Month: May 2016

Wargear Wednesday: Graduating from Jordans

I promised the community a playtest comparison of Lebron XIIIs vs Curry IIs. This will be a quick review because the decision was that easy to make.

2016-05-09 16.27.38
Introduction: I have been wearing a set of Jordan Melo M9s since 2013. I loved those shoes, and love may not even be a strong enough word for how much I liked those shoes. I injured my feet by playing in improper footwear, so I invested in a good set of basketball shoes. Even with my toe injury which has not subsided 3 years later, the Jordans still kept my feet safe and pain free during games. The grip was great, the ankle support fantastic, and I played well over 500 games in those shoes. 3 years later, they finally started to squeak so I retired them.

The choice came down to Lebron XIIIs or Curry IIs. All the reviews online said to go with the Currys, but I was skeptical based on the way both sets of shoes felt when I wore them, so here is the review:

Looks: The Currys are cool looking. A classic style, with a very interesting “Mothers day” design. I like them, they feel like one of those “Tough guys wear pink” shirts. The Lebrons are stunning though, and I love how futuristic they look. Even before you take colour schemes into account, they are just a much better looking shoe. They win the style contest hands down.

First impressions: I tried a set of Currys on at the store, and liked them. They felt like a thinner version of my Jordans. I tried the Lebrons on, and I could instantly feel the zoom sole. The extra cushioning was very apparent, and for someone with a bad toe this is important. I initially made the purchase of Lebrons based on this alone. I also find the Currys a little tighter to put on, and I feel like the back of the high-top will wear out as I have no choice but to fold it up a bit with my thumb to get my heel past it.

Game day (Lebrons): My first draft game I wore my Lebrons, and they served me well. The stiffness of the shoes was apparent, but didn’t really feel like it was hindering me. I play a very jumpy game – I’m up in the air, down on the ground, and moving in very short bursts. The shoes supported me well. They even saved me from a rolled ankle – I could feel the pressure on my ankle when I screwed up a dodge and jammed my foot into the wall, but the shoes saved me. All I felt was pressure on my ankle, but a lesser shoe (or even a regular low-top) would have left me with an injury and out of the game. I was very thankful they were so stiff after this.

The high top has the back cut out, and caused the sides to chafe against my leg, requiring me to wear long socks. This was not an issue I had with my jordans, where there was a little booty inside the high top holding my ankle, and I could wear ankle socks with them. I also have wider feet, and a bit of a bunion shape to them, and I could feel pressure against the side of my toes at the end of the match which is something I never experienced in my Jordans.

All in all, decent replacements for my Jordans, I could see myself wearing these for the next three years.

Game day (Currys): I put the shoes on for the first time, and they definitely are a snug fit. The whole shoe hugs my foot, and I like that. I don’t like that they take a bit of effort to get my heel into, but once they’re on they feel great. A bit thinner than the lebrons, and definitely more flexible. The grip wasn’t noticeably different, but that’s where the similarities end. Holy crap these shoes are great. They felt natural to play in, I was running, jumping, sliding with ease. They felt like the spiritual successors to the Jordans I loved so dearly. They may not be as pretty as the Lebrons, but they outshone them in just about every aspect – and they were half the priceI honestly cannot stop gushing about these shoes. They’re nimble, they don’t appear to scuff super easily as I definitely dragged them all over the floor during some of my slides, and they’re just great. I was playing against a hard team, and my shoes were definitely not a hindrance.

Results: After playing one game in my Curry IIs, I am digging up my receipt to return my Lebrons. They’re pretty shoes, and I might keep them to wear in daily life, but they are so damn expensive I think I might just rather have the cash. The Curry II is incredible value. It’s an objectively better shoe for court sports, and costs just over half what the Lebron XIIIs cost.

Side note: I’ve been asked why I didn’t buy another set of Jordans. The answer is I tried on the new Jordan Melos and they didn’t impress me. They didn’t feel right, the sole felt wrong, not as supportive – and frankly – they were ugly. In future I would still consider Jordans, but this generation just didn’t impress me.