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adidas Pro Bounce Madness 2019 Performance Review

March 28, 2019 by tinmy2014  

With March Madness underway, we bring you a performance review on adidas hoops’ latest team model: the Pro Bounce Madness 2019.

adidas. Basketball. Herringbone. At this point, that should be no surprise and I am not tired of the pattern. On a diverse set of gym floors, some with major flaws like humidity or general slickness, the Pro Bounce Madness’s traction was as reliable as a certain Samuel L. Jackson outburst, which was honestly a surprise given how tightly packed the herringbone is.

I surmise that the consistency of the traction is due to good rubber compound, though I suppose a ton of herringbone coverage for both linear and lateral movement did help so long as a ton of dust isn’t present, which somehow was the case for the most part of three weeks testing.

As a team shoe with soft rubber and not much depth, I wouldn’t even consider these as an outdoor option.

Full-length Bounce was on point from day one until now. You get a lot of it in the Pro Bounce Madness 2019 as the name would imply, but using a word like ‘chunky’ would be a disservice in this case, being that you still get a lot of court feel and smooth transition compared to some other sneakers.

My favorite part of the Pro Bounce Madness 2019 cushion is the added impact protection and feedback it gave. I’ve needed it in league games recently where I’ve been relied on for a lot of rebounding. Having to play a somewhat inside-out game, I can understand why this type of Bounce is used for what can be considered an everyman’s basketball sneaker.

This may be an unpopular opinion, but I generally liked this Pro Bounce Madness 2019’s materials. It’s nearly 100 percent mesh with near minimal (but still unnecessary) fuse and synthetic suede overlays. The rear panel mesh on the lateral side and tongue is a bit beefier while the rest of the shoe’s upper is super lightweight with minimal layering underneath. Inside, you have nylon lining which I hope is now standard with adidas, and there is a molded collar on the high cut that is comfortable, but still not my cup of tea.

As much as I liked the upper, there was still a bit to be desired. The materials just did not feel substantial in the forefoot. No required break-in is great, but it nearly felt like nothing was there for containment, which was a little bit of a distraction. It wouldn’t have helped make the shoe feel premium but I would have liked to see ForgeFiber return for some reinforcement and added aesthetic.

Durability has been surprisingly good minus the dirt and grime of getting stepped on constantly down in the paint. I expected all kinds of fraying by now at the toe, but everything is still intact – including that cheap felt-suede, though that is likely because it is a little more protected on the medial side of the shoe.

I have no regrets about going true to size. They do stop a tad short before the toe for me, but the mesh is forgiving enough for multiple foot width’s unless you are on the extreme end of either side of that spectrum.

With a near traditional tongue, there is enough room for lacing adjustments. Midfoot lockdown was good and going with the high cut will allow you to get good heel lockdown without having to lace through every eyelet. There does seem to be a tiny bit of space above the toes but again, I think that is more of a material issue than the actual fit.

Not enough forefoot containment? No problem. Everything else about the adidas Ultra Boost 2019 lends itself to the support department. The Bounce cushioning is stable, the base is wide with massive outriggers, lateral TPU banking barriers are present with the look of skewed Pizza Hut logos and the internal heel counter is decent enough. While my forefoot issues didn’t give much assurance when putting the shoe on before games, I was totally fine on the footbed when things got going, so there really isn’t much to worry about.

I think the adidas Pro Bounce Madness 2019 is a solid basketball sneaker. As much as I enjoyed it, I still can’t recommend it over something like the adidas Dame 5, which is a very similar sneaker with even better traction, making it a better value at a price point right in between the Pro Bounce Madness high and low versions.

adidas has hit us with a ton of good options this season but as a team shoe, the Pro Bounce Madness 2019 stands on its own and because of that, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed if this happens to be a shoe provided to you, no matter what position/style you play on the floor. In a vacuum, I give these a thumbs up.

Duke4005 Weighs in on the UA Anatomix Spawn Low for 2019

March 25, 2019 by tinmy2014  

Okay, Under Armour, this is more like it…

If you read my M-Tag performance review, it wasn’t pretty, which was shocking. Under Armour has been fairly consistent in performance over the last few years and the anomaly that was the M-Tag threw me off track. Now, with the new Spawn, Under Armour goes back to what works for them. Here we go…M-Tag threw me off track. Now, with the new Spawn, Under Armour goes back to what works for them. Here we go…

Dang sticky. Even walking on the concrete driveway to and from my car, the soles were squeaking, one of the few times I have heard that from a shoe. On all three courts I play on, the Spawn locked it down with no slipping at all except for Friday afternoons at my main gym – we call that dust-bunny day (they only sweep on Monday mornings). I wouldn’t put these in the Jordan 28/Curry 6/Rose 7 category, but they are right below. The grooves are wide so dust doesn’t really stick to them once broken in, but wiping the first couple of games did help. After that, the dust was pushed out and off and on at least a decent court, all was right in the traction world.shoe. On all three courts I play on, the Spawn locked it down with no slipping at all except for Friday afternoons at my main gym – we call that dust-bunny day (they only sweep on Monday mornings). I wouldn’t put these in the Jordan 28/Curry 2/Rose 7 category, but they are right below. The grooves are wide so dust doesn’t really stick to them once broken in, but wiping the first couple of games did help. After that, the dust was pushed out and off and on at least a decent court, all was right in the traction world.

We all saw the “MICRO G” logo in the early pics and we all got cushion-excited. The original Micro G was bouncy, stable, dense and had just the right amount of court feel versus impact protection. By now, if you have read or watched WearTesters long enough, you are SICK of hearing about old-school Micro G. Good, because this ain’t it. Don’t jump to conclusions – it’s good. Impact protection is outstanding and court feel is really nice and quick. Transition in full-court running or stopping and cutting is smooth and thoughtless. It’s the bounce – there isn’t really any. That original “crush and spring back” feel, much like Boost, just isn’t there on the Spawn.Micro G was bouncy, stable, dense and had just the right amount of court feel versus impact protection. By now, if you have read or watched WearTesters long enough, you are SICK of hearing about old-school Micro G. Good, because this ain’t it. Don’t jump to conclusions – it’s good. Impact protection is outstanding and court feel is really nice and quick. Transition in full-court running or stopping and cutting is smooth and thoughtless. It’s the bounce – there isn’t really any. That original “crush and spring back” feel, much like Boost, just isn’t there on the Spawn.

But let’s be honest – as good as we all think that “sink and respond” feels under foot, and it feels good, it does tend to be a little sluggish on certain movements – that’s why some find Bounce to be better, but enough adidas comparisons. This Micro G lets you slide into your next move with no delay while keeping you close to the floor and your joints feeling happy.

Described on the Under Armour website as “Interwoven layers of TPU films & PU coated mesh for multi-layer support in an anatomical design,” the Spawn appears to have more in common with the fuse/mesh era from a few years ago than the knit sock-shoe of today – and you would be right. While the plasticky feel of the old fuse is gone, the new Spawn has TPU across high-stress areas (lateral forefoot, laces, heel counter, toe drag) that add a structure to the mesh and stability to the ride.

The toebox is left mostly uncovered and the ankle area is as well for some flexibility in those normal hot-spots, making break-in time almost nothing (the midfoot does need some flex time to fit a little better). The tongue also has some horizontal quilting running over the foot, giving the toebox natural flex and motion. The tongue is a denser foam under the laces to take away the pressure, and it is needed – the thin, flat laces cut tight on top of your foot. Overall, not the most premium feel in-hand but on-foot, the package is nice while playing.

The one area I had a little issue with is the fit. It’s not bad, just confusing. The toebox is wide – semi-wide footers rejoice!!! – but the heel feels narrow. This isn’t completely crazy as most feet are built like that, and the Anatomix in the name of the shoe means they are trying to “anatomically” fit your feet. The issue I had was with the midfoot. For my foot, it flared out and was too wide, but the lacing system and the TPU overlays kept the shoe from forming around my foot. After about three weeks (nine wears of at least four full-court games each night) the shoe began to lock in and lace up, but until then I could feel my foot floating just a bit.

The forefoot, again, is semi-wide, but beware – that TPU overlay on the pinky toe can be a killer. Actually, it bothered me more when laced looser than when laced super-tight, and it only bothered me on my left foot. For that reason, I am not counting off points – the Jordan 33 did the same thing, so I’m pretty sure after 30+ years of ball my foot is deformed. The bad part is, it doesn’t rub all the time. I will be playing all-day and it won’t bother me, then on the next cut I will feel a sharp pain and realize it stung me, then I’m hurting for a while. Again, only on my left foot, so I cannot say it is the shoe, but it’s something to take note of.

Midfoot shank. Wide base. Wide lacing. Lateral wing tied into the lacing system. NO OUTRIGGER, but no problem. All things we have seen or heard, and we all know how these structures affect your foot in a normal setting, but without a good fit, these are just words and stories. For the first few wears, until the upper flexed and learned my foot, the stability and support was a little less than ideal. Once the fit dialed in, support and stability followed suit. See a trend? It doesn’t matter how many straps, shanks, or outriggers a shoe has (unless it is an Ektio, RIP), if the fit is off, your foot isn’t safe. The Spawn Anatomix improved by leaps and bounds from first day to the last and in that sense, my foot felt wrapped, locked, and secure. The fit improving and no obtrusive support structures lets the Spawn feel fast and free while still solid under foot.

This ain’t your regular Anatomix Spawn, if you are old enough to remember the original. The upper isn’t as flexible and the sole isn’t as segmented, but it is really close, and may be the best Under Armour basketball shoes this season (I say the HOVR Havoc is still slightly above, with the Curry 6 coming in third). If you are looking for a low, fast, cushioned ride that will draw some attention for the looks and colors, the Anatomix Spawn is it. Any position can feel safe in these, and the traction works on just about any indoor floor, so no fear. Just DON’T TAKE THEM OUTSIDE!!!!

With all of the attention put on Steph Curry and his shoe every year, and rightfully so, it’s amazing how slept on the team shoes from Under Armour are when they perform as good or better than anything else on the market. The Anatomix Spawnwas in hibernation for the last few years, but like the beast from the past, it has come back with a vengeance.

Nike Kobe IV 4 Protro Retro Performance Analysis Review

March 21, 2019 by tinmy2014  

For shits and giggles, I’m going to review this shoe from two perspectives because …well because it’s boring writing the same thing as I did last with the original Kobe IV. I’ve been playing in these for a decade.. looks like I’ll playing in them for a decade more. There’s a reason it still resides in my top 5 rotation.

Protro left, retro right

Pros: true to the OG, traction, big heel Zoom, outstanding fit, stability, containment, adaptable fit

Cons: no upgrades as a protro (I already told y’all it was all marketing even with the Kobe. I ), new forefoot cushioning would have been nice though

Sizing advice: true to size, half a size up if you want or need more space and width. Don’t be scared it will fit (that’s what she said)

Best For: guards who want a well balanced cushioning set up

Buying advice: $175 retail is pricey but you’re really paying for history, Kobes name and nostalgia. If you don’t want to pay $175 don’t buy it at $175 simple as that, there are plenty of other good shoes out there. First colorways are always limited so wait for more colorways. $140-150 is fair, low around $110-120.

Weight

14.5 ounces which is 2 ounces heavier than the OG. Not sure why but oh well not a big deal to me.

Traction

Just like my OG review, no changes at all, no width changes or anything like that. It wasn’t going to make a difference if they did change the width because this herringbone is just about as perfect as you can get.

Thin pliable well spaced and deep. Some wiping is required on very dusty floors but most of the time you’re good to go.

Protro Guy: it’s been a decade plus and this traction is awesome.

Retro Guy: it’s just like the OG?Sweet

Cushioning

As I said in my OG review the first iteration on Lunarfoam bottomed out quickly although I found the rest of the shoe to be so good that I didn’t care and got used to it. Eleven years later whatever the foam is (most likely Phylon or Cushlon) it still feels very similar to Lunarfoam and is still it’s Achilles heel (Kobe pun/reference intended).

Left, OG foam is very very slightly firmer to the touch than the Protro but feels slightly softer overall due to the strobel, insole etc..

I was hoping for full length as well so I could stop looking for the perfect shoe but I’m not the CEO of Nike. I would have loved full length or forefoot Zoom but I didn’t have any issues at with the forefoot (yet) and it feels softer than what you found on Kyrie 2/3 etc. My neuromas didn’t buzz so you know it’s just enough. Forefoot cushioning from Lunar to this stiff isn’t really a step back but more a step sidewise. I expect this foam to last longer than Lunarfoam at least.

Heel Zoom is big just like the OG

As you can see, the only change Nike made was changing the strobel to foam instead of cloth and using a less dense otherlite insole. The newer insoles manufacturers use now don’t really add any impact protection which is a commonplace across all companies. They have been marketing the insoles that conform to your foot which is sorta kinda true but boy are the flimsy.

Top: Protro, bottom Og you can see how much more dense the OG is.

So based on an idea I used in the past and forgot about and thanks to a post by ia Shayp3on IG, I decided to swap out the insole with a Micro G insole and it made a considerable difference comfort wise. Micro G springs back very nicely versus these cheapo insoles. Almost Zoom like (a React insole would have been nice Nike!)

Heel Zoom is fantastic and can be felt from day one. Once upon a time, heel Zoom was big and bouncy and it’s nice to see it back to its old form again.

Protro Guy: I wanted full length and they gave me the same set up as before. I thought full length zoom was going to improve my jumper, my endurance on court, while saving me knees but this set up was like the original and surprisingly didn’t affect my play. I still went 0 for 11 like when I play in my nike pg 3!

Retro Guy: same as the Og, sweet !

Fit:

I went half a size up to 11.5 since I didn’t check SNKERS fast enough. Oh well they are a little longer (almost a thumb width) since that’s what happens half a size up. I suggest true to size like the OG and half a size up for wide footers.

Even half a size up I had zero heel slip no side to side movement and it still fit like a glove. The design on the ankle collar with the Kobe IV amazes me because nobody has copied it. The ankle collar just conforms around the entire Achilles and ankle perfectly even half a size up. I guess UA hired the wrong Nike designers.

*One thing I did notice with the the Protro I and these is that it starts out stiffer overall but breaks in after a few runs. The OG was not quite as stiff out of the box but they end up in the same place quickly*

Protro Guy: excellent fit way better than I expected considering it’s been ten years!’better than almost every low I’ve tried ever.

Retro Guy: same as the Og! Sweet

Materials

Oooh look at the tech!! Lines on plastic

“Flywire “and synthetic leather. No changes at all from the OG although the synthetic feels a little thicker and stiffer out of the box. If you’re into knits and weaves, well sorry you’re going to think these look and feel like crap but if you actually play in them and break them in, you won’t care.

Protro Guy: I thought I’d hate these materials because of the plasticky feel but they confirmed to my foot quickly no hot spots or pinching! No complaints. What is this synthetic leather stuff ?

Retro Guy: same as the OG? Sweet!!

Support and stability

Look at that lower heel counter. Performance upgrade !! Not

Support comes from the excellent fit and heel counter so no issues here.

Midfoot support is great thanks to the carbon fiber shank.

Stability is excellent on the IV. No excessive squishiness in the heel, low to ground in the forefoot, large outrigger and who can forget the Y heel which everyone has copied over the last decade. Although it isn’t a true indicator of support and stability, I don’t think I’ve ever sprained my ankle in these.

Protro Guy: just low the ground and stable just like the best shoes out today wtf!!

Retro Guy: same as the Og?! Sweet!

Containment

No issues just like the OG. Foot stay, stiffer synthetic upper etc…

Protro Guy: dang whoever thought that this was even a performance aspect is a genius

Retro Guy: ditto^^ same as the Og?! Sweet!!

Conclusion

Protro Guy: Despite not having full length zoom, I have to admit the Kobe IV played great with exceptional traction, fit, and stability. It feels like it was part of my foot after only a few games and surprising, the forefoot cushioning wasn’t an issue even though I would have preferred full length Zoom. Switching out the OG insole added a lot more feel and spring under my foot and I actually didn’t miss full length Zoom much. Just a nimble quick feeling shoe. No wonder the sole line loved the OG so much. At $175 it is expensive for a performance shoe but it still performs well.

Retro Guy: same as the OG?! sweet!! If I close my eyes I couldn’t tell you which shoe was which after breaking them in. I love that Nike didn’t change a thing and why should they when it’s one of the best low tops of all time? Kobe won his first championship post shaq in these, brought low tops as an alternate and retros are always dope to wear. I don’t have to pay $250 for the OG so if Nike continues to produce retros true to the OG, I’ll be happy. Pretty hard to top the Kobe IV.

So why did I review this from two different perspectives ? Expectations are going to affect the tone of reviews and I’m a “performance” guy and collector so I can see both perspectives. People are upset about full length Zoom not being used in the Kobe IV protro and I get it which is why I don’t get all hyped when I read pre release news since they can be inaccurate. Words are just words so I’d rather try the shoe myself and see how it plays rather than base it on “tech specs”. People are also upset about the $175 MSRP which is also understandable but guess what, Nike is an uber strong valuable brand across the world and than Adidas, UA, LiNing, Anta, Brandblack (who dis).

Really surprised about Anta but then again I’m not in Asia. Look how Nike is the same value as 2-8 combined.

Have you ever tried to sell a pair of Jordans or Nikes versus trying to unload a pair of Hardens or Curry’s? I have and the value and market for those make it a lot harder to get rid of. Wear a pair of Jordans a few times and you can still sell them for retail but if you do the same with a pair of Hardens or Curry’s you’ll be eating a 50% loss. Did you see how quickly Air Jordan 11 Concords sold at $220 in unprecedented quantities ? That’s just the power of a brand and the retro market. If you’re going to argue the logic that Nike should lower its prices, good luck with that. Ask Bentley or Aston Martin to drop their prices to Hyundi range while you’re at it.

If you don’t want to pay $175 or don’t have a connection to them don’t buy them, simple as that. “Performance” sneakerhead make up an extremely minuscule percent so I don’t expect Kobe Protro prices dropping anytime soon because of #Protrogate. All company’s are FOR PROFIT, so they are trying to maximize PROFITS. It isn’t like Nike is the only one playing the retro game and charging a premium, it’s just that people actually want the Kobe IV.

These Tmac retros are set at $160 and nobody cares because we all know they will go on sale. Even older “tech” no rings, no finals, no dunk championships..ah Tmac, wtf are you good for?

As I was writing my conclusion, I think this might be the second time I’ve reviewed a new retro as a performance sneaker so I’m not sure how I should grade it? Do I grade it by price ? If so, I’d take it over the more recent expensive models such as the Lebron XV, XVI, Jordan 28-33 because it fits me and my game perfectly and it’s probably one of the most nimble shoes I’ve ever played in. Just a perfect amount of court feel and comfort for me. If you’re looking for a more plush shoe, this is not it and even if it had an 8 mm bag, this still wouldn’t be the right shoe for you. If you want plushness go buy something with Boost or KDs or Lebron. If you want a full length Zoom Kobe get the Kobe I Protro, you’re not giving up anything versus the IV except it’s a higher yet flexible. Cushioning is all about preference so I’m pretty sure everyone would have preferred full length over heel only but it isn’t a deal breaker. If cushioning was all that mattered to me, I’d just call this a sneaker cushioning review site and give all my awards to Adidas, Lebron, and KD.

Against a typical $130-140 shoes ($140 is what the Kobe IV would cost in today’s dollars) it is still just as good or maybe even better depending on what you’re looking for despite the fact that it doesn’t have the latest and greatest forefoot cushioning. I think these feel way better than HOVR Havoc and even the full length set up of the Curry 6 which has the “latest and greatest”. Plus they don’t peel off (that’s the real shame in my opinion). Don’t forget UA put full length EVA in the Curry 4 and 5 and called it proprietary (all sneaker companies are ). There are plenty of other shoes out there that are are fantastic but not that many shoes that are special to me. My mind is filled with great memories in the Kobe IV and even though that has no effect on any true performance aspect, it does give me that extra bit of confidence and aggressiveness I need at times. If you have no emotional attachment or don’t have a big FOMO complex, you’ll be fine in the Kobe AD Mid, Exodus etc..everything I reviewed so far this year has been great including the PG3 and Why Not Zero 2 which I will have a review for soon.

Overall, the Kobe IV Protro is just as good as the original which is by me.

Nike KD 12 Everything You Need to Know

March 20, 2019 by tinmy2014  

The Nike KD 12 has officially been unveiled and this is everything you need to know.

Once again, the upcoming KD model has piqued my interest with the tech specs alone.

While the build looks deceptively simple, the interior features look to have had a lot of thought put into it.

The strobel board was the main point of emphasis with this year’s KD 12. Typically made of nylon or a soft foam, the strobel is the one thing that separates the foot from the cushion. While the layer in-between those two areas is extremely thin, when it’s combined with glue during the manufacturing process, you can lose a bit of the cushion’s feel under-foot until broken-in.

The theory here is that the strobel disconnects the athlete from the shoe’s responsive cushioning. But by stitching a full-length articulated Air Zoom bag to the upper, designer Leo Chang and Nike engineers made the Air unit a more dynamic element of the shoe.

For the KD 12, they’ve engineered a way to place the full-length Zoom Air unit within the shoe’s build while keeping the strobel layer underneath it. However, to keep the shoe flexible, they’ve heat welded flex grooves into the Zoom unit, much like the Nike Kyrie 5’s cushioning system.

Because the strobel defines the size of a shoe, there is one Air unit for every half-size of the KD 12, all the way from size 3.5 to 18 (Durant’s size). That’s the most specific Air-Sole size scale that Nike has ever done. This would explain why each of these sizes will retail at $150 rather than reducing the price for shoes made without the same technology that the men’s sizes are equipped with.

There is a second Zoom unit that has been bottom loaded in the heel. It’s cool that it’s there but the Hex Zoom units aren’t too impressive in most cases. Placing it under a strike zone at the main point of impact while still retaining actual internal cushion was a smart move.

Additionally, the Phylon midsole has been cored out from heel to toe. While we’ve seen foam midsoles cored out before, I’ve never seen one that has been perforated in this way. With the amount of cores throughout, this should allow this basic Phylon midsole to feel incredibly soft and responsive. Though this required them to wrap the midsole in TPU so that feeling may be subdued a bit, that is where the internal coring comes into play as with each step, the foam will compress into the center of each hole — so you should be able to feel something.

Additional details include Dynamic and independent Flywire that have been engineered in four different directions along with a hinged tongue for easier entry into the shoe.

The launch colorway of the Nike KD 12 has been named “The Day One” colorway and will be available April 6 for $150.

air jordan 31 low performance analysis and review

March 17, 2019 by tinmy2014  

I told you I was way behind!
Nike clearance time always gets me For 95 bucks, I thought I’d give these a shot and I’m really glad I did. This review will be short and sweet since most of the elements of the XXXI went directly to the low. A few important things changed though to make this a great all around performer and my favorite low top in a long long long long long time…and it’s now a new member of my rotation now as it replaces my lone low top, the Kobe IV.

Pros: traction, Zoom feels like Zoom and plays low to the ground, improved fit, support, improved containment

Cons: protruding Zoom in the heel takes a little time to get used to but doesn’t affect stability.

Sizing: runs a little short and tight. Narrow or regular width will probably want to stay true to size but best to try on. Wide footers will want to go up half a size.

Buying Advice: still full size runs even at clearance sale prices of $95. $95 or less is very fair, bottom might be around $70 based on lack of movement at the current clearance price.

Weight

Not the lightest low but perfectly fine for me.

Traction

Finally a solid outsole on the AJ XXXI!
I get it Jordan Brand, translucent looks better . I used to stare at my Air jordan 5, VI and XI’s just because of that beautiful barely blue tint. I used to buy two or three pairs at a time because I couldn’t stand the yellowing. But that was for collecting purposes and for actual balling I could care less.
And as theorized, the solid outsole works great and needs just a little bit of time to break in to really grab. Not top tier but easily better than my Clutchfit Drive 1’s which is the bottom of my rotation in terms of traction yet still not as good as the Curry 2 Rose 7 etc. Still very happy with traction overall though.

Cushioning

Same as the mid which is a good thing. Real Zoom feel although they could have implemented it like the Zoom BB for even better feel. Call me old fashioned but I still really love Zoom when done right and this just how I like it. It is stable and firm yet provides just enough spring that you can feel without any lag. Nice to see you get back to your roots JB, keep bringing this back out please!

Sizing

I went true to size with the mid but the low fits tighter and shorter in the toe box in my true size. My toe was at the front of the shoe with my true size 11 so I went up half a size to 11.5 and the fit was much better for me giving me a forefinger width. If you like a tighter fit or have narrow or regular width feet go true to size.

Fit

Better than the mid, just a nice one to one fit with no heel slippage from the get go. I’ve said it before but Nike/JB is very consistent and make lows better than the rest. I don’t have to fiddle around and make mods, these just go out of the box.

The upper just hugs the foot out of the box like a sock which is what the materials are supposed to do while the heel is locked thanks to the way Nike designs their ankle collars.

Seriously, unless it’s patented, why don’t others don’t copy their design? Whether it’s a budget model or a Kobe or Jordan, I’ve almost never had an issue with heel slip.

Overall just an excellent fit right out the box with no slippage or excess movement.

Materials

Same as the mid with Flyknit covering the front 2/3 and patent or synthetic covering the back. Basically a mullet for sneakers.

Support and Stability

Gotta get that smudge off
Pretty much the same as the mid. All of the support comes from the fit and heel counter so if you want a little more support go with the mid.

Stability is still good overall even though the Zoom protrudes a little.

There is a little tippiness due to the protrusion when walking around but it doesn’t affect stability during play as it compresses. A nice long outrigger just like the mid in the forefoot also aids with stability.

Overall no issues with support or stability just like the mids.

Containment

Surprisingly pretty good. I had some movement in the mids but these seem to do a slightly better job since my foot sits below the black line whereas the mid sat above the line. The containment on the AJ XXXI low is far better than the Melo M12, JC2, JC3, and to a lesser extent the KD 12 but not as good as shoes with higher raised midsoles or roll cages like the CLB16 or CE17. Amazing how that little bit of extra midsole and a firmer patent leather heel counter really helps keep my foot in on hard cuts. Not perfect but still very good.

Conclusion

I don’t even remember the release date of the XXXI lows but I’m really glad I picked these up. I really enjoyed playing in these right out of the box and it reminds me a lot of how the original Zoom BB Low played. Fit was excellent with no fiddling around or heel slip and Zoom felt like it should, almost as good as the Zoom BB Mid. Of course as a traction lover, I was very pleased to see and feel the improved traction with the solid outsole. The AJ XXXI Low’s combo of low profile cushioning, excellent fit and traction just make this a very nimble shoe on the court. Dare I say it? This is the best low I’ve played in since the Kobe VI despite weighing four or five ounces more. It might even surpass the Kobe IV which you all know I love to death and is one of the few lows I actually play in still. Removing nostalgia and positive results on court from the past here is a break it down versus the IV.

Traction: tie
Cushioning: AJ XXXI Low
Fit: slight edge to the XXXI Low
Support and Stabilty: technically a tie but takes time to get used to the protruding Zoom of the XXXI
Containment: slight edge to the Kobe IV
Materials: not a big deal to me but softer overall and nice quality feel on the XXXI
So there you have it, a new low that does everything well has made it into my rotation market for under $100. Winner winner chicken dinner!

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Nike PG 3 Performance Analysis and Review

March 15, 2019 by tinmy2014  

PG13 for MVP? It’s gotta be the shoes right?

Thank you PG you made this so easy that I’m just going to make this short and sweet. You’re the Shimano Curado of shoes PG. (only fishing dudes would get that reference).

The PG3 is Really a shoe with zero flaws just like PG13’s game this year. Cushioning from the HDX has carried over to the. PG3 and the fit has improved slightly from the PG2 while keeping that excellent traction.

Pros: traction, cushioning, fit, stability, containment, adaptable fit, just a fun shoe to play in

Cons: needs a little break in to feel fluid, really bland colorblocking thus far (not performance related)

Best for: any, it’s a Hyperdunk X low with PGs name on it and improved traction, which is a good thing

Sizing advice: true to size, wide footers can go up half a size if needed

Buying advice: as great of a price $110 is, collectors and consumers aren’t clamoring for the latest PG (yet). Wait a week or two and you’ll be able to use coupons and eventually price cuts. Fair is $90 or less, low around $50-60 as usual.

Weight

14 ounces about average for a low. Half an ounce lighter than the PG2

Traction

Sticking with the NASA theme, we give you circles.. or moons.. or planets..or orbits. Or basketball rims and basketballs? Oh Nike I can never figure you out you’re so sneaky.

The good news is that circles work and that’s all that matters. Circles don’t have sides but they cover you in all directions which is what matters. Whether you’re playing on clean courts, courts with dirt or moon dust, you’re good in the Pg3. The only area I had any issue with at all was the flat lateral edge which could pick up some dust. I had one really bad slip out on a clean court due to that rim but other than that I can’t think of any major issues. Soft rubber, multi directional coverage and nice depth allows the traction to do its job. Well done Nike!

CushioningNot sure why the forefoot outer midsole (93552 portion) is made of a hard rubber. Foot doesn’t sit deep enough for containment purposes and probably adds a little to break in time.

I think everyone will enjoy this cushioning since Nike put the same foam in the PG3 as they did in the HDX. Nike kept the same big forefoot Zoom as last years so yea it’s freakin great with a slightly softer and bouncier foam carrier.

Same super duper thick Ortholite insole as the PG 1 and 2. Top insole is from the WhyNot 2

If you called this foam Lunarfly X Zoom Max Foam instead of injected Phylon or Cushlon, people would probably think it was the best things for their knees. Very smooth heel to toe cushioning just like PG’s game.

Well done Nike!

Fit

Top eyelet is higher and further back than the 2 for better lockdown

True to size. So simple isn’t it ? These do start out tight so I recommend thinner socks before you jump into your normal premium socks. I wanted to get these off my feet ASAP when I tried them with thicker socks but dropping to thinner socks gave me a little more breathing room until the shoes broke in.

No dead space, no side to side movement, no heel slip right out of the box. This is just a great fitting one to one fit with no need to break in anything. I was messing around at Dick’s (man that sounds wrong) and they had a size 12 out and I could fit it just fine with only a little extra length. The point being, PG1-3 are adaptive and are not one size fits one. UA, three stripes are you listening ?

The Achilles pillows don’t go down as far toward the heel as the PG2 which gave me a little better better heel lockdown than the 2 since fits right into that notch at the Achilles.

Overall, aside from a short break in period, the fit is excellent. Well done Nike!

Materials

If you think softer is better, well stick to the PG2. This upper has a synthetic backing that pops slightly to start but warms up after a few hours. The PG2 did not feature a stiffer backing probably since the mesh was a little thicker overall and is probably where Nike saved half an ounce of weight. Nike has made the materials a little less premium since the PG 1 but hey it works. Do cheaper feeling materials make you play worse or get your more tired ? Nope they just make you feel like you’re playing in more or less expensive shoes. If nicer feeling materials is what you want, you’ll probably love the Why Not 2.

Support and Stability

Like the PG2 the 3 is a high low so support comes from the great fit and the heel counter. No issues here at all

There is a plastic midfoot shank that stiffens up the midsole just enough. No portable rollie pollie action here.

Stability is great as well and is just as wide as the PG2 despite no outrigger.

Zero issues overall with support and stability on the PG 3. Nice job Nike!

Containment

Zero issues. Raised midsole, synthetic forefoot straps. We good Nike.

Conclusion

Well sh*t 2019 is killing it or I’m reallly getting good at picking winners. Zero complaints about anything and it’s considered a budget shoe? PG has been balling out with Russ, Aquaman and the Thunder so I think the causal fan may finally get to to know Playoff P..

Everything you want or need in a low top for a lower than average price of $110 (NASA was $120..gotta pay NASA for the use of their name).but if you wait a few weeks you’ll be able to use your coupons to bring the price down to $90 and eventually scoop more up at the $50-60 price point by end of summer or so. Don’t expect PG prices to stay low if he keeps up this play over the next few years though. Every player is a brand now and with great player performances come incremental price hikes *see Kobe, Lebron, Kyrie, Curry, Dame**

I enjoyed these shoes so much I attempted to NikeID them but the blocking and color choices just didn’t look great to me. Maybe Normcore blandness has worked it’s way into basketball but I needed a little more pop with these BHM’s so I swapped the laces for fun.

Color makes the world fun don’t you think ?

Looks sell but I guess at this price point, nobody cares ? Or Nike assumes nobody cares ? Or they want everyone to make IDs? Oh well

Well done Nike

Adidas Dame 5 Performance Analysis and Review

March 13, 2019 by tinmy2014  

Dame’s 2018 Playoff Performance  Oftentimes it’s better to remember the poor performances to identify weaknesses and motivate ourselves to be better than to just think everything is fantastic. The same goes for sneakers.

I really loved playing in the Dame 4 on clean floors or when freshly wiped but guess what, they fixed it on the 5. I don’t think the Dame 5 has quite the fun factor of the 4 but it’s still a great shoe. If you liked the Marquee Boost or Harden V3, these will feel very familiar.

Pros: traction, low to the ground and balanced cushioning, fit, stability, containment, flexible in the right places

Cons: some players may want more cushioning?

Sizing Advice: half size down for everyone unless you’re putting a thicker insole in or you have super wide feet

Buying Advice: $115 retail which isn’t bad but isn’t great. Sign up on Adidas’ Creator Club and get discounts right away. $90 or less is fair, bottom around $50-60 as usual.. which will probably come fairly fast. Looks matter Adidas

Weight

15.5 ounces which is about average for an Adidas mid. The Dame 4 weighed 14 ounces btw.

Traction

You’re killing me Adidas..if you put these on the 4 and you’d have sexy shoes with great traction. At least Adidas has simplified its story telling and pretty much put herringbone on everything this past year. I found these worked great when clean or freshly wiped with some occasional wiping on dusty floors. Very similar in design to the Marquee Boost/Harden etc..

Slightly wider spacing and about the same width teeth and rubber firmness. The grooves could sharper and the rubber could be softer but overall these work great. I found they got better with wear as the rubber softened up.

Great job Adidas!

Cushioning

The Dame line has gotten slightly lower year over year and these are the lowest of them all. If you enjoy court feel but want a balanced cushioning set up with some bounce back these are for you. These are not quite as bouncy or fun feeling as previous Dames but they aren’t brickish like the Harden BE2 or Curry 6/5 or Havoc. It’s just a nice blend of court feel and impact protection. Think Dame 4 but a tad lower.

Why does the Bounce have less bounce?

Part of the reason is that there is just less foam volume and the fact the use a thinner insole now versus the Dame 2.

Bottom is the Dame 2 insole and it’s at least double the thickness of the 5

Like the Harden, thinner cushioning can still feel pretty good if you make some changes like Adidas did with the Harden V3.

Foam strobel rather than fiberboard like the Dame 2 and 4 used.

Switching to foam allows the wearer to feel that foam just a little more since the foam strobel is softer and more flexible than a typical fiberboard so it kind of evens things out. As I have said before, Boost and Bounce need more volume than something like Zoom. I still really like the cushioning on the Dame 5 but I don’t think it has the comfort of the Dame 2 which wowed me out of the box. This is more tuned for court feel than previous models by a millimeters or two.

If you want a plusher ride like the Rose 6 or you’ll probably want to look elsewhere but if you want a nice balanced set up, the Dame 5 has you covered

Fit

These run long, longer than any of the Dames (not as long as the Marquee)so I’d advise half a size down for everyone but the maybe widest of wide footers. I went true to size and while they ran long, I had no issues with the fit since these are a mid (nice try adidas these aren’t lows).

*side note I swapped out the insole from the Dame 2 into the 5 and you can stay true to size if you’re planning on swapping insoles. This is one reason why it feels so long*

No heel slip or side to side movement out of the box and no banging of the toe since the laces hold your foot down and back like any good shoe should.

If you like heel pillows, Adidas took it to another level with the Dame 5’s internal pod system. Does it work better then a standard interior ? Probably not but it works so I can’t complain. And that thing in the front, it’s called a tongue!

Not really much to talk about here, it just fits. Tie your laces, get on the court, and go.

Nice job Adidas!

Materials

Mesh and some suede or synthetic suede. Not bad I guess if you’re looking for value. On par with the Jordan 33 materials at least.

Support and stability

Do these look like lows to you?

No issues with support but these are not lows folks, it’s cut as almost high as the Kobe I. But the collar is flexible just like the Kobe.

With this much flexibility, support will come from the great fit and internal heel counter. No issues here.

Midfoot Support

Although this looks like my “stick my shoe in the pocket test”, it only bends in the forefoot and toe which is great because you want most of stiffness midfoot and back. I’m sure there is a decent internal shank and it’s just the right amount of flexibility like most Dames (the 3 was overly stiff imo)

Arch support is great. Thanks for holding up my flat feet

Stability is excellent with a low to the ground set up and very wide outsole similar to the Marquee Boost.Well done Adidas!

Containment

Did the Donald design this shoe?

Banking barrier wheeww how innovative. At least it works but I’m pretty sure consumers would prefer not to see such an eyesore..including me. The previous models didn’t have this barrier and worked just as well.

The banking barrier’s in your face look at me look is why I went with the all black. This barrier is made of tpu unlike the Ariana special aka the N3XT.

No issues here!

Conclusion

Dame Dolla doesn’t mess around. No frills, not too pricey, not full of a bunch of marketing BS. No pegboard lace system, no Continental rubber outsole, no Primeknit, because none of it was ever needed; Get the basics down and you have great shoe. Thank you Adidas and Dame!

Is this the best Dame ever? Yes, I’d say so because Adidas finally got the right combo of everything especially the traction. (Finally!!) but it isn’t for players who want or need more cushioning. Half a size down will work for almost everyone so buying online won’t be too risky. Even half a size long, I had no issues which is what any good fitting shoe be able to do. I also think I enjoy playing in it because it feels almost exactly like the Marquee Boost but with Bounce instead of Boost. The uppers might look different but they all really have the same function regardless of looks. If you love Dame, you’ll love this shoe.

Should you pay retail? Nope, sign up for Adidas emails or get in on the Creator Club. I got a nice 25% coupon in my email so that’s 86 bucks right from the jump. I always see loyalty programs as a bad sign for companies but hey it saves me money at least. Like every Adidas basketball model that hypebeasts aren’t chasing these will sit. $90 or under is fair, low around $50-60 per usual.

Not much else to say about the Plain Dame 5 but stay tuned for my Spawn 3, Pg3 and Why Not 2 reviews (all easy reviews and excellent options to start 2019). I’m trying my best to keep up with the releases! Thank goodness I found another good pickup night !

Nice job Adidas!

UA Anatomix Spawn Low 3 Performance Analysis and Review

March 12, 2019 by tinmy2014  

Two UA guys in the dunk contest finals! Who’d have thunk it?!

My reviews aren’t beauty pageants but if they were, the Spawn 3 might get Miss Congeniality

UA is trying to bring back the Anatomix spawn “franchise”(you know all two models) with the Anatomix Spawn Low. Keep in mind that when the Spawn first came out it was basically Steph’s first shoe so it looked special and had a ton of tech marketing packed in it. Now that Steph has moved onto his 6th shoe (technically 7 with the Curry 2.5 and if want to throw in the 3zero’s, technically 9) UA might say it has similarities to the original words are just words when it comes to sneaker marketing. Here is my review for the original

The real question is, how’s the shoe play? Well minus a few unnecessary holes (that’s what she said) and bubbles, I’m pleased to say it’s great, way better than the Curry 5and 6. Sorry the Curry 2 is still the best of the bunch.

Pros: TRACTION, cushioning, overall fit, stability, containment

Cons: lots of deadspace bubbles on the top of the foot, bulbous

Sizing Advice: true to size for everyone. Half a size down if. you want an even tighter fit.

Buying Advice: wait, looks sell

Weight

15 ounces or one ounce heavier than the original low. A little heavier than average for a low

Traction

Kobe IX anyone ?

Definitely the highlight of the shoe. Coverage in all directions, soft pliable rubber with thin multi depth blades

You can see the variable depths on this pattern. This allows half the traction pattern to grab some dust while the other pattern restsVery similar idea to the Rose 7

Coming off playing with the Tmac which was no slouch, this was a breath of fresh air. Start and stop on a dime with no need to wipe? it’s like I had coffee, kale and yogurt for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Not recommend for outdoor use. These are already getting chewed up playing indoors only. But boy does does bite.

Traction was the one aspect that I was never thrilled about with the OG spawn so I’m beyond pleased with these. Oh andno tearing or ripping of the outsole, well done UA you’re learning ! (Go on UA.com and you’ll see real reviews and experiences from actual customers, yes Curry 6 outsole splitting is real despite the UA defenders)

Well done UA!

Cushioning

Micro G is back and I have no complaints about this set up at all. Micro G firmness changes shoe to shoe but these are what I consider slightly firmer than stock Micro G. I used to love my CFD but when the Curry 2 came out I realized how soft Micro G could get. This iteration is a good blend of court feel, impact protection and bounce.

This little cut out makes transition a little bit smooth a little bit faster

This is what I expected out of HOVR with the Curry 6 but as they always say out with the old and in with the new and back in with the old which is cheaper and better feeling than the new but let’s keep trying to sell the new.

bottom: Ultra thin ortholite insole top: Micro G from the OG

Overall, these feel pretty similar to the original without the big heel to toe drop. But why the bulky looking carrier UA? Looks sell UA. I feel like the Spawn are Duplo inspired. Maybe it’s just Normcore2018 looks 

Nike Kobe 4 Protro Performance Review

March 11, 2019 by tinmy2014  

Just a Retro. Not a protro.

Not much has changed in ten years. The Kobe 4 Protro offers the same pattern and the same soft bite as the original Kobe 4. Traction does start off a little slick, but most Nike’s have been having the same issue as of late. A little bit of break-in time may be required to rub off whatever residue is leftover from the manufacturing process, but once that’s done then it’s pretty much smooth sailing from there.

The rubber seems to be slightly softer than what I remember, so there has been some peeling in a few of my personal high-wear areas of the outsole. Not sure if this will be a common occurrence for everyone, but this has been my experience thus far.

Outdoor hoopers will receive great traction, but due to the softer rubber compound I’m not sure if it’ll be quite as durable as the OG. However, most should be more than happy with the traction no matter if you’re indoors or outdoors.

Full length Zoom Air… just kidding.

The Protro edition of the Kobe 4 is nearly identical to the original. Both use a Phylon midsole and a large volume Zoom Air unit in the heel. However, one minor change between the two is the density of the Phylon itself. It’s a bit softer in the brand-new iteration thus giving a slightly softer feel under-foot. Don’t expect anything drastically different from the OG, if you’ve played in them, and definitely don’t expect a bouncy forefoot ride, but despite the cushion-less forefoot — they’re still pretty comfortable.

This Protro setup offers a lot of rear impact absorption, should you need it, while offering a very stable and low profile ride up front.

If you enjoyed the original setup then you’ll enjoy this version just as much. If you’ve never had the chance to play in the original then you’re in for a treat as these are as close as it gets. If you were looking forward to full length Zoom Air then you’ll be a little disappointed.

Materials look damn near identical to what we saw on the original Kobe 4 back in 2009.

First Gen Flywire midfoot panels are in place and work well. I’m not a huge fan of plastic and thread, but I can’t complain at all about the performance. It works and it’s durable. Not much else you can ask for.

The leather throughout is still synthetic, but like the rubber and Phylon midsole, it feels a bit softer than the OG. I don’t know if it’s actually softer than it once was or if my OG pair were getting old and stiff/dried out. All I know is that this synthetic setup feels and acts like leather really well. So, like the first generation Flywire panels, nothing to complain about. It works. It’s durable. It breaks in nicely.

They fit true to size then and they fit true to size now.

There was a little bit of dead space or volume above the toe area to start but that went away once they materials broke-in — which was very quick. Everything from the lacing to the last to the sculpt of the padding in the heel works just as good as it had. The fit is awesome. However, my favorite fitting shoe of all-time was the Jordan Release Date 2019. Yes, I’m already looking forward to those re-releasing next.

Nothing has changed in this aspect. The heel counter is the same — and it works great. The midfoot glass-based carbon fiber shank is still there — and it works. The tooling is wide in the front while offering a small outrigger — and it works.

The Nike Kobe 4 is one of the greatest basketball shoes of all-time for a reason. Only one thing could have taken these from great to greater and that would have been the inclusion of forefoot cushion. Nike had ten years to think about what they’d do to upgrade these babies and they could have done any number of things to make them slightly improved. React, Cushlon, forefoot Zoom Air, full length Zoom Air… yet, they did nothing. Not a swing and a miss, but a head scratcher for sure.

Didn’t Kobe specifically say he did not want his shoes to be Retroed unless they updated them to today’s standards? Maybe he wanted them to be on that Kyrie wave — having no cushion at all. Maybe he didn’t know the Kobe 4 was a Retro and not a Protro. Who knows.

For $175 they could have, and should have, given us more. If not more then charge less. Are they cheaper than OG pairs found on the after market? Yes. Of course they are. But what does that have to do with anything? The fact is that we were told one thing while Nike did something else. Again.

The shoe is still great, but if we want things to change then we’re going to have to start voting with our wallets. We can’t use after market pricing, or the Kobe Bryant name, as an excuse as to why Nike is justified in ripping us off. That’s what Jordan Brand has been doing and people are starting to understand that it’s simply not worth it.

I love the shoe, but I won’t let that blind me from the truth. This is not a Protro. It’s a Retro. Just like other all-time great performers, they still perform as great as the day they originally released. Just don’t play us for fools. Be honest from the jump and people will decide for themselves whether or not the $175 is worth a purchase. And please, Nike, notify your retail partners of the typo. They’re still selling these things with the description “Full-length Zoom Air unit means long-lasting responsiveness.” Mamba Face.

Li-Ning Way of Wade 7 Performance Review

March 6, 2019 by tinmy2014  

The Li-Ning Way of Wade 7 Performance Review is finally here.

The Wade models have always been a hit or miss in regards to traction, but the Way of Wade 7 was a major miss. I’m not sure why the Wade Brand is able to deliver quality traction on the takedown models, but when it comes to the main signature it’s always a guessing game as to whether or not you’ll get something good.

For the Wade 7 I slipped. Often. Actually, nearly every time I played in them. The only time I wasn’t slipping and sliding around the hardwood was when I wasn’t on the hardwood. I was on the blacktop. For whatever reason the shoes end up gripping well outdoors but I had no luck with them indoors.

It could be the rubber compound. It could be the pattern. It could be a bit of both. All I know is that they were unwearable for me due to the traction alone. Even constant wiping couldn’t save them.

Supposedly the cushion setup is nearly the same as the Wade 6, which I loved, but the Wade 7 doesn’t feel the same. They don’t feel bad or anything, step-in comfort is amazing, but they feel pretty dead under-foot.

It’s unfortunate because I loved the way the Wade 6 felt so much that it really set the bar pretty high for the Wade 7. Much like the traction, I’m not sure what went wrong here.

If you like a lot of stability then these aren’t bad, but you can get stability from other shoes that don’t ride nearly as high off the floor as these do.

Casual wearers will be fine, but if you wanted some plush or bouncy cushion then you’ll want to stick with the Way of Wade 6.

Materials are nice overall. They’re actually different with each release as well. Some feel much more premium than others, but they all have one thing in common — they’re all built really well.

In terms of modern basketball shoes, these are one of the more well built models on the market. They’re durable and show little signs of wear. For those that have those two items high on their priority list then this might be a reason to consider the shoe.

I personally hold traction and fit much higher, so while this area of the shoe is very good, it’s not quite enough to sway me to lace them up again.

Go down 1/2 size. Even for wide footers. The shoe just runs super long.

Once I received a pair in the length I prefer, I still had some volume around the toe area where the toe cap portion is. The laces only go so far down as well so I couldn’t really remedy that with tightening.

Lockdown is decent, but the laces (I assume) were causing some sort of foot fatigue. I don’t know if it’s because they’re thin or because the shoe overall is stiff/rigid, but they just weren’t ideal. I’d tighten to get the security I want and wound up with my feet feeling like they were going numb, and when I’d loosen then a little then they’d be too loose and flexed awkwardly.

Support is good, but the shoes if very stiff because of it. At least I think that’s why. The carbon fiber plate isn’t very large and looks to only reside at the arch, making torsional support very good, but the forefoot just doesn’t flex well for me. However, tooling is flat and wide, with and extended base acting as an outrigger, so stability was on point. Materials and overlays helped with containment and making sure your foot doesn’t shift over the footbed. But, they just didn’t move well for me.

Overall, I like the Way of Wade 7… off-court. I definitely don’t want to play in them again. Traction was less than desirable while cushion wasn’t anywhere near as awesome as it was last year with the Wade 6. Materials and build quality are great, but the overall function… they’re just stiff. Maybe it’s just me. But this was my experience in the Way of Wade 7 so this is how they played for me.

I’m glad I kept a pair of Wade 6s in the stash because those I feel are the best they’ve done thus far.

If you’ve played in the Nike Air VaporMax  feel free to share your thoughts on them down below in the comment section. You can also check out AnotherPair’s performance review on the Wade 7 for a different perspective.