Clothes and Sneaker Reviews 2017~2018

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16.12.2019.

Reebok Floatride Run 2 Performance Review

The Reebok Floatride Run 2 is a futuristic looking distance running shoe. But don’t let the non-traditional upper fool you. The Floatride Run 2 performs well and gives you a comfortable new silhouette that can bounce effortlessly between casual wear and performance. Cushion There’s a lot of runners out there that haven’t tried Reebok’s Floatride foam cushioning. If that’s you, do yourself a favor and buy a shoe featuring Floatride. It’s a Pebax foam like Nike’s ZoomX (which appears on the Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2 and Nike’s premiere racing shoe, the Vaporfly Next%). And just like ZoomX, Floatride is awesome. It’s similar in bounce and energy return to Adidas’ Boost, but denser and somehow lighter. Floatride is what Boost HD should have been. You won’t sink down into the foam as much as you do with Boost. And that’s really nice when you’re tackling speed workouts. And for those of you that ran in the first Floatride Run, version 2 features 20% more foam. So you get more foam and more bounce for the same price.

Traction

The Reebok Floatride Run 2 features a ladder-like pattern with plentiful nubs and thick rubber. It’s got great ground contact and there wasn’t any slippage in wet conditions. I’ve run over 50 miles in my pair but looking at the traction you’d think I’ve only run a few miles. The outsole is super durable and should easily last more than 300 miles.

Materials

The Floatride Run 2 features a two piece upper construction. The heel is a polyester moisture wicking material stuffed with foam padding and a plastic heel counter. The midfoot and forefoot are made of Reebok’s UltraKnit (great airflow). There’s also a TPU cage that surrounds the midfoot and wraps around the heel and along the base of the shoe for stability. With the two piece upper you have to watch out for the knit folding over on itself as you slide your foot into the shoe. You get used to avoiding any folding after wearing them a few times so it’s no longer an issue for me. It’s a minimalist set of materials, and though they’re organized in a new way, they’re very similar to what you’ll see on other running shoes.

Support

The Reebok Floatride Run 2’s support comes from three different parts of the shoe. The first is the heel piece. It’s seamless, includes a large internal plastic heel counter, and extends to the midfoot on both the lateral and medial sides of the shoe. It keeps you on top of the midsole during turns and prevents heel movement. The second part that delivers support is the TPU cage. Like the Adidas Ultraboost line, the TPU cage includes the lace holes. The TPU cage in the Floatride Run 2 is made of thick plastic and extends around the entire foot. It wraps around the heel both along the divide between the midsole/upper and around the top of the heel counter. In addition, the TPU cage features an outrigger on the medial heel that extends into the flared Floatride midsole. The outrigger is an ingenious little addition that eliminates any wobbles to the inside of the foot. Finally, the TPU cage extends to the tips of your toes. You sit inside the TPU cage till the ball of your foot, but the TPU cage still stretches around the toe area. The TPU cage is probably more support than most runners need but it makes the mostly knit Floatride Run 2 as stable as a traditionally built shoe. The final part that creates support is the flared midsole. All around your foot the midsole flares out to create a stable base. You’ve got extra midsole protecting you in all directions. Despite being mostly made of knit, this is not the type of shoe where you’ll slide off the footbed.

Fit

The curry 7 runs a little long. Width wise it will be too tight to go down a ½ size for most people. The UltraKnit does loosen up and break in over time but the TPU cage is still there so buying a smaller size isn’t the answer. Luckily, lockdown is really really good so the extra bit of room in the toe doesn’t mean you’re sliding back and forth with each step. The length is a small annoyance but not something that should prevent you from purchasing. The Floatride Run 2’s upper feels very similar to the Adidas Ultraboost 19. And just like with the Ultraboost 19, you should be able to tie the laces once and then slip them on and off without ever having to retie the laces.

Overall

The Reebok Floatride Run 2 looks great and got me a lot of compliments. It’s a supportive, breathable, and extremely well cushioned shoe with a few flaws like too much length. At $150, the kyrie 6 is on the higher end of running shoe pricing. The price is justified because the shoe is well rounded and durable enough to last for a ton of miles.
13.12.2019.

adidas D Rose 10 Performance Review

Ten years of signature shoes for Derrick Rose and adidas Hoops. Is the adidas D Rose 10 the best one yet?

The traction featured on the D Rose 10 are two of my favorite patterns — herringbone and radial patterns just tend to grip the best more often than not. However, the patterns used here are so tightly spaced that even the smallest amount of dust will accumulate and cause a noticeable lack of bite throughout gameplay. A quick wipe and all should be free and clear for a brief period of time, but if your court conditions are less than ideal then you may end up with some really lackluster grip.
Obviously, the cleaner the court the better the grip applies to almost every shoe, but it’s emphasized with the D Rose 10.
Cushion is Bounce once again, and it’s not as plush as it was on last years D Rose 9.
This version of Bounce gives off a slight budget-friendly feel to the shoe versus a premium feeling cushion worthy of the $140 retail price. But, and there’s always a but, you still maintain a good amount of court feel with some cushion under-foot. I just found it to be strange that every pair of my $105-115 pair of Dames with Bounce cushion have felt awesome under-foot and the D Rose 10 did not live up to my previous experiences.
Materials are vastly different than last years D Rose 9 as the pleated textile was replaced with full grain leather. This made for a really premium feeing shoe straight out the box along with a fairly fast break-in period.
This setup does stretch a bit more than I’d have liked once they were broken in, which caused me to constantly have to adjust my laces for a tighter fit, but some may end up enjoying this — such as wide footers.
This makes me think that the leather isn’t the best cut or style of leather, I may be wrong, as I’ve not had this much stretching of leather in quite some time. Although, it could have been due to the one-piece leather build instead of additional overlays adding some extra structure and support.
I was forced to go down 1/2 size due to all other sizes being sold out, but I’m happy that I had to since the shoe fits long… and the leather stretching thing too.
Wide footers may be okay going true to size, but those that aren’t extremely wide footed may be okay going down 1/2 sz once the shoe has broken-in.
Lockdown suffered a bit due to the material stretching, but it could’ve been much worse… adidas harden vol 4, I’m looking at you. Luckily the rear TPU heel counter holds you onto the footbed and extends toward the midfoot. I do wish the midsole cradled or cupped the foot in the forefoot as I feel it would’ve made the material stretch less noticeable, but perhaps that’s something they can improve upon in the next model.
Support is pretty average. Not bad by any means, but not over abundant either. Just enough is in place to keep you safe and secure while playing. The midsole has enough torsion support while the forefoot is exaggerated enough to act as an outrigger first lateral stability. Mom Overall, the adidas D Rose 10 is much better than the previous model. They’re not quite as amazing as the D Rose 6 PK were, but they’re as nice as the early models the shoe is supposed to pay homage to. If you’re a D Rose fan and wanted to keep your collection going then these will likely make you happy. If you’re looking for the best bang for your buck then there are many other models in 2019 that will provide that for you.
10.12.2019.

Nike Air Zoom SuperRep is built to serve the performance

Nike’s SuperRep family of footwear is built to serve the performance needs of class-based fitness athletes. Each unique silhouette — including the debut shoe, the Nike Air Zoom SuperRep — responds to the specifications of a particular type of workout, be it a boot camp or spin class. The shoes are created with a commitment to extend the same level of expertise provided to professional athletes to all enthusiasts who work on a daily and weekly basis to better themselves. “Fitness classes are booming around the world,” says Jamie Jeffries, VP/GM of Nike Training. “Working out is its own sport, and Nike’s SuperRep shoes are designed to deliver on the performance needs specific to these activities.” The Nike Air Zoom SuperRep is an innovative shoe built specifically for the rigors of high-intensity classes. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts alternate bouts of going all-out with periods of rest to recover. The movements are diverse — burpees, kettlebell swings, lunges, mountain climbers, push-ups, squats and many more — and are sequenced to get maximum impact from maximum effort. Using Zoom Air in the forefoot not only creates a dynamic aesthetic, it also helps provide impact protection and a responsiveness that gives back rep after rep after rep. This cushioning — a two-unit system under the forefoot — doesn’t act alone. A plate running from heel to forefoot helps roll the foot forward and into a ready position for the majority of upright HIIT movements. The upper is crafted to support lateral moves, such as skaters and side lunges. The “burpee break” provides stability in plank positions and allows the foot to bend naturally when driving into mountain climbers. Nike SuperRep Cushioning Alongside the air jordan 34 is the SuperRep Go, made for quick home workouts, and the SuperRep Cycle. The spikes on the spin shoe are made with rubber to prevent slips and falls in the spin studio.

09.12.2019.

Air Jordan XX2 22 Performance Review

Since the Curry 7 review is just around the corner, I thought I’d step back and review the AJ XX2 since the Curry 3 took a huge bite out of the AJ XX2 back story.  I’m disappointed that UA went there but if the Curry 3 performs, nobody will care. I guess since the XX2 was such a sales dud maybe UA thought they could pull it off without anyone noticing? I don’t know … Pros: traction, fit, support, materials Cons: pod cushioning is too targeted and feels unnatural, tippy in the heel, pricey at $175 especially in 2007. Sizing: half size down Best for: guards Weight 16.5 oz so just a half ounce more than the Crazylight Boost 2016. Traction Jordan Brand usually does a good job with traction and this was the highlight of the air jordan 34 for me. Stuck extremely well on clean floors and needed minimal wiping on dusty floors.  Probably would have been better if the entire outsole was the same depth but then the IPS system wouldn’t “work” as well Cushioning IPS is back again for the third straight model starting with the XX. Hurray? I couldn’t tell a difference in density in any of the aforementioned models and this was no different. The IPS foam feels great overall at least with a nice bit of springiness. As for the heel, Jordan Brand brought back the modularity idea allowing the player to swap between Max Air and Double Stacked Zoom. Now that sounds great in theory but the Max and Zoom don’t cover much surface area And the double stacked Zoom is nearly as thin as a quarter (I mean two quarters since its double stacked). Maybe this was the beginning of the end for real Zoom You can feel the cushioning if you like quarter size set ups. It literally feels like a quarter size lump of cushioning is under your heel. Having the logo raised in the insole doesn’t help either. Which feels better between the two ? Zoom pod for sure. It just has a more even feeling than the Max set up. Overall cushioning is decent but far from ideal. A simple forefoot zoom and regular heel that covers the entire heel like the Kobe VI would have been great. Fit The XX2 came out before Nike and JB went to a more narrow last and fit so 10.5 fit me perfectly. Finger width of space at the toe, no heel slip and no space side to side. The upper starts a little stiff since it is real leather but it breaks in nicely and gives a decent almost one to one fit. Not quite perfect but still good overall. I really liked the simple lacing set up with the lace lock because it just works. MaterialsWhat is this foreign space age material ? Oh it’s real leather. Good luck ever seeing leather again from any company. JB and Nike were really pushing the quilted interior back in 2007. Personally I like the look and feel but it doesn’t make a difference performance wise. Nice materials and build quality, may leather Rest In Peace Support and Stability  Ah, when a higher cut shoe didn’t fold like a bad hand in Texas Hold em. I really liked the combo of the firmer mid cut with a stiff heel counter JB also says the XX2 features a titanium coated midfoot shank plateErrr, just because it is painted silver doesn’t mean it’s titanium Jordan Brand. Clearly plastic with silver paint. It does its job just fine but don’t hype a piece a plastic as something it isn’t. The XX2 is stable in the forefoot even without an outrigger but the heel is a little tippier than I prefer. The protruding outsole under the modular unit doesn’t help either. Overall support is good but the tippy heel isn’t trustworthy. Containment Clean simple lines with no major physical barriers would be worrisome with today’s knits and woven uppers but leather is strong and doesn’t have that stretch on hard cuts. Also this extra leather rand helps in containing the foot. Similar idea to the Curry 3 “midsole frame” Conclusion  Every sneaker has a snorey..I mean story. Out of ideas, let’s say make up one about fighter planes! Zooooom fast powerful stealthy (is that a word? ). It’s everything an Air Jordan should be! Whoever was running Jordan Brand back then needs to be destroyed like Cyberdyne in Terminator 2 to prevent the proliferation of story telling these days. Unnecessary and adds no value to sneakers; let the players wearing them write the story. Inspiration aside, the shoe itself is a good overall performer but the ultratargeted tiny heel cushion really ruins the shoe. Let’s see how UA does with the same inspiration.

05.12.2019.

Air Jordan 11 ‘Bred’ OG vs 2019 Retro Comparison

We’re less than two weeks away from the official launch of the Air Jordan 11 ‘Bred’ Retro for 2019. How does this remastered version of the shoe stack up to the original? You’ve got to give credit where it’s due. Jordan Brand did a very good job recreating the Air Jordan 11 to be as close to the 1995/96 version as possible. Materials are the one area that are a glaring distinction between the two. Yes, we’d love to see the Air Jordan 11 brought back better than ever, but that isn’t what the brand has been trying to do. They’ve been trying to replicate the original, not replace it. The truth is that the leather tanneries, textile manufacturers and carbon fiber manufacturers that Nike hired to make the parts that make up the OG Air Jordan 11 are no longer in business. It’s literally impossible for them to make the AJ11 exactly the way they were. So, getting as close as possible is the next best option. For that, we say good job. There are some small and subtle things they still can work on. The most notable being the toe shape. The squared looking toes of the last decade are just boxy looking and make the original’s sleek design look bulky. If we can see some refinement of the toe shape in 2020 then we’ll be pretty happy. We hope you enjoy our detailed comparison of the OG Air Jordan 11 Bred and the 2019 Retro. Good luck to everyone going after a pair. You’ll be able to find them available on Nike.com

03.12.2019.

Nike Kyrie 3 vs 2 Performance Review and Comparison

Executive Summary: plays almost exactly the same as the Kyrie 2. Similar firm cushioning and very good traction. Shoe starts stiff but breaks in. No real reason to buy the 3 when the 2 does nearly everything the same or better though. Pros: traction, court feel, fit, support and stability, containment, very durable Cons: traction pods protrude and cause a little bit of inconsistent traction in the heel, needs periodic wiping on dusty floors on Non pod portions, cushioning needs break in and is very stiff and firm like the Kyrie 2, materials start stiff but break in, not the best value out there especially now that sale time is upon us. Sizing: true to size, very wide footers will probably want to go up half a size Best for: guards looking who value response and quickness; players who liked the Rose 4 Buying Advice: wait for sales, Nike made a lot. $90 is fair, $65 is near the bottom. Or just buy the Kyrie 2 Weight 14.5 oz which is pretty average Kyrie 2 is the exact same weight Traction If there is one thing you can say about the Kyrie 6 line, it’s that it’s traction patterns look aggressive. The main attraction of the Kyrie 3 traction is the use of traction pods in the forefoot that ride up the sides. The rubber is softer and raised a millimeter or two from the rest of the shoe. The concept works and the pods do their job very well. The rest of the shoe is a blade pattern or modified herringbone and feels softer than the Clutchfit Drive herringbone but firmer than the Kyrie 2 rubber.  I wish the entire outsole was made of the pods’ rubber or Nike put some of these pods throughout the entire outsole like the AJ XX because on a few occasions I’d spin out at the heel since the forefoot stuck better than the rest of the shoe. This occurred even on pristine floors. Nitpicky I know. One concern with the traction pods is durability and efficiency once they wear down. I think they will still work fine once they wear evenly with the rest of the outsole but expect more wear in that area due to the softness of the rubber. Overall traction is very good overall but I feel the Kyrie 2 provided better consistent traction overall especially on dirty floors since it is the same rubber, pattern, and depth throughout the outsole. Neither required too much wiping but the 3 needed a few more wipes per session. Not quite top tier stuff but still good overall. Cushioning Here is the tech highlight of the Kyrie 3. The rest of the shoe is Phylon just like last year’s. If you did not like the cushioning on the Kyrie 2, you will not like the cushioning on the Kyrie 3. Say with me again, if you did not like the cushioning on the Kyrie 2, you will not like the cushioning on the Kyrie 3. One last time.. Cushioning is very firm on the Kyrie 3 just like the 2. It starts off very very stiff but softens a little with break in. I could feel the Zoom a tiny bit just like on the 2. It is serviceable and responsive as Randy noted but I just prefer a little more softness in the forefoot because I have Morton’s neuroma in each foot.  The good news is that the neuromas didn’t flare up badly but I could feel some buzzing after an hour just like the 2’s. I prefer a more balanced cushioning feel overall and these are just a little too hard for my tastes. The set up feels almost exactly the same as the Rose 4 except the Rose 4 has a thicker PU insole. Very low to the ground and quick feeling. *interstingly enough if you check out sneakerdebut see the Kyrie actually sits at nearly 18 mm which is higher off the ground than the Harden V1 or CLB. Of course that’s not accounting for the insole thickness which probably evens it out. Thanks reader Pflite* Although this didn’t really affect cushioning much, these two changes make the cushioning on the 3 feel a smidge firmer: Number 1 The Kyrie 5 featured Poron in the forefoot while this year’s does not. Hard to really tell a difference but to the touch Poron is softer. Number 2 The Kyrie 2 had an ortholite insole while this year’s doesn’t have the ortholite markings so in guessing it’s not ortholite. Anyways, the name doesn’t matter but the Kyrie 3 insole is very thin and flimsy like a limp noodle (it can barely hold its shape when I took the pic) plus it feels slightly thinner towards the middle than the Kyrie 2 insole. It’s as if someone wore down the insole of the Kyrie 2 and put it into the Kyrie 3. That’s how thin it feels to me. On Adidas Boost models, the thin insole is fine since it has all that Boost below it but with this firm set up, Nike really should have given us a thicker insole. If you’ve ever played in basketball ball in tennis shoes like the Adidas Barricade or even the Nike Zoom Vapor 9, that’s what the cushioning feels like. Actually the Zoom Vapor 9 has the exact same size Zoom and a similar if not thicker Phylon set up from heel to toe including the foam strobel. However, the Zoom Vapor feels better because the insole is thicker. If you want to improve the comfort level of the Kyrie 3, get a bigger size and put in a thicker insole to add a couple of millimeters more of cushioning.  Keep in mind that it might feel better underfoot but one or two millemeters isn’t going to fix any knee issues you might have. Fit I bought my true to size 11 and initially thought I should have gone up half a size. However, after playing in them a few weeks, true to size was the way to go. Even though I’m a wide footer, these stretched out enough for me. If you’re Fred Flintstone, you should at least try half a size up before deciding on the correct width though. There is no movement in the forefoot, very little deadspace above the foot in the toe box and zero heel slip. Midfoot fit is still tight like the previous models but not deathly like the Kyrie 1. After a few hours of break in time, you almost forget they are on your feet as the upper softens up. Almost Even though the Kyrie 3 has a very good fit, the Kyrie 2 has an even better fit due to the strap that helped pull the ankle and heel back further. Materials In case you’re part of the Night’s Watch or need to defend Winterfell…. The materials start off stiff but soften up quickly. They don’t feel Flyknit soft or anything but they do soften up enough after a few hours of break in time. The spiked look doesn’t really convey a soft warm comfy feel does it? The lateral side of the upper is a similar fuse  as last year’s model Not cracker crispy like the Kyrie 1 but not definitely not Snuggles soft. The medial side and toe box is mesh with a nylon backing and feels a lot softer than the lateral side. The front of the toe box does have a hard rand for durability as well. I’ve noticed this is a trend these days as shoe companies have added strength and stiffness to the lateral side for containment and support while leaving the medial side soft for flexibility. Hmmm, maybe I did make a difference .(I’m kidding I don’t have that kind of pull) Of course we can’t forget the featured xafsing portion which is the forefoot flex area.

Across the top of the foot,  a long stretchy band flexes with your foot for support during quick cuts and sprints. 
Nike used a thinner mesh and Flywire to allow extra  flexibility at the forefoot.  I don’t it feel stretches at all but that thinner mesh allows for a more natural flex area. Plus it’s hard to quantify if it really works since the rest of the upper is so much stiffer than this little area. If you’re big on materials and have to have that pure Flyknit or Primeknit or mesh feel, you probably will want to steer clear of the Kyrie 3. I think the materials are fine and don’t affect playability but every person has different needs and wants. Support and Stability  Support is good with the Kyrie 3 thanks to the fit, heel counter and stiffer fuse on the lateral side. Just plain and simple, solid support. As stiff as the upper starts off, it is plenty flexible like the Kyrie 2 and isn’t going to save any ankles Nike continued with the curved outsole but didn’t choose to xafs it this time around.It seems slightly less curved in the forefoot than the Kyrie 2. After not playing in the Kyrie 2 for a year you can feel a difference with the curved outsole but it doesn’t make a difference for me in terms of performance. Also helping with the stability was the firm, low to the ground cushioning. Overall just a solid supportive and stable shoe. Same as the Kyrie 2. ContainmentNo surprises here as containment was excellent thanks to that stiffer lateral fuse upper as well as the raised midsole. Softer materials might be all the rage but there are benefits to using stiffer and stronger materials like Fuse. Conclusion  Not the best value out there but a good performer overall. The Kyrie 3 has great traction, a good fit with solid support and stability and very firm cushioning. I had no issues with aches or pains but then again don’t have knee or back issues (knock on wood). The Kyrie 3 just feels like a quick high cut tennis shoe for players that value lateral quickness over everything else. Cushioning will come down to personal preference and if you didn’t like the 2 cushioning you will not like the 3. I’ll even qualify that statement with this; If you don’t like UA Charged you will not like cushioning on the Kyrie 3. Charged foam is easily thicker bouncier and softer. If you want to improve the comfort of the Kyrie 3, size up and swap out the cheapo insole. Is the Kyrie 3 an upgrade over the 2? No I don’t feel it did anything better than the Kyrie 2. Is it worth paying $120? No probably not. There are plenty of shoes out that at the $120-$130 range that do everything just as well or better than the Kyrie 3. Curry 2, 2.5, 3 all come to mind.  Plus it’s almost mid season so there are plenty of sales on earlier launches.  Do not buy these if you want a softer cushioning set up or if you want a Charmin soft upper material.  I’m guessing Nike made a lot of these to capture the new Kyrie fans post championship. If Kyrie 2 sales are any indication, these should hit $90 under range soon and bottom out around $65. If you want a marginally better performing and cheaper shoe, stick to the Kyrie 2.
02.12.2019.

Air Jordan XX9 vs XX8 Performance Review

I’ve read all the great reviews about the XX9 so I picked these up during the Nike clearance sale for $124 to see  what all the hype was about.  I will also compare the XX9 to the XX8 SE Before I get into the comparison let me give you a sale pitch on a new 2015 Mercedes. Introducing the newest, lightest and most technology advances Mercedes, the MB 2015. Here are some features we added:

  • A new material for the frame 
Here is what we took away
  • Replaced the rear air suspension with standard coil overs made for an Accord. You don’t need that anymore
  • Made the air suspension feel more like coil overs but rest assured it is air.
  • Replaced all carbon fiber parts with plastic. Who needs carbon fiber anyways.
Oh and we made the price 50% more than last years model. and the material is not as durable and susceptible to abrasions and will degrade faster than last years materials.  Now would anyone in their right mind go for the newer model and not feel like they have been duped ?  You can argue that the new frame is where the increase in cost is coming from but if you believe that I have some ocean front property in Arizona for you. PROS: Traction, comfortable sock like upper, breathable, forefoot cushioning , fit CONS: No Zoom in heel? These are called Air Jordans, not forefoot Air Jordans, containment, tipsy at the heel, upper not durable BEST FOR:  lightweight guards, straight runners/non cutters, swag champs TRACTION Traction is great on both the XX8 and XX9 but I think the fatter pattern took away some of the bite. The XX8 has much sharper peaks and deeper grooves made from a slightly more pliable rubber than the XX9. Verdict: XX8 CUSHIONING When I read that Jordan Brand decided to take away the heel Zoom Air because it wasn’t really necessary, I thought “is a $225 shoe without Zoom Air necessary? What about cavier and sushi rather than Mac and cheese ? ” This isn’t about necessity, it’s about the luxury of owning the premier basketball shoe. Anyways, the new unlocked Zoom set up is more recessed into the sole and turned a quarter turn. This 1) lowers the ride compared to the XX9 2) allows the Zoom to flex more naturally since the  segmentation runs sideways vs lengthwise 3) makes the unlocked Zoom less prone to popping and costing Jb less money for returns. I had a friend of mine bust his XX9 and air jordan 34 air in the span of two weeks and he isn’t even a high flyer (sorry Ben, the truth hurts lol). Luckily, they were both under warranty so he got replacement vouchers.   Above: The transition is better thanks to the additional rubber between the forefoot and heel. I have yet to pop mine but I know it’s just a matter of time.  The thing that irks me is why did JB bother to set up the XX8 the way they did ? Didn’t they weartest the shoes beforehand? What if my shoe pops outside the 2 year window? It isn’t a defect but rather a design flaw imo Above: almost perfectly flush with the outsole Below: at least 1 or 2mm more protrusion on the XXThe new setup feels less unlocked than the XX8 since it is recessed and you’re contacting the floor with the Zoom and outsole all at the same time versus just touching the floor with Zoom only . You can still feel it though but you have to know what to look for. It isn’t worlds away better feeling than regular Zoom like the XX9 but it does feel great nonetheless. The foam in the heel feels like Phylon and does its job but to skimp out doesn’t seem like Jordan’s style. I am a heavy heel striker especially when I’m running down the court so I really like to feel that extra bounce on the XX8. VERDICT: XX8 easily especially in the heel FIT The XX9 fits great plain and simple. They eliminated all the deadspace on the shoe to make it as sock like as possible. Look how much smaller the XX9 looks vs the XX8 I went with my normal sz 11 and they fit perfectly, leaving me a finger width between my big toe and the end of the toe box. The heel fit is is fantastic too thanks to the dog bone inside the heel that prevents any slipping.   One thing to note with the flexible upper is that the laces come loose more quickly than normal. When you see a movie and a guy is tied up in rope, how does he get out ? He wiggles and shimmies to loosen the rope and that’s precisely what happened when the upper flexes and moves around the ankle. I’d start the game perfectly tied but it kept loosening up as the game went on.  Not a big deal but just something I noticed. The XX9 fit very well albeit it had more of a normal shoe fit since the upper isn’t Performance Woven upper and Flightweb or whatever they call it. I had perfect lockdown in the XX9 as well and did not need to size down like some other reviewers stated as I stuck with my size 11. No deadspace or side to side movement to speak up either but the XX9 just fits better. VERDICT: XX9 SUPPORT and STABILITY Some shoes have great support and marginals stability while others have exceptional stability but mediocre support.  In my opinion I’d rather have the latter so I don’t have to worry about the support since the stability of the shoe will keep me firmly planted. The XX9 support comes from its fit and have heel counter.  I am an over pronator and you can see it just by looking at how my laces lean toward the inside of my ankle. There is a plastic shank but it does little in keeping my ankle from rolling in whereas the XX8 has a carbon fiber shank plate or flightplate as they call it. Above: carbon fiber over plastic any day As I said earlier I don’t mind a shoe that is stable while sacrificing some support but the XX9 failed my heel test. Sure, upon a perfect landing I won’t sprain my ankle but I’m more concerned with imperfect landings when I have to land on my heel or when I’m pushed mid air. See how narrow the XX9 is vs the XX8 In addition the heel counter is a lot more flexible than the XX8Good ol carbon fiber. Why change a good thing ? VERDICT: XX8 CONTAINMENT Every carbon fiber piece on the XX8 was replaced with plastic on the XX9 including the footstay at the forefoot. Couple the woven upper with a more flexible plastic and the net result is below average containment. I could feel my foot coming out of the footbed and feeling the plastic flex on hard cuts. The woven upper is fine but there needs to be either 1) a stiffer footstay 2) higher footstay 3) more coverage along the lateral side , maybe even midfoot to forefoot. I did not have this problem with the XX8 although I have had better containment on shoes such as the Rose 5 or Lebron Solder VI. I think if you are lightweight or don’t cut a lot or very hard you wouldn’t notice the containment issue but I definitely do. VERDICT: XX8 DURABILITY: This happened after fifteen minutes of shooting around. I thought it was dirtIt is hard to see in the pic but the woven upper already started fraying from a little toe drag…. After fifteen minutes of shooting around. I’ve seen and read about ripped uppers/Lace loops so it doesn’t surprise me but it is still disappointing.  Maybe some kind of reinforcement at the toe box like they make for most hoop shoes ? The golf shoe cousin of the XX9, the TW 15 has reinforcements at high wear/ high stress areas such as the laces and toe box( review coming) I know JB wanted to showcase the upper but come on.. PRICE:  AJ XX9 retail: $225 Sale price: $125 AJ XX8 SE retail: $150 Sale price : $79 although I got a steal on Eastbay for $60 after coupon In free kyrie 6 reviewer world you can just a shoe without taking price into account but I’m buying these myself so I want the most value I can get. VERDICT: AJ XX8 CONCLUSION Although I enjoyed the slightly lower ride, ultra comfortable upper and lightweight,the XX9 just didn’t do it for me. It lost some of that bounce, traction, as well as stability  while adding a hefty $75 to the retail price. Is it worth $225? Hell no.Is it worth $125? Maybe depending on what your individual needs are but they aren’t going to make my rotation. Is it better than the XX8? No, but don’t get me wrong, it is a good shoe overall but I can get more value, more Zoom, and more support from the XX8 for a lot less money.
30.11.2019.

UA Curry 7 Performance Analysis and Review

I was/am really pulling for the new underdog Warriors this year but fate, injuries, and inexperience doesn’t look like 2019-2020 is going to be GSW‘a year. With no Steph on court for at least a few more months I really could have been smart and just waited a few more months for heavy discounts but being a Curry fanboy, I really didn’t want to. If you want to work those eye and brain muscles read my whole review below, but if you want it short and sweet (that’s what she said  ) here’s a quick summary: it’s a very solid shoe but nothing we haven’t seen or felt before from UA. The Curry 2 still remains on top for me Pros : excellent traction, fairly balanced cushioning is still on the firmer side, overall fit, support and stability, containment

Cons: forefoot fit is tighter than other Curry’s, starts out very stiff but gets more more flexible along the forefoot with break in.
Sizing advice: true to size for most, wide footers can go up half a size up due to a narrower than usually toe box
Best for: any position, players who want a firmer ride with more support and stability out of a low top
Buying Advice: Warriors went from first to worst in record fashion plus Steph is injured? Generic design $100 or less for sure, bottom around $65-75.
Weight 14.5 ounces which is lighter than the “lightest Harden Ever V4” by an ounce. About average for a Curry including the mids.
Traction
Very similar pattern and rubber compound to the Spawn 2019 which is a good thing . Almost no wiping at all in any court which is awesome. Over the years and years of reviewing shoes, traction should be the number one priority and UA got it right with most of the Curry models except maybe the V.
There isn’t much squeaking at all from this set up which is surprising considering the pattern and rubber softness…not that it matters, just saying. Very minimal wiping and consistent grip makes me a happy camper! Definitely the highlight of this shoe.
Well done UA!!
Cushioning
Don’t let the Micro G name and perforations fool you, they feel nothing alike even to the touch. Same goes for the 3Zero 3 Micro G
You know why everyone got excited about the Curry 7 ? Because of the return of Micro G not HOVR. As I’ve gone through the basketball HOVR line up, each cushioning set up was pretty much firm or a snooze fest because the foam surrounding the HOVR creates the feedback you get from the cushioning not the HOVR itself. Go ahead and step into any UA HOVR running shoe and the compression and fun is there from foam.
So much for the “wild energy” of HOVR requiring nettingLike the Curry 6 this is just texturized foam. It really feels like Phylon to the touch
This set up of HOVR with Micro G is basically the same set up as Curry 1 but with HOVR instead of Charged. I’m not sure if UA hockey pucked the HOVR into the midsole or put a layer of HOVR on top but it doesn’t feel like anything extraordinary.
Thin it to win it? Blue insoles are from the Curry 6 and 7, yellow is from the Curry 3 mid. Not sure if it’s a court feel thing or a profit margin thing but blue insoles are uber thin. Pretty sure it’s the latter though
If you’re expected Boost, Bounce, Zoom, or Lunarlon, React, or Lightstrike you will be very disappointed but if you’re expected Curry 2 or 3 cushioning you’ll be satisfied. I personally found these very similar to the 2 and 3 and far better feeling than the 6 and 5. It feels nowhere near as soft and bouncy as Micro G found on the OG Clutchfit or even this years Spawn (which btw is on discounts everywhere like I said it would be. I have literally not seen on person wearing them outside of sponsored players or trainers).
A lot of people focus of the “tech” of the shoe and while I do that as well to an extent, I’d rather know how a shoe feels to the player and ignore the name of the cushioning set up. There is a little more/thicker heel cushioning overall which is new for a Curry so that’s something different but overall cushioning is nothing groundbreaking. The thicker heel also adds to a little more fluidity since the 7 feels more like a running shoe hybrid (KD 8 anyone? )
You can see the contoured heel that has come over from 3-7 but I didn’t feel like jamming every shoe into the picThe heel adds a little more fluidity heel to toe
Overall, cushioning is okay by me but not for those wanting a softer bouncy ride and not enough for me to switch from the Curry 2. If you want a softer ride, check out pretty much every shoe I reviewed this year. HOVR has been consistent for me at least… Consistently disappointing that is.
Fit
I went with my true size 11 and I probably could have gone up half a size if needed due to a narrower than normal toe box. It did stretch out enough for me but not everyone wants to go through the same break in process.
Moving rearward, UA finally got the top eyelets in the right spot nice and far back enough to pull the ankle down and back. (I guess UA reads my shit too).
So much for those theories from apologists that UA made the eyelets on the 5 and 6 like that just for Steph and his Zamsts. Pro Tip: you can loosen the laces to accommodate braces. 
There is no heel slip from the get go thanks to the eyelets as well as a nicely padded ankle collar.
Lace pressure is pretty much non existent thanks to a padded tongue as well.
Half tongue set up
Overall fit is very good so no complaints here. Some slight break in time is needed to get a more comfortable and conforming fit.
Materials
It’s 2011 y’all! Mesh, fuse and synthetic panels! Hyperdunk 2010-2011 anyone? I never knew Steph loved those Hyperfuses and Hyperdunks that much.
UA has a penchant for increasing pricing at exactly the wrong timeWarriors go from 2K Cheat code mode to bottom feeders, Steph gets injured, UA reverts to mesh and fuse, and the Curry 7 prices INCREASE $10. Solid formula huh?  This sounds like Curry 3 part deux anyone ( 3-1 lead finals, $140 pricing before KD ) ? Adidas dropped their Harden V4 prices by $10 this season because believe or not, price is a big driving factor in sales. At least the the design is more streamlined and aesthetically pleasing versus the 3 so maybe we won’t see massive discounts like we did with the Curry 3. Maybe Luka can save UA.
Usually I don’t say much about materials but UA put so much synthetic/ plastic paneling on the 7 that it needs to be noted because it’s such a throwback. They call it “TPU skins” which translates to plastic so save the xafsing jargon for someone else.
These panels are on both sides of the shoe make the shoe slightly stiffer than average out of the box but it does provide support and strength snd does break in.
The paneling extends into the forefoot area so you do need to break them in to get them to feel more natural. These are easily the least luxurious looking and feeling materials out the seven sigs. Not a deal breaker for me but if you are looking for $$ feeling material go buy something else.
Support This is what I call a high low. Definitely a supportive feeling low bc the cut is pretty high. With that higher cut, a better fit, well padded ankle collar and a firmer than usual upper, it all leads to a very supportive feeling low which I like a lot.
Midfoot support
Ironically this protruding plastic thing is called a Flexible plate. I guess UA ran out of xafsing dollars to come up with a better name or ran away from the Speedplate name for some reason. The plate itself might be flexible but forefoot and back it is stiff which is good for PF suffers. How stiff is it? Think Dame 3 level which is fine for me but not everyone loves that feel or wants that support. I prefer a slightly more flexible ride but it is definitely noticeable especially in the beginning. The stiffest Curry I could think of would be the 3 for reference and they are still slightly more flexible than these despite a true carbon fiber shank.
I’m straining to hold this position. I highly suggest bending the shoe to help with break in. Phylon HOVR side walls add to the stiffness.
Stability is excellent as most Curry’s have been thanks to a nice wide base and outrigger that has been carried over from 4-6 You can see how wide the 7 is especially in the forefoot Overall the 7 is a very supportive and stable shoeWell done, maybe a little overdone, but still well done UA!
Containment
No issues here thanks to the raised Phlylon HOVR and the plastic panels that envelope the shoe on both sides.
Conclusion
Expectations will make or break how you view this shoe just like the Warriors 2019 season. If you’re expecting something ground breaking because of HOVR and Micro G, you’ll be disappointed.. if you’re expecting a “better” shoe or nicer materials because of the price increase, you will be disappointed. However, If you’re expecting a Curry with cushioning on the firmer side with some feedback/ bounce, and a solid all around shoe, you’ll be happy with the Curry 7. I think in any other year, I’d say these have a shot of getting into the rotation but this year I’ve gotten pickier with my purchases and have watched UA go from an eager up start sneaker brand to another brand trying to squeeze out over penny they can out of a shoe. You’ll hear a lot of people say this is the best Curry ever or very Curry since the 2. A better way to phrase it is probably least worst Curry since the 3 or 4 since the 5 snd 6 were duds. Here’s how I rank the Curry line:
  1. Curry 2/2.5
  1. Curry 3 Low
  2. Curry 4/ Curry 7
  3. Curry 1/Curry 3 mid
  4. Curry 5 and 6 (I can’t decide which I like the least overall)
I’d probably even put the 3Zero 1 and 2 around the 3 spot as well. I’m sure some will question the Curry 3 low placement enjoyed the Curry 3 low a lot and actually place it higher up the ranks than the Curry 7; it’s a little lighter at 13 ounces, just as supportive, cushioning feels similar, it’s a little more flexible, traction is pretty good as well, and it’s super cheap now. If my review sounds Elliot and Mr Robot it’s because I have been debating how I feel about this shoe. If I didn’t have a large inventory of Curry 2’s and a few 3’s and 4’s, I’d be pretty happy with the Curry 7 since it does everything well. But if I knew I could still get a similar Curry from two or three years ago for $75 bucks or less , I’d be pretty annoyed. Relative to this stellar year of reviewing sneakers ( every shoe has been on the First Team except the Freak 1) the Curry 7 is not something I’d reach for out of this years line up because it just lacks that fun factor that the others have i.e cushioning. However, I cannot deny the fact it performs well In every category ..but yet I can’t ignore the ten dollar price increase and the retrograde materials..do you see the conundrum? Based on pure how does it perform on court I’ll give it a First Team rating. Happy Thanksgiving UA.
29.11.2019.

Stanley Tse Weighs in on the Nike Kyrie 6 Performance Review

The Illuminati has its ways, just like the way Kyrie controls the ball like a yo-yo. With Zoom Turbo making a return, will the Kyrie 6 make its predecessors proud? Let’s find out. Traction on the Kyrie 5 was good, however the traction on the Kyrie 6 is a major upgrade. Once you get past the coating material on the shoe, the shoe just clamps down. Multi-directional traction has this shoe ready for battle from the get-go. The rubber is soft (outdoor players be aware), however, the shoe grips well. The best thing about this shoe is that no matter how you plant your feet, you’re definitely covered. Same setup as its predecessor. The Nike Zoom Turbo is used in the forefoot and it feels amazing. It’s even better because the shoe feels lower to the ground without sacrificing any stability. The added plus is the injected phylon used for the midsole itself and it feels responsive from the start. Smooth transitions, low ride, and responsive feedback are a great combination that create a nice ride. The Kyrie 6 uses some textiles along with some genuine leather along the midfoot to give it a nice old school feel. The interior of the shoe is heavily padded, which is taken from skate shoes, to give you extra comfort. The shoe is finished off with the Zoom Turbo forefoot cushion along with injected Phylon and a soft rubber outsole for solid traction. The material usage overall is solid and the midfoot strap and extra leather along the midsole give it a 90s old school basketball vibe. A great combo. Here’s where the minor struggle comes in. On the previous Kyrie 4 and Kyrie 5, I had to go up half a size, and unfortunately, for the Kyrie 6, it wasn’t available in the 1/2 size up of a 13.5. I had to use the 13. I will say if you wore cushioned socks, be prepared to scream in pain. I wore thin socks initially to break-in the shoe, which helped a tad bit, especially in the “less painful agony” part. After the shoe broke in, it hurt less. And while the shoe still felt tight, it was bearable to the point of being able to play aggressively and not feel worrisome. Solid as long as you get your proper size. 360 degree traction, soft midsole, proper lockdown, an extra padded interior, and your foot sits directly on the footbed without any slippage. If you liked balling in the Kyrie 4 or 5, then you’ll absolutely love the Kyrie 6. It’s not a big change between the models. However, it’s evolved into something much better. I wish I had a 13.5, but once broken in, the shoe was as fun as watching an aging Uncle Drew cross up the competition. I definitely suggest trying them on in-store before purchasing. Besides that, the evolution of the Kyrie line is here to stay and we’re quite impressed. Here’s to the next one.

28.11.2019.

Mizuno Wave Sky Waveknit 3 Performance Review

The Mizuno Wave Sky Waveknit 3 checks all of the technical boxes. It has a knit upper, a midsole combining two soft foams, an outsole built for durability, and a plush collar and tongue. It’s got the whole package to be a solid everyday running shoe. And if you’re not familiar with Mizuno as a running brand, this is a good place to start. We tested the Mizuno Wave Sky Waveknit 3 from both a male and female perspective. This review is based on our experiences using the shoes for speed workouts, trail runs, treadmill training, long runs, casual wear, and more. Let’s start the performance review by focusing on our favorite part of the shoe, the cushioning.

Cushion

Jodi: The cushioning system is pretty darn impressive. It’s a combination of XPOP PU foam and Mizuno Foam Wave. Every time I ran in the Sky Waveknit 3 I felt like I was flying down the road. They felt light and responsive. They’re one of those shoes where it’s hard to tell where your foot ends and they begin. It literally felt like they were one with my feet. Drew: When I initially unboxed the Sky Waveknit 3, my eyes were immediately drawn to the cut out on the outsole that provides access to the XPOP foam. Just pushing it with my finger showed me it’s as bouncy as adidas Boost or Nike React. The Mizuno Foam Wave that carries and sits above the XPOP feels very plush, like Nike’s Cushlon or other soft EVA foams. Together, the package is extremely good at impact protection and giving your foot a nice bounce off the ground. This is a shoe that’s long run friendly. Your knees and back will take less of a pounding and recover quicker because of the cushioning package.

Traction

Jodi: The Sky Waveknit 3’s traction is solid. It’s everywhere on the outsole but broken up in all the right places to keep the shoe light and flexible. It’s carbon rubber reminds me of what Under Armour used on portions of the UA Curry 7. Which begs the question, how durable is this setup? I’ll let Drew answer that… Drew: This outsole is built to last. My pair has approximately 50 miles in them and looking at the outsole rubber you’d think I’ve run 3-5 miles in them. This outsole and cushioning system will most likely last 300-500 miles which isn’t a given in most of today’s running shoes. One small note. Initially, the outsole didn’t grip very well on wet roads. It was only slight slippage with each footfall but it was noticeable. It got better over time as the outsole gained some miles but it’s something to be mindful of when taking your initial runs in them.

Support

Jodi: The Sky Waveknit 3 has the sturdiest heel counter I’ve ever encountered. You put them on and the shoe pretty much sucks your heel into place. And don’t worry, the heel counter is heavily padded so rubbing isn’t an issue. Drew: I agree with Jodi on the heel counter. It’s super stiff and does it job well. The Waveknit itself is on the stiffer side so the upper holds up well to turns. On trail runs it still wasn’t quite enough containment in the forefoot. The heel was great so I tried them on trail. But because your foot doesn’t sit inside the midsole you can get over the edge in the forefoot. It’s better to avoid rocky or root-filled trails and stick to asphalt or gravel.

Materials

Jodi: Mizuno calls the upper’s material Waveknit. It’s very formed and tough. Where the Nike Epic React is pliable, stretchy, and thin, the Mizuno Wave Sky Waveknit 3 is the complete opposite. The only real stretch the shoes gave me were on the top of the toe box where the holes are larger to give you breathability. Because the rest of the shoe is so layered your feet don’t get much of a breeze outside the toe box. Side note: I don’t know if Drew noticed this, but the pattern on the toe box is shaped like a heart. Maybe I noticed this more because my shoes are bright red and I’m a girl… Drew: It is a heart! If you look at the shoe top down from the front you can totally see it. On my grey pair I just thought it was a normal grouping of ventilation holes. Now it definitely appears a cheeky Mizuno designer snuck in a heart. I kinda like the personality. Most running shoes these days are all business. Also, Jodi is right that the Waveknit is layered and thick. It’s different than knit from other brands but that means it’s also more supportive. It’s not what we’ve come to expect out of a knit but it’s an interesting change of pace. Want a thicker, more durable knit shoe? The Sky Waveknit 3 is perfect for you.

Fit

Jodi: Fit is where the shoe didn’t work for me. Lengthwise, the shoes are my true running size. Width was another story. I had to run with mine laced as loose as possible to give me some wiggle room. I could see my socks peeking through between the sides of the tongue and the upper due to how I had them laced (and the lockdown was still great!). I would feel amazing and light as I headed out for each run only to have my feet start swelling around mile 2 and be royally uncomfortable by mile 3. Anyone with even slightly wide feet should buy the wide version of the Sky Waveknit 3. Drew: Even with my narrow feet, the Mizuno Wave Sky Waveknit 3 was tight. I generally like my shoes that way but I would recommend the wide version if you have anything other than narrow feet. As Jodi said, lengthwise they’re true to size. The Waveknit, despite being a thicker knit, flexes extremely well. The collar and tongue are also super padded with an almost memory foam material. As long as you get the right width, they’ll be comfortable.

Overall

Jodi: If you have a narrow foot, the regular width Mizuno Wave Sky Waveknit 3 would be fantastic. It’s built to be fast and light. All the potential is there. Unfortunately my feet needed the wide version. So if you’re a wide footer like me, just make sure you get the wide version. Drew: The nike kyrie 6 cushioning and durability are the big attractions. This is a shoe that will last you a lot of miles and be kind to your feet, knees, and lower back. Just make sure you know they run narrow so you can go wide (if needed).

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