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Nike Zoom KD IV Performance Review

Kevin Durant's newest signature is certainly getting some love off the court, but just how well does it perform on the hardwood?

For the past two years, Kevin Durant's signature sneaker has been the best performing shoe available at retail. I really believe that. It's worth noting, of course, that the "at retail" part is all the more impressive when you factor in the fact that the shoes were "just" a mere $88.

At anywhere from $30 to even $70 less than competing signature products, every part about that is tremendous. The shoes held up well, had great traction, cushioning and all of the stuff you're looking for for the hardwood -- and then on top of that, they were also affordable.

So why the big intro about the great performance and relatively low price of the Kevin Durant series up til now? Well, the Zoom KD 11 is by its own merit an outstanding shoe on-court, but for the $7 more at retail that Durant's fourth model jumps to, it's perhaps a step back in overall performance from the exceptional level of playability that his line has already reached. If you're a guard looking for a supportive, reliable and cushioned sneaker, the KD IV is a great choice, but if you're a close follower of the line so far, you might find a few points that let you down.

To get right into it, the shoe's new Adaptive Fit system, a variation of which we've seen over in Nike Running, offers great fit through the midfoot, but is perhaps too narrow for most. The more you pull on the lower two medial lace loops and the adjoining strap system, the more snug the shoe's midfoot will be, as the dual-pull harness tightens accordingly through the arch. This might create a struggle for people with wide feet to find just the right balance of fit. I have a pretty standard D width foot, but anything wider and you might need to size up for more room through the body of the shoe.

Regardless of how the midfoot fits you, you'll also notice the arch of the shoe is rather pronounced, a noticeable difference right away from the KD II & III. While the exact same shank is carried over from last year's model (a nice way to save some money in the constant quest to keep the shoe under $100), the extra midfoot sculpting and stance of the shoe still make for a substantial arch. If you have flat feet, you'll want to try these on ahead of time.

Just ahead of the shoe's midfoot, I also noticed quite a bit of irritation and discomfort stemming from the underside of the forefoot lateral fused vent. This is what you might traditionally call a "hot spot." I tried a few different sock thicknesses over the course of my testing to see if I could build up a buffer of sorts, but nothing seemed to work. The toe box is a bit snug side-to-side to begin with, and the vent underside pressure only compounds the problems up front.

Above: The underside of the forefoot vent is where I experienced the most irritation and rubbing during play.

While the shoe has a few fit and irritation issues, there are quite a few bright spots to touch on as well, but I'll get to those in a few. One last complaint first! For years now, I've sworn by no-show socks. Simply a personal preference, and ideally I'd be playing in an ultra-thin no-show in every shoe. I found the collar of the KD IV to initially also be quite harsh during my testing, and it wasn't until the fourth or fifth wearings that the chafing and irritation of the collar softened up and went away. After the first night, I was in quite some pain, had visible callouses, and had to switch to some taller socks towards the end of the trial. I'd definitely recommend a thicker quarter cut sock with these. Of course, that might also make the midfoot far too narrow, so try these on first if you can, with thick socks on hand. The underside of the Hyperfuse layered upper and edging of the collar are simply too harsh at first otherwise.

Because I was curious, I even took a night off during the testing and played in my trusty KD IIIs from last year. The collar felt amazing by comparison, and the shoe had no pressure spots. Much of that newfound discomfort can be attributed to the new fused approach. There's just less padding along the underside in the hopes of shedding some weight.

Now that we have all of the negatives out of the way, let's turn that frown upside down and take a glance at what I loved about the KD IV. The strap, entirely unique and at first glance rather odd, works great. It's not useless like a forefoot strap, and not too restrictive like a collar strap either. It's there for a nice additional layer of lockdown, is fully adjustable and works in tandem with the shoe's Adaptive Fit arch system. Well done. Will it continue in the KD line and in other shoes? That might be too early to get into, but I definitely wouldn't mind seeing it in other shoes. This coming from a guy who hates pointless straps. But, it's not pointless here, so that's a good thing.

Another great item of the shoes is its transition, as we've come to expect from the KD line. There's a full-length Phylon midsole for a smooth ride and the same propelling TPU midfoot shank from the KD III. Great ride, stance and bounce in the open court.

While the shank and story-telling approach is carried over throughout the outsole, there is one big shift in the shoe's traction pattern. Gone is the herringbone outsole that we saw in the first three models, as the IV features an integrated thunder bolt pattern. Clearly inspired by his team name -- the guy is all about team, afterall -- I found the traction to be great. Not screech and squeak inducing like the best herringbone designs, and not quite as the bar-setting KD IIs, but still reliable on marginal courts and outstanding on outstanding courts, as you might expect. I always will vote for herringbone if given an option, but the traction works here. We've seen quite a few signature themed patterns fail in recent years, so it was nice to see this tread work nearly as well as the tried and true.

Ever since the KD series began, people have complained about the lack of heel cushioning. Well, the shoes wouldn't be under $100 if there was heel and forefoot Zoom Air, and that's really all it comes down to. On top of that, KD himself barely makes contact with the very back of the heel, so a forefoot unit also does more for him. Which I'm thankful for. The forefoot Zoom unit here feels great, and in tandem with the full Phylon midsole, the shoe has a great cushioned ride. It could be better, but that's what the $140 Zoom Kobe VII is for if you really want both heel & forefoot cushioning.

All in all, the KD IV's style clearly has taken Durant to a different level in the overall signature shoe landscape, thanks mostly to the awesomely executed Nerf and Weatherman themed versions. On the court though, his line was already *there* in my opinion, and I'm afraid this fourth model is a slight step backwards because of the fit and irritation issues that I had to get off my chest during the first half of the article.

Definitely check them out if you have a standard or narrow foot and like playing in taller, thicker socks. They have a great combination of cushioning, transition, traction, lockdown and support. However, there's quite a bit of irritation and a troublesome hotspot along the lateral forefoot if you, like me, enjoy playing in no-show or thinner socks. The adidas harden vol 2 is priced exceptionally well at just $95, but be sure and try them on first if you're interested in making them your next on-court sneaker.

Grade Breakout:

designed by: Leo Chang

best for: shooting guards and small forwards with slashing style of play

colorway tested: Varsity Purple / Orange Blaze / Neo Lime

key tech: Hyperfuse upper construction, Adaptive Fit strap system, full-length Phylon midsole, 6mm forefoot Zoom Air unit

pros: transition, forefoot cushioning, nice lockdown and great value for price

cons: runs fairly narrow through midfoot, forefoot has some hot spots, collar is harsh through first week

improvements: better protection from hot spots in the forefoot, improve fit issues through midfoot and irritation issues along collar.

buying advice: The KD IV, much like the past two models in the Durant signature series, is a great on-court performer with outstanding cushioning, traction and transition. Unfortunately, I liked the II and III better, as the IV has a few fit issues and some hot spots throughout. Check them out if you have a narrow foot and don’t mind wearing thicker socks, but be cautious or try them on first if your sleds are on the wider side. At $95, they’re a great value with durable support and lockdown.

Publicerat klockan 12:15, den 2 juli 2018
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adidas Energy BOOST 4 Performance Review

Thomas: The biggest characteristic of the adidas Energy BOOST is the BOOST midsole. This shoe has tons of BOOSTy bouncy cushion. If you are looking for comfort over everything else, the Energy BOOST might fit the bill. BOOST as a midsole can get sloppy. adidas fixes the sloppiness by giving the outsole a full coverage web of Continental® rubber and then, if you pull up the insole, you’ll find another grid of material giving the midsole support structure on top.

The adidas harden vol 2 looks like it was inspired by the Samba soccer shoes, the black and white styling is iconic. The upper fit well, I recommend going with your regular running shoe size. The heel counter is soft, held the foot in well, and did not rub the Achilles. The material over the toe box is snug but stretchy. I was a little worried about how the plastic cage over the arch would feel, however, I rarely noticed it on the run.

Running in the Energy BOOST at slower speeds is comfortable. When you pick up the pace the shoe toes off well and the outsole shines. The shoe (as heavy as it is) can do fast. It wouldn’t be my choice for a fast day shoe, but you could use it as a comfortable tempo run shoe.

Meaghan: The adidas Ultra BOOST 4 is a neutral trainer. It’s designed with a sock-like stretchy upper that hugs the foot and there’s a midfoot cage that helps secure the foot in place. The step-in feel of this shoe is great. They’re comfortable right out of the box and really seem to conform around your foot. There is plenty of cushioning around the tongue, collar and heel.

The boost midsole is a dense cushioning. I didn’t feel it had a ton of “bounce”, but it’s a forgiving, smooth transition from toe off to landing. The midfoot includes a “torsion system,” in other words, a piece of plastic between the forefoot and heel that protects the midfoot. I typically hate this type of support underfoot, but for some reason it didn’t bother me.

The last notable feature in this shoe is the outsole. I don’t know what they do with this rubber, but it’s some of the grippiest stuff I’ve ever worn and it doesn’t seem to wear down.

The Bad
Thomas: This shoe is a tank. The sucker is heavy at 12 oz. for a size 10.5. The upper on the adidas Energy BOOST is not that breathable. This shoe can get warm.

Meaghan: A few things to note here. 1) The midfoot cage is made of a hard plastic and when you tie the laces too tight, it causes some serious discomfort. So, don’t tie your shoes too tight. 2) These suckers weigh 10.10 oz for a W7.5. You’re basically running in boots. 3) Breathability in the upper is sub-par. Not the best shoe for mid July in Baltimore.

adidas Energy BOOST 4 Conclusion
Thomas: If you love BOOST you’ll love the Energy BOOST. I like it over the Supernova. This shoe is a cruiser, I would recommend it to a runner that wants a comfortable daily trainer and doesn’t care how heavy the shoe is. Even though they are more expensive at $160, the BOOST cushioning paired with the full rubber outsole should get you plenty of miles. Overall the Energy BOOST doesn’t get me excited, it is just too much shoe for my taste.

Meaghan: This shoe falls into no-mans land for me. For each feature of the shoe I like, there’s another one I don’t like. I’ve actually been wearing them for everyday, walking around rather than actual training miles. I do think this shoe will last you a very long time. So, while you have to shell out $160, you won’t need to replace your shoes for quite some time.

Publicerat klockan 10:28, den 28 juni 2018
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The Nike KD 11 Deconstruct sneaker before it drops

One benefit of the Nike KD 11 releasing Stateside a month after the global release is that the team over at FastPass was able to deconstruct the highly-anticipated sneaker before it drops.

Ain’t nothing like the real thing, baby. While Nike did provide a sketch to showcase the tech inside the KD 11 , we love the team at FastPass for giving us a look inside the actual shoe, with detail.

The React and Zoom Air cushioning setup used in the KD 11 is probably the highlight of the now two-time NBA Champion’s latest signature, so let’s get right to it. The cut of the left sneaker reveals full-length top-loaded Zoom Air unit over React foam. The Zoom Air unit is about 7mm thick — specifically 6.58-7.16mm from forefoot to heel in this pair.

The React midsole has also been cored out atop the midfoot shank, likely to combat the added weight the rubber cupsole brings to the shoe, which means its a true window. The insole atop the strobel looks pretty thick and is expected to provide comfort upon initial wear.

Further deconstruction shows what appears to be an internal TPU heel-counter along with plenty of padding around the Achilles and ankle. The internal bootie features heavy stitching beneath the Flywire, which should serve as reinforcement for lateral containment. However, the true reinforcement at the toebox is actually around the inside of the Flyknit upper, not the suede overlay at the lateral side of the toe (Nightwing2303 recently addressed some durability issues in this area on Instagram.

Up-close, Nike Kobe 1 Protro the groves on the outsole look somewhat shallow and spaced relatively tight. This leads us to believe that the pattern may attract and hold

 

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Publicerat klockan 13:04, den 27 juni 2018
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And1 Attack Low Performance Review

And1 is back, at least from a performance perspective. So how does the And1 Attack Low stack up? Follow the bouncing…

If you played basketball and grew up in the ’90s you wore And1 something. The Game Shorts may be the best shorts ever. The Trash Talk tees were classics. The shoes, at one time, were worn by numerous players in the NBA — most notably Vince Carter, Kevin Garnett, Latrell Sprewell, and Chauncey Billups. Simply put, the shoes played, and they spoke to the youth like no company at the time.

Flash forward nearly 20 years to now. The company signed a deal with Wal-Mart, and things went downhill from a basketball-consumer perspective. However, the company has recently focused on making a true performer, one that is worthy of NBA floors again, and with that we get the And1 Attack Low. Let’s go…

First of all, and this has to be addressed now, that gum bottom is a beauty. The color is only found with the white upper, but imagine that same gum was on the red and black colorways on the And1 site — wheeww! Okay, enough on the looks — the pattern works and works well.

A wavy tread covers the forefoot under the balls of the feet while a chevron herringbone covers you under the toes. Both hold on to the floor and push dust way off the shoe. Not one time did I have to wipe — not just per wear, I’m talking at all, from session to session, day to day. Stopping was solid and immediate with no sliding or hesitation.

As for outdoors, you’re good, even in the gum colorway. Normally gum is softer than solid, but the And1 Attack Low feels like it will hold up great. The pattern is thick so that wear isn’t an issue, and the rubber below it is thick. And1 was always good for playground/outdoors, and the Attack Low follows right back up.
I was jumping up and down when I read the And1 Attack Low had Harmonix. For those not familiar, Harmonix was a system of air bags And1 used on the KG and Sprewell lines that allowed for compression and spring-back. It was coupled with a concave heel shape underfoot to further enhance the feeling, and it felt great while playing.

This isn’t that. Don’t get it wrong, this new adidas nmd r1 feels good while playing too. The feeling I was first reminded of was Asics Gel, both to the touch and underfoot. Harmonix RX rides low and feels fast, responding quickly to any step or movement. The impact protection is there as well, although the foam carrier is a little stiff and didn’t break in much. There isn’t a real “energy return” feel — once you land it’s pretty much over — but again, the stiff midsole and soft Harmonix get you into the next step smoothly and quickly.
2008 called — it wants it’s fuse back. While fuse does work in the long run, the initial break-in time — the popping, hard spots, and stiffness — is something a player will have to fight through to get to the good. And what is the good?

Well, for one, durability; the fused and mesh upper will be able to handle those rough outdoor summer courts. Containment is another strong point, as fuse does not stretch at all (so you better get the correct size). While you are working through that, and as the shoe “learns” your foot, expect some stiffness and a fit that is a little generous (more on that shortly).

The tongue and inner padding in the And1 Attack Low is really, really nice. The detailed logos on the tongue add some touches to let you know this shoe is serious about ball. The padding on the tongue is nice and thick and removes any lace pressure. The heel, though, that’s a different animal — literally.

The exterior area around the heel counter is embroidered to create a tiger’s face. Not Tony — a legit National Geographic-looking tiger. It’s in the same color as the upper so it is extremely subtle, but it is there. This adds nothing, but looks cool as Santa’s workshop.

For the interior of the heel, Nike Lebron 15 took the tiger logo and made it into silicon, then placed the silicon inside the heel area to grip the sock and eliminate heel slippage. At first, I thought someone wore the shoes before me and got some lint balls stuck in there. Then Nightwing and Stanley looked at their pairs and we managed enough brain power to figure it out.
As discussed in materials, when a fuse upper is used, fit sometimes takes a while to dial in. The And1 Attack Low is no different. When first put on-foot, the forefoot is noticeably narrower than the heel. For the first few wears, this meant some rubbing on the pinky toe, at least until the area broke in and softened up a little bit.

It is a snug fit, but unless you are a widefooter, specifically in the forefoot, I wouldn’t go up any. The length was right on, with my normal 10.5 fitting about a thumbs-width from the end of my big toe to the end of the shoe. One area fused shoes had problems with, at least on my foot, was toe bubble (extra volume right over the toes). Thankfully, the brand dropped the box height so the And1 Attack Low fits right on top of the foot with no extra volume.

The midfoot fit is completely locked in due to one thing: the simple lacing system. No real tricks, unless you count the lace straps running to the midsole, but the spacing and number of lace holes allows the shoe to pull up and form perfectly around the foot.

As for the heel, that generous width did cause some issues, specifically heel slip if I wasn’t laced tight. The thought was the silicon tiger pattern would grab and hold, but the fit is so wide that unless you lace up super-tight (which I do) you will still feel some heel slip. Personally, after the first two or three days of wearing, I felt secure and locked in, but if you have a narrow foot, at least in the heel, you may still have issues. The Attack Mid would probably work better with its higher cut and lockdown around the ankle.
Low-riding midsole? Check. Wide outsole for a stable base? Check. Fused materials on lateral side for containment? Check. Lacing system that works? Check. About the only thing not here that helps with support and stability is a solid heel counter, but with the way the midsole rises up on the foot in the back of the shoe a counter would be overkill.

For a low (feels funny even phrasing it that way with the way lowtops are made now), the support is on par with the best in the game. There is even a TPU midfoot shank for torsional support. The And1 Attack Low has all the makings of a supportive shoe without feeling like a boot. And1 used to make “running shoes for the court” and the Attack Low gets back to those roots.

The And1 Attack Low was one of the most fun shoes I have reviewed this year. As someone who was around when the company started and saw what it would become, both good and bad, the And1 Attack Low is a serious jump back to the performance world. And1, at one time, had nearly 20% of the NBA on it’s roster. That’s a lot of players, and the brand made a lot of killer shoes.

As for the adidas hi , if you are anything from a quick guard to a banging post, you should be good from every aspect of this shoe. The low ride, solid, stable base, and stability all work for any part of any game. Maybe, just maybe, look at the Mid if the ankle height makes you feel better, but otherwise the Low has you covered.

For the summer, the And1 Attack Low is a great outdoor option as well, and the white/gum goes from courts to streets as smooth as the And1 Player’s bald head. Keep this coming and we may even get more mixtapes (but I doubt it).

Publicerat klockan 11:04, den 21 juni 2018
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Adidas NMD R1 Performance Reviewed

The adidas NMD  outsole is pretty standard in terms of what adidas shoes usually have. With a thick rubber base, this NMD R1 has great traction, and the patterned designed allows for extra grip. The traction is suited for both wet and dry conditions, but there have been some wearers who have found that the outsole lacks the responsiveness and traction needed for quick movements and turns. For outdoor and indoor runners, the outsole should provide enough grip to support and stabilize your run, but athletes such as basketball players may find that cannot pivot quickly in these shoes. The webbed design of the outsole serves to protect the thick cushioning offered up by the midsole. As there are numerous color options and limited released styles, certain NMD R1's feature a glow in the dark outsole, which is a fun feature for night runners.
 

Midsole

One of the notable additions that was added to the NMD R1 is the boost outsole. Boost cushioning is unique to adidas, and it offers a higher energy return when compared with other midsoles on the market. With each stride the midsole will absorb what you put in, and in turn release that back as your foot takes off again. A unique addition to the NMD R1's midsole is the stability plugs which can be plainly seen from the side of the shoe. While enhancing the appearance and giving a more original look, these plugs also serve to help stabilize the foot and give the wearer a bit of added balance. The stability plug near the rear of the shoe is larger in size and it serves the purpose of helping to stabilize the heel during movement. The two colored blocked plugs are a throwback to the original adidas, a nod to the history that preceded this line.
 

Upper

Besides the Boost cushioned midsole, the second most notable technology put in to these shoes is the Primeknit upper design. Adidas Primeknit technology is created in a way that it feels almost sock like against the foot. With a more snug fit, the Primeknit upper gives you a customized feel while providing ample support and security to the foot. Using absolute precision, the upper is knit using incredibly strong fibers; the ultimate goal being to have a material that is lightweight and breathable while remaining durable. The knit is reinforced in high use areas, such as the toes, to ensure that no degradation or holes occur over time. The stretch allows for enough freedom that the foot can move naturally without feeling restricted. Highly breathable, runners should notice that their feet don't overheat and that there is enough air flow to provide a comfortable and sweat reduced environment.
 

Weight

With the addition of adidas new Primeknit technology, the upper design has a significant affect on the overall weight of the shoe. The Primeknit upper is significantly lighter than other knit materials, contributing to an overall decrease in the shoe's weight. Not only does the upper employ light weight technologies, but the boost midsole has similar properties that allow for it to remain light while still being responsive. The stability plugs and general thickness of the midsole make for a shoe that appears to be heavier, but it is crafted from small sponge like pellets that weigh next to nothing. This use of pelleted sponge decreases weight and allows for this shoe to be great for runners who want to feel like they're wearing nothin at all.
 
Breathability
One of the major benefits that the adidas NMD R1 offers is that the shoe is comfortable in warm weather just as much as cold. The thinness of the upper material allows for high breathability, reducing sweat and overheating in the summer months. In keeping their design different from other brands on the market, adidas primeknit is woven in a way that allows for larger holes to exist in between the fabric. Larger holes means larger airflow, ensuring feet sweat less and moisture is diminished throughout a run or during the day. The lack of an interior tongue also helps with breathability, as there is less padding and material pressed against your foot.

Comfort

One thing that is often remarked on again and again is how comfortable the adidas NMD R1 feels when on. From the extensive cushioning under the foot, so the molded feeling of the upper, this is a shoe that feels comfortable for the majority of wearers who try it on. With each step, this is a shoe that cradles the foot and provides ample support and padding so that shock and pressure is distributed evenly. Regardless of terrain, this shoe handles bumps and smoothness with equal efficiency, and the wearer should find their foot is adequately protected from rocks and debris. The primeknit upper molds snugly to the foot, ensuring a comfortable and customized feel, and the material is soft against the skin. Moving with you, the custom, sock like fit, allows for extensive freedom and feels more natural with every step. One thing wearers have noticed is that the NMD R1 is less comfortable than some of the other models offered by adidas, but it still ranks highly on their list of most comfortable running shoes.
 

Style

To list every color and pack this shoe comes in would take far too long, and it is safe to say that the options available are virtually endless. Regardless of what style is preferred, the adidas NMD R1 offers up an exhaustive list of monochrome choices as well as tri-color packs, two toned styles, and patterned designs. There are limited edition family packs, BAPE mash ups, and other one of a kind styles that won't be found on any other shoe on the market. Because the primeknit upper is so easy to dye, it allows for limitless possibilities when it comes to style. While the camo knit is multicolored and expansive, the knit blacks are majority monochrome, only punctuated by the while midsole and red stability plugs. When it comes to general construction, the shoe features a singular unit with no separated tongue, giving it a sleek appearance. The laces are more or less decorative as the primeknit does enough to secure the shoe to the foot without the need for tightening. The stability plugs are one of the most noticeable features on the shoe, recreating the original 1980's design.
 

Durability

As with any knitted upper, the long term durability is going to be affected and depending on what the shoes are being used for will determine how long the ultimately last. Where as the primeknit is more likely to stand up over time due to the stength of the fibers, intense sport or athletic pursuits will decrease the longevity. With all of that being said, for a knit shoe these are surprisingly durable and the upper has been reinforced so that high use areas don't degrade over time. The major downfall with the upper primeknit is that the material itself is difficult to clean, and some wearers have found that these shoes get dirty very quickly and are unable to be returned to a clean looking condition. While a cleaner or protection spray may help in the short term, it is reasonable to expect these to get dirty and stay dirty after awhile.
 

Protection

The majority of the shoe's protective features come from Boost sole, and little else. There is no caged design, no overlays, and no features that are going to offer up foot protection in a work, snow, or an otherwise difficult environment. This shoe really is for the city explorer, and it is designed to ensure your foot stays comfortable, supported, and cushioned throughout the day. The Boost sole promises that every step you take has superior energy return, allowing you to walk and run with ease. There is some rubber on the toe area for a bit of extra protection, and the primeknit is heated in high use areas to ensure the knit stays tight and bonded. If you want to protect your shoes and keep them long lasting, Crep Protect is going to be one of your best bets for keeping your shoe great over time.
 

Responsiveness

When you see that an adidas shoe has the Boost sole, you should already know that it will be one of the most responsive shoes on the market. With the ability to deliver a higher energy return than other soles available, this shoe is extremely responsive to your every step. If you are a runner, you are going to find that this shoe offers up far more consistency, and it's heat resistant properties mean that mile after mile your shoe will keep it's shape, bounce, and cool feel. For those on their feet all day, the responsive Boost sole reduces foot fatigue, as it makes each stride more smooth and natural. When combined with a knit upper, you have a shoe that feels almost customized on your foot, giving you a great feel for every move you make.
 

Support

Again this category has to go back to Boost in order to really see why this shoe has the amount of support as it does. With a shoe that responds to your foot every time to step, you know that you are getting support to ensure that you remain comfortable all day long. For those who need the additional arch support, this shoe is great and molding to your foot, allowing for added support in the areas you need it most. With the addition of the stability plugs, these shoes are now able to give you more support with your balance, great for overpronators and those who tend to supinate when they run.
 

Terrain

The adidas harden vol 2 is designed to be a city shoe, great for pavement in both wet and dry conditions. It's a fantastic shoe to run or exercise in, and will hold up well regardless of the milage being put on them. While this shoe does have good grip and traction, it is not intended to be used as an off road, trail hiking shoe and it doesn't offer the types of features and protections you would want for those types of activities. If the NMD R1 is the shoe of your dreams, and you want to be able to use it for more rugged experiences, it is worth noting that there is a model called the adidas NMD R1 Trail that is certainly worth a look. NMD stands for urban nomads, and that's precisely who is going to find the NMD R1 ideal; city streets are the place to show off these shoes.
 

Price

adidas has never been considered a cheap brand, and whenever a newer model comes out there is generally a higher price tag associated with it. In terms of price, the adidas NMD R1 is expensive, that's just a fact, but a lot of that comes down to the fact that it features two of adidas newest and best in shoe technologies. The Boost and Primeknit combination is taking the shoe market by storm, and if you want in on this top of the line pairing, you are going to have to pay for it. While the value is certainly there, some people do find that these are still too pricey, and with older models available for less, you can save money by downgrading. The price tag at the moment is highly justified, as these are some of the hottest and most popular shoes adidas has out, and even at full retail value they are selling out quickly from most stores.
 

Traction

With some serious webbing on the underside of this shoe, the traction you will get is going to be great on a variety of different terrains. Wet or dry pavement should make no difference to this shoe, and the grip provided will keep you stable and secure as you run or walk. Depending on which model and colorway you opt for, some of these addias NMD R1's feature a sticky, black sole that will give an added amount of traction especially in more wet conditions. There are also a few colorways that have a diamond shaped tread instead of the web, and some wearers find this design to be more effective overall.
 

Flexibility

These sneakers are incredibly flexible, and that has a lot to do with their upper knit design. Because there is no stiffness in materials used, this shoe is almost sock like in feeling and will conform and bend with your foot as you move. To ensure an enhanced, better, and more breathable fit these shoes have kept a focus on flexibility to ensure that runners, and city walkers, needs are met. Although the snugness of the Primeknit may feel restrictive to some at first, many do notice that the increased flexibility ends up making for a much more comfortable shoe once they adjust to the newness of the material. For those who have owned or worn Primeknit shoes in the past, the NMD R1 will feel like a comfortable and flexible old friend.
 

Stability

One of the big changes that occured from the original adidas NMD to the NMD R1 was the addition of the stability plugs on the sides of the midsole. While many thought this to simply be an aesthetics choice, the real reasoning had to do with adidas wanting to add some extra support, stability, and balance to this already well rounded shoe. For runners and walkers who find that their ankles or feet don't fall and roll naturally, the addition of these stability plugs is meant to enhance your gait so that you tend to have more natural movement. Each time your foot hits the pavement, it is the goal of the plugs to gently roll your foot in to the position it should be in. For this reason, these shoes do have better stability than previous models, but still may not have as much stability as some of the other adidas models that are on the market. While a neat feature, many wearers find that stability plugs add more to the appearance than they do to the actual performance of the shoe.
 

Drop

Although it was difficult to find the exact measurements, many reviewers and wearers noted that there was a distinct heel to toe drop that was noticeable. Although this didn't seem to affect the overall rating of the shoe, some mentioned that this part of the shoe certainly took some getting used to, and so it's important to take that into consideration before purchasing a pair for yourself. For those who are heel strikers, this can be seen as a much added bonus, but midfoot strikers may want to try a pair on before committing to such an expensive purchase.
Publicerat klockan 12:02, den 20 juni 2018
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Q4 Sports Nforcer Performance Review

Today I’m sharing my Q4 Sports Nforcer Performance Review with you all, and spoiler alert: Q4 Sports is one up-and-coming brand that you should keep your eye on.

The traction on each of Q4’s models is simple: herringbone, maybe a pivot point, and an outrigger. No frills, no gimmicks, just a pattern that’s been proven to work and an outsole durable enough to last.

While the adidas nmd NForcer was tested indoors and outdoors, we’re constantly asked what shoe can withstand the blacktop without the outsole grinding down to nothing in a matter of weeks. If you forgot to put an asterisk with the question along with “what *Nike shoe” then you’ll want to keep looking.

Believe it or not, the cushion on the NForcer is the shoe’s standout feature. Yes, new brands can have great cushioning. Just look at Under Armour…early Under Armour, the Micro G days.

Q4 Sports uses a foam that it calls KOMpress for the midsole. It’s a open celled foam in certain areas for rebound and tightly celled foam in others for court feel. The bounce I’ve received from this setup has been awesome. I’d say it’s the brand’s most comfortable tooling setup other than what’s featured on the Millennium Hi model.

I’ve been using the model outdoors since testing them indoors and I am in love with the cushion for the blacktop. The feedback I received from the foam along with its low profile forefoot make for a really fun ride.

Materials on the Q4 Sports NForcer are slightly dated. Like the recent And1 Attack Low, the build of the shoe seems more like something you’d have found on a basketball shoe back in 2008. The toebox does utilize a thin knit at the toe, but its backed with a thin TPU fuse material (as are the overlays).

Luckily, the fuse used is thin enough to make breaking in the shoe a breeze while the material is still able to retain its shape and strength. There are many types of fuse materials that vary between thickness, hardness, resiliency, etc., and Q4 Sports uses a variety of options on each of its models. If I were to compare this fuse material to a shoe I’ve worn in the past then it would have to be the SkinFuse from the NIKE KOBE 1 PROTRO. It’s just about as thin and moves just as well with the foot. The fit isn’t the same as the two models are built on different lasts but the feel and performance of the material is very similar.

While Q4’s models don’t all fit the same, I recommend going true to size if you’re looking at the NForcer. Wide footers might be able to get away with going true to size, but some very widerfooters may want to go up 1/2 size.

Lockdown in the shoe is pretty standard. The Q4 Sports Nforcer fits nicely from the midfoot to the collar and when laced up tight you don’t feel any slippage or dead space. Much like the outsole, there’s nothing fancy to see here — nothing special or extraordinary, just something that works and works well.

Materials are one area where I wasn’t feeling 100%, and support is the other. While the support on the Q4 Sports NForcer relies on its lockdown, fit, and ability to move one-to-one with your foot, it would have been nice to see the support pieces in place be a bit more sturdy.

The heel counter was my main concern. I never felt like I was going to roll over the footbed at any time, but a strong heel counter goes a long way. The Nforcer’s torsional plate could have used a bit more rigidity as well. Although, Q4’s product description reads “T.S.S./26 midfoot shank technology that “moves when you move” for optimal motion and fit” — which it does. When you’re locked into the shoe and onto the footbed you never feel like the midfoot torsion is lacking. It’s noticeable in-hand but not on-foot.

Overall, I really enjoy the Q4 Sports NForcer. I still feel the Millennium Hi is the brand’s most well-rounded performer, but I also think that that will change with the upcoming PE Collection.

When I tested the Q4 495 Lo I had enjoyed the materials and build but felt the tooling and outsole could use an upgrade. I was surprised that the NForcer, a shoe that retails for a $10 less than the 495 Lo, offered a better cushion and traction setup. I thought that it would be awesome to see the two areas of each model combined to make one really solid sneaker and sure enough the brand seems to have been on the same page — and no, I never brought it to Q4’s attention. This was purely coincidence.

Because of this, I’m very excited to play in one of the upcoming 495 Lo PE’s. It should offer the bouncy cushion setup and grip from the NForcer but the smoother feeling knit build of the 495 — in low top form, which is a big plus for me.

I feel Q4 Sports is still very much slept on. The brand is still very new to the market so that isn’t a surprise to me, but I hope that people will be willing to give it a try. Like most shoes that are overlooked because they’re missing a Swoosh/Jumpman emblem, the Q4 Sports NForcer just might surprise you.

However, if you’re truly into performance and the brand really doesn’t matter more than your dollar then look no further. Again, the Yeezy v2 350 was tested indoors, and it works well so long as there isn’t too much dust, but outdoors the rubber bites and it bites hard. Unlike outsoles from plenty of other brands that we test, there are no signs of rubber fraying or wear. For a shoe that retails for just $100, your dollar will go a long way.

Publicerat klockan 12:49, den 14 juni 2018
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adidas Parley Ultra Boost Perforamnce Reviews

I have a love/hate relationship with Adidas trainers.

I LOVE (like have run 6 marathons) in the Ultra Boost and currently have 5 pairs on rotation – the older pairs get given to friends and recycled. However, I haven’t got on too well with their Pure Boost X or Ultra Boost X – these are the trainers they’ve developed specifically for women (click on the links to read my reviews).

I was recently sent the Parley Ultra Boost, and couldn’t wait to test them. I love the concept behind the trainers, utilising marine plastic pollution and recycled material to create the shoes. Each pair’s upper is made from 95% waste plastic dredged from the oceans around the Maldives – recycling 11 plastic bottles, plus the rest of the shoe including lining, laces and the heel is made from recycled material.

The Adidas yeezy collection was made in partnership with Parley for the Oceans, to address the millions of pounds of plastic currently polluting our waters (records suggest that there’s currently 40 million pounds in the North West Pacific alone). There have been five huge vortexes of debris formed, these slow moving whirlpools affecting marine life worldwide, not to mention the rubbish that washes ashore.

Parley are promoting for us to Avoid using plastic bags and products with micro beads, reducing the influx of virgin plastic into the supply chain, Intercept plastic marine debris before it gets into our oceans, and to Redesign our views on eco/recycled material, inventing new methods and mindsets for the future.

The quick review is that these trainers fell somewhere in the middle…

Lets start with the part I love;

  • As mentioned above, I really appreciate that they’re made out of recycled plastic, and that Adidas are helping to bring attention to the plastic problem in our oceans.
  • I’m a massive fan of the Boost technology sole. I think it’s really responsive, very bouncy and perfect for road running, esp for neutral runners.
  • They’re really lightweight, perfect for travelling and for running fast!
  • All Adidas Boost use Continental Rubber on the soles (the same as the tyres), to increase grip and stability on both wet and dry surfaces.
  • They look gorgeous…. come on, gone are the days where all we cared about was function from our running shoes!

I don’t love;

  • How tight the upper is across my foot. I never know whether to wear socks with these style of knit shoes, but as someone with quite wide feet, I find the shoes very tight and a little uncomfortable for runs over 30 mins. I go up a full size in Adidas shoes, so wear a 6.5 in these and they’re still a little snug.
  • The back comes up quite high – above ankle socks – and rubbed my ankles to the point of bleeding (major sad face). I found this a major problem with the Pure Boost X – perhaps it’s more to do with my foot shape and running style than the design? Apparently it’s been designed to keep the heel in place and reduce wobble and lifting out of the shoe while you run.

Have you ever tried Adidas NMD Boost ? Love them? Hate them?

Publicerat klockan 12:08, den 8 juni 2018
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Nike Kyrie 4 vs. Flytrap head-to-head performance review.

Affordable entries to Nike Basketball’s signature lines have a track record of not just being great values, but great sneakers, period. Devoid of frivolous gimmicks and not-quite-ready-for-basketball tech features, sneakers like the KD 2, Kyrie 1, and PG 1 put all of their resources where they mattered most: performance.

Those aforementioned examples utilized tried and true tech and combined it with “best practices” design elements to create sneakers that just worked. They may not have broken much ground, but they represented the full realization of past innovations.

Thanks to that history, last October’s announcement of an even more affordable addition to Kyrie Irving’s signature line was welcomed with open arms. It offered the potential to not only make the line more accessible to Irving’s fanbase, but offer another viable performance option for players who prefer no-frills models on court.

Based on my cushioning preferences and its unique fit system, the $80 Nike Kyrie Flytrap looks like an even more attractive sneaker than the $120 Nike Kyrie on paper. But how do those features translate to performance?.

Hover over the dots below for a head-to-head breakdown of the two models, and an analysis of which one does it better.

Nike Kyrie 4 vs. Nike Kyrie Flytrap - Fit

Advantage: Nike Kyrie 4
It may not be fancy, but the Kyrie 4’s half-bootie construction allows for a glove-like fit thanks to its sculpted shape and traditional eyestay construction. When fully tightened, the upper fully engages and hugs the foot, offering a reassuring fit that inspires confidence through cuts. Unfortunately, my first time lacing the shoe up resulted in a ripped eyelet. To the shoe’s credit though, the reinforced backing prevented the rip from tearing completely though, and it caused no further issues.

The concept behind the Flytrap’s closure system is a solid one, but the execution falls flat thanks to a sloppy overall shape and sub-par materials. I typically only play in a single pair of socks, but had to double up in order to fill some of the excess space that couldn’t be tightened out of the shoe when fully laced. Going down a half size may help alleviate some of the extra room, but it is more of a volume issue than length.

Nike Kyrie 4 vs. Nike Kyrie Flytrap - Ankle Support

Advantage: Nike Kyrie 4
The Kyrie 4 and Flytrap have different cuts, but both rely on the collar padding to provide heel lockdown. In theory, they should match up well based on utilizing the same philosophy on ankle support, but the corners cut on materials in the Flytrap give a clear advantage to the more expensive Kyrie 4. The padding, while shaped properly, is just not dense enough to actually engage and fully stabilize the heel. The Flytrap’s ankle support isn’t necessarily bad, just not as comfortable or confidence-inspiring as the 4.

Nike Kyrie 4 vs. Nike Kyrie Flytrap - Cushioning

Advantage: Nike Kyrie 4
My favorite cushioning configuration from Nike is Zoom Air in the forefoot and and foam in the heel because I find it provides a perfect combination of responsiveness and impact protection where each is most needed. That should have boded well for the Flytrap, but not all Zoom Air is created equal. The bag found here is comically small—roughly the size and shape of a quarter—and about as effective. It’s placed directly under the ball of the big toe, which is fine, but it’s so low volume that it offers nothing in terms of response. Even the shoe’s insole is of the cheapest persuasion possible; there’s not as much as a Nike logo screen printed on the wafer-thin unit.

Meanwhile, the Kyrie 4 improved greatly in the comfort department over the nike Kyrie 3, despite using the same configuration of heel Zoom and forefoot foam. I found the 3’s ride to be downright harsh, but the addition of a Cushlon midsole turned the cushioning into one of the high points of the 4. It’s not as protective as a shoe like the LeBron 15 with its massive Zoom Max hybrid units, but for players who want more court feel, it’s an excellent compromise.

Nike Kyrie 4 vs. Nike Kyrie Flytrap - Traction

Advantage: Nike Kyrie 4
Traction is the one area where the Kyrie 4 and Flytrap share the most similarities, and it’s a positive point for both shoes. But despite using a very similar traction pattern, the Kyrie 4 edges out the Flytrap thanks to its level of refinement. The large zig-zag groove that runs up the middle of the sole enhances its radiused shape and offers a sticky surface regardless of the angle from which it engages. It also has the additional benefit of creating a smoother transition. That same groove is implied on the Flytrap, but doesn’t offer the full benefits of the effectively decoupled design of the 4.

Nike Kyrie 4 vs. Nike Kyrie Flytrap - Conclusion
Image via Nike
Advantage: Nike Kyrie 4
The Nike Kyrie 4 tops the Flytrap in almost every measurable category, including value. “Affordable” doesn’t always equate with “good value”—sometimes, like in the case of the Kyrie Flytrap, it mostly means “cheap.”

It’s commendable for Nike to offer such a budget-conscious option for Irving’s fans, but it’s just not one I can recommend from a performance standpoint. There’s simply not enough support and protection other than for the smallest and lightest of players. Furthermore, excellent performers like the PG1 have been regularly available on sale for even less than the Flytrap’s $80 retail price, rendering it’s primary selling point moot.

But the Kyrie 4 doesn’t just win this head-to-head matchup because the Flytrap is so bad. The Flytrap feels so cheap that it doesn’t even feel like it was made by Nike—but the Kyrie 4 is good in its own right. While not spectacular at any one thing, it’s a well-rounded sneaker that does pretty much everything one could ask for in a performance model, at a price point that’s still relatively affordable in context of the signature sneaker world. And it feels downright premium in direct comparison.

Publicerat klockan 10:28, den 18 maj 2018
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Better Air Jordan 3: “True Blue” or “Seoul”

Jordan Brand is currently celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the Air Jordan 3 in 2018. For the occasion, there has been a few OG and new colorways that have debuted.

One OG pair that didn’t arrive during its celebration is the “True Blue” colorway, which was last released back in 2016. The remastered version came with “Nike Air” logos on the heels.

Technically, the 2016 Nike Air Jordan 3 will be the second time we see them release, the first of course being in 1988. We saw the True Blue 3 retro for the first time in 2001 which came with the Jumpman branding. We once again saw this pair release in 2011 when the brand celebrated the 23rd anniversary of the shoes. They still came with Jumpman branding, but did have the original style box.

For 2016, the brand will return the True Blue Jordan 3 just like the originals. Featuring tumbled and smooth leather through the uppers, while Blue runs through the mudguard, Nike Air branding on the heel, eyelets and liner. The elephant print is expected to return just like in 1988, which will wrap the heel, toe box and hinted on the uppers. The last details are a White midsole and Grey outsole.

Released in very limited quantities and only available in South Korea, the “Seoul” Air Jordan 3 was one of the newer colorway that arrived in 2018. This special edition release celebrates two sports milestones that took place in 1988: the NBA Slam Dunk contest won by Michael Jordan after taking flight from the free throw line, and the Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea.

The Air Jordan 3 Seoul isThe Taegukgi (Korean flag) inspires the shoe’s overall color scheme, with the “taeguk” symbol expressed through the lining and collar’s blue and red and the white upper representing peace and purity (as it does on the flag). 서울 (Seoul) is featured on the left inner tongue, while the 1988 summer games motto 화합과 전진 (Harmony and Progress) is featured on the right inner tongue. The heel reads “Nike Air” in a clear nod to the original Air Jordan 3.

While majority of us weren’t able to get our hands on the “Seoul” Air Jordan 3, if you did have the option of picking one of these to buy for retail, which would it be?

Publicerat klockan 12:04, den 16 maj 2018
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Jordan Fly Lockdown Performance Review

Jordan Brand has had a killer season for performance, but a new silhouette has dropped with hardly any warning or hype. So how does the Jordan Fly Lockdown stack up against the rest of the lineup? Here we go…

Circles and herringbone, two patterns that Jordan Brand has proven to work in the past, are both featured on the sole of the Jordan Fly Lockdown. The forefoot has the large concentric circles for traction under the middle of the forefoot, and it works. However, breaking up the circles is a thick, wide-spaced herringbone pattern that leads to the medial side, where a player would toe off and need that extra bite. The circles come back in under the heel with the herringbone covering the midfoot.

The magic of this pattern is the spacing. Looking like the Death Star tunnels — with gaps and spaces placed throughout the sole — the treads are wide and deep and brush dirt away and out. I think I wiped twice during play for the entire length of this review. Not twice a game, or twice a night, but twice, period. It works.

One little detail: it doesn’t bite the floor in that loud, screeching stop like the Kobe 9 or Rose 7. It’s a smooth, quiet stop, but it is a serious stop.

Outdoors? This is a two-part answer; the tread pattern is deep and wide, so there is lots of rubber to burn through. However, you will burn through it because it is a softer rubber than Nike’s XDR soles. Honestly, if the court isn’t extremely rough, you should be good for a summer of play.
While Zoom Air and injected Phylon have been around before most of you were born, this setup would seem to be outdated. When done right, however, there are very few systems better for basketball. The Jordan Fly Lockdown is extremely close to getting it right, and if I was a lighter high-flyer these would have been perfect.

The forefoot Zoom feels bottom-loaded so the initial response isn’t felt, but when playing the forefoot feels low and quick with no impact problems at all. Coupled with the great forefoot traction the Fly Lockdown is one of the quickest-feeling shoes I have played in recently.

The midfoot and heel are just Phylon, but whatever Nike has decided to do with its normal budget foam lately, thank you! When Phylon first appeared it was a softer carrier (or in some budget cases, the whole midsole), and it felt great underfoot. Over the past couple of years, Phylon became stiff and unforgiving and basically sucked @$$. This season, the real Phylon has made a reappearance (along with Cushlon on the Kyrie 4) and the feel is outstanding.

My only complaint — and again, I weigh in at 200 lbs on a 5′ 10″ frame — is that the Phylon is too soft. I could feel the Phylon compress and rebound, which made the heel-to-toe transition seem a little slow. If you are a quicker guard/forward who is light on your feet, this won’t be an issue at all and the Jordan Fly Lockdown should feel great on-court.

First of all, some sites say that the Jordan Fly Lockdown features a “mixed-media upper of leather, synthetics, and textile.” Leather shouldn’t even be mentioned because it is only on the top of the tongue — not exactly a piece for performance. What we do get with the textile is a form-fitting upper that flexes in all the right ways but holds solid where it needs to.

The material is not exactly a woven like the Jordan 32’s Flyknit or even the Jordan 29, but more like the Jordan 15 — wide bands of fabric woven over and under so one strand will pull against the other, providing lateral stability when playing but allowing the toebox to flex freely while running. I know, it’s an evolution of the Jordan 19 lace cover concept. I never understood how an independent lace cover was supposed to provide containment, but the Jordan Fly Lockdown does. Fuse is found on the high-wear areas of the toebox, and the midfoot laces almost mimic the Jordan III look with rubber lace holes. Otherwise, all textile, all the time.

By using a full textile upper, the Jordan Fly Lockdown provides great — you guessed it — lockdown. When first stepping into the shoe you will notice the forefoot is cut narrow but it isn’t restrictive (thank you again textile upper).

The lacing system is both traditional and internal, but it’s straight-forward; it allows the shoe to be pulled easily around the foot. The heel has a thick area of padding just around the ankle area, and coupled with the padded tongue, it takes up any dead space in the area for complete…yeah, lockdown. There is seriously no movement inside the shoe when laced tight, although I did get a little lace pressure at the next-to-top lace hole where it switches from the runner eyelets back to one internal loop. No numbness, but you may have to loosen slightly to prevent irritation.

As for length and sizing, definitely stay true-to-size unless you are super-wide. I am a little wider but not enough to switch from a normal D, and the Jordan Fly Lockdown fit me perfectly. I had about a thumbs-width in the length of the toebox (which is normal for me), so if you want that serious 1:1 fit, you could go a half size down.

For a textile upper and a lower cut, the support isn’t bad. The base is wide and solid, with a forefoot outrigger and one of the strangest midsole formations you will see anywhere. While the outrigger is on the smaller side, it works perfectly to keep you from rolling over on hard slides and cuts.

The midfoot rollbar is where it is at though. We have seen companies try constructs like this before, but Jordan Brand has taken it to an aesthetic next level by incorporating a side-bumper into the overall upper design. While I never felt the tool being used when playing, the idea works (I am talking about the grey bridge running along the midfoot; when the shoe rolls over laterally it should stop the extreme rolls that lead to ankle injuries).

The heel design of the Jordan Fly Lockdown is also serious, with the midsole rising up and forming the heel counter and an extended heel clip. Your foot sits down around MJ’s waist so there is plenty of stiffness to hold you down and in. This also helps on lateral stability if you happen to land back on your heels and — especially for me, feeling the midsole was too soft in the heel — not roll over on bad landings.

The ankle area is, again, completely locked in with the lacing and internal padding. The cool heel loop, that looks like the one used on the Off-White x Converse , is just that — cool, but with no real purpose.

Jordan Brand was started with performance in mind — specifically, for the greatest basketball player who ever lived. The 2017-2018 season has been a complete return to that ethos. The Jordan Fly Lockdown is, for pricing purposes, a budget Jordan model that performs like a signature shoe (which, if rumors are true, is exactly what the shoe was in the first place).

If you need a quick, stable, low-riding foot rocket look no further than Jordan Fly Lockdown. If you need a solid cushioning base or a little more lateral containment in the forefoot, or if you are a bigger post player looking for ankle coverage, the Fly Lockdown may not be for you (but the Jordan Why Not Zer0.1 may be). This is the year Jordan Brand has offered great performance for every player, and the Jordan Fly Lockdown only strengthens the lineup. It’s a good year to be a Jumpman fan.

Publicerat klockan 10:16, den 15 maj 2018
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Why the Remastered “Chicago” Jordan 1 is a Must-Have

It would not be hyperbolic—or, you know, wrong—to say that the Air Jordan 1 Chicago was the shoe that changed everything. In fact, if anything, that’s not saying enough. It would be more fair to say that the Air Jordan 1 started everything. It didn’t make Michael Jordan—he did that by himself—but it was there at the start as he, the Chicago Bulls, and Nike became juggernauts. The Air Jordan 1 wasn’t the first basketball sneaker, not by a long shot, but it was the first basketball sneaker that transcended basketball while it was still new. Designed in Portland, Ore. and worn in Chicago, it became a nationwide phenomenon before conquering the world.Let’s get more specific: This is about the red/black/white Air Jordan 1—the one that wasn’t banned. The black and red pair had its Letterman moment, but the red/black/white pair was the version Michael Jordan wore most often, from November ’84 in his rookie year, to April of ’86, when no less than Larry Bird called him “God disguised as Michael Jordan.”

Publicerat klockan 05:01, den 14 maj 2018
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Air Jordan 32 Low REVIEW: A Comprehensive Comparison to the Mid

I always want to test out and review as many shoes as I can since every single player likes different types of shoes. Some like lows, some prefer the mids or even the highs. Today, we got a low top version of the Air Jordan 32 to the test. This will be a quick review detailing all the differences from the Mid, which I already made a review on.

I’ll talk about the shoe’s tech specs, the fit, performance, the upper and decide if it’s worth the price. By then, you’ll be able to decide which version you like more. Let’s start the Air Jordan 32 Low review!

THE TECH

ZOOM AIR & FLIGHTSPEED

The same cushion setup is present – ZOOM AIR units in the heel and forefoot areas, along with the torsional FlightSpeed plate that smoothens out step transitions, provides stability and properly activates the ZOOM units for maximum energy return.

FLYKNIT

We also have the same Flyknit upper construction. If you read the Mid review, you know it – this is as close to 100% pure Flyknit as it gets. It’s awesome.

FIT

SAME THING PLUS ROOM FOR THE ANKLE

So the fit experience is overall very similar to the Mid simply because all the tech, materials and construction is identical. The only difference is the absence of the relatively high ankle collar.

The shoe fits great after a break-in period. It’s comfortable, soft on the inside, has proper lockdown and I experienced zero major issues (no dead space, slipping etc.). Go true to size whether you’re a narrow, regular or wide footer. The Flyknit will gladly mold to your foot shape in time.

The key difference from the Mid was how much more free my ankle was (duh). The shoe doesn’t really weigh less without the collar but it does feel that way just a tad bit. If you want more mobility and speed with the cost of no ankle protection, go with the Low.

PERFORMANCE

CUSHION

There’s no reason to talk about the cushion setup since it’s excatly the same. Balanced, versatile, more on the responsive side, some impact protection. These would be the ke phrases to describe the Jordan 32’s cushioning.

TRACTION

Once again, the same outsole = same traction. Fantastic grip but pretty sensitive to dust and not really durable enough for proper outdoor play. Not that you’d want to spend $160 for an outdoor beater.

SUPPORT

This is where I felt the biggest difference from the mid top.  I felt that the Mid was relatively restricting and bulky. That doesn’t take away the fact that the shoe does support you and lock you in nicely. If you prefer a bit more mobility and comfort though, I think the Low does that better.

You will lose the potential ankle protection and extra lockdown in the upper foot area but it’s not really a drastic loss. I’ve played in shoes that basically have useless ankle collars and while this may not be one of them – it’s not on the opposite side either.

UPPER

IDENTICAL – STILL PREMIUM

The same Flyknit at the front and synthetic leather at back combo is back and it’s still awesome. From the Air Jordan XXX1 to this one, this upper just works. Legit pure Flyknit at the front makes for one hell of an experience in terms of softness, comfort, mobility and lightness.

The back where the leather sits also does a nice job of locking in the heel, securing and supporting.

Overall, an excellent material combo that kills it performance-wise..

PRICE VS. QUALITY

THE SAME SHOE FOR CHEAPER

Comparing to the $185 Mid’s, this is fantastic deal for $160. Yeah, it’s still expensive these days but you pretty much get the same shoe with a 5% difference for $15 less.

You won’t lose much by taking the Low’s, so if you’re targetting the AJ 32, getting the low top option is definitely a good idea in my opinion

OVERALL

BEST FOR ANY MEDIUM-HEAVY PLAYER

The Air Jordan 32, mid or low, are great shoes that do what they’re supposed to do. They are comfortable, provide good traction, solid cushioning, confident support and a fantastic upper. The price is high comparing to recent budget models that are really good. But if you’re willing to pay for it, $160 AJ 32 Low is pretty damn worth it.

Okay, that’s it for the review! I hope you found it useful!

Publicerat klockan 11:09, den 11 maj 2018
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Jordan CP3 11 Performance Reviews

Chris Paul (with the help of James Harden) has lead the Houston Rockets to the Western Conference Finals. That means it’s about time to find out if Paul’s eleventh signature shoe, the CP3 11, is any good.

Nothing puts a level of expectation on an outsole quite like herringbone. Luckily, the outsole on the CP3 11 didn’t disappoint. Coverage is abundant and simple — two things that tend to make for good traction.

It isn’t quite as aggressive as something like the CP3.VI’s herringbone, a standard for Chris Paul’s signatures, but it works nearly as well (the CP3.VI had a bit more bite on the hardwood). The CP3 11 holds tight on a clean floor, as expected, and with only a slight delay on dustier settings. Even if the floor was really dusty, any slips would be caught with plenty of backup herringbone to spare.

One minor complaint would be that the pattern could’ve benefited from being a bit more spaced apart, as dust clumps catch quickly to the current compact design. However, a quick wipe and I was back on my way.

The rubber is soft but will grip outdoor courts, although there’s also plenty of surface space for the blacktop to burn through. If you choose to make this your primary outdoor performer then you should get some decent amount of playing time in them before needing to consider a replacement pair.

For cushioning in the CP3 11, heel and forefoot Zoom Air are laid directly into a semi-firm Phylon midsole.

The midsole itself is on the dense side, but it still has a bit of bounce to it. Couple that with the forefoot’s standard-sized Zoom unit (think Air Jordan 13) along with a moderately-sized Hex Zoom unit in the heel and you’ve got a pretty sweet ride.

It’s low enough to be considered a quicker ride, but thick enough to provide some cushion. It might not be as fast as some slightly lower-sitting models like the Why Not Zer0.1 or Kobe 1 Protro, but it’s faster than models featuring beefier cushion.

Due to the extra firmness and thickness (even though the thickness isn’t more than 1mm) in comparison to the two previous models I mentioned, I had a lot of foot fatigue during the first few nights. The feeling does go away the longer you wear the CP3 11 but it’s still something I needed to get used to. Maybe some flex grooves would’ve helped, but that’s just a guess.

Either way, the Jordan CP3 11 offers plenty of cushion and court feel for most guards. Larger wings and forwards that are nimble should find these to be very well suited for what they’d want/need in terms of cushion without sacrificing any support because the build isn’t lightweight or minimal.

That brings me to the materials. This colorway features synthetic leather on the heel and toe while the main body is comprised of a textile mesh. The mesh was awesome, as anticipated, but the synthetic leather was stiff and slow until broken in.

Having the forefoot be as stiff as it was likely added to the foot fatigue I was feeling from the midsole. Not all CP3 11 colorways feature the synthetic leather toe so if you can avoid it I would. Unless you like some stiffness in your shoe — yes, some players prefer a stiffer ride, and some feel it’s more supportive than the lighter knit and mesh models. I don’t mind having to break in an upper, but when I do, I prefer the end result to be a custom feeling build — which this type of synthetic leather just does not offer.

The CP3 11 fit true to size. However, the shoe can break in enough for those with a slightly wider foot, but those with really wide feet should try the shoe on. I still haven’t seen this model in a store but my local retailers aren’t the end all be all of inventory so it might be different where you’re located. If you can, try the CP3 11 on and see if it feels like something you’d enjoy running in.

The lockdown was solid. Dynamic lacing hasn’t been promoted as it used to be, but it’s in place on the CP3 11. When you lace them up you can feel each nylon thread cinch right around your midfoot as it grabs hold, without feeling like your foot is being choked. The heel sculpt was also comfortable and functional. No heel slip at all, and the shoes never felt like they were digging into my Achilles.

Support in the CP3 11 is adequate — nothing to write a novel over, but it’s simple and effective. An internal torsional shank is in place and works the way we have come to expect. It would have been nice had the shoe offered an external TPU shank; not for performance purposes, but I think that’d give the CP3 11 a slight pop with its otherwise plain aesthetic.

An internal heel counter is in place and works well with the overall fit. Meanwhile, the base is fairy flat which offers a ood level of stability. I’d love to have seen a wider design to the tooling to allow for an outrigger, but there was never an issue in lateral stability at the forefoot.

The base of the strap’s design doesn’t allow for much compression in that section so it could essentially take on the role of the outrigger without actually needing it there. Whether that was the intent is something I’m not sure about, but it makes sense in my mind.

The Jordan CP3 11 is definitely a step in the right direction when compared to the CP3.X (10) and CP3.IX (9). The cushion, comfort, and traction have all been upgraded. Although I’d prefer the Flyweave build of the CP3.X over what we received on this colorway of the CP3 11, I’d take traction and cushion over the materials any day of the week.

If you don’t mind some break-in time then the CP3 11 might be the shoe for you, depending on your needs. It’s very well-rounded so I don’t see many players not liking the shoe. The CP3 11 doesn’t quite make it into my “rotation” — which doesn’t really exist since I’m constantly testing new shoes — but that’s because I personally find the Kobe 1 Protro and Jordan Why Not Zer0.1 to be a bit better in both of the key areas I pointed out above (traction and cushion).

Finding yourself with a pair of Chris Paul’s signature shoes isn’t a bummer this year. If your feet end up in a pair, share your experience with us in the comments below.

Publicerat klockan 11:30, den 10 maj 2018
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Nike LeBron 15 Low Performance Review

For years, the LeBron signature line lowtop model has released and immediately been looked over as a performance let-down — and for the most part, they were. However, the LeBron 15 Low has arrived, and for once, it just may be better than the original. Let’s ride…

The LeBron 15 Low uses the same cleat-like turf-gripping pattern that worked great going forward and back on the LeBron 15, with one minor change: the pattern is turned about 30-degrees, and that makes all the difference between a serviceable pattern and a really good pattern.

The LeBron 15 Low has good grip running and stopping going forward, but there is now noticeable stopping power while playing laterally. While trying to stay in front of my man on defense (gets harder every game) I had no issues with any slipping out or pushing off to change direction unless the court had hairballs and dust bunnies all over it — which is not uncommon at the three 24-Hour Fitness courts I play at. It’s amazing that this change in performance wasn’t noticed when developing the regular LeBron 15 but thankfully Nike got it right on the Low.

As for outdoor use, it’s possible. The rubber is thick and is a little harder in durometer than most on the market, but it is still softer than most outdoor-specific shoes you may be used to. The points and peaks will probably wear off and lose all bite within a few wears, but overall, the LeBron 15 Low may work fine for a few months.

While the LeBron 15 relied on the serious bounce and response of articulated Max Zoom, the LeBron 15 Low uses a 180-degree heel Curry 5 unit and an oval forefoot Zoom Air unit. The first thing that I noticed was a lower ride, which, as a guard who relies on whatever lateral quickness is left in the tank, was a welcome sight.

The high top was definitely springier and had better impact protection overall, but the LeBron 15 Low is nothing to laugh at. The forefoot Zoom is responsive and quick, as well as a feature that seems like a problem at first: the curved outsole. The Zoom unit is set behind the curve, which means that as you land the impact and response come at you first, then the foot rolls into the next step smoothly and toe-off feels natural. Some of the oval Zoom setups can feel stiff and slappy, but not the LeBron 15 Low.

The heel Air Max could have easily been the same Max Zoom as the high, and honestly, it should have been. There were a couple of times, when planting for jumpers or stopping on drives to change direction, that the heel unit rolled over on me. Instability on heel landings is a common problem when cushioning is too soft.

In one instance, I had a one-on-three break (no one ran with me) so I planted on the right wing to square up for a 3-point jumper. As I planted the outside (right) foot to square, the Air unit rolled and I didn’t get a clean jump, missing the shot. If I was a purely forefoot player this wouldn’t be an issue, but I’m not, so it was.

The materials used on the LeBron 15 Low are the same as what’s used on the high — Battleknit across the upper with Flywire lacing and a stretch knit collar. The knit is soft in all the right spots (around the tongue area, the midfoot) and stronger and tighter in the high stress areas around the forefoot and heel. There is a liner in those areas as well, so the true knit feeling isn’t there, but for an athlete like LeBron (or any heavy-footed or bigger player) the backing is necessary.

The ankle and tongue tabs are still a nice synthetic leather (some colors may use real leather) and add a touch of luxury to a ball shoe. The Flywire does actually work and you can feel it pull the upper around the foot. Honestly, that’s about it — the shoe has a simple construction and a good look.

The fit on the high was debatable — I have a pair in both my true size 10.5 and a half down to a 10. The 10 is definitely more form-fitting, but the 10.5 doesn’t kill me with extra space either. On the LeBron 15 Low it’s the same; I went with my true 10.5 but felt like a 10 would work also. Again, the room in the 10.5 isn’t an issue when playing, but you feel more of the knit-stretch and the hug of the shoe in the smaller size.

The LeBron 15 Low does a fantastic job with heel lockdown, something lows have had an issue with for years. The knit collar, internal counter, and heel padding allow no movement — especially when laced tight for playing. The Flywire pulls the foot back into the heel and the high heel tab, with thick padding, locks it down.

The lacing system is actually the same one used in the high top, which shows the high was really a LeBron 15 Low in disguise (we all knew that though, right?). As for wide footers, most should be fine. I am slightly-wide but not enough to size up in most shoes. The LeBron 15 Low allows a little stretch around the foot but if you are extremely wide you may need a half up or to try these on.

On the high top version lateral stability was a little…off. Most knew it was due to the high-riding midsole with an uncaged cushioning system (no stiffer foam surrounding the softer padding). The solution in most of the public’s eyes was to add an outrigger. Guess what? The LeBron 15 Low has an outrigger — and it is better.

More than the outrigger, though, the midsole foam provides a stiffer, lower ride, which naturally leads to a more controlled system. Don’t get me wrong — the outrigger helps, but the foam is the bigger plus. This would normally mean the cushioning is sacrificed, but as we covered above, the forefoot Zoom still provides responsive bounce and a smooth ride.

The heel area is hoop jordan and if any cushion can be considered unstable, this is it. To put Air Max on a knitted low makes the ride questionable to start. Fortunately, the heel lockdown is better than the previous LeBron lows that used the Max heel, so even though the unit is soft on the edges, the heel lockdown takes away most of the insecurity while playing.

Even so, there were times I would come off a screen and feel my foot roll over the Max unit — not to the point of injury, but enough that I either had to gather and then jump or I didn’t get fully squared around on my jump, missing the shot. Driving the lane was also fine going straight in, but if a hard plant laterally led into a jump, a roll could be felt — but not every time. It was frustrating because if it happened every time the LeBron 15 Low would be easy to throw in the closet. Most of the time, it’s great, so the shoe is fun to wear. Then, you feel it, and want to give up.

The LeBron 15 Low is such an improvement over the past years’ lowtop models that it really isn’t fair to compare them. The last five years have felt like the low was just to say there was one — and so you could have an LBJ logo on your summer shoe.

The LeBron 15 Low feels like a game shoe, an actual design for playing that is close to the normal shoe but just different enough to warrant a new release. The shoe feels more guard-oriented, with a lower ride and stiffer cushioning for a fast game — especially with the curved forefoot and the transition it provides. If you are a lighter player that never bought LeBron’s because of the boot-like fit and feel, here you go. Even for heavier players that didn’t like the higher midsole, the LeBron 15 Low is a find.

The first three models of the LeBron line had lows that were completely playable and looked promising for summers, but with the rise of the LeBron Soldier line the performance of the lows went by the wayside. With the LeBron 15 Low performance returns — and the summer may be a little hotter, at least on-foot.

Publicerat klockan 09:53, den 9 maj 2018
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Better Air Jordan 13 : “He Got Game” OR “Bred”

Two original releases of the Air Jordan 13, which are considered two of the fan favorites, are the “He Got Game” and “Bred” colorways.

Dressed in a White, Black and Red color scheme that received its nickname “He Got Game” thanks to its appearance in Spike Lee’s classic basketball film. It’s safe to say that no Air Jordan Collection is completed without this colorway.This Air Jordan 13 He Got Game will feature the original color scheme of White, Black and True Red. Utilizing White tumbled leather across the uppers while Black covers the toe box and suede detailing on the midsole. Completing the look is True Red which lands on the Jumpman logo and outsole.

The “Bred” version is one of the original Air Jordan 13 colorways that was worn by Michael Jordan in the 1998 Playoffs along with the other Black-based colorway dubbed, “Playoffs.”,The last time we saw the Black and Red Air Jordan 13 Bred released was in 2013, however many were disappointed as it didn’t feature the traditional 3M reflective detailing across the uppers. For 2017, Jordan Brand will correct their wrongs.

 It’s defiantly a hard choice to pick one or the other, but if you had to choose, which is the better Air Jordan 13? Cast your vote below and leave your reasoning on why in the comments section.

It also should be noted that Jordan Brand is bridging back the Air Jordan 13 He Got Game this August 2018.

Publicerat klockan 11:09, den 8 maj 2018
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Under Armour Curry 5 Performance Review

Reviewing shoes is a strange thing, and if you read Nightwing’s review of the Under Armour Curry 5 yesterday, you probably know where this is going.

If you stopped and counted how many basketball shoes are released each year, by all performance brands, it has to be near or over 100. Out of all of those, we review 35-45, maybe more. Not all of those can be good, but we try to review them all — the good, the bad, and the ugly. And while we do try and find the good points of every shoe, sometimes it means we are putting lipstick on a pig. No matter how you try to make it pretty, it’s still swine.

I have been doing this for almost 10 years, and some bad shoes that come to mind are the Hops (credit if you were around for that one), Nike Kobe 7, Under Armour Micro G Charge BB, Air Jordan Super.Fly 5 PO, an adidas team shoe (pre-Boost), the Peak DH3, and various runners and trainers.

Sometimes we get slammed for bias when we don’t like or enjoy a shoe, but for the most part you, our readers and watchers, know us and understand where we are coming from. Like Chris (Nightwing) said, it gets to a point where some shoes are just not fun, or actually feel dangerous, and we just want to have fun playing basketball.

We all here at hoop jordan have had shoes that feel like work when reviewing and those shoes generally get bad scores. We are like you guys — we just want to play basketball and have fun while wearing some sick kicks doing it. Our only mission is to help you all decide which kicks to drop your dough on, and which not to.

Here’s my Under Armour Curry 5 Performance Review. Enjoy.

While the pattern looks interesting, and it should work, it just doesn’t — at least on the courts I played on. I tried out three different 24 Hour Fitness courts that range from decently swept to down-right nasty, and afterwards the floors were all clean. Why? The Curry 5 picked up every bit of dust and took it home. Even the black rubber grabbed and held on worse than the translucent did.

Wiping was necessary on almost every dead ball or stoppage and most times even more, as I found myself sliding after a couple of trips up and down the floor. Trying to stay in front of an opponent on defense and trying to V-cut backdoor was very difficult as the shoe just didn’t feel like it wanted to keep up. Even when wiped clean there was little in the way of stopping power, and when it did stop the upper didn’t feel like how my foot was held, but more on that shortly.

Outdoors? You may be okay for a while because the rubber does seem a little harder than most translucent rubber out there, and the pattern is a little deeper.

Cushioning was the same as the Curry 4: a proprietary foam that feels like dense EVA, so no real feel of impact protection or energy feedback. However, for the short time I wore these I never felt any excessive drain or pain in my joints.

The Curry 5 does feel a little softer, especially on initial step in, due to the blue OrthoLite sockliner and the fact that the heel foam is a little softer, but not much. Again, it rides super low, is stable on takeoffs and landings, and although it doesn’t have the compression and return of other foams (HOVR!), it never caused any pain. That was later.

The return of Anafoam! Yeah, that’s what surrounds the forefoot and the heel cage, and it feels great in hand. Anafoam’s main property is forming to the foot as the material heats up so it can flex with you. It’s also more durable than a full-on knit while providing a lot of the same feel — perfect for flexible support on a shoe that needs to be fast and light.

The inner sock is knit and elastic, making the Curry 5 comfortable on-foot and providing needed ventilation outside of the Anafoam. The inner sleeve is really a compression sock that forms up and fits right on the foot. Not much else to talk about except the TPU midfoot shank that raises the arch completely away from the floor and holds tight.

Well, here it goes. Out of the box, on initial try-on, the fit was fantastic. Great. Stupendous. It felt good. The toes had very little space but didn’t feel cramped. The midfoot was locked in and tight. The heel, well, the heel slipped up and down and side to side, but for the try-on I wasn’t laced in game-tightness and the Anafoam was new, so that would get better after a couple of casual wears and some gym time.

It didn’t. The main issue with the fit of the Curry 5 is the lacing system. The nylon internal lace straps are fitted under the arch and over the instep into the lacing area as well as from the midsole up on the lateral side. The lace straps are unlined — they sit just outside of the thin, knitted internal bootie and it is not a good feeling.

I lace my shoes tight so I have no heel slip, if possible. Lacing the Curry 5 as tight as I needed caused the lace loops to cut directly into my arch, and while I didn’t end up with the kind of blisters NW did, the Curry 5 was still unbearable to play in.

But why did I have to lace them that tight? Because heel slip was a monster no matter how tight I laced. The Anafoam is too soft in the heel to be a proper heel counter that holds the heel in pace. It isn’t molded or fitted, and instead lets the inner sleeve provide support — that material is not durable or strong enough to hold the foot in. The Anafoam is a wider cup that is just… there.

Then we have the lacing system. The laces run over the top of the foot, like a normal shoe would, but there is no front-to-back angle. The last lace hole runs over the top of the foot so when the shoe is laced game-tight it pulls the foot down into the midsole instead of back into the heel. Laced up game-tight, I could take the shoe off without untying. That, my friends, is not a good sign.

Length-wise and overall size is definitely true, which makes the situation even more frustrating.

The midfoot is completely, almost overly, supported by the TPU shank under the arch. It is raised from the floor almost an inch and is solid and stable. The Anafoam does an extremely good job of keeping the forefoot over the footbed on lateral movements, so no issues with sliding out while playing. The midsole foam is stiff and stable and won’t compress under most weights while landing.

I would say the midfoot is locked in for support but having to lace so tight causes too much pain and loosening makes the heel slip terrible. The heel is not locked, has too much slip, and honestly felt a bit dangerous to me while playing. When the traction continually slides out and the heel is moving up and down confidence was not my first thought.

I will not be playing in the Curry 5 again. Releases slow down in the summer, and that’s when I go back and pick my favorites from the year to revisit them. Summer list minus 1. At my age and level of playing, safety has to be a priority. An injury of any severity will take some serious recovery time. The Curry 5 looks fantastic, and even though the Curry 4 had some issues, the promise of performance from that shoe made all of us anticipate the greatness of the Curry 5. That promise is gone.

I know some of you will like this shoe — someone likes every shoe. And that’s the way this works; one man’s Benched is another man’s All-Star. However, if asked, we will be honest, and honestly, I cannot recommend the Curry 5 to a player of any position or size. If you are a die-hard Steph fan, go for it.

This is not a dog-pile on Under Armour by any means. The brand just released one of the best new technologies in years with its HOVR foam, the Heat Seeker and it’s knit upper were oh-so-close to greatness, and the Curry 4 is still on shelves and still performs great.

There are some serious team shoes coming this summer with crazy designs colorways — and it should be mentioned that the design team did a good job, visually, with the Curry 5. Let’s see how the team bounces back for the Curry 6. Again, every company has some misses. Don’t let this review drive anyone away from the brand — just this shoe.

Publicerat klockan 09:42, den 7 maj 2018
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Nike Kobe NXT 360 Performance Review

Who needs a bag when you have the Nike Kobe NXT 360? These shoes are super portable — just roll them up, throw them in your pocket, and go.

The Kobe NXT 360 features a translucent nubby traction pattern, and that’s all it is. Who cares about how the traction looks right? You all want to know how the stuff performs.

The traction it wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t the best either. On dirty courts, the shoe tends to be the kick it spot for dust; a legit dust party was happening underneath my Kobe NXT 360s, which caused some ice skating here and there. Definitely wasn’t a fan of that, especially for $200.

If you play on extremely terrible court conditions, do not buy the Kobe NXT 360. However, on ordinary courts that most of us play on you will be fine after the traction breaks in. Dust will still stick, and some wiping will need to occur, but it will be very minimal. Don’t expect this traction to be Kobe 9 good because you will be disappointed.
The cushion was by far my favorite part of the Kobe NXT 360. You get a drop-in midsole that features Lunarlon foam along outer edge for structure and support. Plush React foam is used at the center of the midsole for that feel-good softness.

At first I was a bit skeptical about this setup because the last React cushioning system I tested was pretty trash (Hyperdunk 2017). However, that was not the case for the Kobe NXT 360. This cushion was fire — and this dual-density foam has become my favorite cushioning set up of all time. The comfort is there, the impact protection is there, the court feel is there — the stuff is just amazing.

If I’m walking around or standing around the cushion it’s plush and somewhat bouncy. If I apply any force, whether it’s running, jumping, or cutting, it doesn’t matter — the cushion stiffens up a bit, so I don’t sink into to the midsole, and becomes a bit more bouncy. It’s almost as if the React is actually reacting.

Now for the materials. 360-degrees of Flyknit equals one word: bomb. This thin material is so durable and supportive it’s mind boggling because it’s like nothing is there. The Flyknit doesn’t stretch much due to the heating process that sets it, but because it wraps beneath the foot (360-degrees) it moves with you so well I honestly don’t have anything negative to say it. I’m almost speechless when it comes to materials in the Kobe NXT 360 — the stuff was that good.

The fit of the Kobe NXT 360 is a bit longer up front, and depending on how you wear your kicks, some people may want to go down half-size. Players who like the wiggle room for your toes should stay true to size.

Widefooters: I’m sorry, but this shoe just isn’t for y’all. No disrespect to the wide-footers out there, but if y’all squeeze in this shoe it’s going be very uncomfortable for you. For starters, people with wide feet tend to make shoes flatter than usual because the shoe is stretching out width wise. Being that this Kobe is already so low to the ground, a wide-footer might as well be hooping barefoot because this shoe can’t get any flatter.

Lockdown was like a vacuumed sealed bag, but with tons of airflow, and I wasn’t going anywhere. I did have to re-lace the Kobe NXT 360 a few times, but once the materials broke in and took the shape of my foot I was able to dial in the lockdown the way I wanted.
Without the drop-in midsole, the support is nowhere to be found. Once the midsole is in place the support will become incredible. What I’m trying to say here is all of your support is mainly coming from the drop-in the midsole, which cups the entire foot to give you some excellent containment.

Beneath the midsole you will find a transparent shank plate for stability. An external heel counter also found its way onto the 360’s and does a damn good job at cradling the heel and locking it down. Flyknit 360 is the icing on the cake because it wraps the drop-in midsole and the foot for added support. What a fantastic experience.
Overall, the Kobe NXT 360 is the best Kobe shoe since the Nike LeBron Soldier 12, in my opinion. The traction isn’t as good as the Kobe 9, but I don’t care because everything else makes up for the just slightly above average traction. Plus, you can roll the shoes up and put them in your pocket.

The Kobe NXT 360 is fire — and that’s jordans for all I have to say.

Publicerat klockan 10:39, den 3 maj 2018
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LeBron and Durant and Nike Top NBA in Sneaker For Sale

Although King James isn’t favored to snatch the title this season, he still has the top-selling signature shoe.

The rankings are as follows: 1. LeBron James, 2. Kyrie Irving, 3. Kevin Durant, 4. Stephen Curry, 5. Michael Jordan.

Nike dominated the market with three of the five top-selling signature athletes. Of note, Durant sold more than his teammate Curry in 2017, a swap from the rankings in 2016. Nike is sitting comfortably atop the basketball sneaker market with James, Irving, and Durant.

According to NPD Group, a market research organization, Nike’s market share of the $1 billion performance basketball market was 73.5% in 2017, while the Nike-owned Jordan Brand added another 7.8% share. However, despite obtaining a massive market share in basketball performance sneakers, basketball isn’t a huge part of the footwear market.

“Basketball has fallen from its height of being an important streetwear product to really out of fashion right now,” Matt Powell told Forbes. In the performance basketball market, where shoes typically retail for around $120, peaked at $1.3 billion in 2015 but shrunk 13.6% last year.

Kyrie Irving, on the other hand, is bucking the trend by being the only one of the top five players to see an increase in his signature shoe sales last year. He may prove to be the next king of the basketball performance sneaker game.

Interestingly, retro sneakers are still seeing a healthy dose of revenue generation; according to NPD, retro is more than three times the size of performance basketball with sales at $3 billion last year. Jordan had a 65% share of retro basketball in 2017, followed by Nike (23%), adidas (9.3%), and Puma (2.3%). Although retro sneakers are not factored into the 2017 top-selling signature shoe chart, that market is certainly holding up.

Who do you think will have the best sneaker in 2018? Let us know in the comment section below.

Publicerat klockan 11:51, den 2 maj 2018
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Nike LeBron Soldier 12 Deconstructed Reprot

The latest deconstruction by the good people over at FastPass comes right in time for the Stateside release of the Nike LeBron Soldier 12.

How much has changed as far as tech from the Soldier 11 over to the Soldier 12? Truthfully, not a lot, but enough for us to examine now, then have our WearTesters take the opportunity to see how those changes translate to performance.

Starting with a butterfly cut of the newest Soldier model, we see the expected one-piece bootie construction backed with a neoprene lining to provide comfort on contact around the foot. Bottom-loaded heel and forefoot Zoom Air units are back and inside a foam carrier that is slightly curved at the midfoot, providing less foam near the arch. There is also some subtle padding around the Achilles area and what looks to be an internal heel counter.

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Going over to the cross-cut of the Nike LeBron Soldier 12, we get a different look at the inner-bootie construction, similar to that of last year’s LeBron Soldier 11. From what we can tell, the strap loop is connected directly to the footbed on the lateral side of the sneaker, while medial side only seems to be connected to the upper. It is hard to tell on the medial side given the angles presented, but if that is the case it still makes sense as that side will not require as much support as the lateral side will.

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The midsole features foam underneath a TPU plate that covers more space than last year’s model. Nike likely went with the larger volume to balance out support where the foam was slightly reduced in the arch.

The forefoot and heel Zoom units come in at a thickness of around 10mm and 13mm, respectively, which is to be expected for a model of this type.

Not pictured is the outsole traction, which is listed as XDR (Extra Durable Rubber). The XDR tag has shown up on the Soldier 12 in a lot of leaks and overseas releases, yet it is unclear if all colorways of the Soldier 12 will be outdoor-ready or just a few.

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Last up is a comparison of the Nike LeBron Soldier 11 alongside the Nike Lebron Soldier 12, both of which retail for $130 in standard builds.

The Nike LeBron Soldier 12 is now available in the above Black/Hazel Rush colorway at hoopjordan.net for $130. Stay tuned for an upcoming performance review from our website.

Publicerat klockan 10:45, den 28 april 2018
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Nike Kobe 1 Protro Performance Review

The Nike Kobe 1 Protro is a retro done right.

Traction was good to start, but it did have a few hiccups here and there. However, the outsole broke in with each wear and by the end of testing I really don’t want to play in anything else.

Sounds weird, I know. But I’m just telling you how I feel. It’s the tackiest of tractions, like the Air Jordan XX8 or Nike Kobe 9, and it grips the court — any court — like nobody’s business.

Reliable would be the one word I’d use to describe the traction on the Kobe 1 Protro. It’s also been very durable. Every once in a while I see someone at a gym or park wearing a pair of the original Kobe 1s and I’m always surprised that they’ve held up. Well, not anymore. I can see why people love this shoe. It’s simple and it works.

The cushion used on the original Kobe 1 was a large volume heel Zoom Air unit along with a large volume met bag in the forefoot (Zoom Air). While I never experienced the original myself, I don’t feel like I’m missing much.

The full-length Zoom Air here is incredible. This is the type of Zoom Air experience I fell in love with some 25 odd years ago.

It’s low to the ground, even lower than the original (the designers shaved the midsole thickness down a bit), ultra responsive, and has some feedback. It rests directly under your foot so what you feel is nothing but full length springy goodness.

I’ve compared the setup used in the Kobe 1 Protro to that of the Air Jordan 12 once it has been broken in. I’ll say this: the Kobe 1 Protro feels better than the Air Jordan 12 after it’s been broken in. This is a shoe that makes you smile a little after you’re done lacing it up and you walk onto the court — it feels that good.

If you’re comparing this full-length Zoom Air setup to something more current, like the Jordan Why Not Zer0.1, then I’d say these win by a very slim margin — only because the Why Not is a bottom-loaded setup, even though it doesn’t really feel like it. Honestly, it’s hard to pick between the two based on cushion alone because they’re so similar in feel. However, overall, I have to with the Kobe 1 Protro.

I have been so used to wearing textiles and knits that I had forgotten just how nice leather is to play in.

Yes, it’s a little heavier than newer age materials, but it’s nothing drastic. I mean, we’re talking ounces here, not pounds. If a basketball shoe is too heavy for you then stop skipping leg day. All jokes aside, it’s less about weight and more about construction. The Kobe 1 Protro was not constructed in a way that makes the shoe feel heavy or clunky. Can it for some? Of course. Not everyone has the same tastes and preferences. For me, this shoe just felt solid.

After a quick break-in period, the leather build felt like it was hand-made around a last of my foot — like that old mitt you had as a kid that you hated at first and then loved once you put enough time in it. The Kobe 1 Protro just feels right.

True to size is what I’d recommend. Some wide footers might be able to go either way. If you don’t have a drastically wide foot then the leather should break in around your foot as it would anyone else’s (it just might take a few extra wears). Those with a very wide foot might want to go up a 1/2 size.

Lacing is basic but the lockdown felt great. I never even felt the need to lace them to the top plastic clip at the foam/mesh collar. For whatever reason, the rear section of the shoe just wrapped around my heel and ankle perfectly. I did want to try lacing up at least one shoe all the way but when I play basketball I usually just go with feels comfortable to me, so I never ended up giving it a go.

The collar area that originally bothered me upon try-on felt wonderful after a few hours of play. You almost receive the mobility of a low top with the fit and security of a high top. This must’ve been the beginning stages of introducing proprioception into the mix. We all know where Kobe’s ended up in terms of collar height, but it almost feels like the designers were aiming for that low cut feel right from the start. The Nike Kobe 2 may not be in line with that theory, but the Kobe 3 sure is. Which then led into the 4 — and the rest is history.

You start off on a wide stable platform and then move into a midsole that hugs the hell out of your forefoot on the lateral side. Couple those aspects with the outrigger and the forefoot stability is some of the best around — maybe even of all-time.

You have the standard internal heel counter while the midfoot features a carbon fiber shank. This was another area that was slimmed down a bit from the original version of the shoe. Removing much of the forefoot’s carbon shank resulted in a much more flexible forefoot. Again, I don’t own a pair of the originals, but I’d assume that this change is a noticeable once on-foot. I know the Wade Brand used to use a carbon shank that rode into the forefoot of the shoe and that resulted in a stiffer ride. Since the brand removed it on the later models the line feels much more fluid while in motion.

I’m still not sure what the heel carbon fiber wrap is for. I didn’t really notice it at all while playing. It may be due to the fact that I rarely use my heels, but for what it’s worth it never bothered me.
I love the Kobe 1 Protro, and there’s really no other way to put it. While I was pretty excited to play in the shoe to start, I didn’t realize I’d never want to take it off.

I miss shoes that are built like this. And the fact that Nike did what it could to reduce a bit of bulk and weight here and there only made the experience that much more enjoyable. The brand trimmed the fat and left the meat of the product. The aspects that work work really well. Removing the waste only makes those areas shine that much brighter.

I can tell I love this shoe because I feel like I can keep writing — some reviews force me to finish a sentence. My point is that this is a shoe. A really well built basketball shoe. Man, I miss this s**t.

I’ve been getting “heckled” on socials when I talk about the Kobe 1 Protro — “the shoe sucks” or “it’s crap” — but I’ve got nothing to say in response. If people feel the shoe sucks, or that it’s heavy, clunky, etc., then that’s just how they feel. It’s unfortunate, as that’s clearly not how I feel, because the shoe is great.

My real complaint is that the Kobe 1 Protro is not readily available. Everyone should be able to try this shoe out on-court if they wish because it’s so much fun to play in.

Publicerat klockan 10:25, den 26 april 2018
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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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