We Are Testers – Our Wishes for 2017

Happy new year everyone! The WearTesters team has some thoughts about 2017 so make sure to hit all the pages and let us know what you think. What’re you looking forward to in 2017?

Duke4005 (Bryan)

2016. I said it before, and I stand by it now, 2016 was the best year for performance sneakers EVER. From adidas and its entire basketball line, to the resurgence (almost) of Zoom Air in the Nike HyperRev 2016, Hyperdunk 2016, and KD9, plus Under Armour progressing its line top to bottom, and what Brandblack, PEAK, and Anta are doing, it couldn’t be better.

And that worries me. Not that brands will stop, but honestly, I wonder what companies can do to get better. How much better can Boost get? How will Nike Zoom get better than the KD9 (perhaps improved durability)? How can Under Armour improve the ClutchFit Drive 3 and Curry 3 (oh, more Micro G). Which smaller brand will break out?

What am I looking forward to in 2017? Here is my list:

nike kd9 4Nike feeling the competitive heat and bringing big ideas, big advancement, and big designs to the basketball line. Let’s face it, Nike designs are stagnant. Zoom is still the brand’s best cushioning, and it has been around since 1997. The LeBron 14 has nothing groundbreaking (from first look), and it is supposedly the flagship Swoosh basketball shoe. Granted, when implemented right, Zoom works as good or better than any cushioning out there, but it has implemented right few and far between in the last four to five years. We have the PG1, Paul George’s first shoe, coming soon, but the cynics among us are already guessing forefoot-only Zoom and materials lagging behind other similarly priced shoes from competitors. The Kyrie 3 just dropped, but only heel Zoom and a $120 price tag seems to be an idea outdated in ambition. I hope Nike feels what adidas, Under Armour, Brandblack, and others are doing — they are giving the consumer superior materials and cushioning at cheaper price points, and lowering prices across the board (honestly, the Kyrie 3 at $90 is more like it) while giving us something groundbreaking in design.

adidas keeping the momentum rolling with Boost and Primeknit. This really worries me; as good as adidas was, and let’s face it, they ruled 2016 across the board, what can it bring in 2017? Can Boost improve and get even more responsive while being slimmed down? Can Primeknit be thinned out and kept supportive and comfy at the same time? Will the UltraBoost continue to rule running and lifestyle? Will the AlphaBounce become the BetaBounce?

Under Armour “bouncing back.” Under Armour felt a little slip with the Curry 2.5 and 3 — not in performance, but it seems the fickle sneaker-buying public doesn’t want to buy shoes from Under Armour if Curry doesn’t win a championship and MVP, cure cancer, and land on Mars. For people who actually prefer performance, the Curry line hasn’t gone anywhere. The ClutchFit series seems to be back with better cushioning and traction, and the lower models are borrowing liberally from the higher tiers, improving performance down the line. With leadership back in place, Under Armour should be stronger in 2017.


Jordan Brand. This is tough. I still look at Jordan as a performance brand, even though for the most part performance has taken a back seat. There are still designers at JB that want to make performance beasts and put everything they can into their designs. The company, though, has to realize a Jumpman does not mean they can charge $30-$50 premium increases over similarly tiered product from other brands. The Super.Fly 5 was a shoe that should have never been priced over $100, based on materials and technology, but saw $150 as retail. The CP3.X, a shoe with design elements of a $110 shoe, was priced at $125. The times have changed — now, let’s change philosophy.

brandblack rare metal black white

From brands like Brandblack, PEAK, Anta, Li-Ning, and others, there is really only one thing to look forward to: growth. That means signing players, and more U.S. availability (although after the Finish Line/Rare Metal launch fiasco, Brandblack may not wish for more distribution channels). For the amount of experience in the market, especially with the narrow-minded American market, these brands are making fantastic performers that NEED to be in more stores. While Brandblack is, thankfully, being found in FootAction stores now, I know what some of its 2017 designs look like (and they are killer). There will be no slowing down for them.

peak tp9-IV 7

PEAK needs to get the U.S. sizing correct so consumers, and reviewers, over here know how to order the shoes, because it is making great product. Anta has new minds on the design team, namely Robbie Fuller (of the adidas Supernatural Creator/Rose 1 designs), so its line will see fresh ideas coming soon (again, the hints I have seen are niiiiice).

air jordan 3 retro true blue 6

What do I not look forward to? Retros, “remasters,” and $200 shoes based on 30 year old technology. I don’t look forward to shoes selling out because they are limited. I don’t want to see ideas stagnate and spoil. I don’t want brands to lie to us about availability, technology, benefits, and materials. I don’t want brands to give us cabbage and call it ice cream.

Finally, I want everyone who reads and watches WearTesters to grab a shoe that fits their game, based on our reviews, pay a good price for it, and be happy.



  1. For 2017, I hope Adidas continues with another Crazy Explosive, this time with a solid outsole with deeper grooves. On top of that, release some in Knicks colors since KRS-Six is the man.

  2. “What do I not look forward to? Retros, “remasters,” and $200 shoes based on 30 year old technology. I don’t look forward to shoes selling out because they are limited. I don’t want to see ideas stagnate and spoil. I don’t want brands to lie to us about availability, technology, benefits, and materials. I don’t want brands to give us cabbage and call it ice cream.” *cough* Nike and JB *cough*…

    Great article there Duke!!! I hope Nike stops making expensive and dissapointing performers like de Kobe A.D. and put all their minds in improving over the KD 9. Adidas just make us have greater expectations after the incredible ’16 sneakers they gave to us all, and I guess they will do it again in ’17.

  3. I’d like to see nike/jb come out with more low tops that have full length cushion. Outside of the kd 9, there’s not many options. Why are they scared to make a shoe with an actual lunar midsole and not caged with plastic? Hell, even cushlon or podulon would be nice. If they’re worried about stability, they could easily do a dual density setup like the dame 3. I also would love to see a low top with a full length zoom bag (not max zoom, but the thinner bag). A shoe like that would be NUTS assuming the fit and traction are good. It makes sense to me that making good performers at a decent price would be great for sales, but I guess they’re more worried about generating hype over sub par sneakers…

  4. Maybe it’s just me and I missed it, but I almost stopped reading without realizing that there were contributions from multiple writers/ weartesters. Please mention that there are multiple pages. You all have great insight.

  5. I’d like to add that I value all of the work that you guys do. For me, I’d like companies to go back to basics and start from there with regard to things like traction. There should literally NEVER EVER be a problem with traction especially coming from a brand that has absolutely nailed it in the past. JUST DO THAT!!! DO WHAT WORKED!!!

    When someone created something that’s just groundbreaking, do they go and change that the very next year? No, they build on it or leave it along for a bit. Stay consistent. It’s not hard. Let’s look even at this years HD2016 that had the good zoom with cored out trampoline affect but then we see upcoming models that revert again…WHY?!?!?! Just do what worked. Even if the budget models go for forefoot only, do the best forefoot implementation that you can. Why revert.

    This isn’t just a Nike thing either but they seem to be the most obvious offenders. They are way too big and dominant to be doing stupid things like this and I don’t just blame the suits. Somewhere along the line, a designer, weartester for the company, or athlete has to have the balls to say when something sucks and be adamant that it not be released like that.

      1. No problem bro. Happy new year to the entire WT team. I’m looking forward to the insight this year too.

    1. 100% agree. Traction should be a number one priority for EVERY basketball shoe. Be consistent. What’s the point when you have full-length zoom and premium leather upper but the traction sucks?

      Oh, dear consumers for most shoes we only offer forefoot zoom unit – the rectangular one.

      Just always make sure to afford consumers shoes with good traction and decent cushion, and do it in an honest manner. The competition level is so high that I don’t really see the need to stick with Nike anymore.

  6. Duke’s joint had a lot of flavor, lolololol, and Nightwing kept it simple. I first got wind of nightwing when he trashed the Colombia XI some years ago. I posted that damned thing all over the ‘net. My wishes for 2017 sneaker wise, no more mentioning of Kobe Bryant’s line. It’s done, it sucks, always has. In my opinion people who said good things about that line, were just trying to be nice. Performance my ass, people didn’t want to get ripped on NikeTalk for saying that his shoes suck, Kobe Bryant central, as if NikeTalk would make or break you if you told the truth about shoes made like bedroom slippers. Overrated is too light of a word concerning all of that. I do hope that Nike sells Converse though, so that Converse can go back to making great shoes to play ball in, coming straight from the global heritage in footwear that they helped to create. Nike has buried them, destroyed the brand, Nike needs to take a hit for that, among other things… but I have had more fun playing in a pair of SB NIKE DUNK PRO HIGH’s over the summer, much than anything Nike has made in the past ten years. I want to see Adidas do some things, as they need to capitalize on the momentum gained, which it seems they are doing. Their casual appeal has grown, and it is nice to see that happening, but the originals sportswear line needs to take off again though. They used to make some cool casual stuff a few years back, stuff that Lululemon had seemingly copied for their men’s line right after, but for hoops kicks, Adidas is boss.

    1. I’ve bought the Kobe 3 (Orcas) through the kobe 6, and have borrowed Kobes to ball in through the 11s to check them out. Didn’t enjoy any of them that much, EXCEPT for the Kobe 5.

      The Kobe 5s are still the greatest performance shoes of all time for me. So no, not all sucked, but most were seriously overrated.

  7. For adidas, I’d like for them to get their sizing right, use continental on more shoes, and make a ball shoe with boost as plush as the D Rose 6. Other than that, they’re killing it.

    Nike- don’t release a shoe if you can’t feel the zoom. Quit making so many mediocre models and just manufacture several good ones.

    Jordan- get back to what they were doing a few years ago when they had a bunch of killer flight plate models.

    Brandblack- Sign some players. Their performance and aesthetics are great. All they need is exposure.

    Under armour- The performance is solid, but the look of the shoes needs to improve. Its shallow, but we all know good looking shoes sell more.

    Peak, anta, and the Chinese brands- The improvements are there, so just keep it going. People will come on board here eventually.

    Damn, I wrote a bit much. Happy 2017 ya’ll.

  8. To Nightwing and the weartester team, I really appreciate your efforts and dedication. I’m a tester too from Taiwan. Just like everyone on the weartester team, I collect and test shoes from Nike, Adidas(#boostislife), and UA. I also spend the majority of my leisure time hooping every week (I’m a teacher BTW). Passion is what has been driving you guys to be committed to sharing knowledge and insights in the world of basketball shoes, which is also what makes me a fan of this site. I visit here on a daily basis and NEVER have I ever been disappointed about any performance reviews.

    2016 was a wonderful year in terms of performance shoes, and I really look forward to how companies can improve on what they already have to offer – in particular boost, primeknit and articulated zoom used on the KD9.

    Continue to do what you guys do with honesty, sincerity, and passion. I have been a big supporter/fan of this site since 2012 and will always be.

    Thank you and Happy 2017.

  9. Here are my wishes:

    To all brands:
    – I think everyone prefers better traction – pick you best traction pattern/rubber and apply it to most of your shoes

    – Why would you decieve cutomers like you did with the zoom in the Kobe AD? Stop this immediately!
    – Keep lowering prices – I mean so much of the merchandise ends up going to outlets anyways so why start so high in the first place?
    – More full length zoom, or at least shoes with heel zoom and a flightplate forefoot zoom
    – Don’t put stiff strobel board on top of zoom units so you can’t feel them
    – As much as people bash the Jordan 31 – it was probably just some good traction away from being a hit – take this as a hint that you can’t fail on important performance aspects

    – Get the sizing right
    – You are starting to do limited runs for your performance models that sell out fast (like the Harden Vol 1 Black/Gold) – re-sellers and hype-beasts will love you for this but not the general population that can’t get a hold of shoes they like
    – Be careful with the price hikes, you are getting close to being priced on par with Nike
    – More forefoot cushion in the boost models – the boost is either too thin or too firm so none of the models outside of maybe the Crazy Explosive feels cushioned in the forefoot. The strobel board has a hole cut out in the heel of most models and I would like to see something like this done in the forefoot too.
    – A little more focus on the look of the shoe – I can’t imagine anyone wearing the CLB or Crazyexplosive casually
    – Why are basketball shoes never in outlets?

    – Make the shoes look better casually so you could wear them outside of the gym
    – Most of you models seem to have stiff charged cushioning – which is fine for the portion of customers that want responsive cushion – but the majority of people like plush cushion so give us some options.

    Other Brands:
    – Be more available in area’s outside of the US

  10. I just want performance shoes that will be nice on my knees and body so I can keep playing as I continue to age. Thank you adidas boost.

  11. Been thinking and id be happy if do post about types of good shoes for different feet like mine flat and skinny and I’m lighter weight .. Running sneakers performance reviews and selections with these specific criteria are light years ahead of basketball though you guys are begining that work..also sometimes I disagree with running analysis maybe its gimmicks to buy a shoe.. I wear ortho insoles already but the shoe is supposed to help too..

  12. To all the Weartesters Staff.

    You guys are doing an amazing job here, evolving as the years go by. It’s really great to read your articles, performance reviews with different points of view according to each of your games at the court. Sometimes I follow your advices (the most) and sometimes I still go and buy a sneaker because I just like how they look (Kyrie 2 USA for example) but every single time that I compare what I’m feeling with my sneakers with all that you write on your reviews I find that you’re really being honest, because you’re doing it not just as sneakerheads but also as guys who love to ball and really care for their fellow ballers, that’s the reason all of you got a lot of love anywhere you go. Keep doing that great job because all of us readers really wait for every single performance review when new kicks arrive. BTW, I just received my D Rose 7 in EM, freaking awesome shoes! adidas is improving year after year, is my third consecutive D Rose signature and I just loved them all. Thanks for the advice!

  13. 2017 Wishes:

    Nike and JB – They need to be somehow pushed down to the #2 spot before they CONSISTENTLY make good performance shoes again. The only way (I think) for them to “listen” to consumers is if they get kicked out of their #1 spot.

    UA, adidas, Brandblack – wishing that the pricing here in the Philippines isn’t far from their US retail price. Other than that, just don’t drop the ball. (and Brandblack needs to get into the NBA, again)

    Chinese brands – aside from US availability and sizing issues which were already mentioned, hope that you start focusing on your “other” signature NBA athletes. Lately, it just falls down to Peak=TP and DH, Anta=Klay, and Li-Ning of course just highlights Dwade. AND WE NEED MORE FROM 361!

    And1, Reebok (and okay, Converse too) – here’s to hoping that you guys back in the race. We know And1 already has a couple of things up their sleeves, but the ZPump rise didn’t follow up anymore. And if the Ndestrukt was retroed, how about a Converse All Star Rodman retro (with lunarlon insert?)

    WearTesters Crew – aside from keeping up the good work, continue to stay fresh with new ideas (like Test Shoot) and stay unbiased with your reviews. Thank you all for your dedication and coming through even if there’d be more harsh and immature comments that’ll come your way. Cheers

  14. I agree on 361, loved the Mazer. Unfortunately, right now, they are focused on running and training and have no new basketball coming any time soon.

  15. To WT team , NW2303, NYJUMPMAN, DUKE, Jahronmon and so on….

    It’s really great to see there’s other guys, well I meant the sneakerhead David, from Taiwan left a comment because I’m also from Taiwan and ball every week. I believe there are a lot of viewers from Taiwan but didn’t leave their comment here. Just like what David mentioned, I visit WT everyday to check out the latest performance reviews or sneaker news, too. Honestly, visiting WT is truly one of my most daily anticipated routine. And, of course, every single review is great based on your true experience. With different play style, each of you has different perspective which is really helpful for everyone who visits here before copping new shoes for their own.

    Looking back in ’16, it’s so damn killing that many brands are releasing fantastic products as y’all agree. The only thing I need to worry is that my wallet is drying out.
    I picked up Crazy Explosive and Hyperdunk 2016 right after your performance review and they didn’t disappoint me at all. I still wanna get DRose7, Crazylight 2016, Harden Vol.1 and KD9 later on.

    Here are my wishes for 2017 this year :

    Nike (including Jordan Brand) –
    1. Please WOW us with some innovation by not just good zoom air but new tech.
    2. Stop putting extra premium price for signature lines.
    (Around USD 180 retail price for KD9….are you kidding me ???)
    3. KD10 could be better on durability on zoom air unit.
    4. Bring back the unlock zoom.
    5. Stop cheating like KOBE AD…so ashamed

    Adidas –
    1. Keep stunning with BOOST but please improve on the FIT of each model.
    2. Same as Nike, stop putting extra premium price for signature lines.
    (Around USD 180 retail price for Crazy Explosive PK……)

    UA –
    Sorry I did not give you any chance yet but I’ll try.

    Brand Black –
    Hope you can officially launch in Taiwan soon coz I’m very interested in your good stuff.

    (Uh….It seems that you can get the best price of shoes in the U.S. though…so much more premium for Nike, Adidas and UA in the oversea market.)

    The last but not the least, although 2016 is the best year ever recently, it would not be that interesting, exciting or satisfied for what I feel if without you guys on WT. So, please keep giving your best of all time – PASSION FOR SNEAKERS. Thanks for each of you in 2016 and thank you in advance for 2017.

    1. BBALLER thanks for the support, Myself and all of us appreciate you checking the site out and showing love.
      I’ll make on my next trip to Taiwan, we can hopefully set up a WT gathering and possibly a bball game.

  16. Thanks man. Great to read your comment as well.

    Wouldn’t call myself a sneakerhead because my sole purpose of purchasing hoop shoes is to play in them. We all love innovation and comfort. Nothing beats having a shoe that fits you best and you can therefore elevate your game ( Kobe 9 in my case).

    I live in Kaohsiung so hopefully we get a chance to play some pickup games.

    Happy new year.

    1. Cool bruh! Thanks to your reply too.

      I totally agree with you that shoes should be played and hoopin’ around rather than just collection. I believe shoes will cry themselves…So I take back for calling you a sneakerhead.

      I live in Taipei and I look forward to playing in southern Taiwan. I know there are some nice courts.

      Happy new year to you and also keep ballin’ !

  17. I look forward to see new Brandblack shoes. For a small brand, they’ve got the design aspect down pat. And also waiting for the And1 Starbury’s. Maybe one day they’ll put Micro G in the Curry’s?

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