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Reebok Fusion FlexWeave Performance Review

Reebok has been making a steady comeback in performance over the last two years, and the brand has even introduced new tech like Floatride foam and Flexweave for uppers. Now, for the first time, we see both in a new performance shoe: the Reebok Fusion Flexweave. Question is, does it perform?

There are several patterns on the outsole of the Fusion Flexweave that are mapped for specific ground-contact at each point of the foot. Under the ball of the foot we see an open grid pattern, allowing the Floatride foam to peak out, much like Boost on the adidas Ultraboost. Along the heel and back half of the lateral side we see recessed squares in a flat rubber that act like suction cups to keep you from slipping out.

Also on the lateral side we see square nubs separated by a groove that Reebok calls the “Plantar Sensor.” This groove breaks up the rubber to eliminate a stiff, slappy outsole. This also allows the outsole to stay in contact on any lateral movements. Wait, lateral movements in running? Oh, but this isn’t just billed as a running shoes.

Using its background in Crossfit, Reebok has designed the Fusion Flexweave to support all fitness activities, from running to light cardio to weight room. Thus, the grooves and splits (called the Meta Split under the forefoot) all work to keep you on the floor and slip-free.

The durability is serious; I have worn my pair for at least four days of the week (for several weeks) for all kinds of activity and the outsole shows absolutely no signs of wear. It also works in almost any weather, at least in Texas. Wet or dry, the outsole did it’s job and never failed.

This is where the magic begins. Floatride foam is responsive, soft (to a point), responsive, impact-absorbing, and, best of all, does all of this while being extremely light. Think of Boost, but half the weight. The Floatride Run (reviewed here) was a revelation in performance — lightweight, bouncy, and durable.

Now, the Fusion Flexweave is more of the same; it’s lightweight, durable, and…not as bouncy. Why? Well, the Floatride foam is encased in EVA through the midfoot (the areas between the black lines on the midsole) but exposed at the heel and forefoot areas. This EVA carrier acts as a stabilizer — it helps the “do everything” shoe “do everything” — and keeps the foam from compressing too much during heavy activity.

However, the Floatride foam used in the Fusion Flexweave is still responsive, and perhaps even more so than in the Floatride Run. The foam also has a definite bounce-back property when on-foot. Floatride Foam is fun, and because it’s lighter than most other foams, it makes it easy to consider for performance purposes.

Ah, the rest of the magic. Reebok’s Flexweave was first introduced on the Nano 8 and later seen in the Fast Flexweave runner. It is based on an open figure-8 pattern that promotes stability, flexibility, and comfort, and it doesn’t lie.

The colored threads within the weave are just that — fabric threads running through TPU strands. While it does feel rougher to the touch than most other woven textiles, the interior is lined with a 3/4 length sleeve to completely eliminate chafing. The fabric threads are soft and comfortable while the TPU strands give the upper structure and stability.

TPU is usually a stiffer material, but the spacing and the open weave make the Fusion Flexweave flex and form perfectly with the foot. The inner sleeve isn’t stretchy at all so getting into the shoe may seem like a chore, but the open mesh of the liner keeps the foot soft and cozy inside while working with the Flexweave outer shell to increase breathability.

Here is where TPU can be a problem. While the durable strands add structure, that structure comes with dead space. Most of the time that space can be filled with padding on the interior. The Fusion Flexweave has a little case of bubble toe; when the shoe is laced tightly, the extra space above the toe bubbles out. It isn’t bad, and probably won’t be noticed by anyone except picky WearTesters, but it is there. Again, it is not a deal breaker by any means because the extra space can be appreciated for comfort.

The heel is completely locked in by a semi-rigid heel counter. It isn’t completely stiff like a solid basketball shoe (or an Asics runner), but the Delta logo’ed external counter just provides enough lockdown to let you know it is there. The inner bootie having no stretch comes in perfectly to keep your foot from moving around inside the Flexweave shell.

Finally, the lacing system is almost perfect; five holes (or six, if you use the last one for more heel lockdown) run through lace straps connected to the Flexweave for total lockdown with almost no lace pressure.

Lengthwise, I would say go down a half size in the Fusion Flexweave. I have done that with Reebok since the late ’90s and they have all been perfect. Width-wise, if you are a wide-footer, you may want to try these on. The forefoot and heel are good to go, but the midfoot has a narrow area at the arch that could cause some issues. I am a little wider than normal and was fine, but just to make sure, try them on.

As discussed earlier, the Flexweave upper used on the Fusion Flexweave is solid in lateral support thanks to the TPU strands running over, above, and around the foot. The foot is held over the footbed for the most part, except on extremely violent movements (trying to play a quick game of 25 in these was wrong on many levels). For any running movements and lighter cardio or gym activity, you will be good.

The heel cup works with the laces to keep your foot locked in with no heel slip or slide. There is some slight sculpting and padding around the heel but most of the good stuff is because of the lace design. There is no midfoot shank, but the stiffer EVA carrier keeps the Fusion Flexweave from bending the wrong way under normal pressure. The midsole does have a slight flare outward on the medial and lateral forefoot, giving a wider base for better landings and uneven surfaces.

hoop jordan has a hit with the Fusion Flexweave. Light, fast, durable, and well-cushioned, the Reebok Fusion Flexweave is a shoe that can do anything — and do it well.

Floatride foam is a winner and feels as good or better than most of the foams on the market (yeah, even that one and that one). If you need a jordan 1 that can go anywhere and do anything, look no further. As I said above, this shoe has been on my feet over half of the days since I have received it, and it handles anything thrown its way.

On top of the versatility and performance, the Fusion Flexweave looks good. Reebok has figured out how to change the colors and patterns of the fabric inlays, and while nothing outlandish has been released, the subtle colorways are perfect for going from the gym to the street. The minimal branding gives the shoe an organic, every day look and feel while bouncy Floatride keeps it moving fast.

Publicerat klockan 11:24, den 25 april 2018
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Air Jordan 11 ‘Cool Grey’ and 'Rose Gold' 2018 is back

The ‘Cool Grey’ Air Jordan 11 is back, but this time around it’s in low top form with the Air Jordan 11 Low ‘Cool Grey’.

Once just a sample, the Air Jordan 11 Low ‘Cool Grey’ is now scheduled for an April 28 release. The shoe will drop in all sizes, ranging from Men’s all the way down to infant. We were able to get our hands on the men’s and kids version to review.

Material quality will please most as it’s slightly nicer than what was featured on the 2010 edition of the Air Jordan 11 ‘Cool Grey’. Comfort is on-point as the shoe comes equipped with a Phylon midsole, full-length Air cushioning, and step-in comfort additions like a Poron strobel board and padded insole.

The kids version of the shoe isn’t quite as nice because the materials and tech have been dumbed down, but those sizes receive the same overall look.

and the Air Jordan 11 Low 'Rose Gold' While Jordan Brand once heavily focused on women’s footwear back in its early days (remember the 2005-2006 era?), the brand shifted its focus for years and cut the women’s footwear and apparel releases altogether.

This left women with GS (grade school) releases as their only options to grab a pair of Air Jordans. That typically means that the shoe’s shape, quality, and tech are unlike the men’s edition. Fast forward to 2018, Jordan Brand now has a reenergized focus on women’s footwear and apparel; that means that the ladies will get more footwear options without dumbed down tech and materials.

The Air Jordan 12 in Vachetta Tan was the first women’s release and was quickly followed up with the release of the Air Jordan 11 ‘Rose Gold’ . Everything from the shape, materials, and tech are different between the women’s and youth versions of these Retro models so if you wanted a detailed look — along with everything else you’d need to know — then hoop jordan has got you covered.

Publicerat klockan 10:09, den 24 april 2018
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Nike LeBron 15 Low Performance Test

The Nike LeBron 15 Low was much more impressive than the LeBron Lows of years past. Find out why with our performance review.
Traction on the Nike LeBron 15 Low isn’t too far from what was used on the original Nike LeBron 15, but it was tweaked enough to make a difference. While the protruding diamond traction pattern remains the same, it’s been implemented in a way that it almost moves in a nice circle along the outsole.

With the pattern moving in this way the shoe is able to handle lateral movements much better than the midtop version of the shoe. Dust isn’t a huge issue for the LeBron 15 in general, due to the pattern being more like spikes along the sole rather than your typical average pattern, but there were a few times that I’d stop and wipe just to get a little bit extra bite.

I did have a couple of slipping issues upon certain movements, but it was near the ball of the foot/toe-off area. This section slopes in an upward direction so I think the issue was that I was moving too fast to properly to allow the sloped section of the outsole make contact with the floor. I could be wrong, of course, but that’s what I feel was causing the issue because it wasn’t present in the LeBron 15 mid at all and the outsole there was pretty even in terms of court coverage.

Overall, I’d say this was a slight improvement over the mids, but not enough to change its score. Just know that you can be confident in the outsole’s ability to maintain grip, and that was while I was testing a pair with a translucent outsole. And just as an FYI, I wouldn’t recommend playing in the pairs with iridescent outsoles; those felt much more slick in-store than this Grey/Pink pair.
Cushion from the original LeBron 15 wasn’t carried over in any way, which I find unfortunate because the rear Air Max unit could have been a Max Zoom unit. Had it been Max Zoom I think the LeBron 15 Low would have been a bit more amazing than it already is.

While the heel area isn’t as dense feeling as Air Max units can feel, it still would have been awesome to have had something a bit more absorbent and bouncy underfoot. However, the Air Max unit in place is comfortable and I feel that it offers enough impact protection for small and large players alike.

The forefoot section does have Zoom Air, just more of the traditional variety, and I loved it. This, coupled with that weird upward sloping toe-off section, created a very fluid ride with a bit of spring to each step. While the Zoom Air is bottom-loaded, it doesn’t feel like it and the entire cushion setup reminded me of what we had gotten in the Nike LeBron 9 — only a bit more comfortable.

This setup does sit a bit higher off the ground than most guard shoes, but this shoe isn’t really for guards — although it can be. If you’re a smaller player that prefers to have something more substantial under your feet without feeling like you’re unstable or about to tip over upon movements and changes of direction then I think you’ll enjoy the LeBron 15 Low quite a bit. At least I know I did.

Materials are one aspect that hasn’t really changed between the mid and low versions of the Nike LeBron 15.

Battleknit is still the primary build and there doesn’t seem to be any real difference between models other than less material being used at the collar — something I was more than fine with since the collar of the LeBron 15 mid just felt useless to me. That shoe was nearly a low within the Battleknit build but was made to look higher cut than it actually was due to the stretchy knit riding so high over the ankle.

Much like my thoughts on the materials in the mid version of the shoe, I feel that most will enjoy the materials here. There are some areas that are glued, some areas that are stretchy, and some areas that are really thick. All-in-all, it’s a wonderful upper that fits and feels great on-foot. It’s also been durable; there are no real signs of wear, which some may appreciate.
I felt the LeBron 15 mid ran a little long, but the LeBron 15 Low fits me fine going true to size. There will be some that may want to go down 1/2 size (especially narrow footers), but for the most part true to size will work — even for wide footers.

Lockdown on the shoe is much like the mid. I found no issues from the collar to the forefoot. My heel always felt locked into place and there were no hot spots or pinching anywhere. After having issues with most of the more recent LeBron low tops, I’m happy to say that these gave me no problems at all.
Support in the LeBron 15 was a bit lackluster due to the tooling setup, but that has changed with the low top version. Traditional support features like a torsional midfoot shank and TPU heel counter are all in place and work well.

However, this time around the new midsole tooling setup gave the shoe a much needed outrigger for lateral support. This small addition to the shoe gave it the stability the mids lacked which only makes me wish the LeBron 15 Low had Max Zoom Air in the heel even more as that would have been such an awesome ride — much like the Nike KD 7 on hoop jordan.
While the Nike LeBron 15 was a great shoe for those that didn’t require a lot of lateral support and stability, the Nike LeBron 15 Low changes all of that to become a shoe that anyone can enjoy on court.

Traction was solid while and there was a great balance of cushion without the loss of any mobility — even for us smaller guys. On or off the court, I think the Nike LeBron 15 Low is a hit.

Nike is on a roll this year with models like the Kyrie 4 and PG 2. Now, you can now add the LeBron 15 Low to that list.

Publicerat klockan 13:17, den 21 april 2018
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Jordan Brand CP3.XI Performance Review

Sometimes a shoe comes out of nowhere to completely change your opinion of a model or line. The Jordan CP3.XI, Chris Paul’s latest signature model, is that shoe.

When we at WearTesters heard the news that Jordan Brand was killing the Melo line our first question was “What about the CP line?” It was never a great seller, and it had become an afterthought in performance rankings. Surely, it had to go too, right? Well, if this is the death stroke, it’s a killer.

Herringbone forefoot is almost always a good idea, and the Jordan CP3.XI has that in spades. The tread is multidirectional across the main part of the pattern and broken up at the toe-off area. The pattern is wide but the grooves are fairly shallow, so dust collection did become an issue after a few trips down the court. However, it was nothing a quick wipe couldn’t handle.

The heel area is a different pattern altogether. It looks like a feather, and grabbed more dust than the forefoot, but I don’t play a ton on my heels so it didn’t really affect playability for me.

As for durability, this is a translucent rubber and it’s fairly soft. Also, the pattern is shallow, so outdoors is a no-no. That is the only thing holding the CP3.XI back from a Hall of Fame badge — this stuff could climb walls, at least to the second story, before the tread would wear down.

Heel and forefoot Zoom Air encased in a soft Phylon midsole? Yes, please. The forefoot of the Jordan CP3.XI is shaped like the PG 1 and 2, almost oval but also rectangle Zoom, and to be honest you can’t really feel it. The heel is a large hex Zoom bag, and, again, to be honest, you can’t really feel it.

This isn’t bad. The Phylon midsole encases the units, and while this is normally a bad thing, the midsole seems softer than previous models and similar to the Cushlon used in the Kyrie 4. The foam does depress and bounce back, and when it depresses too far, the Zoom units are there for some additional bounce. Honestly, it is almost like the Why Not Zer0.1 — you know the Zoom is there, and it works when you need it, you just can’t really feel it.

The Jordan CP3.XI feels fast and low in the forefoot with no impact issues at all, and the Phylon keeps everything from wobbling and being unstable while playing.

Well, almost all was good. Actually, I shouldn’t be too harsh on the upper of the Jordan CP3.XI — it worked and worked well. If you enjoyed the Nike Kobe AD Mid this colorway is for you (I say this because unlike this colorway, the white/red build uses a mesh upper with a synthetic toebox).

What was supposed to feel like suede or nubuck ends up feeling like felt with a stiff backing, which sucks for breathability but is great for containment. The heel is a nice synthetic leather and adds a little touch of class in the back (it also has the killer CP3 logo). The materials do break in fairly quickly; flex points are learned and the shoe begins fitting and feeling better within a couple of trips down the floor.

Now, the strap: it is rubberized (again, on this colorway) and fairly stiff, but sits behind the forefoot flex point so even the stiffness doesn’t hurt while playing. The ankle is lined with a thick padding that isn’t quite memory foam but dense nonetheless. The mesh tongue tries to dissipate heat and moisture but it’s fighting a losing, soggy battle.

The fit of the Jordan CP3.XI is freaking awesome, but only after the break-in stage. Before that, there are empty spaces around the toebox and midfoot. The lacing system does a great job of pulling those around the foot, but until the upper materials soften up and begin creasing, be ready for a little clunkiness. Afterwards, the CP3.XI turns into a form-fitting foot rocket that feels great in transition and jumps.

The heel is locked in by that foam lining I mentioned above, and the opening of the shoe is a little more narrow than normal (but not difficult to enter). The lacing system works. Unlike the last shoe I reviewed, the CP3.XI fit-straps run back into the foot and the top hole pulls the foot into the heel of the shoe, locking everything in for no movement at all — until the thin, round laces come untied, which they will.

Go true to size for length. Wide-footers may even get away with true as well, but going up a half may be best if you are extremely wide. The strap does loosen and should accommodate the wide-footedness.

For a low-riding, low-cut “guard” shoe the CP3.XI holds it down in the support/stability category. Much like Westbrook, Chris Paul needs containment and stability to cover his shifty game. Granted, he is fairly ground-bound, but like Kyrie, he changes speeds and directions in a heartbeat.

Starting at the bottom, the Phylon is stable and solid while not being overly dense; it’s just enough to keep the midsole from crushing when changing directions and slowing you down. The strap ties under the ball of the foot, and uses a three-point anchor to pull the midsole into the foot and lock in for lateral movements. Yes, it is a strap that actually works.

Again, like the Why Not Zer0.1, there is no real outrigger. Instead, the shape of the midsole flares out and then wraps up the sidewall to contain the foot. From what can be seen and felt, there is no midfoot shank, although it could be small and not obvious (tech specs are not out yet for the shoe). Even so, the Phylon is thick enough in that area to stop any unwanted bending. The CP3.XI is solid but not restrictive, and while playing, that is exactly what’s needed.

If any of you doubted the ability of Jordan Brand to bring a true performer back on the scene, look no more. The Jordan CP3.XI does everything and does it well.

If you need traction for days, cushioning that is stable but provides great impact protection, and a supportive, stable base look no further — the CP3.XI should be a shoe for you, no matter the position. If you just don’t like CP3 the man (we see you Austin) or the Rockets in general, get over it because the shoe works.

Jordan Brand is more than retros people, and the CP3.XI takes it back to what we all used to believe in: performance engineered for the greatest athletes. Some shoes are just fun to wear, you can lace them up and just play ball. The Jordan CP3.XI is a ballplayer’s shoe, through and through.

Publicerat klockan 08:28, den 14 april 2018
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2001 vs. 2013 vs. 2017 Air Jordan 1 Retro 'Royal' Comparison

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

QUARTER

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

TONGUE

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

LINING

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

HEEL

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

COLLAR

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

INSOLE

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

TOEBOX

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

SHOE BOX

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

Publicerat klockan 11:16, den 11 april 2018
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Air Jordan 11 Vs. Jordan Future “bred” Comparison

Jordan Brand dresses their newest futuristic silhouette, the Air Jordan Future in the classic “Bred” color scheme. Having a similar built as the iconic Air Jordan 11 “Bred” both having a Black based-upper with Red accents, a White midsole and Red translucent outsole.

The Air Jordan Future has slowly made its way into the hearts of many. Becoming a regular sneaker in people’s rotation, the Air Jordan Future is one sneaker everyone can love. Coming in a plethora of colorways, the newest design to hit retailers is the Air Jordan Future “Bred.” This iteration of the sneaker is dressed in a black woven upper with red on the upper lining and outsole. A white midsole contrasts the look as 3M is worked into the upper. This flashy look is inspired by the classic Air Jordan 11 “Bred,”

Air Jordan 11 Bred backpack sample, an apparel item that combined the outsole of the famed patent leather gem as the base of the backpack. We never thought that the brand would release something as outlandish as a backpack turned shoe, and yet here we are. The Air Jordan 11 Bred backpack is available today. Complete with a cordura fabric to mimic the shoe’s upper with alternating black panels, accents of red arrive on the zipper.

The only differences between the two silhouettes besides the model itself is the built. The Jordan Future sports a 3M reflective Black woven upper inside of the traditional mesh from the Air Jordan 11. The tongue, laces, heel tab and inner lining on the Jordan Future are dressed in Red. To complete the comparison both pairs sit atop the same White midsole, but the Jordan Future is finished with a more milky Red translucent outsole.

Check out the additional comparison photos below as well as a few extra of the Air Jordan Future “Bred” colorway

Publicerat klockan 11:02, den 10 april 2018
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Air Jordan 31 Black Cat Performance Reviews

While the reviews have admittedly gone away, I still keep hooping, but my beloved Kobe VIs aren’t getting any younger. My go-to shoes for the last two years are shot. With the heel foam permanently broken down and traction wearing smooth, I had tried hooping in other shoes. The Harden Vol 1s were ok (I actually really liked them through the first couple months of wearing, and gave them a positive review here) but multiple rolled ankles in them eventually forced me to retire them for something that fit more snug.

I grabbed the Zoom Run the One at the outlets for a cool $35, but the traction and cushioning left something to be desired. Cheap Zoom relegated these to workout status. Next came the Flyknit Hyperdunk 2016s from the outlets, which are still partially in the rotation. They offer fantastic cushioning (like, XX8-level cushioning) and fit, yet heel lockdown wasn’t quite perfect and I was left wanting something more traditional.

I had eyes on the Air Jordan 32 thanks to its gorgeous materials and carbon fiber support, but the $185 price tag is pretty steep. I had tried on the Air Jordan 31 in store and at the outlets a couple different times, and when Eastbay’s Final Score closeouts featured the 31 on sale plus 40% off, I pulled the trigger on the Black Cat colorway.

Schwollo, my go-to source for reviews right now, likened them to TGRR-favorite Zoom BB. After having tried them for myself for over a month now, it is uncanny how similar the 31 feels to the original Zoom BB, especially from a Zoom feel standpoint.

The 31 does have some minor drawbacks, but it’s a consistent and solid performer. It’s not the newest shoe on the market but if you’re looking for a performance shoe on a budget, these can now be had at serious discounts all over the web (I believe Weartesters’ duke4005 found them as low as $79.99 in some stores, too).

Fit
I went true to size with an 11.5. I typically like to go a half-size down in my hoop shoes in order to get a better fit thanks to a narrow foot, but having tried these on a couple times I knew the toebox ran a little short for that. I can’t imagine anyone going down a size in these so TTS is the move if you don’t get to try them on first.

There are a couple different aspects with the fit to touch on, and some of it is going to overlap into materials. The tightly woven Flyweave forefoot portion makes the shoe flexible, comfortable, and allows it to conform to the foot within a wearing or two. It felt more robust and structurally strong than the weave used on the 29 or 30.

As it transitions to leather in the heel portion, you also get a thick neoprene inner collar. The neoprene inner collar is exceptionally well padded in the Achilles area and gives the shoe a plush feel on the interior. I did not experience any Achilles pain, as some have noted in their testing.

I had zero issues with lockdown – even forefoot containment was acceptable by standards although I’d have preferred a raised midsole or bigger outrigger. I didn’t care for the traditional detached tongue as it created some pressure points on the medial sideon the ankle bone. Because of the detached tongue, leather heel portion, woven upper and neoprene inner collar, I didn’t necessarily get a second-skin type of fit. There are a lot of moving pieces there and I felt that when fully laced there was a bit of excess material or volume.

I happen to prefer the 1:1 kind of fit but it was certainly not a deal-breaker for me considering the lockdown itself was really good. With a narrow foot plus being used to the Kobe VI and Anta’s KT2 Outdoor (review to come), this may have been an issue more unique to me than most wearers.

Transition
Transition is butter-smooth right out of the box. No slap at all as the outsole is not decoupled. Initial impressions of the shoe raised concerns about the fact that the outsole in the heel and forefoot protrude slightly, giving the illusion that the shoe might be tippy or unstable.

I didn’t notice any instability – not even when standing still – and I feel like the weight of most wearers will compress the bags enough that it won’t be noticeable. This is one area where the shoe especially reminded me of the Zoom BB that I played much of my freshman year of college practice in. I loved that shoe for its consistent traction, court feel and cushioning, and the 31 ticks the latter two of those boxes.

The Flightspeed platform does not provide as much support as the Flightplate of a few years back, but does allow for a more natural feel.

Cushioning
The full length Zoom bag is how Zoom is supposed to feel – thick, allowing good court feel, and super responsive. There’s a noticeable bounce with these Zoom bags that’s not like budget Zoom-based models. I know the 31 came at a premium retail, but the Zoom setup is worthy of that price.

Responsiveness is important to me but so is ride height and court feel, and the 31 presents a fantastic combination. You don’t get the big volume, bouncy, effect that you do with the Flyknit HD 2016, but court feel is better and I felt like the ride was lower and more stable.

Again, it really is like the Zoom BB or some early 2000s Zoom model reborn. If I could design a cushioning platform from scratch, the first two criteria would be court feel and responsiveness – and the Air Jordan 31 nails both.

Speaking of 2000s Zoom cushioning platforms, if anyone reading has a pair or knows someone that has a pair of deadstock/good condition Zoom Drives, in an 11/11.5, with the caged heel Zoom and forefoot strap PLEASE HIT ME UP.

Traction
This has been and continues to be the biggest point of contention with the Jordan 31. The translucent outsole models were panned for below average traction, so I went with the Black Cat colorway mostly because of that solid outsole.

Traction, to be honest, is not fantastic. I have one league at local elementary school gym, with a floor that’s exceptionally well kept. Zero complaints with the traction in there. At the two YMCA courts I play on, the floors are not nearly as nice and traction suffers. Some shoes shed dust from the outsole, but the 31 seems to collect it. I don’t feel like the pattern is deep enough to bite the floor and isn’t spaced wide enough to flex and grab either.

I don’t feel unsafe in the shoe, but I certainly wish it was better on average floors. The top of the traction class is the Rose 7/Rose 8, and I feel the air jordan 32 why not probably falls somewhere below average compared to most high-end shoes on the market. This is also the one area that the Zoom BB is far and away better than the 31. I gave it an average rating on the scale because it still plays well on good surfaces.

Materials
Simply put, the 31 uses fantastic materials across the board. Flyweave > Flyknit, and actually has good performance properties besides being a fancy marketing piece. Full length Zoom feels like vintage Nike cushioning, and you get real leather on a performance hoop shoe in the heel portion – supple, quality leather at that. The neoprene inner collar is a great touch (although it’s apparently the source of Achilles pressure for some) and I enjoyed the excessive heel/Achilles padding.

The materials used and application of each component are extremely well-executed in the Jordan 31.

Conclusion
It’s been awhile since I’ve written up a review and this one feels clunky to me but in conclusion, I like the Jordan 31 a lot. It’s got the familiar feeling of a favorite hoodie right out of the box. It’s comfy, fits well, and plays consistently underfoot. The full Zoom setup is fantastic in all aspects. Transition is smooth. I know what I’m getting every time I slip on the 31.

That said, do I love the shoe? Sometimes. The traction is iffy on some courts and the shoe doesn’t fit like a super snug extension of the foot, two things that I typically don’t care for in my go-to shoes. Stumbling into the KT2 Outdoor, which fits and plays like my favorite Kobe VIs, makes it harder for me to choose the 31 every time too.

I do know that I’ll play in the 31 for a long time, and that’s probably the best indication of my overall feeling towards the shoe. With one of the best cushioning setups I’ve ever played in and great materials across the board, put the 31 on your short list this holiday season if you’re looking for a high-performance shoe on a budget.

Publicerat klockan 10:46, den 5 april 2018
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Nike LeBron Ambassador 10 performance review

The Nike LeBron Ambassador 9 was a top performer last year that I liked more than the LeBron 14. But does this latest overseas alternate signature model, the LeBron Ambassador X, continue to take the reigns as a top performer? We’re here to find out.

The LeBron Ambassador X uses the same diamond grid traction pattern used on the Ambassador 9, and it has strategically placed herringbone waves that help you stop on a dime. When I tell you this traction pattern and the XDR rubber combo is amazing it’s because it’s freakin’ amazing! Why we don’t see the Swoosh use more XDR (Extra Durable Rubber) with a pattern like this on Stateside shoes nowadays still causes me to scratch my head.

The XDR rubber outsole and pattern combination is literally Goku morphing into his Ultra instinct form. Whether you hit the blacktop outdoors or play on the hardwood indoors, you’re in for not just a treat, but the whole nine-course meal.

Again, not once did I need to wipe the bottom of the shoe. Consistency is key and this pattern, material compound, and extended outrigger add up to the best of the best.

Like it’s predecessor, the LeBron Ambassador X features heel and forefoot Zoom Air unit. Needless to say, a shoe that bears LeBron’s name would need cushioning and ample support that a player of his stature needs. While the cushion combination works well, I was disappointed in finding out that there were some minor modifications towards the Zoom Air units utilized.

While the forefoot Zoom unit got thicker at 8.5mm thick, the width of the unit shrank. So for those that have heavy forefoot drop placements and have wider feet, you might feel the slight difference, but it’s minimal. The heel unit also increased in thickness to 11.16mm, which is perfect for those plant heavy on their heels.

The LeBron Ambassador X USA cushions well above average, but I still wish it used the heel unit from the Ambassador 8. That cushion worked so well, so why change it? However, getting heel and forefoot Zoom Air in a Nike Basketball shoe these days is a blessing — the only thing is you have to check overseas shops to find this model.

Mesh is used from midfoot to forefoot with TPU reinforcement at high wear areas, just like its predecessor. What has changed is the synthetic suede-like panel from midfoot to heel and the elastic band overlay right above the midfoot.

The interior of the shoe features a heavily padded bootie-like construction for support purposes. The shoe is finished with the wonderful XDR outsole while heel and forefoot Zoom units are implemented within the soft Phylon midsole.

The construction and materials bear resemblance to the recently released Nike PG 2 (both shoes were done by the same designer, shout out to TH), which isn’t a bad thing. For its price point, the Ambassador X can withstand the battles on court indoors and outdoors, with decent materials that make the shoe durable. It’s simple and well done.

The fit of the Ambassador X, for me, was decent at best. I experienced some heel slippage in the shoe, which was a surprise considering previous Ambassador models never had this problem. I also went true to size (I have a wide foot). The slippage isn’t a total deal breaker, but coming from the previous Ambassador models that worked very well, it threw me off. I even tried wearing thicker socks but moisture buildup became a problem.

The elastic band across the midfoot helps contain the foot and it’s a nice addition. However, I believe that the throat lacing structure and the extra padding layer between the inner bootie and the rounded external material at the heel didn’t allow the foot to be fully contained.

The support in the Ambassador X comes directly from the fit of the shoe, which includes the elastic band at the midfoot, the mesh upper, the forefoot and heel cushion, and the traction. The traction is top notch, the forefoot and heel cushion feel above average, and the elastic band on the midfoot provides ample lockdown. Again, the heel slip doesn’t deter from the rest of the shoe when it comes to proper support because everything else worked very well.

The LeBron Ambassador X had a lot of positive points but fell slightly short due to some minor issues. For a big man that plays like LeBron’s and Draymond’s positionless game, the shoe does everything well. If you can look past the minor heel slippage, then the shoe would be fantastic.

Like the 9, the Ambassador X offers everything you need for a basketball shoe. And I’ll say this again — how the Swoosh has decided not to bring the Ambassador line Stateside is still a shock. Perhaps its solely a business decision — if the Ambassador line came here it could wipe out the Soldier/Witness Line completely, and I truly believe it would.

If Nike makes some minor adjustments and takes cues from the previous Ambassador models to improve the next Ambassador sneaker, the Nike Lebron 15 could be next year’s top performer.

Salute to T. Hardman for creating another gem — we’re looking forward to the next one.

Publicerat klockan 12:47, den 30 mars 2018
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Nike Kyrie Flytrap Performance Reviews

If the Nike Kyrie Flytrap had a sound all you would hear are crickets chirping.

The outsole the Nike Kyrie Flytrap resembles a watered-down Kyrie 4 outsole. The herringbone doesn’t look as aggressive as the Kyrie 4’s, but that doesn’t matter, because the traction on the Kyrie Flytrap was excellent.

I broke this shoe out on a super dirty court and probably wiped a few times the entire session. Every session after that the traction was an absolute beast on everything it touched, and I play on hardwood, rubber, tile, plastic, etc. and the traction held up nicely. I wish Nike put this outsole on the Kyrie 4 — game changer, I’m telling you.

The Kyrie Flytrap uses a Phylon midsole with a small Zoom unit underneath the balls of your feet. Now, if you are expecting this cushion setup to be on marshmallow mode, then you might want to start looking at another shoe because this ain’t that.

However, this cushion setup wasn’t horrible; the Phylon is a little softer than what was used on the last Kyrie models (excluding the Kyrie 4 BHM and its Cushlon). At the same time, you still get some excellent court feel. Those that love that low-profile and minimal cushion setup may really like Kyrie Flytrap.

The shoe features a knit upper with a textile panel on the inside of the shoe. The knit feels like a light mesh and surprisingly it’s held up so far. I thoughts it would have torn up by now but I was wrong! The knit does support and contain my foot just fine, and the breathability was on point. However, there is a slight issue with the fit that makes me dislike the materials just a tad.

Everything about the fit for me was weird. The sizing is pretty much true to size for both narrow and wide footers, but narrow footers may feel the need to go down a half size because of dead space in the toebox. However, I don’t recommend you guys do that because your toes will bust out the front like a jack-in-the-box.

I don’t know if it was because of the asymmetrical lacing but all I know is that when I tie these shoes the dead space in the toebox folds over my foot like a damn burrito with extra beef and that ain’t what’s up. On top of that, the footbed feels like a banked turn on a NASCAR race track — it slopes inward a bit — which I never got used to.

Lockdown was OK, only because I had these bad boys tied tighter than a jelly jar. The elastic band over the forefoot wasn’t bad, I could feel it holding me down, so it served its purpose. I just wish the folded burrito-style material wasn’t an issue in the toebox; it would have significantly improved the lockdown.

The support was slightly below OK. You still have your usual support features like an internal heel counter, which cradles the heel, and a midsole that cups the foot to keep it atop the footbed. I didn’t have any issues with containment. However, the stability is where my problem lies.

Remember when I said the footbed feels like a turn on NASCAR race track because it slopes inward? Try running up and down the basketball Shoes court and feeling your ankles leaning in a bit every time you plant your foot. Yeah! That’s a real uneasy feeling, let me tell you. I don’t know if my pair was a defect or what but I don’t like it at all. If the footbed were a little flatter then this review would have been different.

The Nike Kyrie Flytrap is a nice shoe casually. Is it worth your $80 bucks? I don’t think so. I would much rather spend that $80 on a great sneaker from last season that’s on sale, like the PG 1.

If you want the Kyrie logo on your shoe and just absolutely need a Kyrie signature shoe, I say do some chores, sell some shoes or whatever you have that you don’t need, and save an extra $40 to buy the Kyrie 4, which isn’t an expensive shoe at $120.

However, if traction is all you care about then you will love the Kyrie Flytrap.

Publicerat klockan 12:21, den 27 mars 2018
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Better Suede Air Jordan 11: “Pinnacle” or “Jeter”

Two of the more limited versions of the Air Jordan 11 was the “Pinnacle” and “Jeter” releases.

The Air Jordan 11 Pinnacle was only available at Concepts and Kith in NYC. It came constructed in a full premium “Grey Suede” upper atop a semi-translucent outsole.

As a nod to Derek Jeter’s retirement in 2017, Jordan Brand designed an exclusive Air Jordan 11 that was limited to only 5 pairs, each were released via a scratch-off auction. They were only available at a pop-up shop nearby Yankee Stadium. Constructed in a premium “Navy Suede” upper with Jeter’s famed number “2” on the heels in White atop a semi-translucent outsole.

Air Jordan 11 Retro Pinnacle Initially released this past November 11th at KITH and CNCPTS in New York for a promotional/celebratory 11/11 theme, the sneaker is essentially a more fashionable/lifestyle-inclined variation with smooth suede covering its upper. that comes with a premium suede upper in a “Cool Grey” colorway. It looks remarkably like a similar pair that sprung up back in October, however these look lighter in color and slightly more sophisticated in comparison.

The model is stripped of the beloved patent leather upper for a deconstructed aesthetic, while squared leather laces, a leather quilted insole, a rubber midsole, a carbon fiber spring plate and a semi-translucent outsole keep the shoe feeling Jordan-like. Interestingly, the shoe also takes a minimalistic approach to branding, with little to none besides a debossed side panel Jumpman.

Distinguishable design elements consist of leather quilted insoles, debossed Jumpman logos and no traditional “23” embroidery on the heels. Finally, a crisp white midsole unit and slightly milky translucent outsole rounds out its clean, yet luxe design.

the The super exclusive Air Jordan 11 Derek Jeter that was limited to only 5 pairs and released at a pop-up shop outside of Yankee Stadium in 2017, is now turned into a Air Jordan 11 Low Derek Jeter RE2PECT version this year, and it’s releasing to the public. Basically featuring the very same theme, the sneaker features a navy blue suede upper and matching waxed laces for a premium finish. Other details include Jeter’s number 2 embroidered on the heels, along with “RE2PECT” and “2” printed on the insoles. A contrasting white midsole and milky translucent outsole finally completes the design altogether.

While 99.9% of us don’t have both pairs in our collection, if you had the opportunity to purchase one for retail, which would it be?

Publicerat klockan 12:36, den 26 mars 2018
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Fist Look at KITH x Nike LeBron 15 ‘Long Live the King’ Released 2018 All-Star

Kith is opening up their Los Angeles flagship store during All-Star Weekend and to celebrate they are releasing the Kith x Nike LeBron 15 ‘Long Live the King’ Chapter 2 Collection.

Included in the collection is four different Nike LeBron 15 releases which two land in the performance line while the other two represents lifestyle. For performance we have King’s Cloak’ and ‘Suit of Armor’ while the lifestyle features the ‘King’s Crown’ and ‘City of Angels’. Each pair is constructed with Primeknit across the uppers with unique embroidered detailing, zippers and straps.

At the Kith x Nike LeBron 15 Long Live the King Black Gold  This Nike LeBron 15 comes in predominate Black while the straps reads ‘Long Live The King’ done in Gold. In addition we have floral and unique designed embroidered throughout done in Gold and Red. Finishing the look is a Matte Black on the outsole.

at the KITH x Nike LeBron 15 ‘Rose Pink’ ,This first look comes from LeBron James’ friend Frankie Walker. Looking closer at this Nike LeBron 15 they feature Rose Pink across the uppers while Rose Gold is applied to the zipper. When its unzipped you can see the tongue comes in White while constructed with leather. Also displayed is ‘KITH x Nike LeBron 15’ and ‘Long Live The King’. Finishing the look is a translucent outsole.

at the KITH x Nike LeBron 15 Floral,As you can see, this Nike LeBron 15 features White across the base however the highlight would be the Floral embroidery seen wrapping the uppers. Following we have Gold on the lace tips and White on the rubber outsole. The LeBron 15 is constructed with BattleKnit and BattleMax technology.

The Kith x Nike LeBron Long Live the King Chapter 2 Collection will first release this Friday, February 16th

Publicerat klockan 06:25, den 24 mars 2018
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Nike Air Max 95: The Story Behind the Revolutionary Runner

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

The ’90s Sneaker Market

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

New Color, New Swoosh

Lozano wanted to minimize the appearance of dirt, mud, and wear-and-tear that the shoe would achieve over time and use, so he prioritized the use of the gradient gray even when told that the colorway would not sell. The signature neon yellow shade too is a direct nod towards Nike’s race kit that continues to incorporate bright colors. This neon “Volt” colorway has since become a heritage-defining Nike color theme that is consistently reissued for other silhouettes.

The first 95 prototype didn’t have the Swoosh logo at all. Eventually it came to incorporate the minimal branding as a small accent, with an unconventional placement that could not distract attention from the undulating lines of the upper. Lozano told Sneaker Freaker, “from the design to the color to the little Swoosh, it all caused controversy. I had initially designed the shoe without a Swoosh because we believed the design was aesthetically strong… so we positioned it as a signature, a sign off on the shoe for jordans for all .”

 

Reception

The 95 was a brand new approach to runner cushioning by being the first-ever shoe to also feature the visible Air unit in the forefoot. It was also the first Air Max model to have a black midsole. Despite these innovations, the Air Max 95 was considered an outcast. Even the advertising was quite unconventional for Nike – check out this retro commercial advertising the bold atmos x Nike Air Max 95 2006 Supreme “Animal” silhouette that was made in collaboration with the Tokyo-based streetwear boutique.

With its unique colorway, Swoosh placement, and dual air-powered cushioning system, the unapologetically brash Air Max 95 quickly progressed into a youth culture icon. This was especially so throughout Europe and Australia. A smaller following in America includes much of the hip-hop community, with artists like Gucci Mane and Danny Brown having dropped bars about the sneaker. “I’ll kill you if you try me for my Air Max 95s,” rapped The Game in “Hate It Or Love It” (2005) as a direct reference to the Bloods adopting the Air Max 95 as their signature shoe, while the Crips had the Air Max 98s. Other fans of the beloved sneaker include 2 Chainz, Big Boi, Eminem, The Game, Busta Rhymes, DJ Khaled, Nelly, T.I., T-Pain, Wale, Spike Lee, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Floyd Mayweather, Jr., and J.R. Smith.

Notable Colorways and Collaborations

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

The Air Max 95 Legacy

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

Publicerat klockan 12:00, den 23 mars 2018
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Air Jordan 3 White Cement - 2003 vs. 2011 vs. 2018 Comparison

One of the handful of sneakers often singled out as the most beloved in the Air Jordan line, the "White Cement" Air Jordan 3 makes a triumphant return to retail this month. This time around, the retro carries OG designation, meaning 'Nike Air' branding will be featured on the heel for the first time since the first re-release in 2011. A lot of things have changed since Tinker Hatfield's creation first hit the market more than 30 years ago, but the Jordan 3 will once again rule All-Star Weekend.

Last week’s Air Jordan III White/Cement Grey release marked the fourth overall release of the shoe; before 2018 was a Retro release in 2011 and 2003, and of course, the original debut in 1988. With the 2011 version arriving with a great Jordan box inspired by the original, an Air Jordan III retrospective might’ve ran through your thoughts once or twice. Here’s a look back at the Original 1988, 1994 Retro, and 2011  and 2018 Retro box packaging of the White/Cement III; the original version, in which the 2011 version was modeled after, featured a black box-top with a red Jumpman and Nike Air insignia, while the 2011 version features a Jumpman and Jumpman Air logo (for obvious reasons). So what’s the deal with the 1994 box? If you remember, 1994 was Michael Jordan’s first full year of retirement, and Nike was planning ahead on keeping the Air Jordan Legacy alive after he was no longer an active player, and re-issuing classic Air Jordans was one way to rekindle the fire. The box itself is a mosiac of all the Air Jordans up to that date, depicting the Air Jordan models from years before as well as Spike Lee and the popular Air Jordan III ad campaigns in which he was a part of.

the air jordan 3 white cement 2018 In the final round of the 1988 Slam Dunk Contest, MJ raced from the opposite end of the court, planted his left foot on the stripe and launched himself toward the rim. As he drew the ball back toward his shoulder, the audience held its breath and the cameras flashed from every angle. It was a gravity-defying, time-bending, immortal dunk. The judges awarded it a perfect 50, sealing the contest for MJ.Down below, a Red stripe cuts across the translucent outsole to mark the spot where MJ left Earth and made history.

The latest Air Jordan 3 arrives in the colors of its 1988 debut – the same worn by MJ during that extraordinary flight. It includes the original Nike Air branding on the back. Down below, a red stripe cuts across the translucent outsole to mark the spot where MJ left Earth and made history.

 

In addition to comparing the previous boxes is a nice side-by-side between the Air Jordan III from 1994 and 2011 and 2018. The ’94 version was the last of its colorway to feature Nike Air on the heel (the 2003 version featured a Jumpman and was housed in a plain Jordan Brand box), but the branding issue isn’t the only discrepancy; the upper dimensions have been slightly altered over the years, although noticeable only when juxtaposed (how often will that really happen?). There are a lot more comparison shots below so check give them a quick look and let us know what you think. A big thank you to the Kicktionary team for sending these great shots, and if you still haven’t picked up a pair of the White/Cement IIIs yet, grab a pair now on 2018jordans.com.

Publicerat klockan 11:34, den 22 mars 2018
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Nike Paul George(PG) 2 Performance Reviews

Sometimes a debut sneaker is so popular, so well-designed, and so perfectly priced that a making a follow-up to match the original just seems absurd. Enter the Nike PG 2.

If we have learned anything over these years of reviews is that Nike Basketball loves a challenge. How do you top one of the best-selling debut sneakers ever? Let’s find out…

Sarlacc. When I first saw the bottom of the PG2, the creature from Return of the Jedi was what I thought of. You know, the one that lived in the sand dune and sucked up everything around it? Yeah, that was the dust on the court when playing in the PG2.

Granted, the Palmdale pair I used for this review has a translucent outsole, and clear rubber tends to grab more dust, but when playing on the always-wonderfully kept 24 Hour Fitness courts (there were only a dozen balls of lint/hair most days), the PG2 had trouble holding ground.

Once the floor was swept, however, the PG2 was serious Crazy Glue. The rubber is thick but not too hard, the pattern is spaced well to push dust out (on solid colorways), and the full coverage just means more bite for this big dog.

Outdoors? Depends on your life wishes. The rubber will probably wear away rather quickly, but the pattern is sort of deep, so even as it wears, it will still have some grip. I’m thinking indoors only for my pair though.

Last year, most reviewers were in love at first sight when they spotted the large forefoot Zoom unit on the PG1 images (me included). On-foot, the initial PG1 feel was underwhelming, but did the job. This year, Nike increased the thickness of the Zoom by two millimeters, which doesn’t seem like much, but the increased size and top-loading the unit (little between the foot and the Zoom) makes the forefoot area of the PG2 bouncy and responsive without feeling unstable. The shoe kicks back on every step and makes you want to run.

The heel and midfoot is strictly foam, same as the PG1, but this foam feels more Cushlon/Nike Kyrie 4 than Phylon/PG1. Transition is smooth and the midsole compresses and rebounds well while playing, but if you are a heel-striker, or plant off of your heels while hitting jumpers, you may notice a lack of feedback.

The materials are the same kind of different. The upper features the same description as the lovely, premium-feeling uppers we got last year, but different. The suede is still here, and while it isn’t super-premium it does provide a nice touch of raw materials for that layered look that gives depth and detail to designs.

It may add weight, but it makes the upper more personal and signature-feeling, if that makes sense. Using the suede where Nike does allows for some great color-blocking as well, although we only have four colorways so far (with many more coming soon, surely).

The midfoot and forefoot areas are made up of a ballistic-style mesh and it is rough, rugged, and raw. Thicker than last year but still flexible and durable, the worry of wearing through mesh in the toebox of shoes should be gone on the PG2. While the forefoot straps overlay the medial and lateral sides of the forefoot, the materials themselves keep things feeling smooth while playing.

While the PG1 was narrow (some would say extremely narrow) in the forefoot, causing most to size up a half size, the PG2 has a wider last all through the structure. The fit straps in the forefoot keep things stable and contained on any and all lateral movements, and you can actually feel them holding you over the shoe while playing. Any time the technology can be felt working like it should, WearTesters gets excited.

The inner bootie/one-piece construction is still here, but the opening of the shoe is wider, with a larger area between the last eyelet and the heel padding that gives the foot some wiggle room. I never had much heel slip, almost none for the most part, but the wide ankle collar had me feeling a little insecure when playing. The inner heel and ankle are padded well, locking the heel and foot in place to minimize any movement, but the dead-space around the top of the collar was less than comforting.

As for length and sizing, the best option is to probably stay true to size unless you are a narrow footer. Again, the width issue in the forefoot is fixed and length is solid along the lines of the Kobe AD Mid and LeBron 15.

Wide base, stable foam, locked-in forefoot — everything needed for a solid support shoe, and the PG2 is solid. The heel being foam, and slightly stiff, means there is no unwanted compression around the edges leading to the shoe rolling over. The forefoot has a wide outrigger that keeps the shoe upright on strong lateral moves and getting in front of your man on defense.

However, the biggest tool in the shed is the forefoot straps. Seriously, they work, and it is lovely. Many times while playing I could feel my foot being kicked back into the shoe by the straps, especially while guarding ball-handlers on the perimeter where I need all the help I can get staying in front of players.

While the heel fit did allow a little slip, there were no problems as far as support. The heel cup is high and solid and the lacing does hold your foot in low, keeping the heel in place. It is still up top where the problems hit me. However, when actually thinking about the rankings, the slip wasn’t enough to mark down.

Solid. That’s the best word for the Nike PG2. And that makes sense because Paul George is about as solid of an NBA player as there is. He does everything well — rebounds, steals, scores, defends — but isn’t the best in any category (well, the steals are up there). He needs a shoe that does everything well but doesn’t focus on any one thing, and Nike gave it to him.

Take a look at the Nike PG2 if you are a do-it-all player who can be counted on to play your part. If you like minimal, fast-feeling shoes, there are better options, but the PG2 is honestly the best all-around shoe that Nike has on the market right now. Not the best, but best all-around (and at $110). It’s amazing what can happen when function not only meets but beats form over the head — for our sake.

Publicerat klockan 10:47, den 21 mars 2018
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Better Off-White Air Jordan 1: “Chicago” Or “White”

It all started late 2017 when Virgil Abloh debuted his Off-White x Air Jordan 1 from the “The Ten” Collection.

The first release came dressed in the original “Chicago” Air Jordan 1 off-white colorway that featured details to coincide with the rest of the ten models like exposed foam, stitching on the Swooshes, and signature Red zip tie.This Air Jordan 1 uses a constructed build that pretty much mixes both the Air Jordan 1 High Ultra and Deconstructed tooling. The high-top sneaker comes dressed in familiar Red, White and Black Chicago Bulls-inspired color scheme. Its branded with OFF-WHITE for Nike tagging on the medial side, along with a unique Nike Swoosh logo and “AIR” branding on the midsole. Other notable details include branding on the laces and the year ’85 on the inner ankle flap. look for the OFF-WHITE x Air Jordan 1 to release in November.


Months later to kick off 2018, Virgil dropped his second Off-White x Air Jordan 1, but this time in a White colorway that was exclusive to Europe. Still no word on a stateside release.

"That shoe originally was all white," Abloh said, telling the story of the shoe's development. "I was in the airport—I was at Newark; I can remember it—and I was going through the security and I saw somebody in a white pair of Dunks and I couldn’t tell the difference. And I was like, “Emergency: The Jordan needs to be the Chicago colorway. That shoe would have just been a sort of anonymous white shoe. The Off-White x Air Jordan 1 "White" will be releasing on Feb. 27 exclusively in Europe in both men's and women's sizing.

Looking back at air jordan 1 both, which would you guys say was the better release? Cast your vote below and leave your thoughts in the comments section.

Publicerat klockan 08:33, den 19 mars 2018
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Comparing 2009 vs. 2016 Air Jordan 11 "Space Jam"

The highly-anticipated 2016 Air Jordan 11 Space Jam is slightly different from previous retro iterations, as this latest gallery showcases its comparison to the 2009 counterpart.

The good folks at jordans for all have provided detailed pics to express just that. For starters, the 2016 pair is simply more shoe. The midsole, patent leather mudguard and model cut are all slightly taller than that of its predecessor. By our estimates, the height of the 2016 version rates closer to the OG while the sleekness of the 2009 pair is more inline with the 1995 edition. Shaping aside, concord branding is featured on the ’16 release (an original detail) as is #45 heel tagging (also indicitave of the OG). With the 2016 version essentially staying true to its OG build, in which MJ first wore during the 1995 NBA Playoffs, the sneaker’s notable differential elements consists of a higher cut black patent leather overlay.

Furthermor Last but not least, the sole on the 2016 pair features a much more pronounced blue tint than that of the ’09 release, with the original version also appearing more blue when worn on court by MJ.
the 2016 edition will be packaged in a Looney Tunes themed box with special cartoon graphics to celebrate the film’s 20th anniversary.

Take a look at how the 2016 Space Jam 11s stack up against the 2009 retro in the gallery above, and set aside $110 if you're planning to cop a pair when they return on today.
 
 
Publicerat klockan 02:56, den 17 mars 2018
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Air Jordan 28 SE Performance Review

WhWhen the Air Jordan XX8 was unveiled to the public for the first time in December of 2012, it was introduced along with the concept of “stealth.” During the design process, when the theme was taken to MJ, he pulled no punches when explaining what the concept meant to him. “Stealth is like Black Cat. It’s an ultimate aircraft. You never hear it coming, but it’s deadly as hell. You don’t ‘F’ with stealth. My game is like that. When you see it, it’s too ‘F-ing’ late.” The concept of stealth could even be tied in to the fact that the shoe was the first Air Jordan of the blog-era to not leak beforehand.

But while “stealth” may have defined the shoe’s design aesthetic, and even the unveiling, beneath it all, it was basically a shoe you’d seen before. A much better version than you’d seen before, but still a shoe who’s lasting impression came more from its refinements rather than breaking entirely new ground.

There are a handful of differences, which we’ll get into later, but if you are familiar with the Air Jordan XX8, then the easiest way of describing the SE is that it is the Air Jordan 1 , minus the stealth. The sky-high cut of the Air Jordan XX8 may have garnered most of the attention, but it was the shoe’s tooling that boasted the real breakthroughs. Zoom Air has been around since the mid-‘90s, and has been our benchmark for what’s possible in basketball cushioning. In over 20 years, nothing new that has come out since has topped it. That still hasn’t changed, but thanks to the introduction of Flight Plate, Zoom Air has gotten even better.

It’s still Zoom Air, but thanks to a holistic system, you are able to get more out of it than ever before. “The basic system is all around compression, deflection, and ultimately moderation,” explained the shoe’s developer, Josh Heard, when the XX8 launched.

“Zoom Air bags by themselves are extremely energy efficient," he continued. "The problem was the way we had used Zoom Air bags in the past. We would encapsulate them in foam and whatnot, and it would lock up all the energy. You couldn’t get anything out of it. So what we did was we unlocked the Zoom. We unleashed the Zoom. We’ve cored out foam all around the Zoom Air bags, so literally you are stepping directly on Zoom when you are getting that first, initial feel. The outsole also helps, as I said, piston that effect. And then we have a moderator plate on top, that eliminates any bumps or hot spots under the foot. So, it’s moderated all the way through, and you get that nice, comfortable smooth feel.”

The change may seem subtle, and compared to an entire new cushioning technology, it is. But the results are immediately noticeable, and make “regular” Zoom now seem lacking. It allows the wearer to feel “more” Zoom, without the use of “bigger” Zoom, such as the full-length Max Zoom bag found in the LeBron X.

That means more responsiveness, with better court feel, and a stance closer to the floor. Cushioning and court feel typically have an inverse relationship. As one increases, the other deceases. But thanks to this new system, protection and flexibility increased simultaneously. When combined with an outstanding midfoot shank, the Air Jordan XX8 and XX8 SE were simply some of the best playing experiences I’ve ever had.

The shoes flex where needed, offer up support where needed, provide responsive cushioning where needed, and have zero break-in time. I can’t think of a performance shoe that’s ever felt as good right out of the box as the two of these. With the only exception possibly coming from the traction improving over the first few wearings, the shoes felt as good on the first runs as the twentieth.

I haven’t mentioned any differences yet between the original and SE editions of the XX8, because when it comes to the shoes' toolings, there aren’t any differences. It’s the exact same shoe underfoot. And the uppers are similar enough to not effect the way the tooling plays.

The most obvious difference though is the XX8 SE’s lack of a shroud. But considering the shroud was largely a cosmetic feature, the shoe feels much more similar than you may expect. The plushness of the XX8's inner workings provided a level of comfort that isn’t quite matched by the SE, but at the same time, the synthetics used here are more supportive, and have proven to be more durable after long-term testing. And strangely enough, the cut of the XX8 SE actually feels slightly taller than the original. The lack of shroud also means better breathability, which was one of the few negatives of the original.

Unsurprisingly, since it was also the case with the original XX8, the SE runs a bit large. I’d recommend starting a half-size smaller than what you normally wear. Jordan Brand has stuck with the traditional, generally accommodating last, which they’ve used on all recent Game shoes. This means the shoe will fit more people than the sleeker and more narrow lasts used by Nike Basketball, but it won’t fit as well. After playing in my normal size 13 in the air jordan 1, and 12.5 in the SE, I found the ideal fit came by sizing down.

The XX8 was an excellent example of the law of diminishing returns. It was the best performing hoops shoe of 2013 at any price, but it wasn’t twice as good as shoes costing half as much. But with the XX8 SE, you are getting almost the exact same shoe, for $100 less. And with better breathability, more durability and slightly more support, you could almost argue it’s a better shoe.

If I had to choose between the two, I’d probably go with the original XX8, if price was no object. But then again, I could get 2 pairs of SEs for close to the same price. It’s hard to call a shoe costing $150 a deal, but with prices constantly rising, that’s practically at the team level in 2014. At this point in time though, you won’t find a better value, and probably not a better shoe period, at any price.

GRADE BREAKOUT

best for: most players other than larger forwards and centers who need abrasion protection in the post

colorway tested: Black/Dark Powder Blue/Team Orange/White

key tech: Flight Plate system, Carbon Fiber midfoot shank and heel counter, Dynamic Fit

pros: comfort; cushioning; transition; fit; zero break-in time

cons: sizing

improvements: Fit more true to size

buying advice: The SE edition of the Air Jordan XX8 offers almost all of the positives of the original, for $100 less. It’s slightly less comfortable, but slightly more breathable. And in my experience, the SE has been much more durable as well. Its cushioning is second to none, and I’ve never felt a more effective carbon fiber shank. Considering that the $250 Air Jordan 4 was an easy recommendation, at $150, the SE is one of the easiest recommendations I’ve ever made for a hoops shoe. Just be sure to try a pair on, or size down a half size, for proper fit.

Publicerat klockan 03:54, den 16 mars 2018
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Air Jordan 3 Black Cement: Comparison 2008 vs. 2018

We are 22 November 2018 and today is the big day out of the Jordan 3 Black Cement, one of the most sneakers known and recognized. We were also often asked if this 2018 version was competitive with the retro of 2008, after the pack CDP 3/20 (the latter being more easily found and ‘affordable’). So we are often told that over the years the retro lose enormously in quality, NiceKicks helps us to take stock of this release and therefore whether it is better to let go a few dollars more on the 2008 or 2018 proccurer this version. 2018 jordans present you, in French, this roundup. So sit back, relax and enjoy!

The perforations

As you can see the holes on the 2018 model (right) are slightly larger and more spaced.

The Varsity Red

Like many recent retros, we note that the colors are not met (we think of the gray cement IV white / cement). The air jordan 3 Black / Cement is no exception, we note a varsity red darker than the 2008 that it was very close to OG version. This notable are on the inner cover of the sneaker, of the tongue and Jumpman. This is unfortunate, but the difference is not so obvious is true condition (in real life, on your feet).

The label

Regarding the placement of the label, the 2018 (left) is more consistent with the range by putting Jordan on the inside of the tongue, unlike the 2008 version that hides in the inner side of the sneaker.

Elephant Print

To counterbalance the darker red varstity of 2018, Jordan Brand to put an Elephant print in black slightly less intense. But this was done out of concern for color balance and does not jump in the eyes.

The insole

The 2008 version was released for the 23 th anniversary of Jordan sneakers, so she has a special insole far enough from the OG. The 2018 version is much more simple and standard.

The silhouette

The 2018 version (like the white cement and true blue) sees her figure slightly redesigned with a slightly larger overall appearance and a tongue that dates back earlier than 2008, it is also slightly wider. And on the tongue, it’s not a bad thing, given that Jordan is doing with the tab visible.

The padding of the tongue

Here you will find that the tongue is much more padded on the 2008 version (2nd image) than the 2018 version. Jordan Brand explained to us at the exit of the white Cement 2018 that this change gave more freedom to move the anchor to those who would wear during a game of basketball.

The fender

On the one hand the fender of the 2018 (2nd photo) is slightly less polish but also parallel to the footing that the 2008 version.

Mid Sole

The finishing of the mid sole in 2008 (left) gives a more matte than the 2018. The 2018 is closer to the OG of this view.

The padding of the ankle

Jordan Brand continues to refined comfort of his 2011 strengthening of the sneaker padding around the ankle. This is part of why the 2018 version has a more massive than its big sister in 2008.

The Packaging

Buy a 2008 version is to have half a box of dmp pack 3/20. Buy a 2011 is to have a box near OG version with tissue paper Elephant Print.

Conclusion

This 2018 version has against it a slightly darker red varsity, a slightly more massive. For the rest there is no real difference strong enough to justify the extra Euros required for CDP 2008 version. Jordan Brand has done a great job on this 2018, then go ahead darken, it is on sale now in all good dairies advised to take € 155. Another big thank you for this great comparative 2018jordans.com and these wonderful pictures.

Publicerat klockan 10:16, den 15 mars 2018
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adidas Crazy BYW X Performance Review is here

You all asked and we delivered: the performance review on the $200 adidas Crazy BYW X is here.

Traction was amazing…to start. The very first day I played in the adidas Crazy BYW X was my best experience in the shoe overall.

Traction bit the floor, which had dust all over the damn place like nobody’s business. However, each time I wore the shoe after that initial day I became less and less impressed — it’s like the rubber decided to retire. For whatever reason its bite and tackiness wore out and I was left with a herringbone outsole that required me to wipe any chance I had nike air force 1 .

Even after taking the Crazy BYW X to cleaner courts I had to wipe every so often to maintain the level of grip that I’m comfortable with — which was a bit irritating. However, the traction never got to the point to where I thought it was downright bad, but it wasn’t that “Oh, hell yes!” type of grip I had on day one.

Then the rear section of the outsole blew out on me, literally. I remember the play when it happened. I rarely feel when traction peels, but this time I did as it was a few rows at once.

I was on a fast break and needed to slow down a bit so I could gather and lay the ball in. When I used my heel to slow myself down — the only time I really use my heels — I felt this weird jerk at the base of my heel. Luckily, my stride was already beginning to lead into the toe so I was able to continue the play and lay the ball in.

It wasn’t until I went to wipe my soles after the play was completed that I noticed the traction on my heel gave out and looked like strands of Play-Doh stuck in the spaghetti maker play-set. Thus, outdoor use is definitely not recommended.

While the Crazy BYW X doesn’t deserve the Benched badge, it doesn’t deserve the Starting 5 badge either. It’s good coverage that will take care of you, but you’ll need to maintain the outsole throughout your sessions.

The Feet You Wear concept implemented here isn’t like the original. While many applaud the original adidas harden vol 2 system, I was never a huge fan of it because sometimes it would aggravate my right foot. This version feels more neutral, like the original Pure Motion system, only with Boost in place instead of EVA and adiPrene.

Fluidity and transition were pretty smooth while court feel in the forefoot is abundant, without losing much impact protection. The closest thing I can compare it to is the Harden Vol 1. The main difference being the Boost is even more subdued in the forefoot of the Crazy BYW X than it was on the Harden Vol 1 since the Boost is completely encased.

The heel is really bouncy and at first and it was a bit of a distraction compared to the firmer forefoot. I felt like I was being propelled with a small spring under my heel until I got used to the setup. After, I began to adjust and feel more comfortable with the setup — that’s when the shoe really feels low, fast, responsive, and built for fluid mobility.

The only thing I can compare the feeling to is what I experienced with the Air Jordan XX8-30. That incredibly mobile and agile sensation that I felt makes this BYW setup a step up from the original FYW.

Materials featured are pretty average for a modern shoe; the Crazy BYW X uses textiles and a compression collar at the tongue and ankle areas.

For being a textile upper, it has been pretty durable thus far. There are no areas that pinch or hot spots along the main section of the build, but the heel’s rubber pull tab caused some chaffing at the back of my ankle — my quarter cut socks weren’t quite long enough to prevent this so that is an area to keep an eye on.

Interestingly, I had the same issue with the adidas Harden Vol 2 as well. I’d recommend that adidas stop stitching the rear pull tab into the main bootie section of the collar. Perhaps the brand could stitch it between the bootie and the outer material so it doesn’t rub on the heels of some wearers.

The shoe fits true to size, something rare for adidas. However, it’s that really snug and tight, nearly suffocating, type of fit that some — like myself — enjoy, but that others may not. Wide footers will want to go up 1/2 size, but that could cause some issues with the support as it relies on that one-to-one fit.

Lockdown as actually nice — like, really nice. I initially had my reservations with the lacing as the lateral side relies on those thin cables that are known to break. While those can and likely will break on someone, they did not break on me. The medial side has a much stronger nylon cable in place and both worked well to keep me sucked into the shoe and on the tooling.

All I can say is that if you try the shoe on, don’t be discouraged by the initial choke hold it will have on your feet. The materials will stretch around your foot once you break them in and you’ll end up with a form fitting shoe like nothing you’ve ever felt before.

Much like the lockdown, support was really surprising on the Crazy BYW X. The shoe is very minimalistic and doesn’t look like it’d support anyone.

However, the shoe uses all the standard support features, and they’re amplified to make up for the very minimal upper. It’s heel counter is strong and encompasses most of the rear while the chassis that the tooling sits on cradles your foot — much like the setup in the Air Jordan XX8-30.

The part that I felt really helped the Crazy BYW X was that you sit within the Boost midsole both in the heel and forefoot. You’re on a low-profile platform built to be anatomically correct and designed to really hug and hold onto your foot. If you’re a shoe nerd in addition to being a regular hooper then these will leave you wondering what else the future of performance footwear has to offer.

Will shoes get even more supportive with sock-like uppers? What will basketball shoes look like in 20 years? These are just a couple of questions this one shoe forces me to think about.

I think the Crazy BYW X is very good, but the traction definitely could be better. I think if adidas used a slightly stronger rubber compound and spaced the herringbone treads a little further apart then this would have been a shoe that I’d say you’d need to try.

As it is right now, sitting at that $200 price point, the Crazy BYW X is a shoe that you should try only if you have the means. If you don’t, don’t be discouraged because there are plenty of footwear options that offer great performance and won’t break the bank.

I am very curious to see where brands go from here because adidas really pushed the envelope with this one — adidas Originals no less. It’ll be very interesting to see what comes from the basketball shoes in the future.

Publicerat klockan 10:31, den 14 mars 2018
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Off-White x Air Jordan 1 Blue and Chicago and Blue in 2017~2018

1.The Off-White x Air Jordan 1 Dark Powder Blue is expected to release at select retailers during May 2018. Retail price is set at $190.

Jordan Brand and Virgil Abloh will have yet another strong year utilizing the Air Jordan 1. Recently launched was the ‘White’ edition and now we have the Off-White x Air Jordan 1 ‘Powder Blue’ coming in May.

This Air Jordan 1 will feature a White, Cone and Dark Powder Blue color combination. At the time of writing images have yet to leak, however they are expected to feature a UNC theme.

2.The Off-White Air Jordan 1 White will release exclusively in Europe on March 3rd, 2018 in limited quantities. Once available the retail price will be $190.

With the release of the Off-White x Air Jordan 1, Virgil Abloh along with Nike and Jordan Brand will expand on their collaborations. In 2018 there will be another Air Jordan 1 releasing.

While the first release featured the iconic Chicago theme, Virgil’s upcoming Air Jordan 1 collaboration will come dressed in White. In addition they have the unfinished – unconstructed look. Following is Black writing, Blue stitching on the Nike Swoosh and the standard Orange tab.

This won’t be the only collaboration releasing this year, also launching is the OFF-WHITE x Air Jordan 1 ‘University Blue’ edition.

3.Continue to scroll below to check out more images of the OFF-WHITE Air Jordan 1 Chicago collaboration which will give you a better look. At the time of writing, they will release during November 2017

Virgil Abloh who is the founder of OFF-WHITE appears to be working with Jordan Brand. Recently leaked is the OFF-WHITE x Air Jordan 1 collaboration.

This Air Jordan 1 by OFF-WHITE features a Chicago theme of Red, White and Black while having an inside out or unfinished theme. On the medial side we have ‘OFF WHITE for Nike branding while large AIR is seen on the midsole. Completing the look is a unique Nike Swoosh on the panels and ‘Shoelaces’ written on the laces. Each pair will also come with four colored laces while the box is also inside out. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

Publicerat klockan 12:48, den 12 mars 2018
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'Banned' Air Jordans have slightly different history than Nike's narrative

ike's story of the black-and-red Air Jordan 1 makes for sexy marketing: When then-NBA commissioner David Stern saw Michael Jordan wearing the shoes in a 1984 preseason game, he banned them.

Nike and Jordan Brand are pumping that story line as they prepare for the Saturday release of the Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG Banned, a throwback to the classic that sneaker heads have nicknamed the "Bred."

But the Bred was not the shoe that was banned. It was the Ship.

Let us explain.

Air Jordan sneaker design: A brief history
A brief history of the design inspiration behind Air Jordans.
As original Air Jordan logo designer Peter Moore recalls, Nike and Jordan's marketing team at ProServ met that August in Washington, D.C., and planned the launch of his first shoe, but it wouldn't be ready until November. Jordan needed something of Nike's to wear during training camp and preseason and the brain trust wanted it to be red and black, as they intended the first shoe's color scheme to be, to make him stand out from other players.

At the time, however, NBA shoes had to be mostly white, and Stern "banned the red and black because he proclaimed that the red and black were not the color of the Bulls — the shoes didn't meet the uniform standard," said Moore, who is now founder of What'a Ya Think, a Portland, Ore.-based. branding consulting company. "They were the colors of the Bulls, they just were lacking white, but you don't argue with David Stern at that point."

During the regular season, Jordan alternated between red-and-white Ships and Air Jordan 1 Retro Banned , nicknamed "Chicagos."

So how have the red-and-black Ships and Breds come to be confused?

"The Air Ship was basically colored up to look like the shoe that was coming," Moore said. "Those shoes were probably specially made for him to wear, and they were what his Air Jordans would look like once they came. Nobody would know the difference unless they had the shoes in front of them."

 

Publicerat klockan 10:01, den 8 mars 2018
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The True Story Behind the Banned Air Jordan 1

We've been led to believe that the black and red colorway of the Air Jordan 1 was banned 31 years ago. But was it really? The Air Jordan 1 is a mysterious shoe that originally released in all sorts of colorways, and in order to gather the history and evolution of the brand, we must first look back at its roots.

As the story goes, Michael Jordan was, or would be fined, $5,000 per game if he wore a certain pair of red and black Nike basketball shoes, as evidenced by 2011's "Banned" Air Jordan 1 High. Per the "uniformity of uniform rule" set by the NBA,

A player must wear shoes that not only matched their uniforms, but matched the shoes worn by their teammates."

At the time, red and black was much more rebellious than plain black and white shoes, and first-year NBA commissioner David Stern "threw them out of the game." Legend has it that MJ continued wearing the pair anyway, while Nike footed the bill. Does this story sound familiar to you? Let's take a look at an interview conducted by legendary late night talk show host, David Letterman. Fast forward to 4:48.

Here is a letter written by then-NBA Executive Vice President, Russ Granik, addressed to Nike Vice President, Rob Strasser. It states that Michael Jordan wore a certain pair of Nike basketball shoes that violated the league's rules and procedures on or around October 18, 1984.

There are so many questions to be asked. For one, how many games did MJ wear the Black/Red Air Jordan 1? And did Nike really pay said imposed fines? And here's the biggest question: Was the Black/Red Air Jordan 1 even the right sneaker that was first "banned" by the NBA?

No, and here's why.

I've had regular discussions with people on the matter. In particular, bigbostrong on Instagram, who has provided detailed pictures of Air Jordan history, as well as our friends from Australia, Adam Ryan and Aaron Stehn—both of whom who run a popular podcast on inallairness.com. A mutual colleague of theirs, Adam Howes, runs bullsonparade.me and does the same, but with all focus on the rich historical events of Michael Jordan and Chicago Bulls history.

We have already scratched the surface as to what MJ first wore during his rookie campaign, which is identified as the Nike Air Ship—a mysterious shoe that has yet to be retroed. To my knowledge, Jordan wore three colorways of the Air Ship: White/Natural Grey, White/Red and Black/Red. And that Black/Red version of the Nike Air Ship is the actual sneaker that was banned, not the Air Jordan 1. Jordan did however had a PE edition of the Air Ship, which read "Air Jordan" on the heels.

Michael Jordan Air Ship

Close-up shot of the "Air Jordan" PE Air Ship - Image via Getty Bettmann / Contributor
Here is Michael in a 1984 preseason game against the New York Knicks wearing the Black/Red Nike Air Ship. The game was played on October 18, 1984 at Madison Square Garden. It was the 6th preseason game the Bulls had played, and they were going into the game with a 4-1 record. A few days earlier on October 15, 1984, the two teams played each other at Glens Falls, NY some 200 miles north of Madison Square Garden. The NBA notified Nike and/or the Bulls that the black and red sneaker from the October 18 game broke the "uniformity of uniform rule." He would immediately have to stop wearing the colorway on court.

In this YouTube video, you can see Michael wearing the Black/Red Nike Air Ship during practice at Madison Square Garden from a interview conducted on October 18, 1984. Fast forward to 0:26. The game following is the regular season debut at Madison Square Garden on November 8, 1984 with Michael wearing the White/Red Nike Air Ship.

There have been no pictures surfaced of Michael Jordan ever wearing the Black/Red Air Jordan 1 in an NBA game. I've been analyzing this mythical story for a some years now, and have even challenged our Jordan forum to provide a picture and/or video of Michael wearing the shoes. I've been presented with all sorts of unique attempts such as the 1985 NBA Slam Dunk competition, to Patrick Ewing in a one-on-one match up, to screenshots of Michael from the "Just For Kicks" documentary of 2005.

Let's break down each attempt. The 1985 NBA dunk contest doesn't count since it wasn't an NBA sanctioned game. It does however suggest that the NBA may have again warned the Bulls superstar and Nike for breaking the "uniformity of uniform rule." Referencing back to the letter, it was dated February 25, 1985. All Star festivities began on the weekend of the 10th. It may suggest that a second warning did take place, but no evidence has surfaced regarding any imposed fines the NBA may have issued—something we can perhaps research at a later time.

The matchup between Jordans for all and Ewing was for the cover of the November 1985 issue of Inside Sports magazine, and utilized for promotion of the 1985-86 NBA season. It simulated the matchup between the previous Rookie of the Year (Jordan) versus the potential (and eventual) Rookie of the Year (Ewing). Jordan continued to wear the White/Red Air Jordan 1 in the 1985-86 NBA season, before and after his foot injury.

The documentary Just For Kicks again attempted to align the notion that Jordan was fined for wearing the shoes. But there has yet to be evidence by Nike or the NBA that proves that the violation ever took place. These screen captures from the documentary were modified. Photos of the game were taken from the first round of the 1986 NBA playoffs against the Boston Celtics in which Michael scored a playoff record 63 points. It still stands as a record today.

Keep in mind that the uniform style worn during Michael's rookie season were different. The road jerseys consisted of black script lettering for Chicago along the chest and the home jerseys with the Bulls team name in red. After the 1984-85 NBA season, the Bulls sported a new uniform style which is similar to what Jordan wore throughout his illustrious career.

So there you have it—the true story behind of the actual "banned" sneaker. It was not the Air Jordan 1 banned , but indeed the Nike Air Ship in the Black/Red colorway. Perhaps someday we'll come to understand how Nike strategically rolled out the "banned" campaign. We can only wonder if we'll ever get a retro of the Nike Air Ship—which seems like a possiblity after it was finally offically acknowledged by Jordan Brand in 2014.

Whether or not the Air Jordan 1 was banned, the myth is most definitely a part of sneaker history, and the precursor to what Jordan Brand is today.

Publicerat klockan 10:05, den 7 mars 2018
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adidas harden vol 2 red white performance review

The Harden Vol 2 is a nice basketball shoe off the court, but it did not impress me on the court.

Let’s cut straight to the chase: the traction on the Harden Vol 2 let your boy down something fierce. The traction performed well right out of the box…for about two days.

After the rubber breaks in the traction will decline full speed ahead. On dirty courts, I was wiping more than I like to, and these things pick up dust like nobody’s business. The traction had me out there like I was competing in the Winter Olympics – figure skating style.

On a clean court, the traction was solid. As long as the court conditions are good you will be fine.

I’m sure you guys already know what I’m about to say right? You guessed it: Booost is life…well, a different life, because this setup is a bit different from other Boost basketball shoes.

This year, a much thicker piece of Boost is implemented in the Harden Vol 2. However, don’t expect this thicker boost to be as bouncy as other performance models that we’ve dealt with before. I am not saying the Boost isn’t good, it is, I’m just that it seems like adidas went with a more impact protection focused setup this year. It was great for impact protection and I’d like to see this setup on more releases in the future.

Materials are pretty basic on the Harden Vol 2. ForgeFiber, a reinforced textile mesh is used at the forefoot while synthetic paneling makes up the rear. The mesh gets its strength from TPU-coated fibers, and they add support to the mesh — it does a great job at containing the foot. While the materials are pretty basic — it’s all synthetic here — they keep the weight of the upper down.

The fit on the Harden Vol 2 is true to size. Wide-footers may be able to go true to size but I would try on in-store. The shoe fits pretty snug and at the midfoot there’s an elastic-like band that may cause discomfort for some people. It is also an ounce heavier than the Harden Vol 1 (just a note for people that prefer lightweight

Support on James Harden’s second signature was pretty good. With an outrigger that is as wide and as thick as the one used here you’re bound to get good support. The wide base here is like standing on a plank of Boost foam.

The one-piece bootie does a great job at containing the foot while providing you with a compression-like feel — I love how these felt on-foot. The mesh was strong enough to support every move I made on the court and keep me atop the footbed with no issues.

I did have a bit of an issue with the heel lockdown, but once I customized the lacing system to my liking — those holes aren’t for decoration — I was able to get my heel locked into the back of the shoe.

Unless you play on crispy clean courts the Harden Vol 2 Red White isn’t a shoe that I would recommend people buy because there are a bunch of better options on the market. The traction was just too inconsistent for me to enjoy in these.

However, I do recommend this Harden if you want to rock something swaggy with tons of Boost. I think it looks incredible worn casually.

Publicerat klockan 09:04, den 6 mars 2018
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The Nike PG 2 is the latest to be deconstructed

The Nike PG 2 is the latest to be deconstructed by the good folks over at 2018jordans.com.

Yes, it pains us to look at images such as these as well. The fact that these shoes could have gone to someone in need of a new pair of sneakers makes images like this hard to see. However, chopping them up is for educational purposes and taking apart the shoes long after they’ve been used doesn’t do anyone any good as this type of information should be available as soon as possible.

With so many product descriptions being wrong or outdated nowadays, we feel this type of thing is important — which is why we support the folks over at 2018jordans.com. So, we feel your pain. Just know that we’re at least learning something.

The profile shot is a simple one; it shows us everything without saying anything at all — where the cushion is located, and how thick/thin it is. You’re also able to see how padded the interior of the shoe is, whether there is a heel to toe drop, which there almost always is, and how significant it is. Beautiful. Isn’t it?

Layers. So many wonderful layers. Here you can see the partial internal bootie, which makes it much easier to get the shoe on and off, and the upper’s build and external Adaptive Fit forefoot straps. The heel padding sticks out to us the most; that area of the shoe was really well done and features lots of nicely sculpted padding for comfort and proper fit.

Reinforcing soft textiles when they’re placed in stress zones is essential, not only for the longevity of the material but also for the safety of the player wearing the shoe — no matter the player’s skill level.

In my performance review I had stated that this Zoom Air setup felt as close to being Unlocked Zoom as possible without it actually being Unlocked Zoom. What this image shows is that it’s exactly like Unlocked Zoom Air with the exception of a moderator plate.

You can also see one of the reasons why the heel portion of the foam midsole is more comfortable than that of the Nike PG 1. This heel section of the midsole is cored out around the impact zone which allows for the foam to compress a lot more. This, coupled with a slightly altered foam density, made for a very comfortable and well balanced ride during our testing.

Don’t get too excited regarding cushioning; the forefoot Zoom Air unit is 10mm thick according to Nike. Yes, this one is over 11mm, which makes us think that quality control isn’t perfect and there will be variations and/or defects within production runs of footwear. This isn’t a Nike problem though, it’s normal for any company manufacturing something at such a high volume.

Torsional support comes in the form of this tiny TPU bar, which is now the norm for most models. It works just fine, but definitely could be better or more substantial.

There looks to be an 8mm drop from the heel to toe. Some don’t mind the drop while others loath it. Below is a side by side comparison of the PG 1 and PG 2. The Nike PG 2 is definitely an upgrade in the cushion department. Nothing about how the shoe feels on-foot and on-court makes you feel as if you’re wearing a budget model — despite its $110 price tag.

We hope you enjoyed the detailed look and breakdown of the Nike PG 2 deconstructed. Feel free to share your thoughts on the dissection below in the comment section.

Publicerat klockan 09:15, den 5 mars 2018
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A Detailed Look at The Upcoming Air Jordan 32 UNC and NRG

So far, we’ve reported on the Air Jordan 32 ‘UNC’ and Air Jordan 32 Low ‘Michigan’ PEs. It should only be a matter of time before more Nike/Jordan Brand NCAA programs unveil their PEs.

Like the Air Jordan 32 ‘UNC’ , this Air Jordan 32 Low rides atop a marbled outsole and flaunts its program’s logo on the tongues. That huge M is set off with a strong heel counter pattern, a “Go Blue” patch behind the tongue, and bright yellow threads in the College Navy upper. “Go Blue” is also featured beneath the Amarillo semi-translucent rubber outsole.

Dressed in the usual University Blue, hits of College Navy break up the familiar hue. Finally, we’ve got something besides a white midsole, and while the marbling may not be for everyone, it is certainly a new look. The shoe features several unique details like aggressive heel panels, six rings for each of the Tar Heels’ championships, and “TAR” under the heels (ha ha).

Jordan Brand released the super-limited lifestyle Air Jordan 32 ‘NRG’ model. While the shoe has already sold out — and popped up on eBay for $1,000 and up — we’ve got you covered with a detailed look at this gem.

The Air Jordan 32 ‘NRG’ is limited to just 323 pairs and ditches the performance-based Flyknit upper for rich, premium leather. The shoe also flaunts raised alligator detailing along the wrap-around panels that provides a more luxurious look — and you’re paying for premium aesthetics (the shoe retails for $200).

Staying true to its inspiration, the Air Jordan 2 — which was made in Italy — the Air Jordan 32 ‘NRG’ pays tribute to the Italian flag with red and green hits, as well as supple leathers. Even the Air Jordan 2 eyelets have made an appearance on this lifestyle model.

The Air Jordan 32 Low ‘Michigan’ will release at 2018jordans.com in limited numbers for $160 on March 9. It will release alongside the Air Jordan 32 ‘UNC’.

Publicerat klockan 08:34, den 2 mars 2018
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