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361° Mazer Performance Review

That didn’t take long. We just received this shoe nine days ago and the 361° Mazer performance review is OVER. Why?

Well, when the shoe is good, it makes it hard to play in anything else (six nights in nine days). And when a shoe is this good, it makes the reviewing easy. 361° has been a running company traditionally, but it has taken that knowledge and come back to basketball. How will it hold against the rest of the market? Only one way to find out…

Traction

Mazer Performance Review 5

Although it doesn’t look like much – shallow and soft – the traction is (almost) unbelievable. It didn’t matter if the floor was clean or dirty, new or old, the pattern held.

The review was done on four different courts of varying conditions, and besides a little more wiping on the dirtier courts, results were the same. Not quite top three all-time, but definitely in that step right below. Outdoors? Well, the rubber should hold up for a couple months, but the pattern is REALLY shallow and will wear down quick on rougher surfaces.  The different color rubbers are the same compound, so no help there, but the coverage is full-length and holds across the sole.

Another feature of the midsole/outsole is transition, and the Mazer is smooooth (like butta baby!!). More on the runner’s last in the Fit category, but the forefoot curves up, like a runner (and the Nike KD5 if any of you remember). This rolls the foot smoothly into the next motion easily, and just makes steps and jumping effortless (except for being out of shape — that’s on you).

Cushion

Mazer Performance Review 4

The. Best. Part. Hands down: the Qu!kFoam midsole is a construction of beauty. Taken from the running line (the Spire and Strata having been reviewed here and here), Qu!kFoam is both soft and firm. WHAT??? How can that be? Well, initial impact causes a sink into the foam, which quickly stiffens and responds, bouncing the shoe back into your next step. Sounds kind of familiar, huh? What would it compare to? Closest thing is Bounce from adidas or Micro G. Really, it is that good.

The forefoot is low and quick while the heel is dense enough for bigger players to bang in. All but the heaviest of players should be good with the cushioning. Again, for a “newer” company and technology, Qu!kFoam is a great compound for basketball already.

Materials

Mazer Performance Review

The only part of the shoe that is slightly behind the curve is the fuse and mesh upper, although it does compare with what other companies are doing. Actually, the upper mesh feels like the Hyperlive from Nike. The Mazer has a ¾ length tongue/bootie system that keeps the rough fuse-mesh away, while the outer shell has no give at all. The lacing system pulls the outer cage around the midfoot for complete lockdown, while the super-fat tongue pads for lace pressure (LOVE the tongue design). Pretty standard stuff by now, but it all works very well on court.

Fit

Mazer Performance Review 3

The second best part of the Mazer. From heel to toe, if sized properly, your foot is completely locked in without ANY lace pressure or restrictive feeling. That’s a big deal; most shoes can achieve lockdown but the laces are so tight your foot goes to sleep. By using a running last, the shoe is more formed to the foot instead of depending on straps and systems. The only real padding is the tongue and the heel, so the fit is just form. One thing that is nice, and we saw it in the Kyrie 2, the Hyperlive, and the Lillard 2, is the setback of the first set of laceholes. This lets the forefoot spread and flex naturally with little restriction. Super-comfy and makes movement that much easier.

Support

Mazer Performance Review 2

For a low top, a REALLY low top, surprisingly good. A wide, solid heel base, forefoot outrigger, midsole bumpers around the midfoot, and a low-to-the-ground ride cut any instability from the shoe, while the midfoot has a small TPU shank for torsional support. The heel cup is soft and doesn’t exactly cover much, but the rest of the structure does such a good job that a larger mold would be overkill. Probably not the best choice for larger post players, but anyone who plays fast and runs or comes out for spot-ups and plays D will be good.

361° Mazer Overall

Mazer Performance Review 1

Once again, a smaller, “newish” company releases a first or second effort and completely kills it. Yeah, there were some weak spots (well, materials, but they aren’t all that bad). If you are looking for a speed shoe, low riding, great cushion, good traction (great on clean courts), great fit, and adequate support, the 361° Mazer can’t be beat. Seriously.

We at WearTesters have been telling the public: smaller companies produce GEMS. They have to if they want to be taken seriously. 361° can’t price a shoe in this range and NOT be committed to making it the best shoe it can. Every once in a while we get to review a shoe that will be hard for a company to beat (Kobe 9, Lillard 2.0) and this is one of them. I’m not sure what 361° can do after the Mazer but based on this shoe the future is bright.

Mazer Performance Review
20 comments
  1. Great review!

    Definitely something worth looking into!

    Quick question, is the insole removable?

    PS – I love the new format

  2. Duke,

    Having played in the J Crossover 2 and 3, would you take this shoe over this when it comes to cushioning? I am looking at several shoes to replace my Rose 6 (carpet floor has worn the traction quite a bit), so it has come down to either the adidas line (Rose 7, Crazylight 2016, J Crossover 3, and now this shoe). Really I am concerned the most with the cushioning for knees and back, traction, and stability (outrigger) and lockdown.

    1. I haven’t played in the JC3, but I do have the Ether (same setup). Main difference is the mazer rides lower than the Brandblack shoes and the Qu!kFoam isn’t as soft – it is a stiffer feel underfoot.

      1. Thanks for the reply Duke! That’s tough because I’m looking for basically a Kobe IX replacement (a low top). Kobe IX was great except for the Lunarlon (felt great, still left my body aching). D-Rose 6 was the replacement, which I love, but wanted a low top that offered the same as the D-Rose 6. Since this is lower, I’d probably have to think JC3 in terms of cushioning (sigh….I want a LOW TOP though)…

          1. Yea, that’s the plan for now. I just need to be able to try everything on and then go off of that (along with reviews)

  3. Well this one is a pleasant surprise. Sometimes I play ball in a runner(the adidas Supernova Sequence Boost, which has a stableframe on the inner lateral side, making it one of the more stable running shoes) because the transition is so good that I just feel really quick on fast breaks. Lateral movements, of course, are sometimes a problem, so I’m intrigued by this shoe that integrates running elements with the stability of a ball shoe(it even looks like a runner on first impression). Usually basketball shoes aren’t the best for a good running gait, so this one is one to keep an eye on, at least for me.

  4. Looks hyperlive-ish, and probably not good for wide-footers. Props to them for making a great looking shoe though.

  5. I didn’t show it completely in the review, but the forefoot has a rocker effect just like the adidas Energy Boost runner – transition is so nice.

    1. Excellent review. I am definitely considering giving them a go. Love that forefoot rocker effect in the KD V so great to hear that it’s present here.

      Do these fit long or wide at all? Just wondering as a narrow footer who is always between two sizes.

      1. Yeah, toebox is a little long, but I like about a half inch at the end. You could size down half and probably be good.

        1. Appreciate the reply — just have to ask as it looks like online ordering is my only option. Some stores near me carry the runners but doubt they have these

          1. I felt the same in the runners as I do in the mazer so if you can try the runners on that will give you a pretty good idea.

  6. after 2-3 more performer shoes (like this, or better) from 361, should they be looking for an NBA athlete to promote/endorse them (again)?

  7. Nice review! I would love to see more people trying out over the sea (China) brand shoes, as far as I have seen, the Chinese company such as anta lining and also this 361 are doing a great job in making affordable good hoop shoes

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