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Better Kanye West Air Yeezy 2: “Solar Red” or “Red October”

The Nike Air Yeezy 2 is considered to be one of the most hyped and sought-after sneakers from Kanye West. Debuted in three color options, both the “Solar Red” and “Red October” were head-to-head on which was the better release.

Designed by Nathan VanHook, the Nike Air Yeezy 2 took inspiration from classic Nike silhouettes such as: Air Trainer 1, Air Foamposite One, and the Air Tech Challenge 2.

Nike Air Yeezy 2 “Solar Red” release featured a Black-based upper with Solar Red accents atop glow-in-the-dark outsoles.

“Red October” Nike Air Yeezy 2 :Five years ago today, Kanye West made jaws drop and eyes light up with his debut of new music and new sneakers on Saturday Night Live. That sneaker as we now know, would be the infamous “Red October” Nike Air Yeezy 2 — West’s last shoe with the Swoosh.

Taking to the SNL stage, West appeared a man possessed or at least enraged, playing for the first time the single that would set off his upcoming solo effort. Scarier than “Monster” or “Hell of a Life” before, the Marilyn Manson-resembling “Black Skinhead” opened up to images of dogs barking and the sound of Kanye screaming, revealing a rage never before displayed on record by the multi-faceted artist.

The loud and aggressive new sound was matched by his shoes of the same volume. Triple-red, the dark tone of both the lighting and the music would cast a shadow over the sneakers, allowing just enough of a glimpse to prove they did in fact exist. Fortunately for fans still in the dark, his partner Kim Kardashian posted a shot of both the shoe and the original album artwork that night prior to the performance.

Later in the show, West would perform “New Slaves” with a more stoic but equally serious disposition. He would remain in the shoes while the internet would erupt and bloggers in both the sneaker and music space would rush to get their coverage live.

Never before seen on Kanye, the shoe was subject of rumors for months leading up to its on-foot debut which served as an appetizer for the West’s most abrasive sonic effort yet, Yeezus.

The “Solar Red” released in June 2012, while the “Red October” launched in February 2014, which was revealed by Kanye West during a live performance on “Saturday Night Live” almost a year before the shoe originally become available.

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

Publicerat klockan 10:44, den 25 februari 2019
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adidas Dame 5 Performance Review

An thesoleline frontrunner for best basketball shoe of 2019.

Much like the rest of adidas’ current lineup of basketball shoes, the Dame 5 utilizes herringbone traction from heel to toe. However, the implementation of the pattern is the best they’ve done thus far.

Each line of the pattern is thick and widely spaced apart, making it harder for dust to clog up the outsole when you’re playing on less than desirable courts. Based on my experience in both the YKWTII and CNY editions, the traction and rubber compound, despite being translucent, worked really well on every court.

However, the very first time I played in them they were very slick, similar to my experience in the Harden Vol 3 and N3XT L3V3L. I’m not sure if there is some sort of residue on the outsoles of these adidas models or not, but the first time I’ve played in them they always start out the same. Just something to note in case your first experience has been the same as mine — I’m sure I’m not alone.

When on one of those less than desirable courts, the bite of the grip lessened a bit yet remained reliable. A quick wipe here or there and all was good again.

Outdoors, the traction was just as reliable. Because it’s as thick as it is, they’d make for a very solid outdoor option for anyone that plays primarily outside.

Bounce is back but thicker than it was on the Dame 4. This may make many hoopers happy as the thin forefoot of the Dame 4 was a major complaint for some.

For those that preferred the lower profile setup of the Dame 4, they might miss the court feel, but even with the thicker midsole, court feel is still readily available. It’s one of the bright sides to using something like Bounce over Boost.

While I didn’t dislike the ride the Dame 4 offered, I absolutely love the ride that the Dame 5 provides. This iteration of Bounce was felt from the moment I tried the shoe on to the moment I took them off after a three hour pickup session. Its full length setup is more than welcomed on a shoe that has remained affordable since its inception. There’s plenty of impact protection without causing any instability or loss of court feel. Did I mention it’s full length? Yeah, this might be the best Bounce setup since the Dame 2.

The Dame 5 currently has two material options: mesh and leather. Luckily, I was able to test both.

The mesh versions are slightly lighter in weight, but not significantly. They also feature a synthetic nubuck/suede rear panel that is more felt-like than anything. This section I didn’t like, not from a performance aspect as it played just fine, but it’s just noticeably cheap. I don’t like it when it was used on the Kobe line and I don’t like it here. Granted, there is a decent price difference between the two, but I’d still prefer something nicer no matter the price point.

Meanwhile, the leather (synthetic leather) does a great job of being consistent throughout. However, like the felt material, the “leather” is noticeably cheap. Nothing wrong with it from a performance aspect; it felt and played like leather on-foot which is the whole point of using it. It just won’t give you the look of premium leather but that might not be an issue if you’re just using these on-court. I know I wouldn’t care unless I was stuck wearing these on and off the court.

Were there any glaring differences between the two on-court? Surprisingly enough, not a single thing. Each shoe felt exactly the same and once I started playing, I never even noticed the shoes at all other than the fact that they were working really well.

Inconsistent per usual. While I’ve felt going true to size with the Harden Vol 3, N3XT L3V3L and BYW X was the right option, going down 1/2 will be best for the Dame 5.

The Dame 5’s fit is slightly long at the toe and there is volume above the toe as well. Wide footers, this means these were made for you. Regular/narrow footers will likely want to go down 1/2 size for the best one-to-one fit.

The reason why the score for the fit section is a high as it is was due to the lockdown. Despite fitting a little long in my true size, the lockdown saved the shoe from a fit standpoint.

There is absolutely nothing special with the way the lacing system is structured. However, it works. It works so well that I never was distracted by the fact that there was more length and volume above my foot than I’d prefer. Usually when this happens, I end up getting a sloppy fit and with the Dame 5, I never had anything but great lockdown.

This might have been due to the fact that the interior is lined with more pillows that my bed, really allowing you to tie these bad boys up as tight as you’d like without any kind of discomfort.

The support on the Dame 5’s has been amazing. Lockdown, as described above, was great. You also sit inside the midsole a bit. There is that ugly TPU panel on the lateral side for additional lateral coverage — which didn’t cause any discomfort for me for anyone wondering and torsional support was solid. But the best part was the midsole and outsole.

Not only is the tooling flat as hell but the forefoot is wide at the forefoot in both the medial and lateral side. This will cause you to give yourself the illusion that you have some extremely fat feet while you’re wearing the shoe, but the stability you receive from the width is incredible. I always see a spike in my shooting percentage when I wear shoes with greater forefoot stability and these may have taken the second place spot — number one still goes to Ektio. Yeah, that’s a deep cut for anyone that’s been rocking with me for that long.

As I mentioned from the start, the adidas Dame 5 is easily an early frontrunner for best basketball shoe of 2019. Yes, it’s very early on in the year, but the shoe just plays well.

Pushing aside my dislike for the materials and the overall design, the Dame 5 is solid all the way around: great traction, great cushion, superior lockdown, wonderful support and stability. The materials might scream budget model, but the performance is what you’d expect out of a premium signature basketball shoe.

Whether you’re buying the Dame 5 for full retail price or grabbing a pair for a discount, you should end up liking the hell out of these things.

Publicerat klockan 10:21, den 17 februari 2019
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Under Armour Anatomix Spawn Low 2019 Performance Review

Five years after the debut of the original Under Armour Anatomix Spawn, the 2019 edition is here and we have the performance review.

Traction was beastly. Straight up beastly. Not quite Kobe 9 level, but just barely below it due to the softer rubber compound used. My one day’s worth of outdoor hoops caused quite a bit of rubber fraying versus just playing with them indoors.

Despite using translucent rubber, which was a dust magnet, the traction was rarely affected negatively. A quick wipe here or there was needed, but nothing out of the ordinary. Out of everything I’ve tested this year (2019) and most of last year, this is the best traction setup I’ve personally experienced.

Micro G is back! Is it on the same level as OG Micro G? Not exactly, but it’s so close you almost wouldn’t notice. This rendition is lighter and less dense, so maybe we should call it Micro G light. Just like the OG Shoes Micro G, the cushion is well-balanced. Offering court feel and impact protection, it’s not as rubbery feeling under-foot but still a very nice setup.

Materials are reminiscent of the original as far as the skin-like sections; they’re applied in layers that offer support right where you need it and flex where you’d want it. Lightweight mesh is the main build with the skin-like overlays atop which keeps things very light while retaining some support within the build. Something to note, for those that care, is that the toe area is very well ventilated as the lightweight mesh lets cool air in and hot air out.

The only thing I didn’t like about the materials were how they fit my foot at the toe.

True to size is what I would recommend, however, the toe area left me with some unwanted dead space. I prefer my shoes to sit right on top of my foot and with the Spawn Low 2019, I’ve had to really yank the laces up in the forefoot to achieve that feeling. Doing so ended up leaving the toe area bunched up and bubbled, something I could feel with every step.

The rest of the shoe fit very well, but I would’ve liked the ankle collar area to have had an extra eyelet so it would draw my heel into the rear of the shoe a bit better.

This may not be an issue for those with feet that will fill out all the additional space within the shoe. However for me, there was just not as much of a one-to-one fit that I received with the original version of the Spawn.

Support is pretty standard. There are Internal heel counters are in place but the midsole is the real star here. You sit within the midsole quite a bit — something I love — so you can feel the tooling really taking care of you, ensuring you don’t slide over the footbed. While there is no traditional outrigger, the forefoot section is caged with the rubber outsole wrapping its way up acting as a barrier — without biting into my foot — which I enjoyed. I’m not sure if there is a torsion plate within the shoe, though I assume there is, but I never experienced any torsion issues. I just had some foot fatigue from lace pressure.

While I personally liked the way the original Anatomix Spawn fit my feet more than the 2019 edition, the traction on this shoe is simply awesome. Micro G that feels good is a huge plus as well. Again, my only gripe was the dead space in the toe; had that not been a problem for me then these would have worked out perfectly for me. If the Under Armour Anatomix Spawn Low 2019 fits your needs and your foot, then this might end up being one of the steals of the year at just $110.

If you’ve been playing in the new Anatomix Spawn Low 2019, I’d love to hear your thoughts below in the comment section. Did you experience any issues with the fit or have they been working out perfectly for you? Was the traction as good for you as it was for me? Sound off below and let me know.

As always, thanks for stopping by, and I’ll catch you on the next one.

Publicerat klockan 14:50, den 16 februari 2019
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UA Curry 6 Performance Review

The Under Armour Curry 6 is put through its paces with this performance review by Duke4005.

After waiting over a year for promise of HOVR cushioning to appear in the Curry line, we finally get it in the Curry 6. We all know by now about Curry’s love of court feel – does the Curry 6 keep that low, fast feel or turn into a cushy, mushy mess? Let’s go…

One of the best traction patterns I have tried in the last year. The pattern shouldn’t work – it’s flat, it’s tight, and it’s shallow. There is no herringbone, which ALMOST ALWAYS WORKS!!! So why does the Curry 6 rate so high? I have no idea, but on clean and semi-clean courts, these things stick like Gorilla. Cuts, lateral movements, starts-and-stops, coming off those “Draymond” down screens, my foot went only where I wanted it to. If dust did appear, one extremely quick wipe and I was good-to-go. That was a good thing, because dust will grab onto the outsole, especially the translucent colorway like the Christmas and Fox Theater.

Outdoors? Not. A. Chance. The soft, shallow pattern will get eaten up immediately. Indoors is doing a number on my pair, as some of the pattern is fraying off from hardwood. However, after 7 wears for game nights (roughly 28-35 full-court games), I haven’t experienced any of the peeling issues that some have had — thankfully. The cutouts in the forefoot allow for flexibility and help with transition while running (although it would be better if the foam was segmented for flexibility) but those cutouts could catch on the floor and peel. Again, mine haven’t, and I know a lot of people who haven’t experienced this yet, but it can’t be ignored.

Cushioning in a Curry? Yeah, but it’s not fluffy and puffy – its tuned for optimal impact protection while still keeping you close to the court for those crossover/step-back combo move three’s that you see Steph do and then want to try yourself. Seriously, those of you wanting the HOVR found in the Phantom or even the Sonic runner, keep looking. This foam is dense and tight but warms up the more you play, providing a solid, stable base under foot that never compresses on the edges on cuts and lateral moves. However, there was no impact issues with force coming back up the ankles and knees. The response was NOW – when you decide to move, there is no delay from the foam rebounding. For me, a bigger guard with broken knees and ankles, the Curry 6 never caused me any pain or discomfort. I wouldn’t call this HOVR magical like some of the best cushioning systems, but for quick guards that play fast and tight, it doesn’t get much better.

There’s a full knit upper with elastic areas over the top of the foot and some fuse around the high-wear areas — pretty typical for a basketball shoes today, but it works. The knit is super comfortable and not restrictive or rough at all, which truly feels like a sock on your foot. The toe area is a tighter knit with some additional backing for structure and containment but still — it’s comfy. The lacing system could have been serious — the loops are all connected until it gets to the last hole and the heel counter. If the Curry 6 would have pulled all of the cords, even around the heel with the lacing, the fit would have been killer — but more on that next. The heel interior is deeply padded and again, super-comfy. Notice a trend here? After the minimal uppers and thin padding of the Curry 4 and 5, the 6 brings the comfort strong.

The fit on the Curry 6 confused me. I saw a ton of wearers on Instagram and other sites saying the fit was perfect, but honestly, I had to double-sock to keep from having heel slip and forefoot movement. It wasn’t bad or a deal-breaker, but I don’t like to feel my foot moving inside my shoe at all, and no matter how hard I pulled, the 6 had some empty space around my foot. Again, as simple as double-socking and I was good (I did get some serious lace pressure at the top loop if I pulled way tight like I like). It was really kind of frustrating, because I had the same heel issue in the Curry 5 and the 6 had, it HAD, to be better. I gave it some break-in time for the midsole to begin softening and flexing a little smoother, and I still get slip. I think it’s because the laces pull down and not into the heel, just like the 5.

I would NOT tell anyone to stay away from the Curry 6 based on fit though. The movement was so slight it probably won’t bother a normal person, but I’m far from normal. Again, an extra sock fixed the issue for me. As for length, I had my standard thumb’s-width from the end of my big toe to the end of the toebox but if you like that real 1:1 fit, you could go down a half-size and the materials should stretch enough to stop any pain.

If anyone knows basketball, especially the NBA, then they know Steph Curry NEEDS support. The Curry 6 has sneaky support: it’s a knitted low top, but the sole is wide and the midsole is solid, meaning there is no edge compression that can lead to instability on off-balance landings (and sometimes on normal landings). The flat, wide base makes take-offs on jumpers solid and stable, which leads to better shooting. The midsole is already supportive under the arch from the HOVR but Under Armour went ahead and gave us a midfoot plate called Speedplate for additional torsional support (and I think it works with the HOVR like the FlightPlate/unlocked Zoom Combo in recent nike pg 3).

The other main factor in support and stability is side-to-side containment and the Curry 6 locks it in with a raised midsole. Your foot will sit down in the midsole so any harsh cuts and lateral movements will be stopped on the spot with the raised sidewalls.

Best Curry model ever? I can’t say that; for me, the Curry 2 is still tops (that TRACTION!!!). However, in the last 4 models, the Curry 6 is the best. A great combo of traction, cushioning and support, keeping fast players happy and non-fast players, well, still not fast, but at least they will look good. Again, the cushioning is stiff and fast but absorbs all that bad energy. If you enjoyed the Curry 2 then you need to check out the 6. If you liked the Curry 5 you should check out the Curry 6. If you liked the Curry 3, well…

Another thing — this shoe is plain fun to play in. It’s been a while since a shoe made me feel young, but the Curry 6 did. It takes a special athlete to make the public feel like them just by wearing their shoes, and at my age, I should be past all of that propaganda, but I did. It helps that I have range like Curry (Ayesha), but the fun factor always raises the score a little (new category?).

The Curry 6 is a great indicator of the future and what Under Armour can do — make a good/great performer for a nice price and it actually LOOKS good too (I liked the 4 and 5 as well, but all the internets say the 6 looks great). Much like Curry, Under Armour started out as a long shot, but the Curry 6 shows they are serious about staying around.

Publicerat klockan 15:47, den 30 januari 2019
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Big Baller Brand Zo2.19 Performance Review

The new kid on the block, Big Baller Brand, impresses with the Zo2.19.

The traction on the Zo2.19 is outstanding. The original Zo2 Prime Remix featured the same exact tooling and traction as the Brandblack Rare Metal — which had some good traction but the outsole featured here takes things up more than a few notches.

There is nowhere for dust to get clogged. While you’ll need to wipe the soles at times, when dust is heavy, you’re only quickly removing it from the surface rather than trying to clear grooves of the debris. Each little ‘X’ within the pattern serves as a multi-directional type of coverage and it’s noticeable on every court I had tested them on — including outdoor courts.

Out of every shoe I tested and reviewed in 2018, these outperformed all of them in the traction department. Yes, that includes my beloved Kobe 1 Protro.

The cushion is simply called ‘next generation foam’, but if you’ve been reading/watching WearTesters for a number of years, then the names ‘Jetlon’ or ‘BlackFoam’ will likely ring a bell.

The cushion used on the Zo2.19 is the same stuff; they just can’t call it that since it’s Brandblack tech and this is a Big Baller Brand shoe. However, its performance on the other hand … it’s very similar in feel to the Under Armour Curry 6 HOVR setup, which means I love it.

There is just enough plushness, mixed with just enough firmness, to give you a slight bounce in your step — without making you feel like you’re running around on springs or sinking into the tooling. Some people like springs, some people like that sinking in type of plush feel. I happen to prefer a more fluid ride underfoot and that is how these feel.

The best word I can think of when speaking about the shoe’s cushion is “smooth”. They just feel smooth. If you end up trying a pair out, then you’ll know what I mean. If you’ve played in the Brandblack Future Legend or Curry 6 and enjoyed it, then you’ll likely enjoy these as well.

There is a little bit of old school mixed with a little bit of new school as mesh makes up the majority of the build while premium leather and suede overlay the mesh in strategically placed areas to enhance support and lockdown. It’s very much like an old school pair of sneakers.

The mesh keeps things lightweight and breathable and its premium overlays take care of all the heavy lifting when it comes to lockdown and support.

They feel good like a second skin, which is what premium raw materials are. This is especially evident the more you wear them.

I wound up with my true size and they work well for the most part. There is a slight bit of extra length in the toe that I feel going down 1/2 size would relieve — so if you prefer a snug fit go down 1/2 size. If you like a little bit of wiggle room, then true-to-size is the way to go. Wide footers will be fine going true-to-size as well — the materials should conform around your foot shape nicely.

Lockdown is so nice that it might be my second favorite aspect next to the shoe’s traction. I’m able to lace up the forefoot section super tight and then the strap takes care of lateral containment. The midfoot lacing system is very traditional, nothing crazy, but works really well. Meanwhile, the rear section is fantastic. The leather molds and wraps itself around my ankle so nicely that they feel like they were made on a last of my own foot. Premium leathers are something I genuinely miss in modern performance footwear as nothing beats the feeling of a nicely broken-in pair of leather shoes.

Everything you’ve come to expect in your basketball shoes are featured here. Flat stable platform — check. Midfoot torsion support/shank — check. Foot resting within the midsole for added containment — check. Combine these aspects with the way the upper fits and locks the foot in and you have one hell of a sneaker.

The smartest thing Lavar Ball has done for the Big Baller Brand was team up with the folks over at Brandblack. Footwear designer, David Raysse, has been in the footwear industry for a very long time. Previously known for his work on signature performance sneakers for NBA superstars like Grant Hill and Kobe Bryant, as well as being a former College-level ball player himself — the guy knows what players need out of their basketball shoes.

If I were to compare them to anything, the Nike Air Jet Flight is the first thing that comes to mind. They have very similar builds between the two as both utilized mesh and overlays perfectly. The Air Jet Flight is known as being one of the greatest shoes in Nike Basketball history.

With the help of Raysse, the Big Baller Brand has a very good shoe on its hands. Whether or not people will be open-minded enough to actually accept that is something, remains to be seen. If you play basketball on the regular and take a chance of these things… let me know. I’d love to know if they were as good for you as they’ve been for me.

 
Publicerat klockan 12:35, den 10 januari 2019
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Adidas Marquee Boost Performance Analysis and Review

Merry Christmas everyone. You now have something to read in between commercials and talking to relatives about when I was kid…

If you liked the Harden V3 but didn’t like the plain jane look or if you really enjoyed Beat Street and Breakin, Nique’s old Avias or Dream’s Etonics, the Marquee Boost might be for you. If you want a shoe that’s flat out fun and a great on court, well here’s your shoe too.. or you can pick from the Harden V3 and Tmac Millennium as well since they all perform similarly and very well on court. But it’s not often I see a shoe that speaks to me like the Marquee Boost. What can I say, I ❤️ the 80’s.

Pros: traction, cushioning, fit, support and stability, containment

Cons: retro styling isn’t for everyone ? Runs long

Best for: anyone or 80’s kids

Sizing: half size down to a full size these run long

Buying advice: wait as always, these are everywhere collecting dust. $100 or less is fair, low around 50-60. Make sure to buy the right size these run long

DID I MENTION THEY RUN LONG?

Weight

17 ounces which is similar to the Harden V2 and a lot of other Adidas hoops shoes. If they didn’t run so long maybe they would have shaved a half ounce.

Traction

I took these out on the worst combo floor again..a pergo middle school floor where assemblies happen daily. Pergo doesn’t absorb anything so all the dirt from the day just sits on top. The Marquee started off needing some wiping but got better as the three hour session wore on. Even with some dust stuck on the outsole I didn’t have to wipe much at all.

The pattern is very similar to the Harden and Tmac and doesn’t feature any dumb story telling elements. It just works. I really love how Adidas has been making the forefoot lateral area run perpendicular to the rest of the shoe. It really helps slow the slide on lateral movements. Not groundbreaking but shoe companies have forgotten the basics as of late as getting the basics right is the key to my heart. That and food..

Well done Adidas!

Cushioning

Love the Harden V3 set up? Well I think Adidas slapped almost the exact same set up on these. Not quite as thick feeling as the Millennium, these feel just like the a slightly thicker Harden V3 to me and are just smooth from heel to toe. Hard to get a good measurement but I’d say the Marquee is about 2mm thicker in the heel.

Like the Mac These use a foam strobel as well while the Harden uses a cloth strobel.

And like the Mac, Boost sits around the shoe as the foot sits below the top line a few millimeters.

Very comfortable out of the box and on court. No bottoming out like the Crazy Explosive 2016.

Well done Adidas!

Fit

I bought my regular size 11 and could have sworn it was a 11.5 or twelve. I had over a thumb of extra space at the toe. Width wide they fit fine but that extra length isn’t my preferred length so I went down to 10.5 and was much happier.

No movement inside the shoe no heel slip when I laced to the top, no deadspace in the toe box.

Some people will not like all the laces since this is the antithesis of the CLB minimal lacing set up. These really pull your ankle and foot back in the shoe so if you don’t like that feeling, get the low. I’m a mid guy and I really like how these give me a one to one fit.

Well done Adidas? Half size down people, just remember that.

Materials

I’ve said this before but adidas basketball shoes has gotten really good at premiumizing mesh (see dames, harden v2). I didn’t read the marketing descriptions until yesterday and I thought the toe box was prime knit (not that it matters). The shoe is primarily mesh and fuse (does that make it forged mesh Adidas?) but they put the fuse in high wear areas and made it look like it was there for stylistic reasons. Check out that white synthetic leather! That material really adds some performance!! Not

There is no popping (and locking) or hot spots all the thicker areas don’t require breakin (get it?) at all.

Premiumizing, covfefe, huuuuuge: all to be added to Webster’s dictionary soon. Worst case Wikipedia. Might be in there already

Support and stability

These might feel too restrictive if you just put them on in store but once you play in them, they soften up and conform around your ankle and movements.

Usually I can just fold the entire heel collar but there is a little extra stiffness (that’s what she said) around the Achilles that adds just a little more support kinda like the HD16

Midfoot support is good as it features the same shank as the Harden V3

Adidas extended the Boost pretty wide and it adds support so flat footers like myself don’t have extra flab hanging off the sides

Stability is excellent as well with a very wide outsole, wider than the Harden V3 in fact.

Overall no issues at all here.

Well done Adidas!

Containment

No issues here. Raised midsole really keeps your foot in place on hard cuts. Did I design this shoe?

Conclusion

If the Beard was the Beard balling in the 80s this would be his sig shoe. The Marquee Boost plays almost exactly the same as the Harden except it’s a high/mid with different styling. If you buy a BMW and swap out the exterior of the car, that car will still feel like a BMW since the actual guts of the car haven’t changed. The same thing applies here; the V3 was already a great shoe except for a little heel slip for me but with the Marquee, I get the almost the exact same cushioning, similar traction but with a whole new upper look that actually improved the fit for me. This is one of those shoes that I forget I’m wearing when I’m court but at the same time I get the look good feel good effect and at the same time I’m getting everything I could want out of a shoe. Is this SOY? No not soy sauce you racists, is this the Shoe Of the Year? It might just be, just let me make my mind up after the Curry 6 (let’s hope I can get them tomorrow so I can finish my 2018 Review).

Should you buy these today? These are sitting everywhere so wait another month or so and we should start seeing discounts because the last thing retailers want is inventory sitting on their shelves. I expect these to drop to the $110-99 range plus coupons very soon so I’ll probably stock up when they get to the $50-60 range. Any other person who uses retail as their basis for value is a fool. At $130 retail, this is ten bucks less than the Harden but I got these with the 30% off sale so they come out to $92. Adidas sales are nuts these days and very frequent so if you like bang for your buck, Adidas is where it’s at. 90% sure we see another Adidas sale after Christmas or the New Year. Nothing makes you perform better than extra cash in your wallet. #crazycheapasians

Retro styling isn’t for everyone so that’s great for me. Pretty sure I’ll the only one on the court wearing them and that’s part of the fun of sneakers isn’t it? Getting to express yourself without saying a word? I like doing it with my game personally but sometimes a shoe it just the right fit from all aspects and the Marquee is one of those shoes for me. Understated yet unique and sexy AF (just like me).

I really thought Nike was going to earn most of my business this year (yes earned bc I buy my own sht) but Adidas really came on strong this year even if their marketing campaign was nonexistent. Hey Adidas, can I please run the b-ball division ? UA? Nike? ? No takers ? Oh well.

First team rating, well done Adidas!

Publicerat klockan 15:34, den 26 december 2018
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Air Jordan 33 Performance Review

Duke4005’s performance review on the Air Jordan 33 is here. Grab some popcorn, it’s another great review.

If anything in this industry makes me feel old, it is the annual release of the Air Jordan signature shoe. Seriously – Jordan 33? My first Jordans were, well, the first Jordans. That’s a long time. But like the Air Jordan itself, age ain’t nothing but a number and 33 years is a long time to learn. Did Jordan Brand make the best AJ yet? Let’s get it…

Nub, nubs, nubs. No real pattern, no story-telling (that I have seen) – it’s just some rubber nubs covering from heel to toe. The pattern isn’t deep and the rubber isn’t exactly hard, so outdoors will probably not be a good idea, especially the translucent colorway. So, now that that question is out of the way, let’s get back inside.

On the regular floor I play at on Mondays and Wednesdays, traction was lacking – seriously. On curls and cuts, my feet would slide out on first steps and trying to plant. On defense though, I was getting good grip and was able to stay in front of my man on lateral moves, so no issues there. In defense of the shoe, I also had this issue in every shoe except the Kobe Protro and LeBron 16 – this floor has no finish and is only swept twice a week, so it ain’t the shoes. Again, only the absolute best shoes stick on this floor, so don’t blame the 33.

On the league floor I play on, which was recently refinished (October), the traction was almost too good. There was no issues anywhere, anytime and my feet were Spider-Verse stuck. On one last floor, another 24 Hour Fitness gym, (that is a little better kept but still has no finish) the traction was solid and screeching. I didn’t have any slips or slides but the motion of stopping just screamed “STOOOPPPPP!!!!” – once I got used to the forefoot. More on the reasons for that next in…

A great big slab of Zoom Air in that forefoot. It’s so big that the outsole had to bubble out (that’s not really the reason for the bubble, I don’t think). The heel is a hex unit and coupled with the forefoot gives a great rebound and response – once the Phylon softens up a little. Yeah, they used a hard, stiff Phylon carrier that would make Kyrie 5 proud but luckily, it does break in after a couple of weeks of consistent wear and begins to operate as ordered. There still isn’t a rebound and respond-feel like we felt in the Jordan XXXI and XXXII, but impact protection is covered almost perfectly and stability in the heel and laterally is near perfect.

Going back to the traction and how the cushioning affected it (told you I would come back), the forefoot Zoom unit protrudes from the outsole like the XXXI, but the curve of the forefoot from the Zoom to the toes is drastic, almost ski-slope steep. This means if you aren’t heavy enough to compress the Zoom, your toes will have a difficult time grabbing the floor – mostly because they won’t touch the floor. Luckily, I am that heavy (weight room baby!!!!) but I still did have some instances where I slipped out. Not all the time, but footwork is key to staying on top of the issue.

Well, no shoe is perfect. The main body of the shoe is a mesh/fuse construction with foam backing against the foot with some synthetic leather at the medial forefoot and around the heel cup. The ankle is heavily padded and solid with a thick padded double tongue. All of this thick padding is completely necessary – without it, the wires and straps would feel like a medieval torture device. As it is, there is a slight pressure from the ankle/heel strap but nothing that will make your feet scream. Actually, for all the complaints about not being “premium” materials and “feeling cheap”, the mesh and synthetics do what they are supposed to do – feel good on-foot and are flexible and form-fitting under the new lacing system.

Ok, let’s talk about the new lacing system. By now, surely you have seen or heard, but in case you haven’t, the laces are gone. They’ve been replaced by a pully-cable-gear system that runs from the midsole, around the ankle and across the forefoot. The concern of the cables was durability – if they break, you are theoretically done (I say theoretically because if you have even a slightly wide foot you don’t need to tighten much to get a great fit). The cord over the top of the foot is pulled up, clicking the system into place. The yellow pull cord loosens the system – but not by much. The thought when we all saw this device was “pull the cord and the panels open up”.. They don’t. You have to loosen the cord, pull the panels open manually and pull the strap under the tongue to get the shoe completely loose and even then, it is still a tight fit.

The ankle strap pulls the ankle completely into the heel and the lockdown in that area is complete and total – you will have NO heel slip or movement if you strap in tight. The midfoot fit is really tight in the arch area and if you have wide feet, you are in trouble – even going up half didn’t help much. It is just a seriously tight, snug fit. Because of that, I would say go true-to-size and try to break them in as quickly as possible.

The Jordan XXXIII is easily the most supportive, structured shoe on the market today from a major brand (there may be some shoe somewhere that is better, but I haven’t seen it, so it doesn’t count). The overlays and panels work with the cables and straps and make the whole body of the shoe wrap around the foot like a brace. The stability in the midsole with the harder Phylon makes landings solid and controlled, but even if you end up slightly off-center, the upper should hold you tight – unless you land on a foot, of course.

On lateral movements, the shoe is completely locked and controlled. The only real issue with stability is the sloping forefoot sole and as soon as you get used to the feeling, you will enjoy the added feel in transition. The midsole feels a little blocky until the Phylon softens up so any added help in transition is welcome. If you miss the days of big man shoe, ankle straps or Ektio, the Jordan XXXIII will quench that craving.

Overall, while I really enjoyed the idea and execution of the cable lacing, the Jordan XXXIII was a little more shoe than I usually like. The cushioning and build scream “POST PLAY” and the shoe does play big. The Jordan XXXII had similar cushioning and traction but played faster and quicker. The cables do work and the fit is great, but the same lockdown and fit could be achieved with regular laces. If you are a fan of the Jordan line, as I am, you should definitely look into a pair, as the cushioning and traction are extremely playable. If you are a big man or don’t like a minimal, quick-feeling shoe, the Jordan XXXIII is perfect. If you like freedom of movement in your ankle and a low-top, running feel, run away.

There are some saying this doesn’t feel like a Jordan shoe – and they are wrong: Jordan signatures were about pushing the envelope, trying new things and trying to make the public take notice. The Jordan XXXIII definitely makes you take notice and whether your opinion if like it or leave it, at least it’s drawing looks. Keep pushing Jordan designers (you know who you are) – we like to try to fly.

Publicerat klockan 14:42, den 25 december 2018
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adidas Harden Vol 3 Performance Review

Love him or hate him, one thing’s for sure: James Harden has his own unique style, both on the court and off. Looking to capitalize on its investment, adidas has gotten a little, well, different with his first two shoes. The Harden Vol 3 has gone back to a more traditional look so does that mean performance took a vacation? Let’s go…

The Harden Vol 1 and 2 both featured anything but traditional traction patterns; the Vol 1 was based on pressure points and Harden’s start-and-stop style, while the Vol.2 looked like a sponge but worked (in certain colorways). The Harden 3 discovered herringbone and it is great.

Front to back, side to side (word to UGK), the Harden Vol 3 voyager offers complete coverage in a tight, tough pattern that gripped all three floors I played on. This model (the ‘Voyager’ colorway) features a translucent rubber that doesn’t grab dust as bad as past shoes with clear soles, but I did need to wipe frequently on the dirty court. On the newly refinished rec court I play league at on Mondays, I was completely glued to the floor with almost too much grip. I know, that’s a serious problem right?

I could really feel the difference between the Harden Vol 3 and the Vol 2 on defense. The Vol 2 pattern and rubber offered a smoother, softer stop that eased into the grip (if that makes sense). However, the Harden Vol 3 is a serious stop RIGHT NOW stop and as someone who still tries to play hard D (yeah, I know…) I appreciated the improvements.

Outdoors? C’mon, you already know that answer. Shallow pattern, translucent rubber? Not a chance I see these lasting outdoors, at least in this colorway.

Less Boost must mean worse cushioning — those are the laws of sneaker physics right? — except when it doesn’t, like on the Harden Vol 3. What helps is less caging of the forefoot.

By only caging about a three inch strip (in my size 10.5) of the forefoot the stability is still present but the Boost is allowed to compress more across the whole forefoot. That gives the shoe great impact protection but also incorporates some great court feel.

The Vol 1 went with court feel and it excelled. The Vol 2 went the max cushioning route and lost some court feel, although it wasn’t terrible. The Harden Vol 3 finds a great balance. There was no lag time at all in reactions and after coming down from jumpers I had no pain in my feet. Also, the Boost doesn’t stick out from the upper, making the forefoot less clunky and blocky than the Vol 2.

We’ve discussed the forefoot, but what about the heel? Again, we get less Boost than the Vol 2, which makes the ride lower while still giving great impact protection. This also makes the transition extremely smooth and flowing with a low heel-to-toe drop — no clunkiness at all. Overall, this is the best combination of court feel and protection that the Harden line has given us.
While the Vol 1 had two different upper options, Primeknit and a normal textile, the Vol 2 gave us just one option and it was a cross between the two Vol 1 builds. For the Harden Vol 3, we get what is being called a “textile upper with synthetic overlay.”

For us normal people, this means a woven upper with fabric backing. It feels more like the Vol 2 than Primeknit, but this isn’t a bad thing. Straight out of the box the upper feels pliable and comfortable and has no internal hotspots. The black/white release colorway has more of a plastic-glued feeling over the weave while the silver colorway is straight fabric.

Internally, as mentioned, the upper is lined with a fabric backing as well as an internal sleeve system. Going away from the trendy one-piece upper, the tongue and lace area are almost separate. The heel and tongue are topped off with some of the softest leather seen lately, and those areas wrinkle and crease almost as soon as you put the shoes on (which is great).

The inside of the heel and ankle is lined with thick padding and old-school terry cloth that feels great on-foot, even with no-show socks (I guess Nightwing and I are the only ones who still wear those from reading the comments). For the silver colorway, there is a glittery thread sewn into the upper, so if you like sparkles and shiny things, you are in luck.
Finally, after a few years of trial and error, adidas has gotten the sizing right. I am a 10.5 in almost everything, and a 10.5 in the Harden Vol 3 was perfect. I mean, absolutely perfect. The biggest reason? That almost-separate tongue and upper. This allows the upper to be laced as tight or loose as you wish. Wide-footers, rejoice! I like to pull mine tight so there is absolutely no movement inside, and the lacing system let me do that. However, if you have a wide foot, you can loosen the upper a bit and it will still fit fine. The elastic band does nothing but adds some design and texture to the upper, so no worries on it being too tight.

The heel slip/fit is a problem for regular-width feet if you don’t lace up the last hole tight. You can do it because the tongue is thickly padded and the flat laces don’t put any pressure across your foot. The high heel piece looks uncomfortable but breaks in quick and helps with that heel lockdown. The padding in that area is almost obnoxious but it feels great after about two games of wear (or wear them casually for about an hour).

If the yeezy boost was a little more support than you bargained for, the Harden Vol 3 takes it back a notch. The feel, initially, is running shoe-like and that feeling never really goes away.

The materials are flexible but don’t stretch so lateral stability isn’t an issue across the forefoot. Again, the band doesn’t really contribute anything, but the materials do a fantastic job with lockdown. The caging of the lateral forefoot Boost in the Harden Vol 3 acts as an outrigger as well so rolling in that area is gone. Boost, being a soft foam, tends to compress and become unstable on some landings, but the caging keeps the Boost from excessive compression, which keeps the shoe stable.

The full-length shank is present again in the Harden Vol 3 and it runs from the heel into the solid midfoot to two separate forks under the forefoot. Separating the forefoot shank provides flexibility — without being overly stiff — and still keeps the shoe stable. There is an internal heel cup that rises halfway up the extended heel area but it never gets in the way while playing. The rest of the support comes from the lacing system and the fantastic fit, which complete ties the foot into the upper.

Plain and simple: the Harden Vol 3 is the best Harden shoe we have seen yet. The design may, in some eyes, be taking a step back but performance has never been better.

If you are a player at any position who enjoys freedom of movement, court feel with above-average impact protection, and a great fit look no further — the Harden Vol 3 is a serious shoe. If you enjoy a little more supportive feel or just don’t like “The Beard” then I guess you can look elsewhere, but you’ll be missing out.

adidas has a hit on their hands with the Harden Vol 3. Now I am faced with a dilemma: my Top Picks of the year are coming soon, and with adidas switching the release dates of the Dame 5 and Harden Vol 3, I may have to make room for a shoe I didn’t anticipate.

With the Crazy BYW X and the Harden Vol 3 being the only Boost-equipped basketball shoes on the release calendar for the foreseeable future, pickings are slim if you need the little pebbles under your foot. It seems, to some in this business, that adidas is straying from Boost in basketball and turning to Bounce as a more stable cushioning system for the lateral and vertical movements. However, if Three Stripes can make a Boost with this impact protection and court feel, moving away from it is a mistake.

adidas, follow the leader — or at least the MVP — and give us the Boost we still live for.

Publicerat klockan 09:15, den 30 oktober 2018
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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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