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Air Jordan XVII (17) Retro Performance Review

Le 26 juillet 2018 à  05:59
Rubriques : Air Jordans

Jazz it up....

Traction – This is how you pull off a storytelling traction surface. The entire design is based on MJ’s love for Golf and instead of using some random pattern they went with herringbone – which worked really well. They used contrasting colors to add additional effects without sacrificing coverage. Now, I will say that the traction wasn’t perfect but it was pretty damn close. Only time I had an issue was during certain movements where the shoe flexed at a point where the traction wasn’t in contact with the floor so I had slight slippage but that didn’t happen often so it was nothing crazy… very minor and its the only thing I experienced that I could nit-pick on.

Cushion – This air jordan 17 shoes was built for an aging MJ that required quite a bit of support in order for his knees to hold up on-court. There was a blow molded Air unit in place at the heel – I still don’t know the difference between blow molded Air units vs a regular one – which was housed within a giant TPU (plastic) cage. The entire heel area reminded me a lot of caged Zoom Air but firmer. Was it incredibly uncomfortable? No, but it wasn’t what I’ve been used to with previous Air setups. However, forefoot cushion was fantastic. Zoom Air is placed at the forefoot and the entire forefoot section of the shoe is built traditionally with a Phylon footbed which happens to be double lasted. Its a really interesting way to construct a shoe where you have incredible support with adequate cushion.

Material – I love the materials used on this 2008 CDP version and especially the originals which featured buttery leather uppers. This pair utilizes a nice nubuck at the heel and forefoot. This has its strong points and weak points. Its strength is its fit and feel along with the minimal break-in time required. As for the weakness… its just not as durable as leather overall but again… that’s me nitpicking since the materials are really nice in general. There is a section of woven material – identical to what was used on the LeBron 9’s support wings – at the midfoot that offers great fit and its the most durable section of the upper. My favorite material used is located at the collar… the Neoprene lining is so comfortable it makes all other collars seem inferior.

Fit – They fit true to size and lockdown for me was near perfect. Only gripe is that I had to lace them all the way to the top eyelet and I usually leave one or two free so I have better range of motion for my ankles. I couldn’t do that with these since every time I tried my heel would flop in and out of the shoe a bit but once laced them up the way they were intended then they were perfectly fine. The midfoot lockdown was fantastic and you even have additional lacing options if you wish with the Shroud’s ‘eyelet’ system for a more snug fit. We also have a squared toe again so that area of the shoe is very comfortable while stoping and changing direction without jamming any toes.

Support – As mentioned earlier, this shoe was designed for an aging MJ that needed more support than his past models provided. The TPU heel, lacing system and Carbon Fiber plate running throughout the entire outsole provided some of the best support I’ve had in any Air Jordan 1 to date… almost topping the XX8. Only reason why I’d personally choose the XX8 over these is due to the fact that they offer support that wont restrict my movement at all while these are a bit more restrictive overall.

Overall – This was probably the one shoe – besides the kd 11 – that I was looking forward to wearing the least. I don’t know why… I’ve just never been entirely enthusiastic about the model in general. After playing in them they’ve actually surpassed my initial impression and are among the top performance models featured within the Air Jordan Legacy. This is definitely one model that I’d love to see get the Retro treatment as they are 100% playable even by today’s standards. Truly an innovative sneaker that was ahead of its time.



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Nike KD 8 Performance Review

Le 24 juillet 2018 à  06:15
Rubriques : Air Jordans

Traction – How do you top the KD7’s traction? Simply put… this is how. It’s a modified herringbone pattern that looks as if it’s been digitized. Suffice to say, they played really great on every floor I played on. Only when the local 24 Hour Super Sport showed they desperately needed to clean the floor did I get any slippage, but even with the debris it was more reliable than other traction patterns I’ve used. Only reason why I won’t give them a Hall of Fame badge is because the rubber used is soft and is already fraying after a solid week of use. So, the down side is their potential durability, but while they last you’ll have some awesome grip.

Cushion – A new full length articulated Zoom Air unit was created for the KD 8, and it looks extremely similar to one I designed way back when I reviewed the Nike LeBron 15 . How does the full length Zoom feel? Well…you can’t really feel it most of the time. The main section under the ball of the foot feels amazing – super springy and explosive – but the rest is braced by additional rubber or plastic to keep the bag from compressing and becoming unstable. So while you receive some nice full length cushion that flexes better than previously used full length Air units, I think it could have been implemented a bit better. Personally, I would have encapsulated the cushion while retaining its flex grooves. Basically make it so that the cushion isn’t visible–the same way the Air Jordan 12 did. It’d still flex and move, but it’d be set directly under foot so you could feel the cushion and responsiveness without risking any instability. Either way, you don’t come across full length cushion like this, from Nike, at this price point anymore…and that’s saying something since these things are pretty damn expensive.

Materials – They’ve renamed it Flyweave, but it’s basically the performance woven material that made it’s debut in the air Jordan xx9. It’s awesome. Period. You used to have to pay $225 if you wanted to try out Jordan Brand’s performance woven upper, but now you can try it out for less ($180). Yes, you can currently find the Air Jordan xx9 for under retail, but they don’t come with full length cushion and a performance woven upper like these do. Yeah, +1 for the KD8. The only drawback to a woven upper is durability. So if you’re worried about the potential longevity of your shoes then staying away from softer upper materials would be best. If you grab a shoe with mesh, woven etc. along the upper then don’t complain if they eventually tear… It’s to be expected at some point.

Fit – Their fit is a little tricky. I went up half a size. And I usually never do that so I’d recommend trying them on. They reminded me a lot of the KD5 at first because the tongue is attached to the upper and your foot can definitely feel that upon putting them on. The difference though, these use a woven upper instead of plastic so they break-in in no time. Lockdown is solid as well. The forefoot is pretty snug to ensure that secure fit, while Flywire is in place to help reinforce the area upon lateral movements. Having the Flywire in this specific location might actually alleviate some of the pressure the woven will face while being played in, so it may help it last a bit longer. In the heel there is an internal heel counter that works great, and the interior padding is really nicely sculpted to help keep things secure. Those saber tooth phylon pieces don’t really do any of the supporting though; they’re too thin and are basically there for storytelling purposes only.

Support – Similar to the Zoom Soldier 9, there are support features all over the KD 11. The first, and most obvious, is their form fitting upper. The more natural your foot and the shoe adhere to one another the better the support will be. Then there’s the huge platform the shoe is built on. The Zoom unit is flat and wide, instability is pretty much a non issue here. Any potential instability would have come from the exposed zoom air unit, but like I described in the cushion section, there are support piece in place to ensure the bag won’t fold or collapse when you’re playing so you’re covered from every angle. If you wanted to see the support pieces I’m talking about then check the video, it’s a little hard to write and describe each area without putting you to sleep… if you’re even awake at this point anyway.

Something I personally disliked was the large exaggerated heel. It sticks out way too far and while it never obstructed transition like I initially thought it might, instead it just made it really easy for someone to step on me and take my shoe completely off. Getting flat-tired in a game usually doesn’t happen, but in these it happened more than it should have.

Overall – I really enjoyed the shoe on-court. They have some beastly traction and full coverage cushion. The woven upper is something that I personally love, and I hope others enjoy it as much as I do. As long as you get your the size that’ll fit you properly, support will be amazing. The KD 8 is right up there with the KD 5 and 7 in terms of on-court performance – all three are really awesome 0n-court. Hopefully they continue to get better each year…KD deserves a great performance shoe, and so do those that buy his kicks.



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Nike KD 7 Performance Review

Le 23 juillet 2018 à  06:32
Rubriques : Air Jordans

One of the most well-rounded hoop shoes from Nike in quite some time… that isn’t a Hyperdunk.

Traction – The traction was awesome, especially when comparing them to the KD Shoes. This is one instance where story telling patterns work, and in this case… work really well. While these aren’t as grippy as the Kobe 1 protro or Jordan XX8, they get the job done without issue. Maybe the occasional wipe here and there if the floor is a bit dusty, but otherwise they’re perfectly fine. Something that some people will like is that they perform well outdoors and will hold up a little longer than the Kobe and Jordan models.

Cushion – Max Zoom in the heel and 8mm Zoom in the forefoot… super comfy. I really love Max Zoom but when implemented full length, you tend to lose a lot of mobility. This setup perfectly blends the older styled Zoom with the new styled Zoom for the ultimate ride.

Materials – HyperRev up front and Foamposite in the back… thats pretty much what they remind me of. I love mesh and the freedom/ mobility it offers the wearer, however, you lose support when mesh is used from heel to toe. This is where blending the two materials works really well together. With the Foamposite heel, you received structure and support where you need it most while the mesh forefoot offers a pain-free and mobile experience. Only thing you can complain about would be the mesh and how it lacks durability… but it’s some comfortable that I’d still prefer this over Fuse any day of the week.

Fit – They literally fit me perfectly. I’ve heard that there are heel issues, pain where the midfoot strap is located and that they run big and small. But for me, they fit true to size and they’re the first KD model since the 3 that doesn’t hurt anywhere when worn. I also felt lockdown was really solid. Heel lockdown and security was great as the Foamposite restricts your heel from moving or shifting around the shoe so you’re secure while playing. The mesh starts off snug but breaks in quickly and once that happens you’ll want to tie your laces up a bit tighter which allows the Dynamic Flywire to do it’s thing.

Ventilation – The ventilation is decent. Nothing great but nothing horrible. In fact, these are probably the best use of ventilation I’ve seen without losing any structure or support – other than the UA Spawn. Heat can escape the forefoot while the heel holds in the heat so the Foam can mold as quickly as possible.

Support – The fit offers the greatest amount of support but there is also a new feature in place as well. Instead of a traditional shank, the KD 7 features support bars or beams right where your metatarsal bones are located. Basically, they mimic the bodies natural support features and they do so pretty effectively without adding additional weight or bulk.

Overall This is my new favorite hoop shoe of the year, so far. I’m expecting that to change once I play in the XX9 but as of right now, these are freaking sweet! They are really well rounded, just like the UA Spawn, in nearly every category. I also love that they fit true to size and didn’t hurt or pinch my feet anywhere. Definitely the best KD model besides the 5, and if you’re looking for an eclectic assortment of Nike tech rolled into one model – the KD 11 Sale does that and somehow makes it all work



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Better Air Jordan 4: “Bred” or “Lightning”

Le 21 juillet 2018 à  03:39
Rubriques : Air Jordans

In 2019, Jordan Brand will be celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the Air Jordan 4. For the occasion there will be plenty of original as well as new colorways releasing.

One of the pairs that will be making its debut is the iconic “Bred” colorway that was worn by Michael Jordan during “The Shot” in the 1989 NBA Playoffs.

While many of the OG colorways are considered the models best releases, one pair that’s often overlooked due to the shoe only being released once is the “Lightning” iteration. This pair originally made its debut in 2006 and has yet to have a retro release.

The Air Jordan 4 ‘Bred’ is one of a handful of releases taking place during 2019 that will help celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Air Jordan 4.

We have seen the ‘Bred’ Air Jordan 4 aka ‘Black Cement’ release a handful of times. First in 1989 followed by a retro release in 1999, both featured Nike Air branding. We also saw another release in 2008 which is part of the Countdown Pack. The last time we saw a release was in 2012 and featured the Jumpman logo on the heel.

This Air Jordan 4 comes dressed in the original color theme which consists of Black, Cement Grey and Fire Red. In addition this remastered edition which have Nike Air branding on the heel.

The Air Jordan 4 ‘Lightning’ first released in 2006 and rumors are spreading that this pair will once again return during the Holiday 2018 season.

As of now, images have yet to leak of this shoe but we should receive a first look in the next couple of months. This Air Jordan 4 is expected to look like the original release while featuring Tour Yellow nubuck across the uppers along with Grey and Black accents. Finishing the look is White across the midsole.

Now the question is, if you could only have either the “Bred” or Lightning” colorway return in 2019 for its 30th Anniversary, which would it be? Cast your vote below and leave your thoughts in the comments section.



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

Le 20 juillet 2018 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 2018 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 2018 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 2018 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 2018 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 2018 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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