If the Curry 2 is getting Charged only cushioning, then we should all get excited. Major upgrade over the Curry One cushioning set up.
Photo courtesy of Nice Kicks and Cassy Athena
It’s hard to break into my personal top 5 but the Clutchfit Drive shared the top spot with the Drose 5 as soon as it was introduced last year. I loved everything about it, including its looks. With Steph getting his own shoe and no longer rocking the Clutchfit Drive in sweet PE colorways, the cool factor has definitely dropped but has the performance?
Here is a link to the CFD 2 Low
Clutchfit drive low 2 Review
Pros: fit, traction, Charged cushioning actually works and feels great, plush ankle collar
Cons: cushioning is firmer than original CFD softer than Curry 1s, skimpy use of Clutchfit, boring design, heavier than CFD 1
Best for: UA’s version of the Hyperdunk fits almost any position, fans of plush ankle collars, firmer cushioning
Weight: 15.5 oz
For reference: all measured on my baby scale
Clutchfit Drive 1: 14 oz
Curry One: 15 oz
UA Torch: 14.5 oz
UA Lightning: 13.5 oz
First off you’ll notice that the high collar is gone and the CFD2 is more of a traditional mid. I actually like the high collar since it isn’t restrictive but I have no problems with the lower cut of the CFD2.
Good ol’ full length herringbone. No story telling: the only story I want to hear is how great the traction is.
I loved the traction on the CFD 1 and Curry and these are just as good thanks to the simplistic design. The rubber and the groove design/depth/width are the same just in a different pattern.
The CFD 2 features Charged foam only, a first for UA basketball and what we should expect on the Curry 2.
I was not a big fan of the Charged cushioning in the Curry One. It was a layer of Charged sitting on top of Micro G and the result was a much firmer and much less lively ride than the pure Micro G in the Clutchfit Drive. With that experience, I figured Charged must be really firm if it produced a firmer feel on the Curry One versus the Clutchfit Drive set up.
Thankfully I was somewhat wrong; the CFD 2 cushioning set up isn’t as firm as the Curry One (2 levels firmer) but instead feels more like the Curry One Low (which I thought felt 1 level firmer than the CFD 1) but with an even softer feel and more responsiveness which is a good thing in my opinion. In terms of firmness it sits between the Curry Low and Clutchfit Drive 1
Being the nerd I am, I put the Micro G insole into the CFD 2 to make sure I compared apples to apples and the Charged only setup still felt softer than the Curry One but not as soft as the Micro G in the CFD 1. It makes no sense to me as to how the Curry One feels firmer despite having less Charged than the CFD 2 unless they changed the formula of Charged foam.
What does Charged Foam feel like vs Micro G? Does it work?
Trying to accurately describe what Charged foam feels like is like trying to describe how a green grape tastes different from a red grape; it can be done in words but actually trying them would be best but I’ll try.
To me, Charged feels denser, firmer and not quite as responsive and bouncy as Micro G but I think that was the intent. The marketing of Charged Foam states that it is an adaptive foam that feels soft while stationary or moving slowly and firms up with quick movement. With the Curry One all I felt was a firmer cushioning set up with no noticeable difference in firmness between standing and moving. With the CFD2 Charged only set up I actually noticed a difference although I was really looking for that feel. It feels firm yet plush when walking but when you put hard pressure on it like cutting or landing, that plush feeling disappears. It isn’t game changing by any means but it could be and the foam does what it says. I would really love to learn the physics behind it.
Below: If you wondered what Charged foam felt like to the touch, you can actually touch it now
Overall I really really like the Charged Foam only set up although I still prefer the Pure Micro G of the original Clutchfit but Charged only is growing on me a lot. Here is how I rank the set ups of the Clutchfit 2 (pure Charged), Curry 1 (part Charged/Micro G), Curry 1 low, and Clutchfit Drive 1 (pure Micro G)
This also coincides and ranks exactly with how soft and responsive the set ups play. This Charged only set up has really ruined the Curry One for me because now I can see what could have been.
All that being said, if the Curry 2 has this same set up, we will all be very happy. Charged reaches a happy medium for everyone and is a pretty awesome achievement. A few tweaks and UA might reach cushioning nirvana soon.
I went with my normal size 11 and had a little less (maybe a 1/8 to 1/4 size) than my normal finger width of space at the toe box and had zero deadspace at the toe box vertically or side to side. Under Armour tightened up the entire toe box a little from the CFD 1 so if you’re really wide footed you may want to go half a size up but if not, go true to size. I had no issues and I’m a wide footer.
I loved the CFD 1 fit because it really gave me a second skin like fit; Clutchfit sat right on top of my skin from heel to toe and really made the shoe feel like an extension of my foot. The CFD 2 still has Clutchfit but only in the windows featured at the both sides of the ankle and midfoot . Also it isn’t laying directly on top of the skin since UA made the overall silouette of the shoe “puffier” for lack of a better word. The Clutchfit is stuck in between the padding and fuse at the ankle while the Clutchfit at the midfoot does lay on the skin. There is a lot more padding in the heel collar and tongue which bloats the shoe’s looks but provides a great fit. I felt zero heel slip with minimal break in time. UA could have gone without any Clutchfit and I probably couldn’t tell a difference since there is so little.
Below: Clutchfit in the ankle collar and midfoot. It is not one piece but rather two cut outs.
I think there is more Clutchfit on the Prodigy
Or Lightning for that matter
Sadly, the pics I showed you display all the Clutchfit material you get with the CFD 2. The rest of the shoe is Fuse which does provide a little extra rigidity but that’s about it. The Fuse did not pop or flex weirdly which is a positive though.
Overall the fit is great but I still prefer that second skin feel of the CFD 1.
Support and Stability
Nothing fancy, just a nice stable flat outsole, heel counter and forefoot outrigger. No tippiness so these passed my heel test. Thanks to a lockdown fit as well these get the job done just like on the original Clutchfit Drive. Between the original and CFD2 these feel more supportive due to the tighter fit and padding. The original allowed a lot more freedom due to the ultra flexible collar.
Clutchfit is supposed to be flexible normally and tighten up with pressure to keep the foot locked in and I had no issues with containment on the CFD 1. Same goes for the CFD 2 but instead of Clutchfit, most of the shoe is Fuse.
The Clutchfit Drive 2 is a great shoe. It provides the same traction, great cushioning, support and containment all for $125. But looks wise, these look like they came out of a the team shoe vending machine. A big part of buying shoes is emotional and these elicit zero emotion from me. I’ve been a big UA fan since day 1 and seen a lot of blah designs but some seriously sick designs too. Yea I’ve heard the ol ” I don’t care what they look like as long as they perform” but if you had to pick between two similar performing shoes and one looks better, the prettier or cooler one almost always wins.
To go from the sleek, beautiful and innovative Clutchfit Drive 1 to a very generic shoe with no real upgrades in performance is disappointing and loses that UA feel. Having interesting and unique looking shoes with serious performance is one of the reasons I love UA
I think a better and more appropriate name for these would be the UA Charged Drive since there isn’t much Clutchfit but plenty of Charged cushioning which is the true highlight of this shoe. If they would kept last year’s upper with new color blocking or colorways with this Charged only set up, UA could have knocked it out of the park. I expect these to hit below $90 soon
Update: Look what I found on eBay for $90 today 9/9/15 seller “teamsports58”. Full size run
and discount retailers in a year for under $60 despite being a good performer on the court. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great performing shoe but if you have last year’s Clutchfit Drive, there really isn’t any reason to upgrade unless you want a firmer cushioning set up or experience Charged before the Curry Two comes out.