I spend a lot of time playing basketball during the week. Therefore, footwear is of the highest priority for me. Not only in how it looks but more importantly how it performs. The five shoes below have remained in my rotation all summer and each has performed admirably in it’s task of keeping me healthy, safe and dangerous on the basketball court. Arranged in descending order.
5. Nike React Hyperdunk 2017 Flyknit
- The Good: The react sole which Nike has been pushing all summer feels springy and offers good traction everywhere on the court. The lacing system locks my foot in and the fit is true to my size. Personally, I’m a big fan of the rounded edges on the react sole. That mixed with the flyknit makes this an extremely mobile shoe that moves with you
- The Bad: I am plagued with achilles tendon issues and for whatever reason, these shoes give me an incredible amount of pain there. I have actually switched these shoes at halftime because the pain was so bad.
- The Ugly: As for “the look,” I think these are pretty clean. I like the all black flyknit with the white react bottom. The way the flyknit is arranged (sewn?) makes it look like chainmail and the swoosh is stitched silver which gives it nice change of pace from other shoes like that.
4. Nike Kobe A.D.
- The Good: Extremely light shoe that makes me feel like I’m flying when I’m running up and down the court. Very durable (considering the amount of use they get). The zoom/lunarlon sole offers plenty of stability and the cushion around the heel/collar area which really helped with my achilles pain.
- The Bad: The traction isn’t very good. I know that traction has to do with the kind of court you play on but it’s usually not a good sign when I have to reapply spittle just to get some grip on the court. The tongue is very thin and if I tie the shoes too tight, I can actually feel the individual laces constricting my foot.
- The Ugly: This is a beautiful shoe. The gum bottom/speckle sole combo looks great and the materials used are premium. The swoosh is unique and the little details around the heel area really make the shoe.
3. Nike PG 2
- The Good: Locked in and a snug fit with the bootie and lacing system. Great support around the heel area and the Zoom unit on the sole offers plenty of support. I feel really comfortable in this shoe and I’m confident it can handle anything I throw at it.
- The Bad: The only bad I really encountered was a chafing on my ankle. Performance-wise, these should probably be number 1 but because of the ankle chafing, I bumped it to 3. It annoyed me to the point where I didn’t wear them for a couple weeks and that’s a pretty big negative.
- The Ugly: This “elements” colorway is one of the cleanest in both the PG1 and PG2 models. I liked how they brought the warmer colors out to the forefoot in this new iteration and I am in love with that olive color. The speckle outsole is perfect for the ACG vibe it’s going for and the small details will surprise you once you take a closer look
2. Nike KD X
- The Good: one of the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever worn (basketball, lifestyle, whatever); snug fit without much foot movement; plenty of support with the full length Zoom on the sole and very comfortable with an all fly-knit upper
- The Bad: the tongue is thin like the Kobe A.D. which causes the laces to chafe at the top of your foot; materials are wearing out ie: the fabric on the inside heel has come apart and the flyknit has begun to fray in some places (although it must be stated, neither of these things affect the performance or look of the shoe).
- The Ugly: this “Oreo” color way is always one of my favorite fly-knit styles and this shoe brings it to another level; the white sole give it a nice touch with black accents around the “Oreo” flyknit; similar to Nike’s other signature shoe lines, the details bring the shoe together. I’ve played in this shoe most frequently out of all five and I think it’s the most comfortable while simultaneously being cool looking. I actually can’t wait to make it an “everyday” lifestyle shoe after its retired from the game of basketball.
1. Nike Kyrie 4
- The Good: the best performing basketball shoe I’ve worn this summer; Very comfy, with plenty of support all the way around your foot and up your ankle; feels more like a mid in the way it goes up your ankle; the traction is excellent with the tread hugging the outsides of the shoe like “teeth” allowing you to cut anyway you want; feels like you’re gliding across the court and more importantly, it give me ZERO pain in my achilles.
- The Bad: not much. If I’m gonna nitpick I wish the zoom went all the way to the front of the shoe like the KD’s
- The Ugly: To be honest, I did not like this shoe when the images leaked last summer. I thought the “teeth” looked strange and the shoe looked basic but once I went in and actually tried a pair on, my mind was changed. Once you get closer to the shoe, you see all the little details Kyrie wanted in it (ie his mom and daughter’s names; the all seeing eye, etc.); you see the premium materials all around the shoe and most importantly, as time went on: the color ways. This shoe has come up with some of the coolest color ways I’ve ever seen on a shoe and it made me want to buy them all.
“Morey Boogie Board”
*nicknames are my own