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Nike Kyrie 3 vs 2 Performance Review and Comparison

Executive Summary: plays almost exactly the same as the Kyrie 2. Similar firm cushioning and very good traction. Shoe starts stiff but breaks in. No real reason to buy the 3 when the 2 does nearly everything the same or better though.

Pros: traction, court feel, fit, support and stability, containment, very durable

Cons: traction pods protrude and cause a little bit of inconsistent traction in the heel, needs periodic wiping on dusty floors on Non pod portions, cushioning needs break in and is very stiff and firm like the Kyrie 2, materials start stiff but break in, not the best value out there especially now that sale time is upon us.

Sizing: true to size, very wide footers will probably want to go up half a size

Best for: guards looking who value response and quickness; players who liked the Rose 4

Buying Advice: wait for sales, Nike made a lot. $90 is fair, $65 is near the bottom. Or just buy the Kyrie 2

Weight


14.5 oz which is pretty average

Kyrie 2 is the exact same weight

Traction

If there is one thing you can say about the Kyrie 5 line, it’s that it’s traction patterns look aggressive.

The main attraction of the Kyrie 3 traction is the use of traction pods in the forefoot that ride up the sides.

The rubber is softer and raised a millimeter or two from the rest of the shoe.

The concept works and the pods do their job very well. The rest of the shoe is a blade pattern or modified herringbone and feels softer than the Clutchfit Drive herringbone but firmer than the Kyrie 2 rubber.  I wish the entire outsole was made of the pods’ rubber or Nike put some of these pods throughout the entire outsole like the Air Jordan XX because on a few occasions I’d spin out at the heel since the forefoot stuck better than the rest of the shoe. This occurred even on pristine floors. Nitpicky I know.

One concern with the traction pods is durability and efficiency once they wear down. I think they will still work fine once they wear evenly with the rest of the outsole but expect more wear in that area due to the softness of the rubber.

Overall traction is very good overall but I feel the Kyrie 2 provided better consistent traction overall especially on dirty floors since it is the same rubber, pattern, and depth throughout the outsole. Neither required too much wiping but the 3 needed a few more wipes per session. Not quite top tier stuff but still good overall.

Cushioning


Here is the tech highlight of the Kyrie 3. The rest of the shoe is Phylon just like last year’s.

If you did not like the cushioning on the Kyrie 2, you will not like the cushioning on the Kyrie 3. Say with me again, if you did not like the cushioning on the Kyrie 2, you will not like the cushioning on the Kyrie 3. One last time..

Cushioning is very firm on the Kyrie 3 just like the 2. It starts off very very stiff but softens a little with break in. I could feel the Zoom a tiny bit just like on the 2. It is serviceable and responsive as Randy noted but I just prefer a little more softness in the forefoot because I have Morton’s neuroma in each foot.  The good news is that the neuromas didn’t flare up badly but I could feel some buzzing after an hour just like the 2’s. I prefer a more balanced cushioning feel overall and these are just a little too hard for my tastes. The set up feels almost exactly the same as the Rose 4 except the Rose 4 has a thicker PU insole. Very low to the ground and quick feeling.

*interstingly enough if you check out Fastpass see the Kyrie actually sits at nearly 18 mm which is higher off the ground than the Harden V1 or CLB. Of course that’s not accounting for the insole thickness which probably evens it out. Thanks reader Pflite*

Although this didn’t really affect cushioning much, these two changes make the cushioning on the 3 feel a smidge firmer:

Number 1

The Kyrie 2 featured Poron in the forefoot while this year’s does not. Hard to really tell a difference but to the touch Poron is softer.

Number 2
The Kyrie 2 had an ortholite insole while this year’s doesn’t have the ortholite markings so in guessing it’s not ortholite. Anyways, the name doesn’t matter but the Kyrie 3 insole is very thin and flimsy like a limp noodle (it can barely hold its shape when I took the pic) plus it feels slightly thinner towards the middle than the Kyrie 2 insole. It’s as if someone wore down the insole of the Kyrie 2 and put it into the Kyrie 3. That’s how thin it feels to me. On Adidas Boost models, the thin insole is fine since it has all that Boost below it but with this firm set up, Nike really should have given us a thicker insole.

If you’ve ever played in basketball ball in tennis shoes like the Adidas Barricade or even the Nike Zoom Vapor 9, that’s what the cushioning feels like. Actually the Zoom Vapor 9 has the exact same size Zoom and a similar if not thicker Phylon set up from heel to toe including the foam strobel.

However, the Zoom Vapor feels better because the insole is thicker. If you want to improve the comfort level of the Kyrie 3, get a bigger size and put in a thicker insole to add a couple of millimeters more of cushioning.  Keep in mind that it might feel better underfoot but one or two millemeters isn’t going to fix any knee issues you might have.

Fit


I bought my true to size 11 and initially thought I should have gone up half a size. However, after playing in them a few weeks, true to size was the way to go. Even though I’m a wide footer, these stretched out enough for me. If you’re Fred Flintstone, you should at least try half a size up before deciding on the correct width though.

There is no movement in the forefoot, very little deadspace above the foot in the toe box and zero heel slip. Midfoot fit is still tight like the previous models but not deathly like the Kyrie 1.

After a few hours of break in time, you almost forget they are on your feet as the upper softens up. Almost

Even though the Kyrie 3 has a very good fit, the Kyrie 2 has an even better fit due to the strap that helped pull the ankle and heel back further.

Materials

In case you’re part of the Night’s Watch or need to defend Winterfell….

The materials start off stiff but soften up quickly. They don’t feel Flyknit soft or anything but they do soften up enough after a few hours of break in time. The spiked look doesn’t really convey a soft warm comfy feel does it?

The lateral side of the upper is a similar fuse  as last year’s model

Not cracker crispy like the Kyrie 1 but not definitely not Snuggles soft.

The medial side and toe box is mesh with a nylon backing and feels a lot softer than the lateral side. The front of the toe box does have a hard rand for durability as well.

I’ve noticed this is a trend these days as shoe companies have added strength and stiffness to the lateral side for containment and support while leaving the medial side soft for flexibility. Hmmm, maybe I did make a difference .(I’m kidding I don’t have that kind of pull)

Of course we can’t forget the featured marketing portion which is the forefoot flex area.

Across the top of the foot,  a long stretchy band flexes with your foot for support during quick cuts and sprints. 

Nike used a thinner mesh and Flywire to allow extra  flexibility at the forefoot.  I don’t it feel stretches at all but that thinner mesh allows for a more natural flex area. Plus it’s hard to quantify if it really works since the rest of the upper is so much stiffer than this little area.

If you’re big on materials and have to have that pure Flyknit or Primeknit or mesh feel, you probably will want to steer clear of the Kyrie 3. I think the materials are fine and don’t affect playability but every person has different needs and wants.

Support and Stability 


Support is good with the Kyrie 3 thanks to the fit, heel counter and stiffer fuse on the lateral side. Just plain and simple, solid support. As stiff as the upper starts off, it is plenty flexible like the Kyrie 2 and isn’t going to save any ankles

Nike continued with the curved outsole but didn’t choose to market it this time around.



It seems slightly less curved in the forefoot than the Kyrie 2. After not playing in the Kyrie 2 for a year you can feel a difference with the curved outsole but it doesn’t make a difference for me in terms of performance.

Also helping with the stability was the firm, low to the ground cushioning.

Overall just a solid supportive and stable shoe. Same as the Kyrie 2.

Containment

No surprises here as containment was excellent thanks to that stiffer lateral fuse upper as well as the raised midsole. Softer materials might be all the rage but there are benefits to using stiffer and stronger materials like Fuse.

Conclusion 

Not the best value out there but a good performer overall. The Kyrie 3 has great traction, a good fit with solid support and stability and very firm cushioning. I had no issues with aches or pains but then again don’t have knee or back issues (knock on wood). The Kyrie 3 just feels like a quick high cut tennis shoe for players that value lateral quickness over everything else.

Cushioning will come down to personal preference and if you didn’t like the 2 cushioning you will not like the 3. I’ll even qualify that statement with this; If you don’t like UA Charged you will not like cushioning on the Kyrie 3. Charged foam is easily thicker bouncier and softer. If you want to improve the comfort of the Kyrie 3, size up and swap out the cheapo insole.

Is the Kyrie 3 an upgrade over the 2? No I don’t feel it did anything better than the Kyrie 2.

Is it worth paying $120? No probably not. There are plenty of shoes out that at the $120-$130 range that do everything just as well or better than the Kyrie 3. Curry 2, 2.5, 3 all come to mind.  Plus it’s almost mid season so there are plenty of sales on earlier launches.  Do not buy these if you want a softer cushioning set up or if you want a Charmin soft upper material. 

I’m guessing Nike made a lot of these to capture the new Kyrie fans post championship. If Kyrie 2 sales are any indication, these should hit $90 under range soon and bottom out around $65. If you want a marginally better performing and cheaper shoe, stick to the Kyrie 2.

UA Curry 2 Performance Review and Comparison

If you’re thinking about getting the low, here is my review. Stick to the mid

**just wrote a comparison of the Curry Two, Rose 6, Lebron XIII if you’re deciding between the three*
King of the Court Or pretty damn close

I’ll admit it, I love Steph Curry and everything he’s about. From family to golf to hoops, he’s awesome. I loved watching him grow from the Davidson days to the MVP and NBA champion.

I also loved how the UA Curry 6 ooked, but didn’t love the cushioning set up as I’ve stuck to my Clutchfit Drives due to the more responsive and softer cushioning set up.  My Curry Ones do see daylight on occasion but they are mostly seeing the inside of their boxes. With the Curry Two, I have a new go to shoe that claims my top spot.
Pros: outstanding traction, cushioning, support and stability, containment, USA price of $130

Cons: better quality control ? Asia price of $195?

Best for: guards primarily. Bigs may enjoy the Charged only stable set up

Here is my original Curry One  ReviewWeight  

UA shaved an ounce off the weight from the Curry One and is only half an ounce heavier than the CF Lightning which is UA’s lightest current shoe.

Here are the other UA shoes’ weights for reference:

Clutchfit Drive 1: 14 oz

Curry One: 15 oz

UA Torch: 14.5 oz

UA Lightning: 13.5 oz

Traction 

Under Armour ditched the traditional herringbone set up and went with a multidirectional pattern that UA calls “organic herringbone”.  It is not a story telling pattern but not a plain Jane herringbone set up either.

The rubber is much softer than the Curry One set up, the edges of the grooves are thinner/sharper and the grooves are deeper. 

 

The end result is outstanding traction that I would put right up there with the Kobe IX and New Balance OMN1S.

 

I tested the Two directly against the Kobe IX and was amazed even after I did this

I stepped in all the dust I swept up with both the Kobe IX and the Curry Two and both just kept going without missing a beat. Amazing

The Twos just squeak and stop on any surface. The Curry One and Clutchfit Drive provided excellent traction but I did have to wipe to keep it that way while the Two takes it another notch without wiping. Just perfect.

Cushioning
For me the Achilles heel of the Curry One was the cushioning. A layer of Charged Foam over Micro G didn’t feel like anything special to me. No bounce or responsiveness at all left me no choice but to stick with the Clutchfit Drive. I’ve said it before, cushioning really gives a shoe its personality and that’s where I thought the One fell short. It isn’t always a performance deal breaker but it changes how much I enjoy wearing a certain shoe. So it was really disappointing that the Curry One didn’t have that fun responsive feel like the Clutchfit Drive.

The Curry Two uses a full length pure Charged set up just like the Clutchfit Drive 2.  I reviewed the Clutchfit Drive 2 and enjoyed the Charged only set up, especially versus the Curry One. I’m pleased to say that the Curry Two feels almost exactly the same as the Clutchfit Drive 2 but slightly softer and more responsive. The set up is not nearly as firm as the Curry One and almost as soft as the Clutchfit Drive 1. I’d say it plays one half to one level firmer than the Clutchfit Drive 1 while the Curry One plays two levels firmer. It feels more similar to the Curry One Low but even softer. I should also note the Curry Two rides the same height as the One.

Charged vs Micro G 
As I stated in my CFD2 review, pure Charged feels denser and firmer than Micro G. It feels plush when moving slow but firms up on sudden movements. I could feel the cushioning firming up on quicker movements and softening up on slow steps with the Curry Two while I couldn’t feel anything but a very firm set up on the Curry One.  If I had to choose between Micro G and the pure Charged on the Two, I’d have to wuss out and say it depends on the day. Sometimes I like the firmer feel of the Two and sometimes I like the softer feel of the Clutchfit Drive I.  As of today, I’m loving the Charged only set up of the Curry Two though.
**side note

There is not a removable insole in the Curry Two, it is sewn in. Can’t tell what it is but it definitely isn’t Ortholite . It is extremely minimal though to allow the wearer to get lower to the ground and to feel the Charged foam . I do not believe there is a last in the shoe so that really helps bring the Charged foam alive. Very similar to what Adidas does with Pure Boost. **

I should also mention that transition  from heel to toe is seamless despite having a pretty sizable shank plate. I was worried when I saw the pics because it reminded me of the XX8.

This iteration of Charged is what I expected out of UA the first time and I really like it a lot.

Fit and Materials

I bought my normal size 11 and these fit about 1/4 size short length wise which is ok for me since the width was perfect and didn’t suffocate my feet like the Curry One Low. If you’re a tweener who likes more space at the toe, I suggest going up half a size or wear thinner socks. If not stay true to size. You can see just by looking at the shoes side by side that the overall size of the Two is smaller.

Speedform replaces the Anafoam upper of the Curry One

I wasn’t sure how this would play out since I’ve tried the Speedform Apollo running shoes before and found it comfortable but somewhat lacking in warmth. Speedform was marketed a lot when the Apollo came out and in essence it is a seamless thin upper made in a bra factory (although there is a seam on these  where the synthetic starts ). Here is a good read about it on Gizmodo

You can see how much more padding there is in the ankle collar

I heard a slight tearing sound at the heel when I first put these on but I guess it’s just the fabric stretching because I didn’t see anything torn.

When I laced these up for the  first time, I had a little rubbing from the ankle collar but it went away quickly

 

Below: web straps at the forefoot for additional lockdown and containment
I still had that cold feeling due to the thinness of the upper but as I played, I forgot about that feeling and that I was wearing shoes at all.  No heel slippage or movement side to side at all. Fit nirvana achieved.

The toe box is synthetic and takes a few only a few minutes to break in. It does wrinkle quite a bit but does not peel and tear like the toe on the Curry One. There is very little if any deadspace in the toe box above the foot and zero side to side.

Here is a shot of the tongue and toe box

The rest of the Speedform upper just conforms to the foot after warming up.

 

Above:  you can see the cut is a little lower with the Two.

Breathability is just average. You might see lots of holes but that just leads to another layer. I could care less anyways.

Support and stability

Support comes from the excellent fit and heel counter

 

while the stability comes from the flat wide outsole. I found the Curry Two to be more stable that the One as it is not tippy at all.

 

Above: I really like the segmented heel similar to the Super.Fly 4. In the middle is Charged foam

Couple that with the firmer  Charged set up and larger shank and it is a very stable shoe. I found the stability to be outstanding  without being restrictive.

 

Excellent job by UA.

Containment 
Containment is also excellent on the Curry Two. No issues with my foot coming out at all from the footbed due to the synthetic in the toe box and footstay as well as a raised midsole (ala Rose 5)

Below: my foot sits at the crease

Midsole is raised all the way around the shoe

Seems like all the companies are raising the midsole up to keep the foot contained. I hope this trend continues.

As you can see the medial side is also raised but UA was doing that with the Spawn. In the Spawn you could feel it under the arch but you don’t really feel it under the arch with the Two since the Charged wall is more to the side and not directly underfoot which I actually prefer.

 

Just no movement side to side even on hard cuts.

Conclusion 

The Curry One didn’t sell that well initially. I mean they sold but they didn’t have crazy Jordanlike sell outs until Curry won the MVP and the Dubs captured the title. Then it was reseller mania, fakes from China, stats on Campless, people saying what an awesome shoe it was (same people prior said they’d never wear UA) …. Surprised the bandwagon didn’t break with all the people jumping on it.

The Curry Two didn’t radically change its looks as it it keeps a similar silouette to the One. However UA overhauled everything from the ground up by changing the cushioning, upper and traction and all for the better.  And personally I love almost every colorway of the Two. UA is going to make a lot off me. $130 times 6 or 7 must have colorways…times two for some . Yikes

I really liked the little details in this shoe as well. Each shoe has its nickname sewn in.

 

Look at all that stitching
The only downside to the shoe that I can think of is a little excess glue and the foam rails wrinkle a lot.

But after all is said and done, everything on the Curry Two is as good as or improved from the Curry One.  It looks great, performs even better and the price stayed relatively the same at $130 (except in Asia, sorry guys !). Did I mention the traction? I’m still giddy about how well it performed. As I said earlier the Curry Two is now at the top of my rotation beating out the Clutchfit Drive 1, Rose 5, and Soldier VI. It does every exceptionally well but thetraction really pushed it to the the top. The first colorway to drop in the US will be the “Iron sharpens Iron”colorway on October 24 and I’ll be waiting patiently for my two pairs.

Well done UA. SHORYUKEN!!

Jordan Ultra.Fly Performance Review

It’s been a little while since I’ve hooped in a performance Jordan model (the Jordan XX9 and the CP3 8 were the last ones) and the Ultra.Fly had a number of things going for it. It’s the stripped-down cousin of the Super.Fly, a model that’s now four versions deep and is consistently one of the better performers on the market. It’s at an attractive price point ($125) and features an interesting TPU/mesh build for the upper.

Word today is that the Bulls’ Jimmy Butler will be debuting the shoe on-court, making it a faux-signature for an up-and-coming two-way star.

Besides that, I was able to scoop them at my local House of Hoops before most people had gotten a good look at them. On the shelf, it looked like it could be a gem in the Jordan line, perhaps an overlooked model than was great on court.

That perception, unfortunately, was pretty far off.

Fit
We’ll start with the good here: the fit was actually really nice. The base of the Ultra.Fly is thick mesh, and that’s covered from heel to toe in a Kurim webbing. Some have compared it to UA’s Anatomix line, but the upper is much thicker and the Kurim is much more pronounced – the Anatomix shoes were closer to SprintWeb or layers of Fuse than this is.

We first saw Kurim on the initial LeBron 16 Elite images, so it’s great to get a first impression of the new tech here. It’s a second skin-like structure designed to provide containment and support – basically a flexible cage. Planting and cutting or changing directions at high speed didn’t cause any slippage on the interior. It’s really a natural feel, flexible and the containment is excellent.

The lacing system is simple, laced straight up with no frills, notches, Flywire or straps. I usually prefer this, and simple is better when it comes to lacing. It would have been nice to get some flat or paracord laces instead of the round ones used here (they feel cheap and kind of outdated) but that’s an extremely minor gripe. The tongue is also excellent – thick and padded, and part of a snug inner sleeve. JB did not skimp here and it’s definitely appreciated.

 

There is no external heel counter and the interior one is pretty flimsy. It’s easily squeezed and manipulated. While I didn’t notice instability on-court, I’ve woken up the day after playing with a bit of a tweaked ankle each time – and I’m attributing that to the lack of a solid heel counter. I have generally very strong ankles, but occasionally I’ll get a shoe without a solid heel and I’ll get sore. It’s not terrible by any means, and I only mention it because it may not provide the ankle support you’re looking for if that’s an important part of your shoe choice.

Overall, I liked the lockdown and natural feel on-foot that this upper combo provided. The Kurim is unconventional for sure, but it functions really well and was definitely the best aspect of the shoe.

Heel-Toe Transition
While I wasn’t able to find a definitive answer, I believe it to be a Phylon midsole with an articulated Zoom bag in the forefoot; transition is really smooth. The outsole/midsole bears some resemblance to the Kyrie 2, and while it’s not quite effortless like that shoe, it’s still very good. There’s no break in time either – these are good to go from a transition standpoint right out of the box.

However, the overall cushioning and comfort of the shoe kind of hampers the transition. With a lack of midsole support and impact protection (which I’ll get into in the next section) I felt that simple straight-line running was pretty painful.

Cushioning
I’ll just say it: this is probably the worst cushioned shoe I’ve played in for a long time. As mentioned before, it’s a Phylon midsole – same compound used in the Kyrie 2 – but even as low profile as the Kyrie was, the Ultra.Fly has even less impact protection. I typically don’t mind a thinner, lower midsole (I was a fan of the Kyrie 2 and Crazyquick 1) but these just did not work for me.

There were a couple factors that I believe played into this. For one, it’s basically just a flat midsole with a slight heel-toe drop. No extra support, no shank, no special design that utilized its low profile build. The Kyrie 2 was designed for natural movement and was sculpted to promote that, and the Crazyquick was designed to be insanely flexible with flex grooves and traction pods perfectly placed. The Ultra.Fly is basically just a flat surface hitting the ground each time you take a step.

This leads me to my next point, concerning the articulated Zoom bag. Because there’s no additional support, I don’t feel like my foot hits the Zoom bag properly. While I can feel something in there at the forefoot, it’s mushy and I really can only feel it flex. I don’t notice any additional responsiveness or cushion from the bag, so the Zoom doesn’t really do its job. The bag protrudes slightly from the outsole and is bottom-loaded (embedded in the outsole and not on top) so the responsiveness is already muted there. A dual-density setup like Podulon probably would have worked better.

I mentioned it on an IG post, but if Zoom is too flexible and your foot doesn’t exert force on the bag, then you’re not going to get the responsiveness you expect. Zoom is basically fibers stretched tight and stitched to two plates in a pressurized bag. On an exposed Zoom bag, you can see the fibers stretched and attached to the top and bottom of the bag. When the bag receives force from your foot and it compresses, it naturally wants to push back out and respond to that force. This is where you get the super responsive Zoom feel from. By putting flex points in that bag, I feel like it just flexes when you walk instead of absorbing that force and bouncing back.

The court feel and stability are fine – the shoe rides real low to the floor – and I never felt unstable per se. But after the first couple wearings I my back and arches of my feet were very sore from the lack of support and cushioning. This lasted a couple of days and unless you’re a young buck that never gets hurt, I would be vary wary of these. I also felt that the ball of my foot was basically touching the gym floor due to those flex points in the bag.

The stock insole is embarassing, and I swapped it out with the thickest one I had from a pair of old James (this is my go-to insole when the one I’m testing is no good) and I did notice a significant improvement at least in comfort.

Still, you shouldn’t pay $125 and immediately have to swap insoles just to get passable comfort. This is one of the few things that will get me legit upset with a shoe.

Traction
The traction pattern is a full length wavebone setup, and it’s pretty good. It felt pretty sticky and slightly pliable to me. I could stop on a dime on a variety of surfaces including a tile-ish court, although a dirty floor will require the usual wiping. It’s a one-piece rubber outsole so the feel is pretty consistent and confidence-inspiring underfoot.

 

Materials/Durability
I think the Kurim upper will hold up pretty well and the TPU-like material already gives you some abrasion protection to begin with. The midsole is only going to break down more over time though, so I can’t imagine impact cushioning will get any better.

A use of different materials likely would have driven the price up, but it also would have probably prevented the shoe from ever being made – it pretty much needs to be set up like a Super.Fly 4.5 in order to be a good performer. A Flight Plate was badly needed, and I would have loved to see the tri-Zoom bag like the 4 instead of this articulated one.

Bottom line, I simply did not enjoy playing in these at all. I don’t feel it’s a reflection on all Jordan performance shoes, but the materials here certainly need an improvement. Giving it the tech it needs and selling it in the $140 range would have been more plausible to me from a performance perspective, but I get why they stripped it down.

Despite the great lockdown and fit (plus they look pretty sweet), these will be exiting the rotation ASAP. If you’re looking for extreme court feel or don’t need a ton of impact protection, the lockdown on the Ultra.Fly is great so they may be an option for you. April 2 is the official release date.

But in my opinion, there are plenty of better options out there for less money. Sorry…

Nike Lebron Solider 9 Performance Review

The spawn of the Air Raid, Zoom Vick and Lebron XII might be ugly but beauty, or ugliness in this case, is only skin deep.

Here is the ugly contest performance head to head

Hyperdunk 2015 vs Soldier IX Head to Head

If you’ve read my Top 5, you’d know that the Soldier 13 has been one of goto shoes for almost three years . I stocked up on them because they were that good (and still are). Excellent fit, cushioning, traction, support and containment, the Soldier VI excels at everything.

I didn’t like the Soldier VII bc it didn’t feel like it had the same Zoom as the VI plus they were super stiff and I didn’t like the VIII bc it felt like cushioning was made of only foam (I did love the fit though).

Which brings us to the Soldier IX

Traction

The Lebron Soldier line has typically been great in this department which is one of the reasons I love the VI. Although the pattern is very different from the VI the IX holds its own. The IX did a great job on all surfaces and was very consistent regardless of the amounts of dust even though I didn’t feel that bulldog bite I love from the very best traction setups.

I really like the pattern especially the vertical lines bc they really help stop you on hard cuts and defensive slides . The little nodules are similar to the Kobe X concept but aren’t nearly as small and flexible. But they really do a good job shooing dirt out of way like a toothbrush.

It just doesn’t get clogged up with dust so you’ll never slip but other shoes like the Rose 5, Clutchfit, Aj xx8 all bite harder but I have to wipe more often with those shoes. A better way to put it is the Soldier IX traction doesn’t grab quite as hard as the best setups but it doesn’t get affected by dust as much as the other setups either. In other words they are just plain consistent.

Cushioning

Finally a Zoom set up that can compete with the VI. The VI had very large Zoom units which is a rarity these days and the IX is no slouch. These feel firmer than the VI but they actually feel like Zoom Air but still not as responsive and bouncy as the VI. Takes only a little time to bring the Zoom to life.

Fit

I went true to size with my normal sz 11 and these fit perfect width and length wise. It’s funny, as I was lacing these up, I was looking for more lace holes and there are only 4 total since the soldier’s lacing” system is composed of straps;one strap goes around the ankle to lock in the heel and ankle

while the other strap connects to some flywire that goes under and over the forefoot while the strap goes over the midfoot.

The result of the straps is perfect lockdown particularly at the midfoot. I didn’t feel the strap across the forefoot do anything unless I really tugged at it hard and folded the upper

I tugged and pulled the straps as hard as I could and I didn’t feel any difference with the Flywire. All of the tension increase I felt was on the midfoot and where the strap meets the Flywire IMO it is too loose and high above the foot to do anything bc it doesn’t sit flat on top and across the foot so unless you have a very voluminous foot you won’t feel it. It does add some nice color though . A standard strap set up would have sufficed but regardless you’re locked in.

Heel lockdown is excellent thanks to a padded notched ankle and strap of course

Reminds me of Alice in Wonderland
Below: The ankle collar wraps around the ankle unlike the XII which stops much shorter than the Soldier or the Elite XII

Versus the VI the fit is a little better but nothing significant

Support and Stability

Support is excellent in the Soldier IX without being overbearing.

The wing is part of the entire “frame”‘for the shoe which I really like. Since the wing is made of foam , it flexes and creases with the foot unlike Hyperposite or TPU.

It provides a nice stable base to build the entire shoe around because everything is connected to the one piece base.

Above: heel counter that is connected to the wing that is connected to the midsole that is connected to the hip bone ..

I also liked the fact that the upper is one piece

Above: the only stitching on the upper.

Soldiers have always provided a nice balance of freedom and support and these do it just right. I feel like these provide a little more support than the VI especially at the midfoot.

Containment
Almost every marquee shoe I’ve tried performs well in the typical categories like traction, cushioning and support but very few do a good job at containing the foot since the lightweight minimal upper movement. The Soldier line has always done a good job with containment and these are no different.

Fuse and the wing provide strength and rigidity to the upper to keep the foot contained, not the Flywire, on hard cuts. . I said earlier, there is too much slack in the Flywire so the upper absorbs the the impact and provides containment before Flywire can do anything. Regardless, I loved the containment in these. Reminds me of how the VI performs in this category.

Conclusion

While the Lebron signature line focuses on the latest and greatest technology, the Soldier line just plain performs proving newer and fancier isn’t always better. This shoe does everything better than the XII without all the gimmicks at a much lower price. This colorway retailed at $140 and hit $109 on Nike.com only a few weeks after being released , probably because they are so ugly and busy. Soliders never sell out so if you want to be frugal just be patient and prices will hit the typical $99 to $69 range and will eventually hit outlets for even lower. I’ve always felt the Soldier line was perfect for tweeners like me: Bigger/heavier players that can still move quickly and need flexibility and support and stopping power and these are fantastic. I love shoes that do everything well and the IX really has no weakness, kind of like Lebron.

Overall these could eventually replace my Soldier VI once I run out. They do almost everything as well as the VI (support especially under the midfoot was better than the VI). For now I’ll stick to my VI. Glad I stocked up but good to know there is a worthy alternative .

Converse All Star Pro BB Performance Review

Converse Basketball is back, again, with the Converse All Star Pro BB and here is our performance review.

The traction on the Converse All Star Pro BB is the one area that I wish was better. I can’t say the traction was downright bad because at times, it was nothing short of awesome. Then, randomly and without warning, I’d lose all of that wonderful grip and wipe out. I can’t tell you why it happened, all I know is that it did and it would do it when I’d apply pressure heavily on the entire surface of the sole. If I was just staying on my toes, which is how I end up moving around screens and such anyway, then everything was perfectly fine.

Just like most of the current Nike Basketball shoes I’ve been testing as of late, the outsole has a film on it that needs to be worn away. If you take these for a spin, chances are that you may feel like the outsole is a little slick to start. Stick with it and it’ll get better over time.

The rubber is soft and will fray, especially outdoors, but it’s also squared so they should last longer than something like the Nike Kobe 1 Protro.

Full-length React cushioning is used in the form of a drop-in midsole, much like the Nike Kobe AD NXT 360 — a shoe I feel is most comparable to the Converse All Star Pro BB.

While I did enjoy the ride of the Kobe AD NXT 360 a little more, it wasn’t drastic enough to blatantly say I prefer one over the other, unless we’re talking about the lining used on the footbed. That’s where I really had a problem with these guys.

The lining used is a canvas-like material, a nod to the classic Converse Chuck Taylor. However, it’s something the pads of my toes hated. The bottoms of my feet were getting chewed up like crazy, to the point where they looked like they were being rubbed raw. I tried every style of sock I own and nothing really helped — it’s just a bit too coarse for my feet, I suppose.

The cushion itself was smooth and offered a slight bounce when brand new. The bounciness of the React went away rather quickly, but my legs felt just fine after three hour hoop sessions. Great court feel with moderate impact protection for a low-profile style of play. If you enjoy feeling fast on your feet, then these will make you feel as if you’re as nimble as a deer. Almost to the point of feeling as if you’re barefoot on the hardwood. It’s an interesting feeling, but if you’ve played in Kobe’s with drop-in midsoles, then you likely already know what to expect.

The materials are a mix of mesh and canvas — with a a bit of Fuse keeping things together. While the shoe doesn’t feel premium, they didn’t feel as if they were made of nothing — which is how I felt with the Nike Kobe AD NXT 360. When fully laced, the shoe’s build wraps up and around your foot like a sock. It’s similar to the Chuck Taylor and its canvas build but it barely provides enough support for gameplay.

The entire shoe is very minimal and reminds me a lot of a Nike Free. If that is what runners consider to be a minimalist running shoe, then this is a minimalist basketball shoe.

The Converse All Star Pro BB fits true to size. However, they’re very snug. Like, reallysnug, especially at the toe. Something most of you already know I love — and I sure as hell did love it. I had a great one-to-one fit and feel while wearing these guys on-court. It’s exactly how I wish the Nike Kobe AD NXT 360 fit me.

While tight, everything moves really nicely with your feet, which are the pros to using textiles, canvas and super thin TPU overlays. The cons? (no pun intended) is that they’re not very durable. My pair looks like I’ve been using them for much longer than I actually have been. I will say that I did wear the hell out of them though. I really liked how everything fit and felt overall — minus the insole lining and inconsistent traction.

Support doesn’t look like much; they’re missing almost everything the Nike Kobe AD NXT 360 had from the TPU shank to the external heel counter. However, they do feature a smaller internal heel counter along with a fit that really promotes a natural feel. Again, very minimalist overall. It’s as if you’re not even wearing shoes. Some may love it, while others may hate it. As long as you know what type of shoe you like to play in, then you may end up really enjoying something like this, especially if the Nike Kobe AD NXT 360 was your thing.

Eric Avar did what Eric Avar does: he made a really good basketball shoe. It’s not perfect and I didn’t expect it to be. I would’ve liked to have had slightly better traction and an insole lining that didn’t want to chew my feet up when running around. Everything else in the shoe I really enjoyed, from the lightweight feel to the one-to-one fit.

The Converse All Star Pro BB is a far cry from anything Avar created with the late 90s/early 00s Nike Alpha Project Series, but they were much better than I had anticipated. Enough to say I actually liked them. Had the traction been better I’d probably keep these in my gym bag as a backup pair. For now, that’s still what my Air Jordan Alpha 1‘s are for.

adidas Crazylight Boost 2016 VS Nike KD 9 Comparsion

Decided to supplement my KD 12 and Crazylight 2016 reviews with a direct comparison with each performance aspect. It all comes down to how much weight you place on each category versus looking at how many categories each shoe won.

Here are the full reviews
Weight: 

KD: 13.5 oz

Crazylight: 16

Traction 

Almost all shoes work great on clean floors so the real differentiator comes down to dusty floor performance and the CLB16 outperforms the KD 9 on dusty floors. The KD flat honeycomb pattern just picks up dust while the CLB traction brushes it away.

Verdict: Crazylight Boost 2016

Cushioning

Both shoes provide exceptional cushioning so it comes down to what you look for in a cushioning set up.

The CLB set up is firmer than the KD 9. I think the KD 9 Zoom feels better though because it doesn’t get my neuromas buzzing in my feet and sits lower to the ground while retaining some serious bounce.

Verdict: KD 9

Fit

One of the easier categories for me is the fit. I had no heel slip in the KD9 and it fit like a glove with no break in time.

The CLB16 had me having to choose between comfort and performance with true to size or half size down. I also had minor heel slip in both sizes.

Verdict: KD 9

Support and stability

Neither is built for saving ankles but the firmer, denser Boost midsole plus the firmer heel counter, torsional shank plate and forefoot roll cage gives the CLB16 the edge.

The KD 9 support only from the fit and a flimsy heel counter.
Verdict: Crazylight Boost 2016

Verdict: Crazylight Boost 2106

Personally I can’t stand heel slip so I’d take the KD 9 over the air jordan 12 fiba but neither is making my rotation. If the CLB had zero heel slip and were made in a 10.75, I’d pick the CLB but unfortunately for me, it isn’t. The KD 9 traction is great just needs some wiping on dusty floors and lateral containment is very good for a knit upper. I hope this little comparison helps!

Love,

Nike LeBron 16 Low Performance Review

Short and sweet. If you liked the Nike LeBron 16 you’re going to LOVE the *ahem* Nike LeBron 16 “Low”…

Same as the “mid” – and we say mid tongue-in-cheek because really, it’s the same shoe. Deep grooves that are spaced wide enough that very little dust gets grabbed and built with a rubber compound that would feel right at home in the 90’s, the traction is some of the best tried this season. Front to back, side to side (never let ________ ride) and on any floor, the LeBron 16 Low held tight on the curves and solid on defense. Just a little wiping in extremely bad floors and it was back to squeaky-squeak and glue grip.

Again, same as the mid, and it is some of the bounciest, responsive cushioning ever. Stiffer than the Max Zoom in the Nike LeBron 15

The midsole isn’t stiff at all, either, like some over-cushioned shoes tend to feel. The Zoom and Max is separated for flex and the transition is serious – the feel of a fast, “guard” shoe with the impact protection of a “big-man” shoe – sounds kind of like a certain “King” huh?

Awww, no Battleknit 2.0? No problem. The mesh/textile upper of the Nike LeBron 16 Low may not be as “premium” as the mid, but it plays every bit as well. There isn’t an official name for it on the Nike website, so we will call it textile. It doesn’t stretch around your foot as much as it molds, giving the upper a broken-in feel almost from the start. While playing, the thinner, lighter feel of the upper contributes to a fast feel most Max shoes don’t have. It’s not running shoe mesh or Kobe AD NXT 360 lightweight but it won’t feel heavy or bulky once broken in.

Around the heel counter we have an unfinished tan leather with the embossed lion’s head logo (I love the way it looks – some don’t *cough* Nightwing *cough*) and the same quality leather patch on the tongue. These touches don’t add anything in the way of performance but in terms of looks they contrast perfectly and give some detail (the camouflage colorway has a thick, canvas material on the heel counter). There is also a small sliver of nubuck on the medial toe for toe drags and side-side-side steps.

The biggest, and really only, improvement from the mid to the low is the fit – I just wrote all these other words to make you interested. I played with the lacing on the mids, moving to all different holes and combinations, and still had some issues with slight heel slip and containment. The LBJ16 Low takes a whole new direction, with the laces running not over the tongue but into the tongue and right back to the sides – no crossing over. This pulls the upper straight down into the foot and the foot straight down into the midsole, locking your foot like a strait-jacket. The last lace hole is a normal criss-crossing over the foot and pulling your foot into the heel counter. With the added torque, the heel slip is gone and lockdown is dang near perfect. The midsole is still a little heavy so it does have a slight “pull down” feeling, but not like the mid.

As far as sizing, I stayed true to size and went with my normal 10.5. The length allows for about a half inch of dead space, which I enjoy. This gives me enough room that if I do happen to have a little front-to-back slip my toes won’t turn black.

Starting at the midsole – there is no real midfoot shank, but with that huge Zoom system you don’t need one. The largest component of the support system is the fit and lacing. The worry with a large midsole is stability and the foot staying upright. However, with the solid lacing your foot is locked in and never slides over the footbed, even on hard cuts. Also helping in upright stability is the outrigger construction. All of the midsole bubbles have outriggers molded into the outsole, helping with any tipping while playing. Where the LeBron 15 had the same cushioning system, it was also one of the most unstable setups I can remember playing in. The 16 fixes the issues and feels the same great Zoom bounce while doing it.

Just like Nike used to do with the Elite series for the playoffs, they have taken the signature shoe of the “best player in the game” and improved it for the late season (can’t say playoffs this year). If you enjoyed the Nike LeBron 16 (and face it, most of the people who played in it really did like it), you will love the low. Improved fit, still great cushioning and traction, and, materials that are still nice and functional (but not knit – boo hoo). If you are an all-around player who needs some extra bounce for those joints, look no further – this is arguably the best cushioning/impact protection combo on the market. Really, the only reason not to try the shoe is the price (still an expensive $160) or if you just hate LeBron (yes, there are some of them out there). Don’t be scared of the tall midsole – the Nike LeBron 16 Low is fast, flexible, and feels great on court. Just don’t call it a mid.

Air Jordan Alpha 1 Performance Review

Ten years in the making. Here is our performance review on the Air Jordan Alpha 1.

The traction featured on the original Air Jordan 1 I feel is the G.O.A.T. Second best is the Nike Kobe 9, but the AJ1’s outsole really grips nearly surface in nearly any condition.

Unfortunately, the Air Jordan Alpha 1 isn’t quite on-par with the OG AJ1, but its pretty damn close. I might still hold the Kobe 9 above these, but just barely. I feel the updates made to the outsole, while a great concept, wound up causing more problems than it solved. Its addition of herringbone sounds like it’d be amazing, but when there was a lot of dust or debris then I’d need to clear it out. Luckily, the spirals that were carried over from the original model saved the grip when floors would be that bad which is one of the reasons why I love spiral traction so much. It just works and works really well. Since 1985. Well, it was used prior to ’85, but you get what I mean.

Outdoors, the traction will work just as well. It may not last a super long time, but it will likely last longer that the Phylon midsole if you happen to toe drag.

The best thing they’ve ever done to an Air Jordan 1 of any kind was add full-length Zoom Air. Even if it is bottom loaded.

Being bottom loaded you won’t feel the Zoom Air as you would in something newer like the Kobe 1 Protro or Nike KD 12, but it will help absorb the majority of impact. The midsole has been changed from being a solid rubber cupsole to a Phylon midsole that mimics the look of the original. While the midsole clearly doesn’t look identical to the OG Air Jordan 1 — although they were able to make a Phylon lookalike for the Women’s Air Jordan 1 Slip — it’s close enough and it plays much smoother than the rubber cupsole did. Being Phylon it aids in transition if you happen to heel strike and the additional carved out line helps with that. The Phylon itself isn’t overly firm either. It’s a really nice blend between supportive Phylon and comfortable Phylon.

The materials are the one aspect I’ve never full liked on the Air Jordan Alpha 1, and I still feel the same way.

Jordan Brand opted to use what was popular during the 2009-2011 timeframe, which was Fuse and synthetic materials that mimic leather. The underlay material does a good enough job at mimicking leather that I don’t have anything to really complain about other than it doesn’t retain it’s shape quite as nicely as I’d like. Same goes for the Fuse sections. They’re strong, durable, and look the part — for the most part. I’d have loved a nice leather instead, but this is what was offered back then. If Jordan Brand ever decided to revisit this Alpha series then it would be wonderful if real leather was used. It’d do the same thing as this synthetic setup, but it would eventually give off a more vintaged feel and look once you’ve spent enough time in the shoe.

When the Air Jordan Alpha 1 originally released I bought my true size and felt that they offered a bit too much dead space, or volume, around my forefoot. I prefer materials to sit closely to my foot, while some prefer the space. If you happen to prefer a bit of space then going true to size should work just fine. However, I went down 1/2 size this time around and I got the fit I wanted the first time around once they broke in.

Lockdown is still just as good today as it was back in ’85. The materials wrap around your foot nicely and do exactly what they were designed to do. If it ain’t broke. Don’t fix it.

Support isn’t anything special. It might be the one area that still feels like the 80’s. There is an internal heel counter, but that’s about it. The rest of the support relies on the materials, fit and flat base that makes up the tooling. Surprisingly, despite being a 1985 design overall, they still get the job done really well.

Fun. That’s the best way to describe the experience. There is nothing more fun than lacing up a shoe that essentially looks like the Air Jordan 1 but plays a little smoother. While I’ll never be able to fly like Mike, I can at least keep the memories from his old highlight reels alive and well while making my own memories. Even if they’re a little bit more earth-bound.

If you happen to run across a wearable pair of the Air Jordan Alpha 1 it is a shoe that I recommend trying out. They might not knock your socks off in terms of next gen features, but they’ll still make you believe a man can fly.

Another Pair Weighs in on the Nike KD 12

Kevin Durant and Nike weren’t messing around when it came to the KD 12.

The outsole on the KD 12’s traction is translucent, and sometimes a translucent outsole can be a hit or miss, we all know that. However, the traction on the KD 12 was super solid. I did have to wipe a bit when dust was present. It was nothing too crazy; a wipe here or there kept the outsole free of debris which, in return, kept me covered on the court especially on my lateral movements.

As far as outdoors, if you want to hoop in these on the blacktop, be my guest. I wouldn’t recommend it. I say keep these strictly on the hardwood, but who am I to tell you what to do, right?

Ummm, how should I put this? It’s freaking amazing! Why was it amazing? Well for starters, if you don’t sleep under a rock, then you know that the KD 12 got rid of the strobel board and replaced with full-length Zoom Turbo. What this means is the only thing between you and the Air unit is an insole. You are getting all that cushy cushion right under your feet without anything messing with it.

The impact protection was amazing. From the heel to the forefoot, the bounce is perfect. It isn’t too much or too little; just a comfortable ride while still maintaining some court feel.

As for the materials, a screen mesh with some fuse overlays in the high-wear area is what you get for the upper. Behind that, you can see the Quad-Axial Flywire, and we will get into that a little later. The tongue reminds me of some lingerie my wife would wear. I am not saying that she wears lingerie or anything like that. I’m just saying if she did it would probably look like the KD 12 tongue.

Now on-court, the tongue felt great: it’s nice and padded. I had no pressure points causing discomfort or anything. However, there is one thing I didn’t like about the tongue, and that’s how wide it is up top — nothing to do with the performance just a personal gripe. The screen mesh and Quad-Axial Flywire felt good on my feet. I didn’t experience any pinching or binding. Honestly, I prefer this setup on the KD rather than the knit, but that’s just me.

Narrow footers, I recommend you guys to go true to size. The KD 12 is pretty snug in the forefoot area, but I would call it a good snug. It’s not something that will cut your circulation off, but more of a nice secure snug like hugs from your grandmother.

Wide footers, nope. Try the shoes on first. You guys may need to go up in size. If you get your actual shoe size, then it is possible your circulation may be cut off. Disclaimer: I doubt your circulation will actually get cut off. I’m joking

I have zero complaints when it comes to support. The Quad-Axial Flywire did its job; it acts as a security blanket to the screen mesh and strengthens it which then keeps you contained during cuts and all that good stuff. Your foot sits in parts of the midsole which keeps you on top of the footbed during lateral movements.

An internal heel counter is in place for extra reassurance that you stay on that footbed and locked in. Not to mention the fit is nice and snug. Support gets an A+ in my book.

Overall, the KD 12 is a nice hoop kick and I can’t stop playing in it. I’m anxious to see what other colorways hit the market. I did see that red pair Kevin Durant has been rocking in the playoffs — that colorway is pure fire — so I may need that pair. When they’re this nice, you might want to buy ’em twice. Ain’t nothing wrong with having AnotherPair.

Nike KD XII 12 Performance Analysis and Review

“Innovation” is what every sneaker head wants these days. Despite all that I write about newer rarely means better, new tech speak gets everyone’s attention. Thankfully, Nike went with the ol’ tried and true with a sprinkle of innovation to give us one of the most well rounded KDs to date.

Pros: traction, low to the ground yet bouncy cushioning, fit, stability, containment

Con: runs narrow

Sizing Advice: true to size length wise but runs narrow. True to size for regular and narrow footers, wide footers will probably want to go up half a size.

Best for: any position

Buying Advice: KD is not MJ, Steph, or Lebron so just wait a few weeks or months and you’ll see more and more discounts as always. I got these at Dick’s for $120 on release day which is fair. More fair is $100, bottom around $60-75.

Weight

15.5 ounces which is average for a mid

Traction

Pretty much the same set up as the XI but with more segmentation within each semi circle which helps the sole brush dirt away. This translucent outsole isn’t as sticky as what we’re used to seeing and it still picks up some dust but the segmentation allows it to brush most of the dust away. My first few hours days on dusty floor weren’t great but I suspect it just needed a very light break in.

Nike has done a nice job with its subtle yet effective micro grooves in my opinion. From the Kobe AD to the KD 12, I have been happy overall, albeit at different degrees of successThese are not the absolute best traction ever but it is far better than average and will keep the majority of hoopers including my picky ass self happy.

Nice job Nike!

Cushioning

Let’s face it, cushioning marketing is every sneaker companies sweet spot. 99.9% of the world could care less about different lace set ups, new ways to improve ankle mobility or what street superstar ABC’s great, great second uncle lived on; people want good looks and a good feeling cushioning set up.

Yippee!

There is a lot of tech marketing surrounding the KD12 with the articulated zoom seemed in directly to the strobel plus an extra hex zoom in the heel. Cool, sounds awesome right ? It feels like full length Zoom should, you know like the Zoom BB with an extra Zoom unit in the heel to give it just a little extra sexy sauce.

With all that cool new tech speak, I don’t think attaching the Zoom directly to the shoe feels any different than using a cloth strobel like the Zoom BB. It’s like sleeping with sheets on your bed vs no sheets at all. Same diff, both feel great is the bottom line (yep that bed reference goes back a few years and stand true still).

I really like how they shaped the insole to match the gaps in the Zoom so there isn’t any wobble from the outer rim space . Stupid simple details like that are important.

I personally can’t tell the difference between articulated versus regular full length Zoom but even so if you didn’t tell me the tech specs of the Zoom set up, I still would have been happy. Did I mention the cushioning gets even better with break in as the foam breaks in?

Well well well well done Nike! Did I say well done? Well done, how I do not like my steak but how I like my Zoom.

Fit

Wide footers will want to go up half a size, regular and narrow footers can go true to size. Length is true to size while width is narrower than normal. I tried both true to size and half size up and while there was a little more space at the toe, the width just felt better for me from a comfort perspective without any excess shifting or movement inside.

If you can’t figure out how to get your foot into the KD12, maybe you should pick up a different sport. Half tongue construction gives you plenty of space to get your foot in

Ankle collar construction holds the ankle and heel down with some contouring. The collar portion above the contours does not conform around your ankle like a Hyperdunk does so you will see and feel some space around the upper part of your ankle.

Overall it’s just a simple semi traditional set up, no heel slip, no side to side movement. Both lateral and medial sides are raised to keep your foot in place (see support).

Nothing much to say here, it just works.

Nice job Nike!

Materials

Oh wheww, if it’s labeled it must be legitNo editing allowed Nike (see Protrogate)

Quad axial flywire.

What’s that mean? It means the flywire is going up and down and left to right. Using the word quad and axial makes it sound way more impressive but it’s really just a mesh with some flywire haphazardly mixed in for strength and texture. It pops a little but to start but not much and it’s a nice blend of strength and flexibility. People that want a material to looks or feels expensive will not think much of this upper What happened to the flyknit movement ? These could have been made out of regular mesh but what fun is that in a sig shoe?

Did you know KD loves baking? Why else would Nike put parchment paper on his shoeThis little tag is annoyingly cheap looking and feeling but it saves Nike 2 cents per shoe thanks to Ted from accounting

Overall materials are fine, nothing ultra luxurious and it works fine with a splash of color and texture with the QuadAxial Flywire.

Support and stabilityPer usually, support comes from the fit and normal flexibility heel counter. In addition the raised Phylon on both sides of the shoe keep your foot upright and on the footbed.

Midfoot support is good, not overly flimsy but not board like either.

 

Stability is good nothing outstanding. I would like a little more width like the PG 3 and WNZ2 but it works fine.

No issues at all with support and stability.

Containment

After taking a break for the past three years, containment is back!No issues here.. it’s like 2015 y’all!

Raised midsole heel to toe keep your foot in on hard cuts. Who would have thunk it?

Conclusion

The Durant line really did a 180 from the KD XI which in my opinion is a good thing. Although the XI was ultra comfortable and free flowing it didn’t have the level of support I’m really used to. Obviously, Kd has no issues in them so why should a recreational baller have any? #itainttheshoes

As many of you know the Zoom BB1 is one of my favorite shoes of all time due it’s all around performance but it’s cloth strobel full length Zoom really made the Zoom stand out; putting on the KD12 gave me flashbacks to the Zoom BB thanks to the cushioning set up because it feels just that good. By switching back to a directly underfoot Zoom set up, the shoe just feels fun and exciting with even more Zoom in the heel. Of course, cushioning isn’t the end all for me and thankfully, the KD 12 does everything well from A-Z. It is a bit understated looks wise and draws some serious inspiration from the Hyperrev line

Maybe it’s just the colorway 

But similarities aside, the lack of KD signature touches is fine for me even in this rather plain black white Day One colorway.

Not a bunch of story telling on the XII. This and the tongue paper are the only real graphics showing it’s KD’s shoe

It isn’t the sexiest looking shoe I’ve ever seen but it’s performance on court is fantastic.

Should you go out and buy today at retail?

It’s almost been a whopping two weeks since the release date so we’re right around the corner for discount time. Twenty percent off soon, then price drops in a month or so..it really pays to be patient. As I tell y’all every time, don’t get hyped up from a Shoetuber review that says $150 is a good price and then gives you a bunch of affiliate hyperlinks. Just sit and wait and save money so you can buy more pairs of a great shoe at an even better price.. or use those savings for hoop lessons or training sessions to actually get better at the game we all love.

I can’t believe this but the hits keep coming in 2019. Another first team