Under Armour is on fire, can this shoe bear “the torch” ?
As we all know UA basketball has been on fire thanks to Steph Curry but does anything without SC on it sell? I’ve only seen UA’s non Curry models at local sporting stores and Dick’s . And I’ve only seen them on court when I’m wearing them or some old guy that picked them up from Marshall’s on the cheap. If UA really wants to grow into a serious basketball brand, they need to be more than Steph’s shoe company, they need to be Under Armour the basketball shoe company.
I’ve been on the UA train since inception and the Juke was one of the predecessor to the first Torch which I never bought because I thought it was too bland although I’ve read it’s a performer. The Torch 2 and 3 looked totally generic as well so I passed on those too. These caught my eye though …
Pros: price, full length Micro G, traction, fit front to back
Cons: deadspace on sides of toe box, containment
Best for: ballers looking for best bang for the buck. Any guard or lighter bigs.
For reference, all weighed on my baby scale:
Curry One: 15 oz
Clutchfit Drive 1: 14 oz
Clutchfit Drive 2: 15.5 oz
Clutchfit Lightning: 13.5 oz
Prodigy: 15 oz
Full length multidirectional herringbone that feature the same rubber as the Clutchfits and Curry One. The grooves on the lateral side are the same width as the Clutchfits while about half grooves on the medial side are sharper and smaller. I couldn’t really tell a difference but it didn’t matter to me because I’ve always loved the traction on the Clutchfit/Curry One.
If you didn’t see that big flex groove …
Full length Micro G for $94.99? For $99 Nike gave us the Hyperchase with a full length foam. Not Lunarlon mind you, just some non descript, no name foam.
The insole is EVA which is a departure from the Ortholite (Curry One Low, CFD2) and Micro G (CFD 1 and Curry One Mid) and feels denser and less responsive than the other two insoles.
I bought my normal sz 11 and had my preferred one finger width space at the toe box. I noticed the toe box looked wider than the Clutchfit Drive before I put them on.
It doesn’t have a fancy name but it works great. Very little break in time is needed and it holds its shape very well since it is thick and flexible. I also love the little details that make a plain black up interesting.
The ankle collar has just the right amount of padding. I felt zero slippage from the get go.
Support and stability
Nothing fancy just an internal heel counter, a thicker material upper, and a forefoot outrigger. A nice flat outsole allowed these to pass my heel test. These play as low to the ground as the Clutchfit Drive which makes sense given that the cushioning set up is the same.
Although it has no bearing on performance, I really like the big logo on the heel.
Heel counter goes follows the line up to middle of the logo
As stated earlier there is some deadspace at the forefoot and containment is only ok overall. UA implemented something like Adidas’s Fit Frame. The foot sits a few millimeters below the top of the extended midsole to keep the foot secure. It runs all the way from heel to forefoot although the higher coverage is at the heel and forefoot. I’d like to see it extended even higher around the forefoot because I could feel it push out of the shoe on hard cuts.
Additionally I could feel my forefoot slide inside the shoe on hard cuts thanks to that extra wide toebox. I don’t enjoy the feeling because it feels like it is coming out of the shoe even though it isn’t. It isn’t a huge amount but it’s there.
At $94.99 this is a great price for this shoe but for $76 after Eastbay’s 20% off it is a real steal. If you’re patient, these will go on sale in a few months probably around $79.99 minus coupon codes. Full length Micro G and excellent traction alone is enough to justify the price. I even like the overall color blocking and silouette of the Torch 4 more than the more expensive Clutchfit Drive 2. Of course it isn’t flawless as I found the toe box too wide even for my fat feet. If you don’t cut much or don’t have issues with containment, the Torch 4 will work just as well as the higher priced shoes that UA has to offer.