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The Nike Air Foamposite One Is Still Ahead Of The Curve

Le 20 septembre à  06:11
Rubriques : Air Jordans

In 1997, everything about the Nike Air Foamposite One screamed future. 20 years later, it’s still screaming.

Eric Avar, the mind behind the Foamposite and Kobe Bryant’s partner in crime at Nike a few year later, had an interesting inspiration for the shoe – a beetle. Or to be more specific, the skeleton of a beetle. Usually when you hear about stories behind the design, it’s man-made stuff like cars, planes, etc. Nope, the Foams were inspired by a beetle. The shoe was the result of Avar being ahead of the curve.

The actual making of the Foamposite forced Nike to look outside of the box. Because the material that was to be used on the shoe was unlike anything Nike had worked on before, it required a wholly different method than ever before, so they tapped car manufacturer Daewoo to help devise a method in making it a reality. You’ve no doubt heard the story of the $750,000 mold that was created just to build the Foams, but let that sink in for a second. Nike spent $750,000 – not including all the money burned on research and development – just to create something that was at the time yet to be proven to work. The process – which took two years to go from concept to reality – was not only out of this world, but it could have been out of reach if Nike hadn’t taken that gamble. To get to the future, you need to take some risks sometimes.

For such a revolutionary and highly experimental shoe, Nike needed an athlete who represented not where the game was but where it was going. So it made sense that they were going to have Scottie Pippen launch the Foams. That’s right, one of the great sneaker “what ifs” is who Foams should have gone to. According to legend, Avar wanted Pippen to wear the Foams but Penny wanted them for himself when he caught a peek of them in a design meeting. Penny had the foresight and Nike let him have it, breaking from his own signature shoe line to rock them.

Penny wasn’t the only the player of the future that would earn the distinction of debuting the Foams to the world. The 1997 Arizona Wildcats all received pairs of the Royal Blue Foams during their run to the National Championship, but Mike Bibby was the only star who actually put them to use on the court. At the time, many believed Bibby to be the next superstar point guard. So the shoe of the future was being worn by the point guard of the future. Makes sense, right?

The Shoe Game
It wasn’t always easy for the Foamposite, of course, as while it might have been futuristic, it was maybe too futuristic for many. With a premium price point and a look that nobody was feeling, there was a time when you could find them at Nike outlets in the middle of the 2000s. It would take a mix of nostalgia, Wale, hip-hop, and the DMV to bring the shoes back to the forefront. A new and futuristic colorway, the Eggplant, might have also helped matters too.

In 2012, the sneaker world was shaken up when graphics appeared on the Foamposite for the first time with the release of the Galaxy during NBA All-Star Weekend. It set the stage for the future of the Foams, as many more colorful takes on the shoe would follow. It was impossible to follow up the Galaxy, but Nike tried their damnedest to hope lightning would strike twice.

Now we see Foams of all kinds sit in stores once again, much like we did before it’s late 2000s revival. This time around, they’re sitting because sneakerheads have shifted in favor of sneakers with minimalist design and maximum comfort, whether it be adidas NMDs, Nike Lunarcharges or even New Balance 247s. But don’t count the Foams out as we celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Royal colorway this past weekend. Between the expected rollout of new Foams in 2017 and kids once again looking for what’s new and fresh, we could be at the cusp of the cycle starting once again for the shoe. And if not, then 20 years as the sneaker of the future is not a bad title to have, right?



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NikeCourt Air Zoom Zero HC Performance Review

Le 17 septembre à  06:23
Rubriques : Air Jordans

The NikeCourt Air Zoom Zero HC, while noticeably labeled as a tennis shoe, is definitely more than a one trick pony. How so you ask? We’re here to find out.

Traction on the NikeCourt Air Zoom Zero HC was superb. The refined rubber outsole grabbed and gripped the ground through every movement thrown at it. Whether it be on the basketball court, tennis, handball, racquetball, and/or volleyball (yes, this shoe should work for many sports) you’ll be covered.

The heel-to-toe transition didn’t have any problems either due to midsole shaping and the aggressive triangular gridded pattern underfoot that allowed me to stop on a dime. This is definitely one of the best aspects of the shoe, but it isn’t the only one.

This is the first time we’ve seen a curved in Zoom Air unit, let alone one that runs full-length. The top-loaded Zoom Air unit is felt directly under the heel and slowly transitions down at the midfoot to make the forefoot area bottom-loaded. By doing this, the wearer should get enough cushioning and be able to turn the pressure of each step into energy for the next movement.

My experience in the NikeCourt Air Zoom Zero HC was fantastic. There was ample feedback without loss of impact protection on landing — it’s just awesome. As a big man who plays an inside-outside game, I really appreciate the ingenuity and thought process that provided such a joyous experience in a multi-sport shoe. Now, let’s see if Nike will transition this technology into actual basketball shoes?

A single-piece mesh upper backed with a neoprene bootie-like sleeve gave the shoe a real nice and different feel. There was some fusing and rubberized materials along the toecap around the medial side to provide durability, especially for those that juke heavily and/or drag their toes.

The rest of the shoe is made up of a soft yet durable midsole that holds the comfortable and responsive curved Zoom Air unit. Beneath that is a very durable and aggressive patterned. The Nike Air Foamposite One Chromeposite features a combination of things that work well in unison — and that’s all we can ask for.

The fit of the Air Zoom Zero HC excels. While putting on the shoe was quite a struggle at first (lack of heel pull tab), once you’re in you’re set. I went true to size and even with a slightly wider-foot, the shoe fits well with a minor break-in period. Loosening the two front area laces a tad helped ease the break-in, especially for those who don’t like materials pressing down into their foot.

The feel of the foot being propelled forward due to the curved Zoom takes some adjustment, but once your feet are contoured into the shoe it’s fantastic. There is a fused strand along the top of the mesh material (above where the neoprene tongue meets) which I’m not fond of because of some pinching, but that’s probably due to the shape of my feet. I definitely wouldn’t consider half a size down because it fits well. The Air Zoom Zero HC definitely gives me a Nike Hyperchase-like feel in terms of how the foot fits the shoe — and that’s definitely not a bad thing.

The support comes directly from the great lockdown the shoe provides, along with the curved full-length Zoom Air cushioning. No matter what sport (basketball, racquetball, handball, volleyball, and tennis) or what movements you throw at it, the Air Zoom Zero HC held its own and then some. The solid rubber traction utilized on this shoe is what I wish all other Nike models would take queues from.

The notion that specific shoes are made exclusively for specific sports is always around. However, the Air Zoom Zero HC, while made for tennis, was definitely made for so much more.

From the build and thought process to the design and materials, this shoe hit on nearly every aspect necessary for me to perform at my highest level — without wavering in confidence, regardless of the sport I played in it. The curved Zoom is something that Nike can build on in future models because it is a game changer in terms of cushioning and responsiveness (as long as it’s done right).

To be honest, the Air Zoom Zero HC was one of my favorite shoes to play in; the shoe was fun, and it gives you a sense of direction the Swoosh is headed. It might be adding a lot of future expectation, but if this is just the beginning of what a performance tennis (or multi-sport) shoe can be then I’m all in.

Perhaps Nike’s  KD 11 basketball and tennis divisions can link up, and somehow, some way, throw their ideas together to create the ultimate performance shoe, regardless of the sport. I don’t see why not, but only time will tell. If it does, I’ll definitely be ready to test that shoe. In the meantime, NikeCourt Zoom Zero HC 2, where you at?



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20 Things You Didn't Know About the Nike Foamposite

Le 14 septembre à  06:40
Rubriques : NIKE LEBRON 14

When the Nike Foamposite One first dropped in 1997, it was like nothing anyone had ever seen before but people wore it in some impressive performances. The sleek $180 shoe had no Nike branding on the upper, save a small Swoosh near the toe, and the synthetic upper and prominent carbon plate gave the shoe a decidedly futuristic look, one that many sneaker designers still strive to achieve.

With interest in Foams that never ceases to fade, here are 20 Things You Didn't Know About the Nike Foamposite.

Nobody thought it was possible.
Like all great sneaker stories, the naysayers were a plenty. The Foamposite was one of the most unbelievable designs, so it's probabaly not a huge surprise that everyone from designers at Nike, all the way to manufacturers in China, said that it couldn't be done when the original idea was presented.

The Foamposite was not designed for Penny Hardaway.

 

Eric Avar didn't design the Foamposite One Denim with Penny Hardaway in mind. If the apocryphal stories are true, it was originally intended for Scottie Pippen (no word on whether it then would have been called the "Foamposite 33"). But in a session with Penny, where he wasn't moved by any of the other designs, he saw the Foamposite in Avar's bag, and the rest was royal blue history.

It was inspired by a beetle.

Not the Volkswagen, but the little annoyances that wander around your garage, were actually part of the inspiration for the Foamposite's aerodynamic features.

People thought it would ruin the footwear industry.

The design of the Foamposite was so absurd compared to the traditional usage of leather and rubber that many people actually thought Nike would ruin footwear with the design. Fast forward 15 years and now nearly everything is made out of plastic-based materials. It hasn't seemed to keep anyone from buying sneakers yet, either.

Daewoo was the company that made it happen.

A number of companies were approached by Nike with the Foamposite concept. Many of them couldn't come up with the correct formula to make it happen but Daewoo came through. Yep, the Korean company that makes TVs and cars were the ones behind your latest Foamposite purchase.

The upper of the Foamposite begins as liquid.

If the sleek, logoless shoe itself wasn't enough to pry your $180 (plus tax) from your wallet, maybe the T-1000 backstory was. In order to create the Foamposite One's seamless upper, the "foam" material started as a liquid, which was then poured into molds. How does that add up to $180? Well, the molds weren't cheap. Read on.

The perfect temperature is between 130 and 175 degrees.

No, not to wear them. In case you were wondering, Foamposite material is created at a temperature range of 130-175 degrees Fahrenheit. If we see anyone melting down Foams on Youtube, though...

The average cost of the mold was $750,000.

$750,000 for the mold alone. Considering that doesn't include the cost of labor, packaging, shipping or marketing, you can see why the price of the Foamposite was steep.

The midsole had to be 5 times stronger than a traditional sneaker's.

When the Foamposite was created, the process was so different that traditional ways of manufacturing had to be revamped. In order for the molded upper to stay attached to the midsole, it had to be 5 times stronger than traditional glue and stitching. So, in a way, the development of the Foamposite helped with other future technologies just by pushing the limits.

The original price of the Foamposite One was $180.

So, this might be something you do know but there seems to be some serious confusion amongst the always knowledgable group of Internet sneaker blogs. We're just going to clear the air, the Nike Air Foamposite One retailed for $180 when it first released and the Nike Air Foamposite Pro retailed for $170. Eastbay catalogs don't lie, bruh.

Foamposites didn't sell well at all.

$180 price tags may be commonplace now, but back in 1997 that was a real jump. And when you put that price tag on a brand-new technology that doesn't even feature the usual visible cues of "high-dollar" — like a Max airbag or a Jumpman or a yeezy 350 Static — it's gonna be a tough sell. Fortunately enough people stepped up to keep Foamposite in the line.

The NBA didn't approve of the sneakers.

The NBA said that the colorway wasn't fit for the court because it didn't have enough black to coincide with Penny's Orland Magic uniform. Penny did what any sneakerhead would do, and busted out the Sharpie to fix the problem.

Penny Hardaway didn't debut the Foamposite One.

Mike Bibby first hit the court as an Arizona Wildcat wearing the Royal Foamposites on March 23 of 1997. That same day, Penny Hardaway laced up his Nike Air Penny IIs. It wouldn't be until a few games later that Penny finally laced up the Foamposite One with his Orlando Magic uniform.

Penny Hardaway had white Foams 15 years before you.

Penny Hardaway may not have been the first to wear his own signature shoe in a game, and he may have never worn them in an All-Star Game or NBA Finals, but at least he was getting exclusives before anyone else. The best part is that it's been damn near 20 years and you STILL don't have these.

The phone number has been disconnected.

One of the shoes to be featured in Nike's simple - and brilliant - print ad campaign that simply showed a shoe on a white background with a Swoosh and a 1-800 number, the Foamposite One never looked better. Tragically, the phone number has been disconnected. We were hoping to get Lil Penny on the line, seeing that he still owes us for the dry cleaning from his Super Bowl party.

Foamposites became the ultimate takedown model.

The Clogposite is one of the most unexpected sneakers ever created by Nike — who turns a $180 shoe into a slipper? But don't try to front in your new camo Foams this weekend, the O.G.s been rockin' digi camo Foams, son.

It was the first sneaker people were willing to trade their car for.

Crazy shit happens when the hype hits all time highs. This dude really tried to trade his car — with a full tank of gas, even — for Galaxy Foams. This can't be life.



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Better PSNY Friends and Family Air Jordan 12: “Wheat” or “Black/White”

Le 7 septembre à  07:42
Rubriques : Air Jordans

Inspired by the Japanese rising sun, Tinker Hatfield designed the Air Jordan 12, which was the first Air Jordan to utilize Nike’s Zoom Air technology.


Known for their partnerships, menswear brand Public School NY is one of Jordan Brand’s top choices when it comes to releasing a collaborative design.

Back in 2017, the two released an Air Jordan 12 “City Pack” that consisted of three colorways for New York City, Paris, and Milan. During the design process, Jordan Brand and PSNY released a limited Friends and Family edition that came dressed in a similar “Wheat” motif as the NYC retail pair, but with a few minor differences.The Wheat Public School NY x Air Jordan 12 was first showcased at the PSNY Air Jordan 12 restock that took place at the brands pop-up shop located at 330 Hudson in New York City.

Another limited Friends and Family release was a Black/White colorway of the PSNY x Air Jordan 12. This pair features a plush and grainy leather upper in Black with White soles and “PSNY” branded on the tongues. this PSNY x Air Jordan 12 is a friends and family only release that comes in a full Black-based upper with White detailing on the rubber outsole. PSNY branding is also located in the same areas as the retail release, but in these images it’s hard to see.

While both pairs never made a retail debut, if you could pick one to release, which would it be? Cast your vote below, and leave your thoughts in the comments section.



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Nike Kobe AD Exodus Performance Review

Le 4 septembre à  06:05
Rubriques : Air Jordans

The Nike Kobe AD Exodus is the Kyrie 3 of the Kobe signature line — sans the rounded sole.

While I’ve been receiving many DMs and comments — both positive and negative — regarding the latest Nike Kobe AD’s traction, I’ve had nothing but a positive experience. Only on my very last day of testing did I wipe the outsoles and that was in the middle of a three hour hoop session. The court was very dirty that day as well so I’m not sure if I would have needed to wipe had the floor been cleaner.

What I like is that the rubber compound feels tacky, much like it did on the Nike Kobe 10. I know that wasn’t a fan favorite in terms of traction, but like this recent Kobe AD Exodus, I never really had any issues. Along with the rubber compound there is a tooth-like traction pattern that allows dust to channel through it, even though the rubber felt like a dust magnet at times. If there was dust on the floor, it wound up on the bottom of my shoes. Again, I never had any real issues because the Kobe AD Exodus maintained grip the entire time.

Unlike the Kobe AD NXT 360, the traction on this shoe has been durable. That is not a co-sign for outdoor hoopers — I’d still say there are more durable options out there — but for what it’s worth, I haven’t had any fraying or teeth missing like I did on my Kobe AD NXT 360.

Overall, I’m very satisfied with the traction on the Kobe AD Exodus. It’s been reliable and I’ve never had a second thought about the traction the entire time I was testing the shoe.

At $140, I expect more. Not much more, but forefoot cushion of some kind would have been nice.

The midsole is Injected Phylon with a large-volume heel Zoom Air unit. Yes, similar to the setups used in the Kyrie 3 and 4 — but not all Phylon is equal. There is compression molded Phylon and Injected Phylon. Compression molded is more common and dense; it lasts a long time and it the main culprit behind not being able to feel the Zoom Air in some Nike models. Injected Phylon is lighter, a bit more airy, and allows some give to it with very slight rebound. This is the type of Phylon where you can see creases in the foam.

Being injected Phylon, the Kobe AD Exodus wasn’t uncomfortable. It’s good enough for a few hours of pickup at a time without wishing you had worn something else. The downside is that it’s just Phylon. It isn’t anything special and definitely not what I expect out of a $140 shoe.

The heel Zoom Air unit was nice, but I don’t use my heels often enough to really care that it was there. I would have preferred that there be Lunar in the forefoot or reverse the setup Nike provided — Injected Phylon midsole with a 6-8mm thick Zoom unit in the forefoot — because that would have made the Kobe AD feel more like a Kobe and less like a Kyrie.
Much like the cushion, the materials used on the Kobe AD Exodus are not what I expect out of a $140 sneaker.

While performance wasn’t hindered by the materials, I’m getting tired of seeing the synthetic felt-like suede used on the uppers of some of these Kobe AD models. Both the AD Mid and the AD Exodus just look and feel cheap. It’s a drastically different approach than what we see on the Kobe 1 Protro — and not in a good way. The material quality on Kobe’s first Nike signature is leaps and bounds better than what is found on his most recent, and that isn’t a good look. Innovation should move forward, not backwards.

The forefoot of the Kobe AD Exodus has the lightweight mesh and the ripstop flex zone. I loved the flex zone area and didn’t like the mesh until I was nearing the end of testing. That’s when I finally started to get used to the toebox feeling empty. With mesh this light you just don’t feel like anything is on your foot. Some may love that, but to me it felt like playing in an open-toed shoe — just a little awkward. Now that the lacing areas are somewhat accustomed to my foot-shape the entire area feels just fine.

Slight hit and miss with this area. I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it. And I really feel like the materials are what I’d see on an entry-level Nike model and not a Kobe signature model.

I initially wished I had gone down half size in the Kobe AD, and I still feel like I could have. However, now that the laces are adjusted to my feet the shoes feel fine. Lockdown at the forefoot flex zone, up the midfoot, and towards the collar is pretty good.

I do have some hot spots on top of my feet after wearing the Kobe AD Exodus. Those are clearly areas where I tie my shoes a bit tighter to feel more locked in to the shoe. Having a separate tongue with some padding would have solved that pretty easily; the use of a standard tongue would be a benefit to most wearers as it would allow us to customize the fit more to individual foot-shapes rather than the one-size-fits-most approach.

There is no midfoot support shank in the Kobe AD Exodus. I’ve been told by designers that having a flat outsole eliminates the need for a shank. That’s about all I was told so I wish I had a bit more information. All I know is that I never felt like it was missing.

The outsole being flat helps with stability while the forefoot section is slightly wider than the rest, which only further promotes stability at the toe. There isn’t a real outrigger, but like the Kobe 10, the midsole itself was made into one. I’ve used this type of “outrigger” setup many times and I love it every time. Your foot sits slightly within the midsole while the wider base rolls up to act like a natural outrigger. It gets the job done without getting in the way.

Heel support is decent. There is a thin internal heel counter that bolsters the exterior heel counter. These areas help keep the foot on the footbed well enough. I still would have preferred a separate tongue so I had the ability to tighten the rear lacing area a bit more, but for what was offered I can’t complain too much.
I like the Nike Kobe AD Exodus but I don’t love it. If I were to put the shoe up against the Nike Kobe AD NXT 360 then I’d go with the NXT 360. The NXT offers the things I wish this AD offered — a separate tongue for improved fit and slightly more cushion at the forefoot.

The Nike Kobe AD Exodus feels like the Nike Kobe 1 Protro version of a Kyrie. Lightweight, low profile, aggressive traction — it’s a shoe built for a fast paced player that gets up and down the court. It’s got enough of the basics to keep them safe to play in, but nothing in them that screams $140 or “I’m a Kobe.” The Kobe AD Exodus is definitely lacking a bit of that “Mamba Mentality.”



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Better Air Jordan 11 Low “Cherry” or “Columbia”

Le 30 aout à  06:36
Rubriques : Air Jordans

Both the Air Jordan 11 Low Cherry and Air Jordan 11 Low Columbia are two of the more popular colorways of the low-top Air Jordan 11 to-date.

Originally born in 1996, the Air Jordan 11 Cherry instantly became a fan-favorite silhouette. 2001 saw the first-ever release of the Air Jordan 11 Low. After a 15 year hiatus, Jordan Brand finally brought back the classic “Cherry” colorway in 2016.Often called "Cherry," this colorway uses a white ballistic mesh upper that's accented by a red patent leather overlay and capped off with an icy outsole.

Shifting gears, the Jordan 11 Low will also drop in a brand new colorway that sports a mostly navy blue upper. The standout feature on this pair is its translucent gum outsole, a first for the Jordan 11.

As a follow up, the iconic  “Columbia Blue” Jordan 11 that debuted in the early 2000s also made a retro return. But this time the Jordan Brand replaced its ballistic mesh with premium leather, combined with a vibrant University Blue patent leather overlay.Originally seen back in 2001, this forthcoming revival is essentially a remastered pair. The defining light blueish tone is prominent across its patent leather component encompassing the profile, while white leather is utilized for the remainder of its upper and tongue. Finally, a matching white midsole unit and translucent outsole finishes off the clean design.

While both Shoes are classics, which would you say was the better retro-release? Cast your vote below and leave your thoughts in the comments section.

 


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Nike Air Vapormax 2.0 Performance Test

Le 29 aout à  06:06
Rubriques : Air Jordans

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.



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Better Air Jordan 5: “Metallic” or “Raging Bull 3M”

Le 28 aout à  06:40
Rubriques : Air Jordans

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.



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Under Armour HOVR Havoc Performance Review

Le 24 aout à  05:40
Rubriques : Air Jordans

Could the Under Armour HOVR Havoc be the most well-rounded basketball model out of Baltimore? Let’s find out.

“Sneakersheads” and hoopers alike have a million and one different reasons why they may dislike Under Armour. However, I tend to enjoy that the brand usually doesn’t stray away from what works in terms of traction.

We hear and read it all the time, “Why do companies tell stories on the bottom of a performance shoe when you can’t see whatever lame story they’re trying to tell” and it often times translates to hit or miss coverage on-court. Herringbone is the way to go and herringbone is what UA uses more often than not. Yes, the brand tried something new on the Curry 5 and it didn’t quite work. No worries, because it’s already back to basics and I love it.

Not once did I have to wipe the soles of the HOVR Havoc, no matter which court I was playing on, from the cleanest to the meanest. It even handled the 40-year-old floor that should’ve been refinished ages ago perfectly. The outsole here works beautifully.

The HOVR Havoc is just as awesome outdoors, if not slightly more awesome, than it was indoors. The shoe has become one of my go-to outdoor options because it have provided me with reliable coverage and it has just enough cushion to make my time outside in 100-degree heat enjoyable.

Having HOVR located from the heel to the midfoot doesn’t sound like it would be all that comfortable for those that primarily play on their toes, but I was impressed. Again, once broken-in the ride was slightly bouncy — but not to the point where I felt unstable.

The forefoot is just plain old EVA so you’ll receive plenty of court feel in this area for explosiveness and responsiveness. Typically, the faster and more athletic the athlete the more natural court feel he/she wants (or if you happen to be a shooter and rely on stability).

Of course, everyone is different and some folks like a bit more bounce under the forefoot. For that I would have loved to have seen a thinner top layer of HOVR combined with the EVA underneath. It’s possible that the brand tried this during wear-testing and athletes preferred the setup that made its way onto the retail version, but we’ll never really know.

All I know is that I was surprised and happy with the current implementation of HOVR in basketball; I’m interested to see where UA takes HOVR in its future basketball products.

The HOVR Havoc is comprised of mesh with a top coating that reminds me of silk screening…only stretchier. This top layer helps contain the foot without restricting the mesh from doing its thing.

There is a skin-fuse-type layer at the forefoot that protects the toe from abrasion. While the past handful of UA products I’ve worn, tested, and reviewed have all had something similar, it has continuously shown signs of wear within minutes of me playing. While this doesn’t bother me at all, I don’t ever plan on wearing my basketball shoes casually, it may irk some that try to keep their shoes looking as new as possible for as long as possible.

This time around, the fuse layer has been durable enough to not just protect the material it’s adhered to but also maintain its looks as well. I’ve been playing in the HOVR Havoc for weeks both indoors and outdoors and the shoes still looks pretty good.

The HOVR Havoc fits true to size but it is slightly snug width-wise. If you like some wiggle room or you’re a wide footer then I suggest going up a 1/2 size.

Lockdown is great from heel to toe. The forefoot features a synthetic overlay on both the medial and lateral side which allows the mesh to stretch and form around your foot while you adjust the laces to your liking; this creates a great fit and proper containment.

At the rear we have a couple of nylon lace loops along with an additional set of “eyelets.” They’re just cutouts of the mesh supported with skin-like fuse that draw your ankle and heel into the heel counter.

These two lacing systems combined don’t form Captain Planet but they do create a one-to-one fit that I really love.

Everything you need from a shoe is used on the HOVR Havoc, and it isn’t overdone. There is a torsional shank that also acts as a TPU carrier for the visible midfoot section of the HOVR cushion.

Meanwhile, the fit is fantastic. Couple that with the wide flat base and exaggerated midsole/outsole to form a barrier-style outrigger and you have tons of support that helps promote natural movement and mobility.

The UA HOVR Havoc has been the most well-rounded basketball model I’ve worn from Under Armour in a long time.

There has always been something missing in the brand’s recent hoop shoes — from cushion to desirable materials and durability. There’s usually been something that I could undoubtedly point to and say, “I’d have changed that.” With the HOVR Havoc, the only thing I’d like to have seen is a thin layer of HOVR in the toe, but the comfort is still there so it’s more of a “I wonder how it’d feel” versus a “the shoe needs this badly.”

At $105, the kd 11  is a great deal and should offer you a bit of everything you could want — court feel, cushion, a one-to-one fit, support without feeling like you’re being restricted, traction, and durability. Did I mention the shoe has cushion? Good cushion too.

If you were considering the UA HOVR Havoc or this happens to be your upcoming season’s team shoe then I hope you enjoy the shoe as much as I have. Now, if this cushion is in the Curry 6…sign me up.



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Nike Kyrie Low Performance Review

Le 15 aout à  06:35
Rubriques : Air Jordans

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!!”



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