WearTesters is reader-supported. When you make purchases using links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Why trust us?

BrandBlack Rare Metal | Performance Review

One of the best brands in the game has a certified hit on its hands: the BrandBlack Rare Metal.

brandblack rare metal performance review traction


Traction – Beastly! BrandBlack updated the blade traction pattern previously featured on the JC2, JC3, Force Vector, and Ether by adding integrated grooves throughout to channel dust through the blades if debris get excessive during gameplay — I’m looking at you 24 Hr Fitness. While the compound isn’t ideal for outdoor use in terms of longevity, indoor hoopers will likely enjoy the traction immensely.

brandblack rare metal performance review cushion

Cushion –
Like the blade traction, cushion has been updated as well. No BlackFoam this year. Instead, it’s what BrandBlack calls Jetlon EVL — aka Jetlon Evolution. It’s more absorbent than the original Jetlon but lower to the ground. You end up with a shoe that’s not only wickedly comfortable but one that offers great court feel in addition to protection upon impact. An added bonus is just how smooth the ride is on-court. Your stride will feel effortless while laced up in the BrandBlack Rare Metal and that’s something every player should enjoy.

brandblack rare metal performance review materials

Materials –
Jacquard is becoming increasingly popular amongst brands and that’s what we have here. The knit is tight and supportive while feeling light and free around the foot. If you haven’t experienced a woven or knitted hoop shoe yet, then start with a model made of this stuff. If you like it then you’ll be addicted to the fit and feel.

There are also some strategically placed TPU overlays for added protection of the materials in high-wear areas. This addition ensures that this shoe will last as long as possible throughout the beating you’re about to give them on-court.

brandblack rare metal performance review fit

Fit –
 The BrandBlack Rare Metal fits true to size and will accommodate wide footers nicely due to the materials used. If you wanted the most snug fit possible then going down 1/2 size should work out for those with narrow feet. My regular size was perfect for me, and even when I tweaked my ankle I was able to wear my brace without issue.

Lockdown is solid. The midfoot offers a traditional lace setup that gets the job done. Meanwhile, the collar is high in the front and low in the back. This draws your ankle into the heel counter ensure for epic lockdown at all times. There is also a nicely sculpted heel that ensures a secure fit as well.

brandblack rare metal performance review support


Support – Everything you need, and nothing you don’t. From the lateral outrigger, to the wide base, internal torsion plate and heel counter, the BrandBlack Rare Metal has got it all. It’s a shoe that was made for a guard but can take care of a big man. Yeah, we have a feeling you’re going to like these, a lot.

brandblack rare metal performance review overall

Overall –
Yet another brand that offers you the best there is for as little as possible. For $110 you get the most modern materials, the brand’s most advanced cushion to date, and exceptional traction. No, it isn’t suited for outdoors, sorry. Indoor players, however, the BrandBlack Rare Metal might end up being one of your go-to hoop shoes.


  1. Omg! So freaking sexy! I’ve been dying to see this review! Pretty sure I am a Brandblack convert now! Can’t wait to get my hands on them! I really appreciate the hard work you do NW, it’s especially awesome when you get the reviews out before the shoe releases, thanks man! Now the hard part comes of being patient until they release!

      1. Thank you NW!! Now ive been always looking for brandblack its all because of your awesome review. Hope we can have rare metal available here at Philippines. Godspeed!

  2. Yup yup! I guess I know what my next shoes (plural) are gonna be for next year or so. — Chris, thanks so much for telling us about Brandblack because I would have never heard of them without your work. I’m definitely looking forward to getting more of their models. *salute from Jersey

  3. The evolution is very sensible. The Black Foam JC3/Ether setup is awesome for casual wear imo. It’s more comfortable than Jetlon, but when it comes to being in motion, I found that the JC2 tooling overall feels much better. So yeah, makes a lot of sense that BB built upon Jetlon.

    The collar setup also struck me before being discussed. There’s a lot of smart things going on, and it’s crazy that it’s cheaper as well. I’m guessing BB is responding to demand and trying to transition to higher volume sales in their business model…not that their pairs were too expensive to start.

    Only other thing is just like, damn. The FV/JC2’s are still really good (really good) pairs. Unless they were completely trashed it’d be such a waste to put them in the backseat of rotation. That being said, the Rare Metal presumably being better is pretty crazy to think about.

  4. This was a review that I definitely anticipated and I was not disappointed. Wow! I just really like the look of the shoe and paying retail for them isn’t breaking the bank either. BB comes in with Another One. Thanks for the review NW.

  5. Hi NW/WT. How do these feel compared to blackfoam? Is it as responsive/bouncy? Copped the FV, was gonna cop JC3/Ether because of its bouncy/responsiveness.


  6. Hey Nightwing!
    Do you know if these will be avaiable in europe too? I live in germany and if they are I really wanna get these.


    1. i am just speculating from what i have seen until now, but i think they will be available in europe through revolve. right now there you can get brandblack’s current models with free shipping in europe, so i am also hoping that they are going to release in this fashion.

  7. Thanks for the review. Brandblack is legit. Love my J Crossover 2’s. Bought but still need to try my J Crossover 3’s. Waiting for a special occasion to bust out my Weartester Ethers. Now it looks like I need to pick these up. Shame about the traction being indoor only but that’s how things are nowadays 95% of the time. Hopefully they will be available through finishline.

  8. Seems like a nice shoe, at a nice price to boot. I like this trend among several brands not named Jordan of keeping shoes at a comfortable price range.

    Jacquard should be the new fuse that everyone uses- much more malleable and comfy, and probably doesn’t cost too much to produce, judging by the prices of this and the Crazylight.

  9. Tech and design looks similar to the Lillard 2, esp those lines on the midsole. How does bounce compare to the jetlon evl?

  10. Would these have been the JC4 if Crawford didn’t sign with adidas? Or was there another model planned? I like to see what could/should’ve been.

  11. I’ve been wondering this for a while – granted I don’t understand the science or chemistry that goes behind shoes but I never understood why added rubber content makes cushion better/more absorbent. While I can understand when you say added rubber content makes the cushion feel bouncier (like blackfoam), why would added rubber content increase impact absorption? Wouldn’t more foam actually be more absorbent as its main cushion source? Otherwise, thanks nightwing, great review!

  12. Easy question Nightwing! No matter the budget and only for indoor use, which one is best: just relaunched JC 2 lows or these? Many thanks!

    1. These, absolutely. The containment on the JC2 is pretty poor, while the midsole extends up on these to give lateral support.

  13. For outdoors, you can buy the adidas ball 365. durable shoes with great cushion! This for indoor and ball 365 for outdoors and you have a nice rotation for a year! Cost of both might equal just one of a retro fr other brand

  14. How’s the containment? Personally I think previous BB shoes had very poor containment on lateral movements.. my foot would bulge out a lot and they didn’t keep me planted.

  15. Sounds amazing! Love that Jetlon or a new form of it is back. TBH, I want to wait for other materials, like premium leather…. please BB, give us Vachetta Tan on these babies!

  16. Great work, Nightwing. Can’t wait to hoop in these. Which Kobe model do you think they most closely resemble in terms of court feel?


  17. Ive been on the lillars 2 for a month playing 2 days a week and are just incredible took me a couple of weeks get used to the weight… i think these joint from brandblack will hit the same note a great affordable go to shoe and i would love to get them but brandblack doesnt sell in my country (Mexico city)

  18. hey nightwing what do you like more personally, the crazylight boost 2016 or these?? i noticed the CLB got a hall of fame badge for the traction and cushion but the materials and fit might be better on the rare metals

  19. Which shoes are heavier Brandblack Rare Metal or Adidas Harden Vol.1? By the way what is the weight of Hardens Vol.1?

  20. Hi NIGHTWING2303, I was checking the Size Chart at Finishline website ant it shows that I would have to get a 10.5 US size in order get a 27.3 CM, do you know if the sizing on this shoe is different from any other brands? I’d normally order a 9.5 US size. Thanks for your help and great work you do through all your social media.

  21. My RM from Finish Line came in today. Really, Nightwing nailed everything as always. Maybe the only thing I’d expand on is fit. I went half size down since the upper is soft and I’m usually between half-sizes. I did so with the Ethers (in dat WT colrway) as well. I found RM has a bit more forefoot width off the bat, and I have a bit of leftover length as well. Works in my favor because I like to go as small as I can to eliminate heel slip.

    Had mine on the whole day to break in. It’s not comfortable in the sense that it impresses me like Boost or Blackfoam, but it’s like a completely problem-free shoe. Hard to believe, but that’s a rare thing for me lately. BB just played it smart. Not much experimentation, although the high lacing system works out great for me. Took what already worked and tweaked strategically.

    Wondering what the story is with the insole, though. Like is the texture what it is for a functional reason? Seems a tad thinner than the previous gen blue ones. Swapped those in and can’t really make out a difference yet.

  22. Appreciate the review Nightwing. Been playing in these a couple weeks and really enjoying them. Shoe pretty much covers everything you would want from a performance shoe and does it all very well. I went TTS and the fit is phenomenal. Also like you said, it is surprising how supportive these are for how lightweight they are. For me these knocked the DRose 7’s out of my current rotation and are one of my go to shoes.
    Keep up the good work

  23. Hey NW… These are $88 shipped from finishline! I think I have to get them. (Even though Kobe A.D. Just got delivered)

  24. Build quality on midsole is poor. Played about 10 hours in these and the outrigger separated from the foam. Stay away from these, I play a lot of basketball and in my experience this will happen on every rare metal due to bad design. It sucks because everything about the shoe is good.

  25. hey tried on the rare metal today and played awesome–however, I did think one thing was odd. The fit. I usually wear a 11.5 or 12. (j crossover 2 I wore 11.5 fitted perfectly). On these, I i wore the 11.5 and the length was soo long! so I did have to exchange for 11 which were really too snug. Did u have the same issue? or is this an isolated incident?? thx.

  26. So after a long layoff from this pair. I tried it again and this time I compared it’s lateral stability with drose 7 low. I wear a size 11 for both and O have to say that DRose7 lows have a much better lateral stability. With the rare metal i felt like I was going to twist my ankle on lateral stops which i did not feel at all with the Drose 7 low. Have you had the same experience?

Add a Comment

Related Posts