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Nike Air Zoom SuperRep is built to serve the performance

December 10, 2019 by tinmy2014  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nike SuperRep Cushioning

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

Air Jordan XX2 22 Performance Review

December 9, 2019 by tinmy2014  

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

Pros
: traction, fit, support, materials

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

Sizing: half size down

Best for: guards

Weight

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

Traction

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

Cushioning

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

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

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

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

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

Fit

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

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

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

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

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

Nice materials and build quality, may leather Rest In Peace

Support and Stability 

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

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

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

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

Containment

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

Conclusion 

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

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

Air Jordan 11 ‘Bred’ OG vs 2019 Retro Comparison

December 5, 2019 by tinmy2014  

We’re less than two weeks away from the official launch of the Air Jordan 11 ‘Bred’ Retro for 2019. How does this remastered version of the shoe stack up to the original?

You’ve got to give credit where it’s due. Jordan Brand did a very good job recreating the Air Jordan 11 to be as close to the 1995/96 version as possible.

Materials are the one area that are a glaring distinction between the two. Yes, we’d love to see the Air Jordan 11 brought back better than ever, but that isn’t what the brand has been trying to do. They’ve been trying to replicate the original, not replace it.

The truth is that the leather tanneries, textile manufacturers and carbon fiber manufacturers that Nike hired to make the parts that make up the OG Air Jordan 11 are no longer in business. It’s literally impossible for them to make the AJ11 exactly the way they were. So, getting as close as possible is the next best option. For that, we say good job.

There are some small and subtle things they still can work on. The most notable being the toe shape. The squared looking toes of the last decade are just boxy looking and make the original’s sleek design look bulky. If we can see some refinement of the toe shape in 2020 then we’ll be pretty happy.

We hope you enjoy our detailed comparison of the OG Air Jordan 11 Bred and the 2019 Retro. Good luck to everyone going after a pair. You’ll be able to find them available on Nike.com

Air Jordan XX9 vs XX8 Performance Review

December 2, 2019 by tinmy2014  

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

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

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

  • A new material for the frame 

Here is what we took away

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TRACTION

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

Verdict: XX8

CUSHIONING

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

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

 

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

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

Above: almost perfectly flush with the outsole

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

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

VERDICT: XX8 easily especially in the heel

FIT

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

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

 

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

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

VERDICT: XX9

SUPPORT and STABILITY

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

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

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

Above: carbon fiber over plastic any day

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

See how narrow the XX9 is vs the XX8

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

VERDICT: XX8

CONTAINMENT

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

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

VERDICT: XX8

DURABILITY:

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

PRICE: 

AJ XX9 retail: $225

Sale price: $125

AJ XX8 SE retail: $150

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

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

VERDICT: AJ XX8

CONCLUSION

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

UA Curry 7 Performance Analysis and Review

December 1, 2019 by tinmy2014  

I was/am really pulling for the new underdog Warriors this year but fate, injuries, and inexperience doesn’t look like 2019-2020 is going to be GSW‘a year.

With no Steph on court for at least a few more months I really could have been smart and just waited a few more months for heavy discounts but being a Curry fanboy, I really didn’t want to. If you want to work those eye and brain muscles read my whole review below, but if you want it short and sweet (that’s what she said  ) here’s a quick summary: it’s a very solid shoe but nothing we haven’t seen or felt before from UA. The Curry 2 still remains on top for me

Pros : excellent traction, fairly balanced cushioning is still on the firmer side, overall fit, support and stability, containment

Cons: forefoot fit is tighter than other Curry’s, starts out very stiff but gets more more flexible along the forefoot with break in.
Sizing advice: true to size for most, wide footers can go up half a size up due to a narrower than usually toe box
Best for: any position, players who want a firmer ride with more support and stability out of a low top
Buying Advice: Warriors went from first to worst in record fashion plus Steph is injured? Generic design $100 or less for sure, bottom around $65-75.
Weight 14.5 ounces which is lighter than the “lightest Harden Ever V4” by an ounce. About average for a Curry including the mids.
Traction
Very similar pattern and rubber compound to the Spawn 2019 which is a good thing . Almost no wiping at all in any court which is awesome. Over the years and years of reviewing shoes, traction should be the number one priority and UA got it right with most of the Curry models except maybe the V.
 
There isn’t much squeaking at all from this set up which is surprising considering the pattern and rubber softness…not that it matters, just saying. Very minimal wiping and consistent grip makes me a happy camper! Definitely the highlight of this shoe.
Well done UA!!
Cushioning
Don’t let the Micro G name and perforations fool you, they feel nothing alike even to the touch. Same goes for the 3Zero 3 Micro G
You know why everyone got excited about the Curry 7 ? Because of the return of Micro G not HOVR. As I’ve gone through the basketball HOVR line up, each cushioning set up was pretty much firm or a snooze fest because the foam surrounding the HOVR creates the feedback you get from the cushioning not the HOVR itself. Go ahead and step into any UA HOVR running shoe and the compression and fun is there from foam.
So much for the “wild energy” of HOVR requiring nettingLike the Curry 6 this is just texturized foam. It really feels like Phylon to the touch
This set up of HOVR with Micro G is basically the same set up as Curry 1 but with HOVR instead of Charged. I’m not sure if UA hockey pucked the HOVR into the midsole or put a layer of HOVR on top but it doesn’t feel like anything extraordinary.
 
Thin it to win it? Blue insoles are from the Curry 6 and 7, yellow is from the Curry 3 mid. Not sure if it’s a court feel thing or a profit margin thing but blue insoles are uber thin. Pretty sure it’s the latter though
If you’re expected Boost, Bounce, Zoom, or Lunarlon, React, or Lightstrike you will be very disappointed but if you’re expected Curry 2 or 3 cushioning you’ll be satisfied. I personally found these very similar to the 2 and 3 and far better feeling than the 6 and 5. It feels nowhere near as soft and bouncy as Micro G found on the OG Clutchfit or even this years Spawn (which btw is on discounts everywhere like I said it would be. I have literally not seen on person wearing them outside of sponsored players or trainers).
A lot of people focus of the “tech” of the shoe and while I do that as well to an extent, I’d rather know how a shoe feels to the player and ignore the name of the cushioning set up. There is a little more/thicker heel cushioning overall which is new for a Curry so that’s something different but overall cushioning is nothing groundbreaking. The thicker heel also adds to a little more fluidity since the 7 feels more like a running shoe hybrid (KD 8 anyone? )
 
You can see the contoured heel that has come over from 3-7 but I didn’t feel like jamming every shoe into the picThe heel adds a little more fluidity heel to toe
Overall, cushioning is okay by me but not for those wanting a softer bouncy ride and not enough for me to switch from the Curry 2. If you want a softer ride, check out pretty much every shoe I reviewed this year. HOVR has been consistent for me at least… Consistently disappointing that is.
Fit
I went with my true size 11 and I probably could have gone up half a size if needed due to a narrower than normal toe box. It did stretch out enough for me but not everyone wants to go through the same break in process.
Moving rearward, UA finally got the top eyelets in the right spot nice and far back enough to pull the ankle down and back. (I guess UA reads my shit too).
 
So much for those theories from apologists that UA made the eyelets on the 5 and 6 like that just for Steph and his Zamsts. Pro Tip: you can loosen the laces to accommodate braces. 
There is no heel slip from the get go thanks to the eyelets as well as a nicely padded ankle collar.
Lace pressure is pretty much non existent thanks to a padded tongue as well.
Half tongue set up
Overall fit is very good so no complaints here. Some slight break in time is needed to get a more comfortable and conforming fit.
Materials
 
It’s 2011 y’all! Mesh, fuse and synthetic panels! Hyperdunk 2010-2011 anyone? I never knew Steph loved those Hyperfuses and Hyperdunks that much.
UA has a penchant for increasing pricing at exactly the wrong timeWarriors go from 2K Cheat code mode to bottom feeders, Steph gets injured, UA reverts to mesh and fuse, and the Curry 7 prices INCREASE $10. Solid formula huh?  This sounds like Curry 3 part deux anyone ( 3-1 lead finals, $140 pricing before KD ) ? Adidas dropped their Harden V4 prices by $10 this season because believe or not, price is a big driving factor in sales. At least the the design is more streamlined and aesthetically pleasing versus the 3 so maybe we won’t see massive discounts like we did with the Curry 3. Maybe Luka can save UA.
Usually I don’t say much about materials but UA put so much synthetic/ plastic paneling on the 7 that it needs to be noted because it’s such a throwback. They call it “TPU skins” which translates to plastic so save the marketing jargon for someone else.
 
These panels are on both sides of the shoe make the shoe slightly stiffer than average out of the box but it does provide support and strength snd does break in.
The paneling extends into the forefoot area so you do need to break them in to get them to feel more natural. These are easily the least luxurious looking and feeling materials out the seven sigs. Not a deal breaker for me but if you are looking for $$ feeling material go buy something else.

Support

This is what I call a high low. Definitely a supportive feeling low bc the cut is pretty high. With that higher cut, a better fit, well padded ankle collar and a firmer than usual upper, it all leads to a very supportive feeling low which I like a lot.

Midfoot support

Ironically this protruding plastic thing is called a Flexible plate. I guess UA ran out of marketing dollars to come up with a better name or ran away from the Speedplate name for some reason. The plate itself might be flexible but forefoot and back it is stiff which is good for PF suffers. How stiff is it? Think Dame 3 level which is fine for me but not everyone loves that feel or wants that support. I prefer a slightly more flexible ride but it is definitely noticeable especially in the beginning. The stiffest Curry I could think of would be the 3 for reference and they are still slightly more flexible than these despite a true carbon fiber shank.

I’m straining to hold this position. I highly suggest bending the shoe to help with break in. Phylon HOVR side walls add to the stiffness.

Stability is excellent as most Curry’s have been thanks to a nice wide base and outrigger that has been carried over from 4-6

You can see how wide the 7 is especially in the forefoot

Overall the 7 is a very supportive and stable shoeWell done, maybe a little overdone, but still well done UA!

Containment
 
No issues here thanks to the raised Phlylon HOVR and the plastic panels that envelope the shoe on both sides.
Conclusion
Expectations will make or break how you view this shoe just like the Warriors 2019 season. If you’re expecting something ground breaking because of HOVR and Micro G, you’ll be disappointed.. if you’re expecting a “better” shoe or nicer materials because of the price increase, you will be disappointed. However, If you’re expecting a Curry with cushioning on the firmer side with some feedback/ bounce, and a solid all around shoe, you’ll be happy with the Curry 7. I think in any other year, I’d say these have a shot of getting into the rotation but this year I’ve gotten pickier with my purchases and have watched UA go from an eager up start sneaker brand to another brand trying to squeeze out over penny they can out of a shoe. You’ll hear a lot of people say this is the best Curry ever or very Curry since the 2. A better way to phrase it is probably least worst Curry since the 3 or 4 since the 5 snd 6 were duds. Here’s how I rank the Curry line:
  1. Curry 2/2.5
  1. Curry 3 Low
  2. Curry 4/ Curry 7
  3. Curry 1/Curry 3 mid
  4. Curry 5 and 6 (I can’t decide which I like the least overall)

I’d probably even put the 3Zero 1 and 2 around the 3 spot as well.

I’m sure some will question the Curry 3 low placement enjoyed the Curry 3 low a lot and actually place it higher up the ranks than the Curry 7; it’s a little lighter at 13 ounces, just as supportive, cushioning feels similar, it’s a little more flexible, traction is pretty good as well, and it’s super cheap now.

If my review sounds Elliot and Mr Robot it’s because I have been debating how I feel about this shoe. If I didn’t have a large inventory of Curry 2’s and a few 3’s and 4’s, I’d be pretty happy with the Curry 7 since it does everything well. But if I knew I could still get a similar Curry from two or three years ago for $75 bucks or less , I’d be pretty annoyed. Relative to this stellar year of reviewing sneakers ( every shoe has been on the First Team except the Freak 1) the Curry 7 is not something I’d reach for out of this years line up because it just lacks that fun factor that the others have i.e cushioning. However, I cannot deny the fact it performs well In every category ..but yet I can’t ignore the ten dollar price increase and the retrograde materials..do you see the conundrum?

Based on pure how does it perform on court I’ll give it a First Team rating. Happy Thanksgiving UA.

Stanley Tse Weighs in on the Nike Kyrie 6 Performance Review

November 29, 2019 by tinmy2014  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mizuno Wave Sky Waveknit 3 Performance Review

November 28, 2019 by tinmy2014  

The Mizuno Wave Sky Waveknit 3 checks all of the technical boxes. It has a knit upper, a midsole combining two soft foams, an outsole built for durability, and a plush collar and tongue. It’s got the whole package to be a solid everyday running shoe. And if you’re not familiar with Mizuno as a running brand, this is a good place to start.

We tested the Mizuno Wave Sky Waveknit 3 from both a male and female perspective. This review is based on our experiences using the shoes for speed workouts, trail runs, treadmill training, long runs, casual wear, and more.

Let’s start the performance review by focusing on our favorite part of the shoe, the cushioning.

Cushion

Jodi: The cushioning system is pretty darn impressive. It’s a combination of XPOP PU foam and Mizuno Foam Wave. Every time I ran in the Sky Waveknit 3 I felt like I was flying down the road. They felt light and responsive. They’re one of those shoes where it’s hard to tell where your foot ends and they begin. It literally felt like they were one with my feet.

Drew: When I initially unboxed the Sky Waveknit 3, my eyes were immediately drawn to the cut out on the outsole that provides access to the XPOP foam. Just pushing it with my finger showed me it’s as bouncy as adidas Boost or Nike React. The Mizuno Foam Wave that carries and sits above the XPOP feels very plush, like Nike’s Cushlon or other soft EVA foams. Together, the package is extremely good at impact protection and giving your foot a nice bounce off the ground. This is a shoe that’s long run friendly. Your knees and back will take less of a pounding and recover quicker because of the cushioning package.

Traction

Jodi: The Sky Waveknit 3’s traction is solid. It’s everywhere on the outsole but broken up in all the right places to keep the shoe light and flexible. It’s carbon rubber reminds me of what Under Armour used on portions of the UA Curry 7. Which begs the question, how durable is this setup? I’ll let Drew answer that…

Drew: This outsole is built to last. My pair has approximately 50 miles in them and looking at the outsole rubber you’d think I’ve run 3-5 miles in them. This outsole and cushioning system will most likely last 300-500 miles which isn’t a given in most of today’s running shoes.

One small note. Initially, the outsole didn’t grip very well on wet roads. It was only slight slippage with each footfall but it was noticeable. It got better over time as the outsole gained some miles but it’s something to be mindful of when taking your initial runs in them.

Support

Jodi: The Sky Waveknit 3 has the sturdiest heel counter I’ve ever encountered. You put them on and the shoe pretty much sucks your heel into place. And don’t worry, the heel counter is heavily padded so rubbing isn’t an issue.

Drew: I agree with Jodi on the heel counter. It’s super stiff and does it job well. The Waveknit itself is on the stiffer side so the upper holds up well to turns. On trail runs it still wasn’t quite enough containment in the forefoot. The heel was great so I tried them on trail. But because your foot doesn’t sit inside the midsole you can get over the edge in the forefoot. It’s better to avoid rocky or root-filled trails and stick to asphalt or gravel.

Materials

Jodi: Mizuno calls the upper’s material Waveknit. It’s very formed and tough. Where the Nike Epic React is pliable, stretchy, and thin, the Mizuno Wave Sky Waveknit 3 is the complete opposite. The only real stretch the shoes gave me were on the top of the toe box where the holes are larger to give you breathability. Because the rest of the shoe is so layered your feet don’t get much of a breeze outside the toe box. Side note: I don’t know if Drew noticed this, but the pattern on the toe box is shaped like a heart. Maybe I noticed this more because my shoes are bright red and I’m a girl…

Drew: It is a heart! If you look at the shoe top down from the front you can totally see it. On my grey pair I just thought it was a normal grouping of ventilation holes. Now it definitely appears a cheeky Mizuno designer snuck in a heart. I kinda like the personality. Most running shoes these days are all business.

Also, Jodi is right that the Waveknit is layered and thick. It’s different than knit from other brands but that means it’s also more supportive. It’s not what we’ve come to expect out of a knit but it’s an interesting change of pace. Want a thicker, more durable knit shoe? The Sky Waveknit 3 is perfect for you.

Fit

Jodi: Fit is where the shoe didn’t work for me. Lengthwise, the shoes are my true running size. Width was another story. I had to run with mine laced as loose as possible to give me some wiggle room. I could see my socks peeking through between the sides of the tongue and the upper due to how I had them laced (and the lockdown was still great!). I would feel amazing and light as I headed out for each run only to have my feet start swelling around mile 2 and be royally uncomfortable by mile 3. Anyone with even slightly wide feet should buy the wide version of the Sky Waveknit 3.

Drew: Even with my narrow feet, the Mizuno Wave Sky Waveknit 3 was tight. I generally like my shoes that way but I would recommend the wide version if you have anything other than narrow feet. As Jodi said, lengthwise they’re true to size. The Waveknit, despite being a thicker knit, flexes extremely well. The collar and tongue are also super padded with an almost memory foam material. As long as you get the right width, they’ll be comfortable.

Overall

Jodi: If you have a narrow foot, the regular width Mizuno Wave Sky Waveknit 3 would be fantastic. It’s built to be fast and light. All the potential is there. Unfortunately my feet needed the wide version. So if you’re a wide footer like me, just make sure you get the wide version.

Drew: The nike kyrie 6 cushioning and durability are the big attractions. This is a shoe that will last you a lot of miles and be kind to your feet, knees, and lower back. Just make sure you know they run narrow so you can go wide (if needed).

adidas Posterize Performance Review

November 23, 2019 by tinmy2014  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hoka Carbon X Performance Review

November 21, 2019 by tinmy2014  

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

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

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

Cushion

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

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

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

Traction

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

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

Support

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

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

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

Materials

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

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

Fit

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

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

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

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

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

Overall

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

Nike Kyrie 6 Performance Review

November 19, 2019 by tinmy2014  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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