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AIR JORDAN SUPREME ELEVATION Performance Review

Did many of you mistake this JORDAN SUPREME ELEVATION for AJ32 when you first saw it? Well, I think that must be the case for many of you. For me, to be frank, my first glance of the shoes did left me the impression that it was right the AJ 32 because their vamps are just very similar to each other.

Despite that, after getting some more knowledge of the shoes I found that the SUPREME ELEVATION actually has its own merits and deserves its own name rather than being called the substitute of AJ32.

Now that I’ve got used to the shoes and also got intimate knowledge of it, I’d like share with you my detailed thoughts and here’s my JORDAN SUPREME ELEVATION, based on 5 months’ hooping and shooting on indoor courts mostly. So let’s begin!

 

Vamp

Now that many people, including me, think the JORDAN SUPREME ELEVATION and AJ 32 are similar in their vamps, I’ll then talk about this respect so that you may know if this one suits you.

In terms of the wrapping, if you have experienced the AJ 32 before, you’ll find a similar feeling on these as well. Personally, when I first tried on the shoes, all I could feel was that my feet had been tightly locked in all directions and the vamp as well as the sidewalls both fit my feet snugly and tightly just like a pair of socks.

The merit of its excellent wrapping is that it makes me feel very secured even on high-intensity plays. In the forefoot portion there’s a Velcro which is no decoration but actually improves the wrapping to a terrific extent. Excellent as it is, it is somewhat a mixed blessing. With the Velcro I now feel it rather tight underfoot and sometimes even a bit burdensome. So while I was playing on court, it was sometimes a must to stop to adjust the wrapping.

Overall, in spite of problem, it just does what it’s supposed to do – lock you down, and the overall sense of security is definitely there.

Sizing guide

Along with the wrapping comes the sizing guide. For me, in order to get rid of the hassle mentioned above, I had to buy another pair of shoes with bigger size just two weeks after I got the first pair. So, to help you avoid this issue and make sure your feet feel more comfortable, here is the recommendation. For the regular foot types, the regular sizes should also be fine. But if you think you’ve got wide feet or high insteps or if you are flat footers, it’s highly recommended to go up 1/2 a size. Nevertheless, it’ll be best if you can try them on in person. After all, personal experience is always more accurate than others’ advice.

Support

While the wrapping is great, its support is good as well, but not to the point of outstanding. The vamp support is slightly weaker than that of the AJ32, and while there is no obvious vamp distortion during high-intensity runs, it is not as airtight as the AJ32 in this aspect. But, definitely, you can rest assured because it is never flimsy.

Inside the heel area, there’s plenty of padding and also a large TPU for ankle & heel lockdown and my feet just get jammed in there very securely. The overall torsional support still isn’t top-tier though, it is enough for most players.

Nothing really to complain about here, but just that its support is not as excellent and impressive as that of AJ32.

Midsole

Apart from the vamp, the other great thing about this pair of shoes is the midsole. There are two large Zoom Air separated sitting there as the core of the shoe’s cushioning setup. Aside from that there’s nothing new about it.

Unlike some relatively hard cushions, this setup of SUPREME ELEVATION doesn’t require me to take several sessions to get used to it and wait for it to fully break in and start working to its full potential. Instead, the moment I stepped on it I could feel the super nice comfort and softness it offered, though there do exist some differences in the feelings offered by the forefoot and heel areas respectively.

But have you found something special? Yep! I only said comfort and softness of the cushions but not its elasticity. That’s also the flaw of the cushion.

The foot feeling offered by the cushion is that it is soft enough but not elastic enough to provide forceful feedback when it is needed. In other words, the air pressure of the cushion is not enough and a bit unstable so that the rebound and impact absorption will be slightly insufficient. To make it more explicit, let me show you a brief comparison here. The LBJ16 is also equipped with visible air cushion, but the biggest difference is that its air pressure is high enough and so it feels quite hard to step on it. Of course there is no trade-off. The LBJ16’s cushion feels hard though, it also provides the top cushioning performance.

From my perspective, I cannot feel the rebound while playing. But my friend who weighs about 85kg said he could feel a bit cushioning performance from it. Though I cannot figure out the problem, I still think it unsuitable for bigger and heavier players.

Traction

The outsole of these is a bit novel and appealing. It is made of two thirds crystal and one third rubber. Then what about its performance?

The rubber area does give good feedback on the drive and the grip on both the infield and outfield is fine. Nevertheless, when it comes to the crystal area, there has appeared some obvious wear and tear after these several months’ play.

So since the durability on indoor courts has been that unsatisfying you can imagine how poor it would be on outdoor courts.

Overall

Another problem that needs mentioning is that the shoe’s center of gravity is high, which determines that it would be slow during startup. So for players who need explosiveness, these are not an ideal choice. And since I need not much explosiveness, I personally haven’t issues with this.

Putting that aside, the  JORDAN SUPREME ELEVATION is still an excellent model with its top-ranking wrapping and comfortable foot feelings. Anyway, depending on your personal needs I’ll leave it for you to use your discretion and decide whether it is a good one or not.

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Which One to Choose, AJ33 or Irving 6?

Don’t know which one to choose when faced with so many options? That may be exactly what you are experiencing right now. Well, since under many circumstances we can’t have our cake and eat it, we usually have to choose one and ditch the others. So in that case, some relatively comprehensive comparisons between those options usually seem quite helpful and essential.

Here I am gonna present to you the both the performance reviews of AJ 33and Irving 6 and make a comparison between the two, which I hope may be of valuable reference and do some help for you to better make decision.

Let’s begin!

 

AJ33 Performance Review

Wrapping

To begin with, it should be mentioned that for wide footers, they may find the shoes not so comfortable if they’ve gone with their regular sizes. Although these look quite snug and compact, it may not be an ideal shoe for wide footers like myself. But I cannot say it is intolerable. Actually it is doable, so don’t stop reading yet.

Therefore, the recommendation here for wide footers is to go up 1.5 to 2 a size. It may be ideal for some but not for others, which actually depends on how wide your feet are of course. Personally I’ve changed the size from 42.5 to 44, thanks to which I can also enjoy the relatively ideal wrapping. And with the Velcro on the side of the shoe and the FastFit my feet are firmly and securely locked inside the footbed.

As for regular/narrow footers, going true to size will be enough to offer you an ideal wrapping. In other words, you can expect a snug, near one-to-one fit.

Comfort

Talking about the CPU or carbon plate that is seen in the soles of the AJ 28-32 but has been replaced by the lacing system, I am reminiscent of the traditional setups. After all, new things may not necessarily equal good things.

When I first put on the shoes, I felt it somewhat strange underfoot because I’ve been used to the feelings given by the “foreign matter”. In short, I think it is definitely not as good as 28-32 generation.

Although things are not solid comfort-wise, there’s still plenty of smooth and soft padding, not least around the ankle & heel areas. So if we would take the carbon plate completely out of the formula, everything seems to be fine and even impressive.

Cushion

The rear cushion offers a feeling that is far removed from that given by Boost. While Boost is super bouncy and can be obviously and easily felt, AJ33’s rear cushion, I think, is more protection-oriented. Let’s put it this way. When designing the shoes, I think maybe the designer place more emphasis on the cushion’s protection performance. The rear cushion in fact feel tougher than the Boost but is still elasticity-ensured. For players who are used to landing on their heels, the thick foam material of rear area and the zoom of the midsole offer the impact absorption and protection that are both stable and reassuring.

While I was running on court, the forefoot cushion offered me the powerful energy return that is forward-propellant. So for players like me who belong to the explosiveness style, this sounds wonderful and thrilling.

Over and above that, there’s also the Flyspeed that is sandwished between the thick insole and the air cushion, which can accept the feedback of the cushion without being lessened of the energy return because of the soft insoles. This is similar to AJ32, but the difference is that the sole of AJ33 is not soft enough, making the shoes less flexible than AJ32.

Traction

I only played in it on indoor courts for several times, but on abrasive surfaces outdoors, I can ensure you that the shoe has quite aggressive traction, though not the best or perfect one under the sun. After all, of those AJ shoes I’ve worn previously, they never failed me in this respect and I think that AJ seldom fails consumers in this perspective, either.

While on courts, I had enough to complement my movements properly and that’s all I require. Whatever movements I am going to make, I feel rather secured in it. So I’ve so far hadn’t any issues with the AJ 33.

In terms of its indoor performance, though I’ve merely tested it for a very limited number of times, the impression it left one me is that it can handle the smooth surface well, if not as well as on outdoor courts. Previously I also wore some sneakers with poor traction on indoor courts and it turned out that those sneakers were quite a disaster, leading to my slippage several times during an hour’s play alone. So I deem that the traction of AJ 33 can be reliable even indoors.

Irving 6 Performance Review

Wrapping

The vamp adopts the separated design. The front part of the Velcro is a material similar to the engineering mesh , and the back part is made of leather material.

To be frank with you, I don’t have any complaints about its wrapping, but neither do I have compliments for it. Objectively speaking, the wrapping can only be said to be OK, not excellent. During my plays, I sometimes encountered slippage inside the shoes though my forefeet were firmly locked. Anyway, I am a wide footer and the forefoot wrapping is good. But the problem here is that there’s heel-to-heel movement, which means I have to stop to adjust the wrapping frequently. That certainly can be irritating.

But if you can come up with any ideas to make up for this, maybe you can overlook this problem. Besides, I should mention that this is only a personal problem and not everyone is set to run into the same situation. The best way here is try on the shoes in person so that you may avoid any similar hassle.

Cushion

The midsole features the forefoot zoom turbo and rear phylon. It sounds to be an excellent setup and there’s no other way to put it.

Excellent as it is, it is still a bit inferior to its predecessor. The entire midsole actually is thinner than that of Irving 5 and the court feel it offers is not as strong as that offered by Irving 5.

Still, I need a couple of sessions to really start feeling the cushion’s full potential. But I don’t consider it a hassle because after that, things are just awesome.

However, things should have been more satisfying but for the strong contrast between the two. If you haven’t experienced the Irving 5 before, you are likely to be more than satisfied with the Irving 6’s cushion. But if you happened to have tried Irving 5 previously, the odds are that you’ll feel a bit disappointed because this one is not an upgrade over the Irving 5.

Nevertheless, let’s think it positively. Goods news here is that with the shoes, I have no slappy step transitions or any unnatural difference that would feel like one while performing movements. So I’d say still that Irving 6 is its own beast in this aspect.

Support

Without any TPU, the Irving 5 has also been ridiculed a lot by many consumers. So, is Irving 6, also without TPU, severely criticized? Hardly no the scenario! Not having adopted TPU though, Irving 6’s Velcro design has extended to the arch area, providing support to some extent. Besides that, the extension of the outsole on both sides help a lot as well.

Overall, the support is definitely an upgrade over the Irving and not outstanding though, it is still enough for on-court use.

Traction

Different from Irving 5’s outsole pattern, that of Irving 6 is more impressive and good-looking. But, of course, this is merely a part of the whole story.

Initially, I did have my concerns with the shoe’s traction. But the more reviews I read the more assured I felt for most of them were reporting on indubitable grip these provide. When it came to my actual plays I found that the traction was deadly and consistent under the condition that I played indoors.

The sneaker features different traction lines all over the outsoles for multi-directional coverage, and its good is particularly noticeable on non-abrasive surfaces, say, the hardwood. So if you are a big indoor advocate, you may find it quite after your own heart.

Durability of the two sneakers

Which one is more superior? I think that AJ33’s outsole is hard enough so that it can stand the test of abrasive surfaces. As for Irving 6, though there are changes in the pattern, it is hardly suitable for outdoor playing. So what I can say is that they have their own merits and which one is superior depends on what you require of a sneaker.

Overall

Once again, these are all my personal experience and thoughts, and surely there will be some who are not aligned with me. In a word, these are for your references and you may keep your different views, if any. So I’ll talk no more and leave it for you to decide which one suits you better.

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Air Jordan React Elevation Performance Review

Want the forefoot Zoom and the rear React? Want that inviting setup with a competitive price? If these are what you want, you’ll probably love today’s Air Jordan React Elevation review then. Along with other sneakers, I’ve played in these for almost two seasons and the several outdoor courts in my neighborhood have also witnessed that. Although I’ve also jammed a few sessions on indoor courts, I am a big advocate of outdoor play, mostly on concrete and blacktop ones.

So as to put all things into perspective, I am gonna break down the shoe from a practical point of view so that you may better form your own idea as to whether these are your thing. So let’s waste no time and dive right into the review.

Wrapping

Can the sneaker wrap your feet very well? Will there emerge any issues like slippage on court?

Well, objectively speaking, the wrapping is merely mediocre from the actual-play standpoint. Although many AJ shoes are outstanding in this aspect, the Air Jordan React Elevation just acts in an opposite way, though not to the point of unplayable.

When in static conditions, the wrapping actually feels good and I feel my feet firmly locked inside the footbed. But to most people, it is the on-court wrapping that really matters. So, to my dismal, while I was running on court, I encountered several slippage inside the shoes, though not very obvious. So to avoid possible slippages inside the shoes, I had to turn to wearing relatively thick socks. With that and the laces tightened, the wrapping just turn out to be  nice.

In addition to that, I should say that you might as well get ready for the slight toe bumps. But don’t misapprehend that. The case doesn’t go for everyone. In other words, whether there will be toe bumps rest with personal foot type. So regarding this problem, it’s highly recommended to take a try in the flesh.

 

Cushion

How’s the impact absorption and what about the energy return properties? What about ride height, comfort, and stability?

A zoom sits in the forefoot of the Air Jordan React Elevation and a react accompanies the rear area of the foot. Sounds like a really nice cushion setup, isn’t it? Surely this is an ideal setup for many people and there’s no other way to put it.

As soon as I put the shoes on, I could instantly feel the energy feedback from underfoot. So unlike other sneakers, there’s no need for me to take a couple of sessions to really start feeling the cushion’s full potential. Things are just as awesome as they sound.

The Air Jordan React Elevation does offer super well-balanced and comfortable cushion that is terrific for guards but also works for almost everyone else. Could players of the explosiveness style feel too much in it? Well, hardly not the case! It’s safe to say that this is a happy medium for just about anyone who steps foot in these.

In fact, I was also surprised about the uncommonly heel impact absorption and protection. The rear cushion is actually a bit too thick and so the ride won’t be very low to the ground. If you are used to playing on both your forefeet and heels and you happen to be a heavier player, you’ll feel that this setup is quite omnipotent.

In spite of all that, I think these are still far from the potential of the shoe’s cushion setup and you can always expect surprises from it. But it should be mentioned that if you are the one who prefers having a very responsive ride that’s low to the ground and super agile, this cushion may not be as good as you expected.

 

Stability

As is mentioned, the rear cushion is thick and the ride is therefore not very low to the ground. The React feels good though, it cannot be said as a brag model. According to my own experience, I always feel a little unstable on court, which, I think, can be attributed to the heel’s being thick.

So the cushion in fact a mixed blessing. If you wanna its nice cushion performance, then you must take its good with the bad.

Traction

Can the outsole bite aggressively? How long will the outsoles last then?

Again the Air Jordan React Elevation features the herringbone pattern that is widely seen in lots of sneakers. But that is not the whole story. The herringbone areas are made of rubber while the area indicating “zoom” is made of crystal materials.

Usually I play 8 to 9 hours every week, on the abrasive surfaces mostly, and most of the time the traction was superior, if not top-ranking. In a word, I’ve so far hadn’t issues with the Air Jordan React Elevation in this respect.

Definitely, it’s not the most aggressive traction under the sun and not everyone needs much traction. For me, however, the traction bites aggressively on various grounds, right to the point, though a bit inferior on indoor smoother courts.

I also want to mention that dust and debris are both likely to get stuck in the grains, so a few occasional wipe-downs of the outsoles will help a great deal. But don’t be worried. Even if you don’t want to do the wiping, you won’t be sliding all over the place, either.

 

Durability

The React Elevation currently has two colorways for rubber outsole and crystal outsole. Personally, I’ve chosen the crystal one. So you may have guessed that the crystal one is no match for its counterpart.

At present, there are slight but visible wears on the front areas. Though the crystal outsole is not seriously damaged and the materials are not super wear-resistant, I think it is still playable, not least when considering the sneaker’s price.

But for those of you who prefer playing on concrete courts, it is crystal clear that you should choose the rubber ones.

Surely I can’t say accurately how long the shoes can last, but judging from the condition of my shoes, I think they are still able to accompany me for another 2 seasons.

SIZING GUIDE

Can you go true to size or is it a must to deviate from your usual choice?

The React Elevation is a bit bigger in size and here it is recommended to go down 1/2 a size. On a personal note,  I usually pick up Nike/Adidas size 43 and for this, I chose the size 42.5 which is also US9.

Once again, to ensure a most satisfying experience, you are suggested to have a try so that any discomfort or hassle can be avoided. And if you cop the right size, the shoe will only be snug, near one-to-one fit.

 

Overall

The React Elevation is surely an awesome sneaker. It does deliver almost everything I require and impresses me deeply. Although it does have shortcomings, its flaws cannot overshadow its advantages. Most important of all, it is not as expensive as other AJ sneakers which are excellent though. After all, for many of us, when we meet some sneaker that is deeply after our own heart, we can also be scared off by its jaw-dropping price.

Being low-profile, the shoe doesn’t get as much attention as others. But it doesn’t mean it is not good. Instead , if you are someone seeking a nice cushion and traction, it should be a surprising package for you. And for those of you who play a lot on outdoor courts, you’ll probably dig this one a lot.

 

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Air Jordan 19 Performance Review

As the first generation of AJ after Jordan’s retirement, the AJ19, like AJ 18, is historic among the many AJ sneakers. Many consider it a good choice because it can be used for both daily wearing and actual plays. However, there are still many who think that the AJ original versions are not suitable for actual plays. Is that so? Well, to be frank, I don’t know much about the other AJ shoes, but this AJ 19, at least, has proven that it is a good one for actual plays.

Now that I’ve been played hooping and shooting in it for almost a season, let me share with you my detailed thoughts so that you may form your own idea about whether it is a HIT or MISS.

Cushion

Its cushioning, as far as I am concerned, is the most advanced setup in Nike’s history: the full-foot Zoom and the rear Zoom. Just like the FOG, KD12 and AJ18, the AJ 19 is also outstanding in this respect.

The AJ 19 has ditched the carbon plate that is seen under the insoles of the AJ 18, which,as a result, has some implications for players’ speed during startup. A trade-off for this is that the energy return can be more obviously felt and the cushion also becomes more soft and comfortable.

This, however, is only a mixed blessing. Why do I say that then? Well, this is really a super well-balanced setup that are fantastic for guards but cannot work for just about everyone. For me, I enjoy the cushion’s softness and comfort quite a lot. But, buddy, if you are the explosiveness type, you’ll certainly find it disappointing. Its forefoot feels quite soft, which is set to affect the speed when there are breakthroughs, startup or direction changes. So for those explosiveness players, it is suggested to think twice before taking action.

For the heel, it offers stellar impact protection thanks to the gorgeous rear Zoom and I don’t feel mushy or overly slow because of this. You can just rest assured because it isn’t like the Dame 7 whose heel is a little bit mushy while the forefoot feels quite firm. As for the forefoot and midfoot areas, they feel lower to the ground and the overall heel-to-toe stride just feels ultra-smooth, which does surprise me to a certain extent.

 

Vamp

We all know that the vamp plays a crucial role in a sneaker’s overall performance. But likewise, it definitely cannot satiate the needs of everyone. For instance, the AJ 19’s wrapping performance again receives quite mixed comments from many consumers.

Objectively speaking, the wrapping performance has also something to do with players’ foot type. Depending on the personal foot type, some may think it super excellent while others may consider it as a crap.

Personally, I am a little bit of a wide footer and during the period when I tried to get used to the shoes, my feet were a little crowded in there but that changed before long after the vamp started heating up and breaking in. So if you can give yourself some time to get used to the sneaker, things will then become awesome.

One big downside is , for quite a few players, that there’s no ventilation here. Almost zero. Actually, there’s a dustproof design but it is so bewildering that I can’t figure out why it is designed this way. Maybe for improving air permeability or something else.

In fact, the design concept of this one is very similar to that of AJ18. Possibly because of the poor air permeability caused by the leather vamp of AJ18, AJ 19’s dustproof setup is upgraded in such a way. Nevertheless, it is a sad story that the air permeability is not improved and the shoe’s appearance has also become less inviting. Just think that if AJ19’s vamp is changed to the AJ18 leather, the AJ 19 is sure to be more nice-looking!

So, since I don’t personally have a big sweating problem, I don’t really care about the poor breathability. But if your skin sweats fast, you’ll probably feel it a bit with it.

 

Support

If you happen to have experienced one of the successful Harden releases, say, the 3rd or 4th shoe, you should have known what a good, supportive sneaker is like. In terms of the AJ 19, the familiar carbon plate is reminiscent of AJ11. The setup of this ones, it’s safe to say, is equally excellent. So there is simply no need to worry about the torsion resistance of the midsole. In a word, the midsole can stabilize you torsionally.

Besides, the toe area is super hard, avoiding any possible injuries caused by bumps during exercise. And pair that with its anti-rollover design that looks quite reliable even in high-intensity plays, you’ve got yourself a quick, comfortable, and well-thought-out machine.

Now that the support features are in place, the vamp can hold my foot in place wonderfully and there are no apparent restrictions. That’s for sure. So again rest assured and play to your heart’s content.

 

In terms of the startup which I think deserves one more mention, I’d take the well-known KD12 for example. You may also have experienced KD12 before. And based on that, the AJ 19 feels a bit softer. No more surprises here. So players who belong to the explosiveness type may as well seek other models because this one will only encumber their athletic performances rather than being a great assistant.

Overall:

Rounding the AJ 19 review up:Who’s it born for? Does it deserve the dollar?

As have been mentioned several times earlier, the shoe is definitely not suitable for explosiveness players. But for other players, it is a good one and maybe it is  awesome for some.

The only shortcoming, on a personal note, is that its leather can be damaged easily, which, I think, may make quite a few people flinch away from the shoe. But the flaws do not overshadow the advantages. It actually belongs to the top sneaker in terms of the setups: it has the full-foot Zoom and a carbon plate in the rear cushion; besides, its wrapping performance and weight both live up to its reputation of being an original AJ shoe.

To sum up, the sneaker surprisingly fits me very well while also sticking with my regular size and I think most people can go true to size likewise. Last but not the least, based on your own needs, I’ll leave it for you to decide if it’s right for you.

 

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AIR JORDAN XIII Performance Review

For a lot of experienced Air Jordan fans, whenever there are newly released AJs, they care more about whether the shoes’ colorways are classic. In other words, “being classic” depends on whether there have been similar colorways at some point in the past.

When it comes to the Air Jordan 13, the comments and opinions among the fans are somewhat polarized. Nevertheless, there is still a consensus that AJ13 is a masterpiece of 20 years ago, and even the standard for good basketball shoes. Like many of you, I couldn’t agree more with that.

All in all, when it comes to scoring a pair of basketball shoes, I think AJ13 can score up to 90 points. Simply put, even if it is a sneaker from 20 years ago, it is still capable of beating more than 70 percent of today’s sneakers by its actual performance alone. Well, that’s no exaggeration! Now that I’ve got it for over a year now, let’s break it all down in my long-term-based Air Jordan 13 review which, I hope, may help form an opinion of your own.

Midsole

How’s the impact absorption? What about the energy return properties? And the stability?

The separated Zoom cushions sit respectively in the forefoot and the heel area, the former one being fanshaped and the latter regular type. The position where the whole air cushions are placed is basically the same as that of CP11: under the insole and a layer of midsole cloth, there lie the air cushions. The setup is really nice and there’s no other way to put it.

Unlike many other cushions that require a couple of sessions of the players to really begin feeling their full potential, those of this AJ 13 offer instant feedback as soon as you put the shoes on.

On a personal note, they are more stellar than the goose-egg type Zoom in the later stage and the kind of Zoom air cushion placed near the outsole area in recent years. In comparison, there is no doubt that this is a far better setup.

In fact, I always think that the performance of separated Zooms are better than the full-foot one, which is why the separated setup is still maintained in the mainstream of sneakers.

With respect to the rear cushion, it’s more than enough for me as a guard. It is neither too soft nor too hard. The heel offers stellar impact absorption and protection and I don’t feel too mushy or overly slow due to it. It seems that the heel cushion can rise in response to the proper time and conditions when you call for it.

The heel is slightly elevated while the forefoot is a bit curved up. So one stunning point about the setup is that the running transitions and overall flow of movements are both ultra-smooth. And one is most likely to get deeply impressed by it.

Midsole stability

The AJ13’s big carbon plate provides nice stability. To make it more explicit, let’s talk briefly about the other sneakers of the current market. Their midsoles alone with relatively small TPU, even if installed with the same air cushions, may not have such good stability.

It seems there would be difference in how the heel feels vs. the forefoot. But hardly a scenario! Both are nicely balanced, stable and quick. Just right to the point.

Outsole

Is the outsole sensitive to the dust/debris on courts? Can it handle a variety of surfaces & conditions well and stand the test of time?

The pattern, of course, is very cool and handsome, but it is merely a small part of the whole story. What really matters is its performance on courts. Generally speaking, for those shoes of 20 years ago, the bigger their outsoles are, the more stable they will become. What’s more, they can’t be the spherical ones and without anti-rollover designs.

Indoor performance

I have never had my concerns with the shoe’s traction, which is not only because of my confidence in these “old” AJs, but most reviews I’ve seen/read were reporting on reliable grip these provide.

Of course, I can’t say the grip offered by these is perfect, but I’d definitely give it a “nearly-perfect” title for it has offered deadlier and more consistent traction than did those I’ve worn over the years.

Again, the AJ 13 features a herringbone-like traction pattern that offers multi-directional coverage. Although such pattern is nothing new for a lot of us, we cannot deny that it is, to some extent, a “panacea” for players who are in badly need of excellent traction.

The herringbone is really great and with a certain extent of hardness, the traction becomes deadly. Thanks to its excellency,  I never end up even slightly slipping out on a stop, cut, or change of direction.

Indoors, though I don’t usually play high-intensity plays, the outsole doesn’t fail me, either. On the hardwood floors which is certainly not pristine, it doesn’t appeal to dust easily. So even if there’s plenty of dust, there’s still no need worrying about the grip performance. Also, the linear coverage seems to be as good as the lateral bite, though there’s still room for improvement to be perfect.

Outdoor performance

The outsole performance outdoors is also robust. As the summer approaches, I am more prone to playing outdoors. On the blacktop and concrete mostly, I hardly had any issues with these.

Although I know very well that some occasional wipes will keep the outsole bite more healthily, I seldom do so. Apart from my laziness, part of the reasons is that I know I won’t be sliding all over the place even if I don’t wipe them.

Some debris does get stuck in the outsole, but this can never be an obstacle to stop it from offering me nice traction. Not a perfect one under the sun though, it is robust and ideal.

Vamp

When asked about the disadvantages of the sneaker, I can still make a short list. While some of them are the kind of flaws that are bearable, the one that becomes my hassle is the air permeability.

In the “old” shoes, the most conventional shoelace system, the leather vamp and the super thick sponge lining are not uncommon, bringing on poor breathability. Perhaps this is the AJ13’s biggest weakness which, sadly, cannot be evaded. However, if you attach greater importance to its other prominent aspects, this shortcoming certainly won’t be a dealbreaker.

Despite the breathability, the inner lining is super comfortable and locks your feet firmly inside the footbed. No exaggeration! With that, you can go true to size even if you are wide footers. Good trade-off!

Besides the above, you are enabled to adjust the tightness of the wrapping without running into the problem of pressing the insteps, as happened in the Dame3.

Nevertheless, it should be mentioned that the shoelace system does have its problems: it can come undone or something during plays. To avoid this, you may need some precautions before playing.

Overall

Being a high-top sneaker in this era of low-top shoes, the AJ 13 is not as widely enjoyed as it was 20 years ago.

In spite of that, the AJ 13 is definitely a top-ranking sneaker in terms of the performances, such as the cushion, stability and traction. However, it is very important to point out that there are some changes in the current positioning of it and people’s opinions of it have also changed greatly.

For all that, it is still up to scratch and also a paradigm in the eyes of many fans even as years have passed. The odds are that should you give it a chance, you’ll dig this one a lot too. After all, I don’t think it need any hype because its excellence is just obvious.

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Shop the Look: Adidas of 2021

If you are looking for a quality Adidas basketball sneaker that remains high-quality while also deliver the necessary performance & security on basketball courts, the odds are that I can help you out with that.

I’ve been preparing the list of Adidas’s top 10 shoes for 2021 for a long time, but it did take me quite a while to get the job done. To be honest, though, this is partly because I’m not as familiar with them as I was in previous years. Nevertheless, now that the list is here, let’s get right off the bat!

 

Response CL

This Response CL, from my point of view, is one of Adidas’s best retro products of 2021. As you may have noticed, the shoe’s look is quite distinctive and can easily stand out in the sneaker market of today.

The refined construction of the millennial-vintage look, coupled with many techs, say, the classic Adidas midsole and outsole, presents to us a product that integrates the rich historical assets of Adidas. The Response CL is quite eye-pleasing, if not a feast for the eyes.

In spite of that, it is a pity that there is no much publicity of the shoe, not any joint production, either, which makes it little-known in the sneaker circle. But as a pair of sneaker, it definitely has such glaring and essential components as security features, impact absorption properties and a proper build to hold your foot in.

SPEZIAL x C.P. Company

Something similar happened with SPEZIAL. In the great wave of retro in recent years, the so-called German Army Trainer shoes are also a big trend. However, even with numerous German Army Trainer, Adidas invested its energy in a product that is almost the same as Maison Margiela, which is really jaw-dropping for me.

The two brands previously had a big cooperation back in 2018, one of which featured SPEZIAL. And because 2021 happened to be the 50th anniversary of C.P. Company, they made this very special SPEZIAL Italia, which can be considered as Hybrid. The final product is actually a wonderful mixture of the virtues of German Army Trainer and the lightness of retro shoes.

Therefore, with this, one cannot say that there are no good sneakers of Adidas. Although there aren’t as much hype of SPEZIAL x C.P. Company as the others, all that matters is how comfortable and helpful the shoe actually feels while you’re moving in them.

Yeezy 450

To tell the truth, I had no the intention of choosing the Yeezy 450 because it can’t live up to my expectation of being a comfortable shoe. But on second thought, I still picked the Yeezy 450 because of the way the Yeezy line is going right now. It seems the Kanye has ambitions to revive the Knit Trend that once overwhelmed the industry. But if you wanna some comfortable sneakers, this Yeezy 450 is definitely a good choice.

As a matter of fact, several Yeezy products that were successively released have been Knit-style, including the odd Knit Runner and the Yeezy 350 V2 CMPCT. But just pay attention to the sneaker circle and see whether the Yeezy can be the cult of the world.

Yeezy Foam Runner

This should be a product that leads and promotes the trend of sneakers in 2021. Driven by Foam Runner, there are quite a few such Injection products in the whole industry in 2021 and Crocs has become a widely enjoyed brand again, which, of course, should also be credited to its own efforts.

If you have the opportunity to compare the design complexity and details of various products, you will find that Foam Runner is still a very leading product. Although strictly speaking, Foam Runner should be placed in the Top 10 of Adidas 2020, 2021 is truly the year when it had a huge impact on the global scale considering its release area, style quantity and quantity. So it is 2021 Adidas top10 deservedly.

Forum Low

In fact, in the whole Slam Dunk comics, there are very few Adidas sneakers. But this Forum Low just stands out among the various Asics sneakers. Its colorway is of vibrant green, and made of high quality materials, it can present the same elegance as their team uniforms in the picture.

In fact, there are many Forums with different colorways in 2021 and many of them are equally excellent. Although the Forum Low is not co-branded, it’s safe to say that it is flawless in its performances. We all know that there are some who are prone to perfectness and may think that there’s still room for improvement in its details, say, using the open foam in the tongue area.

 

Tmac II

Objectively speaking, in 2021, the retro products of Adidas Tmac II is more reasonably launched and the brand has also done a much better job compared with what it did several years ago. So, in contrast to my low expectations I had of it , I am now very satisfied with the overall situation of the Tmac II.

I know you may have complaints about it,saying that it is definitely no match for the other shoes of this list. But let’s skip the negative impressions it left on us previously. Just think that it is now priced at a very low price, which makes it within our tether, I think it can be still listed as one of the cost-effective sneakers.

Trae Young 1

The Trae Young line is also impressive, although it seems a little desperate to release signature shoes so early for Trae Young, who is so young and controversial in his overall playing style. But like the then Mitchell series, the first product of Trae Young turned out well. Besides, the Lightstrike and Boost are well balanced in the placement and proportions.

But regarding the prices, it is a different story. The sad thing is that there is a big gap between the price consumers can accept for Adidas’s actual combat basketball shoes and the brand’s own pricing.

Adizero adios pro 2

When so many runners win marathons wearing the AdiZero Adios Pro 2, it seems impossible not to put these shoes in one’s top 10 of the year. And I am no exception. It has to be made mention of that when brands adjust their product focus, they can still produce very satisfying products. And Adidas is just a case in point.

Of course, there is also a question that needs to be considered. With the success of Adios Pro 2.0, what products will Adidas use to carry on the heat in the wider runner market? Well, it seems to be a hard nut to crack.

Overall:

It should be mentioned that this is merely a list for my ideal Adidas in 2021 and you can also keep your own views. For someone who values their dollar and cares a lot about the details , there’s much more to know about the shoes than just a list and brief information here, that’s for sure.

So having a bit more knowledge & more shoes at your disposal certainly will do you god. As for those who may have a lot of worries or puzzles about the foregoing shoes, I think trying the shoes on is  the best.

 

 

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Deconstruction: PUMA MB.01

It’s been a while since I’ve been electrified by this PUMA MB.01, a hoop shoe that has been the source of heated discussion in the sneaker field for quite a period of time. It has been favored by quite a lot of people for its excellent comfort as well as outstanding cushioning.

The PUMA MB.01, released by PUMA for LaMelo Ball, embodies PUMA basketball’s core philosophy of blending competitive sports with trendy culture. Let’s break it down and have a look at its specific internal structure. After all, the structure is an important part of the whole story and has huge implications for its overall performances on court.

The longitudinal section of the PUMA MB.01.

As you might’ve noticed, the padding of both the tongue and the heel is quite thick, thus offering super nice comfort and protection for us. Inviting, right? In theory, I would say that it is a good choice for most players, including the wide footers, but my experience has told me that it is not the case. There isn’t more extra room inside the toebox than it looks like from this perspective. So for wide footers, going up 1/2 a size may be more ideal.

After changing to an ideal size myself, everything is OK and I never ran into such glaring problems as heel slippage and toe bumps. Therefore, as long as you pick the right size, the shoe will also fit you snugly.

The separate vamp and midsole.

The tongue is not integrated with the vamp, and the welt is relatively big, making the shoe more suitable for a variety of foot shapes. But anyway, to avoid any possible discomfort, like over-tightness at the heel or the toes, trying the shoe on in the flesh is best, in my opinion.

The first two sets of shoelace holes are designed dynamically, reaching the midsole position. After tightening the laces, the forefoot wrapping will be terrifically improved. My foot just sat comfortably inside the shoe, and the vamp feels like cupping it and pinning it down inside. As soon as I am engrossed in playing, I feel as if I were only wearing a pair of socks. Anything is wonderful at that point.

Stellar job – no any complaints hitherto!

To be honest, I was a bit shocked at the thickness of the vamp which is about 4.21mm. Since there is no air holes in the vamp (at least I couldn’t find any), it’ll be stuffy to wear the shoes in weather above 20 degrees Celsius. What’s more, the thickness of the heel area even runs into 7.12mm, making it all the more sweltering for players, not least during high-intensity plays, I should say.

One beckoning and distinctive area of the shoe lies in the insoles. The pattern on them is actually eye-catching and impressive, and if you happen to have some complex in this aspect, you’ll probably get infatuated with it.

The midsole cloth is made of EVA and the back side the non-woven fabric with product information printed on it. Nothing special to talk about this respect.

One big thing about the shoe is its cushion tech. The NITRO FOAM cushioning material with supercritical full-foot nitrogen FOAM craft and the  independent PEBAX cushion sound thrilling! It’s really a wonderful cushion setup, no other way to put it.

The front midsole features the honeycomb pattern that aims at enhancing multi-directional flexibility in movements. At the meantime, the independent PEBAX cushioning material is placed at the force point of the heel, and the whole midsole upturns to provide overall stability.

When I first wore the shoes I couldn’t get used to its cushion that felt a bit hard for me. However, after several rounds of play, I began to feel the full potential of the cushion and then things just turned out to be after my own heart.

Thanks to this setup, I feel that the heel really offer me stellar impact protection and the forefoot portion, a bit low to the ground, helps make it ultra-smooth during heel-to-toe stride. In a word, there cushion performance is stable, balanced and right to the point.

The PEBAX of size 42.5 is approximately 46.01 mm long, 45.09mm wide and 4.92mm thick.

As you can see there’s the “XXX” at the midsole heel. It actually stands for Ball’s youngest honer ever.

Besides that, TPU is not uncommon in sneakers and in this one it greatly improves lateral stability.

The hard TPU on the side of this size(42.5) is about 193 mm long and 4.04mm thick.

The arch TPU is placed between the midsole and the outsole.

The transparent rubber outsole, being largely upturned in the forefoot, plays a significant role in improving stability. I know that the rubber sounds not bad and should, in theory, offer nice traction, if not deadly. On paper that is. But expectations  are usually far more ideal than the reality.

When playing indoors, I am prone to choose the wooden floors, on which the outsole naturally exposes its shortcomings. Its traction is not good enough as to help me stop right away and it is also sensitive to dust, requiring frequent cleaning. That’s definitely burdensome for me and so I’d  start feeling a decrease in responsiveness of the outsole, though still bearable.

But there are still times when I’d wipe the outsoles off with great care and then they’ll work well to a point that quite startles me. So I deem that if you take the time to get used to wiping these off, you may find them more agreeable than what I’ve said here.

Overall:

The PUMA MB.01 embodies Ball’s personal style both in its entirety and in detail, and with a variety of practical setups, both on and off the court, it is a remarkable work, though not perfect. It does provide me with almost everything I need from the perspective of actual plays.

Of course, you can compare it with other shoes, but I think you may draw conclusions like it is far more cost-effective than the various sneakers on the market currently. With a price of $157, you are getting a very nice sneaker and the more you play in it, the more likelier you’ll dig this one a lot too!

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Asics Nova Surge Performance Review

I was excited for this one, the Asics Nova Surge, which has been hailed as a top combat sneaker parallel to AJ32, or an equivalent to AJ32, and you should be thrilled at it too! Here in this article I am gonna present to you my comprehensive Asics Nova Surge performance review.

I’ve been playing in these for a period of time, maybe about 4 months up to now, exclusively on outdoor rough courts, like the blacktop and the concrete courts. Although they are not so unforgiving, they are still much harder than those indoor wooden courts.

In this article then, I’ll break down the shoe from the fullest possible perspectives so that you may form an idea of your own and decide whether this is the one for you. I know you may be wondering whether the shoe can live up to the reputation of being “an equivalent to AJ32”. Let’s find out here.

1.Fit and Comfort

Does the shoe go true to size? What’s the feeling in it? Comfortable? Or intolerable?

Sizing: down 1/2 a size

It’s definitely not an exaggeration: I don’t think that the majority of people can go with their regular size, which means that the shoe cannot be available for all foot types.

Nevertheless, while I think this way, there must be some people who’ll think my words impertinent. The truth is that the inner-bootie is a bit slender and to ensure a more excellent and after-your-heart wrapping, it is essential to go down 1/2 a size lest there should be left too much extra room inside the shoe. I’ve also seen the feedback from some consumer that it was suggested to go down one size, but I do think it is a bit overkill.

Going down 1/2 a size actually fits me snugly, which is just what I ideally want. During the numerous plays on courts, I’d never come across such issues as heel slippage or side-to-side movements inside the footbed. Therefore, I don’t think the majority of people should go down a full size because the fit will become just the opposite to what you wish: you are mostly likely to run into feet containment issue with that.

Comfort: Above average

Before I bought and played in the shoes, one of my friends, also a loyal Asics fan, told me that they were more comfortable than the AJ33 SE. To be frank with you, I thought it was a little overblown at the time. Then after personally experiencing it, my impressions of its comfort are here.

Firstly, it seems like a pair of AJ32 without air cushion. But even so, the shoe is ,in fact, not so lightweight. I’d little idea as for how it is constructed, but I felt I got something on my feet the first few times I played in it, though hardly burdensome. Nonetheless, it is fortunate that I’ve now get entirely accustomed to it.

And then I deem that it’s the closest thing to a Hyperdunk in the sneaker market today. Besides that, the ventilation, in contrast to the weight, is fairly good, which enables me to play to my heart’s content even in summer days. At the heel, there are also sufficient lining that efficiently improves heel comfort while also ensures flexibility for the ankle.

Bottom line here. Do remember to go down 1/2 a size and have the laces tightened, and then you’ll enjoy the ride. Although this is not the most comfortable shoe I’ve ever worn, you’ll still find it agreeable once you are used to it.

2.The Build

The vamp of this one is of an unattractive appearance. However, “Never judge by appearances.” also applies here. Though it uses the most commonly seen engineering mesh cloth, it actually offers me quite a wonderful and comfortable wrapping. What the sneaker gives me is a kind of omnidirectional, seamless wrapping and protection, which causes no press to my feet.

As is mentioned earlier, the inner-bootie is slender, leading to some extra room in the toe area, which is inevitable for a lot of people. In spite of that, its wrapping performance is not in the least affected. On top of that, it should also be made mentioned of that part of the brilliance of this great wrapping is also credited to the shoelaces, making the model all the more enjoyable.

In static state, the wrapping performance of heel is very solid. On the one hand, the high-top design along with the laces can enable players enjoy a nice wrapping. On the other hand, there is a noticeable inward design of the welt and the spongy padding there is also super thick. So you can imagine how excellent the wrapping is.

As for the durability, I haven’t seen any damage in my shoes as of today, which reflects that the materials used are really brilliant. In terms of the support, because of the hard material on both sides of the upper, the overall support is also very reliable, and when doing some big change of direction or making breakthrough, the support provided by the sneaker is very reassuring.

3. Midsole

Let’s look at the midsole cushion then.

The midsole of this shoe is definitely something I’ve never experienced before. Unlike Zoom, which offers great feedback, and Boost, which is super bouncy and addictive, the cushion of this one made me feel like I was stepping on the floor when I was in static state. But when it comes to the actual play on court, a question naturally emerged on my mind: “Am I wearing the same shoes as before?” Chances are that you will go through the same thing that I’ve experienced.

The ride height of the forefoot is relatively low off the ground, which is somewhat similar to the experience offered by Lillard 6, and I can feel some feedback in the moment of startup. As for the cushion of the rear area, it’ll be more than satisfactory for heavier and bigger players. There are mainly three technologies in the rear cushion and the feedback it offers me is indescribably nice. Usually I tend to land on my heels and I can obviously feel that the shock is not acted on my feet or joints but absorbed by the cushion.

In a word, the midsole is heavenly for me.

4.Outsole

The outsole is actually amazing, judging from my own experience.

Now let me begin by saying that the traction will never fail you, even on the courts with much dirt or dust. Checking over the lines of the outsole, you’ll find that that they are very finely made, leading to aggressive traction.

In the past, I sometimes ran into models whose cushion setups or vamp wrapping had reached a point where it was almost too much for me. When it comes to the traction on this one, well, I am more than satisfied with it because it is just right to the point.

While I was making various movements, say, side-to-side movement or breakthroughs, the traction bit so aggressively that sometimes it felt like it were going to throw me off balance. But please don’t get me wrong. I am not saying the traction has gone over the top, but it’s just brilliant and dandy and doesn’t cross the line. Whether I am playing on infield or outfield, the traction is nearly perfect. Although there does exist one flaw that the dirt on courts has an affinity with the soles, it has no implications for the traction performance. So, my friend, just rest assured and play to your heart’s content.

Outdoor durability: Pretty good

However, can the outsole be reliable for constant and high-intensity outdoor plays? Well, ostensibly, the fine and shallow lines there, specifically designed for indoor courts, seem not that reliable to stand the test of time.

Nonetheless, quite a few consumers, including me, actually think highly of the outsole durability. In the soles there are actually two layers of lines, the outer one being the bionic, and the other the ultra wear-resistant water ripple. Therefore, with the super thick soles, the shoe can be a reliable companion even if you want to play high-intensity plays on concrete floors.

5. Other details

Anti-rollover: Good, if not excellent

In terms of anti-rollover, it is definitely not top-ranking, but I feel it quite smooth in step transitions. While I am simply walking, I can feel a noticeable resistance underfoot, which should be credited to the extension of the forefoot. And while I am changing directions the shoes are overall very stable.

Anti-torsion: Impressive

There is a large arch support plate in the midsole, though not obvious. When you bend it over you’ll see that the deformed position is basically where the forefoot exerts force and the setup indeed plays a significant role in offering support for players. Even for people like me who have flatfoot, the setup won’t bring on any unbearable pain to my arch. So this is for me quite impressive.

 

Overall:

This Asics Nova Surge is a breath of fresh air in my view. Without outstanding look, eye-catching designs and techs, and its price even a bit inconceivably low, many people probably will take no notice of it. But, buddy, only after you play in it for one round, you  can see how impressive and amazing it actually is.

The performance of this one is really balanced—there is nothing particularly weak about it. But for guards seeking super lightweight models, it may not be that suitable. Meanwhile, because the feedback of the forefoot cushion is not that obvious , players who belong to the explosiveness style and require forward impetus may also find it dissatisfactory. And for the rest of us, if you  just need a pair of shoes for high-intensity plays, this is probably  the best choice.

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ASICS Gel Hoop V12 Performance Review

To be precise, the ASICS Gel Hoop V12 is not my first ASICS shoe, but it is actually the one that impressed me most of those ASICS models I copped before. Now that I’ve got it for over a year now, I’ll break it down from the fullest possible perspectives in this long-term-based ASICS Gel Hoop V12 review.

In this article I’ll break down the shoe from its fit and comfort, wrapping, cushion, traction and durability, and some other details. Over and above that, I’ll also attach my ratings of its various performance for your reference, which I hope may do some help for you.

Let’s get started then!

1.Fit and comfort

How’s the shoe’s fit and what about the comfort? Is it a far cry from its reputation?

Sizing guide

I actually tried gel Hoop V11 last year, but I was still looking forward to the V12 because the size of V11 was a bit off and I didn’t really like the colorway. Luckily, this V12 didn’t fail me and it quite lived up to my waiting and expectation, though it is not perfect.

Personally speaking, although I am a wide footer, I can still go true to size of the shoe. It seems that my wide feet never had many problems with the V12. It has really a terrific regular fit and almost all foot types can pick their usual sizes. Therefore, regular size is good enough for me and it should be so for you! Nevertheless, should you happen to be super wide footers, you may buy the ones with relatively wide lasts. Therefore, don’t be too concerned about this aspect.

Comfort

This is definitely not the lightest model under the sun, which is about 329 grams for a single one.  Although the shoe’s weight is an above average job, I don’t want to lie by saying it is a super comfortable model. The comfort, I’d say, is mediocre.

Initially the one thing that did me hassle me a lot was that the tongue was relatively thin compared with the majority of shoes on the market and after tightening the shoelaces, I felt my insteps were burdened and therefore not so comfortable. While I was on courts, I could definitely feel a certain extent of discomfort upon each step. But fortunately I’ve got used to it and each stride is now seamless and all is OK, if not after my own heart.

Hence , if you don’t mind this flaw, it is likely that this model is your thing. However, if you attach greater importance to this one over other respects, you may have to think before you act.

2.Wrapping

What about the vamp wrapping? And the overall wrapping? Is there any extra room inside the footbed?

If I should say that the shoe’s wrapping is perfect, it must be out of thin air. But if compared with the wrapping of other ASICS shoes I’ve ever worn, that of this V12 is second to none.

For me, the shoe just wraps my feet very well in all directions, and there is no uncomfortable feeling of pressure, if putting aside the flaw of the tongue. However, if I don’t keep my shoelaces very tight, the discomfort on the insteps has naturally been reduced to the minimum. With that, I can play to my heart’s content and even push the envelop for myself.

For those who are excessively worried about this, I can ensure you that I had no heel slippage, nor any side-to-side movements inside the footbed. And as I am a wide footer, there is barely extra room inside. Therefore, just rest assured and play to your heart’s content as well.

3. Cushion

How’s the energy return of this one? What about the ride height and stability then?

Well, in terms of the midsole, it is terrific for players like me who weigh around 75kg. On the personal note, I prefer to seek speed and make breakthroughs on courts. Therefore, when asked what my favorite shoe is, my answer is always consistent—I am always into those sneakers whose ride are quite low off the ground because I need not much cushion which may actually slow me down. Having said all that, I just want to say that these shoes feel the same way.

Unlike other models, I don’t need to play and wait for the midsole and the cushion to fully break in. As soon as I put it on, I can get accustomed to it, which makes me feel as if I’d known it long ago. To tell the truth, the ride in the forefoot is fairly low off the ground and rather stable at the meantime. Thanks to the resilient forefoot cushion that doesn’t overly compress so that I can enjoy the energetic ride with the forefoot propelling every step and jump.

As for the midsole of the rear area, it is actually quite thin. Fortunately, there is a small gel cushion embedded in the midsole. Otherwise, its cushion performance might really be the same as that of Curry 7, which is, to a sense, nothing more than decoration.

Fairly speaking, this is surely a superb jumper’s shoe. If you are also the player who are fond of seeking speed or the explosiveness style, you may find it quite after your own heart. Although it is not for everyone, nor is it a versatile model, it will definitely offer you a comfortable, stable and secure experience cushion-wise.

4.Traction and durability

When it comes to the outsole, the most concerned questions are as follows.

Can the outsole handle all manner of surfaces? Does it require frequent cleaning? What about its indoor and outsole durability? Well, here is the answer!

Although the outsole of this one is similar to the first generation, its performance has assured me that it is reliable. The circular radial lines on the front and back areas, also the high-use ones, are powerful and most of the time DEADLY! Well, I mean every single part of the word. For quick stops and transitions indoors, the outsole is quite reliable and there were several times when I seemed to be thrown off balance because I was running at a high speed

Nevertheless, as is said earlier, it is most of the time deadly. The reason I say “most of the time” is that the traction performance will be reduced when it comes to those courts with plenty of dusts or dirt. The outsole actually can be attractive for dusts and therefore it requires cleaning or even washing every now and then. So the traction is deadly most of the time instead of being so all the time.

In terms of the durability, like the Nova Surge, the outsole is very thick and has very deep lines, so I think it can stand the test of frequent outdoor cement plays. At least for my V12 , it is holding up relatively well compared with my other ASICS shoes that are in a sorry state after only several months’ play.

5.Support

Compared with the V11, the biggest difference in the V12 is that the vamp has been changed from 3 layers to only 2 layers. And even if the design is still right to the point, it is undeniable that the hardness of the vamp is reduced to a certain extent.

But even so, the vamp support is still enough for on-court employment. While I was making lateral movement or changing directions, I still felt I was secured in it and so you needn’t overthink about this. But it should be made particular mention of that for heavier players, the vamp support may be not quite enough.

6.Other details

For the anti-rollover, there is an obvious extension in the lateral area of the forefoot while the outsole is also upturned, ensuring a nice overall stability.

And for anti-torsion, it is overall OK. But because the anti-torsion is only in the arch, and the vamp is not hard enough, the overall rigidity of the shoe is not that great. Of course, whether anti-rollover or anti-torsion, they can both be said to be excellent.

The last thing I want to mention is that the insoles are very thin and have many air holes, which reminds me of my worn shoes in the past, the Adidas Crazy Light 1.0. There were two pairs of insoles in those shoes, and one pair was similar to that of V12, which is very light with lots of air holes just to make the whole shoe extremely light. And I think, with 329 grams for a single shoe, V12 is really a good job.

Performance rating:

1.Overall wrapping: 9/10

2.Forefoot feedback: 7.5/10

3.Anti-torsion: 8.5/10

4.Traction:8/10

5.Overall support: 8.5/10

6.Vamp support: 7.5/10

7.Rear cushion:7.5/10

8. Anti-rollover:8/10

9.Overall protection:8/10

10.Overall stability:8.5/10

 

Overall:

In general, for  lighter players, this is a pair of  sneaker that is nearly perfect. For me, it’s a pair of shoes that can improve my own athletic performance, in the same way curry 7 does. And for guards that belong to the speed-oriented or explosiveness style, it has almost met all the demands.

Definitely, it is not for everyone, but for those this V12 is born for, it is nearly perfect. So I’ll just stop here and leave it for you to use your own discretion to decide if this is your thing.

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Nike Lebron 19 Performance Review

It may be a great surprise to find that the LBJ19 has been released for a long time, but it is almost impossible to find anything about its release date on the Internet. It just went on sale without any publicity, not even a piece of official news. Unthinkable, right? For a top signature shoe of Nike to be launched without any publicity like that, it is definitely beyond my wildest dreams.

 

Then does it mean that the shoe isn’t worth the publicity? Or is it just not powerful enough to qualify as a top-of-the-line signature sneaker? Well, with all these question I’ve also purchased this shoe some time ago in order to satiate my curiosity, and yours as well. Now that I’ve played in it for over 4 months, let’s break it down in my comprehensive LBJ19 performance review.

 

In this article I’ll break down the shoe from a practical point of view, including the comfort and fit, the wrapping & support, the midsole cushion, the outsole traction, and above all, the value of it.

Let’s begin!

1 Fit & Comfort

 

There never fall short of excellent models that are also tailored for the majority of people and there are also many that are not all it’s cracked up to be. Nevertheless, the LBJ19 belongs to neither. It is in fact not suitable for the majority, nor is it widely lauded.

 

So how’s the fit on earth and should you go true to size? Personally speaking, I am a wide footer and when buying shoes I tend to go a size up or at least 1/2 size up. For you who have narrow or regular feet, I think the regular sizes should be fine. In spite of that, it is still highly recommended to have a try in the flesh. After all, Nike has always been famous for producing many smaller sizes of shoes, which has definitely deterred a lot of people who really need them.

 

Weight:

 

A single 42.5-size LBJ19 weighs 548g, while a pair of 43-size ZK8 weigh no more than 540g, which is really eye-popping. But thinking about it from another perspective, I find that this is also understandable. For a player of James’ size and weight, lightweight shoes are not necessarily the best choice. Therefore, since it is designed for James, heavier shoes will, on the contrary, be the best for him. On the other hand, however, the shoe, because of its weight, is set to be suitable only for those heavier and bigger players. As I’ve said before, the shoe is not for the majority.

 

Comfort:

 

Some of you may think that with its weight, it may not be very comfortable in it. But I should say that it is actually quite comfortable in it, though it is not the most comfortable one I’ve ever worn. The LBJ19 offers me solid heel-to-toe transitions with quite a certain amount of padding inside it. Although it is a bit heavy, it won’t cause any discomfort or inconvenience and is certainly an upgrade over the previous generations.

 

For those who haven’t experienced the LBJ series, this one may be somewhat burdensome at first, but the above-average weight of the shoe, I think, shouldn’t be a hassle for you when it’s time to play. After some time getting along with it, you’ll only find that this is what it should be.

2 Wrapping & Support

 

When you first look at the shoe, you are most likely to get attracted by its obvious air cushions, the large TPU and the “towering” upper instead of the vamp. well, this goes true for me. But in terms of the vamp, different from LBJ17 and 18 that use the large woven Knitposite, the LBJ19 uses a meshlike translucent vamp, which is relatively thin and feels not so rigid. In addition to that, both sides of the upper are filled with two air bags around the ankle, and there is a low-top inner-bootie design similar to that of CJ1, which not only enhances wrapping, but also indirectly improves ankle flexibility.

 

The tongue also has a small air bag stuck above it. It should be mentioned, however, that although it has no huge implications for the vamp wrapping, the tongue, unlike that of LBJ18, won’t lead to any strange feelings for players. Besides that, in the heel of the inner-bootie, there is a huge counter and thick foams, thus increasing comfort and heel support.

 

With a certain extent of vamp stiffness and other setups, the shoe’s wrapping and support will be enough for use on courts. So don’t be overly worried when you are not yet accustomed to it during the first several hours of play in the sneaker. Just rest assured because this one is a real ascendancy over its predecessors.

3 Cushion

 

The midsole is equipped with an alienated version of forefoot Zoom+ rear-foot Air Max cushion. At the first sight, the shoe comes across as Vapormax 2.0. But it’s a pity that not any reinforcement can be found in the cushions, resulting in obvious deformation of the outer part when they are hard pressed.

 

In terms of stability, you cannot expect too much of it. After deconstruction of the shoe, I found there is a row of air columns fixed in the toe area of the forefoot Zoom, which is quite different from the pure silk Zoom Bag air cushion of Alphadunk. From the looks alone, I think they are still compelling.

 

For the rear air cushion, the overall air pressure is relatively low, and the deformation can be obvious even when it is pressed by hand. And so soon as I put the shoes on, I feel I am sinking into some swamp. Compared to the LBJ18’s Max270 air cushion on the rear part, the cushion of LBJ19 offers more obvious feedback but it deforms more easily as well.

4 Traction

 

For the outsole pattern, its appearance does impress me a bit. The lines are fine and deep while the whole sole is irregular, like that of Voparmax. As a whole, the outsole seems to be installed with quite a lot of high techs. The midsole connects the upper and lower cushion by a pseudo duct and the grain is stitches in the form of small bricks.

 

So do you think the traction is good with the grains? Well, initially I had also high expectations of it, but I was failed time and again. When I was playing on wood floor, the LBJ19’s traction turned out to be very mediocre. It was surprising that the LBJ19 had a remarkably shaky traction on the same field where other shoe models such as the KT7 and AG2 performed more impressively.

Durability:

 

What’s comforting for me is that the durability of the outsole somewhat makes up for its traction performance. Simply put, it is quite reliable for outdoor use, even for high intensity plays. After several months’ play, it is holding up very well. But with the small blocks, I have to clean the soles every now and then, which is quite a hassle for people like me who hates frequent chores.

5 LBJ 19’s value

 

From the point of view of a long-time fan, this pair of LBJ19 is endowed with the sincerity of the brand and kind of nostalgia, which really makes me electrified. But conversely, it suddenly dawned on me that why a bit of nostalgia alone makes me so excited? Probably it is because the world is now fraught with commodities and the outstanding products with nostalgia are far and few between. Therefore, I think although LBJ19  is not a perfect model, it is much more meaningful and valuable than most of the products on market today.

Overall:

 

I always believe that one should not be a fan of a brand, but should be a fan of good products. After all, good products are more valuable than the money it is priced. Actually, the so-called good or bad shoes, under many circumstances, depend on their prices, consumers’ subjective liking and who they are born for. There is no perfect shoe, but only the most suitable ones.

 

I can’t deny the shortcomings of the shoes, but it is also a good model, which is also beyond question. As I’ve mentioned several times earlier, this LBJ19 is not suitable for everyone, and whether it is your right one and deserves your time and dollars, I’ll leave it for you to use your own discretion.