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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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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.

RunnerBeans_31Jan_Final_009-1024x683

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!

RunnerBeans_31Jan_Final_006-1024x683

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.

RunnerBeans_31Jan_Final_002-1024x683

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.

RunnerBeans_31Jan_Final_008-1024x683



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Better Air Jordan 6: “Slam Dunk” or “Cigar”

Le 6 juin à  07:19
Rubriques : Air Jordans

Jordan Brand has used their popular Air Jordan 6 silhouette in multiple packs as well as a few collaboration. Showcased today is the “Slam Dunk” and “Cigar” releases.

The Air Jordan 6 “Slam Dunk” rendition was a unique collaboration between Jordan Brand and Japanese artist Takehiko Inoue, creator of the Slam Dunk cartoon series. It came in an all-red upper with imagery from the 31-volumed manga series.If you look closely, the Air Jordan 6 Slam Dunk has tonal 3M red characters throughout the uppers from the magna which are subtle on the red base. The brand will also use a white midsole, translucent sole, tongue and heel tab.

From the Air Jordan 6 “Champagne and Cigar” Pack that celebrates Michael Jordan’s first championship in 1991, the year he wore the model of the shoe. Looking back at the “Cigar” colorway, this release features a Brown leather upper to mimic the look of a cigar with Metallic Gold, Maroon and Bright Red accents. Finishing of the theme was a championship ring lacelock added to each shoe.The Air Jordan 6 “Championship Cigar” features a Rich Brown leather upper with Crimson and Infrared accents, Gold lace locks, embossed heel stamp, and a cork insole. The Air Jordan 6 “Championship Champagne” features a Green patent leather upper with Gold accents and lace locks, sitting atop a Black and Gold speckled midsole finished with a translucent tongue, heel tab and outsole. Having already shared both individual and group shots of the previously mentioned duo, we’ve got another look for you all to enjoy. Whether you like to pop bottles or light one up, a cigar that is, these forthcoming offerings have both of your vices covered

Looking back at both, which would you guys consider was the better release? Cast your vote below and leave your thoughts in the comments section.



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The adidas Ultra Boost Performance Review

Le 5 juin à  07:37
Rubriques : Air Jordans

When adidas first revealed their groundbreaking adidas Ultra Boost performance runner back in January ahead of its global release the following month, much of the excitement surrounding the progressive silhouette aligned intimately with its marketing campaign. adidas felt they had produced “the best running shoe ever,” a bold claim that at first mention seemed like gerrymandering in its highest form.

But what happened next would both compel and intrigue. Runners would begin to co-sign adidas’ brassy claims. It was exactly what the brand wanted to happen. I, too, was almost instantaneously overwhelmed with how well the shoe ran. But as any avid runner will insist, it’s not that first mile that counts, but the next few hundred that truly lend to the character of the shoe.

This would be the median in which I hoped to delve into such a paramount creation. How would the adidas Ultra Boost facilitate betterment after 100 miles? 200 miles? Then upwards to the 400 mile mark, where most experts suggest to replace a shoe for safety precautions. Likening the sartorially savvy shoe to car tires was where my rubber would meet the road.

Typically, if consistency extends its hand to my aid, running about 15 miles per week satisfies my appetite for cardio. That, along with a few sluggish episodes on the hardwood. The adidas Ultra Boost has pleasantly been my footwear choice for each and every run since early February until now, mid-September. And for argument’s sake, let’s say I’ve been steady in my endeavors. I’m approximately 400 miles in at present time.

Firstly, Primeknit construction is what makes it all worthwhile. Lightweight, breathable and with a unique stretching ability that allows for free motion, the shoe’s unique collar sleeve helps cradle the foot with lockdown support perfect for a runner – not too strenuous but firmly secure. Comfort is at a premium here, and that would lead to all sorts of profoundly positive revelations later on. Many of which I still have a hard time believing. And much of that – as corny as it sounds – is because the wear is so seamless the minutes, hours and miles go by like the snap of a finger.

Unlike performance basketball models, I don’t feel much like a quarterback when evaluating likeness. I’m not going through progressions with each step. Nor am I reading and assessing terrain like a field general does opposing defenses. In a more literal sense – this is a marathon, not a race. Day in and day out, I’m looking to feel good through the duration of my run and most important, after that continual and often exhaustive conditioning is done. That, for me, is where the Ultra Boost serves its greatest long-term value.

Recovery is almost absent with the Ultra Boost. The energy return uniquely makes everything easier over time. Thus, the strain on your body is far less damaging. So whether I’m moving at a lesser pace towards a greater distance, or at a faster stride for interval training, recovery, or lack there of, doesn’t change. This is huge. adidas has effectively and systematically allowed me to run longer, stronger and with less strain on my legs.

Speaking of legs; I kind of have a bum right knee. Now, I’d like to think it’s a result of savagely embarrassing my friends on the basketball court over the years, but that’s only true in my often misleading imagination. Whatever the cause, it’s been a hindrance where running is concerned. So much in fact that I’ve been relegated to running with a compression sleeve on said knee. But after a few months in the Ultra Boost, I had the genius idea to remove UNDFTD x adidas Ultra Boost .

Risking further injury, my thought was that maybe my issue wasn’t bad health but less-than-stellar running shoes and true to size fitting. And much to my surprise – although technically unproven medically – I was right. I’ve been running fine without the sleeve for months now, with no discomfort and seemingly with better posture and form.

Boost cushioning undoubtedly plays a critical role in this remarkable turnaround. Layers of buffering bolster stronger footing. Though it’s a fleeting thought, even the most graceful runner inflicts a grave measure of force on their feet with each stride. Boost cushioning turns the track, trail or treadmill into something else, something softer. Even after enduring roughly 400 miles, there is still some tread on those tires, which is really, really impressive.

In a densely populated running shoe market that orbits around singular potency, the adidas Ultra Boost set its course on a daunting vocation. Whether it was aforesaid or simply inferred by the grandiosity of the release, taking down the best of Brooks, New Balance and Saucony in one fell swoop was assuredly the mission. Did adidas accomplish what they set out to do? Absolutely. Did they make “the best running shoes ever?” Surprisingly, as grand sweeping as it may sound, yeah, they did for a large legion of fans both old and new.

I count myself among their unwavering followers in that regard. In fact, I did something I’ve only done once before, and never with a running shoe. I bought a second pair. As far as I’m concerned, any shoe that can make me do that deserves all the praise I can muster.



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Air Jordan 1 “Royal” 2013 VS. 2017 Comparison

Le 25 mai à  09:48
Rubriques : Air Jordans

How many of you are planning on picking up the return of the Air Jordan 1 “Royal” on April 1st? I’m sure a lot of you guys answered yes, and for good reasoning too.

Jordan Brand is finally giving us a remastered release of the Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG “Royal” as they continue to bring back legendary original Air Jordans.

Last seen in 2013, the classic Air Jordan 1 will return in its OG high-cut that’s dressed in the traditional Black and Varsity Royal color scheme. The shoe features a clean Black leather upper with Royal overlays on the toe, heel and Nike Swoosh logos. Staying true to its heritage, the release will also come with OG Nike Air branding on the tongue and outsole.

Similar to recent remastered reissues, this Air Jordan 1 release compared to the 2013 version will come with better quality. Featuring a mix of smooth and premium textured leather that’s dressed in the OG Black and Varsity Royal with Nike Air branding throughout.

Look for the Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG “Royal” to release on April 1st at select Jordan Brand retailers. The retail price tag is set at $160 USD.



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Better Air Jordan 11: “Gamma” or “Cap and Gown”

Le 22 mai à  06:07
Rubriques : Air Jordans

Every year Jordan Brand either releases original or new colorways of the Air Jordan 11 typically during the holiday season.

Back in 2014, they introduced the Air Jordan 11 Gamma, which featured a Stealthy all-Black upper highlighted with Gamma Blue and Varsity Maize accents.The Jordan Brand serves up an all-new colorway of the iconic Air Jordan 11 for Holiday '13. This retro features a black cordura and patent leather upper with Gamma Blue 11's Jumpman Branding. Varsity Maize provides subtle detailing on the tongue and heel. A blue-tinted translucent outsole caps off the look below

For May 2018, Jordan Brand will be releasing a dressed-up Air Jordan 11 Cap and Gown that also comes in a full Black-based upper with premium detailing. It comes with a suede base, Metallic Jumpman logos and laces that resembles graduation cords.the Air Jordan 11 ‘Cap and Gown’ which will release on May 26th.

While both pairs strongly resemble one another, if you could only select one, which would it be?



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Nike Kyrie 4 vs. Flytrap head-to-head performance review

Le 18 mai à  06:53
Rubriques : Air Jordans

Affordable entries to Nike Basketball’s signature lines have a track record of not just being great values, but great sneakers, period. Devoid of frivolous gimmicks and not-quite-ready-for-basketball tech features, sneakers like the KD 2, Kyrie 1, and PG 1 put all of their resources where they mattered most: performance.

Those aforementioned examples utilized tried and true tech and combined it with “best practices” design elements to create sneakers that just worked. They may not have broaken much ground, but they represented the full realization of past innovations.

Thanks to that history, last October’s announcement of an even more affordable addition to Kyrie Irving’s signature line was welcomed with open arms. It offered the potential to not only make the line more accessible to Irving’s fanbase, but offer another viable performance option for players who prefer no-frills models on court.

Based on my cushioning preferences and its unique fit system, the $80 Nike Kyrie Flytrap looks like an even more attractive sneaker than the $120 Nike Kyrie on paper. But how do those features translate to performance?.

Hover over the dots below for a head-to-head breakdown of the two models, and an analysis of which one does it better.

Nike Kyrie 4 vs. Nike Kyrie Flytrap - Fit

Advantage: Nike Kyrie 4
It may not be fancy, but the Kyrie 4’s half-bootie construction allows for a glove-like fit thanks to its sculpted shape and traditional eyestay construction. When fully tightened, the upper fully engages and hugs the foot, offering a reassuring fit that inspires confidence through cuts. Unfortunately, my first time lacing the shoe up resulted in a ripped eyelet. To the shoe’s credit though, the reinforced backing prevented the rip from tearing completely though, and it caused no further issues.

The concept behind the Flytrap’s closure system is a solid one, but the execution falls flat thanks to a sloppy overall shape and sub-par materials. I typically only play in a single pair of socks, but had to double up in order to fill some of the excess space that couldn’t be tightened out of the shoe when fully laced. Going down a half size may help alleviate some of the extra room, but it is more of a volume issue than length.

Nike Kyrie 4 vs. Nike Kyrie Flytrap - Ankle Support

Advantage: Nike Kyrie 4
The Kyrie 4 and Flytrap have different cuts, but both rely on the collar padding to provide heel lockdown. In theory, they should match up well based on utilizing the same philosophy on ankle support, but the corners cut on materials in the Flytrap give a clear advantage to the more expensive Kyrie 4. The padding, while shaped properly, is just not dense enough to actually engage and fully stabilize the heel. The Flytrap’s ankle support isn’t necessarily bad, just not as comfortable or confidence-inspiring as the 4.

Nike Kyrie 4 vs. Nike Kyrie Flytrap - Cushioning

Advantage: Nike Kyrie 4
My favorite cushioning configuration from Nike is Zoom Air in the forefoot and and foam in the heel because I find it provides a perfect combination of responsiveness and impact protection where each is most needed. That should have boded well for the Flytrap, but not all Zoom Air is created equal. The bag found here is comically small—roughly the size and shape of a quarter—and about as effective. It’s placed directly under the ball of the big toe, which is fine, but it’s so low volume that it offers nothing in terms of response. Even the shoe’s insole is of the cheapest persuasion possible; there’s not as much as a Nike logo screen printed on the wafer-thin unit.

Meanwhile, the Kyrie 4 improved greatly in the comfort department over the nike Kyrie 3, despite using the same configuration of heel Zoom and forefoot foam. I found the 3’s ride to be downright harsh, but the addition of a Cushlon midsole turned the cushioning into one of the high points of the 4. It’s not as protective as a shoe like the LeBron 15 with its massive Zoom Max hybrid units, but for players who want more court feel, it’s an excellent compromise.

Nike Kyrie 4 vs. Nike Kyrie Flytrap - Traction

Advantage: Nike Kyrie 4
Traction is the one area where the Kyrie 4 and Flytrap share the most similarities, and it’s a positive point for both shoes. But despite using a very similar traction pattern, the Kyrie 4 edges out the Flytrap thanks to its level of refinement. The large zig-zag groove that runs up the middle of the sole enhances its radiused shape and offers a sticky surface regardless of the angle from which it engages. It also has the additional benefit of creating a smoother transition. That same groove is implied on the Flytrap, but doesn’t offer the full benefits of the effectively decoupled design of the 4.

Nike Kyrie 4 vs. Nike Kyrie Flytrap - Conclusion
Image via Nike
Advantage: Nike Kyrie 4
The Nike Kyrie 4 tops the Flytrap in almost every measurable category, including value. “Affordable” doesn’t always equate with “good value”—sometimes, like in the case of the Kyrie Flytrap, it mostly means “cheap.”

It’s commendable for Nike to offer such a budget-conscious option for Irving’s fans, but it’s just not one I can recommend from a performance standpoint. There’s simply not enough support and protection other than for the smallest and lightest of players. Furthermore, excellent performers like the PG1 have been regularly available on sale for even less than the Flytrap’s $80 retail price, rendering it’s primary selling point moot.

But the Kyrie 4 doesn’t just win this head-to-head matchup because the Flytrap is so bad. The Flytrap feels so cheap that it doesn’t even feel like it was made by Nike—but the Kyrie 4 is good in its own right. While not spectacular at any one thing, it’s a well-rounded sneaker that does pretty much everything one could ask for in a performance model, at a price point that’s still relatively affordable in context of the signature sneaker world. And it feels downright premium in direct comparison.



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Better Air Jordan 3: “True Blue” or “Seoul”

Le 16 mai à  06:37
Rubriques : Air Jordans

Jordan Brand is currently celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the Air Jordan 3 in 2018. For the occasion, there has been a few OG and new colorways that have debuted.

One OG pair that didn’t arrive during its celebration is the “True Blue” colorway, which was last released back in 2016. The remastered version came with “Nike Air” logos on the heels.

Technically, the 2016 Nike Air Jordan 3 will be the second time we see them release, the first of course being in 1988. We saw the True Blue 3 retro for the first time in 2001 which came with the Jumpman branding. We once again saw this pair release in 2011 when the brand celebrated the 23rd anniversary of the shoes. They still came with Jumpman branding, but did have the original style box.

For 2016, the brand will return the True Blue Jordan 3 just like the originals. Featuring tumbled and smooth leather through the uppers, while Blue runs through the mudguard, Nike Air branding on the heel, eyelets and liner. The elephant print is expected to return just like in 1988, which will wrap the heel, toe box and hinted on the uppers. The last details are a White midsole and Grey outsole.

Released in very limited quantities and only available in South Korea, the “Seoul” Air Jordan 3 was one of the newer colorway that arrived in 2018. This special edition release celebrates two sports milestones that took place in 1988: the NBA Slam Dunk contest won by Michael Jordan after taking flight from the free throw line, and the Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea.

The Air Jordan 3 Seoul isThe Taegukgi (Korean flag) inspires the shoe’s overall color scheme, with the “taeguk” symbol expressed through the lining and collar’s blue and red and the white upper representing peace and purity (as it does on the flag). ?? (Seoul) is featured on the left inner tongue, while the 1988 summer games motto ??? ?? (Harmony and Progress) is featured on the right inner tongue. The heel reads “Nike Air” in a clear nod to the original Air Jordan 3.

While majority of us weren’t able to get our hands on the “Seoul” Air Jordan 3, if you did have the option of picking one of these to buy for retail, which would it be?



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