Last year, the Way of Wade 808 2 was one of the best models Way of Wade released and one of the best guard shoes of the year. It’s also very reminiscent of the Kobe 8. As the year went on, Way of Wade began dropping versions of that shoe that tweaked certain aspects of its performance. There was an Ultra version, a V2, and a V2 Ultra, none of which were really any better than the original version.
One year later, Way of Wade simultaneously dropped the Way of Wade 808 3 and the Ultra version as well, and has run into the same issue. The Way of Wade 808 3 Ultra is just not as good as the regular version, especially considering that it’s $40 more expensive. But let’s jump into the review and go over the pros and cons of this model and what makes the normal version just a little bit better.
Way of Wade 808 3 Review
Way of Wade 808 3 Tech Specs:
Way of Wade 808 3 Traction
Traction on both models is going to be top tier. Both of the Way of Wade 808 3s are equipped with a tough and grippy solid rubber outsole with a Wavebone traction pattern. There are slight aesthetic differences in the pattern from one shoe to the other but that shouldn’t affect the shoe’s performance. This setup should work great indoors but, what will make the 808 3 elite in terms of traction is its ability to shine outdoors as well.
Nowadays, finding a basketball shoe that will work equally as well, both in terms of grip and durability, on an indoor surface as on an outdoor surface is increasingly difficult. It’s also becoming increasingly difficult to justify buying multiple pairs of basketball shoes solely dedicated to one surface or another.
With the Way of Wade 808 3 you won’t have this problem. The Ultra version is equipped with Way of Wade’s TUFF OS outsole which is designed specifically for outdoor use. The normal version’s rubber outsole might not be designated as TUFF OS, but in hand, it feels even more resilient and tacky. No matter what version you choose you will be getting an excellent, durable, and versatile traction setup.
Way of Wade 808 3 Cushion
Cushioning on both versions of the Way of Wade 808 3 is rather niche and at the same time very different from one another.
It’s niche because this is clearly a guard’s shoe. In both cases, we have a drop in midsole that is going to offer a very low to-the-ground and reactive ride.
In the case of the Ultra version, the midsole is full-length Boom (Way of Wade’s best foam) and in the normal version we have a Cloud Foam carrier with a forefoot Boom unit. and, surprisingly, this last setup feels better on court.
Boom is a more dense and durable foam, that needs space to expand and contract to feel plush underfoot. Unfortunately in this model, the drop-in midsole is surrounded by a TPU and carbon fiber cage that makes it feel dead underfoot.
The Cloudfoam midsole on the other hand is much less constricted, as the normal version does not feature carbon fiber reinforcements and the Boom unit in the forefoot gives it just enough bounciness underfoot.
Way of Wade 808 3 Materials
Materials are, once again, what you’ve come to expect on a modern hoop shoe. Both shoes are mainly built with textiles including fuse, TPU, and in the case of the Ultra version carbon fiber reinforcements. No matter what version of the shoe you choose, these materials are going to give you everything you need on court (containment, ventilation, durability, etc.) in a very lightweight but cheap feeling package.
The textiles on the Ultra version are slightly more durable but at the same time feel more plastic in hand.
Way of Wade 808 3 Support
Here we find another key difference between both shoes. Both shoes have two main parts: the outer shell and the drop-in midsole, both of which feature important support features. In the Ultra version, the drop-in midsole is equipped with a TPU spring plate, and the outer shell comes with a carbon fiber shank plate and carbon fiber heel reinforcements that are very reminiscent of what we saw on the Kobe 9.
In the normal version, the midsole features a TPU shank plate, as does the outer shell, and then there’s a TPU heel counter. If you’re a player who needs a beefed-up heel counter, then, by all means, go with the Ultra version.
If not, the normal version is just better. The carbon fiber shank plate in the Ultra is so small it really isn’t doing much in terms of torsional support, and, again, the setup we have in the normal version allows the cushioning of the shoe to shine while still providing a secure ride on court.
Way of Wade 808 3 Fit
As far as fit is concerned both shoes fit true to size and fit just like the previous iteration. The shoe does taper down towards your toes, which is good in terms of performance, but not for everyday use.
Way of Wade 808 3 Overall
The Way of Wade 808 3 promises to be one of the best guard shoes for the third straight year. You’re getting a great, low profile, speedy cushioning setup, top-tier traction, and support features, and a versatile shoe that will work equally well indoors and outdoors, all for the very reasonable price of $119.
The Ultra version is a different story. This version is simply not as good, and it’s $40 more expensive.
So, if you’re looking for a top-notch guard-specific shoe that won’t break the bank and will hold up well on the blacktop, go with the regular Way of Wade 808 3.