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Nike Air Vapormax 2.0 Performance Test

The Nike Air Vapormax is one of Nike’s latest 2018 releases and one of its sharpest and slickest looking pairs of shoes. It has a muted yet striking color palette, and is wearable as both a running shoe and as a casual pair of shoes. Apart from its high tech and beautiful design, this product has great arch support and feels so luxurious to wear for just about anyone. It comes at a price of $190, but there is really no better shoe on the market than this one. Experienced runners have raved about this shoe because of its comfort, durability, and protection, and have described working out in them as “running on air”. Lastly, they are lightweight and flexible, and we would highly recommend them to any runner out there.

Outsole

At first, it is a little concerning to see the added bubble pods on the bottom of the outsole because Nike is well known for removing any unnecessary material from their shoes. Surprisingly, this actually increased the durability of it in the long run. Unfortunately, some users have complained that the outsole isn’t the best for wearing in particularly wet or rainy areas because the water tends to soak through it.

Midsole

The midsole of a pair of Nike Air Vapormax 2.0 is known best for adding bounce to them. In perhaps one of the most revolutionary moves Nike has ever made, they actually decided to remove the midsole and instead have the shoe resting directly on air bags. This greatly contributes to the extreme comfort level of the shoes.

Upper

The upper of the Air Vapormax is wonderfully adaptive and conforms comfortably to the shape and size of any foot. It is crafted with the coveted flyknit material which is lovely both in texture and in appearance. Moreover, this part of the shoe is really thin and lightweight; there is pretty much no downside to the structure of the Vapormax.

Weight

Nike as a whole prides itself on producing lightweight yet durable shoes, and the Vapormax is no exception. It weighs in at a measly 7 ounces, which is about as light as you can get in a running shoe. This lightness creates an extremely comfortable fit for runners, and many have described running in them as similar to running on clouds or air. Nike was able to achieve such a phenomenal feature because of the breathability of the shoe, air cushioning, and superior design in general.

Breathability

There is truly nothing more frustrating and uncomfortable than a running shoe with poor breathability, as this creates potential for blisters and excessive sweat. Luckily, this shoe is built in such a way that the sole is filled with “as much air as possible” according to the designers. The combination of the flyknit fabric and exposed cushioning makes for a lovely fit and feel that keeps your foot dry and comfortable no matter how hard you’ve been running.

Comfort

We just touched on how the breathability makes this shoe a joy to put on, but what other factors contribute to the comfort of the Air Vapormax? For one, the plush feeling of the flyknit material in combination with the bubble pods on the bottom of the shoe make for great arch support and softness. Some have described it as walking on air or feeling like their foot is wrapped in temper-pedic material. It’s soft and adapts to any foot shape.

Style

Though this style is very fashion-forward and futuristic than past Nike designs, the design of this shoe can be very hit or miss for a lot of people because of the exposed cushioning. However, the Vapormax is appealing because it looks attractive both when running or when worn with more leisurely outfits. Its color options are definitely a lot more understated and muted than some of Nike’s other running shoes, but this is because they are meant to look more luxurious and expensive. The style is certainly not the most important part of this product, but it is a huge plus.

Durability

One of the biggest worries runners and athletes have about such lightweight running shoes is whether or not they will stand up to the test of time and the daily wear-and-tear that accumulates over the lifetime of a pair of shoes. Well worry not, because the Air Vapormax is a highly durable product that is well worth the cost. As a result, they are great for wearing whilst working out at the gym or in more rough outdoor locations like mountain trails.

Protection

Having a protective shoe is of vital importance for runners who prefer running outdoors in areas that have rougher terrain suchs hiking trails. Thankfully, the exposed cushioning on this shoe is built with integrated rubber pods on high impact areas which help to catch rubber and generally increase the durability of the shoes. It is extremely resilient, and thick enough to preserve the shoe without being so thick that it is heavy and overbearing.

Support

Foot support is one of the biggest concerns kept in mind when purchasing a pair of shoes as thousands of people have great discomfort in shoes with bad arch support. Some have complained that the upper is not as supportive as other Nike models, particularly on sudden turns or stops. However, the fact that the Air Vapormax is so comfortable and has such a luxurious feel speaks to the level of support that this product has.

Terrain

A key buying point for any prospective customer is how well a running shoe responds to different types of terrain. The Air Vapormax is adaptive to any kind of terrain, whether it be sand, turf, concrete, or rocky mountains. The rubber pods on the bottom of the shoes are durable enough to not be popped by much harsher terrain like mountains ground and are paramount in maintaining comfort.

Price

Sure, the Air Vapormax may cost quite the pretty penny (upwards of $190), but this is actually average for the state-of-the art running footwear that is currently on the market whether consumers like it or not. We wouldn’t necessarily recommend this shoe to the casual athlete or first-time buyer of Nike’s shoes, as there are much cheaper options available. However, this model is absolutely worth the price for customers who run daily and are much more serious athletes.

Flexibility

The designers of the Air Vapormax were focused in part on creating a really flexible shoe that mimics the feeling of air. Not only is it as flexible as a running shoe can be, but you can actually feel individualized pressure points and zones on your feet when walking or running in them. They claim that the combination of the bubbled bottom and flyknit upper makes the Vapormax Nike’s most flexible shoe ever.

Bottom Line

The Nike Air Vapormax Black White is the pinnacle of achievement in shoe design because of its blend of comfort, style, and durability. Though it is perhaps better suited for more serious or hardcore runners, we have no problem with recommending this to those who just want a brand new running shoe. The upper and outsole are well crafted using flyknit material and are a true pleasure to touch and wear. These kicks will last you a long time and are the closest to the feeling of running barefoot that there is. Breathability and solid arch support are two key aspects of these shoes and are beloved by runners everywhere.

Publicerat klockan 11:54, den 29 augusti 2018
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Better Air Jordan 5: “Metallic” or “Raging Bull 3M”

The Air Jordan 5 is one of the most iconic Air Jordans to-date. Designed by Tinker Hatfield, whom found inspiration in the World War 2 Mustang fighter jet during its creation. It was the first Air Jordan shoe to feature a reflective 3M tongue.

One of the original and iconic colorways is the “Metallic” Air Jordan motif. The shoe came in a buttery Black nubuck upper with Metallic Silver accents, 3M tongues, and embroidered “23” on the sides.Equipped with Nike Air branding at the heel and premium updates that ensure an OG feel dating back to the shoe’s original release in 1990, today brings forth the best look yet at this revered Air Jordan 5 release.

Another popular release was the “3M” colorway from the Air Jordan 5 “Raging Bull” Pack that debuted back in 2009. The Air Jordan 5 Raging Bull Pack was well received when we first gave you the info on it. Then we dropped the word on the Red Suede Jordan 5 version, most doubters were convinced this pack is going to be special.

The second Air Jordan 5 Raging Bull consists of an all black 3M upper, which will no doubt break necks and have a lot of you lining up early to get your hands on these kicks. The all 3M combined with the red accents, and the icy sole of the AJ5, is definitely one of the freshest remakes of this classic sneaker.

Looking back at both classic Air Jordan 5s, which would you consider the better release? Cast your vote below, and leave your thoughts in the comments section.

Publicerat klockan 12:15, den 28 augusti 2018
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Nike Air Max 2017 Perforamnce Review

The Nike Air Max 2017 retains the Nike Air Max’s comfortable and durable style while also featuring several upgrades. The main upgrades would be the enhanced sole unit and the added cushioning to the upper of the shoe.  Although the shoe is no longer considered to be in the upper tier of running shoes, it still has several features that allow it to be worn in that capacity. Another thing that must be considered about this shoe is that the basic design of the shoe is the reason that it is so popular among the masses; this is to say that even though the shoe isn’t the most popular “running” shoe, it still gets Nike a lot of sales.
Outsole
The Nike Air Max sole on this version of the Nike Airmax is somewhat “freaky’. The outsole is fashioned out of translucent hardened rubber which gives the shoe a futuristic look and feel. On top of this, the sole features a careful placement of grooves throughout the sole unit of the shoe that enables the shoe to gain a decent level of comfort and grip. The fact that the outsole unit on this shoe is a single piece and lacks any placement over foam, gives this shoe a somewhat firm overall ride during use.
Midsole
The midsole of the shoe also aids the shoe in providing an overall firm ride. The midsole is fashioned out of an EVA polyurethane mix that is a bit firmer than the majority of running shoes with the pure foam midsole. The midsole on the shoe also features a Nike cushioning bag that is there to improve the responsiveness and comfort provided by the shoe. The make of the midsole itself actually takes away from the comfort provided by the shoe and also doesn’t give the shoe the best in terms of a responsive feel.
Upper
The upper on the shoe is a mix of cushioning and mesh. The shoe features a mesh upper that Nike has decided to splash with cotton all throughout. This has allowed the upper to give a comfortable overall feel while not taking away from the KD 11 Shoes overall stability. With that being said, the upper of the shoe is designed in such a way as to promote comfort without delivering a “plush” feel while the shoe is in use; for a running shoe, this can be either good or bad.

Weight
In terms of weight, Nike has done their best to add a little as possible to the design of the shoe. They tried but weren’t really able to achieve a lightweight effect because of the materials that were used throughout. The hardened rubber outsole on the shoe adds a decent amount of weight to the overall cut of the shoe. This, in tandem with the amount of cushioning that is present inside of the shoe, allows for an overall comfortable, albeit weighted, ride. This isn’t to say that the weight of the shoe hasn’t improved at all because it has. This model of the Air max weighs a staggering 3 oz’s less than the previous model of the shoe which is actually a huge improvement.
Breathability
The upper of the shoe was designed to prevent an accumulation of sweat throughout. The Air Max '17 is fitted with fly mesh material which allows a decent level of air flow to be achieved while running. This is a major improvement over last year’s breathable, but kind of muggy model of the Air Max. The fly mesh design of the shoe allows it to be worn in a variety of climates, but the best side of it comes out in the warmer areas where the air flow is the most appreciated.
Comfort
The comfort provided by this model of the Air Max is definitely above par. The materials used in the design of the Air Max allow for a level of comfort to be achieved above that of other models of the shoe. The use of fly mesh on the upper of the shoe and the absence of the flywire material allow for the shoe to be worn without feeling the discomfort that those materials provided. The sole of the shoe is made in such a way as to promote both flex and malleability. Even though the material that makes up the sole of the shoe is on the firmer side, it does provide the wearer with a decent level of comfort. The shoe also features an elongated tongue, which, when compared to previous models of the shoe provides an extra amount of cushioning and snugness for the shoe.
Style
The style of the Air Max 17 is one that is both and doesn’t seem to go away. The shoe has been created in several different color combinations which gives the wearers a variety of colors to choose from. The slim cut of the shoe also allows the shoe to be worn in and outside of an active environment; this means that the shoe can be worn in both casual and sporty clothes. The seemingly see-through material of the sole of this shoe also gave the shoe a sort-of futuristic look which, can be a plus for some wearers.
Durability
the materials used in the creation of this model of the Air Max are of the more long-lived variety. The sole unit of the shoe itself is made from polyurethane EVA for the midsole and hardened rubber for the outsole. The hardened rubber on the outsole of the shoe is by nature extremely durable. It shows very little wear even after several uses, which can be attributed to the make of the sole itself. The make of the midsole of the shoe allows it to be worn several times without the wearer having to worry about it losing its shape, which is another plus. The Fly mesh upper of the shoe is designed in such a way as to be able to deal with strenuous activity without making the wearer worry about potential breakdown of said materials.
Protection
In terms of protection, the shoe doesn’t have much. The shoe is designed from fly mesh material with very little in the way of coverings. The lack of coverings on the shoe means that there is very little stopping power for the wearer and that they may potentially have to worry about damaging themselves if something were to fall on them. The sole of the shoe is designed with the wearer’s foot in mind meaning that, due to the thickness of the material that makes up the shoe, it has a decent amount of ability to block the intrusion of unwanted material into the wearer’s shoe. The shoe itself has also been designed with several reflective materials which allow the wearer to wear them in darker areas without having to worry about not being seen
Responsiveness
The Air Max 17 features materials that allow it be more on the responsive side. The outsole of the shoe is designed with the wearer’s foot in mind but it is on the firmer side meaning that it doesn’t move as much as it possibly could. The midsole of the shoe allows the shoe to conform to the user’s movements though, somewhat compensating for the outsoles faults. On top of this, the lack of flywire on the upper allows the shoe to conform to the shape of the user’s foot without taking away from the snugness of the overall shoe
Support
The Air Max 17 has a decent level of supportive features for the wearer. The upper of the shoe, even though it doesn’t feature the flywire lacing that has become a custom among the Nike brand of shoes, is still relatively snug. This allows the shoe to provide a decent level of support for the side of the foot. The added cushioning in the heel of the shoe gives the shoe a decent level of heel support as well. Lastly, the air pod that runs the length of the sole of the shoe allows the shoe to conform to the natural curves of the user’s foot, resulting in a decent level of support for the user’s foot.
Terrain
In terms of terrain handling capabilities, the shoe does a relatively decent job of being versatile in its usage capabilities. The sole of the shoe is designed from hardened rubber which enables the shoe to hold up regardless of the level of development that the terrain has gone through. The upper of the shoe allows for a decent level of air flow to be present. This means that the shoe can be worn in a variety of climates without making the shoe too warm or allowing the wearer’s feet to get too cold. The breathability of the shoe also implies that the material, when used in the moister areas allows for a decent amount of liquid to soak through.
Price
The Air Max 17 will definitely take a decent sized chunk out of one’s pockets. The material used in the shoe and the comfort provided justify this price though; the use of materials such as the fly mesh in the upper and the extensive use of materials throughout the sole are the main things to blame. The sole unit of this shoe is made from both hardened plastic material and features a full-length air pod; these are both things that allow the shoe to provide an overall comfortable and responsive ride to the wearer. The durability of the shoe also justifies its price; considering that the shoe holds up after being used for several hundred miles, the value provided is definitely above that of the standard running shoe.
Traction
The sole of the Air Max 17 is one that provides an immense level of grip during use. The outsole of the shoe has been patterned into a waffle-like design which allows the shoe to be worn when in a variety of areas and allows the shoe to be able to grip the ground with a high level of ferocity. The level of traction achieved by this shoe does not compare to that of strict running shoes but it does allow the shoe to be worn and provide functionality on a variety of terrains.
Flexibility
Regarding flexibility, the Air Max 17 isn’t the best, but it does allow for a decent level of it. The sole of the shoe has been fitted with flex grooves which compensate for the general firmness of the material itself. The sole, being made from hardened rubber doesn’t bend the way that it possibly could if formed from a different material. On top of this, the pod in the sole of the shoe is somewhat firm also, further taking away from the inherent flexibility of the shoe. The upper of the shoe, being designed from fly mesh, achieve a decent level of flexibility, mainly because of the nature of the material itself
Stability
The design of the Air Max 17 provides for a decent level of stability for the user. The upper of the shoe, being designed from mesh and lacking any of the extra components, still provides a snug and firm fit for the wearer; this is mainly because of the cushioning used throughout the design and the slim design of the shoe itself. On top of this, the sole of the shoe being as firm as it is, gives the wearer a decent level of footing while the shoe is in use; this is to say that while the shoe does have cushioning throughout, the firmness provided by the sole unit prevents rollover and gives the wearer a bit of surety in their movements while the shoe is in use
Drop
Okay, this version of the Air Max has not have been given a reduction in the drop whatsoever. The Air Max 17 features a drop of about 13mm. This is by no means considered a minimal drop because of the fact that it is honestly so outstanding. The high heel-to-toe ration on this shoe means that the shoe doesn’t allow for a smooth and natural feeling transition to be achieved while the shoe is in use.
Verdict

All in all, Nike did a decent job with the creation of this shoe. The materials that were incorporated into the design allow the shoe to be used in a variety of terrains without causing the wearer any level of worry regarding the durability of the shoe. On top of this, the design of the shoe is one that enables the shoe to be both worn for things outside of the purpose of the shoe and fits rather snugly on the wearer’s foot.

Publicerat klockan 12:01, den 21 augusti 2018
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Nike Kyrie Low Performance Review

Kyrie Irving’s sneakers have been a huge hit with players of all ages since the first model. The shoes combine low ride with minimal cushioning and killer colorways. How does the Kyrie Low stack up? Here we go…

One thing that has been consistent since day one is that Kyrie models will have great traction. The Kyrie Low doesn’t disappoint.

Using a straight-line traction that is broken up and rotated in certain areas, the traction pattern mimics herringbone with the different angles and spacings — and its ability to grip in almost any environment. The spacing is wide enough that wiping was at an extreme minimum — maybe once a session — and the grip was stop-on-a-dime power. Changing direction was smooth and quick because the traction let go as soon as it grabbed.

The Kyrie Low also uses the curved midsole/outsole tooling that first appeared in the Kyrie 4 and, again, once you get used to the “rolling” feeling the combination of rounded outsole and killer traction makes transitions smooth and fast. The only thing holding the Kyrie Low traction from Hall of Fame was the durability. I had two or three pieces of the pattern come off during testing, all done indoor, so outdoor is a definite no on the gum bottoms. Not sure about any solid colorways, but for the color tested, no way.

For the first time ever, a Kyrie model uses both forefoot and heel Zoom Air for cushioning, and we should be excited — when done right, the 20-year-old technology is still one of the top cushioning systems ever made. Unfortunately, the Kyrie Low uses rectangle bags that are bottom-loaded, so the Zoom feel isn’t really there. The bags aren’t exceptionally thin (7mm thick in the forefoot and a serious14mm in the heel), but the stiff Phylon midsole deadens the initial bounce and response you would normally feel. So how did the Kyrie Low get a Starting 5 rating?

Simple: it works great on court. With the killer traction and the idea that this shoe is made for quicker players who cut and shift, the stiff midsole doesn’t compress and cause lag time between movements. With the Zoom being bottom-loaded, you don’t get the feel underfoot of a good Zoom, but the impact is absorbed and deadened through the Phylon as well. The cushioning works with the traction to make the Kyrie Low feel low and fast, so it’s doing its job. As I have gotten older, I know my knees and ankles need a little more protection, but for the design of the Kyrie Low, the cushioning works great.

Ahhh, yes, the lovely mesh and fuse upper. The colorway tested (the ‘Uncle Drew’ grey/royal/gum) has a heavily glued, canvas-style fabric that took some serious break-in time. Even after a few wears, there were still some hotspots around my toes and the upper made a popping feel when flexing my foot. The medial and strap Swoosh are leather, or at least a really good synthetic that add a little premium feel (the black and white colorways are TPU/plastic). There are some areas of fuse around the toebox for a little extra durability.

While the upper is made up of one primary material with no layering except for the strap, Nike did put some effort into design with the molded heel counter. Mimicking the spiked look from the Kyrie 1, the Kyrie Low uses a molded heel counter underneath the fabric to push the look. In this colorway, the strap gets the same treatment, and although it adds nothing to performance, it does a great job in breaking up the upper and giving some texture to the design.

I have held the black and white uppers in-hand (and might possibly pick up the white colorway soon) and they’re made of a different mesh (something more like the Kyrie 3) that is more pliable and feels better to the touch. If you are looking for a ready-to-go upper out of the box, I suggest one of those colorways.

Length and width-wise, the Kyrie Low fits true to size — if you wore a 10.5 in the Kyrie 1-3, get a 10.5 in the Low (the Kyrie 4 fit me a little short so I went up a half size). The midfoot is a little narrow, so if you are a wide-footer or like a little extra space to double sock you may want to go up a half size or try on in-store (the Kyrie Low is everywhere).

The lacing system is the exact same used on the Kyrie 2 with a little diagonal offset on the lace holes. Overall, the shoe pulls nice and tight around your foot, locking everything from the midfoot forward in and down with no movement at all.

The heel had a little bit of slip until the upper broke down a little, but after the materials loosened up the heel slip went away…for the most part. The open Achilles area leaves the top of the collar a little wide, leading to that slip, and the heel counter is solid so the little bit of slip that is left is no worries.

First off, the strap does nothing. It makes the midfoot feel a little tighter, but as far as playability, it adds nothing. Looks cool, though. The main support components are not blatant — subtlety is key. The low-riding midsole and the lacing system are all you need.

The rounded outsole takes a little time to get used to if you haven’t played in a Kyrie before (and thankfully it doesn’t feel at wobbly as the Kyrie 2) but once you do the feeling is controlled during movement. With the lacing system locking you into the shoe and the foot sitting inside the midsole (not directly on it) you are not sliding anywhere you don’t want to.

There is a midfoot shank in the Kyrie Low — the small, standard, hidden TPU kind — that provides a little midfoot support. The heel cup is solid and keeps your foot vertical. This should be enough for most players, even bigger post players, because the solid midsole doesn’t compress to the point of tipping — that helps keep your foot stable.

While I enjoyed the overall cushioning in the Kyrie 4 more (Cushlon, where have you been?), I felt that the Kyrie 4 was bulky and traction took a while to get right. The Kyrie Low comes in a sleeker package with better traction but loses step-in comfort and responsive cushioning.

If you are a quicker, shifty guard who loved the Kyrie 2 and 3, the Kyrie Low is a no-brainer. It’s package of traction, court feel, and fit make the shoe ideal for most guards and actually, any player not needing a wide shoe or supreme cushioning. If you play mostly outdoors, sorry, because like most shoes today you will want to stay away.

To be honest, the first time I wore the Kyrie Low I was almost determined not to like it — it felt stiff and way too solid underfoot for me to enjoy playing in. Luckily, the shoe began to warm up to me and broke in nicely, both in the midsole and the upper. The KD 11 has become a solid rotation shoe that I can count on. Now if I could just get this old guy off my porch to quit screaming, “You reach I teach, youngblood!!”

Publicerat klockan 12:02, den 15 augusti 2018
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Nike Air Foamposite One Performance Review

Hit the jump for full written review & scores.

Traction – As with most translucent soled sneakers, these worked for a brief period but then the dust quickly became an obstacle that couldn’t be overcome… doesn’t leave me with much hope for the Air Jordan 1. Front to back they were decent at best but players often need stable traction for every direction other than front to back… especially if you are a Guard running around. If the shoe offered more flex or range of motion then maybe things would have been different but as they are… it just wasn’t ideal for indoor courts unless they are kept perfectly clean. Outdoors may prove useful if the court has a bit of texture to it… but I wouldn’t dare play in these on a smooth outdoor surface.

Cushion – Once the Nike Air Foamposite One is broken-in – I’ll get into that in a bit – then the cushion begins to soften up. Its strange having a shoe that features full length Zoom – double stacked in the heel – start out so firm. I will say that once things begin to soften up then you can appreciate how comfortable a Foamposite can be… it just takes a hell of a lot longer than you’d imagine.

Material – I have a love hate relationship with the materials. The foams sturdiness and protective traits are awesome… you just can’t enjoy them for a while until it’s all broken-in. One thing that is apparent in a shoe featuring Foamposite… it’ll last… the materials will actually outlive the glue holding everything together.

Fit – Break-in time… lots of it. Be prepared for one of the most grueling break-ins you’ll ever experience. I’m not even joking either, I knew I was up for a challenge with this one but I honestly had no idea it would ever take as long as it did.

Even after switching to a pair I thought was already broken-in taught me that Foamposite’s will always need to be broken-in again and again when playing in them. After you are done perspiring inside the shoe the shell hardens up a little, contouring to your foot shape but leaving you with a stiff shoe until you warm it up again… it’s like playing with a tight muscle, it constantly needs work which is a little too much maintenance than I can a handle.

Its overall fit is great after it molds to your foot with the exception of the heel… that area needs a lot of work and I couldn’t do anything to keep my heel locked into place. Thanks to the sloppy heel lockdown, it ends up feeling like you have a brick flopping around… like a really heavy sandal or clog. This is probably the shoes Achilles heel… pun moderately intended. If there were better heel lockdown available then the shoe would have played a little smoother and less clunky, even for its weight. These are the same weight as the Air Jordan VIII and you wouldn’t ever know they weighed the same unless you threw them both on the scale… even then I thought my scale was broken because they just feel like dead weight in comparison.

Ventilation – There is only minor ventilation which is featured along the tongue. This is necessary for the materials used so the rating shouldn’t be considered here… unless you absolutely need a shoe that can breathe.

Support – Carbon Fiber, Foamposite and a double last midsole… that’s a lot of support. It would have been better had the heel fit properly but we can’t have everything we want now can we.

Overall – This is not my cup of tea… I know a lot of ball players love to play in Foams but I think I’m much too small for them. If there was ever a shoe made for LeBron James… it was the Foamposite… His Foamposite based sneaker looked much better than this one though – from a performance perspective.

Besides the heel lockdown I would have preferred the shoe to not feature a double last midsole. This made the shoe nearly impossible to flex with your foot the way a quick Guard would prefer. Front to back was fine but I’d have liked some lateral flex so I could maneuver the way I usually do.

Not a bad shoe but not a great shoe either. It’s definitely cool though… I’ll give it that.

Publicerat klockan 12:30, den 14 augusti 2018
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Better Release: Sean Wotherspoon’s Air Max 1/97 or Off-White Presto

Two of Nike’s biggest releases of 2018 thus far, has been Sean Wotherspoon’s Air Max 1/97 and Virgil Abloh’s Off-White x Nike Air Presto.

Sean Wotherspoon’s Air Max was the winning design from the RevolutionAIR voting campaign in early 2017. It was a hybrid design of the Nike Air Max 97 upper built with corduroy atop the iconic tooling of the Air Max 1.

During March, Nike Air Max fans got to cast their vote part of the ‘RevolutionAir’ design. The winner would have his or her Air Max model put in production. The end result was Sean Wotherspoon’s Nike Air Max which is a hybrid model of the Nike Air Max 97 and the Nike Air Max 1.

Inspiration behind his pair is due to his love of vintage Nike hats from the 1980s. This Nike Air Max 97/1 Hybrid features corduroy on the uppers, frayed edges, velour on the toe that extends to the heel while a unique design lands on the insoles.

Virgil Abloh not only released one, but two Off-White colorways of the Nike Air Presto. One of those was the “Black” iteration that came in its signature deconstructed build.

This Nike Air Presto by Off-White comes dressed in a ’Triple Black’ color theme while accents of White and Cone are used. In addition we have the stitched Nike Swoosh logos, Orange tab and Off-White text which completes the look.

While both pairs were highly demanded, which would you consider was the better release? Cast your vote below, and leave your thoughts in the comments section.

Publicerat klockan 12:01, den 13 augusti 2018
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Better Air Jordan Doernbecher: Air Jordan 3 or Air Jordan 6

Nike and Jordan’s yearly collaboration with the Doernbecher Children’s Hospital has raised a large sum of money for the hospital and produced many a highly-regarded sneaker since its inception in 2004. Although many of the collaborative Nike models have their place in sneaker history, few would disagree that when it comes to Doernbecher shoes nothing tops the Jordans. With every Jordan from the Air Jordan 1 all the way to the Air Jordan 13 (with the exception of the Air Jordan 11) being used as a collaborative canvas for the charitable project, classic Jumpman silhouettes have always held an esteemed place in the pantheon of Doernbecher collaborations. Now, reports that the Doernbecher Air Jordan 6—one of the most beloved Doernbecher models of all time—may be returning later this year as part of the annual slate of collaborative releases have surfaced.

Much like the holiday Air Jordan 11s, Nike’s Doernbecher Collection is one of the most hyped releases every year. While we wait for this year’s lineup to be revealed, we take a look back at two previous colorways.

The Air Jordan 6 Doernbecher made its debut as part of the Freestyle Collection back in 2009 designed by Doernbecher patient Jordan Dark. It featured a Blue suede upper with Red and Gold accents for an “Olympic” styled-vibe completed with clear outsoles.

Designing an Air Jordan. It's every kid's dream. For Jordan Dark, that dream was made possible over the past year as he was selected to participate in the latest Nike x Doernbecher Freestyle project. He was told he could pick any material, any pattern, and infuse any details and touches specific to his life. He tapped into his high school colors, touched on his trying chemo dates, and even referenced the classic pre-game phrase of the Chicago Bulls. His shoe also is proudly the first-ever Air Jordan VI with an all-translucent outsole. With a rich suede upper and bonded panels, Jordan was actually surprised with a custom pair all his own that featured red contrast stitching. A last minute request of his that couldn't be changed in time for production, the Jordan Brand team had just enough time to make one pair for Jordan.

The Air Jordan 3 was designed by patient Cole Johnson, a teen cancer survivor from the 2010 Doernbecher Freestyle Collection. Back in 2013, the Air Jordan 3 DB also saw a limited re-release.

Looking back at these Air Jordan Doernbecher models, which do you guys think was the better release? Cast your vote below and let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

Publicerat klockan 12:10, den 10 augusti 2018
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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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