Q4 Sports 495 Lo SP Performance Review


The Q4 Sports 495 Lo gets an update and a performance review.


Traction on the Q4 Sports 495 Lo SP is just as it was on the Q4 Sports NForcer: herringbone, a pivot point and an outrigger. No frills, no gimmicks; just a simple pattern that works on an outsole that will last both indoor and outdoor.

Just like the Q4 Sports Nforcer, the 495 Lo SP was tested indoors and outdoors. Indoors, the traction worked well as long as there wasn’t too much dust. When dust became an issue, a quick wipe was in order and I was ready to keep playing. Outdoors, on the other hand, bites and it bites hard. Unlike outsoles from plenty of other brands that we test, there are no signs of rubber fraying or wear. For a shoe that retails for just $100, your dollar will go a long way.

Cushion, much like the traction, is the same found on Q4 Sports NForcer. However, unlike the NForcer, it wasn’t as plush or bouncy. I’m not sure what the reason for this is. Maybe I bought a bad pair or maybe there are inconsistencies in the foam compound. I honestly couldn’t tell you as it could be anything. All I know is that when I’ve played in this same exact tooling on multiple other Q4 models, including some wear-test samples, it has always been a great mixture of plush, bouncy cushion with enough court feel to keep you feeling fast. This time around, it was just firm. I’m pretty disappointed because I love the colorway, but they’re just not like the other models I’ve tried.

Just for those wanting additional information, Q4 Sports uses a foam that it calls KOMpress for the midsole. It’s an open-celled foam in certain areas for rebound and tightly-celled foam in others for court feel. The bounce I’ve received from this setup in past models has been awesome. I’d say it’s the brand’s most comfortable tooling setup other than what’s featured on the Millennium Hi model, though just not this time around.

Materials feel much nicer on the 495 Lo SP than they do on the original 495 Lo. The knit is much more forgiving and moves better with the foot. Meanwhile the Fuse area, while dated, works well, adding some additional reinforcement to the knit along with some durability.

Q4’s models don’t all fit the same and for the 495 Lo SP, I’d recommend going down 1/2 size. Wide footers will likely be able to get away with going true to size.

Lockdown in the shoe is pretty standard. They fit nicely from the midfoot to the collar and when laced up tight, you don’t feel any slippage or dead space. Much like the outsole, there’s nothing fancy to see here — nothing special or extraordinary, just something that works and works well.

I felt support on the Q4 Sports NForcer was a bit lackluster. The 495 Lo SP, however, feels more in line with other shoes I’ve played in.

The heel counter was much stronger than the NForcer thus I never had an issue in the rear section of the shoe. I never felt like I was going to roll over the footbed at any time. The torsional plate could have been a bit more rigid. However, Q4’s product description reads “T.S.S./26 midfoot shank technology that ‘moves when you move’ for optimal motion and fit” — which it does. When you’re locked into the shoe and onto the footbed, you never feel like the midfoot torsion is lacking. It’s noticeable in-hand but not on-foot.

The 495 Lo SP is my favorite model from Q4 Sports. This just wasn’t my favorite experience in the model.

Everything was on point except for the cushion. I don’t mind it when cushion is a bit firm, especially when it’s been advertised that way, but I’ve used too many Q4 Sports models with this same exact tooling to know what I was supposed to get versus what I felt. I’m hoping that anyone else with this colorway received the plush and bouncy cushion that I’m used to with this tooling setup, but I will never know unless someone that owns a pair happens to read WearTesters — which is possible but unlikely.

I still recommend trying out Q4 Sports if you’re into trying something new. If you aren’t the adventurous type then just stick with what you’re comfortable with.


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