Curry’s latest signature from Under Armour has been out for a while now, and I’ve had plenty of time to test it and determine my final thoughts about it. In short, the Curry 3 isn’t for me.
The Curry 3 is a shoe that I thought would really grow on me and perform better with time; I mean, with a high quality build and great materials how could it not? Simply put, I was never completely comfortable with the way that the shoe felt when I was playing, and it’s a shame because I really enjoyed the way these shoes looked. So, without further ado, I present the Quick Kicks Performance Review of the Under Armour Curry 3.
The traction on the Curry 3 has a pattern that we all know and love: herringbone. Other than the circular pattern on the ball of the foot, the entire outsole is composed of the herringbone traction setup, and it works…kind of. Though it isn’t the best traction pattern of the year (I reserve that honor for the D Rose 7), it will get the job done on most court conditions. It was a strange feeling actually; the Curry 3 has a traction pattern that doesn’t feel great, but performs decently well. Though the pattern didn’t often slip or skid, I didn’t get the feeling that I could stop on a dime like I have with some other traction patterns this year.
One thing that I love in a traction pattern (despite it having no performance aspect to it at all) is a good ol’ squeaking noise when I halt to a stop. I thought that as I began to wear the traction in a little bit, I would get the same satisfying noise, but that wasn’t the case. Overall, I wouldn’t worry too much about the traction on the Curry 3, as it definitely isn’t a deal breaker. It performs well in most court conditions, and in my book that’s acceptable.
Just like we’ve seen from previous Curry models, the Curry 3 has Under Armour’s Charged cushioning setup. This setup is designed to be dynamic, providing a plush feel when standing still and a more firm sensation when in motion. For the most part I found this to be true, as the Curry 3 was pretty comfortable when standing still or walking slowly, and then as soon as I started moving at game pace, I was greeted with a firm ride that provided a lot of court feel.
This setup, though not ideal for my preferences, is perfect for fast-paced guards who love to feel the floor beneath them. The reason that I’m not the biggest fan of Charged foam is the fact that it lacks in the impact protection department. I think one way that the Curry 3 could be improved in the cushion department would be to add UA’s other cushioning system, Micro G, which provides more impact protection and a softer ride. It would be interesting to see a shoe in the future that utilizes both the Charged foam as well as the Micro G foam, as I think it could provide a good balance of court feel and impact protection. When it comes down to it, the Curry 3 is a shoe for people who don’t mind a firm ride and love to feel the court beneath them.
The materials department is where I think the Curry 3 really shines. Under Armour brought back the Anafoam material that was implemented on the Curry 1 — and I’m so glad it did. Anafoam does a good job of providing lightweight structure to the shoe while not being too stiff or rigid. This material is used only on the medial side of the shoe, which I think was a good choice, as using Anafoam on the entire upper may have made the shoe feel a little bit clunky.
The lateral side of the shoe and toe is made of Under Armour’s new Threadborne material, which is essentially its version of a woven upper. What’s interesting about this Threadborne material is that it is extremely durable for a woven. Sure, it’s not as soft as adidas’ Primeknit, but it still flexes very well and felt very nice on-foot. The best part about it is that you don’t have to worry about people stepping on your foot (potentially harming the material) or it wearing away fairly quickly. On top of it all, a fuse-like material covers the medial side of the toe as well as the entire lower lateral side of the shoe. Though the Threadborne material may be durable, the fuse overlay actually started to wear away quite quickly on the front due to toe dragging, so that’s something to keep in mind.
Overall, the materials on the upper of the Curry 3 are really top notch, and I think the dual-implementation of the Anafoam and Threadborne materials was executed quite well.
Support and lockdown on the Curry 3 were overall pretty good, although I do have one small complaint that I’ll address later. Starting from the bottom of the shoe, we’ve got a carbon fiber midfoot shank that does a good job providing torsional support during play. The shoe also has these two carbon fiber “meta wing” plates that also do a good job containing the foot not only when making lateral cuts, but when transitioning from heel to toe as well. The great thing about carbon fiber is that it is so strong yet so light, and the overall stability at the base of the shoe is good because of it.
Moving up higher on the shoe, the Curry 3 features an asymmetrical lacing system that really takes advantage of the Anafoam setup. The way that this lacing system pulls the Anafoam tight across your foot really allows the the foam to adapt to your foot over time and give you a great fit. The lacing system also features dynamic eyelets on the lateral side of the shoe that keep your foot locked down at all times. The lacing system overall on Curry’s newest signature was great…until I got to the top of the shoe. For some reason, the highest eyelet seems to be extremely low, and leaves a lot of material at the top that just didn’t feel right. It’s almost like Under Armour didn’t want to cover up the UA logo with the laces, so it didn’t give us an eyelet higher up. Though this wasn’t anything that drastically affected the shoe support wise, it just never felt comfortable for me and I wish there had been either one more eyelet or less excess material at the top.
The last part of the shoe that provided for some great support was the exaggerated heel counter and high “quarter rise” Anafoam located around the Achilles. These two support aspects kept my heel locked into place and provided quality protection to the back of my foot. I never felt any movement or heel slippage, which is was great. As a whole, the support and lockdown on the Curry 3 would work really well for any type of player, big or small.
Finally, when it comes to the fit of the Curry 3s, true to size is the way to go. I went with my normal size and both the length and the width felt good. The Anafoam also does a great job of molding to your foot over time, and every time I put the shoe on it felt a bit more tailored to my foot. The asymmetrical lacing system aids in this by pulling the medial side of the shoe over, while the dynamic system on the lateral side provides a snug fit. The tongue is nice and plush, and the top of the shoe provides a good amount of cushion when surrounding the ankle. Again, as I said earlier, the only part of the fit that didn’t feel right was the excess material at the top of the shoe. It moved in an odd way, and it’s something that could have been fixed easily.
When I look at each component of the Curry 3 individually, the shoe looks as though it should have performed extremely well, and for the most part it did. For some odd reason though, I just never felt comfortable when playing in this shoe. It was almost like I was waiting for the shoe to break in, yet it never did, but that isn’t quite it. I think a lot of my uneasiness in the shoe came from that extra material at the top because it made me feel like the shoe was loose. I suppose that despite the great build quality and solid materials, the Curry 3 is just a shoe that didn’t work for my play style. Just because the Curry 3 didn’t work great for me doesn’t mean that it isn’t a great shoe or that it won’t work for you. If you’re a fast-paced guard that loves court feel (like Steph Curry himself) you’ll probably enjoy this shoe. However, more explosive players and those who need more impact protection should probably look elsewhere.
I give credit to Under Armour for providing the newest Curry model with high quality materials and and a premium build. I also think the brand did a great job with the styling of the shoe, providing a bold new direction for the Curry line. And yet, I think that UA built the Curry 3 for its signature athlete rather first, and the consumer second, which could be a good or bad thing. I suggest that all who read this take a look at some of the other performance reviews that the WearTesters team has put together, as all of us have different play styles and because of that we all have different views of the shoe (the links to their reviews are below).
Thanks for checking out the Quick Kicks Performance Review of the Curry 3. Let us know what you think of the Curry 3 if you have a pair, or if you’re planning on picking up a pair in the comments section below. To see more from Quick Kicks, check out:
Curry 3 Performance Reviews from other WearTesters teammates: