Brandblack, a shoe nerd’s dream
You’d think I got a media pack but nope, just standard packaging.
I love the little guy, the underdog, the David to Goliath so I decided to check out the J Crossover 3. Not many reviews on this shoe other than Weartesters so might as well have a second opinion right ?
I liked the J Crossover 2 but the cushioning didn’t wow me and containment wasn’t good at all. From the flyer included in the box, it looks like they addressed my concerns on paper but let’s see how it works on the hardwood.
*although I hate Finishline these are on sale for 119 already. Here is the link JC 3 *
Pros: traction, cushioning, stability, high quality build, addictive smell
Cons: containment .. Again
Best for: any players that don’t cut a lot
Sizing: true to size
15.5 oz with shroud 14.5 without three for the shroud weighs 1 oz ( I’m Asian so I’m good at math )
Wiper blades are back and they are stickier this time around. I enjoyed the traction last year but felt it could use more stopping power on lateral movements.
This year works just aa little better because they are stickier but they do gather dust so wipe accordingly. There is more texture on the outsole but I don’t think it made a huge difference. The rubber compound feels softer and is translucent so it’s just plain stickier. It doesn’t cake up dust like the Kobe XI m. Traction improved over last year so I’m happy.
Black foam replaced Jetlon in the JC3. It has a “20% higher rebound rate ” over Jetlon and “40% higher versus EVA” according to BB but all you need to know is that it feels great. Much better then last year in my opinion. It does ride noticeably higher off the ground that the JC2 though
Fantastic step in comfort insole
Force Vector plates “cradle” the foam so it remains stable. This cushioning was my favorite part of the shoe. Doesn’t feel quite as good as Boost but pretty damn close, it feels good, like a thicker Micro G but muted due to the Vector plate. I rank this behind Boost but ahead of all other foams including Micro G and Bounce
Well done Brandblack!
I went true to size with my normal sz 11 and had a finger width at the toe which is my ideal. I felt these look narrow but fit width wise they fit perfectly. If you have narrow feet go down half a size. I had zero heel slip and zero movement side to side.
BB added contoured heel cushions to enhance the fit and it works well
The upper conforms to the foot well due to the use of ballistic mesh ( same as the AJ XI, Lebron II)
For even better fit and comfort, the inner sleeve runs from the tongue all the way to the toe for a sock like feel.
Well done Brand Black!
Support and stability
Not much going on support wise other than the fit, outrigger, shank and rigid heel counter.
The shroud… I actually preferred it on because I felt it gave a little more support with a snug feel. I was very skeptical at first and was planning on never using it but the feeling is noticeable because it fits perfectly around the ankle with no gaps and the leather doesn’t stretch.
BB says it was inspired by players who tape their shoes for support which I find a bit out there but it works like it says so can’t knock it.
Btw, the detailing on the shroud is amazing and is well crafted.
The JC 2 had outstanding stability and these aren’t quite as stable feeling especially at the heel. These ride a little higher but still provide good stability thanks to the forefoot outrigger, Vector plate and a stable heel that passed my heel test.
This is my biggest gripe with the shoe because every other company seems to have realized that wovens and mesh do a poor job containing the foot since they stretch so much on cuts. The big 3 all have added structure such as foot stays or raised midsoles to keep the foot in place. Brandblack, on the other hand, opted to use a TPU layer but it’s really thin and really looks and feels like paint to me. I guess it provides extra some elasticity but not much.
Above: The layer of TPU is so thin that the texture of the mesh can still be seen clearly
Below: I can pinch the TPU just as easily as the non TPU
Here you can see how easily I can push the slightly raised midsole with my finger
Here is the end result and it isn’t pretty.. At all
I filmed this starting and stopping from only five feet so imagine what it would be like with a full head of steam. Notice on the video that my shoe tips because of how much it slips out due to the upper. Granted I’m 178 lbs 5’10 so my weight distribution isn’t like Jamal Crossover but still… Sizing down would have helped a little since it would tighten the fit a little but if I played more games it would stretch even more so I’d be back at square one.
Here are pics of the AJ XI and Lebron II.
The same mesh was used on the AJ XI but Nike used patent leather, a very stiff and inelastic leather, to keep the foot contained.
The Lebron II featured ballistic mesh but featured leather and a foot stay in high pressure areas.
And here we are 12 years later and Brandblack couldn’t figure it out ? They could have simply hidden a synthetic rand under the “TPU” portions if they wanted to keep the look clean.
Please put more lateral support on the shoe Brandblack! The JC 2 low will feature synthetic in the forefoot so why not these ?
Containment is just as bad as the Melo M12 but slightly better than the JC 2. I want it all when I look for a performance shoe and this is the one area I felt the JC 3 fell short. If containment was at least average this would be a near perfect shoe for me. It’s frustrating because I love everything else about the shoe.
*read my Food for Thought
Why Wovens and Mesh don’t work for me
Overall I think the JC 3 is an improvement over the JC 2. Exceptional cushioning, better traction, and slightly improved containment. I think most players won’t mind the containment but if you are a quick shifty player that changes directions a lot you’ll feel your foot sliding out. Some more reinforcement at the high pressure area (forefoot ) would have really helped. I felt like the $20 price increase is warranted for the cushioning upgrade but they opted for mesh rather then woven so overall it’s actually a wash.
Price wise, I feel Brandblack overpriced itself. At $140, the JC 2 was a decent bargain with its woven upper but at $160, Brandblack priced itself above Adidas’ most expensive shoe, the Drose 6 ($140) and right in Nike’s wheelhouse when their sig shoes hit discounts on Eastbay for 20% off ($200 * 80%= $160) . To a sneakerhead who knows a little about Brandblack, the price might be justifiable but even I had to really decide if I wanted to try these out. Ask 1,000 people on the street which one they’d pick and I’m pretty sure all 1,000 would go with one of the big brands just because of the name.
Some things I’d also like to see BB do:
I say all this from a good place and hope Brandblack thrives and grows. The JC 3isn’t going to make the cut for me but if containment isn’t important to you, you’ll love this shoe.
Wonderful review as usual. Comprehensive and helpful. I was wondering why do you not do YouTube videos, I’m sure they would be awesome. I cannot get the JC’s easily as I’m not in the states but I have a friend coming over from the states and I plan to get one pair of basketball kicks. I mainly ball outside and am using a Superfly.4. I really want to try out the JC’s be it 2 or 3 but I am afraid the traction might burn out too quickly for outdoor play. Among all the current kicks available, which you pick if you had to prioritise outdoor durability and great cushion? I’m not a big man and am 5″ 11 and weigh 143 lbs.
Once again thank you so much for your reviews and replies
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Defiantly not the JC 3 for durability. I’d take the Hyperrev 2016 and the soldier IX . Traction patterns aren’t overly soft and both have good cushioning although I think HR16 feels much better imo. Sf4 last long for you ? Pretty soft pattern . Thanks for the kind words and reading !
Oh, those are interesting picks. I have tried the soldier IX and those are insane. However, I must admit I am one to fall for aesthetics and sometimes unable to wrap my head around certain pairs of shoes. The SF4 have really soft rubber though, I’m currently away from my home country(with predominant outdoor courts) and have access to indoor courts so the SF4 is still holding up. However I would be going back soon and would not know if it would hold up. But after so much use, I would not feel the pain to use it outdoors as the training shoe. One last question though, would the curry 2’s actually hold up outdoors? Curry 2s are so cheap in the states it is almost tempting.
Thanks a ton mate
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Curry two might hold up bc the pattern is wide and thick . Rubber is soft but not too thin. Might as well try if you’re in the states and get them for cheap lol.
Hey I don’t blame you for looking at aesthetics . If pick the prettier girl over the ugly one if all things were equal too 🙂
Hey schwollo I’ve been reading your detailed performance reviews and would like to ask you a question since your qualified in the field of performance sneakers I’m wearing the zoom soldier 9 right now and love everything about it.. except that I’m not getting any response out of it I’m looking for a sneaker that does everything the soldier 9 does but more responsiveness/bounciness BTW just in case you need the extra information I’m 6’6 205lb
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Remind me to get back to you in the morning sorry forgot to reply !
Yea the soldier IX does everything well and zoom is decent but the soldier vi zoom is just plain better . I’d look on eBay for them as they can be had for retail or less still. The Hyperrev 2016 is pretty similar to the soldier IX but less supportive but I think is still a great shoe for bigger guys bc the zoom is that good . What size are you in the IX I’ll look real quick
I only briefly searched but here is a nds pair
Search Lebron soldier vi and Lebron soldier 6
Thanks for all the replies, I’ll definitely look at some ways to get it cheap. Coupon codes should do the trick, I hope. Thanks again
Good luck ! Eastbay always has 20% ycmc.com will send a coupon code of you add to cart by dint check out sometimes
Thats another great review,containment and support is one of my greatest concern when it come to picking up shoes,imagine a big(e hem fat)guy doing postplay ,while leaning all my weight to the chest of my opponent ,my shoe will be under extreme pressure,based on your review,too bad i could not use the jc line,but then again they still have their vector line for a better support/containment!!
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Yep I’m hoping they give the jc3 the vector treatment .
really nice review, especially the containment-part!! I think, you are the only reviewer, who talks about that and I am really glad about it, because this is very important for me (besides traction and cushion). Yesterday I was thinking about getting the JC III, but after reading your review I know, that this shoe is not for me because of the bad containment.
At the moment I play with the Force Vector Vacchetta Leather and these are absolutely perfect regarding containment, cushion and traction are nice too.
I really like Brandblack and I prefer Lows, so I really hope, that the JC II Lows will have a good containment with that reinforced toebox…what do you think about the JC II Low?
And did you see the Brandblack Ethers? I really like the look and they put a small piece of suede on the outside of the shoe as lateral support, but I don’t think, that will do enough to contain the foot…or what is your opinion on that?
Yea I’m sure the force vector leather do a better job than than Jc3 and 2.
The lows look promising with synthetic. I don’t think that suede will do anything unless it is backed by plastic or something else.
Hey schwollo, im a 6’4 guy going into highschool, i want a lightweight shoe with good cushion and support, recommendations?
Damn can I have your height ? What shoes do you like now ? What else is important aside from cushioning and support? Firmer or softer cushioning ? Do you cut a lot ?
More of a plush or springy cushion, im in the soldier IX right now but it doesnt have the right amount of cushion for me
It’s not as springy as it could be. Soldier vi feels better. The Hyperrev 2016 has a nice feeling Zoom set up. Brandblack Blackfoam feels good but I don’t like the jc3 due to containment on cuts. Look at my article on Zoom Air if you’re all about Zoom. Might consider adidas Rose 6 as well. Bouncy soft responsive set up
How much impact protection does the J Crossover 3 has? Thanks Schwollo!
Excellent impact protection. Black foam is thicker and higher off the ground than Jetlon or microg. That was my favorite part about the shoe . Nice little bounce to it too.
weartesters gave these bad boys hall of fame ratings..then again, brandblack made a WT Ether limited for them..guess those guys sold out…I’ve bought a pair and has been disappointed. I wish I checked out your reviews before I did..teach me to trust the WT crew…
It’s hard to be unbiased when they make shoes for you. Lol . No Brandblack shoe has ever had anything negative said about them on WT and if so, it’s worded very nicely. Kids who read or watch just can’t read between the lines or don’t know how the world works.
Yeah, that is understandable but I guess guys in your line should at least have some journalistic integrity and have some sort of ethical code as they are providing information to the public..just my two cents..I know its hard but it is frustrating especially when you feel ‘ripped off’…I’ve also noticed they (WT) are promoting the hell out of adidas recently..like the CLB2016. It’s like all star in almost every category (especially NW’s review). I think most of the other reviewers like yourself are complaining about the dense boost cushion and the heel slippage/fit problem but those guys at WT don’t mention it at all(or like you said, worded nicely)..i did some research and found the WT was promoted by adidas basketball(i guess adidas america)..anyways, guess there’s the proof!! someone sold out…HARD! lol…
Wow where did you find that info? Can’t knock the hustle but full disclosure would be nice if that’s indeed true.
I don’t really care what they do since I’m not a lemming but I know others who treat wt reviews like gospel . Smart move by adidas though lol
its somewhere on their social media page. twitter or instagram..they were promoting WT’s review’s of their product. I am getting the feeling it got deleted. coz i did say something to NW and he just brushed it aside..but I swear on my mom’s grave i saw it! I guess you have to do, what you have to do..i loved NW pre-WT. he was pretty spot on for most things. i could say 9/10 thing he got right. but now, i don’t know what he’s doing. I don’t really knit-pick stuff when it comes to my shoes and performance as i know everyone has different feet and style of play. I only look for good traction, good fit (for arch support) and low to the ground feel, like the kobe 4-6 (as I’ve only own those and love them so much, i have kobe 9’s but i don’t like the cushioning and fit..only the traction, i swear the fit would be so much better if the shoe was ‘real flyknit’-sorry for the tangent). but its frustrating when you expect one thing and get another. i was one of the people who treated the WT reviews like gospel, but I am quite sore after 2 pairs of shoes were just too horrible to wear and have been collecting dust since..
Oh well let bygones be bygones
j crossover 2 or j crossover 3?
I don’t like either than much . Lateral containment is terrible on both. If you get the newer jc2 with the synthetic toe then jc2. Cushioning is better with the Jc3 though
u mean the jc 2.5?
Oh yep. Didn’t realize that called it that.
the designs seemed a bit worse on those lol.
other reviewers seem to love both tho, i guess its up to personal preference in the end
Yep pretty ugly for a shoe company that says look good winning lol
More cushioning go jc3 or ether,
Low profile more stable go jc2
Last question sorry
I think the white color way jc3 u have looks pre cool. But do they get really dirty really fast? How much did you play in them? And if they do, how would u clean them or keep them white?
Thanks so much
I only played about ten days in them . pics were taken after two or three days of play so that’s why they look so clean. I suggest using a light toothbrush once a week to clean or getting a darker colorway. They will get dirty in a hurry
damn, the white colorways look dope
here they only sell the red, blue, and white ones
and the blue looks pre nasty, and red seems a bit weird too lol
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I agree. The monochrome look is so fugly.
yeah, i probably will need to get the white. Do they clean easily tho? my kyrie 2 kyrache white part wouldnt get clean of the black scuffs at the hard part in the front
Try using nail
Polish remover or mr clean magic eraser for those spots on the kyrie (mr clean works like
If you brush softly on the day of a dirt mark it will come out. Spray and wash or tide will
Help w tougher stains
okay, thanks so much man, sorry for asking so many questions lol
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Hey Schwollo, just got my Black Red JC3 in and they’re amazing. I got them for 34.99 at Finishline and wish I had bought another pair (even just for casual use).
I had a question about BlackFoam. I’ve only been wearing them around the house, and so far the cushioning is a little firmer than I was expecting.
Does it need break in or should you feel the bounce right away? I can definitely feel what people would call “thick and bouncy” but it’s also firm and not really soft; it seems like people are just feeling the insole more than the firm midsole.
I didn’t have to break mine in. It is sandwiched between two “plates” and it has that TPU so maybe you need to break it in? Not sure exactly. Impact protection def there regardless. And that’s a great steal they already bumped price back up
I weigh nearly 200, 5’11”. I can understand now the line drawn between those that like them and those that don’t, especially if the previous shoes had softer cushioning. When I first wore them the midsole was firmer (but has softened since) so maybe I need a game or 2. I can definitely feel “bounce” (as in, it is firm and pushes you right into your next move or step), it’s just not as “squishy” as I expected because of the word “spring” used so much. I read complaints (including yours) that Jetlon bottomed out and was too soft and mushy so I get the firmness.
They are lighter than I thought they’d be and the heel lockdown and sock like fit are some of the best I’ve ever felt in a shoe (pre-playing). Did it take a while before the containment issues happened, like after the materials stretched and broke in? I tried to simulate your video by doing side to side movements and my foot didn’t move like yours did side to side.
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Somehow I remembered you were a little bigger than me lol. I think the cushioning is great just sits high off the ground. The containment issue I had was from the get go. Luvmykicks on YouTube had the same issue (must be a lefty thing lol). If it works for you that’s awesome don’t worry about my experience. I almost bought another pair at that price but decided against it.
Good call, thanks man. I definitely regret not getting 2 pair, but didn’t want to cop if they didn’t work out for me and just have 2 pair for nothing lol. I can definitely feel the BlackFoam a little more and I think I will like it because you don’t “sink” into it, but rather, it’ll push me into my next step quicker. I definitely like it, just doesn’t feel as “alive” as I expected it to feel, but rather just a thick slab of foam that is ready for you to pound on and push off of (if that makes sense?).
Yea, I really really feel like these contain my foot really well, but haven’t actually played IN them. I was also surprised that these fit like a sock with the perfect amount of toe space (got my usual 9.5 that I got in Kobe 8 and 9). Plan on taking them for shooting around tonight before playing pickup games Thursday. For reference, the 2k4 is one of my fav shoes of all time (previous my go to shoes for the 2016 retro version, love them…), so that may explain why the containment works for me. I remember reading that any deadspace in the toe would be the reason for the containment issue, but mine has literally 0 empty space.
Thanks for all you do!
Ah I see what you mean. Maybe that’s why some people might not like the cushioning.
The fit is good it’s just that the mesh stretches like the JC2 did. I’m sure finishline will drop the prices again I just saw they jacked them back up to 80 bucks lol .
So yea….definitely just needed to run a little or break them in. The BlackFoam is awesome! I did eliptical and weights (leg press machine) and man, it softened up to where I could feel it spring back and give a little rebound, but also still be firm enough for explosive play. I love this stuff, and totally agree with your rating now!
Can’t wait to put them on the court, especially because the material is broken in now (after wearing casual and workout) and there is no support or containment. Can’t give the 100% until a REAL GAME, but I’m feeling good about these and REALLY kicking myself for not getting a 2nd pair. I will keep my eye on FinishLine from now on.
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Ha their prices fluctuate almost daily. They jacked the price up bc they had that 20% off. Very annoying. I have plenty more finishline stories this year loo
Man, sorry to hear that. I, fortunately, haven’t had a “bad” experience yet (but I guess there is a 1st time for everything).
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Great review! I love the JC3 reds, I wish they were still out
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