We’re back with Issue 16 of the WearTesters Weekender; this week we’re focusing on something the WearTesters team talks about in reviews time and time again: traction. Every shoe has traction in some shape or form but we’re talking about performance footwear and this issue hits close to home! Let us know what you think of our discussion in the comments!
– Traction –
WearTesters Weighs In
In Issue 14 of the WearTesters Weekender: Caught Slippin’ I detailed a couple instances of traction failing guys in the NBA recently. As a follow up to that article and the obvious importance of traction in all of our reviews, I posed this question to the team:
How do brands mess up traction? Where do I start… just kidding.
They try new things… which is a good and bad thing. Its great when it works and bad when it doesn’t. Nowadays, every shoe tells a story, unfortunately, that story continues onto the outsole. Again, sometimes it works… and sometimes it doesn’t. While the pattern itself can be a huge issue at times, I believe the main culprit is budget…
Product Line Managers are given a budget to work with per quarter. During this quarter they need to churn out a set number of products. Since material costs vary, depending on quality, quantity ordered, and so on, there are times that certain products get… how shall I put it… the short end of the stick. When you have a shoe that retails for $100 – Hyperchase – and make a special release that you want to entice buyers – All-Star colorway – then you tend to go more lifestyle on the approach rather than performance. You stick a translucent outsole on the shoes, which looks awesome, but the quality of that rubber – the compound used – probably isn’t as great as your average run of the mill solid rubber – which happens to work much better, but doesn’t look as… enticing. None of this is 100% confirmed, but based on what I currently know at this very moment… this is my theory.
I do wish that things were back to normal though. What I mean by that is back to how things were in the 90’s. Personally, since I play primarily indoors now, I think the new rubber compounds they use on some models is amazing – no matter if the rubber is translucent or solid. But it limits the play-ability of the shoe for those that play outdoors. Yes, its great that there are outdoor options, but lets face it… back in the 90’s you wanted to wear your favorite players signature model. On-court, off-court, on the blacktop… at the mall. You can’t really do that anymore. Well, you can… but you’ll wear down that soft indoor-only rubber they use. You can still rock the Retro stuff outdoors and be perfectly fine… but those are Retro. Meaning, these new gen kids want to wear Kobe’s, KD’s, LeBron’s… not Jordan’s, Pippen’s, Penny’s etc. They think those ‘Retro’ models are ancient artifacts that look good with jeans instead of elite performance footwear from their era. But, hey… at least they give us options.
Those are just my thoughts, obviously, and I could go on and on about it too… but I wont. I think I’ve bored you enough for today.
In Case You Missed It…
If you think about it, you can buy these and the KB Mentality for $200 – interchange their cushion if desired – and it’ll cost you less than a pair of 1 LeBron 12’s, and just barely over the price of 1 Kobe X
While the materials on the Puma Ignite are less than stellar, the rest of what the Ignite has to offer is an amazing value for its $100 price tag.
Hey Guys! Here is another unboxing, ooooh! This time featuring April’s HoopCrate along with a pair of NikeElite Basketball shoes. Check out the video, and hope you enjoy!
WearTesters Wordplay of the Week
With the NBA playoffs starting this weekend I wanted to deviate from the usual music choices and highlight a website for all your playoff analysis, coverage, and in-depth basketball writing. I highly encourage you to check out BBALLBREAKDOWN and their playoff previews specifically. I’ve specifically highlighted some of the writers Coach Nick has assembled there in the past, but there is no better time to check them out than playoff time. Head over to their site after reading the Weekender and catch a video previewing your favorite NBA teams’ first round matchup and let us know what you think: http://bballbreakdown.com/
If you don’t want to be that person who reiterates what they see on SportsCenter every night I highly suggest paying a close eye on these guys. Read their articles, watch their videos and gain perspective. You’ll learn and understand a lot more about the NBA game than you probably ever have.
That’s it for this week’s issue of the Weekender. As always, share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below and the WearTesters team will join in the discussion.