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Nike LeBron Soldier 12 Deconstructed Reprot

Le 28 avril à  05:24
Rubriques : Air Jordans

The latest deconstruction by the good people over at FastPass comes right in time for the Stateside release of the Nike LeBron Soldier 12.

How much has changed as far as tech from the Soldier 11 over to the Soldier 12? Truthfully, not a lot, but enough for us to examine now, then have our WearTesters take the opportunity to see how those changes translate to performance.

Starting with a butterfly cut of the newest Soldier model, we see the expected one-piece bootie construction backed with a neoprene lining to provide comfort on contact around the foot. Bottom-loaded heel and forefoot Zoom Air units are back and inside a foam carrier that is slightly curved at the midfoot, providing less foam near the arch. There is also some subtle padding around the Achilles area and what looks to be an internal heel counter.

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Going over to the cross-cut of the Nike LeBron Soldier 12, we get a different look at the inner-bootie construction, similar to that of last year’s LeBron Soldier 11. From what we can tell, the strap loop is connected directly to the footbed on the lateral side of the sneaker, while medial side only seems to be connected to the upper. It is hard to tell on the medial side given the angles presented, but if that is the case it still makes sense as that side will not require as much support as the lateral side will.

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The midsole features foam underneath a TPU plate that covers more space than last year’s model. Nike likely went with the larger volume to balance out support where the foam was slightly reduced in the arch.

The forefoot and heel Zoom units come in at a thickness of around 10mm and 13mm, respectively, which is to be expected for a model of this type.

Not pictured is the outsole traction, which is listed as XDR (Extra Durable Rubber). The XDR tag has shown up on the Soldier 12 in a lot of leaks and overseas releases, yet it is unclear if all colorways of the Soldier 12 will be outdoor-ready or just a few.

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Last up is a comparison of the Nike LeBron Soldier 11 alongside the Nike Lebron Soldier 12, both of which retail for $130 in standard builds.

The Nike LeBron Soldier 12 is now available in the above Black/Hazel Rush colorway at hoopjordan.net for $130. Stay tuned for an upcoming performance review from our website.



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Nike Kobe 1 Protro Performance Review

Le 26 avril à  05:01
Rubriques : Air Jordans

The Nike Kobe 1 Protro is a retro done right.

Traction was good to start, but it did have a few hiccups here and there. However, the outsole broke in with each wear and by the end of testing I really don’t want to play in anything else.

Sounds weird, I know. But I’m just telling you how I feel. It’s the tackiest of tractions, like the Air Jordan XX8 or Nike Kobe 9, and it grips the court — any court — like nobody’s business.

Reliable would be the one word I’d use to describe the traction on the Kobe 1 Protro. It’s also been very durable. Every once in a while I see someone at a gym or park wearing a pair of the original Kobe 1s and I’m always surprised that they’ve held up. Well, not anymore. I can see why people love this shoe. It’s simple and it works.

The cushion used on the original Kobe 1 was a large volume heel Zoom Air unit along with a large volume met bag in the forefoot (Zoom Air). While I never experienced the original myself, I don’t feel like I’m missing much.

The full-length Zoom Air here is incredible. This is the type of Zoom Air experience I fell in love with some 25 odd years ago.

It’s low to the ground, even lower than the original (the designers shaved the midsole thickness down a bit), ultra responsive, and has some feedback. It rests directly under your foot so what you feel is nothing but full length springy goodness.

I’ve compared the setup used in the Kobe 1 Protro to that of the Air Jordan 12 once it has been broken in. I’ll say this: the Kobe 1 Protro feels better than the Air Jordan 12 after it’s been broken in. This is a shoe that makes you smile a little after you’re done lacing it up and you walk onto the court — it feels that good.

If you’re comparing this full-length Zoom Air setup to something more current, like the Jordan Why Not Zer0.1, then I’d say these win by a very slim margin — only because the Why Not is a bottom-loaded setup, even though it doesn’t really feel like it. Honestly, it’s hard to pick between the two based on cushion alone because they’re so similar in feel. However, overall, I have to with the Kobe 1 Protro.

I have been so used to wearing textiles and knits that I had forgotten just how nice leather is to play in.

Yes, it’s a little heavier than newer age materials, but it’s nothing drastic. I mean, we’re talking ounces here, not pounds. If a basketball shoe is too heavy for you then stop skipping leg day. All jokes aside, it’s less about weight and more about construction. The Kobe 1 Protro was not constructed in a way that makes the shoe feel heavy or clunky. Can it for some? Of course. Not everyone has the same tastes and preferences. For me, this shoe just felt solid.

After a quick break-in period, the leather build felt like it was hand-made around a last of my foot — like that old mitt you had as a kid that you hated at first and then loved once you put enough time in it. The Kobe 1 Protro just feels right.

True to size is what I’d recommend. Some wide footers might be able to go either way. If you don’t have a drastically wide foot then the leather should break in around your foot as it would anyone else’s (it just might take a few extra wears). Those with a very wide foot might want to go up a 1/2 size.

Lacing is basic but the lockdown felt great. I never even felt the need to lace them to the top plastic clip at the foam/mesh collar. For whatever reason, the rear section of the shoe just wrapped around my heel and ankle perfectly. I did want to try lacing up at least one shoe all the way but when I play basketball I usually just go with feels comfortable to me, so I never ended up giving it a go.

The collar area that originally bothered me upon try-on felt wonderful after a few hours of play. You almost receive the mobility of a low top with the fit and security of a high top. This must’ve been the beginning stages of introducing proprioception into the mix. We all know where Kobe’s ended up in terms of collar height, but it almost feels like the designers were aiming for that low cut feel right from the start. The Nike Kobe 2 may not be in line with that theory, but the Kobe 3 sure is. Which then led into the 4 — and the rest is history.

You start off on a wide stable platform and then move into a midsole that hugs the hell out of your forefoot on the lateral side. Couple those aspects with the outrigger and the forefoot stability is some of the best around — maybe even of all-time.

You have the standard internal heel counter while the midfoot features a carbon fiber shank. This was another area that was slimmed down a bit from the original version of the shoe. Removing much of the forefoot’s carbon shank resulted in a much more flexible forefoot. Again, I don’t own a pair of the originals, but I’d assume that this change is a noticeable once on-foot. I know the Wade Brand used to use a carbon shank that rode into the forefoot of the shoe and that resulted in a stiffer ride. Since the brand removed it on the later models the line feels much more fluid while in motion.

I’m still not sure what the heel carbon fiber wrap is for. I didn’t really notice it at all while playing. It may be due to the fact that I rarely use my heels, but for what it’s worth it never bothered me.
I love the Kobe 1 Protro, and there’s really no other way to put it. While I was pretty excited to play in the shoe to start, I didn’t realize I’d never want to take it off.

I miss shoes that are built like this. And the fact that Nike did what it could to reduce a bit of bulk and weight here and there only made the experience that much more enjoyable. The brand trimmed the fat and left the meat of the product. The aspects that work work really well. Removing the waste only makes those areas shine that much brighter.

I can tell I love this shoe because I feel like I can keep writing — some reviews force me to finish a sentence. My point is that this is a shoe. A really well built basketball shoe. Man, I miss this s**t.

I’ve been getting “heckled” on socials when I talk about the Kobe 1 Protro — “the shoe sucks” or “it’s crap” — but I’ve got nothing to say in response. If people feel the shoe sucks, or that it’s heavy, clunky, etc., then that’s just how they feel. It’s unfortunate, as that’s clearly not how I feel, because the shoe is great.

My real complaint is that the Kobe 1 Protro is not readily available. Everyone should be able to try this shoe out on-court if they wish because it’s so much fun to play in.



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Reebok Fusion FlexWeave Performance Review

Le 25 avril à  06:30
Rubriques : Air Jordans

Reebok has been making a steady comeback in performance over the last two years, and the brand has even introduced new tech like Floatride foam and Flexweave for uppers. Now, for the first time, we see both in a new performance shoe: the Reebok Fusion Flexweave. Question is, does it perform?

There are several patterns on the outsole of the Fusion Flexweave that are mapped for specific ground-contact at each point of the foot. Under the ball of the foot we see an open grid pattern, allowing the Floatride foam to peak out, much like Boost on the adidas Ultraboost. Along the heel and back half of the lateral side we see recessed squares in a flat rubber that act like suction cups to keep you from slipping out.

Also on the lateral side we see square nubs separated by a groove that Reebok calls the “Plantar Sensor.” This groove breaks up the rubber to eliminate a stiff, slappy outsole. This also allows the outsole to stay in contact on any lateral movements. Wait, lateral movements in running? Oh, but this isn’t just billed as a running shoes.

Using its background in Crossfit, Reebok has designed the Fusion Flexweave to support all fitness activities, from running to light cardio to weight room. Thus, the grooves and splits (called the Meta Split under the forefoot) all work to keep you on the floor and slip-free.

The durability is serious; I have worn my pair for at least four days of the week (for several weeks) for all kinds of activity and the outsole shows absolutely no signs of wear. It also works in almost any weather, at least in Texas. Wet or dry, the outsole did it’s job and never failed.

This is where the magic begins. Floatride foam is responsive, soft (to a point), responsive, impact-absorbing, and, best of all, does all of this while being extremely light. Think of Boost, but half the weight. The Floatride Run (reviewed here) was a revelation in performance — lightweight, bouncy, and durable.

Now, the Fusion Flexweave is more of the same; it’s lightweight, durable, and…not as bouncy. Why? Well, the Floatride foam is encased in EVA through the midfoot (the areas between the black lines on the midsole) but exposed at the heel and forefoot areas. This EVA carrier acts as a stabilizer — it helps the “do everything” shoe “do everything” — and keeps the foam from compressing too much during heavy activity.

However, the Floatride foam used in the Fusion Flexweave is still responsive, and perhaps even more so than in the Floatride Run. The foam also has a definite bounce-back property when on-foot. Floatride Foam is fun, and because it’s lighter than most other foams, it makes it easy to consider for performance purposes.

Ah, the rest of the magic. Reebok’s Flexweave was first introduced on the Nano 8 and later seen in the Fast Flexweave runner. It is based on an open figure-8 pattern that promotes stability, flexibility, and comfort, and it doesn’t lie.

The colored threads within the weave are just that — fabric threads running through TPU strands. While it does feel rougher to the touch than most other woven textiles, the interior is lined with a 3/4 length sleeve to completely eliminate chafing. The fabric threads are soft and comfortable while the TPU strands give the upper structure and stability.

TPU is usually a stiffer material, but the spacing and the open weave make the Fusion Flexweave flex and form perfectly with the foot. The inner sleeve isn’t stretchy at all so getting into the shoe may seem like a chore, but the open mesh of the liner keeps the foot soft and cozy inside while working with the Flexweave outer shell to increase breathability.

Here is where TPU can be a problem. While the durable strands add structure, that structure comes with dead space. Most of the time that space can be filled with padding on the interior. The Fusion Flexweave has a little case of bubble toe; when the shoe is laced tightly, the extra space above the toe bubbles out. It isn’t bad, and probably won’t be noticed by anyone except picky WearTesters, but it is there. Again, it is not a deal breaker by any means because the extra space can be appreciated for comfort.

The heel is completely locked in by a semi-rigid heel counter. It isn’t completely stiff like a solid basketball shoe (or an Asics runner), but the Delta logo’ed external counter just provides enough lockdown to let you know it is there. The inner bootie having no stretch comes in perfectly to keep your foot from moving around inside the Flexweave shell.

Finally, the lacing system is almost perfect; five holes (or six, if you use the last one for more heel lockdown) run through lace straps connected to the Flexweave for total lockdown with almost no lace pressure.

Lengthwise, I would say go down a half size in the Fusion Flexweave. I have done that with Reebok since the late ’90s and they have all been perfect. Width-wise, if you are a wide-footer, you may want to try these on. The forefoot and heel are good to go, but the midfoot has a narrow area at the arch that could cause some issues. I am a little wider than normal and was fine, but just to make sure, try them on.

As discussed earlier, the Flexweave upper used on the Fusion Flexweave is solid in lateral support thanks to the TPU strands running over, above, and around the foot. The foot is held over the footbed for the most part, except on extremely violent movements (trying to play a quick game of 25 in these was wrong on many levels). For any running movements and lighter cardio or gym activity, you will be good.

The heel cup works with the laces to keep your foot locked in with no heel slip or slide. There is some slight sculpting and padding around the heel but most of the good stuff is because of the lace design. There is no midfoot shank, but the stiffer EVA carrier keeps the Fusion Flexweave from bending the wrong way under normal pressure. The midsole does have a slight flare outward on the medial and lateral forefoot, giving a wider base for better landings and uneven surfaces.

hoop jordan has a hit with the Fusion Flexweave. Light, fast, durable, and well-cushioned, the Reebok Fusion Flexweave is a shoe that can do anything — and do it well.

Floatride foam is a winner and feels as good or better than most of the foams on the market (yeah, even that one and that one). If you need a jordan 1 that can go anywhere and do anything, look no further. As I said above, this shoe has been on my feet over half of the days since I have received it, and it handles anything thrown its way.

On top of the versatility and performance, the Fusion Flexweave looks good. Reebok has figured out how to change the colors and patterns of the fabric inlays, and while nothing outlandish has been released, the subtle colorways are perfect for going from the gym to the street. The minimal branding gives the shoe an organic, every day look and feel while bouncy Floatride keeps it moving fast.



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Air Jordan 11 ‘Cool Grey’ and 'Rose Gold' 2018 is back

Le 24 avril à  05:31
Rubriques : Air Jordans

The ‘Cool Grey’ Air Jordan 11 is back, but this time around it’s in low top form with the Air Jordan 11 Low ‘Cool Grey’.

Once just a sample, the Air Jordan 11 Low ‘Cool Grey’ is now scheduled for an April 28 release. The shoe will drop in all sizes, ranging from Men’s all the way down to infant. We were able to get our hands on the men’s and kids version to review.

Material quality will please most as it’s slightly nicer than what was featured on the 2010 edition of the Air Jordan 11 ‘Cool Grey’. Comfort is on-point as the shoe comes equipped with a Phylon midsole, full-length Air cushioning, and step-in comfort additions like a Poron strobel board and padded insole.

The kids version of the shoe isn’t quite as nice because the materials and tech have been dumbed down, but those sizes receive the same overall look.

and the Air Jordan 11 Low 'Rose Gold' While Jordan Brand once heavily focused on women’s footwear back in its early days (remember the 2005-2006 era?), the brand shifted its focus for years and cut the women’s footwear and apparel releases altogether.

This left women with GS (grade school) releases as their only options to grab a pair of Air Jordans. That typically means that the shoe’s shape, quality, and tech are unlike the men’s edition. Fast forward to 2018, Jordan Brand now has a reenergized focus on women’s footwear and apparel; that means that the ladies will get more footwear options without dumbed down tech and materials.

The Air Jordan 12 in Vachetta Tan was the first women’s release and was quickly followed up with the release of the Air Jordan 11 ‘Rose Gold’ . Everything from the shape, materials, and tech are different between the women’s and youth versions of these Retro models so if you wanted a detailed look — along with everything else you’d need to know — then hoop jordan has got you covered.



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Nike LeBron 15 Low Performance Test

Le 21 avril à  07:55
Rubriques : Air Jordans

The Nike LeBron 15 Low was much more impressive than the LeBron Lows of years past. Find out why with our performance review.
Traction on the Nike LeBron 15 Low isn’t too far from what was used on the original Nike LeBron 15, but it was tweaked enough to make a difference. While the protruding diamond traction pattern remains the same, it’s been implemented in a way that it almost moves in a nice circle along the outsole.

With the pattern moving in this way the shoe is able to handle lateral movements much better than the midtop version of the shoe. Dust isn’t a huge issue for the LeBron 15 in general, due to the pattern being more like spikes along the sole rather than your typical average pattern, but there were a few times that I’d stop and wipe just to get a little bit extra bite.

I did have a couple of slipping issues upon certain movements, but it was near the ball of the foot/toe-off area. This section slopes in an upward direction so I think the issue was that I was moving too fast to properly to allow the sloped section of the outsole make contact with the floor. I could be wrong, of course, but that’s what I feel was causing the issue because it wasn’t present in the LeBron 15 mid at all and the outsole there was pretty even in terms of court coverage.

Overall, I’d say this was a slight improvement over the mids, but not enough to change its score. Just know that you can be confident in the outsole’s ability to maintain grip, and that was while I was testing a pair with a translucent outsole. And just as an FYI, I wouldn’t recommend playing in the pairs with iridescent outsoles; those felt much more slick in-store than this Grey/Pink pair.
Cushion from the original LeBron 15 wasn’t carried over in any way, which I find unfortunate because the rear Air Max unit could have been a Max Zoom unit. Had it been Max Zoom I think the LeBron 15 Low would have been a bit more amazing than it already is.

While the heel area isn’t as dense feeling as Air Max units can feel, it still would have been awesome to have had something a bit more absorbent and bouncy underfoot. However, the Air Max unit in place is comfortable and I feel that it offers enough impact protection for small and large players alike.

The forefoot section does have Zoom Air, just more of the traditional variety, and I loved it. This, coupled with that weird upward sloping toe-off section, created a very fluid ride with a bit of spring to each step. While the Zoom Air is bottom-loaded, it doesn’t feel like it and the entire cushion setup reminded me of what we had gotten in the Nike LeBron 9 — only a bit more comfortable.

This setup does sit a bit higher off the ground than most guard shoes, but this shoe isn’t really for guards — although it can be. If you’re a smaller player that prefers to have something more substantial under your feet without feeling like you’re unstable or about to tip over upon movements and changes of direction then I think you’ll enjoy the LeBron 15 Low quite a bit. At least I know I did.

Materials are one aspect that hasn’t really changed between the mid and low versions of the Nike LeBron 15.

Battleknit is still the primary build and there doesn’t seem to be any real difference between models other than less material being used at the collar — something I was more than fine with since the collar of the LeBron 15 mid just felt useless to me. That shoe was nearly a low within the Battleknit build but was made to look higher cut than it actually was due to the stretchy knit riding so high over the ankle.

Much like my thoughts on the materials in the mid version of the shoe, I feel that most will enjoy the materials here. There are some areas that are glued, some areas that are stretchy, and some areas that are really thick. All-in-all, it’s a wonderful upper that fits and feels great on-foot. It’s also been durable; there are no real signs of wear, which some may appreciate.
I felt the LeBron 15 mid ran a little long, but the LeBron 15 Low fits me fine going true to size. There will be some that may want to go down 1/2 size (especially narrow footers), but for the most part true to size will work — even for wide footers.

Lockdown on the shoe is much like the mid. I found no issues from the collar to the forefoot. My heel always felt locked into place and there were no hot spots or pinching anywhere. After having issues with most of the more recent LeBron low tops, I’m happy to say that these gave me no problems at all.
Support in the LeBron 15 was a bit lackluster due to the tooling setup, but that has changed with the low top version. Traditional support features like a torsional midfoot shank and TPU heel counter are all in place and work well.

However, this time around the new midsole tooling setup gave the shoe a much needed outrigger for lateral support. This small addition to the shoe gave it the stability the mids lacked which only makes me wish the LeBron 15 Low had Max Zoom Air in the heel even more as that would have been such an awesome ride — much like the Nike KD 7 on hoop jordan.
While the Nike LeBron 15 was a great shoe for those that didn’t require a lot of lateral support and stability, the Nike LeBron 15 Low changes all of that to become a shoe that anyone can enjoy on court.

Traction was solid while and there was a great balance of cushion without the loss of any mobility — even for us smaller guys. On or off the court, I think the Nike LeBron 15 Low is a hit.

Nike is on a roll this year with models like the Kyrie 4 and PG 2. Now, you can now add the LeBron 15 Low to that list.



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Jordan Brand CP3.XI Performance Review

Le 14 avril à  03:07
Rubriques : Air Jordans

Sometimes a shoe comes out of nowhere to completely change your opinion of a model or line. The Jordan CP3.XI, Chris Paul’s latest signature model, is that shoe.

When we at WearTesters heard the news that Jordan Brand was killing the Melo line our first question was “What about the CP line?” It was never a great seller, and it had become an afterthought in performance rankings. Surely, it had to go too, right? Well, if this is the death stroke, it’s a killer.

Herringbone forefoot is almost always a good idea, and the Jordan CP3.XI has that in spades. The tread is multidirectional across the main part of the pattern and broken up at the toe-off area. The pattern is wide but the grooves are fairly shallow, so dust collection did become an issue after a few trips down the court. However, it was nothing a quick wipe couldn’t handle.

The heel area is a different pattern altogether. It looks like a feather, and grabbed more dust than the forefoot, but I don’t play a ton on my heels so it didn’t really affect playability for me.

As for durability, this is a translucent rubber and it’s fairly soft. Also, the pattern is shallow, so outdoors is a no-no. That is the only thing holding the CP3.XI back from a Hall of Fame badge — this stuff could climb walls, at least to the second story, before the tread would wear down.

Heel and forefoot Zoom Air encased in a soft Phylon midsole? Yes, please. The forefoot of the Jordan CP3.XI is shaped like the PG 1 and 2, almost oval but also rectangle Zoom, and to be honest you can’t really feel it. The heel is a large hex Zoom bag, and, again, to be honest, you can’t really feel it.

This isn’t bad. The Phylon midsole encases the units, and while this is normally a bad thing, the midsole seems softer than previous models and similar to the Cushlon used in the Kyrie 4. The foam does depress and bounce back, and when it depresses too far, the Zoom units are there for some additional bounce. Honestly, it is almost like the Why Not Zer0.1 — you know the Zoom is there, and it works when you need it, you just can’t really feel it.

The Jordan CP3.XI feels fast and low in the forefoot with no impact issues at all, and the Phylon keeps everything from wobbling and being unstable while playing.

Well, almost all was good. Actually, I shouldn’t be too harsh on the upper of the Jordan CP3.XI — it worked and worked well. If you enjoyed the Nike Kobe AD Mid this colorway is for you (I say this because unlike this colorway, the white/red build uses a mesh upper with a synthetic toebox).

What was supposed to feel like suede or nubuck ends up feeling like felt with a stiff backing, which sucks for breathability but is great for containment. The heel is a nice synthetic leather and adds a little touch of class in the back (it also has the killer CP3 logo). The materials do break in fairly quickly; flex points are learned and the shoe begins fitting and feeling better within a couple of trips down the floor.

Now, the strap: it is rubberized (again, on this colorway) and fairly stiff, but sits behind the forefoot flex point so even the stiffness doesn’t hurt while playing. The ankle is lined with a thick padding that isn’t quite memory foam but dense nonetheless. The mesh tongue tries to dissipate heat and moisture but it’s fighting a losing, soggy battle.

The fit of the Jordan CP3.XI is freaking awesome, but only after the break-in stage. Before that, there are empty spaces around the toebox and midfoot. The lacing system does a great job of pulling those around the foot, but until the upper materials soften up and begin creasing, be ready for a little clunkiness. Afterwards, the CP3.XI turns into a form-fitting foot rocket that feels great in transition and jumps.

The heel is locked in by that foam lining I mentioned above, and the opening of the shoe is a little more narrow than normal (but not difficult to enter). The lacing system works. Unlike the last shoe I reviewed, the CP3.XI fit-straps run back into the foot and the top hole pulls the foot into the heel of the shoe, locking everything in for no movement at all — until the thin, round laces come untied, which they will.

Go true to size for length. Wide-footers may even get away with true as well, but going up a half may be best if you are extremely wide. The strap does loosen and should accommodate the wide-footedness.

For a low-riding, low-cut “guard” shoe the CP3.XI holds it down in the support/stability category. Much like Westbrook, Chris Paul needs containment and stability to cover his shifty game. Granted, he is fairly ground-bound, but like Kyrie, he changes speeds and directions in a heartbeat.

Starting at the bottom, the Phylon is stable and solid while not being overly dense; it’s just enough to keep the midsole from crushing when changing directions and slowing you down. The strap ties under the ball of the foot, and uses a three-point anchor to pull the midsole into the foot and lock in for lateral movements. Yes, it is a strap that actually works.

Again, like the Why Not Zer0.1, there is no real outrigger. Instead, the shape of the midsole flares out and then wraps up the sidewall to contain the foot. From what can be seen and felt, there is no midfoot shank, although it could be small and not obvious (tech specs are not out yet for the shoe). Even so, the Phylon is thick enough in that area to stop any unwanted bending. The CP3.XI is solid but not restrictive, and while playing, that is exactly what’s needed.

If any of you doubted the ability of Jordan Brand to bring a true performer back on the scene, look no more. The Jordan CP3.XI does everything and does it well.

If you need traction for days, cushioning that is stable but provides great impact protection, and a supportive, stable base look no further — the CP3.XI should be a shoe for you, no matter the position. If you just don’t like CP3 the man (we see you Austin) or the Rockets in general, get over it because the shoe works.

Jordan Brand is more than retros people, and the CP3.XI takes it back to what we all used to believe in: performance engineered for the greatest athletes. Some shoes are just fun to wear, you can lace them up and just play ball. The Jordan CP3.XI is a ballplayer’s shoe, through and through.



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2001 vs. 2013 vs. 2017 Air Jordan 1 Retro 'Royal' Comparison

Le 11 avril à  06:06
Rubriques : Air Jordans
It's only been four years since the last go-round, but the 'Royal' Air Jordan 1 Retro is one of the year's most anticipated sneaker releases. Originally released in 1985, the black and blue colorway first returned in 2001, before a 12-year hiatus until the next retro. This time, Jordan Brand is promising remastered quality, which means they tried to construct it as close to the original as possible.To determine how well they did with the 2017 version, we compared every 'Royal' Air Jordan 1 Retro to date, breaking them down by each detail. Read on to see how this year's release stacks up against its predecessors.

QUARTER

The leather is different on each pair and the shade of blue gradually got brighter. Unlike the 2013 and 2017 releases, nubuck fills the Swoosh of the 2001 retro.

TONGUE

The font used for Nike Air embroidery is different on each tongue, as is the material used to construct them.

LINING

There's less padding on the 2013 retro compared to the 2001 and 2017 pairs, along with a different lining pattern. The backside of the tongue on the 2001 pair features the Jumpman logo and production number. Logo on the back of the tongue and lining color is white on the 2017 retro and black on the other two.

HEEL

Sizing of heel tabs varies each year. There's no black stitching on the heel tab on the 2013 pair and the tab is a bit higher on this year's retro. The 2013 pair appears to be more narrow when looking at it from behind when compared to the 2001 and 2017 pairs.

COLLAR

Note the size, shape and positioning of the Wings logo on each pair.

INSOLE

After the Jumpman graced the insoles of the 2001 Jordan retro, Nike Air returned in 2013 and again this year, but this time on OG-style white insoles.

TOEBOX

The size and arrangement of the perforations differ on each pair, as does the general narrowness of the toeboxes.

SHOE BOX

The 2001 release came with the 'Jordan for all Face' box, while the OG-style box returned for the 2013 and 2017 releases.


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Air Jordan 11 Vs. Jordan Future “bred” Comparison

Le 10 avril à  05:39
Rubriques : Air Jordans

Jordan Brand dresses their newest futuristic silhouette, the Air Jordan Future in the classic “Bred” color scheme. Having a similar built as the iconic Air Jordan 11 “Bred” both having a Black based-upper with Red accents, a White midsole and Red translucent outsole.

The Air Jordan Future has slowly made its way into the hearts of many. Becoming a regular sneaker in people’s rotation, the Air Jordan Future is one sneaker everyone can love. Coming in a plethora of colorways, the newest design to hit retailers is the Air Jordan Future “Bred.” This iteration of the sneaker is dressed in a black woven upper with red on the upper lining and outsole. A white midsole contrasts the look as 3M is worked into the upper. This flashy look is inspired by the classic Air Jordan 11 “Bred,”

Air Jordan 11 Bred backpack sample, an apparel item that combined the outsole of the famed patent leather gem as the base of the backpack. We never thought that the brand would release something as outlandish as a backpack turned shoe, and yet here we are. The Air Jordan 11 Bred backpack is available today. Complete with a cordura fabric to mimic the shoe’s upper with alternating black panels, accents of red arrive on the zipper.

The only differences between the two silhouettes besides the model itself is the built. The Jordan Future sports a 3M reflective Black woven upper inside of the traditional mesh from the Air Jordan 11. The tongue, laces, heel tab and inner lining on the Jordan Future are dressed in Red. To complete the comparison both pairs sit atop the same White midsole, but the Jordan Future is finished with a more milky Red translucent outsole.

Check out the additional comparison photos below as well as a few extra of the Air Jordan Future “Bred” colorway



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Nike LeBron Ambassador 10 performance review

Le 31 mars à  12:10
Rubriques : Air Jordans

The Nike LeBron Ambassador 9 was a top performer last year that I liked more than the LeBron 14. But does this latest overseas alternate signature model, the LeBron Ambassador X, continue to take the reigns as a top performer? We’re here to find out.

The LeBron Ambassador X uses the same diamond grid traction pattern used on the Ambassador 9, and it has strategically placed herringbone waves that help you stop on a dime. When I tell you this traction pattern and the XDR rubber combo is amazing it’s because it’s freakin’ amazing! Why we don’t see the Swoosh use more XDR (Extra Durable Rubber) with a pattern like this on Stateside shoes nowadays still causes me to scratch my head.

The XDR rubber outsole and pattern combination is literally Goku morphing into his Ultra instinct form. Whether you hit the blacktop outdoors or play on the hardwood indoors, you’re in for not just a treat, but the whole nine-course meal.

Again, not once did I need to wipe the bottom of the shoe. Consistency is key and this pattern, material compound, and extended outrigger add up to the best of the best.

Like it’s predecessor, the LeBron Ambassador X features heel and forefoot Zoom Air unit. Needless to say, a shoe that bears LeBron’s name would need cushioning and ample support that a player of his stature needs. While the cushion combination works well, I was disappointed in finding out that there were some minor modifications towards the Zoom Air units utilized.

While the forefoot Zoom unit got thicker at 8.5mm thick, the width of the unit shrank. So for those that have heavy forefoot drop placements and have wider feet, you might feel the slight difference, but it’s minimal. The heel unit also increased in thickness to 11.16mm, which is perfect for those plant heavy on their heels.

The LeBron Ambassador X USA cushions well above average, but I still wish it used the heel unit from the Ambassador 8. That cushion worked so well, so why change it? However, getting heel and forefoot Zoom Air in a Nike Basketball shoe these days is a blessing — the only thing is you have to check overseas shops to find this model.

Mesh is used from midfoot to forefoot with TPU reinforcement at high wear areas, just like its predecessor. What has changed is the synthetic suede-like panel from midfoot to heel and the elastic band overlay right above the midfoot.

The interior of the shoe features a heavily padded bootie-like construction for support purposes. The shoe is finished with the wonderful XDR outsole while heel and forefoot Zoom units are implemented within the soft Phylon midsole.

The construction and materials bear resemblance to the recently released Nike PG 2 (both shoes were done by the same designer, shout out to TH), which isn’t a bad thing. For its price point, the Ambassador X can withstand the battles on court indoors and outdoors, with decent materials that make the shoe durable. It’s simple and well done.

The fit of the Ambassador X, for me, was decent at best. I experienced some heel slippage in the shoe, which was a surprise considering previous Ambassador models never had this problem. I also went true to size (I have a wide foot). The slippage isn’t a total deal breaker, but coming from the previous Ambassador models that worked very well, it threw me off. I even tried wearing thicker socks but moisture buildup became a problem.

The elastic band across the midfoot helps contain the foot and it’s a nice addition. However, I believe that the throat lacing structure and the extra padding layer between the inner bootie and the rounded external material at the heel didn’t allow the foot to be fully contained.

The support in the Ambassador X comes directly from the fit of the shoe, which includes the elastic band at the midfoot, the mesh upper, the forefoot and heel cushion, and the traction. The traction is top notch, the forefoot and heel cushion feel above average, and the elastic band on the midfoot provides ample lockdown. Again, the heel slip doesn’t deter from the rest of the shoe when it comes to proper support because everything else worked very well.

The LeBron Ambassador X had a lot of positive points but fell slightly short due to some minor issues. For a big man that plays like LeBron’s and Draymond’s positionless game, the shoe does everything well. If you can look past the minor heel slippage, then the shoe would be fantastic.

Like the 9, the Ambassador X offers everything you need for a basketball shoe. And I’ll say this again — how the Swoosh has decided not to bring the Ambassador line Stateside is still a shock. Perhaps its solely a business decision — if the Ambassador line came here it could wipe out the Soldier/Witness Line completely, and I truly believe it would.

If Nike makes some minor adjustments and takes cues from the previous Ambassador models to improve the next Ambassador sneaker, the Nike Lebron 15 could be next year’s top performer.

Salute to T. Hardman for creating another gem — we’re looking forward to the next one.



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Nike Zoom Kobe 1 Protro Performance Review

Le 29 mars à  05:49
Rubriques : Air Jordans

“Make the old new again” — that’s the mantra of retro product, right? Well, Nike and Kobe Bryant decided to take those words to the next level with the Zoom Kobe 1 Protro, which debuted for All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles. The original Kobe 1 was an absolute killer on court, so does the “new and improved” build match up? Here we go…

If there was a ranking higher than Hall of Fame, the Kobe 1 Protro would get it. Using the exact same pattern as the original Kobe was a great thing because it sticks like glue to any floor. Plus, it’s thick and hard enough to hoop in outdoors. The herringbone is multi-directional and spaced wide enough that dust is no issue. During one wear at 24 Hour Fitness — a four-game session of full court — I made a point to count how many times I wiped…

Two times, that’s all. That is amazing. Since the first Kobe came out over 13 years ago, this traction has been one of my favorites, and it still is. Keep your storytelling — give me herringbone.

Full-length Zoom is rarely a bad thing, right? Right, especially when it is responsive and protects from impact. The Kobe 1 Protro is both.

The Zoom unit can be felt as soon as you step down on that first wear and it only gets better as the midsole foam begins breaking in. It isn’t a LeBron 15 Max Zoom feeling — this is fast and agile, because that’s what Zoom was meant to be before it became an impact-absorbing monster.

Don’t get me wrong – impact protection was there, as I never felt anything jarring while playing or excessive aching afterwards (well, no more than my age would allow). It’s just that when Zoom appeared, it was the low, fast, speedy, responsive cushioning while Air Max was the impact protection. Now it seems Zoom is marketed as impact protection. No difference here because the Kobe 1 Protro keeps doing it and doing it and doing it well.

One minor addition to the shoe that was found in the original but not in many other shoes is the Poron inserts on the bottom of the insole. Poron in a highly resilient, highly responsive urethane (usually blue) that can be placed in thin layers on the undersides of insoles — usually in the heel and forefoot — that adds a little initial impact protection without adding a ton of weight or height. The original had these as well, and for step-in comfort it can’t be beat.

This is it: leather, suede, and leather, and more suede. I won’t say this is premium leather, because it isn’t — if it was we would be paying $400 for these. This is the leather for leather-lovers that play ball, at least. It is thick and takes a couple of hard wears to break in and crease, but when it does, it forms to the foot and feels great. Durability is also a plus as the Kobe 1 Protro is built like a tank (yet hard to hit). I am still playing in my original Kobe 1 and the Kobe 1 Protro feels like it will still be playable in 13 years as well.

The medial side is made up of a nubuck that, again, feels like the best you can get at this price point for basketball. It is smooth and soft and should take a couple of wears to crease and feel right, but when it does…yeah. Carbon fiber — what appears to be real carbon fiber — comes back for the heel cup and midfoot shank, and it is so nice (more on that in Support).

The only real change on the Kobe 1 Protro as far as materials is the Pro Combat in the ankle collar and the missing leather circles that covered the ankle bones. Not a big change and neither one makes a difference in performance, so no harm, no foul.

The one area on the Kobe 1 Protro Reviews that takes some work is fit, and it all goes back to the previous category, the materials. As anyone who has played in a ton of leather shoes from the ’90s and early ’00s will tell you, most leather shoes take a couple of wears to crease and “learn” the foot. All those wrinkles mean the shoe is learning to flex and shape to your foot and activity.

The Kobe 1 Protro is no different. The leather upper is backed internally by a layer of foam that gives the shoe a bulky, disconnected feeling, at first. You can pull the laces as tight as you want but there is still a feeling of dead space in the forefoot. No worries! Just let the shoe break in and fit improves dramatically after the second or third day of playing.

Length-wise, stay true to size. Again, it may feel like you should have went a half-size down, but let the shoe break in before panicking. Heel slip is non-existent as long as you lace tight. The hole in the collar was seen as gimmicky when first released but does allow for ankle mobility while also locking the heel in and stopping movement. One note: lace behind the Shozoku logo on the tongue. It will make locking the laces down tight easier.

The Kobe 1 Protro offers serious support with tools in just about every category. Starting at the bottom, the base is wide and features a large outrigger on the lateral forefoot. Above that outrigger, we get foam teeth rising from the midsole over the side of the foot; they keep any lateral movements locked and caged so your foot doesn’t slide off the footbed on your Kobe-copying-Dirk one legged fadeaways.

In the midfoot, we get a carbon fiber shank that keeps the arch and midfoot rigid and supported. That shank ties into a carbon piece that circles around the heel cup, tying the midfoot to the back of the shoe. Let’s face it — even if your foot asks for permission, nicely, it ain’t getting out.

Moving up, the leather and nubuck upper may eventually stretch out and become a bit sloppy, but the lacing system allows the upper to be pulled tight in all directions, so even if the Kobe 1 Protro does lose a little shape over the years, just yank harder and you’re good to go.

It is only March, but the Kobe 1 Protro has the potential to be my Performer of the Year. It may be an opinion clouded in sentiment, as the Kobe I is my second favorite Kobe shoe ever (behind the VI), but there is no denying it: the Protro is a great, great, great performer.

If you can put up with a little extra weight (supposedly lighter materials were used, but these were within an ounce of the original Kobe I in my size 10.5) and a short break-in time, you will be blessed with a serious shoe. If you want light, thin, minimal, non-supportive uppers you may want to keep looking.

The Kobe 1 Protro should suit any player at any position, period, and if you wore the Kobe 1 the first time around and liked it, look no further. With more colorways soon to come, don’t miss the chance to wear the latest, greatest Nike performer — that first appeared 13 years ago.



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