2022年01月19日

Speedland SL:PDX Performance Review

Right from the start, I’ll tell you the Speedland SL:PDX is a high end trail running tool that’s not for everyone. The SL:PDX is high end because of the materials, components and price. It’s more a tool than shoe because of its impressive versatility. I’m not going to talk much about the $375 price tag because it automatically self selects who’s interested. If you’re not willing to pay that price, you don’t need what the SL:PDX offers. I’m also not going to compare it with other trail shoes because it’s not a fair fight. The Speedland SL:PDX is on a different level, a shoe made for those who spend all their free time running and hiking difficult trails.


Speedland SL:PDX




Release Date: August 15, 2021


Price: $375


Weight: 10.3oz (9.9oz with lugs cut)

Drop: 5mm (23mm forefoot, 28mm heel)

Pros


For the Speedland SL:PDX, customization is king. The Michelin outsole comes with 3mm cuttable lugs. You can leave the lugs long if your trails are muddy or cut them if your trails are dry and rocky. I tried the lugs both ways and enjoy them cut down. But if I was running through swamps? I’d leave the lugs long. It feels awesome to be able to customize your traction based on the conditions you run in.

Alongside the cuttable lugs, the outsole also offers two cuttable drainage holes. They come uncut but again, if your trails are wet, you’ll want the two small holes open so water can drain out easier.

Moving up the midsole…well, the midsole isn’t visible. It’s removable Pebax midsole housed inside the shoe. It’s similar to the setup of the Nike Air Zoom GT Cut or the Nike Kobe 9. Attached to the bottom of the midsole is a removable carbon fiber plate made by Carbitex. The carbon fiber plate does two things. One, it acts as a rock plate to protect the foot. And two, it works with the foam to provide a bit more bounce. While I didn’t feel much spring from the carbon plate, due to it being on the bottom and not embedded in the foam, I did appreciate the carbon plate on rocky trails. The SL:PDX felt nimbler without the plate but my feet felt the rocks. Adding the plate was necessary protection to avoid sore feet after rough trails. The Pebax midsole isn’t as plush as some other Pebax foams on the market but still feels good under foot. My guess is the rubber outsole caging the bottom of the midsole prevents it from expanding as much as it could. That’s probably necessary with a trail shoe as you don’t want to be too unstable, but the firmer initial feel may surprise people. The foam does break in nicely and is cushioned enough to protect your joints on long, grueling trails.

Another positive for the SL:PDX is the upper’s comfort and customizability. The dual BOA allows for quick tightening and loosening and is easy to use with gloves on cold days. I really liked being able to start a trail run with super tight shoes to help with stability. Then I loosened the shoes as my feet expanded 30-45 minutes into the run. Wide footers will also enjoy this setup because while the Speedland SL:PDX is wide footer friendly with an ample toe box, wide footers can leave the the forefoot loose while cranking down the rear BOA to achieve a one to one fit.

The upper materials themselves also helped the shoe fit well. The knit upper uses Dyneema (a super strong space age material) to add stability and durability while still maintaining the comfort of a typical knit build. Dyneema is expensive, so I doubt we’ll see it on a basketball shoe any time soon, but it would be the perfect improvement to most knit basketball sneakers. Finally, there’s a fantastic, large Achilles pillow to prevent heel blisters and add some plushness. The SL:PDX fits true to size and packs impressive comfort for a rough and tumble trail shoe.

Cons


My main complaint was that on trails that gain/lose elevation quickly, I couldn’t quite get the heel lockdown exactly where I wanted it. Since the BOA lacing system doesn’t wrap around the back of the foot, you don’t get pressed into the heel counter the way you do with more traditional lacing. This will likely not be true for everyone (depends on your foot) but on downhills I sometimes slid into the front edge of the shoe. This didn’t happen as much after my foot sunk into and left an impression in the midsole. The lockdown gets redemption as it improves with increased use.

The only other complaint is the material used on the straps. It’s a synthetic suede or felt type fabric most likely chosen for its durability and softness across the top of the foot. To me, it just doesn’t feel as premium as the rest of the shoe. Not sure what should replace it, but I see that as a place for Speedland to improve future models.

Speedland SL:PDX Summary


The Speedland SL:PDX is the best trail running shoe on the market. The SL:PDX grips the trail like a radial mountain bike tire, offers great support, protects the foot from rocks and roots, prioritizes durability, can speed up on race days and is easily customizable. It’s a serious trail runner’s dream shoe.

And if you’re someone who wants to run more trails but needs motivation? Having a pair of the Speedland SL:PDX in the closet amplifies the siren call of the trails and makes you want to wear it as often as possible.




  


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2022年01月15日

Nike PG 5 Review: 3-Month OUTDOOR Breakdown

A lightweight & versatile build? Check. Priced under $120? Check. Widely available & customizable via Nike By You? Check that one too. Here’s a comprehensive 3-month, outdoor PG 5 review for ya.

And after a very strange PG 4, things MUST be better this time, as otherwise – we’ll end up in the trash territory. And nobody wants their money spent on that. I’ll pick apart the shoe’s fit & comfort, on-court performance, build quality, versatility & value for the price.

I. SPEC SHEET


Click to inspect the full-sized image


II. 1-MIN REVIEW 


For those in a hurry: the Nike PG 5 is a solid all-around performer that won’t blow many away but will serve most on-court.

It’s got solid traction but think twice about taking these outdoors too often. The Air Strobel returns in full-length fashion and offers a decent cushion setup with a bit of all: court feel, low ride height, stability, response and a bit of compression.

I could feel a minimal improvement here – things were a tad bit plusher than they were with the lebron 19.

Support also underwent changes and is the shoe’s strongest area. Its secure fit & support features offered me a confident experience but one that’s not restricting.

The mesh + textile build is definitely on the cheaper side but works performance-wise. Don’t expect high-quality materials or premium touches here though.

For alternatives, you could snatch the Jordan Reach Elevation for $120 which has a slightly better cushion setup, better durability for outdoor play and the wider last results in a better fit for wide footers.

Or, if you’re saving cash, you could grab the Nike Renew Elevate which feels fairly similar but is priced at just 80 dollars.

> The full review is below

III. FIT & COMFORT


Do they fit TTS or should you deviate from your size? How comfy are they? Anything else to know?
PG 5 Review: Top
image source: nike.com

SIZING GUIDE

You won’t have to scratch your head as you did with the PG 4 if you got the shoe.

The PG 5 should fit most guys true to their usual size. Expect a snug, near one-to-one fit and most people also report that these leave just a tad bit of space length-wise. Nothing crazy, just some wiggle room.

For me as a big wide footer, I went up half a size since the shoe definitely feels narrow internally. The upper is very thin and forgiving, so no issues with the material colliding with my foot.

The foam coming up from the midsole in the forefoot and back portions did jam the sides of my boat-like feet but it broke in and I soon found myself liking the fit overall.

Still a little tight, but I’d rather take a condensed and secure fit than a roomy & dangerous one where I’d slide all over the place. About a week was all I needed to feel fully comfortable when it’s game time.

So, true to size for regular/narrow footers for a secure, snug fit. Most wide footers will likely need to go up half a size but if you can, try these out in a store before grabbing ’em or order two pairs online just to be sure.
PG 5 Review: Side 2
image source: nike.com

COMFORT: NICE AND LIGHT

Speaking of comfort itself, the PG 5 is nothing special but absolutely gets the job in providing me a solid, distraction-free experience when I’m playing or just messing around on the court.

The shoe is almost absurdly light (yeah, that’s becoming a thing nowadays) and noticeably more feathery-like compared to last year’s shoe.

There’s a bit of internal padding around your ankle and a single large achilles notch to secure your heel in place. The tongue isn’t very well-padded but since it’s made of nylon and feels nice woth no chafing issues, so I’m cool with that.

Aside from being lighter, the shoe just feels faster and more sturdy when stacked against the PG 4. No more wobbly materials, excellent containment, smooth step transitions, and a solid overall experience.

Each step also felt more pleasant since they’re using a plush insole now. Always a plus.

IV. TRACTION


Does it grip various surfaces consistently? Is floor dust a factor? How long will the outsoles last?
PG 5 Review: Outsole 1
image source: nike.com

OUTDOOR PERFORMANCE

Looks familiar? For my OGs out there (or slight OGs for that matter), this traction pattern is straight from the cult classic Kobe 9 and that shoe has legendary status traction, without even exaggerating.

The PG 5 gripped the outdoor courts excellently for me, and I have no issues with these outsoles performance-wise.

Deadly bite no matter the movement as a multi-directional pattern is being used here, no unnatural articulations or anything like that, just simply great traction.

Not a lot of wiping needed either – an occasional swipe or two every so often was all I did, and those were probably purely out of habit.

The only place where I needed to wipe these down a bit more often is the amazingly wrecked blacktop I sometimes play on when I’m not able to get to my usual park with a synthetic rubber surface for one reason or another.

This blacktop is straight from the 80s with all kinds of nasty debris lying around, along with a banged-up concrete on several areas.

It’s an abrasive surface, so most shoes don’t have issues gripping it but if you step on certain dead spots – things can turn from good to nightmarish. This wasn’t the case with the PG 5.

Even skipping a wipe or two in the heat of a battle, the pattern was able to catch my movements properly, albeit probably with a bit more “lag” if I would have really tried to notice the difference. But that’s the thing – since I didn’t notice it, it’s a pass.

Fantastic outdoor traction is all you need to know here.
PG 5 Review: Outsole 2
image source: nike.com

INDOOR PERFORMANCE

Don’t get too excited now. Some issues come up if you plan to take these indoors on the hardwood later.

I haven’t personally had the chance to take these indoors and test ’em out properly but several reviewers report on questionable performance indoors, especially after hooping outside on a more abrasive surface that burns up the pattern.

So, if you happened to play outdoors for a while and decide to take these to a gym, there’s really not enough resistance on the surface to help catch your movements, and the rubber that’s left will likely cause some slide-outs and general “lag” when stopping and popping.

That’s just the nature of some rubber compounds. Some of them don’t have this problem, others do when less tacky rubber used. I can’t 100% confirm this myself but based on the general reception, looks like we got the latter with the PG 5.

This is why I recommend either sticking with these indoors or outdoors solely as you might end up a little screwed. Not saying this will happen 100% but there’s a good chance it will, speaking from personal experience.

If you use this one as a straight-up indoor shoe – the traction should be just fine though.
PG 5 Review: Outsole 3
image source: nike.com

OUTDOOR DURABILITY

Now, just because the pattern is identical to the Kobe 9 doesn’t mean the rubber Nikey used is also the same. And it’s clearly not. Unfortunately, this is today’s leading issue among basketball sneakers in my opinion. ESPECIALLY with Nike products.

The jordan 1 had durable rubber. People were banging in those for years. On the PG 5 – the rubber wears out super quickly. I was already seeing quite severe visual damage on my high-wear areas such as the forefoot, not even a full month in.

These are just not outdoor-ready. No way around it. I was able to play comfortably and effectively for the 3 months but the pattern is almost fully burnt off now, excluding a few areas where we usually don’t do a lot of plants or push-offs.

Since the knobs are virtually gone, the rubber itself is still able to catch my strides at a good rate, plus I’m playing on abrasive surfaces, and 9 times out of 10, you’ll still have good bite outdoors even if you blow through the pattern.

Not out-of-the-box level but still fine.

These are not available on Nike By You anymore, so you won’t be able to slap on XDR rubber outsoles for better durability (which you could after the shoe launched).

However, if you can find the EP version of the shoe somewhere, those offer the stronger XDR rubber and should prolong your time in the PG 5. Overseas stores will be your friend, especially Asian stores if you’re looking for the EP version.

V. CUSHION


How’s the impact protection? What about step comfort, energy return, and ride height? What about the stability of the foam?
PG 5 Review: Midsole
image source: nike.com

Nike calls the cushion setup a full-length Air Dot Weld Strobel but it’s really just the same Air Strobel going from heel to toe, just like the PG 4. There might be some differences in the exact air unit but I’ll leave those to the people who have the ability to take the shoe apart and go more in-depth.

Check out this Reddit thread if you’re curious what these pack inside.

Along with the Air unit, there’s also a Phylon foam midsole underneath it and while the Air unit actually felt a bit plusher for me, the midsole under it felt stiffer than last year’s.

Or maybe the actual insole is what made the stepping motions feel comfier than last year’s shoe. Or a combination of both.

But the end result is rather strange for me. Each initial step (first contact with the ground) felt nice and plush but the later part of the motion (push-offs, jump-offs after landing, etc.) felt stiff because of that foam used.

Things normalized a bit a couple of weeks in but the end experience still leaves room for improvement in my opinion. It’s not a bad setup, it just felt a bit weird for the lack of a better term, and took some time to get used to.
PG 5 Review: Air
image source: nike.com

The PG 5 will still offer you a lower-to-the-ground ride compared to last year’s, it’s more stable now, it definitely feels faster and more responsive but without making things noticeably firmer than they were with the 4th shoe.

Steps still felt nice, and while there’s not a lot of felt “bounce” or spring back since that’s just the nature of old-school Air, the performance was always there for the most part. Even if I didn’t feel a lot of it.

Most positions should find enough impact protection here unless you’re very heavy & athletic or older and will be playing solely outdoors. And guys who felt last year’s setup was just too much – this one’s a faster, more stable version of that without completely taking away comfort.

And if you thought you needed more POP in your steps while hooping in the PG 4, well then I’d need to take you over to my shoe list for jumpers. That should fulfill your explosive desires I’m pretty sure.

VI. SUPPORT


How much security does it provide? What about stability and foot containment? Any restrictions?
PG 5 Review: Heel
image source: nike.com

Security is definitely the area where the PG 5 made smart improvements over the previous shoe from Paul George. No more clunky shrouds with zippers, no more multiple layers that don’t really do much. Let’s break down the main support features.

It all starts with a proper fit, of course. The PG 5 runs snug and secure, so no side-to-side movements inside the footbed, no bulkiness either.

You also ride lower to the ground now and since the foam midsole is more rigid, both overall stability and torsional support went from okay to excellent.

The platform of the shoe is wider & more flat than last year’s which, guess what, also adds to a very stable ride. Some shoes can feel clunky and choppy due to a near-flat base but I didn’t find this to be the case with the 5th PG.

There’s also an X-shaped TPU midfoot shank that you can see through the hole in the middle, which ensures you’ll have the needed torsional rigidity. I think this is a decent choice for someone who’s got a case of plantar fasciitis (flat feet).
PG 5 Review: Back
image source: nike.com

Then there’s an internal heel counter for heel & ankle lockdown, certain parts of the midsole come up acting as sidewalls for containment, and there’s also a Fuse piece on top of the upper laterally, to help with holding your foot in.

The midsole also protrudes laterally a bit, acting as an outrigger for further lateral protection.

The lacing system is Nikey’s traditional integration with the Flywire cables, as those cables are attached to the laces and pull down on the upper once you tighten the shoe up.

And that’s all you’ll ever need to play securely AND without being overly restricted. Everything feels in-tune together, no annoying pains, collisions with the materials, or foot suffocation.

Just be aware of those little sidewalls that come up in a few areas as those initially collided with the sides of my feet in an uncomfortable manner. That went away not even a full week in though AND it’s likely due to my wide feet. Still worth keeping in mind.

VII. THE BUILD


What are the materials? How well do they perform on-court? How’s the quality & reliability?
PG 5 Review: Forefoot
image source: nike.com

BUILD OVERVIEW

If we’re talking pure value for the money, the materials used are probably the weakest part of the PG 5. On the other hand, if we’re talking about performance and feel on the court, there’s not a lot to complain about.

You’ll have to pick a side for this one, as unfortunately, we don’t get both in this case.

The upper is mainly a textile & mesh build that’s extremely thin, especially the forefoot portion. The lateral piece and the back portion utilize Fuse overlays for additional structure.

They look and feel like leather but it’s really more of the same synthetic plasticy stuff that doesn’t feel as plasticy this time.

The lacing system is decent and the lace loops are using that same leather-looking Fuse. I don’t know how long these will last but so far, no issues there 3 months in.

The tongue looks to be made of nylon, and the shoe sports a half-bootie construction. This means that the tongue isn’t separated from the upper as you’d normally see, but instead stitched together with the material internally, so the upper is one single piece.

Great for a one-to-one fit but can sometimes be a pain to put on. Not the case for the PG 5 though – these are super quick to slap on. Even for my gigantic feet.
PG 5 Review: Side 1
image source: nike.com

PERFORMANCE

In terms of pure performance – this upper is fine. It’s ultra-light and definitely plays that way, moderately breathable, and doesn’t need a lot of time before the fabric softens up and starts wrapping around your foot very nicely.

It’s pretty strongly reinforced but that doesn’t hinder the build’s ability to move effectively with my foot.

For $110, this is just more of the same formula we’re getting from the Swoosh. Solid performance, no real issues per se but clearly cheaping out on the material choices. I’ll leave it up to you to decide if that’s your thing.

Or, let me take you to my ultimate budget shoe list where you’ll see what I’m talking about. Awesome options for as low as $100 and BELOW.

PG 5 Review: Front
RELIABILITY

So here’s the thing. It’s a budget signature that retails at 110 bucks, sure, but I’ve seen other brands put out shoes with much better build quality at the same price range.

Take the Dame line from adidas, for example. Those never go over $115 and offer great modern materials that usually don’t feel cheap, can last a while outdoors, and feel nice on foot.

Nikey can do better is what I’m trying to say. Cutting costs and maximizing profits? You bet. Or at least that’s what I think is happening.

Or perhaps the PG line still hasn’t managed to convert a lot of sales with the 4 models so far, so Nikey isn’t putting a lot of money into the projects yet. Who knows.

But we as the consumers experience the end result and there’s no denying that some of us would like some premium touches or at least better overall build quality if the shoe has a “signature” name attached to it.

This mesh material doesn’t look like it’ll last multiple seasons if we’re talking outdoor hoops.

I’m not seeing a lot of frays or damage to the seams but the upper overall looks pretty banged up. That’s the best durability insight I can give right now as perhaps it’s too soon to judge it.

But if you’re looking for a durable outdoor tank or a premium experience – you won’t find those things here. The shoe plays fine, you’ll just have to get around the cheap design choices.

VIII. OVERALL


Rounding things up: are these well-rounded? Who’s best suited for it? Is it a good deal for the money?
PG 5 Review: Pair
image source: nike.com

The Nike PG 5 is a very solid all-around basketball shoe. There’s no denying that. There’s also no denying that it won’t cost you a fortune to get it.
QUICK RECAP

They fit snug & secure but wide footers will want to go up half a size. Traction is nearly Kobe 9-level, a.k.a. deadly. Durability-wise though, not so deadly.

The full-length Air Strobel cushion setup makes its return and the ride feels lower to the ground & faster this time. Not everyone will enjoy it but players who want to stay light & nimble while having a little bit of cushion underfoot will definitely find the shoe suitable.

Support is great and clearly upgraded from the confusion that the PG 4 was and while the new material setup can’t be put in the same sentence along with premium or high-quality, it works on the court in ways you’d normally expect.  


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2022年01月09日

adidas Harden Vol. 5 Review

We’re up to number five! Here’s my Harden Vol. 5 review – I’ll break down James Harden’s 5th signature basketball sneaker from adidas. While the designs might look unique and the variety in colorways is no short of fantastic, the general perception from others seems to be overwhelmingly bad so far.

Why’s that? Well, after about 4 months of outdoor play, let me give you some valuable insight into how the shoe performs after an extended period of time, directly compare it to the previous two Harden shoes I’ve played in, and also explain why some of the design choices just didn’t work for most people.

You’re here for a good one!

I. SPEC SHEET


click for a full-sized image


II. 1-MIN REVIEW 


For those in a hurry: it seems as the designers behind Harden’s 5th shoe tried to innovate and create a groundbreaking product.

However, for the general hooper on the blacktop or on a weary gym floor – the shoe was not a lot more than a failed experiment.

The Harden Vol. 5 fit me weird and even though they can fit a wide foot in there – you’ll likely end up with space length-wise. Regular/narrow footers should try these in-store or go down 1/2 a size.

Traction was acceptable on concrete but I was definitely slipping more than I expected on a softer rubber court outside. You WILL need to wipe the outsoles down. Frequently.

While the Boost + Lighstrike drop-in midsole sounds cool, the actual experience wasn’t. There’s some cushion to be felt underfoot, yes, but it’s quite dramatically limited by all the TPU caging all around it.

Security is the shoe’s strongest area since it’s built like a tank with TPU everywhere. Stability and foot containment are excellent but comes at a cost of discomfort, stiffness, bulkiness.

The shoe just felt HEAVY.

Pair all that with heel slippage and this became more of a chore than a shoe I enjoyed playing in. If you’re hunting for a good Harden hoop shoe – stick with the 3 or the 4.

III. FIT & COMFORT


Do they fit true to size or should you go up/down? How comfortable are they? Anything else to know fit-wise?
Harden Vol. 5 Review: Top

SIZING GUIDE

Let’s start with sizing. I’m sure some of you are familiar with adidas’s ultra-inconsistent sizing throughout not just basketball shoes but their athletic footwear in general. The 5th Harden model reminds us there’s no stopping the Three Stripes from playing with us.

The shoe runs long. Period. MOST of you should feel some extra room at the toebox if you go true to your usual size. Is that a bad thing? It depends. It also heavily depends on your foot shape as everyone’s is different. But based on the people’s feedback, expect some volume up at the front.

The tricky thing is, the shoe is near-perfect width-wise. So if you prefer a looser fit with some wiggle room – stick with your true size. If you want to ensure you’ll be getting a snug, near one-to-one experience, you definitely want to go down 1/2 a size like there’s no tomorrow.

Me being a prominent wide footer, I stuck with my true size.

I don’t fully appreciate the dead space at the front making the shoe feel like a boat loafer on-court. But I’m much better off actually being able to play in it for a longer period of time before needing to take ’em off since my feet are taking a beating from the suffocation width-wise.

So fellow wide footers, stick to your true size or skip the shoe entirely. I’m fairly okay with the way these fit me but it’s still far from perfect. There’s some annoying pressure at the lateral side for my pinky at times and don’t get me started on the stiff materials. More on that later.

Regular/narrow footers – I’d HIGHLY recommend trying these in store if you can. If you can’t yet, a half-size-down should be the safest option.
BE AWARE OF HEEL SLIPPAGE

And just like most people, I had annoying heel slippage that just refused to go away. While I’m pretty convinced it’s the curvature of the midsole and the fact that my heel simply can’t sit completely flat and at the very back of the shoe, the stiff material setup might’ve had a part in this as well.

Grabbing a pair of grippy socks and pulling down on your laces HARD will be required to keep the heel slippage to a tolerable level. I also encourage you to check out my heel slippage guide in case you’ll be grabbing a pair.
Harden Vol. 5 Review: Ankle
image source: adidas.com

COMFORT

Oh boy. There’s been a lot of talk about how uncomfortable these proved to be for a lot of people but knowing that I stayed patient and gave these plenty of time to hopefully break in and start feeling like a proper basketball shoe in 2022.

Well, it never did.

These were one of the longest 4 months of testing a shoe for me personally. As much as I wanted to like these, examine why some of the stuff feels like it does, and ultimately give these as big of a chance as I can, I just didn’t enjoy playing in these. Probably not for a single day.

Internally, these are fine on paper. The fabric around the ankle is the only portion that’s not backed with plastic and it’s stretchy, so putting the shoe on isn’t an issue. There are also plenty of properly sculpted achilles pillows that sat very comfortably against my achilles too.

And despite having extra room length-wise, they felt secure and sturdy due to the build. Mostly.

But the material choices and the way they’re implemented, the incredibly stiff midsole, the sheer weight of it all, and the oversaturation of, well, stuff on the shoe is just too much. It all feels like a distraction rather than an experience where you forget you’ve got a shoe on while banging it out on the blacktop.

Could I still continue playing in the shoe? Sure. I surely didn’t enjoy it but I could’ve still carried on and played the way I play in these. But if you’re constantly thinking about the shoes and how weird it all feels while trying to focus on the game or even while just shooting some hoops, something’s not right.

So, expect a secure shoe due to the overwhelming amount of structure throughout the build. But also expect the shoe to feel unusually heavy (bottom-heavy in particular), stiff and just, off.

You’d have to try these on for yourself to fully get what I mean but there’s a good chance you won’t. And for good reason. There are much better options comfort-wise out there.

IV. TRACTION


Does it grip various surfaces well? Is dust/debris a factor? How long will the outsoles last outdoors?
Harden Vol. 5 Review: Outsole

OUTDOOR PERFORMANCE

A similar traction pattern along with a very similar rubber compound to the previous Harden Vol. 4 is being utilized throughout the outsoles of the Vol. 5. I don’t know why the traction isn’t as good as on the 4th shoe but I felt the difference right away.

Even taking all the occasional slips on dirtier spots away, the base level of bite wasn’t as strong as it was on ALL of Harden’s other shoes in the line.

I did feel like this base level of grip was still enough for me to play confidently but sometimes, especially torsionally, I’d slide out or noticeably feel the delay on stops. I’ve heard the traction’s great on a pristine court but I don’t have such a luxury at the moment, so things were always chippy for me.

The overall experience was fairly decent but that’s mostly due to concrete or rubber being the primary options for me to play on, and those are much more abrasive surfaces. Multiple reviewers are reporting that these perform downright awful on dirty/dusty indoor courts, so be aware of that.

But all of this would’ve still been acceptable for the situation I’m in, don’t get me wrong there.
Harden Vol. 5 Review: Outsole 2

But when these outsoles are complete dust magnets that fail to push the dust out through the pattern, it’s almost game over. This wasn’t as noticeable on concrete for me but stepping into a synthetic rubber court, I’d get very mad if I skip a wipe or two.

So, prepare to frequently wipe the outsoles down to maintain acceptable traction and think twice about taking these on a weary court. Harden himself looks fine in these though, but that’s because he’s playing on a top-level, pristine NBA hardwood. For us regular guys, things can get tough with these.

If you’ll be getting these, I’d encourage regularly cleaning the outsoles before taking ’em to the court. Check out my guide on how to maintain good traction for additional tips.
OUTDOOR DURABILITY

Just like most adidas shoes, some really tacky rubber is being used here so while it will attract a lot of dust & debris in there, you can expect these to last a long time outdoors. 4 months in, no degraded performance, no additional issues, and the pattern is still all there.

If you can deal with the subpar traction to begin with, you should be good to go for multiple seasons in the Harden Vol. 5. Even on the blacktop.

V. CUSHION


How’s the impact protection? What about step comfort and energy return of the foam? Is it stable?
Harden Vol. 5 Review: Boost

adidas introduced a drop-in midsole for the cushioning system for the first time in a basketball shoe and the Harden Vol. 5 sports a beefy setup. On paper.

The removable midsole packs Lightstrike as the carrier and a very conservative, thin layer of Boost in the middle portion, basically acting as an insole.

The idea sounds great, sure. But I just don’t get the reasoning behind this. The stuff that’s heavily marketed by adidas (which is the implementation of this cushion) is what literally keeps the ride from feeling how it should.

One, the midsole is a drop-in but it’s surrounded by a thick shell of plastic all around it. I just don’t think this is a good idea when you’ve got your two flagship cushions that are supposed to do what they do best: expand to absorb impact, spring back to return energy, and keep you comfortable.

But when you encase it in a heavy, tank-like TPU shell in a 360-degree fashion, that becomes the main thing you can feel while playing. Boost does need some form of caging since it is fairly unstable by itself, yes, but I really do think this is overkill and what hinders the shoe.

Two, Boost needs room to expand. This is a fact and it’s even been explained by adidas. Foam in general needs volume and enough space to properly compress to do its job.

The high sidewalls of the midsole definitely help with stability but again, it’s just too much in my opinion. It adds weight and prevents Boost from fully expanding.

Take a look at any shoe that has Boost. There’s a reason you always see it exposed at least in one or two areas of the midsole. While here, there’s not enough of it, to begin with, and stuffing it to a drop-in with thick walls results in severely limited compression potential.
Harden Vol. 5 Review: Lightstrike

And then there’s the carrier. If any of you have tried the shoe and can actually feel any form of Lightstrike here, let me know because I didn’t. Now, I do understand that this carrier is supposed to provide stability and rigidity for the midsole but then why market the shoe in such a way?

Boost + Lightstrike? So many people will and likely had believed in the hype and the actual experience turned to be much bleaker than what the tech specs show you.

While there’s a good amount of impact protection here because Boost is still Boost, I barely felt any of it. You can expect a little bit of compression if you’re heavier and possess some athleticism while riding fairly low to the ground.

But then again, I don’t even think it’s that good of a “low-profile” setup. It’s fast and firm, sure, so you won’t be feeling any delays upon contact with the ground but the plastic frame around the midsole kind of defeats the purpose. I wasn’t THAT low to the ground, nor was I riding elevated.

It’s just a bizarre setup that could’ve been great. Pure performance-wise, you’ll be getting some impact protection and you’ll definitely be stable due to the rigid midsole, its sidewalls, and the shoe’s flat platform.

But everything else that you’d normally want from a quality cushioning system: spring back, comfort, smooth step transitions, and Boost-like shock absorption? This is just not it. Perhaps it’s a setup that Harden particularly demanded. I’d definitely believe that if it’s true.

But the general audience that’s looking for a good cushion setup will likely end up disappointed here.

VI. SUPPORT


How much all-around security does it offer? What about the build’s stability and foot containment? Any restrictions in result?
Harden Vol. 5 Review: Midfoot

One thing adidas doesn’t usually screw up is security. It all starts with a proper fit, so make sure you get the size right for this one first. Too much unwanted room can compromise the whole experience, no matter how many support components are stuffed inside.

For me though, even sticking with my true size and having a bit of extra length, I didn’t feel compromised. This is an extremely beefy setup that should hold anyone’s foot in and provide protection even if you’ve got the body of a LeBron James.

There’s a hard internal heel counter to lock in your ankle & heel, the (overdone) TPU sidewalls all around the midsole portion are also there to turn the shoe into a bulletproof vest for your foot. The removable midsole is amazingly rigid too AND it’s got a built-in midfoot shank.

Torsional support is insane here and probably even too much for some. I’d normally recommend such a build for a flat footer but in this case, I’m really not sure. You might end up even more uncomfortable rather than properly supported due to the build’s lack of ability to move well with one’s foot.
Harden Vol. 5 Review: Lateral

And then there’s the platform. It’s almost completely flat and on the wider side, so stability is unquestionably excellent here. Unfortunately though, at the cost of comfort, mobility, and a smooth heel-to-toe stride in this case.

But even despite all this STUFF on the shoe, my heel kept wanting to pop out. I drive it to the back of the shoe, re-lace it, play for some time before needing to repeat the process. Again and again.

What’s the point of all this support bulk when the design choices fail to keep your heel in place?

Looking past that though, no matter what kind of movement I threw at these, the overwhelming amount of structure to the upper catches anything at any time. These are absolute tanks, for the better or worse.

If for some reason you’re not experiencing any heel slippage with these, you’ll be strapped in for a very supportive ride. That’s for sure.

VII. THE BUILD


What are the materials used? How well do they perform on-court? How’s the quality & reliability of the build?
Harden Vol. 5 Review: Forefoot

BUILD OVERVIEW

Don’t let the looks fool you. adidas calls this the Futurenatural upper but it’s just marketing shenanigans. I’m sure the design team had valid reasons behind this kind of build and I’d be eager to hear ’em all. Seriously.

Looks like there’s some kind of ripstop style fabric underneath but the whole build is wrapped in super hard plastic that’s not even a normal synthetic you’d see on today’s shoes. It’s literal plastic that’s hard to the touch, it’s scratchy and it’s heavy.

The only parts that feature fully exposed fabric with no backings are the tongue and the ankle collar. There are also these felt overlays all throughout the upper that made for some really dope designs, I’ll give ’em that. They do nothing for performance though.

The whole build is actually a one-piece design, which means the midsole and the upper portions are molded together. This has been done before but here, I don’t really see a clear benefit honestly. Take a look at the lebron 19 – that’s where this type of design really shines.

But let’s not get all cynical here. Like most things in life, even such a build will have its strong suits.
Harden Vol. 5 Review: Heel

PERFORMANCE & RELIABILITY

This is definitely a durable setup that should last you a LONG time, so it could be considered a good bang for your buck. Especially if you’re an outdoor hooper.

The crazy amount of structure also means support & containment are no short of stellar. Linearly, laterally, torsionally, diagonally, whatever. Your foot’s not going anywhere when there’s so much plastic all around it.

But the negatives are what make this shoe unattractive for most people. I usually don’t judge a shoe by its weight as it’s just a number. But 18+ ounces? There are heavier shoes that don’t feel heavy because they fit really well, the build moves well with your foot and each component works in-hand with each other well.

While on the Harden Vol. 5, it just doesn’t. I could clearly feel the midsole portion weighing the whole shoe down which is not something I feel often in a basketball sneaker. And then there’s the lack of flexibility, stiffness, feeling clunky and all the synonyms you could find.

You can forget about ventilation too.

All in all, the overall experience on the court was subpar. The shoe felt heavy, a little bulky, and often stiff upon a movement where other shoes would normally move along with my foot. It’s playable, sure. But what’s the point when there are much better options out there?

VIII. OVERALL


Rounding the Harden Vol. 5 review up: are they versatile? Who’s best suited for the shoe? Is it a good deal?
Harden Vol. 5 Review: Side 1

The adidas Harden Vol. 5 is the first sneaker in Harden’s main lineup that failed to impress me. I was more confused rather than let down as some of the design choices really seemed to have reasoning behind ’em. But actually playing on the court is much different from an idea on paper.

Perhaps The Beard himself prefers it this way. And we can’t blame him – he’s an elite athlete, while we’re just hoopers. But after the Harden Vol. 3 and the kyrie 8 which were both phenomenal, I’m just confused.

The shoe has its strong suits. Despite fitting long, most people will be fine stepping down half a size, while wide footers should get away with their true size. Traction’s acceptable AS LONG as you’re on a clean court or you’re wiping the outsoles down frequently.

This crazy build is also durable and undeniably supportive. Even the heaviest and highest-jumping dudes should find enough structure for protection.  


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2022年01月05日

Comprehensive 3-month OUTDOOR Air Jordan 35 Review

For this comprehensive 3-month OUTDOOR Air Jordan 35 review, I’ll break down the shoe’s fit & comfort aspects, performance, value for the price and we’ll also discuss the changes from the AJ 34 for those who have it and looking to upgrade.

But I’m not even going to tease you. The 35th AJ model is my favorite basketball shoe of 2020.

UPDATE: it has been almost a year since the AJ 36 launched and I’ve been able to finally start taking shoes inside on the beloved hardwood. I’ve updated the review where I’ll talk about how well the shoe held up in these 10-11 months and how’s the performance indoors.

I. SPEC SHEET


click to inspect the full-sized image


I. 1-MIN REVIEW


In a hurry? Here’s the gist of it: the AJ 35 is a direct upgrade from last year’s Air Jordan 34 sharing the same frame but improving on some aspects, while potentially taking a slight step back in one area for some people.

The shoe fits most foot shapes just fine, including wide footers – yes, TTS is the safest option. Traction is great on a variety of surfaces but this isn’t a hardcore outdoor model.

The heel & forefoot Zoom Air cushion is more of the same well-rounded goodness but the ride felt a bit faster & firmer this time. I still felt super comfy though.

The support department could be considered an upgrade due to the inclusion of more structure using raw materials throught the upper and also the upgraded Eclipse Plate 2.0.

However, some people suffer from the shoe’s lace loops digging into their foot arches when pulling down on the laces.

Unfortunately – this happens to some people, while for some (like myself), it goes away after a break-in period. One way to find out.

III. FIT & COMFORT


How’s the fit? Should you deviate from your size? How comfy are they? Anything else to know?
Air Jordan 35 Review: Top
image source: nike.com

SIZING GUIDE: ALL FOOT SHAPES COMPATIBLE!

The Jordan 35 definitely fits true to size for most foot shapes, including slightly wide footers. Very prominent wide footers (click for a wide footer shoe list) like myself, it might be best to order a few different pairs just to be sure.

However, I still went true to size and I’m not regretting the decision.

After a break-in period which took about 2 weeks, the shoe fits me near perfectly. Once I got used to the shoe and the upper molded to my foot, it’s almost the Air Jordan 34 all over again. That’s a good thing.

Superb lockdown and containment with no annoying restrictions or stiffness, they’re just right lengthwise (about a quarter-inch of space), there’s no heel slippage or any sort of other nastiness.

So, if you’re going straight for the kill, just go true to size. If you want to be extra safe, I’d then suggest ordering a few different size pairs and return the ones that didn’t fit. Or try them on in a store if possible, though that’s going to be tough since the shoe is now cleared from the shelves for the most part.
Air Jordan 35 Review: Side 2
image source: nike.com

COMFORT: STIL GOOD BUT QUICKER

Despite being slightly heavier than the AJ 34 on paper, the Jordan 35 felt lighter to play in. That caught me off guard a bit but once again, in a good way.

This was exactly my first thought after I put the shoe on and started running around in it – something just felt lighter and quicker with these. We’ll talk more as to why in the later sections of the review.

Forget about bulkiness or feeling heavy-footed – that’s gone since the Air Jordan 34 and now looks to be even more improved on the 35.

There’s also lots of internal padding, the shoe is easy to put on, the material choices are now more forgiving and reduce the needed weight you’d usually see on an older AJ model.

The shoe achieves an excellent balance in terms of comfort, security, and feeling mobile. That’s where the Air Jordan 35 shines for me. These just cradled my foot in a secure but non-intrusive way and it’s just the way I like it.
Air Jordan 35 Review: Arch
media source: news.nike.com

PROTECT YOUR ARCHES!

That’s not all there is to the fit though.

I’d like to mention the one thing I’ve seen many other reviewers and people report on. Pulling on the laces too tightly results in the connected nylon lace loops digging into your arches, and that’s no good while you’re playing.

I did have concerns about this right before getting the shoe, especially since I’m a wide footer. However, my experience was much better than what a lot of users seem to be reporting.

First off, I never pull on my laces to such an extreme case where my foot is completely suffocated – I never liked that type of fit for my shoes. Secondly, 3-4 weeks in, the digging feeling pretty much went away for me.

Now, my wide foot likely had something to do with this – since they already fit snug for me due to my feet, I never really had to tighten the shoe up too much which could’ve caused more pain due to the nylon loops.

If you’re a regular/narrow footer – it might be different for you.

Loosening the laces up a bit will help if you’re experiencing a severe case of this issue. And it just might go completely away in time. It did for me.

Regardless, this is definitely something that should not have been happening in the first place and is a design flaw. The AJ 34 never had this issue, so I’m hoping they’ll sort this stuff out in the next one.

IV. TRACTION


Does it grip a multitude of surfaces well? Is floor condition a factor? How long will the outsoles last?
Air Jordan 35 Review: Outsole
image source: nike.com

INDOOR PERFORMANCE

The outsole of the Jordan 35 is pulled straight from last year’s model with marginal tweaks.

Same deadly traction, same consistency no matter the movement, same hassle-free herringbone pattern (for the most part) that doesn’t require you to wipe your soles every two seconds like a maniac.

Let me give you an 11-month update. I was finally able to take these inside on the classic hardwood just to see if the outdoor action messed with the pattern for a less abrasive surface.

The answer is – not really. I think I can notice a difference but it’s so marginal that it doesn’t really mean anything. Thanks to a trusty herringbone pattern and tacky rubber (even though some of it is burnt off now), the shoe bites the floor just fine.

So if you’ve chosen this as your indoor shoe – no worries at all. This IS an indoor shoe primarily.

And if you’re taking these insides after playing on concrete (much like I did) – you shouldn’t worry either. Unless your pattern is completely gone by now.
Air Jordan 35 Review: Outsole 2
media source: news.nike.com

OUTDOOR PERFORMANCE

This is among the best tractions of 2020 for a reason and in the modern shoe era in general. I love it. I had zero issues on concrete outside, and the same story was for a synthetic rubber court too. That court has some dead spots as I call them – the rubber is torn off on a handful of areas and it’s pretty slippery there.

I can’t say the shoe completely neglected these dead areas when I stepped on them but most shoes don’t and that’s fine.

All I can say is that my grip wasn’t affected in a noticeable way on those areas, and that’s something I definitely CANNOT say about a lot of shoes.
Air Jordan 35 Review: Outsole 3
media source: news.nike.com

OUTDOOR DURABILITY

Now, for the durability of the outsole – things aren’t as peachy. If you’re coming from the Jordan 34, this won’t be a surprise.

The rubber compound is fairly pliable and even though it is very tacky, the pattern will start burning off quicker than on an outdoor-ready shoe with something like XDR rubber or just stronger solid rubber.

Not to say the shoe will completely fall apart the same week you take it outside – I’ve been wrecking these with no regard for over two months now and even though I’m seeing some chipping mainly in the forefoot area, it’s definitely not the worst case I’ve seen.

As long as you’re not expecting these to hold up for multiple years while solely playing on the blacktop – you should be fine for occasional outdoor play.

V. CUSHION


How’s the shock absorption and energy return? What about ride height, comfort, and step transitions? Is it stable?
Air Jordan 35 Review: Heel
image source: nike.com

The cushion setup is mainly what made the shoe feel lighter and quicker than the AJ 34.

It’s almost an identical setup as last year’s shoe – unlocked forefoot and heel Zoom Air + a Phylon midsole, though the Zoom unit in the heel is now larger than last year’s AJ 34.

This is the pinnacle of cushion setups right here. For performance freaks like myself, you’re going to love it.

Fantastic impact protection without overcompression or feeling too mushy, fast energy return upon impact along with a little bit of that comfy bounce, buttery smooth step transitions, and retained court feel despite the beefy looking midsole.

It’s a setup that gives you pretty much everything performance-wise. While it is just a bit firmer and quicker than the AJ 34 – you will still feel that Zoom awesomeness.

Just a more “streamlined” version of it which makes the shoe as versatile as it can get.

One thing though – don’t judge a book by its cover. The unlocked Zoom units are awesome right out of the box but the midsole needs a bit of time to break in and soften up. These won’t feel as good as they will in a couple of week’s time. Patience is key.

A true flagship cushion setup any player/position will find sufficient. That’s why you see so many different NBA players across multiple positions rocking these. This setup is super well-rounded and it shows.

VI. SUPPORT


How much all-around security does it provide? What about lockdown? Any trade-offs as a result?
Air Jordan 35 Review: Ankle
image source: nike.com

Support is once again similar to the Air Jordan 34. A secure fit & deadly lockdown is the foundation of the shoe’s security.

There’s also an internal heel counter along with soft pillows cupping your achilles, the same wide base is used for stability, the upper is now more structured thanks to the inclusion of raw materials so containment could be considered as an upgrade from the 34.

Not that I had containment issues with the 34 but it’s still nice.

There’s also the updated Eclipse Plate 2.0 which is heavier and beefier than its first iteration used on the 34. Torsional support is phenomenal here – a returning tendency among modern Air Jordan hoop shoes, which makes them solid options for people with flat feet (click for a flat footer’s shoe list).

The lacing system is traditional along with the nylon cables running through the midfoot area for enhanced lockdown, a.k.a. Flight Wire.

If you manage to get around that issue with the loops digging into your arches, the support of the Jordan 35 is both super solid and unrestrictive, keeping you comfy at all times.

Lovely work from AJ.

VII. THE BUILD


What are the materials used and how do they perform on-court? How’s the reliability of the build?
Air Jordan 35 Review: Forefoot
image source: nike.com

BUILD OVERVIEW

The materials did see some changes from the AJ 34.

The shoe now comes in two variants: genuine leather & textile combo or a genuine suede & textile combo.

The side panels of the shoe will be suede/leather, while the middle area and lateral areas just over the midsole will be utilizing lightweight textiles. On both versions, the shoe utilizes a standard lace-and-tongue construction, so no one-piece/one-bootie stuff here.

I personally happened to play in the suede version and I have no complaints.
Air Jordan 35 Review: Back
image source: nike.com

PERFORMANCE

Some could consider this an upgrade, while others would see it as just a change to keep things fresh.

It’ll depend on what you prefer in terms of materials but for the general hooper who appreciates performance, this should absolutely satisfy you.

We’re getting the best of both worlds here: old-school and new-school stuff is being combined to make the upper structured, achieve better containment than the AJ 1 did, offer better ventilation due to the open textile design, as well as keep the build fairly durable.
media source: news.nike.com

RELIABILITY

Speaking of which, I do believe these would hold up longer outside than the AJ 34 since those primarily used synthetics.

Suede or leather won’t break down on you quickly and even though I’m seeing some slight frays in the toe area, it’s nothing serious. Merely just cosmetic damage.

If not for those questionable outsoles (in terms of durability) – this would be among the best outdoor models. Oh, if only.

I’ve had the shoe for 11 months now and even though I haven’t played in these for all those months consistently, they’re holding up just fine.

I haven’t taken these outdoors for a long time now since my local gym is finally available but you shouldn’t have issues playing in the Jordan 35 even for multiple seasons.

VIII. OVERALL


Conclusions: are they well-rounded? Who’s best suited for ’em? Is it a good buy amongst the competitors?
Air Jordan 35 Review: Pair
image source: nike.com

The Air Jordan 35 didn’t fall off the path the 34 started and it truly shows. I absolutely love the shoe and every area delivered pretty much what I’ve expected. Some seriously high standards are set now, so I’m pretty excited to see what the next one brings to the table.
QUICK RECAP

The Jordan 35 has awesome traction that’s both consistent and not prone to collecting dust, though not among the best options for regular hardcore outdoor play.

It’s got a killer cushion setup and even though it might not feel as fun as on the 34, it’s equally as good, if not better than last year’s performance-wise.

The upper introduced premium raw materials as well as a combination of modern stuff for a balanced mixture of old-school and new-school.

All-around support is phenomenal but be aware of the digging issue or your arches might suffer.

Sadly there’s nothing I can really recommend specifically to avoid it since some people have it, some don’t. Something you’ll have to try yourself and give some time for the shoe to break in to find out if it’ll be an issue for you.
  


Posted by Newtruckspring.com - suspension parts at 14:58Comments(0)

2022年01月03日

Jordan Zion 1 Review: Here’s MY 3-Month Outdoor Experience

An athlete’s debut signature sneaker can sometimes be iffy due to many things like a limited budget, not entirely clear target audience, or the design team still in the experimenting phase. Zion Williamson’s 1st shoe caught a lot of hype lately so here’s my comprehensive Jordan Zion 1 review that should answer most of your burning questions:

  • How good of a performer is it and how does it fit?

  • How’s the quality for a debut signature?

  • Is it a versatile shoe or more of a big man’s option only?

  • Will it last outdoors and is it suitable for a wide footer?


Let’s break it all down in the most practical and comprehensive review found on the Internet!

I. SPEC SHEET



II. 1-MIN REVIEW 


Saving time? Here’s the gist of it: the Jordan Zion 1 didn’t impress me – there’s definitely room for improvement if the shoe wants to cater towards many different players and compete with other signature lines.

However, it was still playable and many players will get away with what the Zion 1 offers.

The shoe fit me a little weird (I’m a wide footer) – while TTS was the best option, there was quite a bit of space length-wise. Most guys should stick with TTS though.

Traction was fine, though these are a dust magnet – wiping WILL be needed on a weary court or even outdoors at times.

The full-length Air + forefoot Zoom Air cushion setup sounds awesome on paper but in practice, it will get the job done without blowing you away. I would’ve liked it to be just a bit faster-feeling.

Support was fine but it heavily relies on a perfect fit – if you can’t nail it downb (or close to it), you’ll likely have some issues.

The upper features basic open mesh and while it’s not my ideal choice – it worked on the court.

For alternatives, check out the Air Jordan 1 for a step-up, the Jordan React Elevation for a similar priced shoe and my shoe lists if you’d like to have more options.

III. FIT & COMFORT


Do they fit true to size or should you go up/down? How comfy are they? Anything else to know fit-wise?
Zion 1 Review: Top
image source: nike.com

SIZING GUIDE

This Zion’s shoe. Not ours. The shoe was tailored to best fit his foot, obviously. However, we’ve seen PLENTY of signature releases that manage to suit the actual player’s needs but also satisfy the regular consumer who actually buys them.

With the Zion 1, I’m not really sure if this is the case – the shoe just fits weird.

I’m a wide footer, let’s start there. The shoe started off a little tight in the midfoot and toebox areas width-wise. I couldn’t really move my toes inside the shoe and while normally that’s not that big of a deal – I did feel a little more pressure than I’d prefer.

Luckily, it didn’t take long to stretch out the extremely thin material and start feeling closer to optimal. The fit is still a snug one but for a huge wide footer like myself – I expected much worse.

Length-wise is where things threw me off. The shoe is acceptable in terms of width but why is it noticeably longer than a normal size 10 would be from Jordan brand? Or any other brand for that matter? Except maybe adidas.
Zion 1 Review: Toebox
image source: air.jordan.com

I’ve got about half a toe of extra length up at the front which is definitely not ideal. However, it wasn’t deal-breaking either since this didn’t cause my feet to shift forwards and backward inside the shoe.

My feet feel bigger than normal with the Zion 1 on due to the extra space and while I don’t prefer that – I was still able to play in a comfortable manner.

So, wide footers – I recommend sticking to your true size and giving the shoe some patience as it’ll break in. I don’t encourage stepping down as you might fix the length but things might start feeling too tight width-wise.

For regular/narrow footers – that’s where the questions arise. I HIGHLY recommend trying these in a store if you can but if don’t have the ability to do so – true to size or a half size down will be the best option.

I suppose if you don’t really care about the extra length – you can stick TTS. Otherwise, if you’ve got a narrow, compact foot – stepping a 1/2 size down should be fine for you.
COMFORT

Despite the fit shenanigans, I don’t have any serious complaints in terms of comfort. This is definitely not the comfiest or the most luxurious shoe I’ve played in but they’re fine.

There’s good foam padding around the ankle which was nicely hugged, and even though the tongue is stupidly thin, I never had any issues with it as I did with a LeBron 19.

The Zion 1 is also surprisingly lightweight despite the beefy looks. It’s not the lightest-feeling shoe in the world though – but that’s mainly due to other performance factors that I’ll talk about later. For now – just know that these won’t weigh you down like a pair of clogs, nor you’ll be feeling as light as a feather.

Step transitions are very comfortable and smooth due to the cushion system, curvature of the platform, and flexible materials – so all good there.

The ultra-wide platform wasn’t anything to get used to either – the shoe felt stable and secure from the get-go.

IV. TRACTION


Does it grip various surfaces well? Is dust/debris a factor? How long will the outsoles last outdoors?
Zion 1 Review: Outsole
image source: nike.com

TRACTION PERFORMANCE

I’m still only able to only play outside on two surfaces – a classic blacktop and a more modern rubber surface. The traction was fine. Not the best, nothing deadly like a Curry 8 but just fine.

Would’ve I liked the bite to be a little more aggressive? Sure, but the baseline level of grip the Zion 1 offered me didn’t cause any problems.

What did cause problems was the rubber picking up dust and debris like crazy. If you play outdoors – chances are you’re not hooping on a pristine 10/10 surface. You WILL have to wipe these down frequently just to be sure.

A half an hour in, I take a look at the outsoles and they’re already looking absolutely nasty.

The actual performance drop when the pattern piled up dust wasn’t drastic but it kept me on my heels, thinking about the need to reassure myself and wipe ’em down every few minutes.

And there were a handful of moments where I slid out due to several spots on the court I played on which had the rubber surface torn off, so the shell underneath was much more slippery.

Pretty normal for that to happen with most shoes I hoop in on that court though.

Indoors is where things get a little moodier. I personally haven’t tested these indoors but from ALL the indoor reviews I’m seeing – people aren’t very happy.

Slip-outs, dust attraction, and a fairly weak base level of bite are what the hoopers report and something you should be aware of if planning to take ’em to the gym.
Zion 1 Review: Forefoot 1
image source: air.jordan.com

OUTDOOR DURABILITY

The rubber used throughout the outsoles looks and feels fairly thick & strong to the touch, so that was a good initial sign.

However, a few days in (yes, DAYS) and the pattern is already visibly getting wrecked, especially in the forefoot portion.

None of the knobs are fully burnt off but some of them are getting there, that’s for sure. This shook me since I received the impression that I was going to blow through these in a couple of weeks.

Luckily, that didn’t happen.

This is one of those shoes where the pattern gets banged up quickly from a visual standpoint but that doesn’t tell the whole story as I was still able to achieve a more-or-less same level of bite regardless. Props to the tacky rubber used that saved the day.

I don’t know how things will go 4-5-6 and more months later but right now, I can still grip both surfaces well while wiping periodically.

So bottom line – don’t let the visual cues fool you. While the Zion 1 won’t claim any accolades for the most durable outdoor shoe, it should surely last you at least a full season in the park.

V. CUSHION


How’s the impact protection? What about step comfort and energy return of the foam? Is it stable?
Zion 1 Review: Heel
image source: nike.com

A full-length Air strobel stitched right to the upper, a Zoom Air unit in the forefoot, and a plush Phylon midsole to top it all off. Sounds like a crazy setup on paper.

Well, the shoe does retail at $120 – we don’t usually see such tech packed into such an affordable package. Props to Zion and Jordan for that.

However, the actual experience on the court wasn’t as crazy as the specs on paper. Things actually started off quite stiff and clunky – but just a few days in and I was able to actually feel the forefoot Zoom unit, while the Phylon midsole softened up and elevated the experience quite a bit.

The setup is definitely comfortable and fun to play in but I’m sure this won’t be everyone’s cup of tea performance-wise.

For me personally, I found the setup to be working okay – I was feeling super comfy with each stride, the midsole absorbs impact and my feet weren’t hurting after a longer session on concrete.

However, at times I felt that the foam could’ve been tightened up just a bit as I could feel my heel and midfoot sinking into the foam and ultimately impacting my quickness a bit.

Nothing crazy but ideally, I’d prefer something that’s just a little quicker or perhaps manages to return energy at a faster rate.
Zion 1 Review: Forefoot 2
image source: air.jordan.com

Obviously, a Zoom Air strobel would’ve fixed that but this is a $120 sneaker – classic Air is not the most advanced or versatile cushion anymore but it’s still better than nothing.

This ride is comfortable, the midsole is nice and plush but it all feels more like a pillow rather than a spring.

The forefoot Zoom unit offered some pop upon impact but even there, the Air strobel kind of overshadows it by making me slightly sink into the midsole before the unit springs back into place.

Again, this is all very subtle and nothing too crazy on-court, so don’t be thinking you’ll feel like a snail in these.

What I’m saying is for someone even lighter, quicker, and shiftier than me – you might end up feeling unnatural or a bit less sharp than you’d normally would in an ideal guard’s shoe for you.

Having said that, the setup is stable, and I didn’t feel alarmingly too high off the ground. The ride height is about average, so you won’t be slapped right on the ground, nor you’ll be super elevated like you would in a LeBron shoe.

VI. SUPPORT


How much all-around security does it offer? What about the build’s stability and foot containment? Any restrictions?
Zion 1 Review: Back
image source: nike.com

Support was pretty average for a Jordan basketball sneaker.

There’s a TPU heel counter for ankle & heel lockdown, foam of the midsole coming up in several areas acting as additional chassis for the foot, and the platform of the shoe is absolutely insanely wide due to those massive outriggers laterally.

There are also these elastic loops that the laces go through at the bottom two eyelets. Those further pull down on the upper when you crank down the laces and I feel like it did actually help keep the upper sit closer to my foot.

While the upper is mostly very thin, there are several Fuse layers that add some structure and I’ve had no issues with containment.

I don’t know how long it’ll take for Zion to wreck these but for me – it looks like they’re not budging anytime soon.

So the strong points were definitely stability (I don’t know why more shoes don’t utilize such outriggers), containment, and staying comfortable despite the features.
Zion 1 Review: Side 2
image source: nike.com

The not-so-cool stuff was the fact that these rely on a near-perfect fit first.

I’m a wide footer and my foot’s also really damn thick, so I was already feeling snug and secure the moment I’ve put them on since I naturally fill out the space inside (besides up at the front).

But for someone who’s got a more compact foot, you might end up with a different experience.

The reason I’m saying this is because I’ve seen a few reports that mentioned questionable heel & midfoot security and I can definitely understand that if one’s foot simply isn’t fully compatible with the shoe.

So all in all, it’s a good chance you won’t have any security issues just like I didn’t but you never know. Everyone’s foot shape is different and there can never always be a 100% guarantee of satisfaction.

Just something to remember.

VII. THE BUILD


What are the materials used? How well do they perform on-court? How’s the quality & reliability?
Zion 1 Review: Upper
BUILD OVERVIEW

The Jordan Zion 1 features an extremely thin open mesh build along with several Fuse overlays on high-wear areas such as the toebox and the lacing system. The heel portion features another synthetic overlay that’s a bit beefier but still fairly minimal.

The tongue is foam-backed, so is the lining around the ankle. The shoe utilizes a standard lace-and-tongue construction.
PERFORMANCE

The material choices are obviously right in line with today’s standards – everything’s about minimalism & shedding as much weight as possible now.

I personally don’t mind these materials when it comes to performance at all.

Even for a wide foot, I only needed a few days to break it in, ventilation is pretty good and the upper is definitely light despite offering solid support & containment.

A classic example of brands getting closer to nailing that perfect balance between structure and comfort.

While this mesh didn’t hug my foot in such a one-to-one fashion as a premium knit or woven would, I still didn’t find myself thinking about the build while playing.

I don’t mind it, it holds my foot in and doesn’t introduce any pinching, digging, or anything in that regard.
Zion 1 Review: Tongue
image source: air.jordan.com

DURABILITY

An argument could be made that this build seems cheap for a debut signature sneaker. Well, I’m sure Jordan didn’t want to risk going all-out for the very first sneaker in the line in case they don’t sell much.

I get that, but there’s no denying that the build quality of these isn’t the best.

A couple of sessions and these already starting to look banged up: the ultra-thin mesh is getting uneven, the Fuse overlays that feel like leather are getting creases left and right and the fabric pull tabs are getting weary.

Nothing that would cause a negative impact on performance but pretty concerning if I’d plan to rock these and these only for several seasons.

Putting things into perspective though, this is in line with most other sneakers in this price range, so it’s not like the Zion 1 is the only shoe to be at fault here. Take good care of them and they should do the same for you.

Not the best quality but acceptable for a debut shoe. My two cents.

VIII. OVERALL


Rounding the Jordan Zion 1 review up: are they versatile? Who’s best suited for the shoe? Is it a good deal?
Zion 1 Review: Pair
image source: nike.com

All in all, I didn’t hate the Zion 1. But neither did I love it.

It was a fairly average/mediocre experience that still allowed me to play effectively on the court and have fun shooting hoops but left an impression that some things definitely could’ve been tweaked and those tweaks could’ve been game-changers.  


Posted by Newtruckspring.com - suspension parts at 01:25Comments(0)

2022年01月01日

Nike KD 14 Review: 4+ Month INDOOR & OUTDOOR Breakdown

Let’s not waste any time. The KD 12 and KD 13 were great basketball shoes but not without the issues some people, including me, had. Hence I present to you my comprehensive 4-month KD 14 review! Durant’s latest signature model looks to make improvements and bring an extremely well-rounded performance sneaker to the table.

Is it mission accomplished or it still needs some work despite the hype? Let’s break it all down and test the shoe’s fit & comfort, performance, value for the price, versatility, and changes from the KD  12 & 13.

I. SPEC SHEET


click for a full-sized image


II. 1-MIN REVIEW


For those in a hurry: the Nike KD 14 keeps what it ain’t broke but fixes what wasn’t quite working. It’s a direct successor to the KD 13 bringing the same overall feel but a more refined, well-rounded experience some people thought last year’s model lacked.

The shoe fits in a very snug manner but only the biggest of wide footers should go up half a size. Containment issues were fixed, and the traction is deadly no matter the surface.

The full-length Air Zoom Strobel is back but now it’s better than ever, partly thanks to the addition of a Cushlon midsole making things MAD comfortable.

Security is on-point and despite a fairly basic multi-layered mesh upper, I didn’t have any complaints about it performance-wise. This is the age of synthetics, accept it or not.

The only small gripes I had with the build is the strap that can’t stay tight, the laces sometimes getting stuck in the velcro sticker and questionable outsole durability for regular outdoor play.

III. FIT & COMFORT


Do they fit true to size or should you adjust? How comfy are they? Anything else to know?
KD 14 Review: Top

SIZING GUIDE

Played in the KD 13 or the KD 12? Then you know exactly what to expect.

A compact, narrow fit that hugs your foot in a very snug manner. Something some people love, while some don’t like that much.

But either way, I don’t think most of you will have a hard time picking the right size.

Regular/narrow footers will want to stick with their true size or the size you’ve worn the KD 13’s & 12’s. Expect the shoe to sit extremely close to your foot though but the materials do stretch out a tad bit over time.

I’m a pretty heavy wide footer myself, so just like the KD 13, I went up half a size and have no regrets. If you put yourself in the same category as I do, definitely go up 1/2 a size since you might have too much pressure in the toebox.

Length-wise, the KD 14 is near-perfect for me with a size 10.5 (my regular is 10) with about a half-inch of space for my toes. Width-wise, things were a little too tight up at the front but everything normalized in about a week’s time.

The end result is still a snug, near-one-to-one feel but due to some internal padding and a comfy upper, these are absolutely playable even for the most hardcore footers. Just give these some time and you’ll be alright.
KD 14 Review: Side 2

CONTAINMENT

The most glaring issue for a lot of hoopers of last year’s KD 13 was the lackluster lateral containment due to a pretty flimsy build.

Good news – looks like this is fixed.

And the awesome thing is, I really didn’t notice too much of a difference in the structure/bulkiness of the build while we received a nice upgrade in the containment department.

The KD 14 still rocks a fairly minimal upper but it’s well-structured where it needs to be while keeping the rest lightweight to preserve comfort and freedom of movement. Despite a slightly heavier weight on paper when compared to the 13, there’s really no degrade in on-court performance that I would notice.
KD 14 Review: Side 1

COMFORT

As for sheer comfort, not a lot different going on from the last few models but that’s not a bad thing at all.

Moderate amount of padding around the ankle, there’s enough forefoot flex to accommodate for smooth step transitions, the shoe doesn’t feel overly heavy and the build moves well with the foot while being slightly beefed up to better contain one’s movements.

No distractions, no real issues or annoyances that I would think about while playing so it’s definitely a pass. Nothing crazy or revolutionary but a job well done in my book.

IV. TRACTION


Does it grip various surfaces well? Is dust a factor? How long will these last outside?
KD 14 Review: Outsole

INDOOR PERFORMANCE

Finally, the KD 14 is the first shoe in a loooong time that I was able to hoop in an actual gym. Boy, it feels damn good to step on the hardwood again and soak in those nasty squeaks. Music to my ears.

We’re not getting herringbone but I can’t be mad – these outsoles worked just fine gripping just about any surface I stepped on.

Indoors, I play on a local school gym, so it’s not the best condition floor there is but it’s being cleaned occasionally so it’s not that bad. I’ve had no issues accelerating, stopping, cutting, or slashing to the rim at all.

I’ve managed to play a couple of 4-quarter, full-paced games inside and never slid out or slipped.

The bite is great and doesn’t really degrade despite a bit of dust piling up in the pattern. This is probably due to the tall grooves of the pattern which helped preserve that A-grade grip no matter the condition.
KD 14 Review: Outsole 3

OUTDOOR PERFORMANCE

Most of my action was still in the park though and the traction was even deadlier there. Abrasive surfaces will do that to shoes, of course, so don’t worry about losing traction outside. Unless you’re hooping on glass.

One thing I’ve heard a few people report is the traction starts off a bit iffy but quickly breaks in after a few games. I happened to start my hours in the KD 14 outside on concrete which is probably why I never experienced this myself.

So if you plan on having your initial run with the KD 14’s in a gym, be sure to not panic if you’re experiencing some slippage or lag since some of Nikey’s hoop shoes always come with some kind of coating on the rubber that needs to rub off before you can experience the full potential of these aggressive grooves staring at you.

That’s right – I said staring. Put both shoes next to each other and the pattern forms a skull. Nice touch? I think so.
KD 14 Review: Outsole 2

OUTDOOR DURABILITY

After just over 4 months of action (about 3 months of outdoor action 2-3 times per week), things are very similar to the KD 13 durability-wise.

Even though the grooves of the pattern are tall, they’re not very hard and it’s only a matter of time before you burn through the outsoles if you constantly hoop outdoors. Occasional games here and there should be fine though.

For my pair, the pattern is still okay for the most part, though some grooves in the forefoot portion are getting pretty banged up. I’m still not feeling a noticeable difference in performance though, so I guess the KD 14 is 4-month certified.

The main KD line was never an outdoor line, so keep that in mind. The KD Trey 5 VIII and IX are your options if you’re a Durant fan but would like to assure yourself with multiple-season durability on the blacktop.

V. CUSHION


How’s the impact protection? What about step comfort, energy return? Is it stable?
KD 14 Review: Heel
image source: nike.com

Don’t get me started on the Air Zoom Strobel goodness. Alright, I’ll start. It’s really, really good.

We’ve got a full-length Zoom Strobel stitched directly to the upper, which means your foot sits right over it for maximum feel. There’s also a Cushlon midsole this time, and the forefoot Zoom Air unit we’ve got on the KD 13 was scrapped.

No worries though – this feels still like the fantastic ride we got from the 13.

It’s literally all you can ask from a basketball shoe’s cushioning system: I was feeling bouncy, comfy, there’s ample energy return without slowing you down or making you sink into the midsole, and there’s enough court feel even for shifty guards despite the beefy setup.

It’s what Zoom Air at its full potential can do but it’s not overdone. If you want things to be close to overdone – look into the LeBron 19. That’s a niche shoe. The KD 14 is a shoe for everybody – you’ll feel comfortable but also fast and precise.
KD 14 Review: Insoles
image source: nike.com

It really doesn’t get much better than this.

And unlike Air Max or some of the iterations of Phylon that Nikey uses, you really don’t need any real break-in time for the cushion’s full potential to shine.

It’s awesome right out of the box and while people like to say Cushlon dies out quickly – give me an example since I’ve virtually never experienced it.

Don’t mean to be offensive or anything – it’s just that people love throwing statements around they might or might not have heard from someone (and somewhere) instead of letting actual experience speak for them.

Sure, there are a few shoes that had Cushlon and it ended up bottoming out fairly quickly but saying it’s a regular occurrence with Cushlon is just not correct.

VI. SUPPORT


How much security does it offer? What about stability and lockdown? Any restrictions?
KD 14 Review: Midfoot
image source: nike.com

The KD 14 comes with standard support features you’d see from Nikey: there are excellent internal heel counters in place (ankle & heel lockdown), midfoot plates acting as sidewalls/reinforcements to help stabilize the exposed Cushlon foam, torsional plates for rigidity, and a hook-and-loop strap to top it all off.

The lacing system is traditional and works well. The reinforced portions of the upper also help hold it all in place without making the shoe feel rigid or stiff.

The platform of the shoe isn’t that wide but wide enough to promote good stability, as well as the outsoles slightly protruding laterally acting as small outriggers for further lateral protection.

But of course, it’s the snug, secure fit that provides the foundation of the shoe’s security and it’s definitely the KD 14’s strong point.
KD 14 Review: Back

You can really tell the design team has drawn some conclusions from the last year’s shoe and the people’s reception on the lackluster containment/security – this year’s shoe nailed that down while keeping comfort & mobility levels in check. Bravo!

I guess the only thing that doesn’t have a place is the strap. If you’d really yank it down as tight as you can, you can feel it pressing down the upper which does add a bit of extra lockdown but it all goes to waste when the strap loosens up. Which it does. Quickly and every time.

But take the strap out of there and you’d get the same performance you’d have with it – so not a huge deal at all. It’s just not as functional as it is advertised.

Overall – a great setup that promotes security and stability without sacrificing comfort or free movement. That’s what a versatile shoe should bring to the table.

VII. THE BUILD


What are the materials used? How well do they perform on-court? How’s the quality & reliability of the build?
KD 14 Review: Forefoot

BUILD OVERVIEW

The Nike KD 14 sports a multi-layered mesh build with some kind of felt coating on top. The build is definitely thin and lightweight but certain portions throughout the silhouette are reinforced with thin layers of TPU to preserve the shape and ensure longevity.

There’s really nothing special about the build if you’ve got some experience with a basketball shoe that launched in the last few years.

Synthetics are the go-to now, so if you’re expecting some raw leather, nubuck, or suede goodness – you won’t find that there.
PERFORMANCE

They really didn’t lie – it barely takes any time for the shoe to start feeling optimal, even for my wide a** feet. The reinforced mesh does stretch out a tad bit but the TPU limits this threshold while maintaining a nice balance.

I never felt overly stiff in these and even though I could tell there’s a marginal weight difference between these and the 13’s – it’s all that is. Marginal. It didn’t really mean anything to me when it was game time.

Are these materials cheap for a $150 shoe? Depends on what you define as cheap. If you’re all about performance – I’m sure you’ll be more than satisfied since there’s really nothing wrong in that regard.

If you’re someone who’s all about premium material choices and buying the absolute most reliable product you can get for the money – you may or may not be disappointed. The top felt layer is definitely pretty cheap to the touch but again, it’s all there is to it.

It doesn’t affect the way you play or feel on-court, so it’s up to you to decide if you’re okay with such a build for 150 bucks.
KD 14 Review: Strap
image source: nike.com

RELIABILITY

I’m 4 months in and there aren’t any drastic signs of wear & tear yet.

The felt layer is starting to look a bit scruffy but that’s just the nature of the material. The velcro that the strap sticks to is getting weaker by the day, so good luck with the strap staying tight for more than a few minutes.

Also, the laces themselves are fine and don’t come undone (like a Dame 7 for example) but they constantly get stuck in the velcro sticker which does mess them up a bit since I have to peel them off the velcro almost every time I’m lacing or relacing the shoe.

These would be the only gripes I’ve got with the build’s reliability so far and saying these are real drawbacks would definitely be an overstatement.

You should be fine hooping in these for several seasons, just be aware of the outsoles if you’ll playing outdoors a lot. The rubber will surely burn off quicker than the build will get seriously damaged.

VIII. OVERALL


Rounding things up: are they versatile? Who’s best suited for it? Is it a good deal amongst the competition?
KD 14 Review: Pair
image source: nike.com

The Nike KD 14 is an absolute success. I said it. It’s a versatile shoe made for a versatile player in mind – just about any hooper will find these sufficient for what they’re trying to do on the court.

Or at least very close to every hooper.
QUICK RECAP

The shoe sports a very snug fit but only the widest of footers should go up half a size in my opinion.

Foot containment has been greatly improved, traction is deadly (though not among the most durable outdoor options), the full-length Air Zoom Strobel + Cushlon setup is a thing of beauty, and despite a fairly basic upper, it delivered for me when it was time to actually play.

I’d absolutely go with the 14’s if I had to choose between the last three KD models in his main signature line.

It’s the most versatile, fun package out of the bunch and I really don’t think there are a lot of players that would find this one “incompatible” with the way they play.

My personal final scores of the shoe are below!

IX. ALTERNATIVE OPTIONS


Here are some additional options for a similar experience



If you can’t afford to lash out $150 but looking for a very similar feel & performance from a mid-tier signature model – the PG 5 is pretty close.

And if you’re looking for the cheapest option possible but still want that KD-like performance – the KD Trey 5 VIII and KD Trey 5 IX are viable budget options sitting at just 90 bucks.

   


Posted by Newtruckspring.com - suspension parts at 01:41Comments(0)

2021年12月29日

Nike Air Max Impact Review : MY 5-Month Outdoor Experience

This one’s for the frugal. Originally priced at just $90, you can grab these at even lower now. But is it a good performer? Will it last outdoors and turn out to be a great buy for cheap? Let’s find out everything there’s to know in my detailed 5-month Nike Air Max Impact review.

Nike Air Max Impact Review: Intro

Behind the review: tested by a 6’1 amateur player at ~175 lbs. Explosive two-guard, slasher to the rim. On the athletic side. Wide, thick-footed.

I. SPEC SHEET


Nike Air Max Impact Review: Side 1
Model: Nike Air Max Impact

Build: mid-top

Weight: 13.23 oz / 375 g. (size 10.5 US)

Retail Price: $90

Cushion: heel Air Max unit & foam midsole





II. FIT & COMFORT


Nike Air Max Impact Review: Top
SIZING GUIDE

I’ve been to a local retailer of mine a couple of days ago, so I had a chance to try these on before ordering online. The user feedback is true  – the shoe does fit on the tighter side. Especially within the initial 1-2 weeks.

I’ve got wide & thick feet – a nightmare combo for a lot of today’s hoop shoes. I’ve gone up half a size and definitely made the right choice. There’s a little bit of room in the toebox height-wise but nothing crazy. Length-wise, things are perfect.

Width-wise, the shoe felt a bit suffocating for my midfoot at first but that’s due to my tall bone of the foot which also made it a chore to put the shoe on the first 1-2 weeks. After that, the materials stretched out a little and these fit just fine now.

No heel slippage, no side-to-side movements inside the footbed, no issues. All good there.

So for regular/narrow footers – I think you’ll get away with your usual size, though expect a snug, near one-to-one fit. If you’re a wide footer or prefer some room, going up half a size will do the trick.
COMFORT

Comfort-wise, the Air Max Impact feels, well, fine. There’s no reason to expect anything luxurious for this price but I have no major complaints. The fit’s fine, there’s some subtle padding around the ankle, and despite the cheap materials, they still sat nicely with my feet after some time.

I did have a few minor issues though.

The tongue is on the thinner side and while it is padded with foam (just a bit), yanking the laces down to a maximum always results in slight pain as the sharp curvature of this tongue digs into the lower portion of my shins.

I never needed to crank the laces down like that though on a real scenario on-court, so I’m fine. Those who perhaps found the fit a little too roomy and really want that lockdown might need to deal with this issue.

And of course, people with more forgiving foot shapes than mine might not experience it the same way as I did but I think the tongue is just a tad bit too thin for the job when pressure is applied. Nowhere near the disaster the LeBron 19’s tongue is but still could be improved.

Nike Air Max Impact Review: Back

In addition to that, let me just say that a shoe can be on the average or even the heavier side in terms of weight but a well-built shoe can often feel much lighter than it actually is on paper.

The Air Max Impact felt heavier than it actually is for me. It was never absurd or anything like that but it was always kinda there. You know that feeling when you put a good shoe on, start playing and completely forget you’ve got a pair of ’em on? Well not really the case for this one.

I think another thing to blame for that is the platform. While the forefoot portion can flex to a degree upon a torsional bend, the midfoot and heel portions literally can’t be budged.

That would’ve been fine in some cases but here, my heel actually sits higher than the rest of the foot despite the platform looking flat from an outside view. So, flat sole, elevated heel, minimal flex. This resulted in choppy step transitions for me.

Put on a pair of Curry 8’s and you could immediately feel the difference in how smooth each heel-to-toe stride feels.

Still though, it’s nothing deal-breaking. I was coming off the adidas Harden Vol. 5, so pretty much any step transition is an improvement from that weird a** shoe. Just keep in mind that the Air Max Impact felt more like a light tank rather than a formula.

III. TRACTION


Nike Air Max Impact Review: Outsole
TRACTION PERFORMANCE

A classic herringbone pattern is all over the outsoles of the Air Max impact. But surprisingly, it grips the floor fairly well. No deadly bite here, none of that. Just solid grip that took care of movements so I have no real complaints here either.

This tacky rubber definitely catches quite a lot of dust & debris if you’re playing on an iffy surface, and it does reflect on the traction at times. I never slid out to a major level but could feel a slight delay on a slippery spot on the ground or when forgetting to wipe ’em down after some dust accumulation.

Despite all of that, most guys will play just fine in these. I don’t know how these perform indoors but seeing a few reviews – the reported results are pretty much in line with my outdoor experience.

Just wipe these down when you can and you’ll be a-okay.
OUTDOOR DURABILITY

Nikey’s budget models usually go in-hand with better-than-average durability for outdoors, and this includes the outsoles. The rubber used here isn’t the strongest I’ve ever seen but it should definitely have you covered for a few seasons. Even on the tough blacktop.

I’ve played on concrete and on a rubber surface for just over 5 months. Didn’t play every day but it was enough to see that the rubber used here is resilient. Not a single major scratch in the grooves. Just some leftover nastiness inside the pattern.

If the base level of traction was deadlier – these would’ve ended up both in the Best Tractions and the Best Outdoor Shoes. No question.

IV. CUSHION


Nike Air Max Impact Review: Heel

We’ve got a decent setup for cushion – a large Air Max unit in the heel along with a standard foam midsole (likely Phylon). But hey, these are $90, so don’t expect clouds underfoot. The air jordan 1 unit is heavily caged in TPU and the foam midsole isn’t your grade-A plush stuff.

However, the ride still felt decent. Especially for the money.

I consider myself to be a good athlete – I play with a lot of explosiveness, quickness, and grit while slashing to the rim.

I’m not a heavy guy by any means but the volume of jumps, cuts, and drives each session can definitely take a toll on the body if the shoes aren’t absorbing impact as they should. Particularly on an outdoor surface.

The Air Max Impact did its job fairly well: good impact protection in the heel but this is definitely not a soft, plush unit. There’s a tad bit of bounce upon a harder jump/land but it’s mainly here to deliver performance, not leave you in awe comfort-wise.

You’ll need some good ol’ Zoom Air for that. And a bit more cash.

Nike Air Max Impact Review: Air Max

And don’t forget that Air Max needs a bit more time to soften up and do its job at an optimal level. Give these a week or two before fully judging the cushion.

The forefoot portion offers nothing except responsiveness and court feel. The Phylon midsole used here is pretty stubborn but these kinds of setups can last a long time since they don’t bottom out as fast.

The end result is, once again, decent. As I’ve mentioned, I’m not a huge fan of the unnatural elevation in the heel and a flat slope down to the front. This made the heel-to-toe strides feel just acceptable rather than smooth and it could even make certain guys feel slower than they actually are.

I didn’t personally feel that way but someone who’s even lighter, quicker, and shiftier than me might. Something to keep in mind.

All in all, not an other-worldly setup by any means but you definitely get what you pay for here. A ride that should complement most players/positions is a good one in my book. Just don’t be expecting crazy bounce or pillows under your feet.

V. SUPPORT


Nike Air Max Impact Review: Side 2

All-around security is where the Nikey Air Max Impact did the best job. Despite the cheap materials, everything else just works.

Of course, it all begins with a proper fit and this one’s a pass – no extra room to be found if you get the size right (which shouldn’t be hard here). The platform of the shoe is flat and while there’s no hardcore outrigger to catch ankle rolls, the protrusion of the outsole in the forefoot portion was enough.

There’s also a MASSIVE external heel counter that cups the heel very nicely. The lacing system is traditional but with a twist that’s the real MVP of this shoe’s lockdown. Nikey calls this “4 fingers of lockdown”.

It’s basically a synthetic piece that’s on top of the upper which is being pulled down once you crank up the laces. 2 bands on each side connect the laces with the synthetic piece and the result is lockdown for days.

Foot containment was also fine – I never rolled out of the footbed and the same piece helped hold the build together.

I feel like everything else could’ve been scrapped and this piece would’ve still been enough to strap you in for a secure ride. There were also no restrictions, pinching or any other issues – just good lockdown.

Definitely the shoe’s strongest point in my opinion.

VI. MATERIALS & BUILD


Nike Air Max Impact Review: Forefoot

The upper is your standard 90-dollar stuff: lightweight mesh is all throughout the build, while the white piece is synthetic leather. The tongue is a textile that is slightly padded with foam. The lining inside the ankle area is nice and smooth. The heel area has a synthetic finish to it.

While I’ve played in uppers that are more comfortable and feel even nicer to the foot while having better properties to wrap around it, the experience the Air Max Impact offered was solid.

The strong suits of such a build are minimal break-in time, no added bulk or weight to keep you secure, and decent ventilation. The downsides would be the amount of structure it provides and of course, the lack of “premium” on the build.

Not everyone will need more structure than what’s found here but big, explosive dudes that are freight trains running to the rim would likely need something a bit beefier. For the rest of us though, I don’t think you’ll have a problem here. I didn’t.
DURABILITY

What about durability? 5 months in and I’ve yet to come across a major issue. Nothing’s breaking down on me besides some cosmetic damage. The heel portion is scratched up, the logos on the tongue are pretty faded and the mesh on the toebox area looks a bit weary.

But that’s about it – and none of it affected how I played so I say we’re good. I expect these to last a few good seasons, even outdoors.

If you can get past the fact that the shoe feels cheap to the touch and doesn’t offer any premium components such as genuine, raw materials, or a smooth knit, you’ll be fine as there’s really nothing wrong with the upper. It’s not bubbling on me as some cheaper shoes tend to do, nor does it feel cheap when my foot’s in there.

VII. OVERALL


Nike Air Max Impact Review: Pair

The Nike Air Max Impact is yet another basketball shoe from Nikey’s massive collection that offers players just the things they need on the court without paying top dollar.

If you want a luxury pair of hoop kicks, you’ll need to look elsewhere but considering the prices, these are sitting at right now, this can be a fantastic pickup for those who can’t afford to spend $140+ on a sneaker.
QUICK RECAP

The shoe offers a snug, near one-to-one fit while going TTS. For wide footers – most of you will need to step up 1/2 size. Traction’s fine (nothing crazy) and will last a while outdoors. Cushion’s fine too – nothing special in terms of the way it feels but performance-wise, it took care of me no matter how long the session was.

Security is the shoe’s toughest area, as it provided stellar lockdown without feeling overly restrictive or clunky. And if you can look past the cheap material choices and decent build quality – they simply get the job done when it’s time to play.

I’ve actually just recently tested the second shoe, the Air Max Impact 2, right after this one for a few months. Click here for a full review and see how it stacks up!  


Posted by Newtruckspring.com - suspension parts at 01:19Comments(0)

2021年12月26日

Jordan Why Not Zero 3 Review: Indoor @ Outdoor Analysis

The third signature sneaker from the ferocious athlete Russell Westbrook was actually my first to try (reviews of the rest are coming!) and since I’ve got these for over a year now, let’s break it all down in my comprehensive, long-term-based Jordan Why Not Zero 3 review.

I’ll break down the shoe’s comfort & fit aspects, on-court performance from a variety of areas, build quality & reliability, versatility, and value for the price you’re paying. I’ll also provide alternatives that I think would be good replacements in case you find certain areas of the shoe lacking for your preferences.

Let’s get it!



For those in a hurry: the Jordan ‘Why Not’ Zer0.3 is a solid all-around performer that won’t give you any headaches and deliver for just about any build or style of play.

The shoe should fit most people, including wide footers, true to their usual size. Traction was questionable at times but a quick wipe usually takes care of slip-outs. Not the best option for long-term outdoor action though.

The foam midsole + forefoot Zoom Air cushion setup was pretty nice and a solid happy medium for just about any player.

Support wasn’t lacking, just like most Jordan basketball shoes. The only nitpick about that would be the slighly heavier weight compared to an average basketball sneaker in 2021.

The basic foam-backed mesh build isn’t the most premium but breaks in super quickly and performs well. I’m 6 months in with the shoe and the only damage to it is purely cosmetic.

For alternatives, check out the Air Jordan 34 & 36 for a more premium upgrade, and the LeBron Witness 5 for a more budget-friendly option.

III. FIT & COMFORT


How’s the fit and should you go true to size? What about comfort? Anything else to know?
Jordan Why Not Zero 3 Review: TopMy wide feet never seemed to have many problems with most Jordan basketball shoes and right out of the box, the ‘Why Not’ Zer0.3 joined that club.The shoe has a pretty regular fit – not too roomy but not extremely snug either. All foot shapes should be okay with their usual size, so don’t overthink this one.There are about 0.2-0.3 inches of wiggle room length-wise (which is perfect for me personally) and the shoe didn’t feel overly tight even before I started putting hours into it. Pretty rare for me these days.I had no heel slippage, no side-to-side movements inside the footbed, so things were feeling nice and secure. Definitely a job well done here.
Jordan Why Not Zero 3 Review: Ankle
COMFORT

In terms of the pure comfort experience, I’d be lying if I said these are special and make it to the “most premium/comfortable” club but that didn’t make things underwhelming in any way.

The ‘Why Not’ Zer0.3 offered me solid heel-to-toe transitions, there’s a moderate amount of foam padding inside the shoe, and that large pillow that cups my ankle & heel felt nice in there.

This is definitely not the lightest shoe in the world but if you’re upgrading from the previous ‘Why Not’ Zer0.2 – you’ll definitely notice a decrease in weight and how fast these feel now.

Even for those who don’t have experience with Westbrook’s previous models – the above-average weight number of the shoe shouldn’t bother you when it’s time to play.

Especially if you’re an explosive athlete like Russ is.

One thing that did bother me initially, was the rigid TPU midfoot shank that sits underfoot and is responsible for decoupling the shoe’s midsole. I could definitely feel slight discomfort upon each step but all I needed was a few sessions before the plastic started breaking in and molding to my foot shape.

Each stride is now seamless and all is fine, so don’t get overly worried if you experience something similar during the beginning hours of your time with the sneaker. This ain’t no work shoe – rest assured!

IV. TRACTION


Do the outsoles handle a variety of surfaces & conditions well? What about durability indoors & outdoors?
Jordan Why Not Zero 3 Review: Outsole 1
INDOOR PERFORMANCE

I did have my concerns with the shoe’s traction since most reviews I’ve seen/read were reporting on questionable grip these provide.

Well, I can’t say my fears fully came to fruition but I’ve definitely had shoes that offered deadlier and more consistent traction over the years.

The sneaker features a herringbone-like traction pattern all over the outsoles for multi-directional coverage. Herringbone’s great but the main thing about these was the rubber. It’s really damn pliable and gives in a little too much at times and I end up slightly slipping out on a stop, cut, or change of direction.

Indoors, I play on a moderate condition high school hardwood floor which is cleaned occasionally but it’s definitely not your A-grade pristine court.

The base level of traction is fine (although there are better) but when dust or moist comes into play – the number of slight slip-outs turns from occasional to acceptable. That would be the best way to describe this one.

Also, linear coverage seems to clearly be better than lateral bite.

There’s not a huge difference there as I was still gripping the floor upon a lateral movement acceptably, I could just feel that things felt tackier when forward and backward motions are dominating instead of side to side.

Due to the soft rubber compound, wiping the outsoles off from an overabundance of dust/debris is super easy and quick though.

I wipe out of habit anyway but if you’re someone who doesn’t – a quick wipe or two will be all you need when you feel like your bite is getting less consistent mid-session.

Overall, I would rate the traction indoors as acceptable.

The slight delays in stops/cuts/accelerations, etc. aren’t the most devastating and didn’t prevent me from playing the way I play but take away another 15%-20% of bite and/or consistency and I wouldn’t be enjoying my time in these. I hope that’s a useful indication.
Jordan Why Not Zero 3 Review: Outsole 3
OUTDOOR PERFORMANCE

Normally, if a shoe lacks a strong bite indoors, it makes up for it outdoors since concrete parks or rubber surfaces provide much more friction, thus the rubber can bite into it better.

But since this shoe’s rubber is pliable and the pattern can be budged so easily, there was barely a difference from when I was hooping on hardwood. It’s pretty weird and unusual but it is what it is I guess.

I guess I could notice marginally better traction on a rubber surface court I usually play on outdoors but the small slip-outs and sensitivity to dust were still there, just the base level of bite was a little stronger.

On concrete, things were about the same as they were inside a gym.

I haven’t played in the previous Jordan ‘Why Not’ Zer0.2 but I did read that people were having more consistent experiences with that shoe in terms of traction.
Jordan Why Not Zero 3 Review: Outsole 2
OUTSOLE DURABILITY

Since I already gave away that these use a seriously pliable rubber compound, things aren’t going to look good for long-term outdoor hoopers with the ‘Why Not’ Zer0.3.

Seriously, I don’t remember the last time the outsole rubber felt so soft and could be so easily moved around by the touch. While that doesn’t always directly line up with actual durability, this is definitely a shoe that won’t be put among the most reliable outdoor options.

I’ve been trying to mix up my sessions about evenly indoors and outdoors for the 6-month period I was testing these (about 2-4 times per week with a few exceptions) and despite that, the traction pattern, especially on the right shoe, is looking pretty wrecked.

It’s not fully gone but the areas under the balls of my feet and the lateral side of the forefoot portion are super weary now.

However, the actual difference in performance vs. the shoe out of the box is still marginal. I’m fairly confident I’d be able to get through a full season of outdoor hoops. Longer than that though – I wouldn’t bet on it.

V. CUSHION


How’s the shock absorption, the cushion’s energy return, and step transitions? What about ride height and stability?
Jordan Why Not Zero 3 Review: Heel

The Jordan ‘Why Not’ Zer0.3 features a foam midsole along with a large, segmented Zoom Air unit in the forefoot. A fairly standard setup for the price and one that also feels fairly standard. Don’t get too disappointed though – this stuff works well.

I needed about a couple of 2-hour sessions for the midsole and the Zoom unit to fully break in and start working to their full potential.

Since then – the setup is well-balanced, it’s comfortable, the forefoot portion is nice and bouncy, and the ride is fairly low off the ground. You won’t be as low profile as in a Curry or a Kyrie shoe but this is definitely a happy medium for just about anyone who steps foot in these.

The heel portion is a bit stiffer than the front since it only features EVA foam there but I can’t say I felt like I was lacking heel impact protection or a proper heel-to-toe transition.

Both were there, it’s just the actual feel is a bit more subdued when compared to the forefoot.

The ride is also stable thanks to a resilient foam midsole that doesn’t overly compress and it’s also caged up with TPU sidewalls in multiple areas all around the foot.

This is definitely a fantastic jumper’s shoe. If you’re someone who’s even remotely close to the explosiveness and style of Westbrook – you’ll appreciate how energetic the ride feels with the forefoot propelling every step and jump.

Not to say it’s a bad setup for anyone else – it’s a versatile setup that should satisfy just about any player or build who’s looking for a comfortable, efficient, and secure experience cushion-wise.

VI. SUPPORT


How much security does it offer? What about stability and foot containment? Any trade-offs in comfort/mobility as a result?
Jordan Why Not Zero 3 Review: Back
Just like most Jordan basketball sneakers, the Zer0.3 delivered in offering a supportive and stable experience no matter the movement at a little-to-no cost in mobility.

The shoe features beefy internal heel counters to lock down the heel & ankle, TPU sidewalls that come up from the midsole in several areas for proper foot containment, a large TPU midfoot shank for torsional support, and a midfoot strap that loops around the midfoot and actually does help with midfoot lockdown a bit.

Yes, the strap is not a complete gimmick this time (something that we’ve seen far too often these days) and while it doesn’t make a night and day difference, I could definitely feel it pulling down the upper if I strap it up wholeheartedly.

It does loosen up a bit fairly quickly though, so that’s one thing that it shares with most other straps on basketball footwear. Would the shoe perform just fine without the strap? Absolutely.

However, I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t do ANYTHING at all.
Jordan Why Not Zero 3 Review: Side 1
The platform of the shoe is moderately wide and even without proper outriggers in place, lateral stability was never an issue for me, and I’m someone who’s had issues with my right ankle for years now.

Can’t say I noticed the shoe getting in the way in terms of hurting stability.

There are also two extra loops that the laces go through in the upper forefoot portion right under the strap which also helps with extra lockdown in that area. A little detail but a pretty neat one that I also felt did its job.

Now, in a perfect world, I would’ve loved if the shoe would’ve been just a tad bit lighter-feeling, sure. All this stuff like a beefy shank and a plastic strap does make up for a heavier build.

It’s something that I didn’t particularly notice in a practical scenario when I was hooping but more when I’d actually pay attention to it when I’d compare multiple shoes by switching pairs every few hours.

It’s definitely not Retro Jordan-like heavy, don’t get me wrong there. Light, quick guards, or low-profile spot-up shooters could notice it but take just about any other player and you’ll be absolutely fine in these.

A job well done!

VII. THE BUILD


What are the upper materials and how well they’re made? How’s the performance of the build as well as general quality & reliability?
Jordan Why Not Zero 3 Review: Forefoot

BUILD OVERVIEW

The Jordan ‘Why Not’ Zer0.3 features a foam-backed mesh build with multiple synthetic overlays on the toe, heel, ankle, and several other areas.

It’s a pretty crazy-looking build at first glance but in reality, it’s really not that different from other shoes – the multi-colored overlays give an impression that all this STUFF is on the shoe while it’s really just paint.

The shoe has an inner bootie construction as the whole ankle area where your foot sits in, is inside a stretchy sleeve underneath the main layer of the build. The tongue isn’t completely separated and is instead part of the inner bootie.

The lacing system is traditional though.

The sneaker also features a large pull tab for easier entry for the foot on lebron 19, a plastic loop that the strap goes through, and a hard plastic (TPU) midfoot shank plate.
Jordan Why Not Zero 3 Review: Side 2
PERFORMANCE

Despite feeling a bit bulky at first, there are really no glaring issues with the build performance-wise.

The foam-backed mesh breaks in and stretches out super fast, it moved well with my foot and offered no annoyances like pinching, digging, or overwhelming pressure. For most people, a few days will be all you need to fully break everything in.

Ventilation is pretty good too – the open mesh design allows for some breathability when compared to a traditional full-on synthetic or a thick knit.

The only small gripe I’ve got with these is related to my annoyingly wide and tall feet. These are a bit tough to put on since I have to stuff my boat-like feet into that fairly compact inner bootie/sleeve.
Jordan Why Not Zero 3 Review: Midfoot

BUILD RELIABILITY

For $130, you’re getting yourself a fairly basic build, decent quality, and at least a couple of seasons of playing time. It’s impossible to tell exactly how long these will last you since there are two many variables but these are about average in terms of value for the price you’re paying.

The stitch work is decent, the mesh is moderately thick, and doesn’t look it’s going anywhere 6 months in, and the only damage to the shoe so far is purely cosmetic.

The synthetic overlay on the toe is probably looking to worst at the moment but again, it does nothing to hinder performance. So far, all the stitching is still in place, nothing is severely faded in terms of paint either.

The midsole is starting to yellow which I hate but sadly there’s not a lot you can do about that. Well, technically, you can, but I personally don’t care to get involved in such a process so I’ll live with it.

I’ve seen better deals for this amount of money but I have also seen worse. This falls right in the middle somewhere.

VIII. OVERALL


Summarizing the Jordan Why Not Zero 3 review: is the shoe worth the $$$? How versatile is it? How does it stack up against the competition?
Jordan Why Not Zero 3 Review: Pair

I can’t say I was completely blown away or had an experience of my life with the Jordan ‘Why Not’ Zer0.3 but what I CAN say, is I felt secure, comfortable, and confident in there. Definitely a solid buy if you’re a Westbrook fan or just looking for a well-rounded shoe.

And since the ‘Why Not’ Zer0.5 is right around the corner – this one will be two years old soon, so you’ll definitely be able to grab ’em for under retail.
QUICK RECAP

The shoe should fit most guys true to their usual size, including wide footers. Traction was the most questionable part of the shoe but even then, it was acceptable.

Cushion was nice and should fit just about any style or build, support was a non-issue and the mesh build did nothing to impress but definitely did its job when it was time to play.

I haven’t yet fully tested the ‘Why Not’ Zer0.2 or the Zer0.4 but from what I hear, reports are saying the Zer0.3 still has the best cushion setup. If you’re someone who values that over other aspects – this is your shoe!  


Posted by Newtruckspring.com - suspension parts at 23:43Comments(0)

2021年12月25日

Puma Clyde All-Pro Kuzma Low performance review

Dribble Media gives you the Puma Clyde All-Pro Kuzma Low performance review, which is a detailed analysis of the German brand’s latest basketball sneaker.

PUMA CONTINUES ITS COMEBACK TRAIL TO THE BASKETBALL INDUSTRY


With this recent release of the sleek low-top version of the Clyde All-Pro Kuzma, Puma continues to impress in their mission to return to the top of the basketball sneaker industry. It was in 2018 when Puma signed young budding NBA players like DeMarcus Cousins, Terry Rozier, Deandre Ayton, Marvin Bagley III, Kyle Kuzma, and the most recent, LaMelo Ball.

Among those PUMA athletes, there’s no doubt that Kuzma has gained the most attention. The Los Angeles Lakers forward’s swag on the court carries over to his fashion sense off the court. That unique blend of style is evident in how his signature designs with PUMA are being structured.

The PUMA Clyde All-Pro Kuzma Low also comes with different sets of laces for free. (Photo via Sneaker News)


Just from the looks of it, you can already tell that the PUMA Clyde All-Pro Kuzma Low has integrated some premium touch on its materials. The gum rubber midsole is immediately noticeable, and that’s right below the pair’s Matryx EVO Tech Knit frame.


The Matryx EVO Tech Knit technology has become the flagship feature of PUMA’s performance shoes. The Matryx tech is popular for providing a higher level of lightweight comfort. On top of that, the material is carefully-knitted and durable, two features that prevent abrasion especially on the uppers.


Those black lines that you see on the Kuzma Low uppers are actually carbon threads that cover almost the entirety of the pair’s uppers. This feature helps bring more durability to the uppers, and take note that it doesn’t do anything to negatively affect the lightweight feel of the shoe. Interestingly, these carbon threads were not utilized in the All-Pro Kuzma Mid.


The downside of the inclusion of the Matryx EVO Tech Knit in the All-Pro Kuzma Low is that it feels a bit stiff when you first use it, although you can address that problem through numerous break-ins. But there’s no doubt that the materials are topnotch in this PUMA pair.





The traction in the PUMA Clyde All-Pro Kuzma Low is one of its best features. (Photo via Sneaker News)

The gum rubber outsole immediately stands out in the Puma Clyde All-Pro Kuzma Low. It doesn’t just stand out from an aesthetic standpoint, but it is also one of its best features. It’s a shame that only a few basketball sneakers make use of the gum sole because it really impressed in the Kuzma Low.


The gum sole is great for playing outdoors, but it’s even better when used on indoor courts. The traction of the Kuzma Low offers a balanced blend of grip and bite that not even the more expensive signature shoes from other brands can provide. There are lots of good things to say about the Puma Clyde All-Pro Kuzma Low, and its incredible traction stands at the top of that list.


CUSHION AND SUPPOR


One of the main selling points of the PUMA Clyde All-Pro Kuzma Low is its ProFoam+ cushioning technology. PUMA integrated the ProFoam+ in its full length, giving the Kuzma Low just the perfect amount of energy return and responsiveness.


The ProFoam+ is also the same exact type of foam used in the original version of the Clyde All-Pro. There’s nothing to complain about here because the ProFoam+ tech is already one of the best types of midsoles out there. It’s really a good thing that PUMA decided to retain that feature in the midsole of the Kuzma Low.


However, one thing to take note of is that the step-in comfort may be a bit tighter in the Kuzma Low as compared to the original iteration of the Clyde All-Pro. This is probably caused by the tighter lacing system that the Kuzma Low has, as well as its full-leather tongue.


Don’t worry about this too much, though. You’ll achieve more breathability and comfort in this lebron 19 pair after a number of break-ins. Overall, the ProFoam+ cushioning technology is as good as advertised. The PUMA Clyde All-Pro Kuzma Low passes with flying colors in terms of its cushion and support.





The PUMA Clyde All-Pro Kuzma Low runs true to size. (Photo via Sneaker News)

SIZE AND FITTING




There’s no problem in going true to size when you purchase the PUMA Clyde All-Pro Kuzma Low. Again, the tighter lacing system and full-leather tongue may make it feel like there is little to no level of airflow in the shoe, but that is not the case after multiple break-ins.




Don’t look now, but PUMA is roaring back into contention among the best basketball sneakers released during the latter part of 2020 up to this year. This low-topped version of the Clyde All-Pro Kuzma offers a balanced blend of just about everything you want from a go-to basketball shoe.


The lightweight material of the Matryx EVO technology and the bouncy ProFoam+ midsole combine to help push this pair to its peak form. The Kuzma Low’s lightweight feel and excellent cushioning technology gives this pair the unique ability to cater to basketball players of every position, whether you play as a shifty point guard or dominant center down low.


The only downside of this PUMA pair is that it needs quite a significant amount of time before you can completely break it in. We don’t recommend that you use it in a competitive basketball game right away as it will hinder you from performing at your best. Instead, try it out a couple of times first in pick-up games so you can properly break it in.


Still, this new PUMA pair should be one of the best that the 2021 Dunk sneaker landscape has seen when the year has come and gone. Its materials are premium, and the cushioning technology are state-of-the-art.


  


Posted by Newtruckspring.com - suspension parts at 01:40Comments(0)

2021年12月24日

Snibbs Spacecloud Work Sneaker Performance Review



Food service and various other retail/hospitality jobs usually require one thing that before you start the gig. Black, non slip work shoes. This is super annoying because anyone who likes sneakers would rather spend their cash on flashy, fun shoes. You don’t want to be slip-sliding through the kitchen so you bite the bullet and purchase even though you aren’t happy about it. Luckily, Snibbs is trying to make comfortable more fashionable shoes for these types of jobs. The Snibbs Spacecloud Non Slip Work Sneaker is built for on your feet all day, sometimes messy jobs. And it doesn’t look bad.

Snibbs offered to send a few pairs our way so we recruited three testers with jobs that require non slip work sneakers. For two to three weeks they put the Snibbs Spacecloud through whatever their job could throw at them and then sat down and wrote a review. Here’s a little about our three testers:

Lancelot Rose is a father, sneakerhead, calisthenics fan, occasional gamer and anime nerd. A big proponent of active self actualization towards a better world.

Jacob Manahan is a 23 year old living in the North Chicagoland area where he works as a manager at Starbucks. He developed an interest in sneakers/footwear after starting to collect with his partner Fatima. You can follow on Instagram where he uses the @jdmanah handle.

Elijah Guillermo is a budding sneakerhead and the number 1 Nike Cosmic Unity stan.

Now, let’s dig into how the Snibbs Spacecloud performed:

 

Materials


Lancelot: Wearing these at multiple jobs leaves a few things to note. The materials are soft and comfortable. They didn’t give my normal width foot any issues. The reviews on their site say the Spacecloud either fits correctly or run a little small but I felt they were true to size.

It has a fabric upper and foam midsole. When mopping the floor, I can tell the Spacecloud is water resistant but not waterproof. If you spill something on them, you’ll still get wet socks. The benefit of this is they don’t get super hot like waterproof shoes do. But the materials are very easy to clean and that’s an advantage. They have cotton laces that look like they have a wax coating on them so not the best feeling laces, but they didn’t come untied even after a long day.

Jacob: The Vegan materials used allow the Snibbs Spacecloud to be worn by people of all walks of life, but the soft fabric will be a setback for some potential customers. Many workspaces, especially in the food industry, require an all-leather shoe to be worn by employees. Although the Spacecloud’s water resistant materials generally perform well, it’s nowhere near as effective in keeping hot spills off the foot as a leather shoe. This, combined with the rather bulky silhouette and casual style of the sneaker, might make the Spacecloud a less than ideal option for some servers, bartenders, baristas, and chefs.

Elijah: The shoes’ upper is constructed of a neoprene-like fabric that feels very soft around your feet while still maintaining lockdown. The overall construction of the upper feels reminiscent of the Nike Air Presto. A thin, yet substantial TPU mudguard runs along the toebox of the lebron 19.  The mudguard adds a level of protection if you work in an environment with lots of sharp edges or just a lot of potential hazards lying around wherever you walk. Since I work in a fast-food restaurant, I do come in contact with hot oils from cleaning and filtering fryers which can gunk up my footwear. My Spaceclouds did get dirty during the weartesting period, however, they clean up well with a small wash. On that note, the upper seems to be waterproof as my socks didn’t get wet or stained while I was washing dishes, so that’s an added bonus.

Traction


Lancelot: The Snibbs Spacecloud features herringbone traction. It’s pretty good, even better than most shoes, especially a lot of basketball shoes. Wearing Air Jordan 1s on a wet surface is not a good decision and like asking to eat the floor. I think Snibbs could use improvements on the rubber compound as well as improve the design. With the current design, if you work in an environment with a very messy floor, the whole outsole gets caked with whatever was on the floor, filling all the crevices. The traction pattern has little groves as well as the large grooves and maybe they could mix it up even more. All in all, I would say they perform better on a wet surface than most shoes. Not the best, but definitely very good, even when caked with cornmeal.

Jacob: Whether working in a kitchen, tending bar or walking down a freshly mopped hallway, a wet floor will pose no problem when wearing the Spacecloud. The non slip sole fantastically grips the floor and maintains the wearer’s safety when working in an environment prone to spills, leaks, or general moisture. It earns the non slip work sneaker title it receives in the company’s marketing materials.

Elijah: If you’re a fan of 1990’s outdoor basketball shoes, you might be drawn to the Spaceclouds’ full-length herringbone traction pattern. However, the traction is possibly the weakest part of the shoe, as it is prone to sliding. The shoes don’t have much of a bite on dry floors and can get a lot of food/gunk within the grooves of the herringbone. The traction can be cleaned quickly with a bit of a spray down, but it still does not hold up well in my workplace, especially when it comes to washing kitchen or bathroom floors. The traction on the Snibbs Spacecloud is my biggest complaint.

Cushion


Lancelot: 10 of 10. I’m just starting off with that. This is hands down the best part of the shoe. The foam they use for the midsole along with the ortholite insole make for a fantastic combination. You can easily work a 10+ hour shift and not notice your feet starting to ache until beyond that. I don’t think i could recommend this shoe enough to a nurse or people regularly on their feet all day.

Jacob: The comfort of the Spacecloud can also be called into question. Although, the Ortholite insole offers a nice amount of padding at first, it’s the only real cushion I feel the shoe provides. There is also very little support given by the construction, and although standing still will remain a comfortable task when wearing the Spacecloud, any excessive movement will eventually become laborious, and the shoe will do little to prevent sore feet.

Elijah: Right off the bat, I could definitely tell that the comfort was the main focus of the Snibbs Spacecloud and it lives up to its name upon first try. The Spacecloud features a dual-layered Ortholite insole, and it’s a thick one at that. As a sneakerhead, the cushion is more akin to Nike’s React foam or Adidas’ Adilette Comfort series in terms of how pillowy it feels on feet.

Now does it work well in a restaurant setting? Not so much for my feet. The excess amount of cushion was not therapeutic in my experience as it led to a number of knee and foot pains the longer I wore the shoes. As the insole bottomed out over time, it reached a more tolerable and neutral state which did lessen the discomfort but only to a certain extent. If you want a lot of cushion in your shoes, the Spacecloud is for you. However, if you prefer a more stable ride, look somewhere else.

Fit


Lancelot: It felt pretty good to me with a true to size pair. I noticed many people had to go a half size up. However, that could be a wide foot issue. The Spacecloud has a similar cage concept to the Adidas Ultraboost. It gets the job done but could be uncomfortable for some.

Jacob: The slip-on cut of the shoe allows the Spacecloud to be very easily put on in a rush. The inclusion of two plastic panels on the inside and outside of the shoe, when tightly laced, help to maintain a comfortably snug and reinforced fit.

Elijah: While a little on the loose side, my recommendation for sizing on the Spacecloud is true to size. The shoes stay on due in part to the sock-like construction of the shoe, as well as some additional lockdown on the achilles. The shoes also feature some good lateral stability thanks to an additional heel counter as well as the TPU cages on the midfoot. The laces don’t add much to the lockdown as I could barely get them to cinch down on my feet. However, the lack of lace function does not detract from the lockdown. While I’m not about to cut the shoes in half to see the inner workings of its tech, I do feel something of a midfoot plate underneath the foam strobel. That stiffness adds more to the linear stability of the shoe. So, my sizing recommendation is TTS for standard-width feet; wide-footers may want to go up a half size.

Snibbs Spacecloud Overall


Lancelot: The Snibbs Spacecloud is incredibly comfortable, recommended for environments that don’t have super dirty floors and anywhere you stand on your feet for long periods of time. This shoe is a great practical work shoe. The Spacecloud definitely beats my previous favorite work sneaker (which is not a real non slip work sneaker) in terms of both comfort and traction on wet floors.

Jacob: Overall, the Spacecloud is a serviceable sneaker for most working environments. The benefits of the shoe are its comfort, low-profile design and especially its non-slip outsole. Critiques can be found in the lack of more effective water-resistant materials, lack of support during long-term wear, and a very casual and clearly non-leather build that may be unacceptable in some workplaces.

Elijah: With its rather poor traction, I wouldn’t recommend the Snibbs Spacecloud to those in the market for non slip shoes. The shoes are very comfortable, more so than many in the non-slip market. Despite my criticism of the shoe, its ultra-cushioned nature has the potential to inspire more tech-heavy work shoes. air jordan 1 has already made some Fresh Foam restaurant shoes, same with Vans and their PopCush insoles, so who knows? Maybe we’ll see some Nike React or Adidas Boost work shoes in the future. Nonetheless, the Snibbs Spacecloud, for as much as it lives up to its name, holds lots of potential but performs poorly as a non slip work sneaker.  


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