Nike Kobe NXT 360 Performance Review

Is the Nike Kobe NXT 360 better than the Kobes of the past? We’ve got the performance review ready and waiting.

Traction on the Kobe NXT 360 started out phenomenally — and I took the shoe to the worst court I play on right from the jump. For nearly two weeks I didn’t even need to wipe the soles whenever I played, dust or not, and that is rare for any shoe.

However, the extreme bite that the shoe started with hasn’t remained since I began testing it. The shoe is slowly losing some of its bite on court surfaces and the rubber is breaking off in my high-wear areas. While this is normal for an outsole over its lifespan in a player’s rotation, it is not normal for it to happen in just four weeks of testing. At $200 I’d expect the outsole to last, at the very minimum, three months before I start to see significant signs of wear and tear.

The last time I had an outsole grind down this quickly on me was with the first edition CrazyLight Boost 2015. Both shoes have produced very similar experiences as well; both had phenomenal traction to start with but slowly lost their ability to really bite the longer I used them.

This traction may be a deal breaker for some and it definitely means don’t take the Kobe NXT 360 outdoors.

React and Lunarlon make a combined appearance in the Kobe NXT 360 and it isn’t that much different from what we’ve been getting from previous drop-in midsoles.

React foam has basically replaced the Air systems you’d see installed in the heel and I think it’s a much more fluid ride once broken-in. The entire midsole reminded me a lot of the midsole that came in the Nike Kobe 11. It has plenty of court feel and responsiveness in the forefoot with lots of impact protection in the rear. I did not enjoy the extreme squish the heel offered at first — it felt a lot like the LeBron 11 midsole — but it quickly evened out to provide a much more balanced ride than before.

I think fans of the drop-in Lunar midsoles will enjoy the addition of React as it doesn’t take anything away from the midsole’s court feel and response. However, it’s able to add a little bit of extra comfort to a setup that some may have felt was lacking.

360-degrees of Flyknit was hyped up quite a bit, and while it’s cool, it wasn’t anything spectacular. If anything, the new technology speaks volumes on how much things have changed in the way shoes are made — but not on how they perform.

The Kobe NXT 360’s rear section of Flyknit is what I personally prefer from my knitted materials. Had that type of knit been from heel to toe then I would have likely loved the build. Instead, the toe was a thin, practically see-through layer of knit that felt like it was made up of fishing line — really strong fishing line.

Speaking on its performance only, I didn’t hate it. It worked well and did everything you’d come to expect out of a shoe — especially a knitted one. I still question its longevity, but my pair only shows dirt as a sign of wear vs rips and tears.

The Nike Kobe NXT 360 fits true to size. Being that the forefoot section of the shoe is practically see-through you’ll definitely know whether or not you know your actual true size. If you feel the shoe runs long then I suggest you measure your foot to ensure you’re wearing the size you think you should be. My toe edges up to the tip of the shoe which is perfect for this type of sneaker that is built on the thin/flimsy side.

Lockdown in the Kobe NXT 360 was very good — surprisingly good, actually. I didn’t expect this minimal shoe to really lock in at all but the way the midsole fills up the shoe, with your foot filling out the rest, you’re actually locked in better than some of the previous Kobe models. It isn’t quite to the level of a Kobe 5 or 6, but definitely better than something like the Kobe 10 or 11.

This is truly a shoe that fits and feels like a complete extension of your foot. One-to-one is the simplest way to describe it — if you know your proper size that is.

Support was one area that the Kobe NXT 360 lacked just a bit. Not enough to where I knocked down its score, but enough to leave me wanting a bit more for my $200.

The heel counter section of the shoe is its strongest support feature, as it should be. With the shoe contoured the way it is beefing up the security in the rear was essential for “ankle support” and heel lockdown. Midfoot torsional support was solid as well, but this is where I think a carbon fiber plate would have kept the weight down while retaining strength — and it would’ve made me feel like I bought a brand new $200 sports car for my feet. Lateral stability was a big worry for me with the way the shoe is designed to mimic your foot, down to the shape of its heel, because there is no traditional outrigger or wide forefoot base.

When I curl around a screen and stop as quickly as I can to get an open look I’m using all forefoot. Having a wide base that’s flat, firm, and supported is something I really look for, and while I did not receive that in this shoe, I never missed it. Again, the sneaker is designed to mimic the foot better than any shoe I’ve worn and that’s exactly how it plays. It’s like having feet strong enough to play barefoot…but it’s just your shoe.

The Nike Kobe NXT 360 is a next generation shoe if there ever was one. Back in the ’90s we had the Air Jordan 11 and then the Nike Foamposite. Today, there is the Kobe NXT 360.

The shoe offers enough of everything to keep a player on the floor comfortably. However, its lack of outsole durability could cause some to stay away (as if the $200 price tag wasn’t scary enough). The shoe is extremely fun to play in, which is something that isn’t easy to achieve.

There are many good/great performance models from every brand out there but they don’t all play “fun.” It’s a feeling that’s hard for me to describe but if you’ve ever had one of those shoes that you just enjoy lacing up and getting down in then this is one of those shoes for me. Maybe it’s the fact that the Kobe NXT 360 is see-through, extremely lightweight, and supportive that makes it as fun as it is. Or it could be the bright yellow and purple — I’m still DubNation though.

If you end up grabbing a pair of the Nike Kobe 1 Protro then I hope you enjoy the shoe as much as I did — and I really hope it lasts you! Traction wearing down with each wear is frustrating but the upper has stayed strong, although it’s what I thought would be the first thing to go.

Thank you for stopping by, reading, watching, and commenting. We at hoopjordan.net 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.

And1 Attack Low Performance Review

And1 is back, at least from a performance perspective. So how does the And1 Attack Low stack up? Follow the bouncing…

If you played basketball and grew up in the ’90s you wore And1 something. The Game Shorts may be the best shorts ever. The Trash Talk tees were classics. The shoes, at one time, were worn by numerous players in the NBA — most notably Vince Carter, Kevin Garnett, Latrell Sprewell, and Chauncey Billups. Simply put, the shoes played, and they spoke to the youth like no company at the time.

Flash forward nearly 20 years to now. The company signed a deal with Wal-Mart, and things went downhill from a basketball-consumer perspective. However, the company has recently focused on making a true performer, one that is worthy of NBA floors again, and with that we get the And1 Attack Low. Let’s go…

First of all, and this has to be addressed now, that gum bottom is a beauty. The color is only found with the white upper, but imagine that same gum was on the red and black colorways on the And1 site — wheeww! Okay, enough on the looks — the pattern works and works well.

A wavy tread covers the forefoot under the balls of the feet while a chevron herringbone covers you under the toes. Both hold on to the floor and push dust way off the shoe. Not one time did I have to wipe — not just per wear, I’m talking at all, from session to session, day to day. Stopping was solid and immediate with no sliding or hesitation.

As for outdoors, you’re good, even in the gum colorway. Normally gum is softer than solid, but the And1 Attack Low feels like it will hold up great. The pattern is thick so that wear isn’t an issue, and the rubber below it is thick. And1 was always good for playground/outdoors, and the Attack Low follows right back up.
I was jumping up and down when I read the And1 Attack Low had Harmonix. For those not familiar, Harmonix was a system of air bags And1 used on the KG and Sprewell lines that allowed for compression and spring-back. It was coupled with a concave heel shape underfoot to further enhance the feeling, and it felt great while playing.

This isn’t that. Don’t get it wrong, this new adidas nmd r1 feels good while playing too. The feeling I was first reminded of was Asics Gel, both to the touch and underfoot. Harmonix RX rides low and feels fast, responding quickly to any step or movement. The impact protection is there as well, although the foam carrier is a little stiff and didn’t break in much. There isn’t a real “energy return” feel — once you land it’s pretty much over — but again, the stiff midsole and soft Harmonix get you into the next step smoothly and quickly.
2008 called — it wants it’s fuse back. While fuse does work in the long run, the initial break-in time — the popping, hard spots, and stiffness — is something a player will have to fight through to get to the good. And what is the good?

Well, for one, durability; the fused and mesh upper will be able to handle those rough outdoor summer courts. Containment is another strong point, as fuse does not stretch at all (so you better get the correct size). While you are working through that, and as the shoe “learns” your foot, expect some stiffness and a fit that is a little generous (more on that shortly).

The tongue and inner padding in the And1 Attack Low is really, really nice. The detailed logos on the tongue add some touches to let you know this shoe is serious about ball. The padding on the tongue is nice and thick and removes any lace pressure. The heel, though, that’s a different animal — literally.

The exterior area around the heel counter is embroidered to create a tiger’s face. Not Tony — a legit National Geographic-looking tiger. It’s in the same color as the upper so it is extremely subtle, but it is there. This adds nothing, but looks cool as Santa’s workshop.

For the interior of the heel, Nike Lebron 15 took the tiger logo and made it into silicon, then placed the silicon inside the heel area to grip the sock and eliminate heel slippage. At first, I thought someone wore the shoes before me and got some lint balls stuck in there. Then Nightwing and Stanley looked at their pairs and we managed enough brain power to figure it out.
As discussed in materials, when a fuse upper is used, fit sometimes takes a while to dial in. The And1 Attack Low is no different. When first put on-foot, the forefoot is noticeably narrower than the heel. For the first few wears, this meant some rubbing on the pinky toe, at least until the area broke in and softened up a little bit.

It is a snug fit, but unless you are a widefooter, specifically in the forefoot, I wouldn’t go up any. The length was right on, with my normal 10.5 fitting about a thumbs-width from the end of my big toe to the end of the shoe. One area fused shoes had problems with, at least on my foot, was toe bubble (extra volume right over the toes). Thankfully, the brand dropped the box height so the And1 Attack Low fits right on top of the foot with no extra volume.

The midfoot fit is completely locked in due to one thing: the simple lacing system. No real tricks, unless you count the lace straps running to the midsole, but the spacing and number of lace holes allows the shoe to pull up and form perfectly around the foot.

As for the heel, that generous width did cause some issues, specifically heel slip if I wasn’t laced tight. The thought was the silicon tiger pattern would grab and hold, but the fit is so wide that unless you lace up super-tight (which I do) you will still feel some heel slip. Personally, after the first two or three days of wearing, I felt secure and locked in, but if you have a narrow foot, at least in the heel, you may still have issues. The Attack Mid would probably work better with its higher cut and lockdown around the ankle.
Low-riding midsole? Check. Wide outsole for a stable base? Check. Fused materials on lateral side for containment? Check. Lacing system that works? Check. About the only thing not here that helps with support and stability is a solid heel counter, but with the way the midsole rises up on the foot in the back of the shoe a counter would be overkill.

For a low (feels funny even phrasing it that way with the way lowtops are made now), the support is on par with the best in the game. There is even a TPU midfoot shank for torsional support. The And1 Attack Low has all the makings of a supportive shoe without feeling like a boot. And1 used to make “running shoes for the court” and the Attack Low gets back to those roots.

The And1 Attack Low was one of the most fun shoes I have reviewed this year. As someone who was around when the company started and saw what it would become, both good and bad, the And1 Attack Low is a serious jump back to the performance world. And1, at one time, had nearly 20% of the NBA on it’s roster. That’s a lot of players, and the brand made a lot of killer shoes.

As for the adidas hi , if you are anything from a quick guard to a banging post, you should be good from every aspect of this shoe. The low ride, solid, stable base, and stability all work for any part of any game. Maybe, just maybe, look at the Mid if the ankle height makes you feel better, but otherwise the Low has you covered.

For the summer, the And1 Attack Low is a great outdoor option as well, and the white/gum goes from courts to streets as smooth as the And1 Player’s bald head. Keep this coming and we may even get more mixtapes (but I doubt it).

Adidas NMD R1 Performance Reviewed

The adidas NMD outsole is pretty standard in terms of what adidas shoes usually have. With a thick rubber base, this NMD R1 has great traction, and the patterned designed allows for extra grip. The traction is suited for both wet and dry conditions, but there have been some wearers who have found that the outsole lacks the responsiveness and traction needed for quick movements and turns. For outdoor and indoor runners, the outsole should provide enough grip to support and stabilize your run, but athletes such as basketball players may find that cannot pivot quickly in these shoes. The webbed design of the outsole serves to protect the thick cushioning offered up by the midsole. As there are numerous color options and limited released styles, certain NMD R1’s feature a glow in the dark outsole, which is a fun feature for night runners.

Midsole

One of the notable additions that was added to the NMD R1 is the boost outsole. Boost cushioning is unique to adidas, and it offers a higher energy return when compared with other midsoles on the market. With each stride the midsole will absorb what you put in, and in turn release that back as your foot takes off again. A unique addition to the NMD R1’s midsole is the stability plugs which can be plainly seen from the side of the shoe. While enhancing the appearance and giving a more original look, these plugs also serve to help stabilize the foot and give the wearer a bit of added balance. The stability plug near the rear of the shoe is larger in size and it serves the purpose of helping to stabilize the heel during movement. The two colored blocked plugs are a throwback to the original adidas, a nod to the history that preceded this line.

Upper

Besides the Boost cushioned midsole, the second most notable technology put in to these shoes is the Primeknit upper design. Adidas Primeknit technology is created in a way that it feels almost sock like against the foot. With a more snug fit, the Primeknit upper gives you a customized feel while providing ample support and security to the foot. Using absolute precision, the upper is knit using incredibly strong fibers; the ultimate goal being to have a material that is lightweight and breathable while remaining durable. The knit is reinforced in high use areas, such as the toes, to ensure that no degradation or holes occur over time. The stretch allows for enough freedom that the foot can move naturally without feeling restricted. Highly breathable, runners should notice that their feet don’t overheat and that there is enough air flow to provide a comfortable and sweat reduced environment.

Weight

With the addition of adidas new Primeknit technology, the upper design has a significant affect on the overall weight of the shoe. The Primeknit upper is significantly lighter than other knit materials, contributing to an overall decrease in the shoe’s weight. Not only does the upper employ light weight technologies, but the boost midsole has similar properties that allow for it to remain light while still being responsive. The stability plugs and general thickness of the midsole make for a shoe that appears to be heavier, but it is crafted from small sponge like pellets that weigh next to nothing. This use of pelleted sponge decreases weight and allows for this shoe to be great for runners who want to feel like they’re wearing nothin at all.
Breathability
One of the major benefits that the adidas NMD R1 offers is that the shoe is comfortable in warm weather just as much as cold. The thinness of the upper material allows for high breathability, reducing sweat and overheating in the summer months. In keeping their design different from other brands on the market, adidas primeknit is woven in a way that allows for larger holes to exist in between the fabric. Larger holes means larger airflow, ensuring feet sweat less and moisture is diminished throughout a run or during the day. The lack of an interior tongue also helps with breathability, as there is less padding and material pressed against your foot.

Comfort

One thing that is often remarked on again and again is how comfortable the adidas NMD R1 feels when on. From the extensive cushioning under the foot, so the molded feeling of the upper, this is a shoe that feels comfortable for the majority of wearers who try it on. With each step, this is a shoe that cradles the foot and provides ample support and padding so that shock and pressure is distributed evenly. Regardless of terrain, this shoe handles bumps and smoothness with equal efficiency, and the wearer should find their foot is adequately protected from rocks and debris. The primeknit upper molds snugly to the foot, ensuring a comfortable and customized feel, and the material is soft against the skin. Moving with you, the custom, sock like fit, allows for extensive freedom and feels more natural with every step. One thing wearers have noticed is that the NMD R1 is less comfortable than some of the other models offered by adidas, but it still ranks highly on their list of most comfortable running shoes.

Style

To list every color and pack this shoe comes in would take far too long, and it is safe to say that the options available are virtually endless. Regardless of what style is preferred, the adidas NMD R1 offers up an exhaustive list of monochrome choices as well as tri-color packs, two toned styles, and patterned designs. There are limited edition family packs, BAPE mash ups, and other one of a kind styles that won’t be found on any other shoe on the market. Because the primeknit upper is so easy to dye, it allows for limitless possibilities when it comes to style. While the camo knit is multicolored and expansive, the knit blacks are majority monochrome, only punctuated by the while midsole and red stability plugs. When it comes to general construction, the shoe features a singular unit with no separated tongue, giving it a sleek appearance. The laces are more or less decorative as the primeknit does enough to secure the shoe to the foot without the need for tightening. The stability plugs are one of the most noticeable features on the shoe, recreating the original 1980’s design.

Durability

As with any knitted upper, the long term durability is going to be affected and depending on what the shoes are being used for will determine how long the ultimately last. Where as the primeknit is more likely to stand up over time due to the stength of the fibers, intense sport or athletic pursuits will decrease the longevity. With all of that being said, for a knit shoe these are surprisingly durable and the upper has been reinforced so that high use areas don’t degrade over time. The major downfall with the upper primeknit is that the material itself is difficult to clean, and some wearers have found that these shoes get dirty very quickly and are unable to be returned to a clean looking condition. While a cleaner or protection spray may help in the short term, it is reasonable to expect these to get dirty and stay dirty after awhile.

Protection

The majority of the shoe’s protective features come from Boost sole, and little else. There is no caged design, no overlays, and no features that are going to offer up foot protection in a work, snow, or an otherwise difficult environment. This shoe really is for the city explorer, and it is designed to ensure your foot stays comfortable, supported, and cushioned throughout the day. The Boost sole promises that every step you take has superior energy return, allowing you to walk and run with ease. There is some rubber on the toe area for a bit of extra protection, and the primeknit is heated in high use areas to ensure the knit stays tight and bonded. If you want to protect your shoes and keep them long lasting, Crep Protect is going to be one of your best bets for keeping your shoe great over time.

Responsiveness

When you see that an adidas shoe has the Boost sole, you should already know that it will be one of the most responsive shoes on the market. With the ability to deliver a higher energy return than other soles available, this shoe is extremely responsive to your every step. If you are a runner, you are going to find that this shoe offers up far more consistency, and it’s heat resistant properties mean that mile after mile your shoe will keep it’s shape, bounce, and cool feel. For those on their feet all day, the responsive Boost sole reduces foot fatigue, as it makes each stride more smooth and natural. When combined with a knit upper, you have a shoe that feels almost customized on your foot, giving you a great feel for every move you make.

Support

Again this category has to go back to Boost in order to really see why this shoe has the amount of support as it does. With a shoe that responds to your foot every time to step, you know that you are getting support to ensure that you remain comfortable all day long. For those who need the additional arch support, this shoe is great and molding to your foot, allowing for added support in the areas you need it most. With the addition of the stability plugs, these shoes are now able to give you more support with your balance, great for overpronators and those who tend to supinate when they run.

Terrain

The adidas harden vol 2 is designed to be a city shoe, great for pavement in both wet and dry conditions. It’s a fantastic shoe to run or exercise in, and will hold up well regardless of the milage being put on them. While this shoe does have good grip and traction, it is not intended to be used as an off road, trail hiking shoe and it doesn’t offer the types of features and protections you would want for those types of activities. If the NMD R1 is the shoe of your dreams, and you want to be able to use it for more rugged experiences, it is worth noting that there is a model called the adidas NMD R1 Trail that is certainly worth a look. NMD stands for urban nomads, and that’s precisely who is going to find the NMD R1 ideal; city streets are the place to show off these shoes.

Price

adidas has never been considered a cheap brand, and whenever a newer model comes out there is generally a higher price tag associated with it. In terms of price, the adidas NMD R1 is expensive, that’s just a fact, but a lot of that comes down to the fact that it features two of adidas newest and best in shoe technologies. The Boost and Primeknit combination is taking the shoe market by storm, and if you want in on this top of the line pairing, you are going to have to pay for it. While the value is certainly there, some people do find that these are still too pricey, and with older models available for less, you can save money by downgrading. The price tag at the moment is highly justified, as these are some of the hottest and most popular shoes adidas has out, and even at full retail value they are selling out quickly from most stores.

Traction

With some serious webbing on the underside of this shoe, the traction you will get is going to be great on a variety of different terrains. Wet or dry pavement should make no difference to this shoe, and the grip provided will keep you stable and secure as you run or walk. Depending on which model and colorway you opt for, some of these addias NMD R1’s feature a sticky, black sole that will give an added amount of traction especially in more wet conditions. There are also a few colorways that have a diamond shaped tread instead of the web, and some wearers find this design to be more effective overall.

Flexibility

These sneakers are incredibly flexible, and that has a lot to do with their upper knit design. Because there is no stiffness in materials used, this shoe is almost sock like in feeling and will conform and bend with your foot as you move. To ensure an enhanced, better, and more breathable fit these shoes have kept a focus on flexibility to ensure that runners, and city walkers, needs are met. Although the snugness of the Primeknit may feel restrictive to some at first, many do notice that the increased flexibility ends up making for a much more comfortable shoe once they adjust to the newness of the material. For those who have owned or worn Primeknit shoes in the past, the NMD R1 will feel like a comfortable and flexible old friend.

Stability

One of the big changes that occured from the original adidas NMD to the NMD R1 was the addition of the stability plugs on the sides of the midsole. While many thought this to simply be an aesthetics choice, the real reasoning had to do with adidas wanting to add some extra support, stability, and balance to this already well rounded shoe. For runners and walkers who find that their ankles or feet don’t fall and roll naturally, the addition of these stability plugs is meant to enhance your gait so that you tend to have more natural movement. Each time your foot hits the pavement, it is the goal of the plugs to gently roll your foot in to the position it should be in. For this reason, these shoes do have better stability than previous models, but still may not have as much stability as some of the other adidas models that are on the market. While a neat feature, many wearers find that stability plugs add more to the appearance than they do to the actual performance of the shoe.

Drop

Although it was difficult to find the exact measurements, many reviewers and wearers noted that there was a distinct heel to toe drop that was noticeable. Although this didn’t seem to affect the overall rating of the shoe, some mentioned that this part of the shoe certainly took some getting used to, and so it’s important to take that into consideration before purchasing a pair for yourself. For those who are heel strikers, this can be seen as a much added bonus, but midfoot strikers may want to try a pair on before committing to such an expensive purchase.

Q4 Sports Nforcer Performance Review

Today I’m sharing my Q4 Sports Nforcer Performance Review with you all, and spoiler alert: Q4 Sports is one up-and-coming brand that you should keep your eye on.

The traction on each of Q4’s models is simple: herringbone, maybe a pivot point, and an outrigger. No frills, no gimmicks, just a pattern that’s been proven to work and an outsole durable enough to last.

While the adidas nmd NForcer was tested indoors and outdoors, we’re constantly asked what shoe can withstand the blacktop without the outsole grinding down to nothing in a matter of weeks. If you forgot to put an asterisk with the question along with “what *Nike shoe” then you’ll want to keep looking.

Believe it or not, the cushion on the NForcer is the shoe’s standout feature. Yes, new brands can have great cushioning. Just look at Under Armour…early Under Armour, the Micro G days.

Q4 Sports uses a foam that it calls KOMpress for the midsole. It’s a open celled foam in certain areas for rebound and tightly celled foam in others for court feel. The bounce I’ve received from this setup has been awesome. I’d say it’s the brand’s most comfortable tooling setup other than what’s featured on the Millennium Hi model.

I’ve been using the model outdoors since testing them indoors and I am in love with the cushion for the blacktop. The feedback I received from the foam along with its low profile forefoot make for a really fun ride.

Materials on the Q4 Sports NForcer are slightly dated. Like the recent And1 Attack Low, the build of the shoe seems more like something you’d have found on a basketball shoe back in 2008. The toebox does utilize a thin knit at the toe, but its backed with a thin TPU fuse material (as are the overlays).

Luckily, the fuse used is thin enough to make breaking in the shoe a breeze while the material is still able to retain its shape and strength. There are many types of fuse materials that vary between thickness, hardness, resiliency, etc., and Q4 Sports uses a variety of options on each of its models. If I were to compare this fuse material to a shoe I’ve worn in the past then it would have to be the SkinFuse from the NIKE KOBE 1 PROTRO. It’s just about as thin and moves just as well with the foot. The fit isn’t the same as the two models are built on different lasts but the feel and performance of the material is very similar.

While Q4’s models don’t all fit the same, I recommend going true to size if you’re looking at the NForcer. Wide footers might be able to get away with going true to size, but some very widerfooters may want to go up 1/2 size.

Lockdown in the shoe is pretty standard. The Q4 Sports Nforcer fits nicely from the midfoot to the collar and when laced up tight you don’t feel any slippage or dead space. Much like the outsole, there’s nothing fancy to see here — nothing special or extraordinary, just something that works and works well.

Materials are one area where I wasn’t feeling 100%, and support is the other. While the support on the Q4 Sports NForcer relies on its lockdown, fit, and ability to move one-to-one with your foot, it would have been nice to see the support pieces in place be a bit more sturdy.

The heel counter was my main concern. I never felt like I was going to roll over the footbed at any time, but a strong heel counter goes a long way. The Nforcer’s torsional plate could have used a bit more rigidity as well. Although, Q4’s product description reads “T.S.S./26 midfoot shank technology that “moves when you move” for optimal motion and fit” — which it does. When you’re locked into the shoe and onto the footbed you never feel like the midfoot torsion is lacking. It’s noticeable in-hand but not on-foot.

Overall, I really enjoy the Q4 Sports NForcer. I still feel the Millennium Hi is the brand’s most well-rounded performer, but I also think that that will change with the upcoming PE Collection.

When I tested the Q4 495 Lo I had enjoyed the materials and build but felt the tooling and outsole could use an upgrade. I was surprised that the NForcer, a shoe that retails for a $10 less than the 495 Lo, offered a better cushion and traction setup. I thought that it would be awesome to see the two areas of each model combined to make one really solid sneaker and sure enough the brand seems to have been on the same page — and no, I never brought it to Q4’s attention. This was purely coincidence.

Because of this, I’m very excited to play in one of the upcoming 495 Lo PE’s. It should offer the bouncy cushion setup and grip from the NForcer but the smoother feeling knit build of the 495 — in low top form, which is a big plus for me.

I feel Q4 Sports is still very much slept on. The brand is still very new to the market so that isn’t a surprise to me, but I hope that people will be willing to give it a try. Like most shoes that are overlooked because they’re missing a Swoosh/Jumpman emblem, the Q4 Sports NForcer just might surprise you.

However, if you’re truly into performance and the brand really doesn’t matter more than your dollar then look no further. Again, the Yeezy v2 350 was tested indoors, and it works well so long as there isn’t too much dust, but outdoors the rubber bites and it bites hard. Unlike outsoles from plenty of other brands that we test, there are no signs of rubber fraying or wear. For a shoe that retails for just $100, your dollar will go a long way.

adidas Parley Ultra Boost Perforamnce Reviews

I have a love/hate relationship with Adidas trainers.

I LOVE (like have run 6 marathons) in the Ultra Boost and currently have 5 pairs on rotation – the older pairs get given to friends and recycled. However, I haven’t got on too well with their Pure Boost X or Ultra Boost X – these are the trainers they’ve developed specifically for women (click on the links to read my reviews).

I was recently sent the Parley Ultra Boost, and couldn’t wait to test them. I love the concept behind the trainers, utilising marine plastic pollution and recycled material to create the shoes. Each pair’s upper is made from 95% waste plastic dredged from the oceans around the Maldives – recycling 11 plastic bottles, plus the rest of the shoe including lining, laces and the heel is made from recycled material.

The Adidas yeezy collection was made in partnership with Parley for the Oceans, to address the millions of pounds of plastic currently polluting our waters (records suggest that there’s currently 40 million pounds in the North West Pacific alone). There have been five huge vortexes of debris formed, these slow moving whirlpools affecting marine life worldwide, not to mention the rubbish that washes ashore.

Parley are promoting for us to Avoid using plastic bags and products with micro beads, reducing the influx of virgin plastic into the supply chain, Intercept plastic marine debris before it gets into our oceans, and to Redesign our views on eco/recycled material, inventing new methods and mindsets for the future.

The quick review is that these trainers fell somewhere in the middle…

Lets start with the part I love;

  • As mentioned above, I really appreciate that they’re made out of recycled plastic, and that Adidas are helping to bring attention to the plastic problem in our oceans.
  • I’m a massive fan of the Boost technology sole. I think it’s really responsive, very bouncy and perfect for road running, esp for neutral runners.
  • They’re really lightweight, perfect for travelling and for running fast!
  • All Adidas Boost use Continental Rubber on the soles (the same as the tyres), to increase grip and stability on both wet and dry surfaces.
  • They look gorgeous…. come on, gone are the days where all we cared about was function from our running shoes!

I don’t love;

  • How tight the upper is across my foot. I never know whether to wear socks with these style of knit shoes, but as someone with quite wide feet, I find the shoes very tight and a little uncomfortable for runs over 30 mins. I go up a full size in Adidas shoes, so wear a 6.5 in these and they’re still a little snug.
  • The back comes up quite high – above ankle socks – and rubbed my ankles to the point of bleeding (major sad face). I found this a major problem with the Pure Boost X – perhaps it’s more to do with my foot shape and running style than the design? Apparently it’s been designed to keep the heel in place and reduce wobble and lifting out of the shoe while you run.

Have you ever tried Adidas NMD Boost ? Love them? Hate them?

adidas Pure Boost Performance Reviews

I haven’t done a shoe review for a while, but I couldn’t not let you guys know exactly what I think about these well publicised new Adidas Pure boost. These little beauty’s have been all over Instagram & Facebook as well as print media. You’ve probably seen them- they’re bright pink and blue, and have a floating arch…they’re hard to miss. They also have a rather gorgeous black pair, and a white/grey pair, plus a Stella McCartney for Adidas hi print pair.

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Let me give you a bit of background first, these women specific shoes have taken 3 years and 100 prototypes to come to market, from original brainstorming to actual conception. As I’ve mentioned they have a floating arch, basically a hole between the shoe upper and the sole which feels pretty snug and looks cool. Women’s running style is a little different to men’s, with more flexible ligaments, a greater angle is created in the arch of the foot than in men. The infamous floating arch provides a sock like ‘hug’ and supports the arch in a way that other Boosts don’t.

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They are amazingly light, and feel very cushioned (as all Boost are with the brilliant Boost technology). They’re a neutral shoe but even still feel like they’re more minimalist and less supportive than the Boost and Ultra Boost. Personally I wouldn’t be able to run more than 3-5 miles in them, and Adidas themselves recommend building up the mileage slowly in them. By the end of a 5 miler I could really feel the ache in my feet!

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Let me warn you, the shoes come up SMALL! I usually wear a side 5.5-6, I’ve got a pair of 6.5 UK and my right toe is right up at the top of the shoe and I wish I’d chosen a 7.

The front and the sides of the shoes are really bouncy and comfortable however the back comes up rather high in my opinion and rubbed my ankles when I was wearing ankle socks, and I know I’m not the only one they felt this way; a few people had a blister before leaving the press event.

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Nonetheless, with high enough socks the shoes are very comfortable, and so lightweight that you can almost forget you’re wearing them. They were perfect for my 1Rebel workouts this week, as well as my strength and conditioning PT session- apparently you could literally see my foot wobbling within the shoe whilst I tried to balance doing TRX lunges. These will become a firm favourite for treadmill workouts, HIIT style classes and definitely during Barry’s Hell Week but unfortunately they just aren’t supportive enough for training runs for me.

If you’re looking for a half or full marathon training shoe, these are not the ones, however they’re brilliantly light for gymming and short runs.

Adidas Pure Boost X were released on 1st Feb and retail for £90-£150.

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Better Air Jordan 6: “Slam Dunk” or “Cigar”

Jordan Brand has used their popular Air Jordan 6 silhouette in multiple packs as well as a few collaboration. Showcased today is the “Slam Dunk” and “Cigar” releases.

The Air Jordan 6 “Slam Dunk” rendition was a unique collaboration between Jordan Brand and Japanese artist Takehiko Inoue, creator of the Slam Dunk cartoon series. It came in an all-red upper with imagery from the 31-volumed manga series.If you look closely, the Air Jordan 6 Slam Dunk has tonal 3M red characters throughout the uppers from the magna which are subtle on the red base. The brand will also use a white midsole, translucent sole, tongue and heel tab.

From the Air Jordan 6 “Champagne and Cigar” Pack that celebrates Michael Jordan’s first championship in 1991, the year he wore the model of the shoe. Looking back at the “Cigar” colorway, this release features a Brown leather upper to mimic the look of a cigar with Metallic Gold, Maroon and Bright Red accents. Finishing of the theme was a championship ring lacelock added to each shoe.The Air Jordan 6 “Championship Cigar” features a Rich Brown leather upper with Crimson and Infrared accents, Gold lace locks, embossed heel stamp, and a cork insole. The Air Jordan 6 “Championship Champagne” features a Green patent leather upper with Gold accents and lace locks, sitting atop a Black and Gold speckled midsole finished with a translucent tongue, heel tab and outsole. Having already shared both individual and group shots of the previously mentioned duo, we’ve got another look for you all to enjoy. Whether you like to pop bottles or light one up, a cigar that is, these forthcoming offerings have both of your vices covered

Looking back at both, which would you guys consider was the better release? Cast your vote below and leave your thoughts in the comments section.

The adidas Ultra Boost Performance Review

When adidas first revealed their groundbreaking adidas Ultra Boost performance runner back in January ahead of its global release the following month, much of the excitement surrounding the progressive silhouette aligned intimately with its marketing campaign. adidas felt they had produced “the best running shoe ever,” a bold claim that at first mention seemed like gerrymandering in its highest form.

But what happened next would both compel and intrigue. Runners would begin to co-sign adidas’ brassy claims. It was exactly what the brand wanted to happen. I, too, was almost instantaneously overwhelmed with how well the shoe ran. But as any avid runner will insist, it’s not that first mile that counts, but the next few hundred that truly lend to the character of the shoe.

This would be the median in which I hoped to delve into such a paramount creation. How would the adidas Ultra Boost facilitate betterment after 100 miles? 200 miles? Then upwards to the 400 mile mark, where most experts suggest to replace a shoe for safety precautions. Likening the sartorially savvy shoe to car tires was where my rubber would meet the road.

Typically, if consistency extends its hand to my aid, running about 15 miles per week satisfies my appetite for cardio. That, along with a few sluggish episodes on the hardwood. The adidas Ultra Boost has pleasantly been my footwear choice for each and every run since early February until now, mid-September. And for argument’s sake, let’s say I’ve been steady in my endeavors. I’m approximately 400 miles in at present time.

Firstly, Primeknit construction is what makes it all worthwhile. Lightweight, breathable and with a unique stretching ability that allows for free motion, the shoe’s unique collar sleeve helps cradle the foot with lockdown support perfect for a runner – not too strenuous but firmly secure. Comfort is at a premium here, and that would lead to all sorts of profoundly positive revelations later on. Many of which I still have a hard time believing. And much of that – as corny as it sounds – is because the wear is so seamless the minutes, hours and miles go by like the snap of a finger.

Unlike performance basketball models, I don’t feel much like a quarterback when evaluating likeness. I’m not going through progressions with each step. Nor am I reading and assessing terrain like a field general does opposing defenses. In a more literal sense – this is a marathon, not a race. Day in and day out, I’m looking to feel good through the duration of my run and most important, after that continual and often exhaustive conditioning is done. That, for me, is where the Ultra Boost serves its greatest long-term value.

Recovery is almost absent with the Ultra Boost. The energy return uniquely makes everything easier over time. Thus, the strain on your body is far less damaging. So whether I’m moving at a lesser pace towards a greater distance, or at a faster stride for interval training, recovery, or lack there of, doesn’t change. This is huge. adidas has effectively and systematically allowed me to run longer, stronger and with less strain on my legs.

Speaking of legs; I kind of have a bum right knee. Now, I’d like to think it’s a result of savagely embarrassing my friends on the basketball court over the years, but that’s only true in my often misleading imagination. Whatever the cause, it’s been a hindrance where running is concerned. So much in fact that I’ve been relegated to running with a compression sleeve on said knee. But after a few months in the Ultra Boost, I had the genius idea to remove UNDFTD x adidas Ultra Boost .

Risking further injury, my thought was that maybe my issue wasn’t bad health but less-than-stellar running shoes and true to size fitting. And much to my surprise – although technically unproven medically – I was right. I’ve been running fine without the sleeve for months now, with no discomfort and seemingly with better posture and form.

Boost cushioning undoubtedly plays a critical role in this remarkable turnaround. Layers of buffering bolster stronger footing. Though it’s a fleeting thought, even the most graceful runner inflicts a grave measure of force on their feet with each stride. Boost cushioning turns the track, trail or treadmill into something else, something softer. Even after enduring roughly 400 miles, there is still some tread on those tires, which is really, really impressive.

In a densely populated running shoe market that orbits around singular potency, the adidas Ultra Boost set its course on a daunting vocation. Whether it was aforesaid or simply inferred by the grandiosity of the release, taking down the best of Brooks, New Balance and Saucony in one fell swoop was assuredly the mission. Did adidas accomplish what they set out to do? Absolutely. Did they make “the best running shoes ever?” Surprisingly, as grand sweeping as it may sound, yeah, they did for a large legion of fans both old and new.

I count myself among their unwavering followers in that regard. In fact, I did something I’ve only done once before, and never with a running shoe. I bought a second pair. As far as I’m concerned, any shoe that can make me do that deserves all the praise I can muster.

Reebok CrossFit Nano 8 Flexweave Performance Review

Reebok owns CrossFit — well, at least the CrossFit Games — and seeing what the brand thought would be a huge market (it is), Reebok partnered with the workout system early and the benefits have been amazing. Eight years later, we get the CrossFit Nano 8 Flexweave, the newest shoe built specifically for the Games. Performance review, you say? Sure, why not…

Like a hot knife through butter. No, really, the blade traction pattern in the forefoot grips everything in the gym with no issues at all (basketball Shoes designers should take note). The forefoot uses a widely spaced wiper-blade pattern with the second and third rows slightly turned under the ball of your foot, giving some additional lateral coverage. This rubber is thick, solid, and finally showing signs of wear after almost four months of three day a week workouts.

The midfoot and heel are more linear in pattern, which helps with lateral traction and climbing activities. For those that have never done a CrossFit workout, or never worn a CF-specific shoe, the midfoot usually has traction under the arch of the foot that extends up the midsole of the shoe. This is called the RopePro on Reebok shoes, and it helps immensely in keeping your feet on the rope and going up instead of down — the rest is up to you.

Going from mostly runners and basketball to a CrossFit shoe is a serious endeavor. While cushioning is premium in the other lines, weight training/CrossFit is more about transition and stability. The CrossFit Nano 8 follows that same platform, with a little more.

The midsole is a solid EVA that rides low with only a 4mm heel to toe drop. This means you are almost flat on the floor in the shoe. There is, however, additional forefoot cushioning to help with impact off landings from jumps and runs. It isn’t enough to make the shoe seem slow or wobbly, but it does take the sting out of those last few sloppy landings when you are dead dog tired and wanting to quit or puke.

For any activity where stability is a must (cleans, squats), the low-riding flat base never faltered or felt like it would crush under stress. It isn’t as solid as a true squat/deadlift shoe (like the Reebok Legacy), but the CrossFit Nano 8 has enough for most gym rats that lift and work on other exercises.

The CrossFit Nano 8 uses Reebok’s latest Flexweave material that was reviewed on the Fusion Flexweave last month. In case you missed it, this means you are getting a textile upper mixed with TPU strands that is flexible over the foot but solid and strong for lateral movements and containment. yeezy 350 is based on a figure-8 design and the strands can be intertwined to create some serious looks.

Beneath the Flexweave is an internal bootie that keeps any of the TPU from chafing and rubbing. (It’s needed, because Flexweave isn’t the softest material to the touch.) The bootie runs around the heel collar and feels great on bare feet or in socks. It does hinder ventilation around the midfoot to the heel, but the toes stay airy and cool.

With the wide use of textile/mesh uppers and internal booties fit has never been better across the shoe industry, and the CrossFit Nano 8 falls right in line. The Flexweave fits right over your foot in the toebox and forms around the midfoot almost perfectly. Any dead space is taken by the inner bootie. Additionally, the forefoot features a wide toebox for splaying and gripping while working out and climbing — but not so wide you want to go a half-size down. It is designed to be wide, don’t overthink the shoe.

The midfoot is locked down by a fairly normal lacing system — no bells and whistles — just seven lace holes spaced perfectly for good fit. The heel is locked in by the internal bootie, padding, and the lacing system, which comes high enough to lock the heel into the back of the shoe. As for length, I did go a half size down, something I have done in Reeboks since the first Question shoe.

The only real support structure in the shoe is the TPU split heel cup, and honestly, that’s enough. The heel cup works well with the lacing system to lock you in and the midfoot is supported by the upper. Really, the best support “piece” on the shoe is the low ride and wide base. As the shoe lands, the foot is allowed to spread or splay for better balance and grip so there is little danger of rolling over.

The midsole is structured for arch support (just right) and with an almost zero drop the shoe doesn’t allow much bend under the arch at all. While the cushioning wasn’t exactly “cushioned,” this is the place it shines; the midfoot is solid and stable, even on the edges, so there is no tipping under heavy weights or difficult landings — just a solid, supportive base that won’t give out on you.

By now, I have tested quite a few training shoes. When I started doing them, I lifted weights, I ran, and I did some other plyometric exercises, but never felt the need to change from basketball or running shoes just for that. Since I have been reviewing trainers, it makes sense; if there is a need for basketball shoes that are different from runners, then trainers for the weight room or other exercises makes sense.

The adidas hi is a well-rounded shoe built for the gym. The upper is supportive but flexible and the cushioning will handle anything a workout can throw at it. If you are looking for a shoe that will come back for more when the plates and bars and ropes are done, look no further.

If you need a more cushioned ride, or enjoy more cardio/running, you may want to look at the Reebok Hydrorush or Watt II (still my favorite). Otherwise, why are you still reading this? Get to work.

Air Jordan 1 “Royal” 2013 VS. 2017 Comparison

How many of you are planning on picking up the return of the Air Jordan 1 “Royal” on April 1st? I’m sure a lot of you guys answered yes, and for good reasoning too.

Jordan Brand is finally giving us a remastered release of the Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG “Royal” as they continue to bring back legendary original Air Jordans.

Last seen in 2013, the classic Air Jordan 1 will return in its OG high-cut that’s dressed in the traditional Black and Varsity Royal color scheme. The shoe features a clean Black leather upper with Royal overlays on the toe, heel and Nike Swoosh logos. Staying true to its heritage, the release will also come with OG Nike Air branding on the tongue and outsole.

Similar to recent remastered reissues, this Air Jordan 1 release compared to the 2013 version will come with better quality. Featuring a mix of smooth and premium textured leather that’s dressed in the OG Black and Varsity Royal with Nike Air branding throughout.

Look for the Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG “Royal” to release on April 1st at select Jordan Brand retailers. The retail price tag is set at $160 USD.


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