You may not know much about PEAK and its Tony Parker signature line, but what you should know is that PEAK is no slouch when it comes to on-court performance. The PEAK TP IV has some great things to offer both on the hardwood and the blacktop.
What exactly? Find out with the WearTesters.com performance review of the PEAK TP IV:
Traction: PEAK decided to go with a dual rubber setup that uses both translucent and solid rubbers on the outsole and as a result, the overall experience is hit or miss. If you’re playing on a perfectly clean floor the traction will hold up but if you’re playing on anything less than a spotless floor dust will find its way onto the outsole of the TP IV, causing you to slip and wipe more times than you should.
The outdoor performance of the PEAK TP IV’s traction is a totally different experience as it performs at an extremely high level, allowing you to stop on a dime over a variety of surfaces. While the grey solid rubber portions of the outsole a quite durable, the translucent portions of the outsole have already started to show signs of wear; this leads us to believe the PEAK TP IV probably would have been better off with a full-length solid rubber outsole. However, as it sits right now the traction is great on the blacktop and uneven at best on the hardwood.
Cushion: The cushion on the TP IV is PEAK’s gradient dual technology which offers a low to the ground ride that will cater to quick guards who are light on their feet. There is an S-Pad in the heel and a good amount of flex grooves carved into the midsole for impact protection, but unless you’re landing on your heel a lot, the cushion in the TP IV isn’t very noticeable. Your legs and knees will get enough impact protection to keep you from aching after a long run, but you’re not going to feel the cushion bouncing back during hard landings and strides. Instead, the cushion used here offers a responsive ride that will get you moving from one direction to another with no delay.
Materials: A mesh upper with a plastic-coated overlay and a thin fuse underlay is what the brand is calling “PEAK Surface” and it provides a durable experience that could have been much better. Not only are there patent leather-looking fuse overlays for added durability, structure, and support, but a thin fuse underlay throughout the entire upper is also used and it’s completely unnecessary. It doesn’t create any stiffness whatsoever, thanks to its thinness, but it does eliminate any ventilation the engendered mesh-like upper would have offered. The fuse overlays and overall rigidity of the PEAK Surface upper would have provided enough structure and support on their own. Had PEAK refrained from using the thin fuse underlay, the materials on the TP IV could have been something special but in its current configuration it’s nothing we haven’t seen before.
Fit: The snug one-to-one fit that the TP IV provides is one of the best experiences I’ve ever had, but going up half a size is highly recommended. Normally I wear a size 10.5, but the TP IV I wear tested was a size 11 and my toes were exactly where I wanted them to be, which is near the front of the shoe with a little space in between. The four eyelets that wrap around the sidewalls of the shoe kept me locked and prevented my foot from shifting in any way; that allowed me to confidently make any move I wanted to with no hesitation. If you tie up the TP IV too tight, it can definitely feel suffocating, but if you get the lacing just right, there will be nothing to complain about. Extremely wide footers could possibly go up a full size as the TP IV provides a very snug fit, but for everyone else, going up a half size is what’s recommended.
Support: Don’t be fooled by its low-top nature, because the PEAK TP IV comes correct with the support features. Both the fuse overlays and an external heel cup add ample structure and support while a tenacity unit in the midfoot provides torsional support to assure that your foot doesn’t contort in any way it isn’t supposed to. The forefoot is also fairly wide and extends outward on the lateral side; this acts like an outrigger for those hard cuts and stops and will help you stay on your feet no matter what condition the floor your playing on is in. If you’re a more explosive player that puts a lot of stress onto your shoe, the TP IV is up to the task but it excels if you’re the type of player it was built to accommodate.
Quick guards who are low to the ground and use lightning fast moves to get through the defense will find the PEAK TP IV’s support stable and responsive, giving you the full confidence in your game without worrying about what’s on your feet. This is one of the better support systems for a low-top that I can remember and the snug one-to-one fit is a big reason part of that. As a result, the sneaker actually feels more like a mid than a low so if you’re one to use an ankle brace, there will be no leaks in the support system of the TP IV.
Overall: At the end of the day the TP IV surprised me quite a bit. The fit was absolutely fantastic and when I was playing on perfect floor conditions the traction performed at a very high level — this was enough to make me feel more comfortable on the court than I’ve felt in quite while. Sometimes a shoe fits you so well that you feel confident enough to do every move you know, and even the moves you would normally forgo — that is to say, the PEAK TP IV felt like a true extension of my foot. This might just be an isolated experience because the TP IV fits my unique foot shape perfectly, but I think that anyone who enjoys a snug one-to-one fit will enjoy what the TP IV has to offer. The support system was excellent as well, especially for a low top, but the cushion was somewhat forgettable, especially if you’re one that likes to feel their cushion at every step.
If you’re interested in the TP IV I would highly recommend them as an outdoor option because the traction was more consistent outdoors and the overall durability of the PEAK Surface upper will make the TP IV last for a good amount of time — just make sure you go up at least half a size.