After a brief hiatus we are back with The WearTesters Weekender, Issue 19. This week we decided to look ahead to the next year in sneakers, of course, with an emphasis on basketball shoes. As always, read through, enjoy, and let us know what you think in the comments below!
WearTesters Weighs In
The leaked photos and rumors have started to pop up for next year’s basketball sneaker releases. We’ve seen the KD8, the Curry 2, the Crazy Light Boost with the strap during the playoffs, etc. Of course, we should expect to see the Rose 6, LeBron 13, Kyrie 2, Walls, Lillards, JC3’s, Wade’s, etc. all start to pop up over the next few months. Basketball sneakers always seem to get leaked a lot earlier than running shoes and soccer cleats. With this in mind and the emergence and refinement of new technologies in the coming year, what are you looking forward to and anticipating on and off court for this fall and winter?
Nike KD8 with possible flyknit/engineered mesh upper, new traction, segmented max air
UA Curry 2, seen during Warriors practice
Crazy Light Boost 2015 – Primeknit, boost in the heel, and sock-like ankle collar + strap
I’m pretty much looking forward to everything that may be releasing.
The Curry 2’s don’t look impressive visually, but I’m sure they’ll be great from a tech and performance standpoint. Of course Nike’s lineup is intriguing. That new Zoom unit on the KD 8’s alone has me interested in those but the Kyrie 2 is also one of those “I wonder what they’ve got planned” type of shoes. LeBron 13 & Kobe 11…yeah, I’m excited, but I usually don’t get too excited until they actually release and I have them on-feet. I’ve been wear-testing the J Crossover 3 so I can’t really talk about those at all. Then there is the Rose 6…now those I’m VERY interested in. I really hope they did those right this time. Last year’s Rose 5 was so close, they just hurt the sides of my feet so badly that I couldn’t wear the shoes. Really hope they get it right this time.
That’s all I can really think of at the moment. I’m a tech person when it comes to shoes so I’m typically interested in it all. Doesn’t matter the brand or athlete attached. I just want the shoe to bring it in terms of tech and performance.
When I was younger, I would always picture myself on the court, driving to the basket, elevating, and finishing with a power through layup or flying through for a reverse. Really – I would sit in the store, shoes on feet, and try to picture how I would look and how the shoes would feel doing the moves. Complete shoegasm nerd world. Like Rabbit in 8 Mile, “tell them something they don’t know about me”. I have been like this since Day 1, and I am okay with it. So what this comes down to is – which shoes do I picture myself playing best in this coming year. And here, in order, are my top 5 (or 7, or 10 – we’ll see how this goes)…
1. Jordan XXX – can’t wait to see the materials and technology this year after the last two BEASTS
2. Rose 6 – The 5 was initially disappointing but has grown on me since All-Star. New Boost and ankle straps look sick.
3. Nike Hyperdunk 2015 – I don’t care; I like the way they look and hope they play great.
4. Brandblack JC3 – first two were so good. I know new materials are in order – improved over the weave or completely different?
5. Curry 2 – Already seen the pics and I think they look amazing, but very similar to what the 1 was. Hopefully an evolution of a great debut.
6. Crazylight Boost – these would be higher but I have already had them in hand. Holding out hope they have additional forefoot cushioning – if so they move WAY up.
7. Nike KD8 – Segmented Zoom Max for flexibility? Yes please. Not sure about the upper – looks like the Structure runner – but the cushioning has me happy.
8. Jordan Super.Fly 4 – I have basically liked this shoe every year (although the PO series have been better for me than the regular). More of a good thing hopefully.
I know I will think of more after I get this done, and again, I look forward to EVERY shoe that comes out, at least initially, because of POTENTIAL. I can usually find something good about any shoe, and it is the hunt for that hidden aspect and under-the-radar shoe that makes me keep doing this.
With the milestone anniversary, I fully expect Jordan Brand to be guns blazing on the 30. We shall see.
As Bryan mentioned, seeing the new stuff in the running segment always hypes me up. New cushions, new setups–I geek out over that. I can’t wait to see the next cushion adidas develops or something they do with Boost that nobody saw coming. I’m also very excited for what Asics will be rolling out over the course of 2015–the laser cut stuff was gold and they’ve done great things by going back to their roots.
Additionally, I think 2015 will be Reebok’s make-it-or-break-it year. I want to see whether they’ll be sold or not and if Crossfit, heavily discounted offerings, and collabs can keep them afloat.
We can’t forget what we don’t know–we know absolutely nothing about the Jordan XXX (30). No leaks, no tech specs, and no speculation…just imagination. Will Jordan Brand bring back the Performance Woven upper we all loved? Will they stick with unlocked Zoom or debut something new? Will it be better than the XX9? How is that possible? We just don’t know, which is why the Jordan XXX is the most anticipated model of 2015. ‘Nuff said.
To wrap things up as ideas and thoughts of the future of footwear envelope my mind, there are a few more releases that give me the urge to get on court, on the trail, or on the field. Is anyone else looking forward to the Way of Wade 4? If they can provide their top of the line natural materials AND mercilessly destroy any likeness of the carbon shank that sought to destroy Nightwing’s foot, then they should be another on-court contender. How about the prospect of Under Armour signing another signature athlete with an associated signature shoe? Further, is it time for James Harden, the near MVP, to get a real signature? Does Russell Westbrook have a signature or associated performance model coming from Jordan brand?If you read everyone’s responses, you can see that we are more than excited for next year. I asked a lot of questions and looked beyond the shoes we know are coming to get your minds working, now let’s hear what you think!
In Case You Missed It…
Performance reviews galore, make sure you give them all a look!
Rising To The Top – Peak TP9.2 Performance Review – Duke4005
If you need solid cushioning, lockdown fit, durability, and traction, look no further. If you are looking for a swoosh, get the blinders off.
Not a shoe for me, but for larger athletes these could be ideal. If you’re looking for stability, maximum cushion and plenty of support… the Hyperposite 2 is where it’s at.
Besides a little more give in the forefoot/lateral stability than I usually like, this shoe is top 5.
A long awaited video, but better late than never right? You can’t go wrong with the Brandblack J Crossover 2. That’s it really.
I’ll be straight up with you–and I’ve said this before–you don’t need anything to make you a better shooter.
WearTesters Wordplay of the Week
…Been deranged since the age of infants, I’m danger
Hit you from long-range at distance, it’s stranger than fiction
When my affliction pierce through your thick skin
I’m spitting iller rhymes, rough as gorilla palms
You soft as chinchillas, your album’s got a bunch of fillers
My mind’s monumental, my pen is penetration…
– Elzhi, The World is Yours
Fans of Nas, or at least his most revered album, Illmatic, will want to check out the work Elzhi put out back in 2011. Elzhi’s Elmatic is meant to be a tribute and a remake of sorts to the legendary work from 1994. Elzhi teamed up with Will Sessions to put together a more than solid album that deserves a listen from anyone remotely interested. Tracks like Detroit State of Mind and The World is Yours bring back a certain sound and vibe that will resonate with listeners that yearn for 90’s rap revitalized. He keeps things smooth and classy with an old school sound. Look it up, have a listen, and let us know what you think of Elzhi’s work!
That’s it for Issue 19 of the WearTesters Weekender! Let us know in the comments below or on social media what you’re looking forward to in sneakers this year. Also, feel free to suggest upcoming discussion topics for the Weekender.