Puma Court Rider 2
A great budget model that’s well suited for guards. Be mindful of the fit.
Colorway: Ocean Dive/Harbor Mist
Release Date: 2022
Style Code: 376646-04
The Puma Court Rider 2 is the follow-up to what LaMelo Ball initially wore in the NBA – the Puma Court Rider. Puma kept some things from that first model and updated several others. The Puma Court Rider 2 has some obvious aesthetic updates, and we liked the shoe during our initial review. But, how did they hold up after hours on the court? Let’s find out.
Puma tweaked the traction pattern slightly from the original Puma Court Rider. They took the bold, durable Puma patterned section of the outer portion of the sole from that first model and spread it all over. This turned out to be a good move because the shoe gripped every surface I played on superbly, and the pattern is plenty durable to hold up well outdoors.
The traction also wraps up on certain portions of the midsole. This will add bite to more aggressive moves like crossovers, or hard cuts. Traction would have been my favorite feature if Puma had neglected to update another feature. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
The Puma Court Rider 2 features full-length foam cushioning. Puma calls this foam Rider Foam. The setup is well balanced and offers sufficient impact protection while keeping the shoe responsive and low to the ground.
The Puma Court Rider 2 was clearly designed to cater to lighter, more nimble players who need a more reactive ride. If I’m nit-picking, I would have preferred a bit more plushness, but I enjoyed the setup, and at no point did I feel my legs or my joints getting weary.
Now, the materials were my favorite part of this shoe. Admittedly, there is nothing I would describe as premium on the shoe, but I would say the build is excellent. The Puma Court Rider 2 features textiles, fuse areas, mesh, and synthetic leather layered on top of each other. The Court Rider 2 reminds me of shoes from the early 2000s.
The upper performed admirably. Lockdown was on point, with no pinching or restrictiveness, they were lightweight and breathable, and ventilation was not an issue. But what takes everything to the next level is just the look and feel. How you feel in a shoe is almost as important as how it performs (just ask Rasheed Wallace) and I just loved how I felt wearing these.
The fit was the one area I had an issue with. I usually hover between a 12.5 and a 12. I ordered my pair in a size 12 and I felt I could have gone down a whole size, length-wise. It was odd because the rest of the shoe felt great: no break-in time, 1 to 1 fit, no sliding, etc. But there was almost an inch of dead space between my toes and the end of the shoe.
To be fair, it didn’t affect the performance of the shoe in any noticeable way, it just took some getting used to.
Coincidentally, I happened to order another pair of Pumas in a 13 and they fit better lengthwise than the Puma Curt Rider 2. Maybe I just got a wonky pair, but I would say to go into a store a try them on.
The Puma Court Rider 2 has more than decent support. Nothing crazy, but it gets the job done. The layering of the upper plus the lace cables helps keep your foot securely on the footbed. The forefoot provides a wide base to enhance stability, and there is a decent heel counter as well.
There is no visible torsional plate, however, and the shoe is pretty flexible. I didn’t have any problems with the setup, but if you like shoes where support is the main feature like the Kawhi 2, these might not be for you.
I really enjoyed playing in the Puma Court Rider 2. At the moment, if I’m reaching for a “guard shoe” I’m reaching for the Puma Court Rider 2. I do like what they bring to the table performance-wise and the materials and aesthetics just happen to be my jam.
In closing, I should bring up their price. Nowadays, $110 seems to be a budget price point, which I think is a bit nuts. I was able to get my pair for $80, so going into my testing they felt like a budget shoe. I must admit that part of the reason why I like the Puma Court Rider 2 so much is that I perceived them as an “impressive budget model”. I don’t know if I would have been so impressed if I had paid full price.
What’s in the video?
In the video, Chris provides detailed information from all the usual categories, providing the in-depth information you need. He supplies expert-level opinions on the materials, cushioning, traction, support, and fit. Here’s some of what he discusses:
- LaMelo Ball shoes – complete list
- Literal Puma traction pattern
- Thick outsole rubber
- ProFoam midsole
- Fluffier feel than Nike Kyrie Low 5
- Stability features
- Puma Form-Strip logos
- Upgraded upper
- Lockdown nylon cables
- Sizing recommendations
As an added bonus, Mrs. Wing gives her honest opinion on the shoe.
How to Buy the Puma Court Rider 2
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