This is my Under Armour Curry 5 Performance Review…sort of.
In the past, shoes that I was unable to complete wear-testing for one reason or another (usually due to pain, discomfort, or overall poor performance) I simply stop testing and skip a full performance review. For years I felt that by saying nothing about a shoe it would be a clear indicator to readers and viewers that the shoe is not recommended.
Unfortunately, today we’re in a digital age where many are complaining about bias towards certain brands. Despite the fact that the information we provide is free for readers, and usually comes at the expense of the tester — in both body and wallet (though we’re thankful when we receive a product for free, like this Curry 5) — we’re still forced to listen to faceless keyboard warriors talk down to us, involve our families and children, and all the other s**t we typically keep quiet about simply because we don’t like a shoe enough to continue testing it.
I’d rather have fun playing basketball than forcing myself to wear a shoe that destroys my feet. Why people lash out, slander, and accuse my kids of being part of the problem is beyond me. Apparently, sneakers are just that important.
At WearTesters we have skipped shoes from all brands. Here’s a quick list: the Jordan Melo M13, Brandblack Delta, Nike Mamba Instinct, 361 Shadow Blade Away, Under Armour Drive 4, ANTA KT Light, Under Armour Charged Controller.
Nearly every brand has been listed other than adidas, which leaves room for people to change their perspective on me being biased towards Brandblack and UA to now being biased towards adidas. It turns out that you can’t win even when you’re 100% honest, like we’ve always been.
What I’m trying to say is that from now on, instead of skipping a shoe that I feel is poor overall — and assuming that everyone is able to understand that by skipping a shoe altogether it means the product is not recommended — I’ll give smaller performance reviews to let readers know that I tried to play in the and it just wasn’t working out.
That does not mean the product won’t work for everyone, but that the product simply didn’t work for me. Thus, I’ll be doing something short and sweet. Well, maybe not so sweet for the brand that created the product, but that really isn’t my fault.
My intent is never to upset a brand or design team, but at the same time, I have opinions on products and that in itself should be respected with how vast my experience is. I’ve been doing this for nearly 10 years now, and I’ve played in everything. Not every shoe is a winner. I know when a product isn’t good and my job is to say so.
This all leads me to the Under Armour Curry 5. It is simply not a shoe I can recommend. There are four other good Curry models, but this just isn’t the one.
The reasons why are simple. Traction is very inconsistent, something that I haven’t experienced in a Curry model prior to the Curry 5, and the fit is horrendous. Painfully horrendous. The Curry 4’s eyelets did a number on the top of my feet while testing those, but the shoe eventually broke in and became a shoe that I loved, one of my favorites of last year.
The Curry 5 has ripped apart the arches of both of feet. This took me out for a couple of days — and that is costly when my job is testing basketball sneakers. I foolishly tried playing in the shoe again after those few days of rest only to have the areas get ripped apart even more.
Anytime I put the Curry 5 back on the fuse welds inside the arch begin to chafe my arches. I only have so much skin there and I’m tired of losing it. At risk of further injury and potential infection, I just cannot wear the shoe any longer.
As stated above, my issues may not be everyone’s issues, but several people I know have had similar issues with the Curry 5. Curry, as well as many other professional athletes, are taped up by their trainers. This buffer between their feet and the fuse welds likely makes it so they will never experience the issues I have.
If you wanted to buy the shoe and would like to avoid the same issues then I’d recommend taping up your arches or buying some sort of thin neoprene ankle brace that covers the area. Could I do this and return to testing the shoe? Yes, but I don’t want to.
If I can’t lace up a shoe the way I would any other shoe and start playing without some kind of injury or pain then it is simply not worth it. Believe it or not, I actually enjoy playing basketball more than I enjoy wear-testing shoes. I also enjoy staying injury free.
Those are my reasons as to why I do not enjoy playing in the Under Armour Curry 5 and why I cannot recommend the sneaker. If you’re looking to wear them casually as a fan of Stephen Curry then that’s one thing, but if you’re looking for your next hoop shoe then I just can’t recommend the product.
Luckily my feet are finally healing and I’m able to play in other shoes, but the Curry 5 isn’t going back on my feet again.
I’ve created a score card based on my time playing in the shoe just for those that prefer to look at the scores and skip everything else, or for those that feel the score cards give a bit of content to the words within the review — even though it’s really the other way around.
Hopefully, I won’t have to do another “review” like this for a while. My feet are still healing from the painful holes the Curry 5 put there. They’ll likely leave scars, which I have plenty of all over my feet and ankles — they’re reminders of how awful each of the shoes that left them were.
The Curry 5 is just not a winner in terms of performance, and it’s one of many shoes from all brands that I have tested over the last 10 years that was not a winner. Not all shoes are awesome.