December 14, 2018 by tinmy2014
The Nike Kyrie 5 performance review is ready, just in time for the upcoming Best Basketball Shoes of 2018 list. Stay tuned.
We’ve seen herringbone in some way, shape or form used on nearly every Kyrie model to date with the exception of the Kyrie 2 and Kyrie Low — and now, the Kyrie 5.
Despite missing the near flawless pattern that most hoopers have come to know and love, the multi-directional pattern used on the Kyrie 5 has been exceptional. My very first run was a bit slick to start, much like it was on the Kyrie 4, but each and every time I’ve played in them since my initial outing, the traction has only gotten better. Even on the worst courts, the outsole has been able to perform with little issue. Maybe a quick wipe here or there when dust has taken over the gym but it’s not like other shoes where wiping may need to be a constant thing you do while you play in order to maintain some sort of grip.
Outdoor players will also enjoy the traction, even if it doesn’t last as long as they may want it to. I’d still recommend the shoe overall for indoor use only, but if you only play outside then you should, at the very least, be satisfied with the grip.
Nike’s new Zoom Air Turbo was the Kyrie 5’s big draw and it’s a pretty nice setup for those wanting the court feel that they’re used to within the Kyrie line while still wanting some sort of cushion under foot.
The Zoom Turbo does not feel like your typical Zoom Air; instead it rides more like a nice foam. It’s kind of subtle, but still noticeable when you pay attention to it. Due to the large Zoom unit having seams, or flex grooves, heat pressed into it, the Air doesn’t have much space to flow throughout under foot — which is why you typically have a bouncy feel from most Zoom Air units. You can feel the larger sections of Zoom, but it’s more like a small pillow rather than a spring. Again, it’s closer to the feel of a nice fluid foam vs. the standard Zoom Air ride that you may be expecting.
The midsole is Phylon: it’s nothing special and a bit on the firm side. I would have loved to have seen Cushlon return as the midsole foam, or a heel Zoom Air unit, but it wasn’t a deal breaker for me.
Overall, the shoe maintains a nice minimal under-foot feel while offering a fast, fluid and agile ride.
Engineered mesh is back and feels just like it had on the Kyrie 4. It’s a little stiff to start but breaks in rather quickly, to the point where it fits and moves like mesh but with the added strength of the Nylon that lines the inside of it.
It would have been nice to have seen some premium touches with the price increase, but from a performance standpoint, the build gets the job done perfectly
The Kyrie 5 fits very snug but I went true to size and I’m glad I did. Some may want to go up 1/2 size, some may have to due to the Flytrap enclosure, but true to size is what I’d go with if possible.
Lockdown is awesome. The Flytrap overlay does exactly what it was designed to do and its something that I love. Having the top of my foot feel snug and secure is something I love in a shoe as long as its not restrictive. These check all those boxes.
The support has been solid on the shoe and I have no complaints.
The tooling is still rounded, something I’m not a huge fan of, but it’s flat from the heel through the forefoot and just rounded at the edges. It makes me feel much more stable than I had in past Kyrie models. There is not a normal outrigger, but the outrigger section of the tooling is exaggerated a bit and reinforced with TPU to reduce compression in that section of the foam midsole. Fit was fantastic, which kept you safe and secure on the footbed.
Just a solid all-around shoe sans a ton of cushion.
The Nike Kyrie 4 was tied for best shoe of 2017. The Kyrie 5 is not far behind. I still prefer the Kobe 1 Protro over the Kyrie 5, but if I’m picking something other than the Protro to play in, the Kyrie 5 is next in line. They’re extremely fun and they cover you from all angles other than not having a lot of cushion — something a heel Zoom unit could have quickly, and inexpensively, fixed had Nike Basketball wanted to make the price increase feel deserved.
The Nike Kyrie 5 caters to those looking for a shoe that moves smoothly on-court. It offers plenty of court feel, a little bit of cushion, great lockdown and aggressive traction wrapped up in a lightweight package. If those things sound appealing to you, then the Kyrie 5 might be your next go-to on-court.
November 29, 2018 by tinmy2014
“The Air Jordan 10 is my favorite shoe of all time”- said by no one ever
Why in the world would anyone review the X before the XI? Yea yea it isn’t the prettiest shoe but man I don’t care I love playing in them. Since the Orlando X City Pack is coming soon I figured why not write a review on these?Don’t worry I’ll get my Air Jordan 11 up since the XI is coming out.. again
Pros: traction, cushioning, fit, stability, containment
Cons: protro this shoe JB.Cushioning could be updated and traction could be even better. I’ll even allow you to say new and improved.
Best for: Any
Buying Advice: nobody but collectors and Kemba buy retro X’s. Wait for price drops around $125 or less.
Twenty four years later and shoes weigh on average 15-16 ounces. Way to go technology advancements !
These look like they would suck and they do. They suck to the ground which is a good thing.
MJ was pretty good his first three in a row. How many back to back to backs have we seen since MJ? One with Shaq and Kobe . MJ has done it twice. ..on the same team. Get this LBJ goat talk out of here
Fantastic when clean, needs some wiping on dusty floors. I thought I’d have to wipe 24/7 based on looks but it works fine with just some occasional wiping.
Overall fantastic when clean, needs wiping to keep tackiness.
Air sole unit.
It sounds so old and antiquated but it works just fine. Hell, the Lebron Witness III is using it (why
November 28, 2018 by tinmy2014
At a recent media event held in Houston, James Harden took questions from a group of reporters during an appearance at the Adidas store at The Galleria mall. Harden had been ruled out of the Rockets’ next two games at practice earlier that day, but was in good spirits when it came to discussing his latest signature shoe, the Adidas Harden Vol. 3. He took particular pride when asked about his level of involvement in the design.
“From materials, to the way it looks, to the colorways—everything,” Harden revealed regarding the process. “Business emails, conference calls, the Adidas team flying out to Houston or wherever I am, to when I’m in Portland going over it—it’s a lot. It’s a dope process to create and design your own shoe.”
Based on Harden’s unique style of play and innovative offensive game, it makes sense that he’d want to take a hands-on approach to the design. He might not have the experience in making shoes that the Adidas team has, but does have direct knowledge of what he needs in a shoe when it comes to things like creating space. “Your footwork, and how fast you can stop and go, how fast you change directions—it’s extremely important for my game,” Harden said. “That’s one of the main keys I have to have in my shoe.”
With that in mind, if the Harden Vol. 3 doesn’t perform, it falls squarely on him. For better or worse, it’s the shoe that he wanted. Can James Harden add sneaker designer to his MVP resume?
Hover over the dots for a full performance review.
Adidas Harden Vol. 3 - Fit
Adidas Harden Vol. 3 - Ankle Support
Adidas Harden Vol. 3 - Cushioning
Adidas Harden Vol. 3 - Traction
I can’t say that the Harden Vol. 3 excites me from an aesthetic, storytelling, or innovation standpoint in the way that a reigning MVP’s signature shoe maybe should, but in the only area that actually matters when it comes to a true hoops shoe—performance—it’s a standout. It checks all the boxes for comfort and fit, and does so at a relatively affordable $140 price point.
Don’t let its throwback design and construction fool you either—innovation for the sake of innovation has a tendency to have a bigger impact on a shoe’s price than its performance. The Vol. 3 may not do any new tricks, but it does refine some of the best existing practices, and brings them together for what’s probably my favorite air jordan 1 shoe since 2011’s original Crazy Light.
At that same media event, Harden explained that when he steps away from the game one day, he wants his line to be remembered for “how authentic it was.” He went on to say that that for others, it may just be putting their name on something that already exists, but for him, “It’s really me. I’m really putting the work in for this. That’s what makes it authentic and real. When you’re authentic and real, that lasts longer than anything else—not just in the shoe business, but in life.”
The Harden Vol. 3 is an easy recommendation based on value, but it’s also a great shoe, period. I thoroughly enjoyed playing in the reigning MVP’s latest signature, and if his involvement is all he says it is, then apparently we have him to thank for it.
November 27, 2018 by tinmy2014
I did not like last year’s KD 7 Elite because I didn’t feel it embodied KD and his playing style. That and it was super stiff and had some serious heel slip just like the non elite pair. This year’s elite model actually looks like KD 11 with the long extended compression sock. Can it make me ball like him too?
Here is my original review for the KD8
KD 8 Review
Pros: traction, full length Zoom, fit, stability, nice materials upgrade
Cons: hard to put on, compression sock gets hot (although it is the purpose), Signature Zoom feel isn’t quite there, forefoot shell takes time to break in, lace pressure, pricey
Sizing: true to size (I went up half size with non elite), super wide footers may want to go up half size
Best for: guards but stable enough for bigger players.
1 ounce difference due to materials and extra long ankle sock . The half size difference has a minimal effect on weight. Still very light regardless.
By the way, the box is enormous
Same rubber as before and works the same as before. Wiping is required but not like Kobe XI or anything remotely close to that.
Same set up as the non elite. If you didn’t like the non elite set up, you won’t like this one.
The plastic clips on the lateral side are in place to keep the Zoom stable and firm for cuts. Although this takes away from the feel of Zoom, it has a functional purpose of keeping the player stable on cuts.
Above: you can see the articulated Zoom in the forefoot
Below: articulated heel
Nike claimed they articulated the Zoom for enhanced flexibility but I really couldn’t tell a difference. Just a standard Zoom would have worked just as well or better. Let’s see how the KD9 works up in a few months.
I went half a size up with the regular KD and went true to size with these. I’m guessing that the materials and “forefoot shell” allow the shoe to fit a bit longer and wider at the toe box. If you have really really wide feet I suggest trying half a size up.
Left is size 11 and right is 11.5. I know it’s hard to see any difference in size just by looking at outside of shoe but just shows how similar in size they are.
Is the shoe hard to put on?
Yes, have you tried to put a condom on your foot?
I was literally sweating after putting these on the first few times but I figured out a decent way to get them on but needed to be sitting down. You can also pull the ends like a sock and slip into the shoe. The sock itself seems to be very durable.
Thankfully, all that sweat and effort is worth it as these are really a sock with a sole. You can see the little ankle pads in the compression sock in the pic above. These pillows sit higher up the Achilles than the regular KD and do a good job locking the heel in. I noticed my socks were soaked in sweat at the ankle and above due to the compression sock. I didn’t notice it until after playing but just something to note.
You can even fold it down but I think they look worse
The upper of the KD 8 was redesigned and is now a one piece upper composed of mesh with a synthetic shell at the forefoot
If you look closely at the pics you can see the Flywire throughout the shell. The shell is very similar to the Flywire upper found on the Kobe IV so it is plasticky and needs break in (it is thinner overall though). Nike states they are Kevlar which is nice to see them use again. Personally I don’t mind a little break in time but it isn’t as natural feeling as the Flyweave on the regular 8. Not a deal breaker for me but I know some people prefer knit uppers.
I had some lace pressure problems at the top eyelet the first few times but it went away as I played. The regular KD didn’t have this issue because the tongue was nicely padded.
The way the plastic straps come around the top help with the lockdown.
Support and Stability
The sock doesn’t do anything in regard to support; it is only there for proprioception purposes and to keep the ankle warm.
The rest of the shoe is very stable as I said in my air jordan 1. Probably one of the most stable low tops I’ve ever worn. The whole design of the shoe seemed to be centered around taking pressure off the forefoot especially after KD’s Jones fracture surgery. I never felt unstable in these or the non elites due to the wide sole design and heel counter
Despite having a Flyweave upper, the non elite KD did a great job with lateral containment and the same holds true for the Elites. I never felt my foot slide out of the footbed even on hard cuts or change of direction. Well done Nike!
The past few years Nike didn’t really make any “upgrades” with the Elite models, but this year’s KD8 Elite feels like a step up in terms of materials and looks. As far as performance, I don’t feel they are much of a step up; marginally better lockdown in the heel but stiffer forefoot make it a wash. Nothing really stood out with the Elite versus the regular KD 8 aside from the compression sock. Even KD himself is wearing the regular KD8 during the the Thunder’s playoff run.
In all honesty, I feel the Elite series of shoes is just a way for Nike to create new sales since the NBA season is almost over and the regular pairs have been sitting on shelves for over six months. By creating a new sales cycle sooner, shoe sales have shallower and shorter valleys (very smart move). Since the price difference isn’t exorbitant like prior years, it really comes down to looks and I think these are much better looking than the non elites. Expect these to drop in price because I know a lot of people aren’t digging the high cut look. $90-120 is what I expect these to get down to in price.
November 23, 2018 by tinmy2014
*Sorry I struck out again with the Kobe I Protro. Lebron Solider XII next possibly . Sorry been really busy*
November 22, 2018 by tinmy2014
This is a short and sweet review because the CLB 2018 is the 2016 version with a different upper material and less heel slip.
So a lot of people asked me to review this shoe but I chose to wait because I knew the 2018 was going to sit and I picked these up for $ 67.50 off during the Adidas 30% off sale. It really annoys me it when people say “Oh it’s $120 that’s a good deal” because it isn’t if you have just a little patience and understand supply and demand or if you just read my blog. Chinese heart attack is real people #aliwong
Pros: traction, cushioning, improved heel fit from 2016, stability, containment, one ounce lighter than 2016
Cons: cheaper feeling materials if you’re into that, some lace pressure at top eyelets
Sizing advice: runs long, same as the 2016, half a size down except wide footers
Best for: any position
Buying advice: $67.50 on sale and I’m happy. Bottom around $45-50 range Adidas did a poor job marketing and differentiating shoe
15 ounces which is one ounce lighter than the 2016 version. I’m guessing using the thinner mesh upper and less plastic shaved off that one ounce of weight.
Very similar to the 2016 but it did require some breaking in before it gripped like the 2016. The pattern is different but the result is the same. Very nice pliable rubber with very deep grooves.
Where did the all “important” Continental rubber go? Adidas must be reading my blog
November 21, 2018 by tinmy2014
I know everyone and their mothers loved the Crazy Explosive 2016 last year but they just didn’t work for me due to the placement of the cored out section and thin Boost in the forefoot. I wasn’t very hopeful for the 2017 but some slight tweaks ( international or not) in the cushioning made my neuroma pain a little more tolerable. As for the rest of the shoe, I feel the 2017 is superior to the 2016 but not everyone will feel the same way. Luckily, you can still buy the 2016 for less.
Pros: traction when clean, cushioning, fit, support and stabilty, containment
Cons: shoe starts off stiff but breaks in quickly, outsole needs wiping on dusty floors, outsole prone to wear and peeling
Sizing: most players will want to go up half a size since these run slightly short and narrow. Wide footers will definitely want to go up at least half a size.
Best for: guards or lighter bigs
Buying Advice: wait, they made a lot and they aren’t going anywhere. $100 is fair and what I paid, $75-85 range should be the bottom. Finishline has them for $112.50 after one month.
16.5 ounces in an 11.5 US. Pretty much the same as last year.
Power Coral, Ready for action!
Same as last year. Works great on clean floors but requires a fair amount of wiping on dusty floors. More than acceptable but still not top tier since it doesn’t have that strong bite and needs wiping to stay glued to the floor. Also it is still prone to peeling and wear so not really recommended for outdoor use. Swap out the Rose 7 traction and you’d have a beast of a shoe.
Similar to but slightly better feeling for me than last year’s set up.
Last year the forefoot felt thin to me and I didn’t feel it much but this year feels better for me in the forefoot. The set up feels ever so slightly firmer than last year’s which is great for me since I don’t bottom out quite as much. If it wasn’t cored out exactly where my neuroma sat, I’d have no issue but oh well at least it’s tolerable this time.
Just like last year this ridge is where the Boost actually starts.
Unfortunately, I can’t tell you if it’s supposed to feel that way or if it’s Adidas’s quality control. I actually bought the Black White Neoprene pair last year and was planning on writing about the improved traction but got sidetracked and never did. I actually bought four different pairs of the same shoe and they all felt different; Some felt great in the heel while others felt stiffer than the rest. I’ve had similar experiences with other Boost models. Don’t get me wrong it feels great underfoot pretty much no matter what but they do feel different.
Okay back to the actual cushioning on the CE17. Overall, the cushioning is slightly stiffer than the 2016 but still feels good heel to toe. Forefoot is still thin feeling due to the heel toe drop as well as the Infinity Shank. Cushioning is still softer than the Harden Vol 1, Rose 6 (in the heel) and CLB16 but just not as wide of a margin as last year’s.
For reference I went true to size with the 2016. With the 2017, wide footers should go up half a size maybe even a full size because these run tight. Regular and narrow footers can go true to size or half a size up as well because these run a little short. I advise regular and narrow to try them on if possible.
Yes a real improvement!!
Adidas finally got the shoe sock (SHOCK) trend right. The fit on the CE 17 is fantastic and really gives a one to one sock like feel. The HD 2016 FK had a similar idea but I had some heel slip in those due to the placement of the top eyelet. This is one of the big reasons the fit works is because Adidas actually put the top eyelet where I need it to pull my ankle back and keep it there. They also made five sets of eyelets this time around (I told y’all it was a dumb gimmick last year!)
Another reason the sock works well is because Adidas padded the sewn in tongue well and kept it elastic.
By keeping it elastic, it keeps the tongue from bunching up and allows it to actually fit like a sock.
Overall the fit is excellent, well done Adidas!
Primeknit is back again but it isn’t as soft and flexible like last year’s. If you liked the softness of last year’s Primeknit, buy last year’s. Forged Primeknit is what Adidas calls it and it’s basically Primeknit with “forged yarn” plus some light glue on 95% of the upper. Adidas left out the “forged” portions along the medial forefoot to allow it to flex more naturally. It takes only a few runs to get the upper to break in. No issues here for me but if you liked the Primeknit of the 2016 version, get the 2016 version.
Support and Stability
Support comes mostly from the fit and the internal heel counter. At first glance it looks like the CE 17 sock is just there for proprioception only but only the very top of the collar is sock like so you do get a touch of support if you call padding support. You can see how thick yet flexible the padding is below.
Thankfully stability is once again excellent on the Crazy Explosive thanks a large flat outsole, low ride and infinity shank. I’m not sure if Adidas firmed up the shank but the 2017 starts out much stiffer underfoot than 2016 but breaks in nicely.
Just like the Hyperdunk 2017, I feel the combination of flexibility around the ankle with a very stable base is the best of both worlds. Great job Adidas!
My dream come true !!
Look at that roll cage.. heel to toe coverage. Containment is fantastic on the CE17. Awesome job Adidas!
I am probably the only “reviewer” who didn’t give the Crazy Explosive 2017 tons of praise and love. I get all geeked out over new tech like everyone else but not if it doesn’t translate onto the court it’s a simple pass for me. The 2017 made minor tweaks to the 2016 formula and the result is a better performing shoe due to a better fit and containment. I think most players will enjoy these because it does everything well if not great and really gives the player an excellent one to one fit with a low to ground yet well cushioned ride. If the cored out section wasn’t cored out and traction was improved I’d undoubtedly love these (I am a traction lover what can I say).
And if you loved the Nike Air Foamposite 2019 them again. 2016 is soooooooooooooo long ago so it’s time to clear them out of inventory and make room for the newer models. If you ever wondered why I don’t like top ten lists for a calendar year, well that’s why. Limiting your kicks to what’s new for the season really confines you to what the manufacturers make and market for the year. Keep your eyes open and you won’t have to open your wallet as wide while getting the shoes you actually want.
November 20, 2018 by tinmy2014
Last season, Adidas created the Ball 365 to cater to outdoor ballers. I was really excited last year about this shoe coming out but it was only available overseas and thanks to Adidas’s wanky sizing, I really didn’t want to spend $150 plus on a shoe that could be way too big or way too small. I guess I wasn’t the only one since no “reviewers” reviewed them.
Thankfully the new season is here and everything is on sale so I felt I could justify the risk for almost half the price. In hindsight I wish I didn’t.
Pros: traction, cushioning, decent fit, stability, containment, durable outsole
Cons: thick layers and use of Climawarm will suck for outdoor use during summer months, super thin tongue and dumb design leads to discomfort, some heel slip, rides a little high off the ground, pricey for what you get
Sizing: take a wild guess.. typical Adidas or is it atypical Adidas?
Best for: outdoor players who have to have Adidas
Buying Advice: buy something else
Adidas likes to keep them over one pound I guess. Similar weight to the Rose line or CLB16.
Now this application of Continental rubber makes sense. During my test of Continental versus Regular, I felt Continental would be more durable especially outdoors so it makes sense to put these on the Ball 365. Works great outdoors and indoors as well. Not really much wiping required even on dusty floors indoors. This is the best part about the Ball365
Bounce wins the award for consistency. It has that distinct feel across a lot of different lines of shoes. These feel a little firmer than the Lillard 4 but still feel like Bounce.
I think this set up is great for outdoors even though it sits a little higher up than I’d like.
Good thing I’m a good guesser..Before you read this, which way do you think sizing went ? True to size go up half a size go down half a size other? Tough question to answer isn’t it? Fix this issue Adidas.
Well I went half a size up just based on pictures and I was right. There is a lot of padding in the Ball 365 and it runs shorter and narrower than Adidas hoop shoes in general. I had a finger width of space from my biggest toe to the end of the toe box which is my preference and what podiatrists actually recommend.
In all honesty I wanted the mids but I couldn’t find a pair in my size for a good price. However these lows do a decent job in regard to fit. I had serious heel slip to start but after some workouts and runs the heel fit got better but never got truly locked in. The laces don’t sit high enough or far enough back for me and I really didn’t feel like poking more holes in shoes. Plus the design as a whole didn’t help either (more below). Yes, my feet are very fickle when it comes to lows that’s why I like mids because I usually have zero issues like this with them.
The lace “eyelets” are similar looking to the Rose 8 but the string is actually one continuous piece. If you break it you’re SOL
I could have gone down half a size and it would probably would have improved the fit but then the shoe would have been too tight.
No issues with movement side to side since these run pretty narrow. Overall, I find the fit to be slightly below average due to the heel fit. Miss would probably do a a better job on this department.
The Ball 365 is mostly just mesh similar to the Fusemesh of the Lillard 3. Nothing great but it feels right as an outdoor material. There is some protection around the toebox for toe dragging which is a plus but if you don’t drag on this spot get ready for some fraying or holes. More coverage across the forefoot would be ideal.
There is also a thick underlay of cloth which I believe is Climawarm but it doesn’t impede flexibility. It’s there to keep your feet warm during winter months while keeping them ultra moist during summer. Yuck
Climawarm -when you really want a bacteria farm growing in your shoes.
I get it’s called the Ball 365 as in 365 days a year but during the hot swamp as* summer this is not what you want at all. And during the winter months, your feet don’t need Climawarm because your feet naturally get hot. Trust me I’ve played hours upon hours of tennis during the winter months and keeping my feel warm was the very last thing I was worried about. Maybe next time throwing in a headband or ski mask would be better than Climawarm as a material in a shoe with no ventilation. One of the dumbest ideas I’ve ever seen unless I’m going skiing or hiking in the freezing cold.
So yea ..about those TPS reports
Maybe I just need a explanation from engineers but this space makes no sense and give me lace pressure irritation and pain. I mean really why? Ventilation ? You have a super thin tongue covering the space so it can’t be for that.
This little thin tongue let’s me feel all the lace pressure I could ever want. And why is the tongue on top of the shoe ? It just looks like n extra piece of fabric.
That space doesn’t help with the fit either so it really makes little sense. Basically my foot foot acts as wedge some every time I run my ankle can push further and further into the “V” cutout making the fit worse with each step. If you’re going to keep my feet warm, a traditional tongue or bootie set up would have worked much better while keeping my feet nice and toasty.
Support and Stability
Support comes from the heel counter and fit so I had no issues with support. Those nubs do nothing except give the appearance of durability and to prepare you for battle with the Whitewalkers. See the Ball365 would be great when #winterishere #gameofthronesdork
Actually the real reason the nubs exist is to add accessories to the shoe but I thought we were done with shrouds and lace covers back in 2001.
Stabilty is good as well with an outsole similar to the Lebron 16. No tippiness in the heel either. Nice job overall Adidas!
Good containment since my foot sits well below the raised midsole. Sorry this is so brief, just want to finish writing this review.
I really liked that Adidas made an outdoor shoe basketball shoe since not everyone plays indoors. The Ball 365 should really be called Ball 245 because I would not advise wearing these during summer months due to the thick underlays and Climawarm.
IF I ignore the heat retention and weird painful cut out that led to Crazylace pressure and heel slip, the Ball245 is an okay shoe and feels sturdy for the outdoors. But at a retail price of $120 (I think) not including shipping costs, you’d be better served buying older models with Continental rubber for half the price like adidas nmd or Lillard 2. I usually don’t feel sorry about buying a shoe at $80 but this isn’t even aesthetically pleasing to me so pretty much just a big L. I could have bought two Lillard 3’s at the outlet for less than I paid for these and had a better fit, ventilation, and looks. Oh well live and learn and move onto the next one. I hope this review saves someone some money!
November 19, 2018 by tinmy2014
As I continue my shoe closet purge, I came across these and thought these would be a great way to kill some time waiting for this weekend’s releases (Kobe 360, Protro, Curry 5). After wearing them the past few weeks, I also decided to keep them.
It’s hard to believe it’s been nine years since the Soldier III released (almost as hard to fathom as Nike retroing the Soldier I!?) I remember walking around the Costa Mesa mall during a vacation and checking these out at the Footlocker there, then walking out with a pair for $69.99. The more time that passes and the more I write reviews on older shoes, the more I realize nothing has really changed in regard to sneaker “technology and innovation”.
Pros: traction, cushioning, fit, support, stability, containment, durable
Cons: needs normal wiping to stay tacky on dusty floors. A little squeaky when walking around haha
Best for: any position
15 ounces in a US 11 which is the average weight for mids today although these were way lighter than previous LeBrons.
Then vs Now: tie
One of the better traction set ups of the Lebron Solider line. I guess the pattern is a sectionalized modified herringbone?
If you look at the direction of the herringbone, it runs more horizontally than vertically than most herringbone set ups which helps with cuts and defensive slides and stops. Of course there is some standard vertical herringbone right up the middle.
It isn’t perfect because that that flat outer rim can pick up some dust and cause some sliding but nothing out of the ordinary. A more modern pattern would probably have the herringbone extend all the way across the outsole and possibly up.
If you’re constantly searching for the GOAT traction like me, these are not it. They don’t have the bite of something along the Rose 7 or Curry 2 nor do they deflect dust like them but they do a good enough job, very similar to the Clutchfit Drive type of performance. I have them a little below the Soldier VI traction as well.
Then vs Now: tie although there are better patterns than the Soldier III then as well as now.
A very standard (at the time) heel and forefoot Zoom. Sad to say we get excited about good Zoom set ups like this nowadays but back then, this just the norm. If you take a look at the pics, you can see the Zoom pushing the strobel board which of course translates to a lot of Zoom feel.
I don’t even need to highlight the Zoom in these pics Basically it’s the opposite of Jordan and Nike’s protruding Zoom outsole. If you can’t see it, it can’t be working right JB/Nike?
The Zoom still works great for me after all these years which is a testament to how great and durable Zoom can be when done right. I still prefer the Soldier VI set up but these are pretty damn good as well.
Then vs Now: better than most today
True to size
Here is how to get the optimal fit for everyone
1. Put shoe on left foot
2. Put shoe on right foot
3. Tie laces on left and right shoe
4. Pull straps down to desired tightness
5. Go play
It can be so simple yet shoe companies love using asymmetrical lacing, removing laces, using minimal eyelets, rails and zippers for no good reason other than marketing. Sure some might fit a little better for some people but 99% of the time, a standard set up will work better.
Then vs Now: better than most but today’s great fitting shoes are just as good
Ballistic mesh, synthetic leather and a patent leather toe cap on most colorways.
Nothing fancy at all but they work just fine. I’m sure Nike could “update” the Soldier III with Flyknit but it wouldn’t feel as sturdy and Nike would probably have to modify other parts of the shoe to fix containment issues.
Then vs Now: I prefer then but no difference in performance
Articulated Toe Cap
The toe cap design is interesting and it cuts down on break in time versus a traditional non articulated patent leather setup like the Air Jordan 33. During break in, the AJ XI patent leather would crease and crack to allow for a more natural flex. This articulated toe cap just eliminates the break in time . I wouldn’t say it plays any better than a traditional set up since you still have to contend with flexing the much thicker midsole of the shoe. Believe it not, your feet have very strong muscles to power through 1/8 of an inch of materials. You could of course just take the toe cap off and have the same experience as an articulated toe cap.
Support and Stability
A midcut with some actual stiffness provides just enough additional support without restricting mobility.
Although there isn’t a forefoot outrigger, the outsole is widened at the forefoot and is flat with no tippiness.
Then vs Now: tie
No issues here thanks to patent leather in the toe box. As well as the synthetic rand that runs the length of the shoe.
Then vs Now: tie although a lot of companies didn’t even bother addressing this performance aspect for years
There really is nothing not to like and a lot to love about the Soldier III. It fits great, feels good underfoot, provides adequate protection and sticks to the ground as long as you wipe. Best of all, these hit clearance hard back in the day and were ultra cheap. I honestly thought the Soldier line and PS line was going to be short lived but I was very very wrong.
Like Lebron 16 , the Soldier III still plays like a beast even after all these years. Nine years old is pretty close to the age limit on wearability although I can go back as far as twelve to thirteen years and be okay for most shoes.
What’s funny about the Soldier III is that if I threw these into the mix for everything I’ve reviewed this first quarter of the year except maybe the Harden, I’d pick these. What’s old is new I guess? It just comes to show you that newer almost never means better.
November 16, 2018 by tinmy2014
The adidas Harden Vol 3 performance review is here and its one of the best basketball shoes of 2018.
Herringbone. Herringbone everywhere! My only complaint here is that the grooves of the herringbone are a bit too tightly spaced. When you’re on a floor that has a good amount of dust you will need to maintain wiping the soles. This happens to be something that a lot of players do whether they need to or not so it wasn’t a huge issue for me. One benefit to having tightly spaced grooves is that they were able to pack on a lot of the pattern from heel to toe. So, when there was dust and you would be in a situation where you are unable to wipe, there was enough coverage to eventually get that bite you’d expect from this type of setup.
As one would suspect, on clean courts the traction was nothing short of awesome.
Outdoors they performed really nicely as well. The rubber is soft and they’ve begun to fray a bit, I only played outdoors for about 2 hours, so if you wanted something that works then this will do. If you wanted something that will last then I’d probably opt for the Harden Vol 2 instead.
Full length Boost makes up the midsole and its the most well-balance ride adidas has been able to come up with since implementing the cushion into its basketball line.
Heel to toe transition is smooth. Court feel is perfect. Impact protection still exists despite the latter. This has been my favorite version of Boost in basketball.
It’s not too bouncy. It’s not too firm. It’s just right.
While knits can be a hit or miss, when the material is able to mimic leather without the break-in process then that’s when it truly shines.
The setup here is very similar to what was used on the Nike LeBron 16. Despite the build being comprised of fabric, its thick and strong. Perfect just just about anyone. There is no dead-space within the shoe and they just feel awesome on-foot.
What’s with the elastic band? Does it do anything? No. Nothing at all. I think it’s just there as a design piece. While I thought it was strange at first, it does give you something to look at when you look down.
I went true to size and have no issues with the decision. In fact, these have been the best fitting adidas shoes I’ve worn in quite some time.
Lockdown was great as well. Once laced up they remind me a lot of the Nike Kobe 5. Only with a knitted upper. Pretty awesome, right?
Everything on the Harden Vol 3 works perfectly with one another. From the internal heel counter to the way the upper wraps around your foot. The flat stable base and the torsion spring plate running from the heel to the forefoot.
The adidas Harden Vol 3 might not look like much, but its performance on the court is nearly perfect. I’ve said this recently in a video — I wish I could remember which one — but sometimes simplicity garners the best results. There is nothing special about the Harden Vol 3, but the Harden Vol 3 is a special shoe. Its so simple that it does everything right. Some would say they played it safe, but if all you want is a shoe that hits every aspect you could want on a shoe then playing it safe might’ve been the best way to go.
If you end up with a pair, or have already been playing in a pair, I’d love to hear what you think about them. Do you feel the same way I do or was there something on the shoe that didn’t work out for you?