 3 and WNZ2 but it works fine. No issues at all with support and stability. Containment After taking a break for the past three years, containment is back!No issues here.. it’s like 2015 y’all! Raised midsole heel to toe keep your foot in on hard cuts. Who would have thunk it? Conclusion The Durant line really did a 180 from the KD XI which in my opinion is a good thing. Although the XI was ultra comfortable and free flowing it didn’t have the level of support I’m really used to. Obviously, Kd has no issues in them so why should a recreational baller have any? #itainttheshoes As many of you know the Zoom BB1 is one of my favorite shoes of all time due it’s all around performance but it’s cloth strobel full length Zoom really made the Zoom stand out; putting on the KD12 gave me flashbacks to the Zoom BB thanks to the cushioning set up because it feels just that good. By switching back to a directly underfoot Zoom set up, the shoe just feels fun and exciting with even more Zoom in the heel. Of course, cushioning isn’t the end all for me and thankfully, the KD 12 does everything well from A-Z. It is a bit understated looks wise and draws some serious inspiration from the Hyperrev line Maybe it’s just the colorway  But similarities aside, the lack of KD signature touches is fine for me even in this rather plain black white Day One colorway. Not a bunch of story telling on the XII. This and the tongue paper are the only real graphics showing it’s KD’s shoe It isn’t the sexiest looking shoe I’ve ever seen but it’s performance on court is fantastic. Should you go out and buy today at retail? It’s almost been a whopping two weeks since the release date so we’re right around the corner for discount time. Twenty percent off soon, then price drops in a month or so..it really pays to be patient. As I tell y’all every time, don’t get hyped up from a Shoetuber review that says $150 is a good price and then gives you a bunch of affiliate hyperlinks. Just sit and wait and save money so you can buy more pairs of a great shoe at an even better price.. or use those savings for hoop lessons or training sessions to actually get better at the game we all love. I can’t believe this but the hits keep coming in 2019. Another first team
18:06:40 18 April 2019 Permanente link Reacties (0)

PUMA Uproar Performance Review


Puma Hoops is on a roll as the Uproar is even better than the Clyde Court. Blade traction makes an appearance on the Puma Uproar and it’s awesome. It may not be leaps and bounds better than the traction pattern found on the Clyde Court, but it was more reliable on all of the courts I play on. The blades are in place in such a way that it covers nearly all linear movements and there is a section along the outrigger that covers lateral movement. It’s a very solid setup that really does get the job done well. The rubber compound is also pretty hard so they would be a decent option for outdoor basketball. Puma’s HYBRID technology is used at the heel and the tech specs on puma.com claim the midsole is IGNITE. However, the midsole doesn’t feel like IGNITE; it’s much more firm with less rebound/energy return under-foot than any of the previous iterations of IGNITE I’ve tried before. Court feel on the Uproar is pretty good due to the firm setup but I would have liked the midsole to have sat a little lower to the ground so it didn’t feel quite as clunky until broken-in. If you’re looking for court feel, then this setup will work very well for you. If you’re looking for something with a little bounce back or rebound then you may want to look for something else. If you want a little cushion and a lot of nike air force 1 feel, you can always replace the insole and get your wish. Materials depend on the colorway. I personally preferred the All-Star pair that used a mixture of textiles and synthetic leathers. I felt this setup allowed for less break-in time while still containing the foot at key areas and stress zones. For those that want more leather and less textile, the Spectra and Palace Guard colorways will fit the bill. Both used textile along the tongue and internal booty sections of the shoe while all the overlays wrapping the foot from the heel to the forefoot are leather and synthetic leather. A little more break-in time will be required, especially at the toe, but once broken-in, you’ll be good to go. The Puma Uproar fits true to size. Wide footers may want to go up 1/2 size, but try them on first to be sure. Lockdown was awesome in both pairs I played in. It’s a little better in the leather-based version, but not by much. The All-Star pair broke-in to the point to where I needed to readjust the forefoot lacing to get a bit of a tighter fit. Otherwise the entire lacing system works perfectly from the ankle to the forefoot. Support in the Uproar is what you’ve come to expect from basketball shoes: heel counters and a wide, flat base for stability. An outrigger would have been nice, but you sit in the midsole enough to make it where it’s not a feature that is sorely lacking.
For only releasing two basketball shoes in the last decade or so, Puma really has impressed quite a bit. The Clyde Court was a very good start, but the Uproar is just a beast on its own. Cushion needs work but everything else on the shoe worked perfectly. Aesthetically, I think I prefer the Clyde Court in certain colorways, but the Uproar is pretty cool in certain colors as well. Best of all, they look different. You’re not one of many on the floor, you’re usually the only one out there wearing the brand. I can’t help but wonder what Puma Hoops has in store for its third basketball shoe. Will it be even better than the Uproar? I hope so.

17:23:16 15 April 2019 Permanente link Reacties (0)

Stanley Tse Weighs in on the Jordan Why Not Zer0.2


It’s that time again. Stanley Tse weighs in on the Jordan Why Not Zer0.2. Traction was just straight awesome for me. I’ve played on clean courts and some slick courts and the traction gripped. While it features a non-traditional circular pattern, the pattern gripped the floor aggressively. Keep in mind that the rubber is soft, so it won’t last long outdoors. However, that doesn’t mean it didn’t work for outdoor courts. I can’t complain, except, perhaps it would be nice if the shoes could transfer some of Brodie’s athleticism to me, and that triple-double prowess. A slight change of pace going from Full-length Zoom Air to just Forefoot Zoom Air. However, the Forefoot Zoom Air unit is unlocked, and is the same setup found in the Air Jordan 33. The shoe also features an injected Phylon midsole, which was bouncy (and felt good for those that needed added support). Impact protection was felt immediately without any break-in time. Despite the heel not featuring any actual cushion, the Injected Phylon gave the feeling on the heel very soft and responsive protection without the lack of energy return. I did like how this felt for my heavy-footed gameplay, although I’d still prefer having Zoom Air. Overall, for slightly heavier players, and for those quick on their feet or play on their forefoot, this worked very well. The materials feature a combination of mesh and knit. They fit and feel very comfortable around my foot without any feeling of any straining or additional lace pressure. Additionally, zero break-in time was required which is a huge plus. It would have been nice to have seen a bit more of a mix-up between materials, such as leather or Battleknit, but that is a personal want and not something that the shoe needed. True To Size. Plain and simple. Even for a slightly wide-footer myself (and I know there are plenty of you out there wondering and have wider-feet), they fit very well. Some slight adjustments of the lacing and you’re ready to go. The lockdown was adequate, especially with the help of the overlay panels placed along the midfoot to wrap around gives the shoe a nice change of pace in aesthetics and functionality. I do wish there was an extra lace loophole along the very top of the shoe for a more secure fit at the rear ankle, but not once did I ever slip out the shoe. I was locked into place and ready to go. Good, not great. It took a while to get adjusted to the way the outsole was designed as it’s got a slight roundedness to it. Not saying it’s a bad thing, however, not all players are used to playing on their toes, especially coming from the Why Not Zer0.1 with its very flat and stable base. If it had a slightly extended outrigger it would probably help balance out the slight wobbliness of the shoe for those who aren’t used to it, but it’s not a big gripe. It’s somewhat of a transition. Adequate lockdown, soft phylon, a large Forefoot unlocked Zoom Air bag. Overall, I really loved the setup. The evolution of Westbrook’s line has only come to fruition of two shoes, and so far they’ve hit the mark each time. You feel quick off your feet, comfortable, all while the shoe gives you everything you need, and removed everything you didn’t want. There are some things that could have been added to the structure of the shoe, but that’s just me nitpicking. The shoe gives a little bit of a blend between the Air Jordan 28, 29, and 32 — all of which were beasts on-court. So, if you were a fan of those models all together while being a fan of Brodie’s shoe then you won’t be disappointed.
16:47:43 11 April 2019 Permanente link Reacties (0)

Nike+ (Plus) System Review and Basketball Performance Reviews


Here it is… the review on the Nike+ Basketball System. Hit the jump for Pros & Cons. Pros – Stat tracking – Increase competitive drive through stat tracing – Measures your vertical – Measures your speed/ steps per second – Easy to use – Interaction with other players/ friends/ ballers Cons – Price – sold together with sneakers – huge turnoff sneakers  – huge turnoff – Doesn’t measure actual speed, just the amount of steps per second – Lags and takes long to sync to iPhone/ iPod – Takes too long to sync so I end up leaving it on making stat average inaccurate By now you all know that I personally feel that this system is a very cool thing to have but not entirely necessary for your typical ball player. If you are the type to want an increased vertical, track and measure your progress all while competing with your peers then this is something you will greatly enjoy. However, it’s also something that the younger crowd will gravitate toward versus us older guys. If you are a College or NBA player there is no point to owning the system since you already have proven yourself to be more than capable performing at the highest level. Most players just need to get laced up and hit the court so it’s a give or take type of thing… if the above is something you find useful then it will be an asset to your game, if not then you will just end up wasting your money… unless it’s just the shoe’s colorway you are after…
17:37:15 10 April 2019 Permanente link Reacties (0)

air jordan 22 performance review


Since the Curry 3 review is just around the corner, I thought I’d step back and review the AJ XX2 since the Curry 3 took a huge bite out of the AJ XX2 back story. I’m disappointed that UA went there but if the Curry 6 performs, nobody will care. I guess since the XX2 was such a sales dud maybe UA thought they could pull it off without anyone noticing? I don’t know … Pros: traction, fit, support, materials Cons: pod cushioning is too targeted and feels unnatural, tippy in the heel, pricey at $175 especially in 2007. Sizing: half size down Best for: guards Weight 16.5 oz so just a half ounce more than the Crazylight Boost 2016. Traction Jordan Brand usually does a good job with traction and this was the highlight of the XX2 for me. Stuck extremely well on clean floors and needed minimal wiping on dusty floors. Probably would have been better if the entire outsole was the same depth but then the IPS system wouldn’t “work” as well Cushioning IPS is back again for the third straight model starting with the XX. Hurray? I couldn’t tell a difference in density in any of the aforementioned models and this was no different. The IPS foam feels great overall at least with a nice bit of springiness. As for the heel, Jordan Brand brought back the modularity idea allowing the player to swap between Max Air and Double Stacked Zoom. Now that sounds great in theory but the Max and Zoom don’t cover much surface area And the double stacked Zoom is nearly as thin as a quarter (I mean two quarters since its double stacked). Maybe this was the beginning of the end for real Zoom You can feel the cushioning if you like quarter size set ups. It literally feels like a quarter size lump of cushioning is under your heel. Having the logo raised in the insole doesn’t help either. Which feels better between the two ? Zoom pod for sure. It just has a more even feeling than the Max set up. Overall cushioning is decent but far from ideal. A simple forefoot zoom and regular heel that covers the entire heel like the Kobe VI would have been great. Fit The air jordan 1 came out before Nike and JB went to a more narrow last and fit so 10.5 fit me perfectly. Finger width of space at the toe, no heel slip and no space side to side. The upper starts a little stiff since it is real leather but it breaks in nicely and gives a decent almost one to one fit. Not quite perfect but still good overall. I really liked the simple lacing set up with the lace lock because it just works. Materials What is this foreign space age material ? Oh it’s real leather. Good luck ever seeing leather again from any company. JB and Nike were really pushing the quilted interior back in 2007. Personally I like the look and feel but it doesn’t make a difference performance wise. Nice materials and build quality, may leather Rest In Peace Support and Stability Ah, when a higher cut shoe didn’t fold like a bad hand in Texas Hold em. I really liked the combo of the firmer mid cut with a stiff heel counter JB also says the XX2 features a titanium coated midfoot shank plate Errr, just because it is painted silver doesn’t mean it’s titanium Jordan Brand. Clearly plastic with silver paint. It does its job just fine but don’t hype a piece a plastic as something it isn’t. The XX2 is stable in the forefoot even without an outrigger but the heel is a little tippier than I prefer. The protruding outsole under the modular unit doesn’t help either. Overall support is good but the tippy heel isn’t trustworthy. Containment Clean simple lines with no major physical barriers would be worrisome with today’s knits and woven uppers but leather is strong and doesn’t have that stretch on hard cuts. Also this extra leather rand helps in containing the foot. Similar idea to the Curry 3 “midsole frame” Conclusion Every sneaker has a snorey..I mean story. Out of ideas, let’s say make up one about fighter planes! Zooooom fast powerful stealthy (is that a word? ). It’s everything an Air Jordan should be! Whoever was running Jordan Brand back then needs to be destroyed like Cyberdyne in Terminator 2 to prevent the proliferation of story telling these days. Unnecessary and adds no value to sneakers; let the players wearing them write the story. Inspiration aside, the shoe itself is a good overall performer but the ultratargeted tiny heel cushion really ruins the shoe. Let’s see how UA does with the same inspiration.
17:39:17 07 April 2019 Permanente link Reacties (0)

Jordan Why Not Zero.2 Performance Analysis and Review


Sorry about the delay, kids’ Spring Break put me behind a few weeks since Spring Break puts me behind on work stuff which then puts me behind other stuff etc…* It’s funny how fast enthusiasm and hype wane after a few weeks.. one week it’s all forums and sneakerheads talk about and the next week it’s on to the next shoe. Kind of like how fast the Thunder went from possible Warrior stoppers to the 7th seed in the West. This year’s playoffs are going to be Like Forest said, you never know what you’re going to get with a box of OKC Thunder. Conversely, you do know what you’ll get from the Why Not Zero 2… a great all around performer at a decent retail price. Wait as always folks, that one month with months hot shoe won’t hurt your skills or lack there of any. Pros: traction, cushioning, fit, SUPPORT, stability containment, feels premium Cons: traction pattern may tear with wear. Sizing advice: true to size Best for: any position Buying advice: Wait as always. Stats are great but the world isn’t in love with Russ. $100 or less is fair, bottom around $50-65. Weight 16.5 ounces which is slightly heavier than most mids. Traction Like the WNZ1, the traction is excellent. Very soft and pliable rubber with good depth keeps dust at bay. Excellent bite right out of the box on all surfaces with very little to no wiping on dusty floors The only issue , although I haven’t had it yet, is these split 0 will split or tear with more wear. Anytime you segment pieces of an outsole, they are prone to tearing. UA are you listening ? Definitely not recommend outdoors. Overall, well done JB! Cushioning Similar sized forefoot cushioning as the AJ 33 but less protrusion still gives the wearer plenty of forefoot zoom feel. It’s like 1998 again y’all! It isn’t AJ XX8 feeling since the protrusion is huge but the size of the Zoom unit and the removal of foam make the Zoom feel Zoomy! It’s nice to see Zoom make a slight comeback now if we can only get Nike/JB to give us heel Zoom too. Glad I have all my Soldier VI’s! The rest of the cushioning is injected Phylon which feels good underfoot from the get go. You won’t mistaken it for Lunarlon or Boost or anything premium but you’re not going to miss it either. It has just the right amount of give and spring to it that you don’t miss it and actually enjoy the full ride. Well done JB! Fit I went true to size and these have a little more room than the Why not 1 which is a good thing imo. If you want a really tight fit you could go down but true to size should fit most everyone No movement inside the shoe, no heel slip, so simple I barley have to write a paragraph. Straps for just a little more lockdown around the midfoot Same with the wrap around around the ankle Overall I had zero issues out of the box, none during play which is exactly what you want. Great job Nike! Materials Materials don’t matter for me but these materials LOOK way more premium than most shoes in the 140 under range. All the textures and contours gives off a luxurious feeling than pretty much every shoe I’ve reviewed under $140. Once again, value is the operative word. No difference in performance versus something made out of plain mesh like you see in the toe box but it feels a lot more expensive than most. It’s a bit of a throwback with the quilted feel ala Aj xx1, xx2, Lebro sphere linings etc but on the outside instead. Nice job stretching that dollar for us JB! Support and Stability A shoe with some support ? Why not right ? With the basketball shoes going lower and lower every day, it’s nice to feel some support around my ankles. It isn’t a sock like mid cut but a mid with some actual structure. You can still fold over the lateral side but if you push from the medial side from the inside, you have some actual support. JB/Nike used an asymmetrical design on the AJ XIV and Soldier VI with a higher medial side and this gives off a similar feeling of support. Midfoot support is good as well with a nice plastic midfoot shank in the shape of a W.. as in Westbrook for those who aren’t. There is also plenty of arch support as you can see on the medial side. Although the WNZ2 does not have an outrigger it is plenty wide in the forefoot for support. Overall zero issues with support and stability. Well done JB! Containment Yeppers, no issues here Conclusion I’ve literally got nothing to complain about with this shoe. If The AJ XX8 had a baby with the Soldier VI, this is pretty much what you’d get. JB made the WNZ2 a lot more fun this time around with a bouncier cushioning set up while keeping the shoe just great all around.. kind of like Mr. Triple Double. Price wise, at $125, it isn’t the cheapest shoe out there but if you’re worrying about a $15 difference between what typically constitutes “budget”, maybe you shouldn’t buy these at retail and just wait like I always suggest. Russ isn’t loved like MJ, Steph or Lebron so guess what, these will fall in price just like the WNZ1 (man I hate typing the whole name). Fair is around $90 with the bottom around $50-60. With the playoffs and Thunder season possibly ending early, expect these to drop in price quickly by summer. The streak of first teams continues for 2019
16:31:44 02 April 2019 Permanente link Reacties (0)

Air Jordan 22 Performance Review


Since the Curry 3 review is just around the corner, I thought I’d step back and review the AJ XX2 since the Curry 3 took a huge bite out of the AJ XX2 back story.  I’m disappointed that UA went there but if the Curry 6 performs, nobody will care. I guess since the XX2 was such a sales dud maybe UA thought they could pull it off without anyone noticing? I don’t know … Pros: traction, fit, support, materials Cons: pod cushioning is too targeted and feels unnatural, tippy in the heel, pricey at $175 especially in 2007. Sizing: half size down Best for: guards Weight 16.5 oz so just a half ounce more than the Crazylight Boost 2016. TractionJordan Brand usually does a good job with traction and this was the highlight of the XX2 for me. Stuck extremely well on clean floors and needed minimal wiping on dusty floors.  Probably would have been better if the entire outsole was the same depth but then the IPS system wouldn’t “work” as well Cushioning IPS is back again for the third straight model starting with the XX. Hurray? I couldn’t tell a difference in density in any of the aforementioned models and this was no different. The IPS foam feels great overall at least with a nice bit of springiness. As for the heel, Jordan Brand brought back the modularity idea allowing the player to swap between Max Air and Double Stacked Zoom. Now that sounds great in theory but the Max and Zoom don’t cover much surface area And the double stacked Zoom is nearly as thin as a quarter (I mean two quarters since its double stacked). Maybe this was the beginning of the end for real Zoom You can feel the cushioning if you like quarter size set ups. It literally feels like a quarter size lump of cushioning is under your heel. Having the logo raised in the insole doesn’t help either. Which feels better between the two ? Zoom pod for sure. It just has a more even feeling than the Max set up. Overall cushioning is decent but far from ideal. A simple forefoot zoom and regular heel that covers the entire heel like the Kobe VI would have been great. Fit The XX2 came out before Nike and JB went to a more narrow last and fit so 10.5 fit me perfectly. Finger width of space at the toe, no heel slip and no space side to side. The upper starts a little stiff since it is real leather but it breaks in nicely and gives a decent almost one to one fit. Not quite perfect but still good overall. I really liked the simple lacing set up with the lace lock because it just works. Materials What is this foreign space age material ? Oh it’s real leather. Good luck ever seeing leather again from any company. JB and Nike were really pushing the quilted interior back in 2007. Personally I like the look and feel but it doesn’t make a difference performance wise. Nice materials and build quality, may leather Rest In Peace Support and Stability  Ah, when a higher cut shoe didn’t fold like a bad hand in Texas Hold em. I really liked the combo of the firmer mid cut with a stiff heel counter JB also says the XX2 features a titanium coated midfoot shank plate Errr, just because it is painted silver doesn’t mean it’s titanium Jordan Brand. Clearly plastic with silver paint. It does its job just fine but don’t hype a piece a plastic as something it isn’t. The air jordan is stable in the forefoot even without an outrigger but the heel is a little tippier than I prefer. The protruding outsole under the modular unit doesn’t help either. Overall support is good but the tippy heel isn’t trustworthy. Containment Clean simple lines with no major physical barriers would be worrisome with today’s knits and woven uppers but leather is strong and doesn’t have that stretch on hard cuts. Also this extra leather rand helps in containing the foot. Similar idea to the Curry 3 “midsole frame” Conclusion  Every sneaker has a snorey..I mean story. Out of ideas, let’s say make up one about fighter planes! Zooooom fast powerful stealthy (is that a word? ). It’s everything an Air Jordan should be! Whoever was running Jordan Brand back then needs to be destroyed like Cyberdyne in Terminator 2 to prevent the proliferation of story telling these days. Unnecessary and adds no value to sneakers; let the players wearing them write the story. Inspiration aside, the shoe itself is a good overall performer but the ultratargeted tiny heel cushion really ruins the shoe. Let’s see how UA does with the same inspiration.
17:40:36 01 April 2019 Permanente link Reacties (0)

adidas Ultra Boost 2019 Performance Review


It’s 2019 and adidas has made some changes to the Ultra Boost. This is our performance review. As a runner I have been in love with the Ultra Boost 2019 since the original model. Over the years there have been some tweaks but with this newest model they made it out that there would be some major upgrades would be happening. I couldn’t even begin to wrap my head around what there was left to improve. Why mess with perfection? They completely overhauled the upper. I didn’t even know they could make these things more sock-like than they were, but they did. The Primeknit 360 stretches in all the right places without over stretching. There are no seams to worry about — no rubbing or chaffing. It’s definitely a more rugged feeling material than some of the previous versions, and it looks it, all the way up to it’s unfinished looking collar. The cage that wraps your midfoot and holds your laces is interesting. The harder TPU they had before never really bothered me, but this one is much lighter and much more flexible — as promised. From a visual standpoint I really dig how they stamped the three stripes into it. I also love that this is a shoe that I am able to find that perfect lace fitting, double knot it into place, and then never think about again. Because of its sock-like construction I’m able to just yank them on and hit the road without constantly having to adjust my lace settings. I will say that because of the colorway I grabbed, this kind of yucky oatmeal (adidas calls it Clear Brown), and the weather we’ve been having (plenty of rain) the toes of my shoes were instantly dirty, literally after the very first run. Now normally I am the first one to say these are runners, they were bought with the sole purpose of being ran into the ground. But when the rest of the shoe looks brand new it is kind of annoying to look down and that be the first thing you see. Guess it goes to show how well the shoe is built. Lets talk cushion. They went and increased the amount of Basketball shoes by 20%. Wowser! I would think that it would have made for a more mushy, or even bouncier, ride. However, neither happened. Instead it was like perfect balance had been found between a plush but stable ride, and enough impact absorption. Every runner’s needs are different, so finding a balance with the cushion is nearly impossible. Some like a minimalist setup. Some like a really thick ride for long lasting cushion. These are a little bit in-between. Enough protection for longer runs, but the additional 20% of Boost also firmed up the ride enough so you don’t feel like you’re running on springs. This still may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you happen to be new to running and don’t know what type of cushion you prefer just yet, this could be a great place to start. The traction might be my favorite part about the shoe. We still have that kickass Continental rubber with it’s stretch-webbed design, but this time the pattern/lugs are a bit thicker while being stacked closer together. This made it so I could fly over the gravely trails I’d encounter, instead of having to look for the more worn down paths. Yes, I’m sure the cushion helped absorb some of those rocks, but I don’t think we give traction enough credit in that department. After running in another runner with a similar cushion setup, but is missing most of the rubber used for traction, on the same pathways, I can say without a doubt that a good traction setup is a must. Also, I’ve put in close to 60 miles in these guys and the rubber still looks close to new. I can’t say that about the other runners in my current rotation. The fit IS amazing, once I figured out sizing. I typically run in a women’s size 6.5 — including all of my past Ultra Boost models. Luckily, we were able to find these in store so I tried them on and I was swimming in them. So I asked for a 6 and that did the trick. In fact if I were going to wear these casually I would have asked for a 5.5. I can’t say enough good things about how these fit. My feet never felt suffocated. There’s plenty of room in the forefoot, but not enough to where I felt like I was about to slide off the footbed. That may be due to the wider base so when the knit did stretch, it was still a comfortable ride. When I slide them on it feels like putting on your favorite pair of jeans. There are these little pillows inside along the heel that help keep your heel in place, and I have always loved how they mold the back of the shoe so that it swoops away from your achilles. That’s such a tender part of your foot, nobody wants added pressure or chaffing there. The heel cup is less cup and more of a frame. It’s been 3D printed and it did such a nice job that I never even missed the old TPU heel cup from years past. It’s flexible, but structured, and does a great job at keeping you on the Boost platform. There is adidas’ Torsion system at the midfoot as well. I’m a toe runner so it’s not something that I usually notice. But if you strike with your heel or midfoot then the Torsion system should prevent over-flexing and twisting on rougher terrain. It’s very early to say this, but this might be my favorite shoe of the year. Or at least it’s tied for my top spot. I ended up running a half marathon in under 2 hours in these guys. A goal I had been promising myself I’d get to ever since I ran my very first half marathon a number of years ago. These guys were fantastic every step of the way. At $180 they are very pricey, but the Ultra Boost line always has been expensive. I’m just surprised they provided better traction & more Boost without messing with the price. If you don’t mind splurging a bit on your runners, I would definitely recommend them. Your feet will thank you later. Now after sitting here reminiscing I think I’m going to go ahead and slip my pair on and take a victory lap.
10:21:09 31 Maart 2019 Permanente link Reacties (0)

adidas Pro Bounce Madness 2019 Performance Review


With March Madness underway, we bring you a performance review on adidas hoops’ latest team model: the Pro Bounce Madness 2019. adidas. Basketball. Herringbone. At this point, that should be no surprise and I am not tired of the pattern. On a diverse set of gym floors, some with major flaws like humidity or general slickness, the Pro Bounce Madness’s traction was as reliable as a certain Samuel L. Jackson outburst, which was honestly a surprise given how tightly packed the herringbone is. I surmise that the consistency of the traction is due to good rubber compound, though I suppose a ton of herringbone coverage for both linear and lateral movement did help so long as a ton of dust isn’t present, which somehow was the case for the most part of three weeks testing. As a team shoe with soft rubber and not much depth, I wouldn’t even consider these as an outdoor option. Full-length Bounce was on point from day one until now. You get a lot of it in the Pro Bounce Madness 2019 as the name would imply, but using a word like ‘chunky’ would be a disservice in this case, being that you still get a lot of court feel and smooth transition compared to some other sneakers. My favorite part of the Pro Bounce Madness 2019 cushion is the added impact protection and feedback it gave. I’ve needed it in league games recently where I’ve been relied on for a lot of rebounding. Having to play a somewhat inside-out game, I can understand why this type of Bounce is used for what can be considered an everyman’s basketball sneaker. This may be an unpopular opinion, but I generally liked this Pro Bounce Madness 2019’s materials. It’s nearly 100 percent mesh with near minimal (but still unnecessary) fuse and synthetic suede overlays. The rear panel mesh on the lateral side and tongue is a bit beefier while the rest of the shoe’s upper is super lightweight with minimal layering underneath. Inside, you have nylon lining which I hope is now standard with adidas, and there is a molded collar on the high cut that is comfortable, but still not my cup of tea. As much as I liked the upper, there was still a bit to be desired. The materials just did not feel substantial in the forefoot. No required break-in is great, but it nearly felt like nothing was there for containment, which was a little bit of a distraction. It wouldn’t have helped make the shoe feel premium but I would have liked to see ForgeFiber return for some reinforcement and added aesthetic. Durability has been surprisingly good minus the dirt and grime of getting stepped on constantly down in the paint. I expected all kinds of fraying by now at the toe, but everything is still intact – including that cheap felt-suede, though that is likely because it is a little more protected on the medial side of the shoe. I have no regrets about going true to size. They do stop a tad short before the toe for me, but the mesh is forgiving enough for multiple foot width’s unless you are on the extreme end of either side of that spectrum. With a near traditional tongue, there is enough room for lacing adjustments. Midfoot lockdown was good and going with the high cut will allow you to get good heel lockdown without having to lace through every eyelet. There does seem to be a tiny bit of space above the toes but again, I think that is more of a material issue than the actual fit. Not enough forefoot containment? No problem. Everything else about the adidas Ultra Boost 2019 lends itself to the support department. The Bounce cushioning is stable, the base is wide with massive outriggers, lateral TPU banking barriers are present with the look of skewed Pizza Hut logos and the internal heel counter is decent enough. While my forefoot issues didn’t give much assurance when putting the shoe on before games, I was totally fine on the footbed when things got going, so there really isn’t much to worry about. I think the adidas Pro Bounce Madness 2019 is a solid basketball sneaker. As much as I enjoyed it, I still can’t recommend it over something like the adidas Dame 5, which is a very similar sneaker with even better traction, making it a better value at a price point right in between the Pro Bounce Madness high and low versions. adidas has hit us with a ton of good options this season but as a team shoe, the Pro Bounce Madness 2019 stands on its own and because of that, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed if this happens to be a shoe provided to you, no matter what position/style you play on the floor. In a vacuum, I give these a thumbs up.
16:10:44 28 Maart 2019 Permanente link Reacties (0)

Duke4005 Weighs in on the UA Anatomix Spawn Low for 2019


Okay, Under Armour, this is more like it… If you read my M-Tag performance review, it wasn’t pretty, which was shocking. Under Armour has been fairly consistent in performance over the last few years and the anomaly that was the M-Tag threw me off track. Now, with the new Spawn, Under Armour goes back to what works for them. Here we go…M-Tag threw me off track. Now, with the new Spawn, Under Armour goes back to what works for them. Here we go… Dang sticky. Even walking on the concrete driveway to and from my car, the soles were squeaking, one of the few times I have heard that from a shoe. On all three courts I play on, the Spawn locked it down with no slipping at all except for Friday afternoons at my main gym – we call that dust-bunny day (they only sweep on Monday mornings). I wouldn’t put these in the Jordan 28/Curry 6/Rose 7 category, but they are right below. The grooves are wide so dust doesn’t really stick to them once broken in, but wiping the first couple of games did help. After that, the dust was pushed out and off and on at least a decent court, all was right in the traction world.shoe. On all three courts I play on, the Spawn locked it down with no slipping at all except for Friday afternoons at my main gym – we call that dust-bunny day (they only sweep on Monday mornings). I wouldn’t put these in the Jordan 28/Curry 2/Rose 7 category, but they are right below. The grooves are wide so dust doesn’t really stick to them once broken in, but wiping the first couple of games did help. After that, the dust was pushed out and off and on at least a decent court, all was right in the traction world.
We all saw the “MICRO G” logo in the early pics and we all got cushion-excited. The original Micro G was bouncy, stable, dense and had just the right amount of court feel versus impact protection. By now, if you have read or watched WearTesters long enough, you are SICK of hearing about old-school Micro G. Good, because this ain’t it. Don’t jump to conclusions – it’s good. Impact protection is outstanding and court feel is really nice and quick. Transition in full-court running or stopping and cutting is smooth and thoughtless. It’s the bounce – there isn’t really any. That original “crush and spring back” feel, much like Boost, just isn’t there on the Spawn.Micro G was bouncy, stable, dense and had just the right amount of court feel versus impact protection. By now, if you have read or watched WearTesters long enough, you are SICK of hearing about old-school Micro G. Good, because this ain’t it. Don’t jump to conclusions – it’s good. Impact protection is outstanding and court feel is really nice and quick. Transition in full-court running or stopping and cutting is smooth and thoughtless. It’s the bounce – there isn’t really any. That original “crush and spring back” feel, much like Boost, just isn’t there on the Spawn. But let’s be honest – as good as we all think that “sink and respond” feels under foot, and it feels good, it does tend to be a little sluggish on certain movements – that’s why some find Bounce to be better, but enough adidas comparisons. This Micro G lets you slide into your next move with no delay while keeping you close to the floor and your joints feeling happy. Described on the Under Armour website as “Interwoven layers of TPU films & PU coated mesh for multi-layer support in an anatomical design,” the Spawn appears to have more in common with the fuse/mesh era from a few years ago than the knit sock-shoe of today – and you would be right. While the plasticky feel of the old fuse is gone, the new Spawn has TPU across high-stress areas (lateral forefoot, laces, heel counter, toe drag) that add a structure to the mesh and stability to the ride. The toebox is left mostly uncovered and the ankle area is as well for some flexibility in those normal hot-spots, making break-in time almost nothing (the midfoot does need some flex time to fit a little better). The tongue also has some horizontal quilting running over the foot, giving the toebox natural flex and motion. The tongue is a denser foam under the laces to take away the pressure, and it is needed – the thin, flat laces cut tight on top of your foot. Overall, not the most premium feel in-hand but on-foot, the package is nice while playing. The one area I had a little issue with is the fit. It’s not bad, just confusing. The toebox is wide – semi-wide footers rejoice!!! – but the heel feels narrow. This isn’t completely crazy as most feet are built like that, and the Anatomix in the name of the shoe means they are trying to “anatomically” fit your feet. The issue I had was with the midfoot. For my foot, it flared out and was too wide, but the lacing system and the TPU overlays kept the shoe from forming around my foot. After about three weeks (nine wears of at least four full-court games each night) the shoe began to lock in and lace up, but until then I could feel my foot floating just a bit. The forefoot, again, is semi-wide, but beware – that TPU overlay on the pinky toe can be a killer. Actually, it bothered me more when laced looser than when laced super-tight, and it only bothered me on my left foot. For that reason, I am not counting off points – the Jordan 33 did the same thing, so I’m pretty sure after 30+ years of ball my foot is deformed. The bad part is, it doesn’t rub all the time. I will be playing all-day and it won’t bother me, then on the next cut I will feel a sharp pain and realize it stung me, then I’m hurting for a while. Again, only on my left foot, so I cannot say it is the shoe, but it’s something to take note of. Midfoot shank. Wide base. Wide lacing. Lateral wing tied into the lacing system. NO OUTRIGGER, but no problem. All things we have seen or heard, and we all know how these structures affect your foot in a normal setting, but without a good fit, these are just words and stories. For the first few wears, until the upper flexed and learned my foot, the stability and support was a little less than ideal. Once the fit dialed in, support and stability followed suit. See a trend? It doesn’t matter how many straps, shanks, or outriggers a shoe has (unless it is an Ektio, RIP), if the fit is off, your foot isn’t safe. The Spawn Anatomix improved by leaps and bounds from first day to the last and in that sense, my foot felt wrapped, locked, and secure. The fit improving and no obtrusive support structures lets the Spawn feel fast and free while still solid under foot. This ain’t your regular Anatomix Spawn, if you are old enough to remember the original. The upper isn’t as flexible and the sole isn’t as segmented, but it is really close, and may be the best Under Armour basketball shoes this season (I say the HOVR Havoc is still slightly above, with the Curry 6 coming in third). If you are looking for a low, fast, cushioned ride that will draw some attention for the looks and colors, the Anatomix Spawn is it. Any position can feel safe in these, and the traction works on just about any indoor floor, so no fear. Just DON’T TAKE THEM OUTSIDE!!!! With all of the attention put on Steph Curry and his shoe every year, and rightfully so, it’s amazing how slept on the team shoes from Under Armour are when they perform as good or better than anything else on the market. The Anatomix Spawnwas in hibernation for the last few years, but like the beast from the past, it has come back with a vengeance.
15:01:25 25 Maart 2019 Permanente link Reacties (0)

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