Now that things have finally slowed down, it’s time to get back to business…
Traction – Definitely surprised with their grip. I wouldn’t rank them as an elite performer when it comes to traction but they are still one of the better options available. The sectioned herringbone grips the court well while the SuperFlexi outsole allows the outsole to move while keeping as much traction in contact with the ground as possible. They worked well on most court conditions, only when a good amount of debris were present did clogging the pattern up become an issue.
Cushion – Don’t let the little strip of gel fool you… the cushion source is strictly foam. Yes, there is a strip of gel but it only covers that small outrigger section and thats pretty much it. Now, with that out of the way, the RR1 was actually really comfortable. Definitely not the most cushioned rides but fluid nonetheless. No aches or pains after long runs on-court and at my age, thats a good sign.
Materials – They tried… sort of. The synthetic leather is pretty cheap and doesn’t support much of anything. Then there is the Fuse. It’s just as soft as the leather but has the ability to withstand abrasion. On the positive side, they require zero break-in time. Downside… there is such a thing as having materials that are too soft and these are a good example of that.
Fit – They fit nicely length wise once you figure out their weird US sizing. Best advice would be to email whoever you are buying from and get their recommendation – my usual size 9 was actually a size 8 in their ‘US’ sizing. In terms of lockdown, thats where they lack heavily. The midfoot and heel area are great but the forefoot is extremely sloppy. When you mix a sloppy fitting forefoot with really soft/ cheap materials then you’ll lose a bit of support laterally. You want to feel contained when wearing your shoe so you know you’re supported… they missed the mark with these when it comes to that type of containment and fit. Wide footers may not experience this issue and the shoe may fit them perfectly.
Support – Had the forefoot fit properly then they would have done quite a bit better. As stated earlier, the midfoot and heel were really nice and locked you in well but the sloppiness of the forefoot wasn’t something you’d typically want when playing basketball… at least not for Guards. Create a better fit for the forefoot that actually contains the foot and that should solve the issue… again, wide footers may not encounter such problems and may prefer these over most of todays shoes.
Overall – They were fun but they also played like a lower end performance model. For the price they’d cost someone overseas, it’s worthy of a purchase but if you had to pay a premium to get the shoe to your door and on your foot then you might want to reconsider… unless you have wide feet and you have issues with a lot of shoes available today, since they tend to run narrow. Traction was a highlight and their surprisingly fluid cushion were favored, however, their sloppy fit is something that would take them off of my list for top performers of the year. Looking at things in a positive way… ANTA has plenty of room to improve upon the areas in which they lacked. If their signing of NBA athletes is eventually followed up with a push within the US market then they’ll need to really consider making these improvements if they truly wish to compete with the other brands.
I purchased my pair from HiBasketballShoes.com if you were interested in trying them out for yourself.