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Serious Player Only Game 1 Review

Serious Player Only Game 1

The Serious Player Only Game 1 is the brand’s latest performance model and can be described as a durable Kobe substitute, which is a big compliment.

Release Date: 2023

Price: $138

Total Score
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Serious Player Only’s first performance model, the Player 1, was an ode to Kobe’s basketball shoes of the past. The shoe was a more than decent on-court performer, but even so, the brand’s second performance model, the Player 1 Plus, was an updated and improved version of the Player 1. The Game 1, therefore, is their first 100% original basketball shoe.

This model was designed to be a more versatile basketball shoe catering to a wider variety of hoopers and playing styles and boasts a sturdier build than the Player 1. So let’s jump into the review and see exactly how the Game 1 will perform on court.

Serious Player Only Game 1 Traction

Serious Player Only Game 1 Traction

The Serious Player Only Game 1 features an all-terrain tire-inspired solid rubber outsole etched with an aggressive herringbone-esque traction pattern. As far as durability goes, indoors you should have zero issues, and the same goes for outdoor play. This is one of the toughest and most durable outsoles we’ve tested all year. As far as all-around grip goes, this setup also works very well.

Herringbone traction, which is basically what the Game 1 is equipped with, is one of the most reliable and effective traction configurations out there and offers superb multidirectional coverage. The tough rubber SPO used on these is also very grippy, making it a top-notch, but silent, traction setup.

Serious Player Only Game 1 Cushioning

All of Serious Player Only’s shoes feature a drop-in midsole cushioning setup and all of their midsoles can be used in any of their shoes. The Player 1 featured a triple-density foam setup that combined an Evanlon foam carrier, which is a basic EVA foam similar to Lunarlon, and then forefoot and heel units of Serious Player Only’s Pocon and Gum foams. This is the “Strong” drop-in.

The Player 1 Plus comes with the same midsole, but it also comes with an additional midsole as well. The second “Quick” midsole is constructed with just Evanlon and is an even more low profile and reactive setup, and it’s the midsole that is featured in the Game 1. The Game 1 also has a thin traditional EVA midsole integrated into the “shell” of the shoe for added cushioning and comfort.

If you were looking for something with a bit more impact protection, Serious Player Only does offer 2 more drop-in midsole setups you can purchase that are completely interchangeable with all of their basketball shoes. The SPO “Support” Midsole is slightly more plush and is equipped with added support features. The SPO “Explosive” is built with a very lightweight and bouncy proprietary version of Supercritical Foam and offers the highest level of impact protection of the bunch. It also features a sticky sock liner so your foot stays put as you play.

So, no matter your playing style or on-court preferences, Serious Player Only has something for you.

Serious Player Only Game 1 Materials

Serious Player Only Game 1 Materials

Materials on the Serious Player Only Game 1 are exactly what we have come to expect from a modern hoop shoe. The upper is built with textiles, plastics, and some synthetic leather details. These materials are cheap, thin, well-ventilated, resilient, and conform rapidly to your foot thus reducing break-in time. Here at WearTesters, we prefer when shoes feature premium materials, but these get the job done.

In terms of performance, there’s really nothing to complain about. The containment is on point, the shoe is lightweight and comfortable, and all around this is a perfectly decent setup.

It’s worth mentioning that The Serious Player Only Game 1 has two versions: a “normal” version and a mid version. They are very similar but there are several differences worth mentioning. First off, in the mid version, the heel counter is internal and not external. The mid version is also a higher cut on the medial side of the shoe, and there are several extra Fuse portions on the lateral side of the shoe. If you want a little extra support and containment, you may prefer the mid-version.

Serious Player Only Game 1 Support

Serious Player Only Game 1 Support

The Game 1 is very well equipped as far as support features go. The shoe features a sturdy carbon fiber shank plate, a lateral TPU outrigger, a beefy TPU heel counter, and the upper is built with Serious Player Only’s TPEE fiber mesh which is very sturdy and adds a lot of structure to the shoe. Aside from that, the shoe features a very wide outsole with a lot of contact area for the playing surface, and the cushioning system is very stable.

The Game 1 feels very secure on court, and, if anything, they might be on the stiff side of things. The mid-version in particular requires a little extra time to break in and loosen up a bit. Neither version of the Game 1 is uncomfortable in any way, but they are ever so slightly more restrictive than most hoop shoes.

Serious Player Only Game 1 Fit

The Game 1 fits true to size and offers a nice snug 1 to 1 fit. If you don’t like this type of fit or you are planning on playing in these with an ankle brace you could go up half a size, but we would suggest trying them on in person if you are thinking of doing this. Also, because of the lacing system and the last of the shoe, the Game 1 is a pretty decent wide-foot option as well.

Serious Player Only Game 1 Overall

The Game 1 is another solid hoop shoe from Serious Player Only and it does exactly what the brand wanted it to do: be more versatile than the Player 1. The Player 1 and the Player 1 Plus are great guard-orientated basketball shoes. The Game 1 on the other hand is a basketball shoe that more playing styles and body types will enjoy on court.

The more robust support features, the added cushioning, and the updated fit and lacing system make the Game 1 a shoe more types of players will enjoy. On top of that, they are less expensive than the Player 1 and can be equipped with any of the drop-in midsoles SPO has to offer.

On the other hand, they are more restrictive and bulky than the Player 1, and the stock midsole they come with is the cheapest and most reactive of their midsoles. So, if you want bouncier cushioning, you will have to pick up one of the other midsoles. But, all this being said, the Game 1 is a top-notch basketball shoe that can handle indoor and outdoor play indifferently and is a shoe whose cushioning can be modified at will. Not bad at all. Keep it up SPO!

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