WearTesters is reader-supported. When you make purchases using links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Why trust us?

Serious Player Only Player 1 Plus: Better than the First?

Serious Player Only Player 1 Plus

The Serious Player Only Player 1 Plus is an updated version of the original Player 1 model from Serious Player Only, but, how do those updates perform on court?

Release Date: 2023

Price: $180

Total Score
Buy SPO 1 Plus

The first iteration of the Player 1 was pretty darn good. It is or was a Kobe-inspired performance model that featured some of the best traction of last year and it introduced a new a drop-in midsole cushioning system that performed very well on court. But, as is to be expected, this inaugural model also had a couple weak points that needed tweaking. So, as a good sneaker brand should (but most times don’t), Serious Player Only gathered feedback, went back to the drawing board, and came up with the Serious Player Only Player 1 Plus.

This updated model features some major changes when compared to the first iteration, so let’s jump into the review and see what’s new and how it will perform on court.

Serious Player Only Player 1 Plus Traction

Serious Player Only Player 1 Plus Traction

The Player 1 was equipped with a solid rubber outsole with a sectioned herringbone traction pattern. In terms of indoor on-court performance, this was a fantastic setup. However, the lines of the traction pattern alternated between solid lines and dotted ones made up of nubs, and the rubber itself was very soft and pliable. So, outsole durability was an issue, and outdoor use was a no-go.

The Player 1 Plus features a completely different traction setup. We again have a solid rubber outsole, but in this case, the rubber is thick and durable and can handle both indoor and outdoor play. As far as the traction pattern goes, we have a radial herringbone traction pattern that grips the court like no one’s business and will provide flawless multidirectional coverage.

Serious Player Only Player 1 Plus Cushioning

Serious Player Only Player 1 Plus Cushioning

Both the Player 1 and the Player 1 Plus feature a drop-in midsole cushioning setup. 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.

This “Strong” midsole offers a nice, reactive, fluid, low-to-the-ground ride, but not much in terms of impact protection. If you like speedy shoes with minimal cushioning and tons of court feel, this will be a great option. But the Player 1 Plus comes with a second drop-in as well. The second “Quick” midsole is constructed with just Evanlon and is an even more low profile and reactive setup.

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 a cushioning setup ready for you.

Serious Player Only Player 1 Plus Materials

Serious Player Only Player 1 Plus Materials

Here we see a more subtle but equally significant upgrade. The upper itself is technically the same mesh wire knitted upper which worked very well in the first model, but it has been reinforced with a protective film to boost durability. The shoe’s eyelets have also been beefed up so even those of us who tie their shoes very tightly wont’ be able to rip through them. The laces themselves have also been updated.

In the Player 1 Plus we have oval-style laces (not flat ones like in the first model) which will help alleviate lace pressure. The synthetic leather in the heel adds some extra structure and containment in the back of the shoe and makes the shoe feel slightly more premium than it is.

The material setup performs well on court, they are light, require no break-in time, and offer more than enough containment. Materials are nothing amazing in terms of quality but they do perform well, so there’s little to complain about.

Serious Player Only Player 1 Plus Support

Serious Player Only Player 1 Plus Support

Support in the Player 1 Plus is on point. The shoe is equipped with a carbon fiber shank plate, and a TPU cage in the heel which is very reminiscent of the Kobe 7 and Kobe 8, and has a very wide forefoot with a substantial outrigger. The shoe is very stable and, no matter what moves you throw at it, the Player 1 Plus keeps your foot securely on the footbed.

If you need an extra sturdy torsional setup, you can pick up a pair of the Support drop-ins and you will be good to go.

Serious Player Only Player 1 Plus Fit

Serious Player Only Player 1 Plus Fit

Here we have another important upgrade. The original Player 1 offered a “nice for some”, snug 1 to 1 fit. I say “nice for some” because the shape of the last on which that shoe was built fit certain foot shapes oddly (Nightwing2303 being one of them). But, no need to worry, Serious Player Only has changed the shape of the shoe for a better and more universal fit.

Serious Player Only Player 1 Plus Overall

Serious Player Only Player 1 Plus Overall

The Player 1 was already a great hoop shoe and the Player 1 Plus takes things to another level. Everything has been refined and improved slightly in this version of the shoe: more versatile traction, better materials, better fit, … it’s just a better performance basketball shoe. The biggest drawback of the Player 1 Plus is the price. $180 is, admittedly, steep. But you are getting a ton of bang for your buck.

With the Player 1 Plus you are not only getting a great all-around Kobe-esque hoop shoe, you are getting 2 cushioning setups as well, and therefore two completely different on-court experiences to choose from (which is something no other hoop shoe currently on the market offers). If you are looking to pick up the Support or the Explosive midsoles as well, that will tack on $44 extra, bringing your grand total to $224, which is again, very pricey, but you’d be getting 3 very different on-court performance options.

All this being said, we also have to commend Serious Player Only as a brand for actually listening to the feedback of their consumers and re-tooling their product to fit their needs. Kudos.

Buy the Serious Player Only Player 1 Plus

Did you know we have a great community where we discuss reviews and various other nerdy topics? You can join WearTesters here.

Add a Comment

Related Posts