The Under Armour Curry 4 feels like the true successor to the Curry 2.
Traction – Herringbone is missing from the Curry line for the very first time, and while we love our herringbone, it wasn’t actually missed. The spiral pattern put in place offers multi-directional coverage for any move performed at any time. Linear coverage is fantastic and lateral coverage is handled very well too.
When dust is present the tackiness of the rubber compound used (on translucent outsole options) attracts dust like a magnet. Wiping will be very necessary if you happen to play on a poorly maintained court, but when you’re not wiping things are still able to stick until you have the time to clear things out. One of the courts I play on feels slick even after its been cleaned — it likely needs to be refinished — and the Curry 4 was still able to hold its own.
With the translucent playing so well on some terrible courts it makes me wonder how much more awesome solid rubber versions of the outsole will perform. If you aren’t using herringbone, use this. This was awesome.
Cushion – Tech specs for the Curry 4 were released after I had recorded the video performance review. However, we still didn’t learn much about the cushion. All that we have been told is that UA is incorporating a proprietary foam compound for responsiveness underfoot. Whether or not this foam is Charged, a new form of Micro G, or something else entirely is still up in the air.
However, I do know how the cushion felt underfoot and the best word I can use to describe it is minimal. Not quite Kyrie minimal, but minimal enough to allow for court feel and some minor impact protection. You can always swap out the insole for some additional coverage (I was fine with the stock insole) but this isn’t the shoe for people looking for cushioning. Much like the Curry models of the past, these are all about control, court feel, and stability. If these are attributes you require out of your shoes then you’re going to love how these play. Again, if you’re looking for something with a ton of cushion then these simply weren’t meant for you.
What I like most about the Curry 4’s midsole tooling is that it offers a minimal setup and the shoe owns it. The Curry 3 was super firm and thick for no reason. You rode high off the floor without the benefit of having a well-cushioned ride. That wound up making the 3 feel heavy and clunky underfoot. It was stable, but you can achieve greater stability by bringing yourself down to the floor — that will make you feel lighter on your feet and quicker.
This was not the case with the Curry 4 because what you see is what you get. I feel the perfect setup for these would have been this exact midsole setup with the addition of a Micro G insole; luckily, I still have a few of those stashed away from older UA models. That combination gives you a little more feedback from the foam insole while retaining all of the attributes the Curry 4 offers.
Materials – Threadborne looks to have been a one and done type of material from the Curry line because we now have a modern knit along the upper. Sitting atop the knit is a synthetic leather overlay that adds a little bit of reinforcement to the minimally structured shoe.
So far, this setup has proven to be effective on-court while remaining durable. The synthetic breaks in very nicely and mimics leather in a way that I hadn’t expected. Once the knitted upper breaks in and conforms to your foot you end up with a shoe that feels like it was molded around your foot shape — not just some generic last.
Fit – Going true to size is crucial because the upper is very minimalistic. The entire shoe feels like its suffocating your feet when you first put them on but the break-in process does wonders for the fit.
Side note: I keep reading on other forums that players wear a shoe one time and decide that the shoe is not for them, noting complaints about material stiffness. Shoes often require break-in time. I’m not sure why consumers nowadays are unwilling to break in shoes. The shoes were not built around their foot shape so why would they feel like they were after a single wear for two hours? Leather shoes never felt perfect straight out of the box. Fuse-based shoes required tons of breaking in before feeling nice.
Many consumers have become lazy and impatient. Hopefully, things change for the better, where consumers are well versed on what products offer and why those offerings may or may not work for them rather than just going for something and being pissed that it wasn’t perfect from the start. End rant.
Now, if you choose to go up half size on the Curry 4 because you have wide feet and wish to not break-in your shoe then you will compromise the fit and overall support. If you do this you may injure yourself because you’ve made it so the shoe’s design no longer works as intended. Not every shoe was made for every person. Find a shoe that was made for you, or break in one, and you’ll be surprised at how awesome it is.
Lockdown on the Curry 4 was excellent. The entire shoe is a sock, a very tight sock. You ride inside portions of the footbed (midsole) and once you lace up you’re locked in. Being low to the ground also helps with the minimal upper — everything here feels like it had a lot of thought put into it and if it’s here, there’s for a reason. Having this upper on the Curry 3s tooling would have been disastrous because your foot would sit on top of that midsole rather than in it, and I don’t think this upper wouldn’t have been able to handle all types of lateral movements on its own.
To sum things up: go true to size. Break in the shoe if it’s a little snug at first and you’ll thank yourself later.
Support – Despite being a minimal shoe, the support is solid. The overall support doesn’t rely on the upper, other than the fit, but more so on the way everything works together. The way your foot rests inside the shoe, the way the midsole is sculpted in the rear and lateral forefoot — all of it works very well together. Everything feels very anatomical and I like it a lot.
If I were to enhance anything it would have been the internal heel counter. I would have liked it a little bigger and covering more area. The way it’s implemented currently wasn’t a deal breaker because I love playing in the shoe, but it’s the one thing I feel could have been improved upon. Otherwise, the way the outsole sits on the floor, moves with the upper, and moves with the wearer’s foot feels effortless.
Overall – The Curry 4 feels like it should have come after the Curry 2. It provides a better fit, greater stability, and more control. These are all things the Curry 2 had going for it and it feels like these attributes roll over into the Curry 4 a bit more seamlessly than it had in the 3.
If Under Armour can continue its basketball line with this type of performance then it will have hit a nice stride moving forward. Not only do I love the Curry 4, but now I’m really excited for the Curry 5.