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Asics Gel-Quantum Infinity Performance Review

Le 15 février à  09:04
Rubriques : Air Jordans

Asics broke out of its usual mold and tried something different with its new GEL-Quantum Infinity.

This past December, Asics unleashed its newest runner and were kind enough to send us out a pair to test. I put in just over 60 miles in the Asics Gel-Quantum Infinity and here are my personal findings.

Let’s start out with the cushion system because that was its biggest selling point: the midsole is full-length Gel. If you’ve seen the marketing video for it, you can’t help but be fascinated by what looks like a giant gummy worm twisting and rippling. It just screams squish me! And to be honest, that’s exactly how it felt underfoot.

From the immediate try-on, you have step in comfort like no other. You can feel the Gel breaking apart and snapping back together as you walk around. Then when you start running, you pretty much feel nothing underfoot at all which, to be honest, is exactly what I want. Rogue rocks or random nuts from trees in your path? You don’t even notice them. The GEL sucks them up and spits them back out.

My only complaint in this department is the GEL didn’t seem to give you any added “oomph”. I looked back on my running data, because I’m a running nerd and I keep track of that sort of thing, and I found my average running mile time increased. It’s like the GEL was also sucking up my running energy but not returning any of it to me. Then again, that could have just been caused by my experience with the fit.

Speaking of the fit, it simply was not made for me and my foot. If you’ve seen any of the videos I’ve been in with Nightwing2303, you already know I have a wide foot. This makes buying shoes of any kind a struggle. Asics sent out a size 6, which is typically my regular day-to-day size for shoes. When it comes to running, I normally go up half a size to allow some extra room for swelling and toe splay. The size 6 actually did fit me well length wise, surprisingly enough. If anything, a 6.5 might have been more frustrating to run in because the back of this shoe was constantly pulling my socks down. I can only imagine how much worse the heel slip would have been.

As for width, this shoe is narrow. Narrow to the point where after that first mile, right under the ball of my foot starts pinching. By mile two, I was counting down the minutes until I could get my butt back home and take the shoes off. I averaged four to five miles each time out for those who are wondering. That’s a lot of time spent fantasizing on being done with something I normally love doing.

Lockdown, like I eluded to in the fit, was a bit of an annoyance. I never felt like I was popping out of the shoe, but the back heel would pull at my socks. The only thing I could do to remedy this was to make sure I wore socks with heel tabs and then once I had worked up enough sweat to then stop and really wrench my socks up, they’d stick a bit better. Only then did everything seem to stay in place, but stopping to deal with sock issues is not something a runner wants to do.

Where the GEL midsole ends and attaches to the rest of your shoe is a plastic cup that runs around 95 percent of the shoe. It’s thickest in the back where your heel is and gradually gets slimmer as it heads to your toes. It’s not super stiff as there is some twist to the shoe which you can see in the performance video. At first, I thought maybe it helped cup your foot for stability, but upon further investigation, I found that it really just cupped the plush insole. I’m pretty sure the stability in the shoe is thanks to the very flat outsole.

Traction was never an issue for me. Along the outer edge of the GEL midsole is a good chunk of rubber that runs along the border. There are also small dots of rubber dispersed at key points of impact. I never had any slipping and I’ve been quite impressed with how durable its been. I typically grind right through the front outer edge (supinator problems) and this was not the case here. I thought for sure debris from the trails were going to shred the GEL but it has held up very well.

As far as materials go, the upper is a very thick, one-piece textile material. I feel this added to my issues with the fit. Between the width not being wide enough to the stiffness and low stretch of the materials, there wasn’t really any give in the upper for foot expansion. I will say that the heel is definitely padded, like a sponge, and it feels like it had been put through the ringer once I was done.

Side note: There are no reflective pieces on the shoe. Not even along the back heel. I’ve always thought of that as a running staple. Instead, they swapped it out with some gold stithing up the rear to bling this up a bit. The brightest thing on my particular pair is the Asics logo along the side, but it doesn’t reflect. As a runner who does a major chunk of her running where there are cars, I’d like more reflective material just in case.

Overall, it was a fun experience, this being my first official wear-test. I just wish my findings had been amazing. The shoe is priced at $180 and I think that’s very high. You can pick up two or three great running shoes from last year’s line for that price and consider yourself set for the rest of the year. I normally keep my running shoes completely separate from my every day shoes, and once I’m done with them, I can’t even donate them because they’re so gross.

Now that I’ve painted that graphic picture, when we were done filming for the performance review, I actually wore these while we worked on other projects for a good couple hours. These shoes were perfectly comfortable for that. So, if you like the look and you’re using them for casual purposes or a gym workout and you don’t mind the price point, then go for it. The cushion alone is really neat. I just feel like the rest of the shoe needs to be tweaked a bit to accommodate a wider variety of foot shapes.

While the cushion was a fun aspect of the shoe, something I haven’t felt before, I wouldn’t want to run in them again. Well, maybe I would, if they were wider.



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UA Curry 6 Performance Review

Le 30 janvier à  10:21
Rubriques : Air Jordans

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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UA Curry 6 Performance Review

Le 30 janvier à  10:19

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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The Jordan Why Not Zero.2 Performance Review is here

Le 29 janvier à  07:06
Rubriques : Air Jordans

Traction performed just as I had initially anticipated: they just gripped. Dust was never really a huge problem unless the floor at 24 Hour Fitness hadn’t been cleaned all week — yes, that actually happens at my 24 Hour Fitness. However, when the dust build up was that bad, the shoes still held its own on the floor.

I still prefer slightly larger circular patterns, like the Air Jordan 1, but if we’re just talking about what works, this is it.

The Why Not Zero.2 gripped outdoor courts just as well as they did indoor courts. However, thte rubber is on the soft side so if you were expecting a long-lasting outsole, then you may end up disappointed. While the outsole lasts, you’ll receive very good coverage but the blacktop will chew up the rubber sooner rather than later.

Forefoot Unlocked Zoom Air is in place, the same setup as the forefoot in the Air Jordan 33. The under-foot feeling is a bit different as the Phylon used between the two is not the same. Injected Phylon is what the Why Not Zero.2 midsole is made of and Injected Phylon is on the fluffy/bouncy side compared to the stuff used on the AJ33 — which may have been compression-molded Phylon and that is a much more dense foam compound.

With this model, you’ll get all the forefoot impact protection with the large volume Zoom Air unit that you did in the Air Jordan 32 and 33 but without the break-in time. Thank goodness.

The heel, despite just being Phylon, feels very comfortable and will help with minor impact. Do I miss the full-length Zoom Air setup found on the original Why Not Zero.1? Yes. I really do enjoy full-length Zoom Air, not just because it’s full-length, but because you sit a little closer to the floor. That obviously won’t be the same for all players, but my preference between the two leans towards the original setup. The Zero.2 is a little bouncier so if cushion and feedback from the cushion is your thing, then these might be exactly what you’re looking for.

Mesh and knit are found along the upper and there isn’t much to be said about it; it works. It requires zero break-in time. It’s moderately durable and it’s comfortable. Is it my first option? No, I’d have gone with a mix of textile and leather. However, for this being the new modern standard, the build gets the job done nicely.

The shoe fits true to size. I’ve been told by a friend that is wide-footed that he also went true to size, but if you happen to have a wide foot, then trying the shoe on is the best option to ensure they fit to your liking.

Lockdown, while nowhere near as awesome (suffocating) as the first model, is very good. There are overlay straps/panels in place that wrap around the foot at the forefoot, midfoot and rear. When you use textile, this is the way to enhance the experience; these areas can be customized to your specific foot shape as they’re fairly independent from the main build.

The only time I ran into any real issues with the lockdown was in the rear section of the shoe and it was only with certain socks. For whatever reason, the lining inside the shoe and some of my socks don’t get along very nicely. Once moisture is involved, things get a little slick. Luckily, the heel has an exaggerated TPU heel counter which is what really helped keep my foot onto the footbed whenever this would occur.

Support is good, but not as good as the original.

The original Why Not Zero.2 sat on a very wide flat base. These do not. This model is a bit more tipsy up front like the Air Jordan 33. It’s not something I prefer, but it is something you get used to. However, as a direct comparison, I preferred the stability on the Zero.1 much more than this setup. The Why Not Zero.2 feels like it was designed for speed whereas the original definitely wasn’t. A wider base and a more flat forefoot area, maybe an outrigger, would have been my ideal setup but I never had any issues with the shoe in terms of lateral stability so it might just be a placebo.

Midfoot and rear heel support come from the TPU plates that makeup the FlightSpeed system. These are two areas that are much better than previous renditions featuring decoupled tooling. The TPU keeps the area strong but not heavy. It also allows for some flex up front at the toe.

Again, my only real complaint is the width in the forefoot. I loved the really wide setup we had on last year’s model, but I know there were plenty that didn’t. If you were one of those players, then this setup might be the right one for you.

Overall, the Jordan Why Not Zero.2 is a badass shoe. They’re quick, comfortable, supportive where you really need it and they don’t need a ton of break-in time. The price point is perfect and the tech specs are all there. Yes, there are some things I preferred a bit more on the last model, but the Why Not Zero.2 is a shoe built for Russell Westbrook — the Why Not Zero.1 was a team model with his name put on it. It wasn’t really made for him but they made it work. These are truly Westbrook’s shoe.

If you’ve enjoyed the air Jordan 32 and 33 but disliked the bulky feeling they had, the Why Not Zero.2 will give you what you enjoyed out of those models without the restriction.



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adidas Marquee Boost Performance Review

Le 26 janvier à  06:42
Rubriques : Air Jordans

Is the adidas Marquee Boost the most comfortable basketball shoe currently available?

The traction pattern featured on the Marquee Boost is good ol’ herringbone. Offering multidirectional coverage from heel to toe, the outrigger section features a thicker version of the pattern — something they should have used full length.

While I love herringbone because it provides you with great consistent coverage when the rubber compound may fail, adidas made this version thin and tightly spaced. When there is a lot of dust present, you notice it as it quickly gets stuck in each and every groove. This is where the thicker, more widely spaced version used on the lateral end could have held up better than the rest.

Not only would the thicker grooves held its own against dust better, but it would been a bit more durable for those players that primarily play outdoor basketball. The rubber itself is very durable but when cut into thinly sliced lines, it becomes soft and can quickly wear away on the blacktop or concrete.
Overall, the traction was solid when the courts were clean. It needed a lot of wiping when courts were dirty and it was not as durable as it could have been outside. It’s not bad, but it’s not great either. It gets the job done — which is good overall.

Full length Boost and yes, Boost is still life.

adidas’ premium cushion is used full length, however, the boost-y feeling you normally receive from the cushion is subdued quite a bit in the forefoot. Impact protection is still there, but you won’t get that bouncy feeling that you may (or may not) be looking for. The ETPU is contained on both the medial and lateral forefoot which restricts the material from moving the way it normally would — and does in the rear of the shoe.
Speaking of the rear or heel section, everything about Boost you may love (or may loath) is featured in the rear. It’s very bouncy and offers that under-foot feedback a lot of players look for in their basketball shoes. However, this was a bit too much cushion for me — at least at the moment.

I’ve been suffering from tendonitis inflammation in my heel and Achilles tendon for the past few months and very soft cushion aggravates it quite a bit. This goes for lifestyle and performance versions of Boost as well as other brands that have shoes using soft midsole cushion. It has been a big pain to deal with — literally. It’s been a process figuring out what has been causing the flare-ups and it has come down to cushion. The softer it is, the more pain I’m in.

This is obviously a personal issue, but it may be useful for some people. If you’ve been experiencing the same thing, firmer setups help. Not too firm though as you’ll need to find a balanced ride, but that’s what I’ve been trying to convey within my reviews over the past few months. When I talk about cushions that offer that balance or blend, those setups are the ones that I can play in for hours without having too much pain, whereas the softer stuff like curry 6 end up causing me a lot of pain on and off the court.

I love the materials used as it’s a nice mixture of knits, canvas and micro-molded mesh.

Everything has done well containing the foot, allowing for flexibility while remaining supportive and to top it off — durable. Showing signs of wear on a basketball shoe is not something I normally care about. I know that when I play in a shoe they’re going to look like I’ve played in them. However, there are some people that want their shoes to look as nice as possible for as long as possible. This is where the Marquee Boost has done well.

An example, which you’ll see once that review is complete, is the adidas Ultra Boost 2019. Really fun shoe to play in, very good performance as well, but they look like they’ve been run over by a truck. The Marquee Boost… not so much. They look like I can wear them to the store and it looks like I just bought them yesterday.

True to size is what I went with and length wise, it’s what I’d recommend. But the fit isn’t the best all-around.

The toe area flexes weird and while it didn’t cause any issues while playing, it was a distraction. Distractions from your gear, while playing any sport, is never ideal. You typically want to feel like you’re not wearing anything at all. You can definitely tell you’re wearing a shoe when you’ve got the Marquee Boost on.

At the rear, I did experience the dreaded “heel slip” upon my first wear. I wound up having to mess with the laces and my choice of socks quite a bit before finding a good way to lace them up. Brand new socks were not my favorite in the shoe by the way — even ones that were washed a few times. I found wearing older socks worked best. For some reason, the newer socks just weren’t very compatible with the silky-feeling liner used inside the shoe.

Once I was able to work through the sock and lacing issues, things were pretty good. But again, you can definitely tell you’re wearing a shoe while playing. Some people may like that and some may not.

Support is standard for the Marquee Boost. Everything you need is there: torsional support — check. Outrigger — check. Wide platform for stability — check. Heel counter — check.

Everything is good to go. Just make sure you try them on in-store if possible as the potential sloppiness of the fit may cause problems for some.

The adidas Marquee Boost is definitely one of the more comfortable basketball shoes currently available, especially at its price point — ranging between $120-140 depending on the colorway. However, I did not love the shoe as a whole. I still find them to be a beautiful looking shoe but not one I’d keep in my gym bag.

Traction consistency, I feel, could have been a non-issue had the herringbone been of the thicker variety. Fit needs a bit of work as well. The whole “too much cushion” thing is my personal issue, so I can’t really fault the shoe for that — it’s just not what I need right now. What I really need is a lot of rest, but if I do that then I can’t earn a living, so that isn’t going to happen anytime soon.

If you’ve been playing in the adidas Marquee Boost, feel free to let me know how your experience was below in the comment section. How was the fit/lockdown for you? Was the Boost boost-y enough for you or did it leave you wanting more… maybe less?

Sound off below and let me know. As usual, thank you for reading/watching and I hope this helped someone out. Until the next one…



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Under Armour Curry 6 Performance Review

Le 14 janvier à  09:24
Rubriques : Air Jordans

Feels like it was yesterday that I reviewed the Curry 1 and now we’re on the Curry 6. Time sure does fly.

Since people can’t help but prefer to have things ranked, I’d still pick the Under Armour Curry 2 as the model with the best traction out of the main signature line. That’s followed by the Curry 4 and closely following would be the Curry 6.

Sporting a circular traction pattern on the lateral side offers superb multi-directional grip — dust or no dust. I love the use of spirals for traction and prefer it if herringbone isn’t in the plans. Along the medial side, we have a cross-hatched pattern that was inspired by the stucco on Curry’s house he grew up in in Charlotte. No, that’s not a joke; it’s definitely a reach when it comes to storytelling and it would have been best to have used herringbone in that section or continue the circular pattern all the way around. However, this cross-hatched section didn’t perform poorly, so looking at it strictly from a performance perspective — it wasn’t a disappointment. I just feel it would have been safer to have used what is known to work.

If dust is present, you’ll need to wipe due to the cross-hatched portion of the outsole. That’s the area that will collect dust quickly. Once you wipe the debris away, you’re back to your regular scheduled stop-on-a-dime coverage that most hoopers love.

Outdoors, the traction worked better than I thought. There was no slipping or sliding out, something I was actually expecting from the cross-hatched side. But, and there is always a but, I wouldn’t expect the traction to last a long period of time outdoors. It’s soft and shallow and it’s good for indoors, but not so much outdoors.

Full-length HOVR cushioning is used and it’s the entire midsole. Also, it’s a bit different from the HOVR Havoc, which housed the HOVR foam within an EVA carrier.

The HOVR has been tweaked so it’s a bit more subdued than the running version, which is super bouncy, yet the design team at UA was still able to keep the HOVR under control enough to where you don’t feel like you’ve stepped in Flubber. However, you still feel like you’ve got some cushion underfoot. On a personal level, having played in every Curry shoe made thus far, this is the best they’ve done at giving a little bit of something for everyone.

If you prefer the low profile feel of the Curry models of the past, then you won’t be disappointed with the Curry 6. However, if cushion has been the one thing stopping you from trying a Curry model then the Curry 6 will change that.

With the Curry 6 you get it all: Cushion. Court feel. Full length implementation. All for $130. Not bad.

Knit is used full-length, from heel to toe. There are some fuse overlays in the standard high-wear areas such as the toe along with the reinforced sections along the eyestay so the laces don’t rip through the knit.

Once broken-in, which is a very short break-in process by the way, then you’ll likely enjoy the build, especially if you’re already accustomed to knit basketball shoes. It’s not overly stretching (KD 11) or overly stiff (Kobe 9) but it’s a good balance of strength where you need it and flex where you’d want it.

When I first tried on the Curry 6, they felt like they ran a tad bit short with some volume above the toe area. After wearing them for the past few weeks, they feel perfect and I’d recommend going true to size for most — wide footers will want to try them on just in case the shorter length bothers them.

The volume in the toe goes away after you break the toe section of the knit in. It’s got a little bit of additional material backing it in some sections which caused them to feel like the forefoot is moving away from your foot, but once you heat the materials up, they start to mold and move to your foot which is an awesome feeling. This is similar to the knit used in the Harden Vol. 3 and LeBron 16. Once the Curry 6 is broken-in, it’s as close to mimicking leather as you can get.

Lockdown is great once everything has broken-in as well. Your initial try-on will leave a bit to be desired, but you can’t rely on a try-on to determine how a shoe will feel once they’ve been properly worn on-court for a handful of hours. The lace area does a good job at keeping you locked down onto the footbed while the flat laces help alleviate potential lace pressure issues. I would have preferred a separate tongue, but as one-piece constructions go, this is one of the better ones.

Traction and support/stability are what Curry models are most known for and the Curry 6 is no exception.

The base of the shoe is fairly wide and flat for stability, while flex grooves are carved into the outsole to promote natural motion. You sit within the majority of the midsole while the lateral section has been extended to act as an outrigger. UA also implemented a TPU support plate which they call it a speed plate, that helps reinforce the HOVR and also acts as a full-length outrigger without restricting mobility — something spring plates are known for as they’re implemented directionally underfoot.

I liked playing in the Curry 1. I loved playing in the Curry 2. Curry 3 was meh. Curry 4 was amazing. Curry 5 was… painful. The Curry 6 is easily the best they’ve done and it has been a blast to play in. It’s always a good sign when I don’t want to stop wearing a shoe once testing is complete because I like playing in them so much — that’s what it’s like for me and the Curry 6. I love everything about them — although I’d have done something slightly different with the traction.

Is it the best Curry to date? Yes. It’s the most well-rounded of the bunch that will cater to more than just the player that wants court feel. It has something for everyone, which is what a good performance shoe will offer. While it may be made for the player they’re named after, you’re trying to sell the shoe to everyone but him (her). You can only do that successfully if you make a shoe “everyone” will want to play in rather than just focusing on one athlete.

Solid job by Under Armour. I can’t wait to grab a few more colorways once they’re available.



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Big Baller Brand Zo2.19 Performance Review

Le 10 janvier à  06:57
Rubriques : Air Jordans

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


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Li-Ning Way of Wade 7 Performance Review

Le 29 décembre 2018 à  10:46
Rubriques : Air Jordans

The Way of Wade 7 is finally here. How many of you slept on this solid performer?

Starting with the outsole, Li-Ning decided to go with a translucent traction pattern with Dwyane Wade’s logo all over it, which is different. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like this before, but it’s dope. The traction was solid; they do pick up dust on dirtier courts but as long as you keep up on your wipes, you will be fine.

If you are looking for something you can play in outdoors, I do think this shoe can be a candidate because it won’t wear down as quickly as others.

The cushion is a little different this year in the 7’s. Drive Foam has been removed and replaced with something that looks a lot like Boost. The deconstruction of the shoe is here on thesoleline.com, so if you want to see what that new cushion looks like, go check it out.

Anyway, the cushion didn’t feel as plush as it did in the Way of Nike LeBron 16 . The Wade 7’s is little more on the firm side, but not a bad firm.
The cushion is still lovely especially with the pillow on the heel of the insole. My goodness, this thing gave me life. Responsiveness is there, only if you concentrate. However, the impact protection is fire and makes up for that lack of responsiveness — it’s definitely a comfortable ride.

Moving on to the materials, you got a textile mesh upper with a synthetic shroud at the forefoot. I feel like the shroud is there for looks and the reason I say that is because it didn’t do anything for me. It didn’t wrap my foot the way I would have liked.

However, the mesh underneath had its back for sure because that stuff wrapped my foot nicely. It’s like taking a baked potato wrapped up really good in foil, a.k.a mesh, then putting it in a bag, a.k.a the synthetic overlay. The overlay is pretty soft, so you don’t have to worry about it pinching or anything like that. Overall, I enjoyed the materials

As for the fit, the Way of Wade 7’s does run a bit long. Some of you may want to go down a half-size. I went true-to-size and that works for me. However, what works for me may not work for you. Wide footers, I think you guys can stay TTS as well.

If you own a pair of the WOW 6’s, they fit a little like that so you can use that shoe to help you with your sizing. If you don’t own the WOW 6, then may God be with you, because Lord knows if I tell you all one thing and I’m wrong, oh man, y’all will turn into mini-devil babies and try to tear a brother down. It’s all love though.

Now, the support was fire. This shoe did a great job of making sure your foot is secure and glued to the footbed. The midsole is cupping the midfoot, so no lateral movements occur. There’s an internal heel counter and a carbon fiber external heel counter in place to contain the heel. The base is wide, giving you a natural outrigger and a huge carbon fiber shank plate for torsional support. I have no complaints about the support whatsoever.

Overall, the Way of Wade 7’s are a fun shoes to play in; I enjoyed playing ball in these thang thangs. Would I recommend them? Most definitely. I think more people should give the Wade’s a try anyway because if you ask me, they are a sleeper.



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Stanley T. With Nike Kyrie 5 Performance Review

Le 28 décembre 2018 à  10:50
Rubriques : Air Jordans

Just before the year ends, a performance review on the Nike Kyrie 5 comes in from a bag man’s perspective.

Nike’s Kyrie 5 uses a completely different pattern than last years herringbone with some intricate designs to it. Though it’s not your typical herringbone, the multi-directional grooves gave the shoe not only a cool look, but most importantly, a functional one. No matter the change of direction or how hard I pushed the shoe, the traction was exceptional. Occasionally, you’ll need a quick wipe on those super dirty courts but on clean courts wiping the bottom of the shoe, although a habit of mine despite having good traction or not, was almost an afterthought.

The multi-directional patterns allow you to play quickly without hesitation and that’s what I prefer. While I’m not the quickest of the bunch, I do change directions often, forcing my defender off balance and by doing so, allowing myself to manipulate my stance and trust my footwork. I think quick, smaller guards or even guys who are primary ball handlers, will easily take advantage of traction this reliable. I would suggest playing with these indoor mainly. However, for those who don’t have the option or have the overseas release with the XDR rubber traction outsole, it might not last long but it’ll do the job and then some, while it lasts.

Nike utilizes the new Nike Air Zoom Turbo in the Kyrie 5. While this setup definitely gives a small nod to articulated Zoom Air of the past, it feels quite different however. For a heavy-footed person like myself, the Zoom definitely felt noticeable upon foot placement, especially heavy directional changes and planting. While the Nike Zoom Turbo isn’t overly bouncy, it does its job, especially with how the Zoom Turbo is cored into the Phylon midsole to compliment outsole design. I was really hoping for the implementation of Cushlon and Zoom Air again but this setup works. I also wouldn’t mind paying an extra $5-$10 for an additional heel Zoom Air unit.

For those anticipating major bounce-back from the ride, this isn’t it. The shoe is designed for maximum court-feel; it wasn’t a definite deal-breaker for me. However, I’d like to see Zoom Air Turbo eventually utilized in either full-length fashion or maybe in a slightly larger volume.

Engineered mesh was utilized just as it was on the Kyrie 4: the material is nice, lightweight and breaks-in rather quickly. An added nylon interior combined with the exterior mesh compliment each other so that the materials can hold well together without restriction. It would have been nice to seen some additional premium materials with the small price increase but this setup works with or without it.

SNUGGGGGGGGG! While the Kyrie 5’s predecessor, the Kyrie 4, was a little snug, the 5 really took it up a notch due to the Flytrap overlay design, which does exactly what it’s supposed to (keep you locked down). It’s definitely a shoe that everyone should try on in-store. If you can’t and have a slightly wide-foot like myself, I say go 1/2 size up to save yourself from a lack of blood flow.

This is probably one of the best locked down shoes to date. The combination of the Flytrap overlay and the structural design of the shoe, while a struggle to put on and pull off, made the foot feel extremely secure. I do love the security and lockdown provided, as long as you get the right fit.

Solid. Simple as that. It’s one of the more stable shoes released this year. While it does have a rounded outsole, the shoe was very fluid from heel-to-toe transitions but more refined. The shoe keeps you secure on the footbed, fully locked-in and has killer traction. What more can you ask for? Oh…right, more cushioning, especially what’s missing in the heel.

Hands down, one of the more fun shoes I’ve played in this year. It’s a solid overall shoe that caters to the needs of those that play a more grounded game and require unrestricted mobility. It’s the type of shoe that when someone asks you what you’re carrying around in your gym back, you tell them “THIS IS IT CHIEF!”

Again, I’ve said this repeatedly, but with the minor price increase, it’d be nice to see Nike implement a heel Zoom unit to compliment the Zoom Turbo in the forefoot. I mean, if they can do this for shoes overseas and charge the same amount, then I don’t see why not. This shoe is definitely a fun shoe that provides a smooth ride and is ready to go to war with on-court when you are ready.

Now, about that Cushlon layer into the Phylon midsole and extra Zoom in the Heel… I would love to see that on the next shoe down the line..here’s to wishful thinking.



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Air Jordan 33 Performance Review

Le 25 décembre 2018 à  09:13
Rubriques : Air Jordans

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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