2018年10月30日

adidas Harden Vol 3 Performance Review

Love him or hate him, one thing’s for sure: James Harden has his own unique style, both on the court and off. Looking to capitalize on its investment, adidas has gotten a little, well, different with his first two shoes. The Harden Vol 3 has gone back to a more traditional look so does that mean performance took a vacation? Let’s go…

The Harden Vol 1 and 2 both featured anything but traditional traction patterns; the Vol 1 was based on pressure points and Harden’s start-and-stop style, while the Vol.2 looked like a sponge but worked (in certain colorways). The Harden 3 discovered herringbone and it is great.

Front to back, side to side (word to UGK), the Harden Vol 3 voyager offers complete coverage in a tight, tough pattern that gripped all three floors I played on. This model (the ‘Voyager’ colorway) features a translucent rubber that doesn’t grab dust as bad as past shoes with clear soles, but I did need to wipe frequently on the dirty court. On the newly refinished rec court I play league at on Mondays, I was completely glued to the floor with almost too much grip. I know, that’s a serious problem right?

I could really feel the difference between the Harden Vol 3 and the Vol 2 on defense. The Vol 2 pattern and rubber offered a smoother, softer stop that eased into the grip (if that makes sense). However, the Harden Vol 3 is a serious stop RIGHT NOW stop and as someone who still tries to play hard D (yeah, I know…) I appreciated the improvements.

Outdoors? C’mon, you already know that answer. Shallow pattern, translucent rubber? Not a chance I see these lasting outdoors, at least in this colorway.

Less Boost must mean worse cushioning — those are the laws of sneaker physics right? — except when it doesn’t, like on the Harden Vol 3. What helps is less caging of the forefoot.

By only caging about a three inch strip (in my size 10.5) of the forefoot the stability is still present but the Boost is allowed to compress more across the whole forefoot. That gives the shoe great impact protection but also incorporates some great court feel.

The Vol 1 went with court feel and it excelled. The Vol 2 went the max cushioning route and lost some court feel, although it wasn’t terrible. The Harden Vol 3 finds a great balance. There was no lag time at all in reactions and after coming down from jumpers I had no pain in my feet. Also, the Boost doesn’t stick out from the upper, making the forefoot less clunky and blocky than the Vol 2.

We’ve discussed the forefoot, but what about the heel? Again, we get less Boost than the Vol 2, which makes the ride lower while still giving great impact protection. This also makes the transition extremely smooth and flowing with a low heel-to-toe drop — no clunkiness at all. Overall, this is the best combination of court feel and protection that the Harden line has given us.
While the Vol 1 had two different upper options, Primeknit and a normal textile, the Vol 2 gave us just one option and it was a cross between the two Vol 1 builds. For the Harden Vol 3, we get what is being called a “textile upper with synthetic overlay.”

For us normal people, this means a woven upper with fabric backing. It feels more like the Vol 2 than Primeknit, but this isn’t a bad thing. Straight out of the box the upper feels pliable and comfortable and has no internal hotspots. The black/white release colorway has more of a plastic-glued feeling over the weave while the silver colorway is straight fabric.

Internally, as mentioned, the upper is lined with a fabric backing as well as an internal sleeve system. Going away from the trendy one-piece upper, the tongue and lace area are almost separate. The heel and tongue are topped off with some of the softest leather seen lately, and those areas wrinkle and crease almost as soon as you put the shoes on (which is great).

The inside of the heel and ankle is lined with thick padding and old-school terry cloth that feels great on-foot, even with no-show socks (I guess Nightwing and I are the only ones who still wear those from reading the comments). For the silver colorway, there is a glittery thread sewn into the upper, so if you like sparkles and shiny things, you are in luck.
Finally, after a few years of trial and error, adidas has gotten the sizing right. I am a 10.5 in almost everything, and a 10.5 in the Harden Vol 3 was perfect. I mean, absolutely perfect. The biggest reason? That almost-separate tongue and upper. This allows the upper to be laced as tight or loose as you wish. Wide-footers, rejoice! I like to pull mine tight so there is absolutely no movement inside, and the lacing system let me do that. However, if you have a wide foot, you can loosen the upper a bit and it will still fit fine. The elastic band does nothing but adds some design and texture to the upper, so no worries on it being too tight.

The heel slip/fit is a problem for regular-width feet if you don’t lace up the last hole tight. You can do it because the tongue is thickly padded and the flat laces don’t put any pressure across your foot. The high heel piece looks uncomfortable but breaks in quick and helps with that heel lockdown. The padding in that area is almost obnoxious but it feels great after about two games of wear (or wear them casually for about an hour).

If the yeezy boost was a little more support than you bargained for, the Harden Vol 3 takes it back a notch. The feel, initially, is running shoe-like and that feeling never really goes away.

The materials are flexible but don’t stretch so lateral stability isn’t an issue across the forefoot. Again, the band doesn’t really contribute anything, but the materials do a fantastic job with lockdown. The caging of the lateral forefoot Boost in the Harden Vol 3 acts as an outrigger as well so rolling in that area is gone. Boost, being a soft foam, tends to compress and become unstable on some landings, but the caging keeps the Boost from excessive compression, which keeps the shoe stable.

The full-length shank is present again in the Harden Vol 3 and it runs from the heel into the solid midfoot to two separate forks under the forefoot. Separating the forefoot shank provides flexibility — without being overly stiff — and still keeps the shoe stable. There is an internal heel cup that rises halfway up the extended heel area but it never gets in the way while playing. The rest of the support comes from the lacing system and the fantastic fit, which complete ties the foot into the upper.

Plain and simple: the Harden Vol 3 is the best Harden shoe we have seen yet. The design may, in some eyes, be taking a step back but performance has never been better.

If you are a player at any position who enjoys freedom of movement, court feel with above-average impact protection, and a great fit look no further — the Harden Vol 3 is a serious shoe. If you enjoy a little more supportive feel or just don’t like “The Beard” then I guess you can look elsewhere, but you’ll be missing out.

adidas has a hit on their hands with the Harden Vol 3. Now I am faced with a dilemma: my Top Picks of the year are coming soon, and with adidas switching the release dates of the Dame 5 and Harden Vol 3, I may have to make room for a shoe I didn’t anticipate.

With the Crazy BYW X and the Harden Vol 3 being the only Boost-equipped basketball shoes on the release calendar for the foreseeable future, pickings are slim if you need the little pebbles under your foot. It seems, to some in this business, that adidas is straying from Boost in basketball and turning to Bounce as a more stable cushioning system for the lateral and vertical movements. However, if Three Stripes can make a Boost with this impact protection and court feel, moving away from it is a mistake.

adidas, follow the leader — or at least the MVP — and give us the Boost we still live for.  


Posted by Newtruckspring.com - suspension parts at 17:26Comments(0)2017 NBA Championship

2018年10月19日

nikecourt zoom zero performance analysis and review

I didn’t mean for this to happen but the U.S. Open kicked off yesterday so what a perfect time to drop a tennis shoe review. I don’t review tennis shoes often because 1) I don’t play tennis often anymore 2) I already reviewed the GOAT 3) I have some Zoom Vapormax 9’s as back up.

But something about the design and look of the Zoom Zero said try me. I tried the Nike Ultra React tennis shoe a few years back as well as the Adidas Energy Boost but those two just didn’t work for me; The React was an overpriced Jordan 33 wannabe built to satisfy shoe tech geeks but guess what, nobody fell for it…Same with the Adidas Energy Boost. Have all the tech jargon you want, both shoes weren’t any better than their dumbed down counterparts.

So I bought the Zoom Zero on release day and I think I found a fantastic tennis shoe that doubles as perfect outdoor shoe as well as a great indoor Bball shoe. I guess Bo knows tennis now three decades later

*If you didn’t know I was a top junior in Texas back in the day and played a semester In college before dropping it for a life of hooping and lifting five hours a day with very occasional studying..very very occasional*

Weight

14 ounces so pretty average weight for a tennis shoe or hoops shoe.

Traction

So one of the old school benefits of Nike tennis was a 6 month outsole guarantee but the Zero doesn’t have that guarantee. Guess money is tight at Nikecourt.

The shoe features a pattern very similar to the Kd V but with smaller triangles and guess what it works ..everywhere and does what it’s supposed to do.

Tennis is a game of starting and stopping but sometimes you have to slide into shots and whatever it’s doing on court, it listened. Chase down a drop shot, split step for a volley, slide into a running forehand… it was just great.

Tennis uses similar if not the same movements as basketball so these work great outdoors as well. I took these indoors to hoop in after playing tennis the other day and they worked great although some wiping was needed on dirty floors. The point is they do what they’re supposed to.

Cushioning

Full length zoom is very rare in a tennis shoe so yes I admit this drew me in. Nike top loaded the heel and midfoot but then bottom loaded the forefoot for court feel.

Pic courtesy of Nike

I’d prefer top all the way through but it’s an interesting idea to say the least and it’s what gives the Zero such a weird looking midsole.

Heel to mid Zoom is great, nice and springy while the forefoot is pretty average with barely only some Zoom feel. I think Nike really parred down the foam to give the wearer a lower to the ground feel since it rides a little high in the heel.

The secret to the heel Zoom feel is the strobelNike used a thin foam board and cut out portions in the heel so you really get that Zoom feel.

Although I’d like more Zoom feel in the forefoot, I was very pleased with the Zoom set up overall. Quick and responsive in the forefoot with a nice bounce in the heel. I was talking to a young teaching pro and he asked me about these and said he wanted more heel cushioning to replace his Cage 2’s and I told him these would work great.

Fit

Nike likes to use a really slim and long last with their tennis shoes and these are no different. I went true to side and these fit me slightly long although it’s really the design of the toe box. I have about a thumbs width at the toe but if I went down half a size my toes would get crammed. I think most can go true to size but narrow footers may want to go down half a size. Zero heel slip out of the box which is probably due to its higher than normal cut.

It is a very Nikecourt design with an inner bootie and partial outer one piece design.

I wouldn’t say the fit is quite as good as the Vapors but it’s still a very good fit overall with no movement side to side or front to back (maybe that’s why it’s narrow at the toe, so you don’t jam our toes on stops).

Materials

Mostly mesh so nothing to write home about. For $130 it’s about what I’d expect from Nike or Adidas and it works just fine. Just can’t get cool textures with mesh.

Support and Stability

This is a tennis shoe but there the higher cut just gives it a little more support without restricting movement.

As to be expected stability is excellent thanks to a low to the ground forefoot, wide outsole and tiny outrigger. No tippiness anywhere heel to toe.

Containment

I thought these would be iffy on court but I was wrong.. No stretching on hard changes of direction or when chasing down balls sideline to sideline.

Part of the reason is the huge raised tooth coming off the midsole.

And the other is the use of synthetic and rubber around the toe.

But there is a hidden reason containment works..

There is a layer of stiff synthetic on the lateral side only to keep the mesh from stretching on hard cuts. Zero issues with containment. Well done Nikecourt, can you talk to Nike Basketball?

Durability

I usually don’t talk aboutdurability since I hoop indoors but as a chronic toe dragger when I play tennis , I wear holes in my shoes in a hurry. Nike smartly added rubber to the inside toe and medial side for durability. If you look at our shoes you rub your feet together a lot so Nike also added rubber to the medial toe area. After several hours outdoors in 100 degree heat, these are holding up nicely.

Ventilation

I usually don’t discuss this ether since I play bball indoors but playing in 100 degree weather on hard courts, my feet typically get really hot but these kept the heat at bay for me even during the middle of the day. Mesh is better than leather in this regard for sure. I’m sure there are better ventilated shoes out there but I’m not really in the market for tennis shoes like I am for bball. Still pleased with how these worked out.

Conclusion

I was looking at Asics for my next tennis shoe thanks to a lot of positive reviews from my friends and I liked how they looked but being a shoe nerd, I’m glad I gave these a shot. These are one of those shoes that you put on and forget about almost immediately. Short break in, balanced cushioning, good fit and traction..the list goes on and on with the Zoom Zero. I like my Zoom Vapors but it feels like I’m wearing a shoe on court while these just feel like an extension of my foot. I could have waited to buy these since all tennis shoes hit clearance but sometimes I’m impulsive…

A lot of readers ask about a good outdoor hoop shoe and I can’t answer that often since I don’t play outdoors but if you’re looking for a good outdoor head shoes don’t hesitate to try the Zoom Zero. It does everything a hoops shoe does well and it’s designed for the outdoors..heck, it even played great indoors. I’d actually take these over quite a few most hoops shoes.

Overall rating: first team



Well done Nike!  


Posted by Newtruckspring.com - suspension parts at 20:18Comments(0)

2018年10月17日

Air Jordan 33 performance review is here

After thirty three years of flight the Air Jordan 33 performance review is here.

The traction on the Air Jordan 33 reminded me a lot of the Nike Kobe AD NXT 360, and both patterns performed similarly. Despite being translucent rubber, the outsole of the Air Jordan 33 bit the floor nicely and, for those that care about the sound traction makes, they were loud as hell — screeching compared to everyone else in the gym. However, as we all know, sound/squeak does not equal traction.

Those that wait for a solid rubber colorway should receive slightly better grip solely based on the rubber compound, but as it stands, the Air Jordan 33 was solid. When compared to the Air Jordan 31 and 32 the 33 is the best of the bunch.

There is one area on the outsole where I’d slip semi often. It’s located at the ball of the foot and initially I thought it was just from the floor being dirty. It turns out I had the slip no matter which floor I played on so I think it’s due to the outsole’s shape in that specific spot. It’s right where the Zoom Air unit protrudes so its semi-rounded and then arches up a little.

To avoid slipping I had to change my footwork a little. Instead of putting pressure on the ball of my foot I had to make sure I was planting with most of my forefoot instead. This solved the problem and if you happen to run into the same issue it could help you out.

I would not recommend the AJ33 for anyone that plays primarily outdoors.

Cushion:Unlocked Zoom Air is back in the forefoot while the heel features a small Hex-Zoom unit, something we haven’t seen in an Air Jordan signature since the 22.

If you played in the Air Jordan 32 then you’ll receive much of the same in terms of mobility, court feel, and impact protection. The midsole is a bit stiff with the FlightSpeed plate so some breaking in is required. Once broken-in you’ll be able to maneuver across the court as you would normally with that added spring to your step. Until then, the Air Jordan 33 does feel a bit restrictive and bulky. If you can get past the initial break-in period then I think Zoom Air lovers will enjoy this shoe.

The Hex-Zoom unit at the heel went unnoticed for me. I rarely ride on my heel unless I’m trying to break/slow down. It’s there if you need it, but the primary cushion source is located up front — where I prefer it to be.

Materials: Mesh and synthetic overlays make up the upper of the Air Jordan 33 and they feel nice and light compared to the rest of the shoe. No, it isn’t premium, but it’s a very similar setup to the Jordan 32 and nobody seemed to complain about those being comprised of textile and synthetics. Why start now?

Unlike the 32, the textile here is much lighter, thinner, and more breathable. The synthetic overlays located in the forefoot gave me the feeling of wearing a regular shoe — one made the old fashioned way versus the knits and textile builds we see today. Again, it’s nothing premium but in terms of performance it all worked and worked well.

Lateral containment/support was taken care of with the panels in place as was rear coverage. Those that actually try the shoe on and wear them on-court should enjoy them the way they are.

Fit: The Air Jordan 33 fits true to size, but it’s snug width wise — something I enjoy but wide footers may not.

Lockdown is interesting. The shoe does not have laces, the standout feature on this years model, and it’s strange. I have found that I prefer laces overall; it’s easier for me to adjust each row to fit my foot the way I need rather than mess around with the pull system currently in place. However, on the flip side, untying the Air Jordan33 — if we can even call it that — is a breeze and I definitely enjoy that aspect of the new FastFit lacing system.

Does it work? Yes. It actually does. Is it perfect? No. You need to mess with things quite a bit before you find the fit that works for you. You can easily pull the shoe too tight as well — I went into detail about that in my performance teaser so check that— but I haven’t had a problem since figuring it out. Is it cool? Hell yes. It’s one of the coolest features we’ve had on an Air Jordan since being able to change the midsole cushion — plus, I get a big kick out of seeing tech.

How durable is the thin cable that is the lace? I haven’t had any issue with mine at all. I saw online that a Chinese wearer had his break on him and that may be inevitable (not every pair will be perfect). I just hope we don’t have an Air Jordan XX8 situation where many consumers like the shoe but they end up not being durable enough to last. I think we can all admit that the Air Jordan 28 is amazing, but that Zoom Air popping issue really took a toll on people.

Overall, I think the new FastFit lacing system is really neat but not necessary. I like the eject part of the system more so than the tightening portion. I’m curious to see if this system will be a one and done thing or if we’ll see it modified and enhanced next year. If the brand could improve on this current system then I think it will be onto something. If JB only uses this system on the Air Jordan 33 then I feel most will call it a gimmick that worked for some and not others.

Support: Despite being laceless, support in the Air Jordan 33 is quite nice. The overlays really help keep you on the footbed of the shoe and the FastFit system doesn’t give once taught. At the rear there is a strap system that works well and I’d love to see that on more shoes moving forward. It really emphasized how important heel lockdown is when we talk about support. It allows a closure system like this to work without being dangerous.

The midfoot torsion support is a bit too much, as mentioned earlier, because you really need to break in the FlightSpeed plate. Once it’s good then you’ll be fine, but the Air Jordan 33 is noticeably stiff compared to most other shoes currently on the market.

OverAll: The traction and cushion are both very solid in the Air Jordan 33. Materials work but the FastFit lacing system may throw some people off. There is room for improvement, but what we have is a very functional shoe that may go unappreciated…for now. In a few years I think we’ll look back and think “Man, the Air Jordan 33 was ahead of its time” — much like we do with most of the previous Air Jordans that have come before it.

People are either going to love or hate the Air Jordan 33, and such is the way of the internet. Apparently you can’t just like something anymore because if it isn’t a 10 its a 0.

I liked the Air Jordan 33 quite a bit. I’m not sure if the shoe makes it into my Top 5 of 2018, but it’ll be somewhere on my list come year’s end.  


Posted by Newtruckspring.com - suspension parts at 18:55Comments(0)

2018年10月15日

UA Curry 3Zero II 2 Performance Analysis and Review

Beauty is only skin deep..that’s a good thing to remember about this shoe but also life in general.

Pros: traction, excellent fit, low to the ground yet balanced cushioning, fantastic stability, containment, lightweight

Cons: no heel counter so support relies almost solely on fit and stability of shoe (which is excellent), unnecessarily ugly

Sizing Advice: true to size

Best for: guards who want full range of motion yet stable shoe

Buying advice: wait for a MyFitnessPal coupon or just wait and let me know when you see someone with these on. Guaranteed to hit discounts and outlets $60 is fair (what I paid) but should push $35-45 as bottom prices

Weight 12.5 ounces which is very lightweight for a mid and one ounce lighter than the HOVR Havoc Low (review coming for those as well trying to work through some issues with them mainly heel slip)

Traction

Yes

This traction pattern is great and works well on all surfaces. Not the strongest bite but the trade off is infrequent wiping (insert poo joke)

Call me a creature of habit but I still think the Curry 5 traction is a little better due to a better bite and even less frequent wiping. However these are no slouch at all and are definitely one of the better patterns this year.

Well done UA!

Cushioning

Charged in the heel and Micro G? Sounds like a good retro UA mix and it is pretty decent but it doesn’t feel anything like Clutchfit drive 1 or older Micro G. It feels mostly like a thinned out Curry 3 but with less feedback since it rides lower (less cushioning). It rides around 20-22 mm in the forefoot like the Curry 4. If you want low to the ground but more than adequate impact protection, you’ll really like these.

It is a very well balanced combo of court feel with a touch of bounce so I think a lot of players will enjoy the set up even if it isn’t Boosty or Zoom Air like. Could UA do better? Yep they have in the past but these do a good job overall. Just wish these had a little more fun factor but you get what you pay for. For what it’s worth I like this set up much better than the Havoc so far.

Fit

True to size so simple people!!

No dead space in the forefoot at all shoe just slips on and fits like a glove or sock or whatever you want to put on your feet.

It’s essentially a one piece upper with a slightly separated tongue but hugs the foot very nicely right out of the box. This is one of the best aspects of the 3Zero II

Well done UA!

Materials

Molded maxprene upper with zonal restriction engineered from within for maximum comfort & breathability -UA

Translation: Maxprene and mesh but mostly Maxprene. Maxprene feels like a stronger less stretchy version of neoprene and is very comfortable. If you could synthetic and neoprene had a baby together you’d probably get something like this.

No issues here

Support and stability

Support relies on the fit and the stability of the the shoe because there isn’t a heel counter at all. However, stability is OUTSTANDING for a number of reasons

First off the outsole is very wide and features a modified outriggerNo tippiness in the heel and it very wide heel to toe.

It’s one of those shoes that feels like it’s split right in half to keep the lateral side down and flat no matter what you do. Other shoes that felt this stable to me include the Air Jordan 1 and Curry 2. Despite no heel counter I just felt safe playing in these.

Whatever UA did, exceptional job making these feel so stable!

Containment

Nice raised mdisole

It is more flexible than I prefer but with the synthetic upper it does a good job on hard cuts

Conclusion

I had no intention of buying the 3Zero 2 mainly because I threw up on the screen when I saw it and couldn’t hit the add to cart button. However, after a few different colorways came out and another MyFitnessPal coupon popped into my email, I was like ok for $60 I’ll give it a shot and I’m glad I did. For $100 I wouldn’t buy it and neither would the rest of the world but for $60 . Life tip: retail price is what companies wants you to pay, it isn’t the price you should pay. #crazyrichasians

If you can’t get a MFP coupon don’t fret because I can guarantee you THESE WILL SIT and go to major discounts and discount outlets. No games by Steph in the 3Zero II, no major marketing and most of all they are fugly for no reason will allow everyone to cop a shoe that does almost everything exceptionally well with traction, fit and stability being the very high highlights.

If Basketball Shoes really wants to survive in the shoe business, it really needs to work on blending looks with performance. Only 10%-20% of buyers actually buy shoes for their intended purpose so to target just this small percentage of customers is not the right strategy especially when UA basketball lives and dies by one player. I wrote this years back and sure enough the 2016 3-1 lead disappeared and UA tanked (and is still recovering but getting better..UA you should really visit my blog more often). Seriously though a few tweaks here and there would have made the 3Zero 2 much better looking without sacrificing any of the performance aspects.

And knowing how my readers think, I’ll say this ahead of time, I’d take the 3Zero2 over the Havoc all day no questions asked, no refunds, thank you come again. It does EVERYTHING better than the Havoc except maybe support but the stability of the 3Zero2 makes up for it. HOVR might be the newer cushioning but I’m comfortable saying it doesn’t feel much better than Charged especially how it’s implemented in the Havoc and it certainly doesn’t give me any additional energy return. I’m trying to work through heel slip and breaking in the cushioning more before a final assessment of the Havoc.

In the meantime these get a first team rating  


Posted by Newtruckspring.com - suspension parts at 20:34Comments(0)

2018年10月12日

Under Armour HOVR Havoc Low Performance Review

Almost one year ago, Under Armour unleashed HOVR cushioning on the world and for a company that was desperately in need of a top-flight signature cushioning system HOVR was magical. It only took nine months to get HOVR in basketball, and here it is: the HOVR Havoc Low. Does the Havoc live up to the promise of the Phantom and Sonic runners? Let’s go…

One thing you can (almost) never say about Under Armour basketball shoes is that the traction sucks. The HOVR Havoc Low is no different.

There’s herringbone from heel to toe, at least where the shoe touches the court, with horizontal lines breaking up the pattern for flexibility in the forefoot. This is basically the same pattern as what the Drive 4 used and it works on any surface, even outdoors.

Dust is no issue because the grooves are wide and deep and push away any debris you may pick up. It isn’t the squeakiest, but we know that means nothing — you are stopping when you want. Don’t worry about the missing areas because if you need traction in those areas you are already lost.

It says HOVR, but it ain’t the same. First of all, part of the magic of the HOVR system is it can be tuned differently for specific uses. The KD 11 is soft, really soft, and is a more cushioned, relaxed ride for long running days or when you need a little more protection. The HOVR Sonic was tuned tighter and stiffer for fast, racing-style training and runs. The HOVR Havoc is more to the Sonic, but even tighter.

Honestly, there isn’t much HOVR feel at all — no cushy step-in, no bounce-back response. The reason? The HOVR is supremely caged by both a stiff foam midsole on the perimeter and underneath by an almost-full-length TPU shank plate. Honestly, this is good; I couldn’t imagine trying to play ball in a shoe as cushioned but unstable (for lateral movements) as the Phantom.

It’s not all bad though: there is a quickness to the midsole that only comes from a lack of compression. Your steps happen quickly, and your movements are not slowed down waiting for the midsole to respond. The HOVR is thin and doesn’t beef up the midsole at all so court feel is fantastic.

And if you absolutely, positively need to feel some sort of bounce give it time. Once that foam midsole starts breaking in a little, you will notice a more HOVR-y feel. Best of all, while you are playing, impact protection is no issue — which is especially surprising given the thin midsole. You may not be able to feel the bounce, but when you are done playing in the HOVR Havoc Low you won’t feel the pain either.

Mesh and fuse. Fuse and mesh. We’ve all heard the story before, so what else is new? Well, really, nothing — but it’s all about the usage of the fuse and mesh, and the HOVR Havoc Low uses the materials well.

With a full-mesh one-piece upper, fuse overlaid on the toebox and lateral forefoot, and backing by a super-comfortable foam liner, the curry 5 is a supremely comfy sneaker. While fuse does sometimes make a shoe stiff and inflexible, the toebox of the Havoc breaks in within minutes of wearing and flexes like a second, rubbery skin.

Soft padding is found along the heel, helping lock in and cut down on the heel slip, but honestly, that needed to be more like a memory foam or at least a little denser. The only other thing to mention is the TPU heel counter, and that is what it is. Simple, but effective.

Through the forefoot and midfoot, fit is really, really close to 1:1. Like, really close. There is a little bit of dead space over the top that you don’t find until you pull the laces up and the one-piece upper pulls in a little, but around the toebox and midfoot you are completely blanketed. I almost went up half a size but I wanted to see how well the shoe felt after a couple of wearings and the HOVR Havoc Low didn’t disappoint; it broke in perfectly and began flexing and moving right with me.

The forefoot laces run through the fuse/synthetic side panels and do a serious job of pulling the upper around your foot as well as pulling your foot down into the midsole. So many shoes just want no extra room instead of actually making the shoe a piece of the athlete, but not the HOVR Havoc Low.

The lacing system does sit back and high on the ankle area, which helps lock the heel into the heel counter, and it does a good job. However, for my desired level of cinch-down, I did get some lace pressure along the top set of laces. Nothing to cry about, but I did have to loosen them up every now and then to keep from chafing and blistering. When I did loosen up, there was a sensation of heel slip, but not real slip. What I’m saying is this: when the heel doesn’t feel locked in I couldn’t feel anything around my heel at all, but I didn’t have any serious slipping.

This is where the denser foam in the heel area would have helped. If the foam was a little stronger, the heel would feel secure. It isn’t a safety issue, but if you need that Aunt Mabel hug around your foot to feel safe and warm, you may want to look at the high version.

This HOVR Havoc is a low-lowtop, possibly the lowest I’ve worn since the Kobe 8, and it feels like it. That isn’t to say the shoe isn’t supportive or safe, because, as you loyal WearTesters readers and watchers know, it ain’t the height of the collar that helps. The HOVR Havoc Low has a super-wide fat-booty heel that rides flat on the floor. All those heel-strikers and big-man post moves are stable and supported perfectly — especially with the HOVR foam not being mushy.

The forefoot is more of the same, wide and balanced with a stable midsole. The foot doesn’t sit inside the midsole — no raised areas on either side — but the synthetic lace system works the same and keeps the foot snug over the footbed on lateral movements.

The midfoot is solid thanks to the huge TPU plate under the HOVR and above the outsole rubber. The plate runs completely across and from heel to nearly the toes so there is no twisting or turning underfoot while playing. This should make the HOVR Havoc Low stiff but the shoe just flows.

When I first tried on HOVR in November of 2017 I was immediately hit with the thought, “I wonder when this will hit basketball?” Since I was with Under Armour reps at the time, I was told not until August. Since that day, I have been anticipating this shoe like no other. HOVR in running is magical. In basketball, well, it needs a little tuning, but the concept and vision is there. No, it isn’t bouncy like Boost, or responsive like Zoom, but it does absorb and rebound on impact and is stable on any and all movements.

If you need that cushy cushioning you will have to drop some dollars on another brand. If you are looking for a seriously quick, responsive, biting-traction shoe, the HOVR Havoc Low will more than satisfy. Coming in an abundance of team colorways (can’t wait for all the Dallas Mavericks/Dennis Smith Jr. colors to pop), the  UA Curry is a shoe that works and works well in any environment. Now, let’s make sure HOVR doesn’t end up being Micro G’s new neighbor in Florida (#retired).  


Posted by Newtruckspring.com - suspension parts at 19:14Comments(0)

2018年10月09日

Better Off-White x Nike Blazer Grim Reaper or Eve

Virgil Abloh’s latest Off-White x Nike Blazer Mid release consists of two Halloween inspired color options dubbed, “Grim Reaper” and “All Hallows Eve” as part of Spooky Pack.

After dominating headlines last month with his “Queen” collection for Serena Williams — complete with a brand-new Air Max 97 — Virgil Abloh is back in the public eye again, as official images of his two new Off-White Nike Blazers have been unveiled. Abloh’s remarkable propensity for never straying far from the limelight has continued ever since the release of his original “The Ten” collection in September 2017, and now his highly-anticipated seasonal takes on a beloved silhouette will ensure he stays there long into the fall and winter.

Entitled the “All Hallow’s Eve” and the “Grim Reaper” the two seasonal Blazers feature a deconstructed aesthetic, two-tone color palates and Abloh’s instantly recognizable bold branding.

The “All Hallow’s Eve” offers a halloween-ready combination of cream and orange, while the “Grim Reaper” opts for a spooky black and white. The former is notable for utilizing a retro color scheme not seen before on Off-White releases, while the latter’s translucent midfoot stands out even more than usual due to its dark black base. Both shoes also feature Virgil’s Helvetica branding on the medial midfoot, and are completed with a signature zip tie

Inspired by the dark look of the infamous grim reaper, the shoe features a Black upper with an oversized White Swoosh, Orange detailing and signature Off-White zip-tie in Light Blue.

The “All Hallows Eve” comes in a ghostly Cream colored upper with a Orange Swoosh logo, Abloh’s signature bold branding text and Light Blue zip ties to compete the Halloween theme.

Comparing both shoes, which would you consider the better release? Cast your vote below, and leave your reasonings in the comments section.  


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2018年10月05日

adidas Pro Bounce Performance Review

adidas Hoops has been pretty quiet in 2018. The brand hopes that will change with the introduction of the adidas Pro Bounce.

This is one of the best outsoles we’ve gotten from adidas since the Harden Vol 1. Its rubber compound feels nearly identical to the kd 11 and it acts like it as well. Spiral patterns usually work well but the bite these offer is on another level. There were no issues no matter which court I played on. I just had solid traction from start to finish. It’s capable of handling outdoor use as well which is a big plus.

If consistent and reliable traction is your thing then the adidas Pro Bounce should be on your list of options when shopping for a new pair of basketball shoes.

Bounce cushion appears to be replacing Boost in most of adidas’ basketball models. It’s replaced Boost in adidas’ awful D Rose 9, and it looks like it’s completely replaced the Crazy Explosive line altogether. It’s almost like adidas is trying a little harder to distinguish the two cushions — which one is its premium offering and which one is its more affordable option.

Now, if you’ve worn Bounce before then you won’t be disappointed. Bounce offers a slight bounce in terms of feedback underfoot while retaining a ton of court feel. It’s one of the most well-balanced rides from a foam currently available on the market.

It did leave a bit to be desired when I took the Pro Bounce outdoors, so for that I’d rather grab my Harden Vol 2, but for indoor use I think it’s perfect for players from the 1 to 5 spot.

adidas applied ForgeFiber, a lightweight mesh with additional stitching for reinforcement and strength, on the upper of the Pro Bounce which is similar to the Harden Vol 2’s build. And like the Harden Vol 2, it feels a little cheap in-hand and on-foot.

However, ForgeFiber works just fine. It’s breathable. It’s lightweight. It moves with the foot rather than against it. It requires zero break-in time. But it still feels a little cheap — it’s something I’d be okay seeing on a $90 shoe instead of a $120 shoe.

Is it a deal breaker? From a performance perspective, not at all. If you like to feel like you have something premium then it could be. Those preferring the lightest shoe available will enjoy the Pro Bounce more than those that prefer leathers.

I’d suggest going true to size or down 1/2 size. My adidas Pro Bounce was my true size and I didn’t experience any issues with the fit or support. However, there was a little bit of dead space above the toe. I personally prefer my shoes to fit closer to the foot and going down 1/2 size would have given me the fit I prefer.

However, it would haven also rammed my toes into the rubber outsole that wraps up the toe area so if you don’t mind having a tiny bit of dead space then TTS is the way to go. If you don’t mind your toes touching the tip of the shoe then going down 1/2 will suit you best. Wide footers, you’ll likely be okay going TTS with this type of material setup.

Lockdown, despite my dead space issue, was solid. The lacing system is comprised of Flywire-like cables, something I don’t like, but they worked well once you adjust everything to your liking.

Support was very good, even with the cheaper mesh build. Its lockdown and overall fit works well and keeps you on the footbed of the shoe. Torsional support comes in the form of two split TPU spring plates that run into the forefoot of the shoe, something I really enjoyed. The midsole is wide and flat while we have two large exaggerated outriggers — awesome.

Support, despite how the overall package looks, is very much on-point.

Do I recommend the adidas harden vol 3 ? Yes.


It’s a very solid shoe — everything it offers works and works well. The shoe can be used for all positions, on top of that. However, there are a lot of consumers that prefer to have a premium feeling shoe without the premium price tag — and in that sense the Pro Bounce is not that. If you can find the shoe for under its $120 retail price then I’d definitely give it a shot because you’ll be pleasantly surprised. If the shoe happens to be your upcoming team shoe for school then you won’t be disappointed.

If you want something that translates easily from on-court to off-court then, as the young Internets would say, this ain’t it chief.

  


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2018年10月03日

Nike LeBron 16 Performance Review

16? Sixteen! That’s right, Nike took a (not so big) gamble on a high school kid from Akron, Ohio, 16 years ago. And every year since, it seems like Nike has introduced a new technology for LeBron James, from Max Zoom to Hyperposite to Battleknit. Well, the LeBron 16 isn’t new, but it’s a whole lot of goodness. Read on…

Oh my goodness, what is this? A true, gripping, thick traction that needs no wiping, no breaking in, and would work outdoors as well? Who’da thunk it?

Based on the LeBron Soldier 12’s wave-herringbone pattern, the LeBron 16 uses basically straight lines with a slight angle to provide one of the best out-of-the-box grips in recent memory. The pattern is deep and spaced wide enough to push out most of the dirt the shoe encounters (even from casual wear, which these will see a lot of once the Lakers colorway hits). In two weeks of testing I believe I wiped once. Once — not once a day, or once a game — once. After the lateral disaster in the LeBron 15, this was a serious improvement.

Again, as far as outdoors goes, you should actually be good for a few months. The rubber isn’t ’90s Nike hard but it is firmer than most on the shelf today and the pattern is deep. Just remember, once you wear it completely down, you’re skating on Max Air bubbles.

It looks the same, but it doesn’t feel the same. By now you know about the Max Zoom in the LeBron 15 and how it’s bouncy and cushioned at the same time. You probably also know about the compression around the edges and how the midsole felt a little unstable on hard lateral movements. Well, that is no more.

The LeBron 16 has a stiffer overall setup that still provides serious impact protection but feels quicker and smoother from the jump. I’m not sure if it is the actual bags that are tuned tighter or the foam is denser, but instead of sinking into the shoe you get immediate springback into your foot. What good is this?

Well, when jumping on a mattress, or large trampoline, there is a sinking feeling that takes time to get back in the air. Now, on a smaller trampoline, with a higher tuned spring ratio, your body is immediately back into the air on impact. Make sense? Yeah, didn’t think so. Just know this: the LeBron 16 is quicker underfoot than the 15.

The LeBron 16 uses nubuck and Battleknit 2.0. Sounds like the new evil cousin on Game of Thrones huh? Actually, it looks like a shoe fit for a Lannister, with a lion embossed on the heel and the glowing red eyes. We get a nubuck panel for the details on that area and the tongue. It isn’t the most premium of materials, but it’s nicer than we see on most 2018 basketball shoes. It does start off stiff in the heel, leading to some slight heel slip, but after a couple of day’s worth of games it tightened up.

As for the new version of Battleknit, the worries of last year are gone here as well. While the midsole was a lateral movement away from rolling over, the knit upper wasn’t the strongest option for keeping your foot upright. However, the Battleknit 2.0 on the LeBron 16 is backed by a nylon sleeve for some non-stretch support that still flexes easily on normal forward motions but holds tight on lateral movements. You get the best of both worlds with the upper of the Lebron 16.

Initially, I was not impressed. I felt the heel was slipping a little too much (back to the heel nubuck panel) and the forefoot was a little too roomy, especially over my toes. What a difference a few games makes; after my fourth night wearing them, the upper was flexing and softened up so I could get the shoe pulled tight on my forefoot. The heel, however, needed a little something extra. Enter the re-lacing adventure of the LeBron 16.

For those of you who have this shoe already, you may already know what I’m about to tell you. If you don’t have the shoe, pay close attention. The LeBron 16 has variable-width lacing. There are extra holes, much like the Dame 3 or Harden Vol.2, that allow for a more customized fit. After wearing the shoe for a couple of days, I decided to go with the wider set of laces for a more secure lockdown. Bad choice.

Pulling the laces from the shoe was hard enough, with the Flywire on the tongue being the main issue. Re-lacing back through the knit upper was a task for the jaws of life. The nylon backing is tight but the lace holes don’t run through it, they only run through the knit outer layer. This made getting the aglets back into the shoe a knuckle-scraping, finger-tip-almost-bleeding task that took 15 minutes per shoe. Doing this whole operation cut down on my heel slip issues completely, so I guess it was worth it.

No matter, because after my fourth wear, everything about the shoe just formed around my foot when laced tight and there is now no movement at all. I would say go true to size (I went 10.5 in the LeBron 16 and the AD Exodus) and enjoy your runs.

One thing the LeBron line has never lacked is support — the guy is 6’9″ and 270 pounds. Of course, the designers know he needs a combat boot for the court. That’s what makes Batteknit 2.0 so surprising; knit for this type of shoe seems a little risky, but the tightness of the threads and the no-stretch upper give serious lateral stability and containment. That’s good because the midsole stays in the middle and doesn’t come up the sides of the shoe at all.

Again, the variable lacing helps keep your foot over the footbed on hard slides and the double-layered heel cup and the internal padding lock your rear foot in place — as long as you get he lacing dialed in and give it a little time.

The biggest difference in the LeBron 16 is the midsole. As mentioned above, the Max Zoom combo feels like it is tuned tighter. That leads to stiffer Air bags and less compression. Along the edges, this means that when you’re leaning into a move or cutting harsh the bags won’t collapse and roll — they stay upright and springy.

Then, Nike went and did for us what it did exclusively for LeBron last year: it added small outriggers on each Max Zoom bubble. They aren’t huge outriggers, but they are just enough to keep the shoe upright when playing on your toes. The base of the shoe also feels wider while playing, something that helps on quick jumpers for a stable base.

After 16 models I can’t really say what my favorite LeBron shoe is because that’s a long time with a lot of change. I can say Nike fixed most of the issues found in the 15, and the 15 was an almost-great shoe. In the LeBron 15 we get better traction, a more stable midsole, more responsive cushioning, and a more contained upper that are all built for a King.

If you are an all-around player, or just enjoy playing, the LeBron 16 will suit any play style or move — be it slashing, cutting, shooters, defense, rebounding. The shoe simply handles everything thrown at it and is one of the most fun shoes on the market today…unless you are a Cavaliers fan.  


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2018年10月02日

nike kyrie 3 vs 2 performance test 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.

Kyrie 2 Review

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 KD 11 , 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 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 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.  


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2018年10月02日

Nike Kobe AD Exodus 2018 Performance Test

Nope, Nike and Kobe aren’t done. There is another AD in town. So how does the Kobe AD Exodus perform? Let’s go…

What took so long for this review? Didn’t these get purchased on release day? Well, yes, but the traction held me up. On first wearing I was ready to sell the Kobe AD Exodus because I slipped and slid all over the court, falling twice on first steps from a standstill position while trying to drive.

Of course, it was a dirty, bad 24-Hour Fitness court, but when I changed into the Jordan 32 I was good to go. Two days later, same court, same results. Someone was about to get a deal on these. Third wearing, I went to a local college court and played — better floor, better results. I was sticking and moving like Ali so these could work! I went back to the original court for my last wear, and lo and behold, the floor was clean and the results were serious stickiness.

All that said, if you are playing on a fairly clean court, you will be good. I guarantee on dirty courts I wiped these every 4-5 trips down the floor and was still iffy. Once the floor was swept I no issues at all. The soles will suck up every particle of dust in a three mile area, so keep them clean. Outdoors? Next…

Once again, we get a Kobe model with a dispute about the cushioning. We know the heel is Zoom Air, and after seeing the Kobe AD Exodus deconstructed we know it’s a huge heel unit. But what’s in the forefoot? Yeah, it’s foam. It’s basic injected Phylon.

On a budget model (the under-$80 silhouettes) this might not be a bad thing. But on the Kobe AD it’s a little…underwhelming. The caged in forefoot, which uses the same outsole rubber, makes it stiff and dead-feeling. Not as dead as the Kyrie 3 but just a budget foam/forefoot feel. While playing, however, I had no complaints; the forefoot rode low and with very little compression of the midsole so the response was great. Once traction dialed in, change of direction was quick and landing on jumpers or drives was no issue. Not the best, but not a deal-breaker at all.

The heel unit, as mentioned, covers the whole area and is thick (14mm). The only issue I had at all with the heel was coming off screens/curls and planting. I heel plant and turn into my shot to square up and the edges of the Zoom unit would compress under pressure, causing my foot to lean slightly as I planted. I gradually got used to this issue and after a couple of wears it wasn’t an issue. I would gladly trade that feeling for full-length Zoom for impact protection on those back-leaning landings.

I’ve seen better, but the materials work. Yes, we get the felt/suede upper from the Kobe AD Mid, but luckily it isn’t the full upper, so that initial stiffness from the Mid is gone. It still doesn’t breathe, and after every run my shoes were soaked in that area. The tongue area is Nike Pro/Torch material, which is a padded mesh with holes strategically cut into the internal foam for ventilation. Doing this lets the tongue remove lace pressure with the foam but provides ventilation from the holes and mesh; it helps a little.

The forefoot is a combination of two materials: composite mesh and Nike Basketball mesh. The composite is the band you see over the first lace loops, and it provides no-stretch, no-give stability for lateral movements and hard steps. The rest of the toe moving forward is thin mesh, like the PG 1, and it is so light and thin it almost isn’t there. There is a fused area over the big toe — we know why — and that’s it.

Schnug. Not unbearable-in-true-to-size snug, but a really close, tight fit. The materials having little to no give laterally help with that, and honestly, it fits perfect for me. It feels too small until you play and realize the shoe just moves with you with no slow-down or issues.

The one issue I can see some having is around the arch; it’s narrower than any Kobe I can remember in that area and some will want to go a half-size up when buying. I wouldn’t unless you are a wide-footer and can’t stand it. The feeling goes away and the fit will be appreciated later.

The heel is completely locked in with a thick padding around the collar and Achilles. It is still amazing that a shoe with four lace holes can fit like this, but lockdown is complete and total.

As for length, true to size should give you about a quarter-inch of extra space on your big toe, just enough to expand a little on those long days.

For a lowtop that is meant to be light and fast, the Kobe AD Exodus is…light and fast. Support is okay, with a standard heel counter and a raised midsole in the heel and forefoot. There is no midfoot shank, but that isn’t always a deal breaker — the Kobe AD Exodus has a flat sole and serious internal arch structure so midfoot support is good. The forefoot is built without an outrigger, but the sole is rounded off and is slightly wider than the upper so there is no sense of rolling over while playing. Additionally, the composite mesh across the toebox does a fantastic job of holding your foot over the footbed with no give while the regular mesh is soft and feels free.

The rest of the stability and support comes from the simple lacing system and the fit. The Kobe AD Exodus fits almost perfect, as stated above, and when the foot isn’t allowed to slide inside of the shoe it is amazing how support improves.

Transition is another extremely strong point on the Kobe AD Exodus. Often, when a shoe has a flat bottom and different heel/forefoot cushioning, there can be a “slappy” feel when running, like you borrowed your big brother’s shoes or something. This Kobe is smooth in every motion, and that is credited to the fit and the materials being soft in the right places (toebox) and rigid in others (heel counter).

Nope, the Kobe AD Exodus isn’t the best Kobe ever. It isn’t even the best Kobe on shelves right now (still the Protro I). It is, however, a really solid effort from the Swoosh. It does almost everything well on-court (especially clean courts) and is smooth on-foot. Yes, Zoom in the forefoot would have possibly been better (we never know — it may have made the ride stiff and clunky), but the foam does create a quick, low-riding shoe suitable for small guards and wings.

If you are a quick, Kyrie-type, you will love the Kobe AD Exodus. If you are a Kobe-type bigger guard who can get up, you will love this Kobe. If you are a Spurs or Kings fan and still hold grudges about the last 10 years of Kobe’s career, you will probably still like the Kobe AD Exodus on-court. Just sweep it first, trust me.  


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