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Better Air Jordan 13: “He Got Game” or “Bred”

Le 20 juillet à  06:32
Rubriques : Air Jordans

Two original releases of the Air Jordan 13, which are considered two of the fan favorites, are the “He Got Game” and “Bred” colorways.

Dressed in a White, Black and Red color scheme that received its nickname “He Got Game” thanks to its appearance in Spike Lee’s classic basketball film. It’s safe to say that no Air Jordan Collection is completed without this colorway.

The “Bred” version is one of the original Air Jordan 13 colorways that was worn by Michael Jordan in the 1998 Playoffs along with the other Black-based colorway dubbed, “Playoffs.”

The Jordan 13 Bred dropped in 2013 but ditched the reflective 3M upper that made it such a standout release when it debuted back in 1998. Luckily the nylon uppers return paired with Varsity Red suede on the heel and mudguard for a traditional Chicago Bulls-inspire colorway,. All of the original tooling remains including that Chicago Bulls-inspired colorway with Varsity Red suede on the heel and mudguard while that holographic panther-inspired Jumpman branding returns in an iridescent green. Premium leather toe caps add a remastered finish.

The air jordan 13 He Got Game made iconic by Spike Lee’s classic 1998 film of the same name. 20 years after first being brought to market, the shoe is re-releasing with all its original details intact, from the white/black tumbled leather upper to the rich suede on the bottom half of the upper to the classic red/white/black podular outsole and holographic bubble. the “He Got Game” 13 features a white tumbled leather upper with accents provided by a black tumbled leather toebox, tongue, and throat. Black suede arrives on the lateral and medial side of the shoe, as well as the heel collar and midsole, and the outsole features a classic red/white/black design. The shoe’s instantly recognizable look is rounded off by the Jordan 13’s classic multi-layered 3D hologram bubble

It’s defiantly a hard choice to pick one or the other, but if you had to choose, which is the better Air Jordan 13? Cast your vote below and leave your reasoning on why in the comments section.

It also should be noted that Jordan Brand is bridging back the Air Jordan 13 He Got Game this August 2018.



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Nike KD 11 Performance Review

Le 19 juillet à  07:19
Rubriques : Air Jordans

The Nike KD 11, with its combination of React and Zoom, had me all up in my feels. But did the shoe live up to the standards of a two-time NBA champ? Let’s find out.

Traction in the KD11 was decent at best. It’s no KD 9 honeycomb traction (which was amazing), and due to the tight grooves, dust collected quickly which caused more frequent wipes. The outsole consistency over the few years of Kevin Durant’s signature line has been quite disappointing — especially coming from previously great models — unless you have access to a pristine college/NBA court.

One redeeming quality of the outsole is that if you use the shoe outdoors, it plays really well. Unfortunately, long-term durability of the outsole outdoors is unlikely.

Cushion was on point in the KD 11, once broken in. The React midsole is placed inside a rubber cupsole while the 7mm thick top-loaded full-length Zoom Air unit sits above the React. The combination provides an awesome amount of impact protection. Upon landing on rebounds and hard first steps I felt ample feedback that launched me right into my next motion. For those who require more cushion (especially those with back and knee problems), this is definitely a plus.

Another year, another Flyknit shoe, which is generally never a bad thing. The uppers of the KD line have been modified over the years to make the shoe feel more sock-like. With some suede backing along the heel counter, TPU at the lateral side, and React and Zoom Air cushion caged by a full rubber cupsole, you’d think you’re paying for a premium shoe.

The combination of the materials used on the KD 11 appears to be geared to Durant’s narrow foot and this shoe should cater to those who want their footwear to feel the same way. We’ll discuss that more in the next section, however, the materials utilized are well-thought out — just not well-executed.

While I do have slightly wide feet, the shoe actually fit me true to size, although people with different foot shapes should try the KD11 on.

Once I got rolling on the court I was not locked in. You don’t feel quite as locked in because, again, the shoe is catered to the way Kevin Durant likes to lace up his shoes (which is slightly loose). I think if Nike strategically knitted areas of the shoe tighter, like at the midfoot, I wouldn’t have felt my foot shifting inside the shoe as I did much while in movement. You might not have this experience (which I hope you don’t), but be forewarned because the knit material does stretch out over time.

NOPE! Just nope! While the fit wasn’t totally a deal breaker, the overall support is. Knowing that the upper material will eventually stretch out, the one thing that kills me is that my foot wouldn’t stay on the footbed of the shoe.

I have no idea how to pull off the cuts Durant makes on his right to left cross-over pull-up move when I don’t feel like my foot is directly in the KD11. If you’re just running up and down the court without making any lateral cuts or movements (which is totally unheard of) then you’d be just some guy or gal running for no apparent reason. The amount of torque and movement I exerted in the shoe — while not feeling locked in — made me second and triple guess every move I made, which no player should have to deal with.

When my feet got pushed forward in the shoe the stretchy knit upper could not keep me contained and thus, the heel counter did not lock me in properly. I would expect a more exaggerated outrigger, and although an outrigger is present, the high ride and stretchy upper had me coming out of the shoe. For others, it could lead to a rolled ankle, or *knock on wood*, something worse. In the KD11 it seems containment was an afterthought.

If Nike had implemented a more tightly knitted midfoot, an exaggerated lateral outrigger, or sat the wearer within the midsole, most of these hazards would have been avoided.

I wanted to love the KD11. While I had bad experiences with the KD9 (Zoom popped) and the KD10 (lacing loops ripped), I didn’t want to give up on the KD signature line. The safety of this shoe is what is keeping me away from it.

While the materials and cushioning used here are nice, I don’t see how this shoe made it through wear-testing. I understand the shoe is catered to Kevin Durant, but we all know KD dislikes changing shoes — especially ones he’s broken in — and not all consumers have narrow feet like KD. Innovation shouldn’t come at a cost, and the KD11 seems to be the prime example of that.

Trust me, I want the shoes to succeed, not only for us kd11sale.com but also for all you consumers out there. Will I be looking forward to the KD12? Possibly, as long as I keep my expectations low, but we all know father-time doesn’t wait for anyone. Until next time…



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Comparison: Air Jordan 11 Pantone vs. Legend Blue

Le 18 juillet à  06:12
Rubriques : Air Jordans

This year, Jordan Brand gave us two Air Jordan 11 releases for the holidays, the Air Jordan 11 Legend Blue and Air Jordan 11 Pantone – as part of the Air Jordan Ultimate Gift of Flight Pack.

The color “Legend Blue” was highly advertised throughout each silhouette, as one features minor accents of the Blue, while the other is fully dressed in it.

The Air Jordan 11 Retro Legend Blue is finally set to debut this Saturday, December 20th, 2014 at select Jordan Brand retailers.

Dressed in the original “Columbia” color scheme, but now named “Legend Blue” the iconic Air Jordan 11 silhouette comes in a mix of patent leather and smooth leather in all White, with a tongue tag, Jumpman logo and translucent outsole tinted in Legend Blue.

The Air Jordan 11 Retro Pantone from the Air Jordan Ultimate Gift of Flight Pack will complete this years Air Jordan 11 holiday releases. Unlike the Air Jordan 11 Legend Blue, this Retro 11 will release along side the Air Jordan XX9 in a limited edition pack.

This special version of the Air Jordan 11 features Legend Blue on the patent leather and smooth leather upper, and a White midsole and translucent outsole tinted in Legend Blue.

Some of the major difference from the releases begin on the interior, as the Pantone 11s use more of a luxury styled inner liner – similar to what we’ve seen on the Anniversary 11s. The Legend Blue pair was built with a full mesh tongue and leather upper, while the Pantone 11s has a more smooth nubuck-like leather build. Finishing up the comparison is the outsoles. The Legend Blue 11s came with a more milky/tinted outsole, while the nike kd 11 stayed more traditional with a Blue icy translucent outsole.

Check out these exclusive comparison photos of both “Pantone” and “Legend Blue” Retro 11s below and for everyone planning on picking up the Air Jordan Basketball shoes of Flight Pack tomorrow, December 23rd, good luck and please be safe.

Which pair do you find to be the victorious one? The Air Jordan 11 Pantone or Legend Blue? Speak your mind in the comments section below.



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Nike KD 11 Performance Review

Le 14 juillet à  02:36
Rubriques : Air Jordans

The Nike KD 11 went from being my most anticipated basketball shoe to test to one of the worst of 2018.

Traction started off strong with the Nike KD 11 but things quickly went south the more time I spent in it. The rubber frayed and dust got clogged instantly within the tightly spaced grooves. The KD 11 outsole couldn’t handle anything I threw at it long term.

Fortunately, there is a bright side, because the traction did well outdoors. I play primarily indoors and that’s where I had all of my issues. Of course, the traction stuck like glue on clean courts with fresher finishes. I just don’t have the chance to play on courts that nice on a regular basis.

Nike KD 11 Performance Review cushion

Surprisingly, the React and Zoom Air combination on the KD 11 was money. While it doesn’t feel like much fresh out the box, give everything some time to warm up and break in — the rubber cage especially.

Once you break the shoe in you’ll find yourself feeling a nice spring to each step, thanks to the Zoom Air, with plenty of impact protection courtesy of the React midsole. While you can’t feel it with you fingers/hands because of the firm rubber cage (cupsole), the React midsole is very soft, so just give the shoe a little time if you’re unhappy with it from a try-on perspective.

I don’t like playing in the KD 11 but I loved playing with this cushion setup and hope to see it utilized on other models in the near future.

I like Flyknit, I really do, even though it doesn’t seem like it at the moment. The forefoot of the KD 11 is firm — and backed by a layer of nylon with a lot of glue. While it looks like a knit, it doesn’t feel or act like a knit.

Then there is the rest of the knit build, which is just the way I tend to like my knitted shoes. The only thing is that this time around the knit is so stretchy that it’s made the shoes nearly unplayable for me. At least, I don’t feel safe playing in them. Casually, I think people will really love the Flyknit upper. The problem is that this is a basketball shoe. Some may enjoy the upper and the way it fits/feels but I’m not a fan.

Nike KD 11 Performance Review fit

Keeping your foot onto the footbed is the name of the game when it comes to fit, lockdown, and support. The Nike KD 11 just couldn’t do it at all, ever. I know Kevin Durant likes to wear his shoes really loose — to the point where they’ve come off of his feet during games several times — and while that’s cool for KD I like my shoes to fit a bit more securely.

Never once did I feel locked into the shoe or supported by the upper. I’d tie the shoes so tight that I’d cut off circulation to my feet — which makes you feel like you’re carrying around dead weight on the court — and that just isn’t a comfortable way to play.

Had the firm knit from the toe been swapped, or even brought over, to the midfoot I think that would have helped things out quite a bit. Perhaps throwing in a more traditional lacing system versus a Flywire-only system could have helped out as well.

This is one of those shoes that you’re going to have to wear to get the awful experience that I did. Again, some may enjoy the shoe on-court but I have a feeling many are not going to be pleased.

Nike KD 11 Performance Review support

Due to the sloppy fit and stretchy materials, support is greatly compromised. As I mentioned above, I never really felt safe playing in the shoe. Believe me, I tried to make the KD 11 work — the cushion is great — but I just couldn’t get it to work for me.

Torsional support is abundant due to the rubber cupsole while heel support is adequate with the sturdy heel counter. However, it would have been even better had the lacing system been able to really draw your foot into the rear of the sneaker to use that heel counter properly.

An outrigger is present but your foot rests on top of the midsole. Couple that with a really stretchy and forgiving upper and its roll-over city. I cannot tell you how many times the side of my foot hit the floor from rolling over the footbed in these. It’s something that you should never want in a shoe unless you’re immune to ankle injuries.

Nike KD 11 Performance Review overall

I really loved the KD 9. I really wanted to love the KD 10. I thought I would really love the KD 11. Unfortunately, it’s one of the most disappointing shoes I’ve tested in a while. We could really use a good blend of performance knits and leathers on these modern shoes. The fully knit build has been so hit or miss over the last few years that I question why we’re still trying it in 2018. Have we not learned by now that the rear of a shoe needs more structure?

Look at the PG 1, PG 2, and Kyrie 4 as examples: textiles in the front, structured heel in the back. I mean, even the KD 7 (my personal favorite KD model to play in) got it right. Weight reduction shouldn’t come at such a high cost. Support is needed in basketball shoes and the KD 11 is further proof of that.

I wish I could get a refund but I had to pay an arm and a leg to get the KD 11 early in order to review it on time. That means I didn’t go the big box retailer route.

The KD 11 hits retailers on July 18 in the U.S. If you’re able to make it work let me know in the comments down below.



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adidas Energy BOOST 4 Performance Review

Le 28 juin à  04:53
Rubriques : Air Jordans

Thomas: The biggest characteristic of the adidas Energy BOOST is the BOOST midsole. This shoe has tons of BOOSTy bouncy cushion. If you are looking for comfort over everything else, the Energy BOOST might fit the bill. BOOST as a midsole can get sloppy. adidas fixes the sloppiness by giving the outsole a full coverage web of Continental® rubber and then, if you pull up the insole, you’ll find another grid of material giving the midsole support structure on top.

The adidas harden vol 2 looks like it was inspired by the Samba soccer shoes, the black and white styling is iconic. The upper fit well, I recommend going with your regular running shoe size. The heel counter is soft, held the foot in well, and did not rub the Achilles. The material over the toe box is snug but stretchy. I was a little worried about how the plastic cage over the arch would feel, however, I rarely noticed it on the run.

Running in the Energy BOOST at slower speeds is comfortable. When you pick up the pace the shoe toes off well and the outsole shines. The shoe (as heavy as it is) can do fast. It wouldn’t be my choice for a fast day shoe, but you could use it as a comfortable tempo run shoe.

Meaghan: The adidas Ultra BOOST 4 is a neutral trainer. It’s designed with a sock-like stretchy upper that hugs the foot and there’s a midfoot cage that helps secure the foot in place. The step-in feel of this shoe is great. They’re comfortable right out of the box and really seem to conform around your foot. There is plenty of cushioning around the tongue, collar and heel.

The boost midsole is a dense cushioning. I didn’t feel it had a ton of “bounce”, but it’s a forgiving, smooth transition from toe off to landing. The midfoot includes a “torsion system,” in other words, a piece of plastic between the forefoot and heel that protects the midfoot. I typically hate this type of support underfoot, but for some reason it didn’t bother me.

The last notable feature in this shoe is the outsole. I don’t know what they do with this rubber, but it’s some of the grippiest stuff I’ve ever worn and it doesn’t seem to wear down.

The Bad
Thomas: This shoe is a tank. The sucker is heavy at 12 oz. for a size 10.5. The upper on the adidas Energy BOOST is not that breathable. This shoe can get warm.

Meaghan: A few things to note here. 1) The midfoot cage is made of a hard plastic and when you tie the laces too tight, it causes some serious discomfort. So, don’t tie your shoes too tight. 2) These suckers weigh 10.10 oz for a W7.5. You’re basically running in boots. 3) Breathability in the upper is sub-par. Not the best shoe for mid July in Baltimore.

adidas Energy BOOST 4 Conclusion
Thomas: If you love BOOST you’ll love the Energy BOOST. I like it over the Supernova. This shoe is a cruiser, I would recommend it to a runner that wants a comfortable daily trainer and doesn’t care how heavy the shoe is. Even though they are more expensive at $160, the BOOST cushioning paired with the full rubber outsole should get you plenty of miles. Overall the Energy BOOST doesn’t get me excited, it is just too much shoe for my taste.

Meaghan: This shoe falls into no-mans land for me. For each feature of the shoe I like, there’s another one I don’t like. I’ve actually been wearing them for everyday, walking around rather than actual training miles. I do think this shoe will last you a very long time. So, while you have to shell out $160, you won’t need to replace your shoes for quite some time.



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Nike Air Maestro 2 Performance Review

Le 25 juin à  04:48
Rubriques : Air Jordans

24 years. That’s how long ago Scottie Pippen broke the “red shoe” ice and blessed us with the red Air Maestro 2 for All-Star Weekend. He rocked them to a 29 point, 11 rebound effort and an MVP trophy. Like a former Chicago teammate who had recently retired once said, it must have been the shoes, right? Only one way to find out…

Who needs storytelling? Simple herringbone, spaced wide with thick rubber, grips the floor in every way and it’s durable enough for a few months outdoors. Granted, it isn’t pretty, but it’s on the bottom of the shoe, so who cares, right? I feel like I wrote this same thing in a review already — oh, yeah, it was the Kobe 1 Protro Performance Review.

What do the two shoes have in common? Simple design, no overthinking, and they work. Dust doesn’t really clog up or hang on because of the wide channels. The edges of the blades are peaked like wiper blades to push the dust away as well, meaning I haven’t wiped — ever. It didn’t matter what floor I was on or if it was dirty or clean, the Air Maestro 2 was a glue trap.

One major detail the Maestro 2 brought to the table was the huge flex grooves cut across the forefoot. At the time, solid, thick rubber soles and leather shoes could, and did, make for a Doc Marten boot, but the Maestro forefoot flexed perfectly while running, which adds to the traction. The flex also allows the shoe to keep more outsole in contact with the floor, which means more grippy, less slippy.

Surprisingly, the encapsulated Air unit in the heel and the foam forefoot weren’t bad. There wasn’t much response from the forefoot, but the impact protection was good. The Maestro line was one of the first to use a lightweight foam instead of polyurethane, and its reduction in weight and rebound properties (at the time) were amazing. Now, at least in the forefoot, the set-up feels a little “budget-y,” but still completely playable. One plus is the court feel from the low ride that makes the Maestro 2 feel quicker than a bulky retro probably should. Coupled with the killer traction, the response while playing is completely serious.

The heel cushioning is a large Air unit encapsulated (inside) the same foam as the forefoot, and it is great underfoot. The Air unit actually feels stiffer than the foam, so directly underfoot you feel the push back of the Air unit, but as it compresses the foam allows for expansion and rebound so you are never unstable on landings.

Nike Air Maestro 2 Performance Review materials

Here is where the Air Maestro 2 gets lovely. When we first saw images of the retro, most assumed we would get the stiff plastic-y leather found on Nike retros over the last few years. To be honest, I wasn’t even considering buying these — the originals were my favorite shoes ever and I was not in the mood to have my memories shattered.

However, when Foot Locker put these on the shelf about 10 minutes before my arrival, the leather was looking soft and broken in from the start. This is the softest leather on a Nike shoe in years! It forms around your foot like a ballet slipper. It’s so ’90s that the Air Maestro 2 should come with a Zach Morris poster.

The heel is nubuck and although it isn’t as plush as the original it is still a nice quality. Thick padding all around the heel gives the full-on ’90s feel, and possibly the best implementation of an inner bootie ever makes up the lacing system (but more on that in the next section). Well done, Swoosh.

Nike Air Maestro 2 Performance Review fit

First off: true to size, or even a half-size down, will work for most in the Air Maestro 2. The length may be too short if you size down, but width will work fine. The inner sleeve takes up any empty space the leather shell might have.

Being a shell-and-sleeve shoe, when pulled tight, the upper forms right around the sleeve and provides serious lockdown — at first. As with most leather shoes, after a few wears (or with leather this soft, a few hours) the upper stretches out and will need to be re-tightened, possibly several times. It’s a small price to pay for materials this nice and a trade I will gladly make.

The lacing system is magical. It flows through the outer leather shell and the inner sleeve to create a midfoot that is straight-jacket tight and completely hugged up. This is my favorite feature of the Air Maestro 2 and the one thing I really remember from the Nike Air Foamposite One OG pair. The ankle padding is thick, and coupled with the lacing system and high collar, your heel will encounter no slide or movement.

With the leather, inner sleeve, and ankle padding, the Air Maestro 2 is extremely hot. Like, no breeze at all. My feet were soaked through every wear and the upper holds moisture. Not to be too nasty, but even a couple of hours after finishing my games the shoes were still soaked. Not a shoe for the summer comfort, for sure, and the moisture build-up does affect the fit.

Nike Air Maestro 2 Performance Review support

Support in the Air Maestro 2 is a little behind the times, at least as far as technology, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. There is no midfoot shank, but the midsole is thick and solid enough in that area that there is no fear of bending awkwardly. There is also no real outrigger, but the sole is wide in the forefoot and feels ultra-stable while playing. The ankle collar fits and forms perfectly around the joint, providing coverage and peace of mind (if that’s what you need).

The lacing system does its best to provide lockdown but the soft materials make lateral stability a little less than perfect. There was some shifting in the forefoot while planting laterally and pushing off for drives or on defense, but not enough to feel unsafe — it just felt a little slow recovering.

Nike Air Maestro 2 Performance Review overall

It is no secret, if you have read this site or my reviews for any length of time, that the Air Maestro 2 is my favorite Nike Basketball shoe of all time. The design, with its smaller heel-oriented swoosh, screamed speed, and the inner comfort from the sleeve and padding, was unbelievable. Surprisingly, the Air Maestro 2 isn’t heavy — sure, it’s heavier than shoes like the Kobe 8 and Curry 4, but it is close to the LeBron 15 and Dame 4.

If you are looking for a moderately cushioned raw materials shoe with serious traction, or if you are just a sucker for retros but you still want a playable shoe, the Air Maestro 2 will fit your needs perfectly. Honestly, this may be the best retro Nike has done — as far as being close to the original.

The Air Maestro 2 makes me want to bring out my Cross Colours and bucket hats for the summer and bring the boom box to the park — if anyone still played outdoors.



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Nike Kobe NXT 360 Performance Review

Le 22 juin à  06:03

Is the Nike Kobe NXT 360 better than the Kobes of the past? We’ve got the performance review ready and waiting.

Traction on the Kobe NXT 360 started out phenomenally — and I took the shoe to the worst court I play on right from the jump. For nearly two weeks I didn’t even need to wipe the soles whenever I played, dust or not, and that is rare for any shoe.

However, the extreme bite that the shoe started with hasn’t remained since I began testing it. The shoe is slowly losing some of its bite on court surfaces and the rubber is breaking off in my high-wear areas. While this is normal for an outsole over its lifespan in a player’s rotation, it is not normal for it to happen in just four weeks of testing. At $200 I’d expect the outsole to last, at the very minimum, three months before I start to see significant signs of wear and tear.

The last time I had an outsole grind down this quickly on me was with the first edition CrazyLight Boost 2015. Both shoes have produced very similar experiences as well; both had phenomenal traction to start with but slowly lost their ability to really bite the longer I used them.

This traction may be a deal breaker for some and it definitely means don’t take the Kobe NXT 360 outdoors.

React and Lunarlon make a combined appearance in the Kobe NXT 360 and it isn’t that much different from what we’ve been getting from previous drop-in midsoles.

React foam has basically replaced the Air systems you’d see installed in the heel and I think it’s a much more fluid ride once broken-in. The entire midsole reminded me a lot of the midsole that came in the Nike Kobe 11. It has plenty of court feel and responsiveness in the forefoot with lots of impact protection in the rear. I did not enjoy the extreme squish the heel offered at first — it felt a lot like the LeBron 11 midsole — but it quickly evened out to provide a much more balanced ride than before.

I think fans of the drop-in Lunar midsoles will enjoy the addition of React as it doesn’t take anything away from the midsole’s court feel and response. However, it’s able to add a little bit of extra comfort to a setup that some may have felt was lacking.

360-degrees of Flyknit was hyped up quite a bit, and while it’s cool, it wasn’t anything spectacular. If anything, the new technology speaks volumes on how much things have changed in the way shoes are made — but not on how they perform.

The Kobe NXT 360’s rear section of Flyknit is what I personally prefer from my knitted materials. Had that type of knit been from heel to toe then I would have likely loved the build. Instead, the toe was a thin, practically see-through layer of knit that felt like it was made up of fishing line — really strong fishing line.

Speaking on its performance only, I didn’t hate it. It worked well and did everything you’d come to expect out of a shoe — especially a knitted one. I still question its longevity, but my pair only shows dirt as a sign of wear vs rips and tears.

The Nike Kobe NXT 360 fits true to size. Being that the forefoot section of the shoe is practically see-through you’ll definitely know whether or not you know your actual true size. If you feel the shoe runs long then I suggest you measure your foot to ensure you’re wearing the size you think you should be. My toe edges up to the tip of the shoe which is perfect for this type of sneaker that is built on the thin/flimsy side.

Lockdown in the Kobe NXT 360 was very good — surprisingly good, actually. I didn’t expect this minimal shoe to really lock in at all but the way the midsole fills up the shoe, with your foot filling out the rest, you’re actually locked in better than some of the previous Kobe models. It isn’t quite to the level of a Kobe 5 or 6, but definitely better than something like the Kobe 10 or 11.

This is truly a shoe that fits and feels like a complete extension of your foot. One-to-one is the simplest way to describe it — if you know your proper size that is.

Support was one area that the Kobe NXT 360 lacked just a bit. Not enough to where I knocked down its score, but enough to leave me wanting a bit more for my $200.

The heel counter section of the shoe is its strongest support feature, as it should be. With the shoe contoured the way it is beefing up the security in the rear was essential for “ankle support” and heel lockdown. Midfoot torsional support was solid as well, but this is where I think a carbon fiber plate would have kept the weight down while retaining strength — and it would’ve made me feel like I bought a brand new $200 sports car for my feet. Lateral stability was a big worry for me with the way the shoe is designed to mimic your foot, down to the shape of its heel, because there is no traditional outrigger or wide forefoot base.

When I curl around a screen and stop as quickly as I can to get an open look I’m using all forefoot. Having a wide base that’s flat, firm, and supported is something I really look for, and while I did not receive that in this shoe, I never missed it. Again, the sneaker is designed to mimic the foot better than any shoe I’ve worn and that’s exactly how it plays. It’s like having feet strong enough to play barefoot…but it’s just your shoe.

The Nike Kobe NXT 360 is a next generation shoe if there ever was one. Back in the ’90s we had the Air Jordan 11 and then the Nike Foamposite. Today, there is the Kobe NXT 360.

The shoe offers enough of everything to keep a player on the floor comfortably. However, its lack of outsole durability could cause some to stay away (as if the $200 price tag wasn’t scary enough). The shoe is extremely fun to play in, which is something that isn’t easy to achieve.

There are many good/great performance models from every brand out there but they don’t all play “fun.” It’s a feeling that’s hard for me to describe but if you’ve ever had one of those shoes that you just enjoy lacing up and getting down in then this is one of those shoes for me. Maybe it’s the fact that the Kobe NXT 360 is see-through, extremely lightweight, and supportive that makes it as fun as it is. Or it could be the bright yellow and purple — I’m still DubNation though.

If you end up grabbing a pair of the Nike Kobe 1 Protro then I hope you enjoy the shoe as much as I did — and I really hope it lasts you! Traction wearing down with each wear is frustrating but the upper has stayed strong, although it’s what I thought would be the first thing to go.

Thank you for stopping by, reading, watching, and commenting. We at hoopjordan.net appreciate your continued support. Now get off your computer, smartphone, or tablet and get back on the court. Enjoy your time on the hardwood while you still can.



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Q4 Sports Nforcer Performance Review

Le 14 juin à  07:15
Rubriques : Air Jordans

Today I’m sharing my Q4 Sports Nforcer Performance Review with you all, and spoiler alert: Q4 Sports is one up-and-coming brand that you should keep your eye on.

The traction on each of Q4’s models is simple: herringbone, maybe a pivot point, and an outrigger. No frills, no gimmicks, just a pattern that’s been proven to work and an outsole durable enough to last.

While the adidas nmd NForcer was tested indoors and outdoors, we’re constantly asked what shoe can withstand the blacktop without the outsole grinding down to nothing in a matter of weeks. If you forgot to put an asterisk with the question along with “what *Nike shoe” then you’ll want to keep looking.

Believe it or not, the cushion on the NForcer is the shoe’s standout feature. Yes, new brands can have great cushioning. Just look at Under Armour…early Under Armour, the Micro G days.

Q4 Sports uses a foam that it calls KOMpress for the midsole. It’s a open celled foam in certain areas for rebound and tightly celled foam in others for court feel. The bounce I’ve received from this setup has been awesome. I’d say it’s the brand’s most comfortable tooling setup other than what’s featured on the Millennium Hi model.

I’ve been using the model outdoors since testing them indoors and I am in love with the cushion for the blacktop. The feedback I received from the foam along with its low profile forefoot make for a really fun ride.

Materials on the Q4 Sports NForcer are slightly dated. Like the recent And1 Attack Low, the build of the shoe seems more like something you’d have found on a basketball shoe back in 2008. The toebox does utilize a thin knit at the toe, but its backed with a thin TPU fuse material (as are the overlays).

Luckily, the fuse used is thin enough to make breaking in the shoe a breeze while the material is still able to retain its shape and strength. There are many types of fuse materials that vary between thickness, hardness, resiliency, etc., and Q4 Sports uses a variety of options on each of its models. If I were to compare this fuse material to a shoe I’ve worn in the past then it would have to be the SkinFuse from the NIKE KOBE 1 PROTRO. It’s just about as thin and moves just as well with the foot. The fit isn’t the same as the two models are built on different lasts but the feel and performance of the material is very similar.

While Q4’s models don’t all fit the same, I recommend going true to size if you’re looking at the NForcer. Wide footers might be able to get away with going true to size, but some very widerfooters may want to go up 1/2 size.

Lockdown in the shoe is pretty standard. The Q4 Sports Nforcer fits nicely from the midfoot to the collar and when laced up tight you don’t feel any slippage or dead space. Much like the outsole, there’s nothing fancy to see here — nothing special or extraordinary, just something that works and works well.

Materials are one area where I wasn’t feeling 100%, and support is the other. While the support on the Q4 Sports NForcer relies on its lockdown, fit, and ability to move one-to-one with your foot, it would have been nice to see the support pieces in place be a bit more sturdy.

The heel counter was my main concern. I never felt like I was going to roll over the footbed at any time, but a strong heel counter goes a long way. The Nforcer’s torsional plate could have used a bit more rigidity as well. Although, Q4’s product description reads “T.S.S./26 midfoot shank technology that “moves when you move” for optimal motion and fit” — which it does. When you’re locked into the shoe and onto the footbed you never feel like the midfoot torsion is lacking. It’s noticeable in-hand but not on-foot.

Overall, I really enjoy the Q4 Sports NForcer. I still feel the Millennium Hi is the brand’s most well-rounded performer, but I also think that that will change with the upcoming PE Collection.

When I tested the Q4 495 Lo I had enjoyed the materials and build but felt the tooling and outsole could use an upgrade. I was surprised that the NForcer, a shoe that retails for a $10 less than the 495 Lo, offered a better cushion and traction setup. I thought that it would be awesome to see the two areas of each model combined to make one really solid sneaker and sure enough the brand seems to have been on the same page — and no, I never brought it to Q4’s attention. This was purely coincidence.

Because of this, I’m very excited to play in one of the upcoming 495 Lo PE’s. It should offer the bouncy cushion setup and grip from the NForcer but the smoother feeling knit build of the 495 — in low top form, which is a big plus for me.

I feel Q4 Sports is still very much slept on. The brand is still very new to the market so that isn’t a surprise to me, but I hope that people will be willing to give it a try. Like most shoes that are overlooked because they’re missing a Swoosh/Jumpman emblem, the Q4 Sports NForcer just might surprise you.

However, if you’re truly into performance and the brand really doesn’t matter more than your dollar then look no further. Again, the Yeezy v2 350 was tested indoors, and it works well so long as there isn’t too much dust, but outdoors the rubber bites and it bites hard. Unlike outsoles from plenty of other brands that we test, there are no signs of rubber fraying or wear. For a shoe that retails for just $100, your dollar will go a long way.



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adidas Parley Ultra Boost Perforamnce Reviews

Le 8 juin à  06:31
Rubriques : Air Jordans

I have a love/hate relationship with Adidas trainers.

I LOVE (like have run 6 marathons) in the Ultra Boost and currently have 5 pairs on rotation – the older pairs get given to friends and recycled. However, I haven’t got on too well with their Pure Boost X or Ultra Boost X – these are the trainers they’ve developed specifically for women (click on the links to read my reviews).

I was recently sent the Parley Ultra Boost, and couldn’t wait to test them. I love the concept behind the trainers, utilising marine plastic pollution and recycled material to create the shoes. Each pair’s upper is made from 95% waste plastic dredged from the oceans around the Maldives – recycling 11 plastic bottles, plus the rest of the shoe including lining, laces and the heel is made from recycled material.

The Adidas yeezy collection was made in partnership with Parley for the Oceans, to address the millions of pounds of plastic currently polluting our waters (records suggest that there’s currently 40 million pounds in the North West Pacific alone). There have been five huge vortexes of debris formed, these slow moving whirlpools affecting marine life worldwide, not to mention the rubbish that washes ashore.

Parley are promoting for us to Avoid using plastic bags and products with micro beads, reducing the influx of virgin plastic into the supply chain, Intercept plastic marine debris before it gets into our oceans, and to Redesign our views on eco/recycled material, inventing new methods and mindsets for the future.

The quick review is that these trainers fell somewhere in the middle…

Lets start with the part I love;

  • As mentioned above, I really appreciate that they’re made out of recycled plastic, and that Adidas are helping to bring attention to the plastic problem in our oceans.
  • I’m a massive fan of the Boost technology sole. I think it’s really responsive, very bouncy and perfect for road running, esp for neutral runners.
  • They’re really lightweight, perfect for travelling and for running fast!
  • All Adidas Boost use Continental Rubber on the soles (the same as the tyres), to increase grip and stability on both wet and dry surfaces.
  • They look gorgeous…. come on, gone are the days where all we cared about was function from our running shoes!

I don’t love;

  • How tight the upper is across my foot. I never know whether to wear socks with these style of knit shoes, but as someone with quite wide feet, I find the shoes very tight and a little uncomfortable for runs over 30 mins. I go up a full size in Adidas shoes, so wear a 6.5 in these and they’re still a little snug.
  • The back comes up quite high – above ankle socks – and rubbed my ankles to the point of bleeding (major sad face). I found this a major problem with the Pure Boost X – perhaps it’s more to do with my foot shape and running style than the design? Apparently it’s been designed to keep the heel in place and reduce wobble and lifting out of the shoe while you run.

Have you ever tried Adidas NMD Boost ? Love them? Hate them?



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adidas Pure Boost Performance Reviews

Le 7 juin à  07:39
Rubriques : Air Jordans

I haven’t done a shoe review for a while, but I couldn’t not let you guys know exactly what I think about these well publicised new Adidas Pure boost. These little beauty’s have been all over Instagram & Facebook as well as print media. You’ve probably seen them- they’re bright pink and blue, and have a floating arch…they’re hard to miss. They also have a rather gorgeous black pair, and a white/grey pair, plus a Stella McCartney for Adidas hi print pair.

Adidas-Pure-Boost-X

Let me give you a bit of background first, these women specific shoes have taken 3 years and 100 prototypes to come to market, from original brainstorming to actual conception. As I’ve mentioned they have a floating arch, basically a hole between the shoe upper and the sole which feels pretty snug and looks cool. Women’s running style is a little different to men’s, with more flexible ligaments, a greater angle is created in the arch of the foot than in men. The infamous floating arch provides a sock like ‘hug’ and supports the arch in a way that other Boosts don’t.

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They are amazingly light, and feel very cushioned (as all Boost are with the brilliant Boost technology). They’re a neutral shoe but even still feel like they’re more minimalist and less supportive than the Boost and Ultra Boost. Personally I wouldn’t be able to run more than 3-5 miles in them, and Adidas themselves recommend building up the mileage slowly in them. By the end of a 5 miler I could really feel the ache in my feet!

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Let me warn you, the shoes come up SMALL! I usually wear a side 5.5-6, I’ve got a pair of 6.5 UK and my right toe is right up at the top of the shoe and I wish I’d chosen a 7.

The front and the sides of the shoes are really bouncy and comfortable however the back comes up rather high in my opinion and rubbed my ankles when I was wearing ankle socks, and I know I’m not the only one they felt this way; a few people had a blister before leaving the press event.

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Nonetheless, with high enough socks the shoes are very comfortable, and so lightweight that you can almost forget you’re wearing them. They were perfect for my 1Rebel workouts this week, as well as my strength and conditioning PT session- apparently you could literally see my foot wobbling within the shoe whilst I tried to balance doing TRX lunges. These will become a firm favourite for treadmill workouts, HIIT style classes and definitely during Barry’s Hell Week but unfortunately they just aren’t supportive enough for training runs for me.

If you’re looking for a half or full marathon training shoe, these are not the ones, however they’re brilliantly light for gymming and short runs.

Adidas Pure Boost X were released on 1st Feb and retail for £90-£150.

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