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adidas crazylight 2018 performance analysis review

Le 22 novembre 2018 à  06:18
Rubriques : Air Jordans

This is a short and sweet review because the CLB 2018 is the 2016 version with a different upper material and less heel slip.

So a lot of people asked me to review this shoe but I chose to wait because I knew the 2018 was going to sit and I picked these up for $ 67.50 off during the Adidas 30% off sale. It really annoys me it when people say “Oh it’s $120 that’s a good deal” because it isn’t if you have just a little patience and understand supply and demand or if you just read my blog. Chinese heart attack is real people #aliwong

Pros: traction, cushioning, improved heel fit from 2016, stability, containment, one ounce lighter than 2016

Cons: cheaper feeling materials if you’re into that, some lace pressure at top eyelets

Sizing advice: runs long, same as the 2016, half a size down except wide footers

Best for: any position

Buying advice: $67.50 on sale and I’m happy. Bottom around $45-50 range Adidas did a poor job marketing and differentiating shoe

Weight

15 ounces which is one ounce lighter than the 2016 version. I’m guessing using the thinner mesh upper and less plastic shaved off that one ounce of weight.

Traction

Very similar to the 2016 but it did require some breaking in before it gripped like the 2016. The pattern is different but the result is the same. Very nice pliable rubber with very deep grooves.

Where did the all “important” Continental rubber go? Adidas must be reading my blog ??

So simple to do and execute but it’s barely down nowadays. Well done Adidas!!

Cushioning

Same as 2016 which is a good thing. Adidas has quietly firmed up the Boost in various shoes from 2016 to 2018 . DRose 6 was very soft, CLB16 and Rose 7 a little firmer, Harden V3 a little lower yet still comfortable, Harden V2 much firmer. This is a just nice blend just like the 2016. I think most players will like this set up.

Fit

These run long just like the 2016 and play even even longer by a touch because of of the thinner materials vs the 2016. I advise getting the same size you got in the 2016 especially wide footers.

I couldn’t go down half size due to wide feet so I had to stick with my normal 11. There is over a full thumb width at the toe which only took a little time to get used to. I think the majority of players will want to go down half a size

Eyelets

There is some lace pressure at the top eyelets so you have to adjust your lacing to get it right or wear thick socks. More padding would have helped

The biggest change from the 2016 to 2018 is a actually a very subtle change. Adidas basically did what I did with the CLB16 project and the stock heel fit is definitely improved. However it takes an hour or two to break in the midsole and plastic parts so it’s more flexible and starts to conform to your foot and heel.

If you just try these on in the store and walk around or don’t let them break in, you will be disappointed with the heel slip.

You can always accelerate the break in like I always do by bending them with your hands. The extra eyelets puts the top laces higher up along the foot so it helps pull the foot down AND back.

It isn’t quite kryie 5 lockdown in the heel since Nike tends to use denser/spongier and more padding that Adidas and UA but it is more than acceptable and very playable.

I’d also guess going down half a size would help even more but as I said earlier I need the width. (That’s what she said too)

As for the rest of the shoe, it fits well with a touch of dead space over the toe box

It doesn’t affect play at all either but I know shoe geeks are super anal (that’s what she said too!)

Materials

A stretchy mesh upper sounds like a my worst nightmare but this upper didn’t really let me down since they used a raised midsole in the forefoot and a pretty long heel counter to keep my foot from sliding around on hard cuts. In my article Why Knits Mesh Wovens don’t work, I spoke at length about why these mesh and knit uppers didn’t work and companies are actually implementing ways to contain the foot. For the most part, shoes like the Brandblack JC 2 and 3 which had no such raised midsole seem to be a thing of the past although it looks like the KD XI didn’t go that route. Of course it makes sense given KD’s penchant for sock like comfort.

Support and Stability

Same as the CLB16 so if those didn’t work out for you, these won’t either. Although the external heel counter is smaller than the 2016, Adidas put in an internal counter as well similar to what you find on Nike’s.

Not overly firm but still helpful.

Same exact plastic midfoot shank

Stability is exactly the same as the 2016 almost down to the forefoot nodules. Same width and notched in almost the exact same area.

Overall I had no issues with support and stability.

Containment

Another non issue just like the 2016. Raised midsole that runs along one third of the shoe.. Way to go Adidas !

Conclusion

So what’s the verdict? I think Adidas read my blog and fixed the issues the 2016 had when they could’ve done it right the first time. Four eyelets have increased to six while they moved the top eyelet back to where I put mine in the 2016.

I think for $67.50 it’s a great shoe that almost any player will enjoy but it does require a little break in time to get the most out of it. If you’re a fan of fancy named uppers, you will not like the CLB 18 but if you do like fancy names like Jacquard, buy the 2016 off eBay and poke some extra holes in it. They go for around the same price as the 2018 anyways.

Just like the modded Air More Uptempo, the fit is good but not great while everything else I enjoyed. Improve the fit a touch and you’d have a first team shoe but second team isn’t too bad either especially at $67.50.



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adidas Crazy Explosive Primeknit PK 2017 Performance Analysis Review

Le 21 novembre 2018 à  04:52
Rubriques : Air Jordans

I know everyone and their mothers loved the Crazy Explosive 2016 last year but they just didn’t work for me due to the placement of the cored out section and thin Boost in the forefoot. I wasn’t very hopeful for the 2017 but some slight tweaks ( international or not) in the cushioning made my neuroma pain a little more tolerable. As for the rest of the shoe, I feel the 2017 is superior to the 2016 but not everyone will feel the same way. Luckily, you can still buy the 2016 for less.

Pros: traction when clean, cushioning, fit, support and stabilty, containment

Cons: shoe starts off stiff but breaks in quickly, outsole needs wiping on dusty floors, outsole prone to wear and peeling

Sizing: most players will want to go up half a size since these run slightly short and narrow. Wide footers will definitely want to go up at least half a size.

Best for: guards or lighter bigs

Buying Advice: wait, they made a lot and they aren’t going anywhere. $100 is fair and what I paid, $75-85 range should be the bottom. Finishline has them for $112.50 after one month.

Weight

16.5 ounces in an 11.5 US. Pretty much the same as last year.

Traction

Power Coral, Ready for action!

Same as last year. Works great on clean floors but requires a fair amount of wiping on dusty floors. More than acceptable but still not top tier since it doesn’t have that strong bite and needs wiping to stay glued to the floor. Also it is still prone to peeling and wear so not really recommended for outdoor use. Swap out the Rose 7 traction and you’d have a beast of a shoe.

Cushioning

Similar to but slightly better feeling for me than last year’s set up.

Last year the forefoot felt thin to me and I didn’t feel it much but this year feels better for me in the forefoot. The set up feels ever so slightly firmer than last year’s which is great for me since I don’t bottom out quite as much. If it wasn’t cored out exactly where my neuroma sat, I’d have no issue but oh well at least it’s tolerable this time.
Just like last year this ridge is where the Boost actually starts.

Unfortunately, I can’t tell you if it’s supposed to feel that way or if it’s Adidas’s quality control. I actually bought the Black White Neoprene pair last year and was planning on writing about the improved traction but got sidetracked and never did. I actually bought four different pairs of the same shoe and they all felt different; Some felt great in the heel while others felt stiffer than the rest. I’ve had similar experiences with other Boost models. Don’t get me wrong it feels great underfoot pretty much no matter what but they do feel different.

Okay back to the actual cushioning on the CE17. Overall, the cushioning is slightly stiffer than the 2016 but still feels good heel to toe. Forefoot is still thin feeling due to the heel toe drop as well as the Infinity Shank. Cushioning is still softer than the Harden Vol 1, Rose 6 (in the heel) and CLB16 but just not as wide of a margin as last year’s.

Sizing
For reference I went true to size with the 2016. With the 2017, wide footers should go up half a size maybe even a full size because these run tight. Regular and narrow footers can go true to size or half a size up as well because these run a little short. I advise regular and narrow to try them on if possible.

Fit

Yes a real improvement!!

Adidas finally got the shoe sock (SHOCK) trend right. The fit on the CE 17 is fantastic and really gives a one to one sock like feel. The HD 2016 FK had a similar idea but I had some heel slip in those due to the placement of the top eyelet. This is one of the big reasons the fit works is because Adidas actually put the top eyelet where I need it to pull my ankle back and keep it there. They also made five sets of eyelets this time around (I told y’all it was a dumb gimmick last year!)

Another reason the sock works well is because Adidas padded the sewn in tongue well and kept it elastic.

By keeping it elastic, it keeps the tongue from bunching up and allows it to actually fit like a sock.

Overall the fit is excellent, well done Adidas!

Materials

Primeknit is back again but it isn’t as soft and flexible like last year’s. If you liked the softness of last year’s Primeknit, buy last year’s. Forged Primeknit is what Adidas calls it and it’s basically Primeknit with “forged yarn” plus some light glue on 95% of the upper. Adidas left out the “forged” portions along the medial forefoot to allow it to flex more naturally. It takes only a few runs to get the upper to break in. No issues here for me but if you liked the Primeknit of the 2016 version, get the 2016 version.

Support and Stability

Support comes mostly from the fit and the internal heel counter. At first glance it looks like the CE 17 sock is just there for proprioception only but only the very top of the collar is sock like so you do get a touch of support if you call padding support. You can see how thick yet flexible the padding is below.

Thankfully stability is once again excellent on the Crazy Explosive thanks a large flat outsole, low ride and infinity shank. I’m not sure if Adidas firmed up the shank but the 2017 starts out much stiffer underfoot than 2016 but breaks in nicely.

Just like the Hyperdunk 2017, I feel the combination of flexibility around the ankle with a very stable base is the best of both worlds. Great job Adidas!

Containment

My dream come true !!

Look at that roll cage.. heel to toe coverage. Containment is fantastic on the CE17. Awesome job Adidas!

Conclusion
I am probably the only “reviewer” who didn’t give the Crazy Explosive 2017 tons of praise and love. I get all geeked out over new tech like everyone else but not if it doesn’t translate onto the court it’s a simple pass for me. The 2017 made minor tweaks to the 2016 formula and the result is a better performing shoe due to a better fit and containment. I think most players will enjoy these because it does everything well if not great and really gives the player an excellent one to one fit with a low to ground yet well cushioned ride. If the cored out section wasn’t cored out and traction was improved I’d undoubtedly love these (I am a traction lover what can I say).

And if you loved the Nike Air Foamposite 2019 them again. 2016 is soooooooooooooo long ago so it’s time to clear them out of inventory and make room for the newer models. If you ever wondered why I don’t like top ten lists for a calendar year, well that’s why. Limiting your kicks to what’s new for the season really confines you to what the manufacturers make and market for the year. Keep your eyes open and you won’t have to open your wallet as wide while getting the shoes you actually want.



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Adidas Ball 365 Performance Review and Analysis

Le 20 novembre 2018 à  06:08
Rubriques : Air Jordans

Last season, Adidas created the Ball 365 to cater to outdoor ballers. I was really excited last year about this shoe coming out but it was only available overseas and thanks to Adidas’s wanky sizing, I really didn’t want to spend $150 plus on a shoe that could be way too big or way too small. I guess I wasn’t the only one since no “reviewers” reviewed them.

Thankfully the new season is here and everything is on sale so I felt I could justify the risk for almost half the price. In hindsight I wish I didn’t.

Pros: traction, cushioning, decent fit, stability, containment, durable outsole

Cons: thick layers and use of Climawarm will suck for outdoor use during summer months, super thin tongue and dumb design leads to discomfort, some heel slip, rides a little high off the ground, pricey for what you get

Sizing: take a wild guess.. typical Adidas or is it atypical Adidas?

Best for: outdoor players who have to have Adidas

Buying Advice: buy something else

Weight:

Adidas likes to keep them over one pound I guess. Similar weight to the Rose line or CLB16.

Traction

Now this application of Continental rubber makes sense. During my test of Continental versus Regular, I felt Continental would be more durable especially outdoors so it makes sense to put these on the Ball 365. Works great outdoors and indoors as well. Not really much wiping required even on dusty floors indoors. This is the best part about the Ball365

Cushioning

Bounce wins the award for consistency. It has that distinct feel across a lot of different lines of shoes. These feel a little firmer than the Lillard 4 but still feel like Bounce.

I think this set up is great for outdoors even though it sits a little higher up than I’d like.

Sizing

Good thing I’m a good guesser..Before you read this, which way do you think sizing went ? True to size go up half a size go down half a size other? Tough question to answer isn’t it? Fix this issue Adidas.

Well I went half a size up just based on pictures and I was right. There is a lot of padding in the Ball 365 and it runs shorter and narrower than Adidas hoop shoes in general. I had a finger width of space from my biggest toe to the end of the toe box which is my preference and what podiatrists actually recommend.

Fit

In all honesty I wanted the mids but I couldn’t find a pair in my size for a good price. However these lows do a decent job in regard to fit. I had serious heel slip to start but after some workouts and runs the heel fit got better but never got truly locked in. The laces don’t sit high enough or far enough back for me and I really didn’t feel like poking more holes in shoes. Plus the design as a whole didn’t help either (more below). Yes, my feet are very fickle when it comes to lows that’s why I like mids because I usually have zero issues like this with them.

The lace “eyelets” are similar looking to the Rose 8 but the string is actually one continuous piece. If you break it you’re SOL

I could have gone down half a size and it would probably would have improved the fit but then the shoe would have been too tight.

No issues with movement side to side since these run pretty narrow. Overall, I find the fit to be slightly below average due to the heel fit. Miss would probably do a a better job on this department.

Materials

The Ball 365 is mostly just mesh similar to the Fusemesh of the Lillard 3. Nothing great but it feels right as an outdoor material. There is some protection around the toebox for toe dragging which is a plus but if you don’t drag on this spot get ready for some fraying or holes. More coverage across the forefoot would be ideal.

There is also a thick underlay of cloth which I believe is Climawarm but it doesn’t impede flexibility. It’s there to keep your feet warm during winter months while keeping them ultra moist during summer. Yuck

Climawarm -when you really want a bacteria farm growing in your shoes.

I get it’s called the Ball 365 as in 365 days a year but during the hot swamp as* summer this is not what you want at all. And during the winter months, your feet don’t need Climawarm because your feet naturally get hot. Trust me I’ve played hours upon hours of tennis during the winter months and keeping my feel warm was the very last thing I was worried about. Maybe next time throwing in a headband or ski mask would be better than Climawarm as a material in a shoe with no ventilation. One of the dumbest ideas I’ve ever seen unless I’m going skiing or hiking in the freezing cold.

Design

So yea ..about those TPS reports

Maybe I just need a explanation from engineers but this space makes no sense and give me lace pressure irritation and pain. I mean really why? Ventilation ? You have a super thin tongue covering the space so it can’t be for that.

This little thin tongue let’s me feel all the lace pressure I could ever want. And why is the tongue on top of the shoe ? It just looks like n extra piece of fabric.

That space doesn’t help with the fit either so it really makes little sense. Basically my foot foot acts as wedge some every time I run my ankle can push further and further into the “V” cutout making the fit worse with each step. If you’re going to keep my feet warm, a traditional tongue or bootie set up would have worked much better while keeping my feet nice and toasty.

Support and Stability

Support comes from the heel counter and fit so I had no issues with support. Those nubs do nothing except give the appearance of durability and to prepare you for battle with the Whitewalkers. See the Ball365 would be great when #winterishere #gameofthronesdork

Actually the real reason the nubs exist is to add accessories to the shoe but I thought we were done with shrouds and lace covers back in 2001.

Stabilty is good as well with an outsole similar to the Lebron 16. No tippiness in the heel either. Nice job overall Adidas!

Containment

Good containment since my foot sits well below the raised midsole. Sorry this is so brief, just want to finish writing this review.

Conclusion

I really liked that Adidas made an outdoor shoe basketball shoe since not everyone plays indoors. The Ball 365 should really be called Ball 245 because I would not advise wearing these during summer months due to the thick underlays and Climawarm.

IF I ignore the heat retention and weird painful cut out that led to Crazylace pressure and heel slip, the Ball245 is an okay shoe and feels sturdy for the outdoors. But at a retail price of $120 (I think) not including shipping costs, you’d be better served buying older models with Continental rubber for half the price like adidas nmd or Lillard 2. I usually don’t feel sorry about buying a shoe at $80 but this isn’t even aesthetically pleasing to me so pretty much just a big L. I could have bought two Lillard 3’s at the outlet for less than I paid for these and had a better fit, ventilation, and looks. Oh well live and learn and move onto the next one. I hope this review saves someone some money!



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Nike Lebron Soldier III 3 Performance Analysis and Review

Le 19 novembre 2018 à  05:44
Rubriques : Air Jordans

As I continue my shoe closet purge, I came across these and thought these would be a great way to kill some time waiting for this weekend’s releases (Kobe 360, Protro, Curry 5). After wearing them the past few weeks, I also decided to keep them.

It’s hard to believe it’s been nine years since the Soldier III released (almost as hard to fathom as Nike retroing the Soldier I!?) I remember walking around the Costa Mesa mall during a vacation and checking these out at the Footlocker there, then walking out with a pair for $69.99. The more time that passes and the more I write reviews on older shoes, the more I realize nothing has really changed in regard to sneaker “technology and innovation”.

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

Cons: needs normal wiping to stay tacky on dusty floors. A little squeaky when walking around haha

Best for: any position

Weight

15 ounces in a US 11 which is the average weight for mids today although these were way lighter than previous LeBrons.

Then vs Now: tie

Traction

One of the better traction set ups of the Lebron Solider line. I guess the pattern is a sectionalized modified herringbone?

If you look at the direction of the herringbone, it runs more horizontally than vertically than most herringbone set ups which helps with cuts and defensive slides and stops. Of course there is some standard vertical herringbone right up the middle.

It isn’t perfect because that that flat outer rim can pick up some dust and cause some sliding but nothing out of the ordinary. A more modern pattern would probably have the herringbone extend all the way across the outsole and possibly up.

If you’re constantly searching for the GOAT traction like me, these are not it. They don’t have the bite of something along the Rose 7 or Curry 2 nor do they deflect dust like them but they do a good enough job, very similar to the Clutchfit Drive type of performance. I have them a little below the Soldier VI traction as well.

Then vs Now: tie although there are better patterns than the Soldier III then as well as now.

Cushioning

Zoom Zoom

A very standard (at the time) heel and forefoot Zoom. Sad to say we get excited about good Zoom set ups like this nowadays but back then, this just the norm. If you take a look at the pics, you can see the Zoom pushing the strobel board which of course translates to a lot of Zoom feel.

I don’t even need to highlight the Zoom in these pics Basically it’s the opposite of Jordan and Nike’s protruding Zoom outsole. If you can’t see it, it can’t be working right JB/Nike?

The Zoom still works great for me after all these years which is a testament to how great and durable Zoom can be when done right. I still prefer the Soldier VI set up but these are pretty damn good as well.

Then vs Now: better than most today

Fit

True to size

Here is how to get the optimal fit for everyone

1. Put shoe on left foot

2. Put shoe on right foot

3. Tie laces on left and right shoe

4. Pull straps down to desired tightness

5. Go play

It can be so simple yet shoe companies love using asymmetrical lacing, removing laces, using minimal eyelets, rails and zippers for no good reason other than marketing. Sure some might fit a little better for some people but 99% of the time, a standard set up will work better.

Then vs Now: better than most but today’s great fitting shoes are just as good

Materials

Ballistic mesh, synthetic leather and a patent leather toe cap on most colorways.

Nothing fancy at all but they work just fine. I’m sure Nike could “update” the Soldier III with Flyknit but it wouldn’t feel as sturdy and Nike would probably have to modify other parts of the shoe to fix containment issues.

Then vs Now: I prefer then but no difference in performance

Articulated Toe Cap

The toe cap design is interesting and it cuts down on break in time versus a traditional non articulated patent leather setup like the Air Jordan 33. During break in, the AJ XI patent leather would crease and crack to allow for a more natural flex. This articulated toe cap just eliminates the break in time . I wouldn’t say it plays any better than a traditional set up since you still have to contend with flexing the much thicker midsole of the shoe. Believe it not, your feet have very strong muscles to power through 1/8 of an inch of materials. You could of course just take the toe cap off and have the same experience as an articulated toe cap.

Support and Stability

A midcut with some actual stiffness provides just enough additional support without restricting mobility.

Although there isn’t a forefoot outrigger, the outsole is widened at the forefoot and is flat with no tippiness.

Then vs Now: tie

Containment

No issues here thanks to patent leather in the toe box. As well as the synthetic rand that runs the length of the shoe.

Then vs Now: tie although a lot of companies didn’t even bother addressing this performance aspect for years

Conclusion

There really is nothing not to like and a lot to love about the Soldier III. It fits great, feels good underfoot, provides adequate protection and sticks to the ground as long as you wipe. Best of all, these hit clearance hard back in the day and were ultra cheap. I honestly thought the Soldier line and PS line was going to be short lived but I was very very wrong.

Like Lebron 16 , the Soldier III still plays like a beast even after all these years. Nine years old is pretty close to the age limit on wearability although I can go back as far as twelve to thirteen years and be okay for most shoes.

What’s funny about the Soldier III is that if I threw these into the mix for everything I’ve reviewed this first quarter of the year except maybe the Harden, I’d pick these. What’s old is new I guess? It just comes to show you that newer almost never means better.



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adidas Harden Vol 3 Performance Test

Le 16 novembre 2018 à  05:49
Rubriques : Air Jordans

The adidas Harden Vol 3 performance review is here and its one of the best basketball shoes of 2018.

Herringbone. Herringbone everywhere! My only complaint here is that the grooves of the herringbone are a bit too tightly spaced. When you’re on a floor that has a good amount of dust you will need to maintain wiping the soles. This happens to be something that a lot of players do whether they need to or not so it wasn’t a huge issue for me. One benefit to having tightly spaced grooves is that they were able to pack on a lot of the pattern from heel to toe. So, when there was dust and you would be in a situation where you are unable to wipe, there was enough coverage to eventually get that bite you’d expect from this type of setup.

As one would suspect, on clean courts the traction was nothing short of awesome.

Outdoors they performed really nicely as well. The rubber is soft and they’ve begun to fray a bit, I only played outdoors for about 2 hours, so if you wanted something that works then this will do. If you wanted something that will last then I’d probably opt for the Harden Vol 2 instead.

Full length Boost makes up the midsole and its the most well-balance ride adidas has been able to come up with since implementing the cushion into its basketball line.

Heel to toe transition is smooth. Court feel is perfect. Impact protection still exists despite the latter. This has been my favorite version of Boost in basketball.

It’s not too bouncy. It’s not too firm. It’s just right.

While knits can be a hit or miss, when the material is able to mimic leather without the break-in process then that’s when it truly shines.

The setup here is very similar to what was used on the Nike LeBron 16. Despite the build being comprised of fabric, its thick and strong. Perfect just just about anyone. There is no dead-space within the shoe and they just feel awesome on-foot.

What’s with the elastic band? Does it do anything? No. Nothing at all. I think it’s just there as a design piece. While I thought it was strange at first, it does give you something to look at when you look down.

I went true to size and have no issues with the decision. In fact, these have been the best fitting adidas shoes I’ve worn in quite some time.

Lockdown was great as well. Once laced up they remind me a lot of the Nike Kobe 5. Only with a knitted upper. Pretty awesome, right?

Everything on the Harden Vol 3 works perfectly with one another. From the internal heel counter to the way the upper wraps around your foot. The flat stable base and the torsion spring plate running from the heel to the forefoot.

The adidas Harden Vol 3 might not look like much, but its performance on the court is nearly perfect. I’ve said this recently in a video — I wish I could remember which one — but sometimes simplicity garners the best results. There is nothing special about the Harden Vol 3, but the Harden Vol 3 is a special shoe. Its so simple that it does everything right. Some would say they played it safe, but if all you want is a shoe that hits every aspect you could want on a shoe then playing it safe might’ve been the best way to go.

If you end up with a pair, or have already been playing in a pair, I’d love to hear what you think about them. Do you feel the same way I do or was there something on the shoe that didn’t work out for you?



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adidas Harden Vol 3 Performance Review

Le 14 novembre 2018 à  05:29
Rubriques : Air Jordans

Does simplistic aesthetic of the adidas Harden Vol 3 carry over into its internal design? Thanks to the always-informative team over at FastPass we can find out in this latest breakdown.

Sometimes less is more, and that may possibly be the case for the adidas Harden Vol 3. Starting with the side profile, the bootie construction has been shaped into a tongue construction that hopefully adds a little more customization to the fit in the midfoot. In addition, there is ample padding around the heel that should provide some comfort around the Achilles.

The Boost midsole rides at a more balanced offset that the two Harden predecessors at around 10mm with the forefoot profile running closer to the Jordan Legacy 312 and the heel thickness leaning towards the Vol 2. beneath the midsole, a thinner evolution of the TPU shank can be found for support in the arch and throughout.

In case you were planning on copping the Harden Vol 3 bear in mind you should have a little more control over forefoot lockdown than forefoot band appears to give. Underneath the lacing system are nylon straps to make up the first two points of lacing on each side, so if you are able to rig them you should pretty much be able to get your preference of fit in the forefoot.

Other details in the deconstruction include a look at the rubber outsole structure, an up close look at the forefoot caging and further comparisons to the Harden Vol 1 and 2. For more, check out adidas Harden Vol 3 Performance Review.

What do you think about this Harden Vol 3 deconstruction? Anything you didn’t expect to see or expected to see but didn’t? Let us know what you think with a comment down below.



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Air Jordan 33 performance review is here

Le 17 octobre 2018 à  06:25
Rubriques : Air Jordans

After thirty three years of flight the Air Jordan 33 performance review is here.

The traction on the Air Jordan 33 reminded me a lot of the Nike Kobe AD NXT 360, and both patterns performed similarly. Despite being translucent rubber, the outsole of the Air Jordan 33 bit the floor nicely and, for those that care about the sound traction makes, they were loud as hell — screeching compared to everyone else in the gym. However, as we all know, sound/squeak does not equal traction.

Those that wait for a solid rubber colorway should receive slightly better grip solely based on the rubber compound, but as it stands, the Air Jordan 33 was solid. When compared to the Air Jordan 31 and 32 the 33 is the best of the bunch.

There is one area on the outsole where I’d slip semi often. It’s located at the ball of the foot and initially I thought it was just from the floor being dirty. It turns out I had the slip no matter which floor I played on so I think it’s due to the outsole’s shape in that specific spot. It’s right where the Zoom Air unit protrudes so its semi-rounded and then arches up a little.

To avoid slipping I had to change my footwork a little. Instead of putting pressure on the ball of my foot I had to make sure I was planting with most of my forefoot instead. This solved the problem and if you happen to run into the same issue it could help you out.

I would not recommend the AJ33 for anyone that plays primarily outdoors.

Cushion:Unlocked Zoom Air is back in the forefoot while the heel features a small Hex-Zoom unit, something we haven’t seen in an Air Jordan signature since the 22.

If you played in the Air Jordan 32 then you’ll receive much of the same in terms of mobility, court feel, and impact protection. The midsole is a bit stiff with the FlightSpeed plate so some breaking in is required. Once broken-in you’ll be able to maneuver across the court as you would normally with that added spring to your step. Until then, the Air Jordan 33 does feel a bit restrictive and bulky. If you can get past the initial break-in period then I think Zoom Air lovers will enjoy this shoe.

The Hex-Zoom unit at the heel went unnoticed for me. I rarely ride on my heel unless I’m trying to break/slow down. It’s there if you need it, but the primary cushion source is located up front — where I prefer it to be.

Materials: Mesh and synthetic overlays make up the upper of the Air Jordan 33 and they feel nice and light compared to the rest of the shoe. No, it isn’t premium, but it’s a very similar setup to the Jordan 32 and nobody seemed to complain about those being comprised of textile and synthetics. Why start now?

Unlike the 32, the textile here is much lighter, thinner, and more breathable. The synthetic overlays located in the forefoot gave me the feeling of wearing a regular shoe — one made the old fashioned way versus the knits and textile builds we see today. Again, it’s nothing premium but in terms of performance it all worked and worked well.

Lateral containment/support was taken care of with the panels in place as was rear coverage. Those that actually try the shoe on and wear them on-court should enjoy them the way they are.

Fit: The Air Jordan 33 fits true to size, but it’s snug width wise — something I enjoy but wide footers may not.

Lockdown is interesting. The shoe does not have laces, the standout feature on this years model, and it’s strange. I have found that I prefer laces overall; it’s easier for me to adjust each row to fit my foot the way I need rather than mess around with the pull system currently in place. However, on the flip side, untying the Air Jordan33 — if we can even call it that — is a breeze and I definitely enjoy that aspect of the new FastFit lacing system.

Does it work? Yes. It actually does. Is it perfect? No. You need to mess with things quite a bit before you find the fit that works for you. You can easily pull the shoe too tight as well — I went into detail about that in my performance teaser so check that— but I haven’t had a problem since figuring it out. Is it cool? Hell yes. It’s one of the coolest features we’ve had on an Air Jordan since being able to change the midsole cushion — plus, I get a big kick out of seeing tech.

How durable is the thin cable that is the lace? I haven’t had any issue with mine at all. I saw online that a Chinese wearer had his break on him and that may be inevitable (not every pair will be perfect). I just hope we don’t have an Air Jordan XX8 situation where many consumers like the shoe but they end up not being durable enough to last. I think we can all admit that the Air Jordan 28 is amazing, but that Zoom Air popping issue really took a toll on people.

Overall, I think the new FastFit lacing system is really neat but not necessary. I like the eject part of the system more so than the tightening portion. I’m curious to see if this system will be a one and done thing or if we’ll see it modified and enhanced next year. If the brand could improve on this current system then I think it will be onto something. If JB only uses this system on the Air Jordan 33 then I feel most will call it a gimmick that worked for some and not others.

Support: Despite being laceless, support in the Air Jordan 33 is quite nice. The overlays really help keep you on the footbed of the shoe and the FastFit system doesn’t give once taught. At the rear there is a strap system that works well and I’d love to see that on more shoes moving forward. It really emphasized how important heel lockdown is when we talk about support. It allows a closure system like this to work without being dangerous.

The midfoot torsion support is a bit too much, as mentioned earlier, because you really need to break in the FlightSpeed plate. Once it’s good then you’ll be fine, but the Air Jordan 33 is noticeably stiff compared to most other shoes currently on the market.

OverAll: The traction and cushion are both very solid in the Air Jordan 33. Materials work but the FastFit lacing system may throw some people off. There is room for improvement, but what we have is a very functional shoe that may go unappreciated…for now. In a few years I think we’ll look back and think “Man, the Air Jordan 33 was ahead of its time” — much like we do with most of the previous Air Jordans that have come before it.

People are either going to love or hate the Air Jordan 33, and such is the way of the internet. Apparently you can’t just like something anymore because if it isn’t a 10 its a 0.

I liked the Air Jordan 33 quite a bit. I’m not sure if the shoe makes it into my Top 5 of 2018, but it’ll be somewhere on my list come year’s end.



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UA Curry 3Zero II 2 Performance Analysis and Review

Le 15 octobre 2018 à  07:55
Rubriques : Air Jordans

Beauty is only skin deep..that’s a good thing to remember about this shoe but also life in general.

Pros: traction, excellent fit, low to the ground yet balanced cushioning, fantastic stability, containment, lightweight

Cons: no heel counter so support relies almost solely on fit and stability of shoe (which is excellent), unnecessarily ugly

Sizing Advice: true to size

Best for: guards who want full range of motion yet stable shoe

Buying advice: wait for a MyFitnessPal coupon or just wait and let me know when you see someone with these on. Guaranteed to hit discounts and outlets $60 is fair (what I paid) but should push $35-45 as bottom prices

Weight 12.5 ounces which is very lightweight for a mid and one ounce lighter than the HOVR Havoc Low (review coming for those as well trying to work through some issues with them mainly heel slip)

Traction

Yes

This traction pattern is great and works well on all surfaces. Not the strongest bite but the trade off is infrequent wiping (insert poo joke)

Call me a creature of habit but I still think the Curry 5 traction is a little better due to a better bite and even less frequent wiping. However these are no slouch at all and are definitely one of the better patterns this year.

Well done UA!

Cushioning

Charged in the heel and Micro G? Sounds like a good retro UA mix and it is pretty decent but it doesn’t feel anything like Clutchfit drive 1 or older Micro G. It feels mostly like a thinned out Curry 3 but with less feedback since it rides lower (less cushioning). It rides around 20-22 mm in the forefoot like the Curry 4. If you want low to the ground but more than adequate impact protection, you’ll really like these.

It is a very well balanced combo of court feel with a touch of bounce so I think a lot of players will enjoy the set up even if it isn’t Boosty or Zoom Air like. Could UA do better? Yep they have in the past but these do a good job overall. Just wish these had a little more fun factor but you get what you pay for. For what it’s worth I like this set up much better than the Havoc so far.

Fit

True to size so simple people!!

No dead space in the forefoot at all shoe just slips on and fits like a glove or sock or whatever you want to put on your feet.

It’s essentially a one piece upper with a slightly separated tongue but hugs the foot very nicely right out of the box. This is one of the best aspects of the 3Zero II

Well done UA!

Materials

Molded maxprene upper with zonal restriction engineered from within for maximum comfort & breathability -UA

Translation: Maxprene and mesh but mostly Maxprene. Maxprene feels like a stronger less stretchy version of neoprene and is very comfortable. If you could synthetic and neoprene had a baby together you’d probably get something like this.

No issues here

Support and stability

Support relies on the fit and the stability of the the shoe because there isn’t a heel counter at all. However, stability is OUTSTANDING for a number of reasons

First off the outsole is very wide and features a modified outriggerNo tippiness in the heel and it very wide heel to toe.

It’s one of those shoes that feels like it’s split right in half to keep the lateral side down and flat no matter what you do. Other shoes that felt this stable to me include the Air Jordan 1 and Curry 2. Despite no heel counter I just felt safe playing in these.

Whatever UA did, exceptional job making these feel so stable!

Containment

Nice raised mdisole

It is more flexible than I prefer but with the synthetic upper it does a good job on hard cuts

Conclusion

I had no intention of buying the 3Zero 2 mainly because I threw up on the screen when I saw it and couldn’t hit the add to cart button. However, after a few different colorways came out and another MyFitnessPal coupon popped into my email, I was like ok for $60 I’ll give it a shot and I’m glad I did. For $100 I wouldn’t buy it and neither would the rest of the world but for $60 . Life tip: retail price is what companies wants you to pay, it isn’t the price you should pay. #crazyrichasians

If you can’t get a MFP coupon don’t fret because I can guarantee you THESE WILL SIT and go to major discounts and discount outlets. No games by Steph in the 3Zero II, no major marketing and most of all they are fugly for no reason will allow everyone to cop a shoe that does almost everything exceptionally well with traction, fit and stability being the very high highlights.

If Basketball Shoes really wants to survive in the shoe business, it really needs to work on blending looks with performance. Only 10%-20% of buyers actually buy shoes for their intended purpose so to target just this small percentage of customers is not the right strategy especially when UA basketball lives and dies by one player. I wrote this years back and sure enough the 2016 3-1 lead disappeared and UA tanked (and is still recovering but getting better..UA you should really visit my blog more often). Seriously though a few tweaks here and there would have made the 3Zero 2 much better looking without sacrificing any of the performance aspects.

And knowing how my readers think, I’ll say this ahead of time, I’d take the 3Zero2 over the Havoc all day no questions asked, no refunds, thank you come again. It does EVERYTHING better than the Havoc except maybe support but the stability of the 3Zero2 makes up for it. HOVR might be the newer cushioning but I’m comfortable saying it doesn’t feel much better than Charged especially how it’s implemented in the Havoc and it certainly doesn’t give me any additional energy return. I’m trying to work through heel slip and breaking in the cushioning more before a final assessment of the Havoc.

In the meantime these get a first team rating



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Under Armour HOVR Havoc Low Performance Review

Le 12 octobre 2018 à  09:14
Rubriques : Air Jordans

Almost one year ago, Under Armour unleashed HOVR cushioning on the world and for a company that was desperately in need of a top-flight signature cushioning system HOVR was magical. It only took nine months to get HOVR in basketball, and here it is: the HOVR Havoc Low. Does the Havoc live up to the promise of the Phantom and Sonic runners? Let’s go…

One thing you can (almost) never say about Under Armour basketball shoes is that the traction sucks. The HOVR Havoc Low is no different.

There’s herringbone from heel to toe, at least where the shoe touches the court, with horizontal lines breaking up the pattern for flexibility in the forefoot. This is basically the same pattern as what the Drive 4 used and it works on any surface, even outdoors.

Dust is no issue because the grooves are wide and deep and push away any debris you may pick up. It isn’t the squeakiest, but we know that means nothing — you are stopping when you want. Don’t worry about the missing areas because if you need traction in those areas you are already lost.

It says HOVR, but it ain’t the same. First of all, part of the magic of the HOVR system is it can be tuned differently for specific uses. The KD 11 is soft, really soft, and is a more cushioned, relaxed ride for long running days or when you need a little more protection. The HOVR Sonic was tuned tighter and stiffer for fast, racing-style training and runs. The HOVR Havoc is more to the Sonic, but even tighter.

Honestly, there isn’t much HOVR feel at all — no cushy step-in, no bounce-back response. The reason? The HOVR is supremely caged by both a stiff foam midsole on the perimeter and underneath by an almost-full-length TPU shank plate. Honestly, this is good; I couldn’t imagine trying to play ball in a shoe as cushioned but unstable (for lateral movements) as the Phantom.

It’s not all bad though: there is a quickness to the midsole that only comes from a lack of compression. Your steps happen quickly, and your movements are not slowed down waiting for the midsole to respond. The HOVR is thin and doesn’t beef up the midsole at all so court feel is fantastic.

And if you absolutely, positively need to feel some sort of bounce give it time. Once that foam midsole starts breaking in a little, you will notice a more HOVR-y feel. Best of all, while you are playing, impact protection is no issue — which is especially surprising given the thin midsole. You may not be able to feel the bounce, but when you are done playing in the HOVR Havoc Low you won’t feel the pain either.

Mesh and fuse. Fuse and mesh. We’ve all heard the story before, so what else is new? Well, really, nothing — but it’s all about the usage of the fuse and mesh, and the HOVR Havoc Low uses the materials well.

With a full-mesh one-piece upper, fuse overlaid on the toebox and lateral forefoot, and backing by a super-comfortable foam liner, the curry 5 is a supremely comfy sneaker. While fuse does sometimes make a shoe stiff and inflexible, the toebox of the Havoc breaks in within minutes of wearing and flexes like a second, rubbery skin.

Soft padding is found along the heel, helping lock in and cut down on the heel slip, but honestly, that needed to be more like a memory foam or at least a little denser. The only other thing to mention is the TPU heel counter, and that is what it is. Simple, but effective.

Through the forefoot and midfoot, fit is really, really close to 1:1. Like, really close. There is a little bit of dead space over the top that you don’t find until you pull the laces up and the one-piece upper pulls in a little, but around the toebox and midfoot you are completely blanketed. I almost went up half a size but I wanted to see how well the shoe felt after a couple of wearings and the HOVR Havoc Low didn’t disappoint; it broke in perfectly and began flexing and moving right with me.

The forefoot laces run through the fuse/synthetic side panels and do a serious job of pulling the upper around your foot as well as pulling your foot down into the midsole. So many shoes just want no extra room instead of actually making the shoe a piece of the athlete, but not the HOVR Havoc Low.

The lacing system does sit back and high on the ankle area, which helps lock the heel into the heel counter, and it does a good job. However, for my desired level of cinch-down, I did get some lace pressure along the top set of laces. Nothing to cry about, but I did have to loosen them up every now and then to keep from chafing and blistering. When I did loosen up, there was a sensation of heel slip, but not real slip. What I’m saying is this: when the heel doesn’t feel locked in I couldn’t feel anything around my heel at all, but I didn’t have any serious slipping.

This is where the denser foam in the heel area would have helped. If the foam was a little stronger, the heel would feel secure. It isn’t a safety issue, but if you need that Aunt Mabel hug around your foot to feel safe and warm, you may want to look at the high version.

This HOVR Havoc is a low-lowtop, possibly the lowest I’ve worn since the Kobe 8, and it feels like it. That isn’t to say the shoe isn’t supportive or safe, because, as you loyal WearTesters readers and watchers know, it ain’t the height of the collar that helps. The HOVR Havoc Low has a super-wide fat-booty heel that rides flat on the floor. All those heel-strikers and big-man post moves are stable and supported perfectly — especially with the HOVR foam not being mushy.

The forefoot is more of the same, wide and balanced with a stable midsole. The foot doesn’t sit inside the midsole — no raised areas on either side — but the synthetic lace system works the same and keeps the foot snug over the footbed on lateral movements.

The midfoot is solid thanks to the huge TPU plate under the HOVR and above the outsole rubber. The plate runs completely across and from heel to nearly the toes so there is no twisting or turning underfoot while playing. This should make the HOVR Havoc Low stiff but the shoe just flows.

When I first tried on HOVR in November of 2017 I was immediately hit with the thought, “I wonder when this will hit basketball?” Since I was with Under Armour reps at the time, I was told not until August. Since that day, I have been anticipating this shoe like no other. HOVR in running is magical. In basketball, well, it needs a little tuning, but the concept and vision is there. No, it isn’t bouncy like Boost, or responsive like Zoom, but it does absorb and rebound on impact and is stable on any and all movements.

If you need that cushy cushioning you will have to drop some dollars on another brand. If you are looking for a seriously quick, responsive, biting-traction shoe, the HOVR Havoc Low will more than satisfy. Coming in an abundance of team colorways (can’t wait for all the Dallas Mavericks/Dennis Smith Jr. colors to pop), the  UA Curry is a shoe that works and works well in any environment. Now, let’s make sure HOVR doesn’t end up being Micro G’s new neighbor in Florida (#retired).



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Better Off-White x Nike Blazer: “Grim Reaper” or “All Hallows Eve”

Le 9 octobre 2018 à  06:59
Rubriques : Air Jordans

Virgil Abloh’s latest Off-White x Nike Blazer Mid release consists of two Halloween inspired color options dubbed, “Grim Reaper” and “All Hallows Eve” as part of Spooky Pack.

After dominating headlines last month with his “Queen” collection for Serena Williams — complete with a brand-new Air Max 97 — Virgil Abloh is back in the public eye again, as official images of his two new Off-White Nike Blazers have been unveiled. Abloh’s remarkable propensity for never straying far from the limelight has continued ever since the release of his original “The Ten” collection in September 2017, and now his highly-anticipated seasonal takes on a beloved silhouette will ensure he stays there long into the fall and winter.

Entitled the “All Hallow’s Eve” and the “Grim Reaper” the two seasonal Blazers feature a deconstructed aesthetic, two-tone color palates and Abloh’s instantly recognizable bold branding.

The “All Hallow’s Eve” offers a halloween-ready combination of cream and orange, while the “Grim Reaper” opts for a spooky black and white. The former is notable for utilizing a retro color scheme not seen before on Off-White releases, while the latter’s translucent midfoot stands out even more than usual due to its dark black base. Both shoes also feature Virgil’s Helvetica branding on the medial midfoot, and are completed with a signature zip tie

Inspired by the dark look of the infamous grim reaper, the shoe features a Black upper with an oversized White Swoosh, Orange detailing and signature Off-White zip-tie in Light Blue.

The “All Hallows Eve” comes in a ghostly Cream colored upper with a Orange Swoosh logo, Abloh’s signature bold branding text and Light Blue zip ties to compete the Halloween theme.

Comparing both shoes, which would you consider the better release? Cast your vote below, and leave your reasonings in the comments section.



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