Nike Kobe AD NXT FastFit Performance Review

The best iteration of Nike’s laceless FastFit system is here.

Traction on the Nike Kobe AD NXT FF is aggressive in both looks and performance.

The scale pattern has proven to be fairly durable during indoor testing and has a bit to it that reminds me of the solid rubber offerings from the Nike Kobe 11 EM. Something I love is that the channels or grooved in between each row of these scales are spaced far enough apart that if dust is present on your court then it falls right through. If you happen to play on a really filthy floor, like I do at my local 24 Hr Fitness, and dust starts clumping up on the outsole a quick wipe and I was good-to-go.

Outdoors, the traction does grip and grip well. However, I wouldn’t want to spend $200 on an outdoor shoe, nor would I want my outdoor shoe to have a traction pattern made of nubs. Herringbone would be my go-to as it wears a bit more evenly.

Cushion comes in the form of a drop-in midsole featuring full-length React. There is a small section of Cushlon that acts as a stability layer in the rear heel, but the majority of the midsole is React foam.

If you’ve played in the Nike Kobe AD NXT 360, which featured React and Lunarlon, this setup isn’t as plush/soft as those were. However, I found this setup to be slightly more enjoyable as I like a little firmness for stability/court feel purposes, and there was plenty of React to go around for impact protection.

Materials are interesting. It felt like I wasn’t wearing anything at all when I first put them on. Because of this I was hesitant to play at normal speed. Once my warmups were done and I began playing my first few games in them, I went from being hesitant to forgetting I was wearing anything at all.

Under the spandex-like overlay there is Nike’s QuadFit material. I believe that internal section of the shoe is what really carries the brunt of the weight and force applied when cutting and changing directions. Add to the QuadFit system the nylon “laces” loops that the FastFit system is fed through, where laces would traditionally be, and you have a fairly normal setup for a shoe.

They fit true to size, and lockdown was a pleasant surprise. As mentioned in the material section above, I was very hesitant at first, but wound up falling in love with how they felt. For some reason they just fit my foot right, something I was unable to achieve with the Air Jordan 34 until after I realized you can pull the FastFit system too tight. With this version of the system, I could only pull them to a certain point and then they just wouldn’t tighten up anymore. I’m not sure if something was tweaked with the FastFit system to ensure there could be no over-tightening, but what the reason — these felt perfect for me.

Support was another surprise, given the flimsy nature of the build. Without using the cupsole to their advantage, I don’t think this material setup would have worked as well as it had. Luckily, your foot sits within the cupsole just enough to cover you on lateral movements while the outrigger takes care of the rest. There is a small heel counter in the shoe that also worked pretty well. The overall support was very reminiscent of the Nike Kobe AD NXT 360 — everything relied heavily on the entire shoe working in tandem with one another along with the fit, support features and FastFit lacing design.

Overall, I enjoyed the Kobe AD NXT FF a lot more than I thought I would.

I had called the Nike Kobe NXT 360 a next generation type of shoe, and they kind of outdid themselves with this one. The rounded feel of the tooling featured on the NXT 360 was removed and replaced with something a bit more traditional — very similar feel to the Kobe 11. While the traction durability issues seem to have been addressed as well.

While the Air Jordan 33‘s FastFit system left me wanting more, the only thing with this version I could complain about is the lack of zonal tightening. With the lacing system being comprised of a single pulley system I can see why targeted zonal tightening is missing. It would be awesome if it was a future feature of FastFit — but only time will tell.

If you end up grabbing a pair of the Nike Kobe AD NXT FF then I hope you enjoy the shoe as much as I did.

Thank you for stopping by, reading, watching, and commenting. We at jordandebut.com appreciate your continued support. Now get off your computer, smartphone, or tablet and get back on the court. Enjoy your time on the hardwood while you still can.

Wilson Evo Nxt Review and Comparison

Since we’re talking about balls…

So I got a Wilson email about the Evo NXT and like the sucker I am, I saw only 100 were being sold so I jumped in and bought one. Ok I was going to buy one anyways because I was interested in the NXT when I first heard about it. As most of you know the og EVO is not my favorite ball to play (I like playing with my own balls?) but since it is on every court every league every day and night, I kinda have to use it and get used to it.

The good news is that this ball will be released in normal quantities in the future but when ? The other possible good news is that maybe Wilson will phase out the old one and the ball has NXT. I guess Nike and Wilson use the same nomenclature guys?

I like writing about balls because it doesn’t take me a long time to dissect one and there aren’t one thousand pieces of BS to sift through. This ball only really has a few things to talk about.

• Micro-Touch Cover – An extra layer of texture on the pebbled cover creates double-layered grip, and channels away moisture for ultimate control.

• Super Soft Core – extra cushioning allows your fingers to dig deeper into the surface for better control and a softer feel, helping every player find the shooters touch.

• Extended Range Tech – the super soft core construction redistributes the weight and balance of the ball making it easier to shoot from long range.

• Moisture Wicking System – the system minimizes moisture on the cover for better grip throughout the game.

• 100% Composite laid-in channels – the only 100% fully composite leather ball on the market with laid-in channels for extra control.

Cover

Top left clockwise: NXT, the Rock, Solution, OG EVO

This section pretty much covers bullet points 1,2,4. As a fan of the air jordan 12 solution ball and a non fan of the og Evo cover, this ball feels like a hybrid of the two which some will like and some will not.

The cover doesn’t feel as “leathery “ as the OG cover but doesn’t feel quite like the Solution either. I’ve been discussing balls with my friends and almost everyone who looks a solution turns it away because it looks cheap but when you play with it, namely shoot and dribble with you, you see why Lonzo had a lot of success with it. I think people will be that same way with the NXT. It is a very rubbery orange color versus the brownish synthetic leather of the OG and most any synthetic ball but man it handles and feels so controlled like the Solution. It does not feel like the OG EVO, The Rock or Baden Elite. I do think Wilson May have a Tf1000 legacy vs OG type of problem selling the public on a new and improved version of this ball.

Overall, if you like the feel of the OG Evo, you’ll probably find no need or want to change. If you want a little more moisture absorption and consistency you’ll like this cover. If you like the way the Solution plays but wish it had a little more padding, you’ll also really like the way this cover plays. Leather like look and feel does not equate to a better cover. If you want that type of cover stick with the OG, the Rock or Baden Elite.

Channels

Top left clockwise: NXT, the Rock, Solution, OG EVO

All look and feel the same . Nice wide and deep channels deeper and wider than the EVO make this so easy to handle and shoot with. Have you ever shot with the Wave? It’s odd looking but has the Solution cover and those ripples on it make it easy to shoot with because you can just get that much more extra leverage all over the ball and not just within the channels. I think the wider channels just make this ball a breeze find your pocket and to shoot with.

Extended range tech

The oddest claim on the NXT is the range tech where it “redistributes the weight and balance “. So yea about that .

A basketball is only a few millimeters thick so adjusting the weight around a millimeter or two isn’t going to make a world of difference and I tried “scientifically” testing this by just moving farther and farther back but alas my numbers were the same. Maybe the redistributed weight makes the ball feel light or or increases or decreases spin by half a revolution per minute but in reality you aren’t going to see a difference in your range..and if you do, your opponent has that same advantage so it’s truly a wash.

And sure enough it doesn’t weigh any different than any of my other balls (insert joke). I’ll give the ol’ scale a error margin of plus minus an ounce.

Extended range tech is bs but hey if everyone gets the same BS it doesn’t matter.

Conclusion

I sat here writing this review and said to myself why am I writing this ? Why do I write any review about anything ? Buying a better ball doesn’t help you put the ball in the basket any better and even if it did, you just gave your opponent the same advantage and that’s assuming the other team wants to use YOUR NXT ball. But after thinking about it, it’s not necessarily that a ball is better, but it’s about getting the most out of your dollar. And therin lies the crux of the review because this ball is currently $79 which is almost double (sometimes double when the OG is on sale). I got my TF1000 OG for $80 when Spaulding did a limited release a few years ago and everyone knows that’s my

Nike Joyride Run Flyknit Performance Review

The Nike Joyride Run Flyknit is the first shoe to use Nike’s newest cushioning system, Joyride. The Joyride Run Flyknit puts four pouches of free flowing foam beads beneath each foot. When you put on the shoe, the beads conform to your foot sort of like if you were stepping on a bean bag. The idea being the shoes become a customized cushioning setup for anyone who wears them. This both sounds and looks awesome. But does Joyride work? Let’s find out.

After we received the shoes from Nike, both Jodi and I both ran a lot of miles in our pairs of the Nike Joyride Run Flyknit. We did long runs, speed workouts, treadmill work, and wore them casually. Our breakdown below includes our thoughts on the performance of the shoe across multiple categories.

Jodi: What’s everyone buzzing about? The crazy cushion air jordan 1 is now offering with the Joyride Run Flyknit. As I read some of the initial articles about the shoe, here’s the picture that formed in my head: Thousands of little foamy beads pressing into my feet, forming perfectly around it as they propel me forward throughout my run and snap back into place with each step. All the while bringing joy to my running life and yours, whether this is your first run ever or just a simple recovery run.

Well….hate to say it, but that’s not what happened to me. And I LOVE running. If you’ve seen any of the press then you already know the TPE beads are housed inside of four different pods arranged from heel to forefoot with the most beads being placed in the heel. I can tell you that the beads do snap back into their original shape after each run because every time I would put them on my feet had to remold the footbed. Which I guess is cool if you want to feel like you are running in a brand new pair of shoes every time you go for a run. My problem with how the pods are set up is that sometimes the beads will all get mashed in one direction. A member of our Discord Community said it best when he compared that feeling to a no show sock slipping off under your foot. Almost every morning before running I’d have to stomp around and wiggle my foot to get those beads to smooth themselves out. And that was just the problem I had before getting out the door. The foam cushion, SR02, that holds the pods is super soft. But it’s not the same density as the beads in the pods. And this is especially true of the sidewalls. So after about 2 miles of running, I could feel the foam pressing up into the sides of my feet where the pods tapered off. This was especially present in the forefoot. It also became even more obvious when making tight turns where I could feel the beads shift under foot.

Drew: A quick search around the internet reveals that Joyride is one of the most polarizing cushion technologies in recent memory. There’s people who absolutely hate it, people like Jodi who didn’t have a great experience, people like me who thought it was solid in certain circumstances, and then there’s even people who love it. There’s a reason for this. When you get the shoe on foot, it feels weird. It took me some time to get used to the beads conforming all the way up to my high arch. For some, it will feel like there’s not any wiggle room in the shoe and they’ll hate it. Others might enjoy the sensation. This is a shoe you need to try on just to feel this new technology in action. You may not like it, but it’s worth it to feel how different it is from other shoes.

While I’ve been wearing the nike kryie 6, any time I meet someone in the sneaker industry close to my size 11.5 foot, they want to try it on. So I’ve let them. It’s given me a lot of interesting feedback and further confirmed the polarizing nature of the shoe. One footwear designer had the best comparison. He said the way the beads move under foot feels a lot like 90s era Reebok DMX. For those that don’t remember, in the original DMX, as your weight shifted, air actually moved between pods in the outsole. The sensation isn’t exactly the same but it’s close. Another designer compared the Nike Joyride Run Flyknit to the VaporMax because of its polarizing feel. He knew some people would love it while others hated it. He pretty much nailed it.

As for myself, there were a couple things that annoyed me about Joyride but the cushion largely worked as intended. I’m a big guy at 6’6” and 210 pounds and I think that played a role in my experience. Like Moses parting the Red Sea, slipping my foot inside the Joyride Run and then standing up made the beads go where they were supposed to go. They did move slightly while I ran. This largely wasn’t a problem except for a couple times where it felt like a bead was above all the others on the side of my heel. In those cases it felt like a small rock annoying my foot. A quick shake of my foot usually got rid of it. I also occasionally felt the area where the foam sidewalls were bonded to the upper pressing into the edge of my forefoot. A quick foot reposition always solved the issue.

In one run, I ran 6.75 medium-paced miles in the Joyride Run and my legs felt great afterwards. However, I wouldn’t speed train in the Joyride as I didn’t get much energy return on push off. A lot of the energy dissipates into the moving beads. That’s fine for recovery runs and casual wear but not when you’re looking to hit specific times on 400 meter intervals.

Jodi: I’m actually impressed with the traction. That was my one nitpick when originally seeing the shoe. How is that traction going to hold up to 300 miles? Let alone the 450+ miles one article claimed. But now, looking at the wear and tear on the rubber outsole, if I gave the shoe a good cleaning you’d barely be able to tell they’ve been used. That is, if you ignore the foam cushion. SR02 is Nike’s softest available cushion. It’s even softer than React. And on the lateral side of the shoe they have a beautiful jeweled Nike swoosh that has shredded the foam thanks to being constantly mashed into the ground by my footsteps. But all things considered, the traction has been very reliable and durable.

Drew: Like Jodi, I was skeptical of the traction pattern’s durability. But Nike used some really hard rubber and it’s holding up extremely well. It should last for the typical 300+ miles we expect from running shoes. With harder rubbers, traction in wet conditions can really suffer. That didn’t happen for me with the Joyride Run Flyknit. It still had a nice grip even when wet.

Jodi: The support comes from the outer heel cage that wraps up and around your ankle to then become your top lace loops. You also sit down inside of the foam cushion. The system works together to enable solid lockdown.

Drew: As Jodi said, the foam wrapping up around the heel and the heel cage itself give you great heel lockdown. I was initially worried about the support (with a bunch of free flowing beads underneath my feet), but Nike did a great job of building the support around the Joyride cushion. The foam side walls and the Joyride’s plastic heel carrier extend high enough where your heel will stay on the footbed even when running on uneven ground.

Jodi: The upper is a very form fitting flyknit bootie. My favorite part of the shoe would have to be the pull tab combined with the stretchy tongue. If it weren’t for those two I wouldn’t be able to get the shoes on.

Drew: The shoe is a cool looking mix of Flyknit and a neoprene bootie. The look and colors are similar to the Nike React Presto Breezy. The neoprene is (welcomely) perforated to allow some airflow on the medial side of the foot. There’s also some fuse reinforcing the lace loops at the big toe area of each shoe. The fuse at the big toe is more of a design feature but it adds variety to the forefoot’s all Flyknit look.

Jodi: The Nike Joyride Run Flyknit is a tight squeeze at first. But everything did stretch in the right places, even for a wide footer like me. Nike sent me a size 7 even though I typically run in a size 6.5. After putting them on I realized they did it on purpose knowing the shoes fit a bit small. If you can’t get into a store to try them on, err on the side of caution and go up half a size.

Drew: Though the Joyride Run Flyknit is a tight fit, there are no pressure points and it stretches nicely. For comparison purposes, it’s not as tight as the Jordan React Havoc and the Flyknit has a bit more stretch than the React Havoc’s more traditional stretchy mesh. Nike sent me my correct size of 11.5 and I ended up with under a thumbnail of space lengthwise. If you have a narrow foot like me you can get away going true to size, however, I think the majority of people will prefer going up half a size.

Overall

Jodi: If you asked me to Marie Kondo my shoe closet, the Joyride Run would go in the donation pile. It doesn’t bring me joy the way the name implies. I consider myself a veteran runner. I’ve been running about five days a week for over a decade. After runs in the Joyride Run I didn’t feel fresh. Instead, I found myself feeling super slow and heavy. The 10,000+ beads didn’t propel me forward in the same way the Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2 does. And with both shoes costing $180, I’d have to recommend the Pegasus Turbo 2 over the Joyride Run Flyknit.
Drew: The Nike Joyride Run Flyknit will not be for everyone, especially at its $180 price point. Most serious runners will prefer a shoe with more energy return and most beginners shouldn’t be spending $180 on running shoes. The Joyride Run Flyknit is a recovery run tool for experienced runners and a fun technology that will excel in the casual world while being used for occasional runs by weekend warriors. If you get the chance, try them on. Joyride doesn’t feel like any other cushioning technology and you need to decide for yourself whether you love or hate the way it molds to your foot. This is one of those shoes that will polarize the sneaker community, so go try it out for yourself and form your own opinion. Nike is going to make successful lifestyle sneakers using Joyride so it’s a cushion that will be around creating conversation for the foreseeable future.

Nike Zoom GP Retro Performance Review

Why does Nike Retro keep winning the performance battles? It could be because of shoes like the Zoom GP. Read on for our full Nike Zoom GP Retro Performance Review.

Herringbone, herringbone, herringbone. Yeah, we know, you get tired of hearing it, but we get just as tired of saying it – herringbone WORKS almost every time. It isn’t hard – you can vary the pattern a bit, put an area with a different direction, but it still works. The Zoom GP is covered all across the forefoot and right under the heel – your main points of contact – while the midfoot is raised from the floor and is just white rubber. The forefoot is segmented with large flex grooves running across and front-to-back, which originally was mirrored by the segmented Zoom unit, but since that Zoom unit is not found here, the sole being split does really help with flexibility. The traction is freaking awesome – not much else to say, but I will.

The grip from front to back, lateral, and every move in between is perfect – no slipping, no sliding, biting traction that never fails. I tried these on four different floors, from bad 24 Hour courts to a pristine high school court, and not once did it fail. The grooves are wide enough to push out the dust and the rubber is solid, so outdoors should be good as well. They seriously, SERIOUSLY, don’t make them like this any more.

Zoom Air in the heel. Zoom Air in the forefoot, Nike actually gives us the same cushioning as the original, with one slight adjustment – where the 1999 version had a huge Zoom unit that was segmented into four sections (think of the Kyrie 5 Zoom Turbo and the KD12 – yeah, it ain’t new). the retro has a full oval forefoot unit that is responsive and low. The original was one of the lowest riding, court-feel shoes ever but still had great impact protection. The Zoom GP retro is exactly the same – fast, responsive, bouncy – a true quick guard’s shoe. Playing defense and drives to the lane feel easier as the traction and cushioning take over and push through.

In the heel we get a thick Zoom unit, and we know it is Zoom because it says it right there on the sole (love the old-school logos). I do heel-strike when coming off screens and planting for jumpers and the Zoom here was absorbing and bouncing back off of every move. Couple the Zoom with the Phylon midsole and you get everything a guard or small forward could want in a shoe – quick response with more than adequate impact protection.

Again, nice job Nike. The leather quality is amazing given what we normally get (although there have been some great pairs lately, like the Maestro II and the Jordan 11 ‘Orlando’) – thick, soft, and durable. This is everything a sneaker used to be. The leather is so good it’s almost a shame to have to talk about anything else – and yes, the panel over the medial ankle “monkey paw” is a vinyl synthetic, but so was the original, so it matches.

The midfoot features a legit, real carbon fiber shank plate and that thick 90’s rubber traction. The inner 3/4 sleeve is a ventilated neoprene that hugs the foot just like a brace while the ankle is thickly padded, especially on the monkey paw side.

One thing to note. The OG Black/White-Canyon Gold  colorway features a soft synthetic build — like felt. Not exactly what we consider premium like the pair we tested for review and the ‘Sonics’ edition. Just a heads up for anyone wanting a pair, but with a quality build. Go for the OG White/Black or ‘Sonics’ — at least until we see more colorways release.

It is amazing that 20 years ago Nike pioneered a technology for basketball that is still basically in use today. While the ratchet system on the Zoom GP isn’t the exact same as the Jordan 33, it is close enough that the similarities can’t be ignored. Both feature non-traditional lacing systems that provide supreme fit, but the Zoom GP still has a lacing system under the shroud. Once laced (the lacing pulls the shroud over the tongue/sleeve), the strap of the ratchet goes into the buckle, and the latch tightens the shoe down. Once tightened, there is no movement at all from front to back or side to side. Lockdown is complete and no matter how hard I played, the ratchet never came loose, meaning fit was great from start to finish.

As for sizing, go true to size. I’m normally a 10.5 in every shoe (except some adidas) and the 10.5 left me with about a thumbs-width in length to the end of the toebox. Wide-footers could probably get away with TTS, but may want to go up a half. Don’t worry – the lacing, strap, and padding will still lock you in.

Let’s be honest – this is a low-riding, fast guard shoe that feels like a lowtop. Support is… well, it’s great. Starting at the bottom, the sole is wide, especially in the forefoot, with an almost full-length outrigger/angled midsole for lateral stability, to keep your foot upright and solid, and it works. The angle gives you a solid block to push off of when sliding lateral and staying in front of your man on defense or to get shifty on your drives, never slipping out and keeping your foot in contact with the floor and moving.

There is no raised sidewall for containment but that is no issue – the way the ratchet pulls the upper around your foot keeps any lateral movement to a minimum and you can actually feel the upper working while playing, holding tight on every motion. The midfoot is protected by the carbon fiber shank, keeping the midsole from bending and flexing in any way that would injure your foot. Put that together with the low ride and you have a solid, stable shoe.

Moving into the rear/heel area, the lockdown keeps all heel movement away, nowhere near your foot, and the sculpted padding and thickness of the ankle collar work with one of Nike’s forgotten technologies – the monkey paw we talked about earlier. If you don’t know, the monkey paw is a TPU structure hidden on the medial ankle panel that spreads like fingers from the sole to the upper lining. This structure is meant to keep your ankle from inverting, or “rolling”, while playing, and whether it works or not or made me think it worked, I had crazy confidence in every move. Bring this one back, Nike.

Every once in a while Nike gives us a retro that is so close to the original it is scary, and the Zoom GP is that shoe. From the materials to the cushioning to just the overall shape and feel, the Zoom GP is a foot rocket made for quick, driving guards and forwards. If you need a shoe that covers every aspect of performance, look no further. Even today, placed against shoes that are considered the “pinnacle of modern performance”, the Zoom GP more than holds it’s own.

It’s really kind of crazy – this may be my favorite performer of 2019 and it is a 20 years old shoe. Last year most “Best Of” lists had the Kobe 1 Protro as a top 3-5 performer, and it was 12 years old. Does this mean Nike isn’t making better shoes now, years later? Or that Nike was so far ahead of their time that the rest of the basketball world is just catching up? Maybe it is that all of us reviewers are just nostalgic and love the old-school construction and materials of the late-90’s and early 2000’s. I will say this – in 1999 the Zoom GP was my favorite shoe to play in and 20 years later nothing has changed.

Jordan CP3.12 Performance Review

Chris Paul’s Jordan CP3.12 is a surprise hit. Click through for our full performance review.

Traction on the Jordan CP3.12 was really good. I mean, I was semi expecting the traction to be pretty good, as most CP3 models are, but holy crap these were reallygood.

They screech as if they’re about to rip the floorboards up and dust was rarely an issue. If dust became an issue it was towards the midfoot and heel where the pattern is tighter. But a quick wipe and I was good to go.

They even played nicely outdoors (cushion too) which I feel is a huge plus in today’s sneaker market. Most shoes are made to wear out rather quickly. Yet, the CP3.12 has been holding up really nicely both inside and out.

Forefoot Zoom Air (same size and shape as the Air Jordan 13) along with a lightweight Phylon midsole. Sounds similar to most basic Zoom Air-laced models like the PG1, the Jordan Zoom Zero Gravity and Jordan 2×3 etc. However, they feel more like an Air Jordan 13 without the clunky podded tooling.

I felt light and fast, but never felt I was unstable or as if the shoe lacked court feel. They weren’t over-cushioned or under. They felt just right. While I still miss Podulon… the cushion setup on the CP3.12 didn’t have me wishing it was anything other than what it is.

Flyknit is used, which I find to be very strange as the price point of the shoe is $100. Nike and Jordan Brand usually price its knits at a premium, this shoe did the opposite. I’m not complaining, I just think it sends mixed signals to consumers. Now I definitely know (even though I already did) that Flyknit isn’t premium and I won’t want to pay premium prices for it ever again after experiencing it at the $100 price. Not to mention when it hits outlets.

As for what it offers… it plays just like the Performance Woven featured on the Air Jordan 29. Yes, it’s that good. It broke-in within minutes and kept me secure. It’s not the most durable material out there, but if you want something ready to go out of the box then this setup will cater to that want or need.

The CP3.12 was very tight when I first tried them on, but as mentioned above, they break in very fast. True to size worked best for me, but if you have a wide foot I’d try them on in-store if possible. The forefoot area is on-piece until it opens up to the tongue so that might be a little tight for some foot shapes.

Lockdown was solid. No complaints. No issues. No cares in the world. Once I was laced up I just had fun and played. Each and every time. It’s exactly what you should get out of a performance shoe. Something that doesn’t bother you at all. It’s just there and out of the way while doing everything you require it to do.

Lateral support looks worse than it actually is if you’re basing it off of the image above. This folding over thing is very common and allows the foot a bit of give when in motion. This would have been bad had the midsole not cupped the foot a little bit — which is why you see the midsole with a fold in the middle.

The base is also decently wide. So, while they don’t have a pronounced outrigger, the lateral edge comes out far enough to stabilize you upon these types of movements.

The internal heel counter could’ve been a little stronger, but it got the job done so I can’t complain too much about it. It’s more of a nitpick, but if I was the brand making the shoe I’d have requested one just to be on the safe side.

Overall, I’m just surprised. I thought the CP3 line quietly died. Then the shoe was unveiled. Then it released out of nowhere without any push or promotion from the brand. It’s as if Jordan Brand doesn’t care about the shoe or care if they sell any of them. If they don’t care then why would any consumer in tune with the sneaker space care?

Despite the lack of build-up to the shoe, they played really well. They’re a no-nonsense type of shoe that offers a lot of performance for it’s $100 price point. Since these are CP3’s they’ll likely be hitting outlets soon and for under retail I’d feel like I just came up on a great deal. Hell, I paid $100 for these things and I feel like I got a good deal as it is.

If you were in the market for a solid pair of hoop shoes that requires little break-in time, great traction, solid cushion, fit and support then these might be what you’re looking for.

UA Curry 2 Performance Review and Comparison

If you’re thinking about getting the low, here is my review. Stick to the mid

**just wrote a comparison of the Curry Two, Rose 6, Lebron XIII if you’re deciding between the three*
King of the Court Or pretty damn close

I’ll admit it, I love Steph Curry and everything he’s about. From family to golf to hoops, he’s awesome. I loved watching him grow from the Davidson days to the MVP and NBA champion.

I also loved how the UA Curry 6 ooked, but didn’t love the cushioning set up as I’ve stuck to my Clutchfit Drives due to the more responsive and softer cushioning set up.  My Curry Ones do see daylight on occasion but they are mostly seeing the inside of their boxes. With the Curry Two, I have a new go to shoe that claims my top spot.
Pros: outstanding traction, cushioning, support and stability, containment, USA price of $130

Cons: better quality control ? Asia price of $195?

Best for: guards primarily. Bigs may enjoy the Charged only stable set up

Here is my original Curry One  ReviewWeight

UA shaved an ounce off the weight from the Curry One and is only half an ounce heavier than the CF Lightning which is UA’s lightest current shoe.

Here are the other UA shoes’ weights for reference:

Clutchfit Drive 1: 14 oz

Curry One: 15 oz

UA Torch: 14.5 oz

UA Lightning: 13.5 oz

Traction 

Under Armour ditched the traditional herringbone set up and went with a multidirectional pattern that UA calls “organic herringbone”.  It is not a story telling pattern but not a plain Jane herringbone set up either.

The rubber is much softer than the Curry One set up, the edges of the grooves are thinner/sharper and the grooves are deeper. 

 

The end result is outstanding traction that I would put right up there with the Kobe IX and New Balance OMN1S.

 

I tested the Two directly against the Kobe IX and was amazed even after I did this

I stepped in all the dust I swept up with both the Kobe IX and the Curry Two and both just kept going without missing a beat. Amazing

The Twos just squeak and stop on any surface. The Curry One and Clutchfit Drive provided excellent traction but I did have to wipe to keep it that way while the Two takes it another notch without wiping. Just perfect.

Cushioning
For me the Achilles heel of the Curry One was the cushioning. A layer of Charged Foam over Micro G didn’t feel like anything special to me. No bounce or responsiveness at all left me no choice but to stick with the Clutchfit Drive. I’ve said it before, cushioning really gives a shoe its personality and that’s where I thought the One fell short. It isn’t always a performance deal breaker but it changes how much I enjoy wearing a certain shoe. So it was really disappointing that the Curry One didn’t have that fun responsive feel like the Clutchfit Drive.

The Curry Two uses a full length pure Charged set up just like the Clutchfit Drive 2.  I reviewed the Clutchfit Drive 2 and enjoyed the Charged only set up, especially versus the Curry One. I’m pleased to say that the Curry Two feels almost exactly the same as the Clutchfit Drive 2 but slightly softer and more responsive. The set up is not nearly as firm as the Curry One and almost as soft as the Clutchfit Drive 1. I’d say it plays one half to one level firmer than the Clutchfit Drive 1 while the Curry One plays two levels firmer. It feels more similar to the Curry One Low but even softer. I should also note the Curry Two rides the same height as the One.

Charged vs Micro G 
As I stated in my CFD2 review, pure Charged feels denser and firmer than Micro G. It feels plush when moving slow but firms up on sudden movements. I could feel the cushioning firming up on quicker movements and softening up on slow steps with the Curry Two while I couldn’t feel anything but a very firm set up on the Curry One.  If I had to choose between Micro G and the pure Charged on the Two, I’d have to wuss out and say it depends on the day. Sometimes I like the firmer feel of the Two and sometimes I like the softer feel of the Clutchfit Drive I.  As of today, I’m loving the Charged only set up of the Curry Two though.
**side note

There is not a removable insole in the Curry Two, it is sewn in. Can’t tell what it is but it definitely isn’t Ortholite . It is extremely minimal though to allow the wearer to get lower to the ground and to feel the Charged foam . I do not believe there is a last in the shoe so that really helps bring the Charged foam alive. Very similar to what Adidas does with Pure Boost. **

I should also mention that transition  from heel to toe is seamless despite having a pretty sizable shank plate. I was worried when I saw the pics because it reminded me of the XX8.

This iteration of Charged is what I expected out of UA the first time and I really like it a lot.

Fit and Materials

I bought my normal size 11 and these fit about 1/4 size short length wise which is ok for me since the width was perfect and didn’t suffocate my feet like the Curry One Low. If you’re a tweener who likes more space at the toe, I suggest going up half a size or wear thinner socks. If not stay true to size. You can see just by looking at the shoes side by side that the overall size of the Two is smaller.

Speedform replaces the Anafoam upper of the Curry One

I wasn’t sure how this would play out since I’ve tried the Speedform Apollo running shoes before and found it comfortable but somewhat lacking in warmth. Speedform was marketed a lot when the Apollo came out and in essence it is a seamless thin upper made in a bra factory (although there is a seam on these  where the synthetic starts ). Here is a good read about it on Gizmodo

You can see how much more padding there is in the ankle collar

I heard a slight tearing sound at the heel when I first put these on but I guess it’s just the fabric stretching because I didn’t see anything torn.

When I laced these up for the  first time, I had a little rubbing from the ankle collar but it went away quickly

 

Below: web straps at the forefoot for additional lockdown and containment
I still had that cold feeling due to the thinness of the upper but as I played, I forgot about that feeling and that I was wearing shoes at all.  No heel slippage or movement side to side at all. Fit nirvana achieved.

The toe box is synthetic and takes a few only a few minutes to break in. It does wrinkle quite a bit but does not peel and tear like the toe on the Curry One. There is very little if any deadspace in the toe box above the foot and zero side to side.

Here is a shot of the tongue and toe box

The rest of the Speedform upper just conforms to the foot after warming up.

 

Above:  you can see the cut is a little lower with the Two.

Breathability is just average. You might see lots of holes but that just leads to another layer. I could care less anyways.

Support and stability

Support comes from the excellent fit and heel counter

 

while the stability comes from the flat wide outsole. I found the Curry Two to be more stable that the One as it is not tippy at all.

 

Above: I really like the segmented heel similar to the Super.Fly 4. In the middle is Charged foam

Couple that with the firmer  Charged set up and larger shank and it is a very stable shoe. I found the stability to be outstanding  without being restrictive.

 

Excellent job by UA.

Containment 
Containment is also excellent on the Curry Two. No issues with my foot coming out at all from the footbed due to the synthetic in the toe box and footstay as well as a raised midsole (ala Rose 5)

Below: my foot sits at the crease

Midsole is raised all the way around the shoe

Seems like all the companies are raising the midsole up to keep the foot contained. I hope this trend continues.

As you can see the medial side is also raised but UA was doing that with the Spawn. In the Spawn you could feel it under the arch but you don’t really feel it under the arch with the Two since the Charged wall is more to the side and not directly underfoot which I actually prefer.

 

Just no movement side to side even on hard cuts.

Conclusion 

The Curry One didn’t sell that well initially. I mean they sold but they didn’t have crazy Jordanlike sell outs until Curry won the MVP and the Dubs captured the title. Then it was reseller mania, fakes from China, stats on Campless, people saying what an awesome shoe it was (same people prior said they’d never wear UA) …. Surprised the bandwagon didn’t break with all the people jumping on it.

The Curry Two didn’t radically change its looks as it it keeps a similar silouette to the One. However UA overhauled everything from the ground up by changing the cushioning, upper and traction and all for the better.  And personally I love almost every colorway of the Two. UA is going to make a lot off me. $130 times 6 or 7 must have colorways…times two for some . Yikes

I really liked the little details in this shoe as well. Each shoe has its nickname sewn in.

 

Look at all that stitching
The only downside to the shoe that I can think of is a little excess glue and the foam rails wrinkle a lot.

But after all is said and done, everything on the Curry Two is as good as or improved from the Curry One.  It looks great, performs even better and the price stayed relatively the same at $130 (except in Asia, sorry guys !). Did I mention the traction? I’m still giddy about how well it performed. As I said earlier the Curry Two is now at the top of my rotation beating out the Clutchfit Drive 1, Rose 5, and Soldier VI. It does every exceptionally well but thetraction really pushed it to the the top. The first colorway to drop in the US will be the “Iron sharpens Iron”colorway on October 24 and I’ll be waiting patiently for my two pairs.

Well done UA. SHORYUKEN!!