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Nike Air Zoom SuperRep is built to serve the performance

Nike’s SuperRep family of footwear is built to serve the performance needs of class-based fitness athletes.

Each unique silhouette — including the debut shoe, the Nike Air Zoom SuperRep — responds to the specifications of a particular type of workout, be it a boot camp or spin class. The shoes are created with a commitment to extend the same level of expertise provided to professional athletes to all enthusiasts who work on a daily and weekly basis to better themselves.

“Fitness classes are booming around the world,” says Jamie Jeffries, VP/GM of Nike Training. “Working out is its own sport, and Nike’s SuperRep shoes are designed to deliver on the performance needs specific to these activities.”

The Nike Air Zoom SuperRep is an innovative shoe built specifically for the rigors of high-intensity classes.

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts alternate bouts of going all-out with periods of rest to recover. The movements are diverse — burpees, kettlebell swings, lunges, mountain climbers, push-ups, squats and many more — and are sequenced to get maximum impact from maximum effort.

Using Zoom Air in the forefoot not only creates a dynamic aesthetic, it also helps provide impact protection and a responsiveness that gives back rep after rep after rep.

This cushioning — a two-unit system under the forefoot — doesn’t act alone. A plate running from heel to forefoot helps roll the foot forward and into a ready position for the majority of upright HIIT movements. The upper is crafted to support lateral moves, such as skaters and side lunges. The “burpee break” provides stability in plank positions and allows the foot to bend naturally when driving into mountain climbers.

Nike SuperRep Cushioning

Alongside the air jordan 34 is the SuperRep Go, made for quick home workouts, and the SuperRep Cycle. The spikes on the spin shoe are made with rubber to prevent slips and falls in the spin studio.

Air Jordan XX2 22 Performance Review

Since the Curry 7 review is just around the corner, I thought I’d step back and review the AJ XX2 since the Curry 3 took a huge bite out of the AJ XX2 back story.  I’m disappointed that UA went there but if the Curry 3 performs, nobody will care. I guess since the XX2 was such a sales dud maybe UA thought they could pull it off without anyone noticing? I don’t know …

Pros
: traction, fit, support, materials

Cons: pod cushioning is too targeted and feels unnatural, tippy in the heel, pricey at $175 especially in 2007.

Sizing: half size down

Best for: guards

Weight

16.5 oz so just a half ounce more than the Crazylight Boost 2016.

Traction

Jordan Brand usually does a good job with traction and this was the highlight of the air jordan 34 for me. Stuck extremely well on clean floors and needed minimal wiping on dusty floors.  Probably would have been better if the entire outsole was the same depth but then the IPS system wouldn’t “work” as well

Cushioning

IPS is back again for the third straight model starting with the XX. Hurray?
I couldn’t tell a difference in density in any of the aforementioned models and this was no different. The IPS foam feels great overall at least with a nice bit of springiness.

As for the heel, Jordan Brand brought back the modularity idea allowing the player to swap between Max Air and Double Stacked Zoom. Now that sounds great in theory but the Max and Zoom don’t cover much surface area And the double stacked Zoom is nearly as thin as a quarter (I mean two quarters since its double stacked). Maybe this was the beginning of the end for real Zoom

You can feel the cushioning if you like quarter size set ups. It literally feels like a quarter size lump of cushioning is under your heel. Having the logo raised in the insole doesn’t help either.

Which feels better between the two ? Zoom pod for sure. It just has a more even feeling than the Max set up.

Overall cushioning is decent but far from ideal. A simple forefoot zoom and regular heel that covers the entire heel like the Kobe VI would have been great.

Fit

The XX2 came out before Nike and JB went to a more narrow last and fit so 10.5 fit me perfectly. Finger width of space at the toe, no heel slip and no space side to side.

The upper starts a little stiff since it is real leather but it breaks in nicely and gives a decent almost one to one fit. Not quite perfect but still good overall.

I really liked the simple lacing set up with the lace lock because it just works.

MaterialsWhat is this foreign space age material ? Oh it’s real leather. Good luck ever seeing leather again from any company.
JB and Nike were really pushing the quilted interior back in 2007.

Personally I like the look and feel but it doesn’t make a difference performance wise.

Nice materials and build quality, may leather Rest In Peace

Support and Stability 

Ah, when a higher cut shoe didn’t fold like a bad hand in Texas Hold em. I really liked the combo of the firmer mid cut with a stiff heel counter

JB also says the XX2 features a titanium coated midfoot shank plateErrr, just because it is painted silver doesn’t mean it’s titanium Jordan Brand. Clearly plastic with silver paint. It does its job just fine but don’t hype a piece a plastic as something it isn’t.

The XX2 is stable in the forefoot even without an outrigger but the heel is a little tippier than I prefer. The protruding outsole under the modular unit doesn’t help either.

Overall support is good but the tippy heel isn’t trustworthy.

Containment

Clean simple lines with no major physical barriers would be worrisome with today’s knits and woven uppers but leather is strong and doesn’t have that stretch on hard cuts. Also this extra leather rand helps in containing the foot. Similar idea to the Curry 3 “midsole frame”

Conclusion 

Every sneaker has a snorey..I mean story. Out of ideas, let’s say make up one about fighter planes! Zooooom fast powerful stealthy (is that a word? ). It’s everything an Air Jordan should be! Whoever was running Jordan Brand back then needs to be destroyed like Cyberdyne in Terminator 2 to prevent the proliferation of story telling these days. Unnecessary and adds no value to sneakers; let the players wearing them write the story.

Inspiration aside, the shoe itself is a good overall performer but the ultratargeted tiny heel cushion really ruins the shoe. Let’s see how UA does with the same inspiration.

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 6 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 AJ 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 sneaker debut 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 5 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 

Supportis 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.

ContainmentNo 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.

Air Jordan XX9 vs XX8 Performance Review

I’ve read all the great reviews about the XX9 so I picked these up during the Nike clearance sale for $124 to see  what all the hype was about.  I will also compare the XX9 to the XX8 SE

Before I get into the comparison let me give you a sale pitch on a new 2015 Mercedes.

Introducing the newest, lightest and most technology advances Mercedes, the MB 2015. Here are some features we added:

  • A new material for the frame 

Here is what we took away

  • Replaced the rear air suspension with standard coil overs made for an Accord. You don’t need that anymore
  • Made the air suspension feel more like coil overs but rest assured it is air.
  • Replaced all carbon fiber parts with plastic. Who needs carbon fiber anyways.

Oh and we made the price 50% more than last years model.

and the material is not as durable and susceptible to abrasions and will degrade faster than last years materials. 

Now would anyone in their right mind go for the newer model and not feel like they have been duped ?  You can argue that the new frame is where the increase in cost is coming from but if you believe that I have some ocean front property in Arizona for you.

PROS: Traction, comfortable sock like upper, breathable, forefoot cushioning , fit

CONS: No Zoom in heel? These are called Air Jordans, not forefoot Air Jordans, containment, tipsy at the heel, upper not durable

BEST FOR:  lightweight guards, straight runners/non cutters, swag champs

TRACTION

Traction is great on both the XX8 and XX9 but I think the fatter pattern took away some of the bite. The XX8 has much sharper peaks and deeper grooves made from a slightly more pliable rubber than the XX9.

Verdict: XX8

CUSHIONING

When I read that Jordan Brand decided to take away the heel Zoom Air because it wasn’t really necessary, I thought “is a $225 shoe without Zoom Air necessary? What about cavier and sushi rather than Mac and cheese ? ” This isn’t about necessity, it’s about the luxury of owning the premier basketball shoe.

Anyways, the new unlocked Zoom set up is more recessed into the sole and turned a quarter turn. This 1) lowers the ride compared to the XX9 2) allows the Zoom to flex more naturally since the  segmentation runs sideways vs lengthwise 3) makes the unlocked Zoom less prone to popping and costing Jb less money for returns. I had a friend of mine bust his XX9 and air jordan 34 air in the span of two weeks and he isn’t even a high flyer (sorry Ben, the truth hurts lol). Luckily, they were both under warranty so he got replacement vouchers.

Above: The transition is better thanks to the additional rubber between the forefoot and heel.

I have yet to pop mine but I know it’s just a matter of time.  The thing that irks me is why did JB bother to set up the XX8 the way they did ? Didn’t they weartest the shoes beforehand? What if my shoe pops outside the 2 year window? It isn’t a defect but rather a design flaw imo

Above: almost perfectly flush with the outsole

Below: at least 1 or 2mm more protrusion on the XXThe new setup feels less unlocked than the XX8 since it is recessed and you’re contacting the floor with the Zoom and outsole all at the same time versus just touching the floor with Zoom only . You can still feel it though but you have to know what to look for. It isn’t worlds away better feeling than regular Zoom like the XX9 but it does feel great nonetheless.

The foam in the heel feels like Phylon and does its job but to skimp out doesn’t seem like Jordan’s style. I am a heavy heel striker especially when I’m running down the court so I really like to feel that extra bounce on the XX8.

VERDICT: XX8 easily especially in the heel

FIT

The XX9 fits great plain and simple. They eliminated all the deadspace on the shoe to make it as sock like as possible. Look how much smaller the XX9 looks vs the XX8

I went with my normal sz 11 and they fit perfectly, leaving me a finger width between my big toe and the end of the toe box. The heel fit is is fantastic too thanks to the dog bone inside the heel that prevents any slipping.

One thing to note with the flexible upper is that the laces come loose more quickly than normal. When you see a movie and a guy is tied up in rope, how does he get out ? He wiggles and shimmies to loosen the rope and that’s precisely what happened when the upper flexes and moves around the ankle. I’d start the game perfectly tied but it kept loosening up as the game went on.  Not a big deal but just something I noticed.

The XX9 fit very well albeit it had more of a normal shoe fit since the upper isn’t Performance Woven upper and Flightweb or whatever they call it. I had perfect lockdown in the XX9 as well and did not need to size down like some other reviewers stated as I stuck with my size 11. No deadspace or side to side movement to speak up either but the XX9 just fits better.

VERDICT: XX9

SUPPORT and STABILITY

Some shoes have great support and marginals stability while others have exceptional stability but mediocre support.  In my opinion I’d rather have the latter so I don’t have to worry about the support since the stability of the shoe will keep me firmly planted.

The XX9 support comes from its fit and have heel counter.  I am an over pronator and you can see it just by looking at how my laces lean toward the inside of my ankle.

There is a plastic shank but it does little in keeping my ankle from rolling in whereas the XX8 has a carbon fiber shank plate or flightplate as they call it.

Above: carbon fiber over plastic any day

As I said earlier I don’t mind a shoe that is stable while sacrificing some support but the XX9 failed my heel test. Sure, upon a perfect landing I won’t sprain my ankle but I’m more concerned with imperfect landings when I have to land on my heel or when I’m pushed mid air.

See how narrow the XX9 is vs the XX8

In addition the heel counter is a lot more flexible than the XX8Good ol carbon fiber. Why change a good thing ?

VERDICT: XX8

CONTAINMENT

Every carbon fiber piece on the XX8 was replaced with plastic on the XX9 including the footstay at the forefoot. Couple the woven upper with a more flexible plastic and the net result is below average containment. I could feel my foot coming out of the footbed and feeling the plastic flex on hard cuts. The woven upper is fine but there needs to be either 1) a stiffer footstay 2) higher footstay 3) more coverage along the lateral side , maybe even midfoot to forefoot.

I did not have this problem with the XX8 although I have had better containment on shoes such as the Rose 5 or Lebron Solder VI. I think if you are lightweight or don’t cut a lot or very hard you wouldn’t notice the containment issue but I definitely do.

VERDICT: XX8

DURABILITY:

This happened after fifteen minutes of shooting around. I thought it was dirtIt is hard to see in the pic but the woven upper already started fraying from a little toe drag…. After fifteen minutes of shooting around. I’ve seen and read about ripped uppers/Lace loops so it doesn’t surprise me but it is still disappointing.  Maybe some kind of reinforcement at the toe box like they make for most hoop shoes ? The golf shoe cousin of the XX9, the TW 15 has reinforcements at high wear/ high stress areas such as the laces and toe box( review coming)
I know JB wanted to showcase the upper but come on..

PRICE: 

AJ XX9 retail: $225

Sale price: $125

AJ XX8 SE retail: $150

Sale price : $79 although I got a steal on Eastbay for $60 after coupon

In free kyrie 6 reviewer world you can just a shoe without taking price into account but I’m buying these myself so I want the most value I can get.

VERDICT: AJ XX8

CONCLUSION

Although I enjoyed the slightly lower ride, ultra comfortable upper and lightweight,the XX9 just didn’t do it for me. It lost some of that bounce, traction, as well as stability  while adding a hefty $75 to the retail price. Is it worth $225? Hell no.Is it worth $125? Maybe depending on what your individual needs are but they aren’t going to make my rotation. Is it better than the XX8? No, but don’t get me wrong, it is a good shoe overall but I can get more value, more Zoom, and more support from the XX8 for a lot less money.

Stanley Tse Weighs in on the Nike Kyrie 6 Performance Review

The Illuminati has its ways, just like the way Kyrie controls the ball like a yo-yo. With Zoom Turbo making a return, will the Kyrie 6 make its predecessors proud? Let’s find out.

Traction on the Kyrie 5 was good, however the traction on the Kyrie 6 is a major upgrade. Once you get past the coating material on the shoe, the shoe just clamps down. Multi-directional traction has this shoe ready for battle from the get-go. The rubber is soft (outdoor players be aware), however, the shoe grips well. The best thing about this shoe is that no matter how you plant your feet, you’re definitely covered.

Same setup as its predecessor. The Nike Zoom Turbo is used in the forefoot and it feels amazing. It’s even better because the shoe feels lower to the ground without sacrificing any stability. The added plus is the injected phylon used for the midsole itself and it feels responsive from the start. Smooth transitions, low ride, and responsive feedback are a great combination that create a nice ride.

The Kyrie 6 uses some textiles along with some genuine leather along the midfoot to give it a nice old school feel. The interior of the shoe is heavily padded, which is taken from skate shoes, to give you extra comfort. The shoe is finished off with the Zoom Turbo forefoot cushion along with injected Phylon and a soft rubber outsole for solid traction. The material usage overall is solid and the midfoot strap and extra leather along the midsole give it a 90s old school basketball vibe. A great combo.

Here’s where the minor struggle comes in. On the previous Kyrie 4 and Kyrie 5, I had to go up half a size, and unfortunately, for the Kyrie 6, it wasn’t available in the 1/2 size up of a 13.5. I had to use the 13. I will say if you wore cushioned socks, be prepared to scream in pain. I wore thin socks initially to break-in the shoe, which helped a tad bit, especially in the “less painful agony” part. After the shoe broke in, it hurt less. And while the shoe still felt tight, it was bearable to the point of being able to play aggressively and not feel worrisome.

Solid as long as you get your proper size. 360 degree traction, soft midsole, proper lockdown, an extra padded interior, and your foot sits directly on the footbed without any slippage.

If you liked balling in the Kyrie 4 or 5, then you’ll absolutely love the Kyrie 6. It’s not a big change between the models. However, it’s evolved into something much better. I wish I had a 13.5, but once broken in, the shoe was as fun as watching an aging Uncle Drew cross up the competition. I definitely suggest trying them on in-store before purchasing. Besides that, the evolution of the Kyrie line is here to stay and we’re quite impressed. Here’s to the next one.

adidas Posterize Performance Review

The adidas Posterize (briefly known as the adidas Trifecta) aims to bring a lifestyle aesthetic to the court as an amalgam of past adidas models — and of course with the tooling of last winter’s adidas Marquee Boost. Does this new construction add value as a performer?

If you know the Marquee Boost then you’re familiar with this outsole – full length herringbone with a wider spaced zone of the pattern pointing laterally in the forefoot. What was a slight issue in consistency in the Marquee Boost is less of an issue in the Posterize, though you will still want to keep up with wiping on dustier settings.

Everywhere else the traction was just fine, including outdoors where the rubber seemed to do well against the grain and even showed potential for durability.

Maybe being the outsole of my pair of Posterize is much less of a translucent (I’d say somewhere in the 90% range for opacity) than the pair of Marquees I tested, they just more consistent – even if minimally so.

Again, the midsole of the air jordan 34 is carried over to the Posterize. I really enjoy the setup, but somehow it is even better this time around. Where the torsional plate of the Marquee Boost made the midsole a little stiff in transition, the Posterize is much more flexible and smoother right out of the box.

I checked with a source to make sure, and yes the same style torsion system was used, however, my guess is that the spring plate is possibly thinner as you get so much more range of motion without required break in or loss of support where needed.

Back to the midsole – Boost is still a killer cushion when done right, and this setup is just right in my opinion. The forefoot sits lower to the ground, giving an awesome mix of response and impact protection. The heel does have a little more volume, but it really is nothing serious to critique, unless you are dealing with a pre-existing ailment that can’t handle so much cushion (see Nightwing2303’s adidas Marquee Boost Performance Review for more on that). Otherwise, you really can’t ask for more out of a cushion setup like this.

Both flashy and functional, the upper of the Posterize is great. Textiles, leather, suede, synthetics – you basically get a little bit of everything except a knit here, and it’s awesome. The base of the upper is covered in a breathable mesh, the suedes over the rear panels add support to an already strong internal heel cup, and the tumbled leather overlay moving towards the forefoot is a nice addition.

A variation of the shell toecap from the adidas Superstar is featured covered in 3M, the tongue is traditional and pays homage to the adidas Crazy 2 with its screen mesh ventilation, and a removable ankle strap and other design lines give the adidas Fast Break some representation. Even the thick rope lacing blends well with the aesthetic and serves good purpose.

Combine all this with a comfortable lining and internal sculpting and you have yourself another great shoe to transition on and off the court seamlessly. If you are looking to spice things up a bit, yet, still find comfort in something form fitting, look no further.

I went down a half size to cut a little bit of length in the Posterize. I do feel I could have been okay true to size, but to be safe I’m happy with what I decided on. Wide footers have a chance at going true to size with no issue being that the tongue is not attached to the footbed in any way, but if you do have a wide foot and something feels off TTS, don’t force it.

Lockdown is also great. The thick rope laces take a strong hold once you make your adjustments – just make sure you knot/double knot so it doesn’t come undone multiple times in a game. I’m also happy to say I have no concerning movements or heel slip within the Posterize, whatsoever – something I can’t say for either pair of Marquee Boost I’ve owned in my true size as low cut or in a high cut at a half-size down.

It all comes together beautifully – the right fit, good usage of materials, solid heel counter, and torsional support all over a wide and flat platform. No, the ankle strap doesn’t add anything performance wise, but it’s nice you have the option to remove it if you please.

If the adidas Posterize ends up working for you, then it should really work for you.

If you’ve tried the aj 11 white silver and liked it, you should really like adidas Posterize. Boost still has a place in basketball, and with other companies now making use of similar foam, I don’t mind the decision to recycle tooling to continue offering Boost in some capacity.

The adidas Posterize is top-to-bottom comfortable and makes for a solid performer that holds up well. This is one of those pairs that will see a lot of wear from me, even as testing is complete.

Hoka Carbon X Performance Review

The Hoka Carbon X, simply put, is Hoka’s answer to the Nike Vaporfly Next%. The Carbon X is a carbon-plated, highly cushioned long distance running shoe. And just like with Nike’s signature long distance racing shoe, all of the Hoka athletes are using it for their races. And just like with Nike, the goal is to help athletes hit PRs and even World Records. When the Hoka Carbon X was first introduced, Jim Walmsley, a Hoka athlete, used it to set the world record for the 50 mile distance. And as a bonus, the Carbon X is priced at $180 which is $70 better than the Nike Vaporfly Next%.

To find out how the Carbox X performed, we tested it over 50+ miles of speed workouts, races, long runs, hills, treadmill runs, and casual wear.

We’ve now done several Hoka reviews including the Rincon, Bondi 6, and Arahi 3. All of them got high marks. Now, let’s see if the Carbon X is really the “speed machine” Hoka says it is…

Cushion

I wrote down “springy” in my notes after my first run in the Hoka Carbon X and I continued to get the same bounce the entire time I was testing them. It’s a race shoe that feels plush.

Right below the foot there’s a layer of Hoka’s Profly X EVA foam, under that is a Y-shaped carbon fiber plate, and touching the ground is a layer of injected rubberized EVA. This combination works. I especially appreciate the Y-shaped carbon fiber plate as it makes the shoe just a touch less stiff than its carbon-plated competitors. It’s not as squishy as other Hoka running shoes but that’s done on purpose. The Carbon X is built for speed on race day and I found it’s combination of responsiveness and soft cushion to be perfect for road races and speed workouts.

Very much like the Nike Zoom Fly 3, it delivers the speed you need alongside cushion that will last for the longest of races.

Traction

The injected rubberized EVA outsole really grips the pavement even in wet conditions. There was no slipping or sliding. It also adds a lot to the cushioning package. However, it doesn’t offer the durability needed for 300-500 miles. It’s not a surprise because you’re just running on foam.

I’d prefer Hoka do something like they did with the Rincon and add outsole rubber to high wear areas. They didn’t use rubber on the Carbon X, most likely due to weight concerns, but I hope they figure out how to do so in the future. It’s a glaring omission from such a high performance shoe.

Support

The Hoka Carbon X features a wide base that flares as it approaches the ground to create a wide and stable platform. This is a different approach from Nike’s skinny Vaporfly and one that will accommodate a larger group of runners.

You sit inside the midsole at the heel and feel low to the ground while still sitting quite high overall. There’s no heel counter, just some embroidery that does nothing. In a race day shoe like this you don’t expect a heel counter so I’m not sure what all the embroidery is for. Looks maybe? All it seems to do is add weight.

True to Hoka’s typical style, the Air Jordan 34 is one of the more stable shoes in its category and can even take on some light trail work as needed.

Materials

The entire upper is engineered mesh with some fuse at the lace loops and a cored mesh tongue. The airflow is fantastic. This is a great shoe for someone running in a hot or humid climate.

The tongue is backed by lycra and features wings that extend down and connect to the midsole. While the tongue is a little floppy looking, once you get a foot in the shoe it’s not going anywhere.

Fit

The Hoka Carbon X fits true to size. And while it’s great for those who want a carbon plate without the narrow last of the Vaporfly Next%, it does have a few oddities in the fit.

First is the puffy toebox. You’ll have plenty of room for your feet but the material puffs above your foot and it may bother you if you don’t like excess material above your toes. It didn’t bother me. The engineered mesh is super light so it didn’t rest heavy on my toes. It does look a little strange and lessens the Carbon X’s casual appeal.

The tongue is less like a tongue and more like a sheath. This can take some time to get used to as it’s a strange cross between a typical tongue and an internal bootie setup. It works though so most people will be able to get past it.

Finally, the shoe can feel stiff and bottom heavy due to the carbon plate. Contrary to the current narrative, carbon plates are not for everyone. Make sure you’re ok with the added stiffness.

While the three items above make the fit a little odd in places, I think the majority of wearers won’t mind them. The Carbon X doesn’t have hotspots and the upper is very minimal and light. The positives in the fit outweigh the negatives but it’s worth trying them on in person to make sure the above aspects don’t annoy you.

Overall

The Hoka Carbon X is a bouncy, race ready shoe that includes all the normal stylistic choices that make Hoka’s shoes unique. With long term durability being the only real drawback, I think this is a great shoe for training or racing fast.

Nike Kyrie 6 Performance Review

The Nike Kyrie 6 Performance Review is now complete. We hope it helps anyone out interested in purchasing a pair.

The traction on the Kyrie 6 looks like an evolution of what we saw on the Kyrie 5 and its performance has evolved as well.

While I had solid traction with the Kyrie 5, the Kyrie 6 has offered me even more traction. It’s got a tackiness that I never had to wipe — not matter which court I took them on. It also has traction going in all directions. From heel to toe and even wrapping up and around the sides. It shouldn’t matter what type of footwork you have, the traction on the Kyrie 6 is everywhere, and should remain in contact with the ground no matter what.

The rubber is a little soft for outdoor use, but if outdoor basketball is all you’re able to play then you’ll at least have great traction while it lasts.

The same basic setup as the Kyrie 5 with a twist injected into the mix.

Nike’s Zoom Turbo is used once again — and it’s a cushion that I really love. It has just enough bounce to it while remaining low to the ground. Never sacrificing court feel or stability for a little bit of cushion is a great thing.

The midsole itself is where we have the slight twist compared to last years setup. Injected Phylon was used and it feels great right out the box — as does the Zoom Turbo. This combination of a slightly softer midsole with the thinner Zoom Turbo really allows the forefoot cushioning to shine. It offers a nice and smooth transition from heel to toe while having just enough cushion to last a regulated game or a three hour pickup hoop session.
Materials are back to what I loved in the Kyrie 4 — for the most part.

The forefoot feels closer to the Kyrie 5 as the textile is a bit on the stiff side, but not quite as stiff as what was used on the Kyrie 2. This textile still moves well with the foot but without stretching too much. It’s been durable as well which is a plus for those that put a lot of strain on their textile shoes — hopefully you won’t bust any holes in these for a while.

Now, the heel section is what I really love. It’s a great soft genuine leather that just feels awesome. It wraps around our heel and ankle in a way that feels like a second skin.

My thoughts here are similar to what I felt about the Puma Clyde Hardwood. This type of material setup should be used more often. It’s a shame that we have more shoes releasing each year than we can count on both hands, yet, we can count on a single hand which of these releases are made with this type of material quality.

I found the Nike Kyrie 6 to run small. I personally went 1/2 up, which is something I rarely do. They’re still fairly tight, but its the type of tight fit that I like out of my basketball shoes. However, I’d strongly recommend you to try these on in-store just to ensure you get the right fit for you.

Lockdown was great. It may have been due to the snug fit, but the lacing structure was awesome and implemented in two ways. The forefoot offers the semi-standard nylon cables, while the midfoot offers the internal hidden lacing. At the collar we have the traditional punched holes which work well.

I did not feel the midfoot strap did much of anything. It could be there, it could not be there, and I feel the lockdown and fit wouldn’t be altered much.

Support in the Kyrie 6 is pretty standard. Flat sole, rounded edges that extend just enough to act as an outrigger. Your foot sits within the shoe which works well with the rear heel counter to ensure your foot remains on the footbed without rolling off of it.

If you liked the Nike Kyrie 5 then you’ll likely really like the Nike Kyrie 6. It’s not a shoe that is leaps and bounds better than the previous model, but the minor tweaks are noticeable enough once on-foot. Just make sure you try them on before buying as I feel they run smaller than usual.

I hope our performance review on the Nike Kyrie 6 helps you if you were interested in purchasing the shoe and we’ll catch you on the next one.

The Air Jordan 34 with a Performance Review

Jordan Brand never fails to push performance boundaries with the signature shoe. Does the 34 live up to the name? Only one way to find out…

You don’t get the title of GOAT by being weak, meek, and small-minded. You have to be daring, strong, and willing to take chances. Over the course of 34 years we have seen no swoosh branding, visible Air, patent leather, carbon fiber plates, IPS, interchangeable insoles and cushioning systems, a zipper shroud, and FastFit. The Jordan 34 takes it back to basics like we have never seen before, and… It. Works. Here we go…

Utilizing an almost full-length herringbone pattern (the midfoot is smooth but it doesn’t really matter), the Jordan 34 proves it means business from the jump(man). Herringbone has been the go-to pattern when a company needs to get back to what works, and the Jordan 34 works. On four different courts, dirty and clean, the 34 was sticky stuck. The way the pattern is slightly rotated, which shouldn’t mean much in the bigger performance picture, makes the shoe feel even smoother when moving on offense and even better laterally on defense. The pattern is wide as well, meaning dust doesn’t really build up and clog the grooves, which is a fantastic fact for the floors we play on (I’ve seen some of y’alls gyms on Discord – they are bad).

As for outdoors, well, like most modern shoes, I wouldn’t. The pattern is thin and the rubber is soft. I couldn’t see these lasting longer than a couple months on rough concrete surfaces and for $180 I wouldn’t want to wear them through that condition anyway.

Ever since the Jordan XX8 debuted in 2013 (that seems so long ago) the Jordan signature shoe has made a point of trying to redefine the Zoom Air cushioning we have loved since the Jordan XII (I know, it was Tensile Air). Utilizing a Flight Plate system, the Zoom was Unlocked and freakishly bouncy and responsive. The Jordan XX9 and XXX took similar paths – Unlocked forefoot Zoom and Flight Plate (now called a Speed Plate). The Jordan 34 takes the next level.

The whole forefoot is a huge Zoom unit, under the plate that is now called Eclipse. The plate compresses the Zoom and springs back into shape, providing a crazy, impact-protected, responsive ride. This is seriously the best Unlocked Zoom since the XX8 and feels great in every direction. however, where the XX8 was a crazy, almost uncontrolled Zoom, the 34 is solid and stable. Where I really noticed this was on pull-ups or coming off of curls. It didn’t matter what angle or speed I was jumping from, the shoe always seemed to stabilize on lift-off and landings, giving me a platform to go from and making shooting easier (it all starts with the legs). The midsole foam is softer than the 33 in every way so the Zoom is felt quicker and easier. The heel also has Zoom, and even though it is only a heel hex unit, it can still be felt under foot and absorbs every impact well.

Taking a page from the adidas basketball book, Jordan Brand has decided to use different materials on the upper, depending on the colorway. The blue void went with a ripstop-like material and the Chicago white/black/red went with a more traditional mesh makeup. The Eclipse (black/white, released 11/9) colorway I reviewed is extremely similar to the Chicago color. The materials are nice but nothing special, utilizing a single-layer mesh across most of the upper with some nubuck/synthetic hints around the lace cables and forefoot. The heel hits with a leather panel and JumpJumpJumpJumpman logo embossed (no Nike Air on this colorway). The materials work, and that is the most important part, so no real complaints even though it sounds like I’m a grumpy old man (I am).

For the first time in a long time, I had to go up a half size in a Jordan model. The toebox is short and boxy and just a little too close for my comfort (for reference, I wear a 10.5 in every Lebron and most Kobe’s as well as the Jordan 32 and 33). By going up half the fit was near perfect from heel to toe. The lacing system pulls the shoe around every spot and works with the semi-separate heel to allow for upper flexibility so there are no funny bends and bubbles. There are no real flex grooves anywhere in the upper so the materials need to be thin and flexible (that’s the WHY of the materials) and once the shoe gets a couple of wears in the upper feels like an extension of your foot.

As for heel slip or movement internally – nope. Again, the thin upper flexes and folds with your foot, the lacing pulls it all together, and the higher cut and ankle padding keeps your heel locked.

One thing Jordan signature shoes have always been is supportive. If you know anything about Mike’s feet you know he had bad ones (the reason he went to a carbon fiber plate in the 11 and up) and the Jordan 34 would make him proud, or at least less pained. The support starts at the lockdown and again, the laces lock you into the upper with no movement, pulling you down and not squeezing you in. The materials are next – the mesh doesn’t have much, if any, stretch, meaning once you are in you are IN.

Moving to the midsole, where we have had Flightplate and Speedplate, in the 34 we get Eclipse Plate (almost sounds like a superhero evolution). The Eclipse Plate works similar to the other two systems as far as compressing the Zoom and providing response while still providing a stable base for takeoffs and landings. The base of the shoe is not extremely wide but still does ride wider than the foot inside it. Speaking of your foot, it sits inside the edges of the midsole, meaning there is no side-to-side sliding off of the footbed.

Full disclosure – I broke my Eclipse Plate while testing. I noticed a popping sound in my left shoe and thought it was the Jordan logo on the sole coming off or getting air behind it. Nope. There is a seam running heel to toe in the middle of the plate and mine has separated. Never fear – Nike/Jordan is taking care of the replacement just like they always do – one of the best return policies ever.

Once again, Jordan proves it is a shoe made for the Greatest Player to Ever Play. Combining fantastic cushioning, great traction, and a streamlined look that takes away the overlays and cables from the 33, the Jordan 34 is built for performance at any position and style. While the retail is on the high side ($180), you can buy the 34 knowing you are getting a shoe that will out-perform most anything else on the court. If you are a player at any position that needs lightweight cushioning and support, you have to check these out. If you stay away from any Jordan that Mike didn’t wear, don’t be a fool – Mike could probably still drop 20 in these right now.

Air Jordan XI 11 Performance Analysis and Review

Hey guys I just wanted to say that sometimes I have weird dreams. Sometimes I dream. That he is me. You’ve got to see that’s how I dream to be. I dream I move, I dream I groove
Like Mike, if could be like Mike. Weird dream huh?

With the Concord XI coming out (again) I figured I might as well dust off my 2001 retros. They question is if you want to ball in $220 sneakers.

Pros: SEXY, traction when clean, cushioning, fit, stability, containment

Cons: traction gets iffy when rubber gets harder/older and can get slick on dusty floors, cushioning could be updated but not needed, carbon fiber makes shoe stiffer than newer shoes

Best for: any position

Buying advice: buy the colorways you like, don’t buy the XI just bc it’s a discounted colorway . Expect to pay retail for OG colorways

Weight

16.5 ounces which is half an ounce more than the X which I wrote about last week. I can almost guarantee people will say it doesn’t feel heavy while they say the X does. Numbers don’t lie, people do.

Traction

I’ve always found this traction to be good on clean floors, ok to awful on dusty floors depending on age of the shoe. Over time the rubber forms a shell and gets ultra slippery. You can remedy this by using sandpaper or wearing them outdoors to take off the old layer.

Most of the traction in the important areas is herringbone so it works but the little flat spots can pick up dust (dirt plus oxidation =yellowing) which can cause some slipping. However the herringbone is there to slow down the slide so it’s a bit of a mixed bag.

Overall, great when clean, ok on dusty floors, but can get worse with age.

Cushioning

Airsole unit.

Geez it sounds like such an old and antiquated term because in reality it is. But don’t worry it still shows up in shoes like the Lebron Witness 3 …you know 23 years after the AJ XI (yes I said this in my X review)

Cushioning feels good enough but it’s really the action on the foam you feel with a thin layer of air you feel. I actually like how the X feels a little better but that’s just preference.

Fit and Matierals

I decided to combine these two for the XI because the patent leather affects the fit.

Half a size down is the way to go for everyone except maybe the widest footers. Even today it’s hard to get a good fit with patent leather due to the nature of patent leather.

PL is NOT soft and flexible and is stiff in design. JB added the Pl for looks and strength around the shoe.

The rest of the shoe ballistic mesh similar to what you find on the LBJ II and would be considered premium nowadays. It’s flexible yet strong and not paper thin like a lot of mesh materials we see today.

Overall the fit is good with no heel slip and some a little space in the toe box (double sock to fill that space). That’s why I go down half a size.

Some might say the nylon webbing straps are predecessors to Flywire. I guess it kind of is but the straps cover more surface area to give a little more coverage (newer isn’t better). They also really help give the XI a sock like feel as it hugs the foot and ankle.

Overall, materials are nice although JB has skimped in the past but usually not too badly on the XI. Fit is also very good heel to toe although there can be some space in the toe box depending on your foot shape and preference.

Support and Stability

Support is extremely minimal on the AJ 11 bred and is really one of the first shoes I remember being a sock with a sole. It’s no wonder we see so many low top iterations now since this upper adds nothing support wise

Hey look I made XI lows!

Midfoot support is great thanks to MJ wanting and needing a full length carbon fiber for plantar fasciitis although this says its for propulsion 😆

PF, at least I have that in common with MJ.

The CF does make the shoe stiffer than today’s modern shoes but once you’re playing you don’t notice it at all. And if you do, go work out.

Stability is fine with a kinda sorta outrigger and wide outsole.

Overall not issues as the shoe plays safely and naturally.

Containment

Very good no issues here . My foot actually sits below the raised midsole a few millimeters from heel to toe. Plus the patent leather doesn’t stretch (think of it is the antithesis of mesh). Aside from setting a new trend, patent actually had a job to do.

Conclusion

Twenty three years later and a pretty much the GOAT shoe of all time, the AJ XI prints money for Jordan Brand whenever they release classic colors and even some not so classic colors. (RETRO PLUS colors for old timer collectors that remember that term ).

After 23 years shouldn’t all sneakers these days put these to shame on court? The XI has been drinking legally for a a few years now. However, year after year after year after year you see NBA players rocking the XI which tells me either

1) wear what you feel confident wearing

2) technology hasn’t improved much in over two decades or make a difference at all for professional players playing for millions of dollars per game

3) look good play good is a real thing

I choose to believe all three. What if Zoom or Boost were put into the XI? Would it make it any better ? It might feel a little better and more fun but you would’t see any improved performance. Those who think that newer and improved cushioning adds any serious “performance” benefit might want to check their jumper in the mirror. Just getting the basics of a sneaker down is good enough on any court for any skill level.

I’ve always loved looking at the XI especially the concords and my closet has been filled with probably twenty plus at one point in my life. But it isn’t a shoe I absolutely love playing with on court but it’s more than serviceable after two decades and can hold more than its own against any modern shoe. Is it the shoes ? Nope but it feels good to look good so why the hell not. I can give you 220 reasons why not but rational thinking isn’t any sneaker head’s forte.

Buy it if you love them, rock it if you want to, your skills are your skills, just know you can’t buy them off a shelf.

Overall, I love how these look and they perform well on the court even against modern shoes with the latest and greatest but they’ve never been in my rotation due to some traction issues and some slight space in the forefoot. So ironically these get a second team rating. But don’t worry I’m still going to try to cop this weekend.