Another new brand on the block? These are good times for those of us into performance hoop shoes. The Q4 Sports Millennium Hi performance review is here.
Traction – Man, this is how every shoe should be. Nice rubber. Herringbone pattern. Nothing more. Nothing less.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a cool looking traction pattern that is able to tell a story — when it works. However, story-telling patterns end up being more frustrating than anything else. Gone are the days of the Kobe 5 using a heartbeat pattern that was just shy of being herringbone — until you get to the small brands that are just starting out. Oh, and they’rey comprised of people that have designed performance footwear for these larger brands over for over 10 years. These guys know what works and what doesn’t. Branching off and doing their own thing (the way they probably should have been doing it for the other guys) ends up benefiting those consumers brave enough to try something that isn’t mainstream.
The moral of the story: this sh*t works. Indoors and outdoors. It’s durable and grips. Tell me; what else do you want from your traction?
Cushion – KOMpress is what Q4 Sports is calling its patented foam formula. The midsole tooling is a concave design comprised of pore-like cavities which compresses and bounces back into shape. Similar to Boost? In theory — yes. However, it isn’t the same thing.
This setup is a bit more normal/natural feeling vs being super bouncy or too mushy (I’ve heard and experienced both with Boost). If I could compare it to anything it would be more like Jetlon or Micro G — impact absorption is there while still allowing for court feel. You can see and feel it compress, yet it never became unstable.
In addition to the KOMpress foam midsole, there is a poron foam strobel board. Poron is a closed cell foam that renders the board more dense, allowing it to absorb a good amount of impact. Because it’s used as the strobel board it’s fairly thin and won’t feel as if you’re wearing a dense foam under foot. Then there is the Ortholite insole adding step-in comfort.
Three layers of cushion in one shoe? Yeah, pretty beastly.
Materials – Similar to what you’d find in most brands nowadays, the Millennium Hi doesn’t skip a beat. A mesh build makes up the base layer of the shoe while overlays are added as reinforcement that enhance durability. You guys already know that I enjoy a nice textile and these offer just that. They’re soft and form fitting without requiring a ton of breaking in. Then we have the overlays.
The medial side is a simple thin fuse layer It’s there to add some durability to the upper so you don’t destroy the mesh build within a few weeks time. Meanwhile, the lateral side is comprised of a beefy rubber overlay. This section will require a small break-in period but you’ll notice that it breaks in within the first few hours of play. It contains the foot upon lateral moves and it does so with a material that is strong enough for a big man but flexible enough for a guard.
Fit – The Q4 Sports sizing is a bit all over the place at the moment since it used two different lasts (foot shape molds) when creating it’s line. The Millennium Hi fits true to size while the other models within the line fit a bit snug, and some are even a bit long. Again, this model fits me perfectly in my true size so that’s what I’d recommend.
Lockdown is solid as the traditional lacing system works in tandem with the additional overlay materials. You end up with a shoe that hugs the foot but won’t suffocate it. Some like that suffocating feeling — I’m one of them — but I also know when a shoe fits properly and provides ample lockdown. The Millennium Hi is one of them.
Support – The support features offered are nothing short from what you’d expect from a shoe for performance. There is a TPU shank for torsional stability. (Note that the TPU shank is not a super firm plate and allows some give.) It’s designed to move with your metatarsal bones but not completely restrict movement. Some players prefer a very strong torsional plate and this setup does not offer that.
Along with the shank plate we have an external heel counter. This area does not allow for any movement which is perfect because it’s intended to keep your foot on the footbed without rolling over.
Material overlays contain the foot and aid in the overall support while two lateral outriggers help keep you stable upon lateral moves. The outriggers might be the most important support feature given how the KOMpress cushion maneuvers while in motion.
Overall – If you’re interested in trying out the Q4 Sports brand then I’d highly recommend the Millennium Hi. Not to say the other models are bad, but this one is the most well-rounded. It offers the best that the KOMpress cushion has to offer along with the best materials the brand has to offer. The fit on this model feels the most neutral as well so you should be good going true to size. As mentioned earlier, the sizing is either long or short with the rest of the lineup. These fit just right.
Something to keep in mind when trying a new brand out is that the people designing the footwear are the same people that have designed the shoes you’ve enjoyed from other brands. They’re simply taking what they’ve learned over the years and applying it to their own lines. You’re actually receiving the same performance — don’t let the logo fool you.
Since this isn’t a performance shoe that you can find at every big box retailer under the sun I’ll leave a link to the Q4 Sports website. As of now, that is the only place I know where you can find them available to purchase — for those interested.