The Curry 3Z6 is one of the better budget models out there. With that said, there are still multiple things to improve.
Release Date: 2022
The Curry 3Z6 looks oddly familiar, especially when put side-by-side with the Curry HOVR Splash and its predecessor, the Curry 3Z5. It’s the most popular budget series for Stephen Curry, and people who don’t want to spend $160 on his flagship model look for these as an alternative. The Curry 3Z6 is not as good as the Curry 9, though it has one great characteristic, and there’s plenty of room for improvement.
The traction pattern is the same as the Curry 3Z5 and the Curry HOVR Splash. Thus, performance is identical. You get multidirectional coverage which bites well on any surface. One of the most incredible upsides to this shoe is the outsole durability. I’ve played multiple hours outdoors on the roughest concrete you can find, and there’s barely any fraying. Plus, the grooves are thick.
The cushion is full-length MicroG, the same as last year’s iteration. Like Jalique said in his review of that shoe, the foam is soft and plush, but there’s not much of it. During play, I felt it compress every once in a while. Impact protection isn’t its strength, and stability is. There’s no delay in movement at all. For outdoor play, I would recommend a maximum of 1.5 hours. Anything beyond that, I found that my knees were taking a lot of hits. Heel-strikers will also not enjoy this setup.
A lot of the comfort comes from the insoles, which are made of a PORON-like material, similar to the one found in the Nike PG 4. It will last longer than Ortholite inserts, but nothing substantial.
The mesh upper used here is more open-celled. It’s almost jersey material, to be honest. There is a fuse overlay on the toe cap for added durability. The back fourth of the shoe is leather, and more is found on the medial side. It’s good quality for a budget model. The tongue consists of a closer knit mesh, while the eye stays are some sort of cheap synthetics. Not too special, but the leather additions are appreciated.
The Curry 3Z6 is true to size for most everyone. The mesh will break in, so narrow footers may be okay going down half a size. There’s not a lot of dead space above your feet, but there is about a thumb’s width of space length-wise. As always, nothing beats trying these on in-store.
It wasn’t terrible, but I feel like it became worse over time. The Curry 3Z5 had the leather panel on the lateral side for containment. Now that that’s been moved to the medial side, support suffered. I didn’t feel as well contained in intense lateral movements. The midsole doesn’t come up enough to compensate for this weakness. Arch support is also not the best, and I recommend using Move Insoles for a better experience. You can’t easily twist the shoe, so torsional support is at least decent. A lot could have been improved in this department.
Curry 3Z6 Overall
The Curry 3Z6 is a decent sneaker with many possible things to improve on. Support could have been better had they kept the leather panel on the lateral side. The cushion could have been improved with a thicker slab of MicroG. Traction, however, is something I am satisfied with, especially as one who regularly plays indoors and outdoors.
How to Buy the Curry 3Z6
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