There are so many outlets to get older models for less money that it is just dumb to just confine yourself to the current year’s offerings. eBay is a great way to find shoes for less and I have rarely had a poor purchase experience.
I decided to extend my top 5 into my top 10 because some shoes just shouldn’t be left off my list and I actually rotate them in (just not as often as the rest). I have a review for each of them and I added the links below.
You’ll notice that only two shoes from 2016 have made into my rotation and the Hyperrev is on the fringe now because it plays so similarly to the Soldier VI.
I’m going to write an approximate percentage breakdown of how much weight I personally place on each aspect in a future post. In general though, traction is the most important to me, followed by fit and cushioning, stability, lateral containment, support and lastly materials and ventilation which I never mention anyways.
Sorry I was too to add pics but click on the reviews and there are plenty. I’ll try to add pics later this week.
I look for a balanced shoe so all of my top 10 excel in every category. The original AJ XIV would be in here if they were wearable.
Better than the 2k4 in every aspect. Excellent fit, Zoom feel, traction and stability. Not as much love for it due to lack of marketing IMO
Just a solid shoe all the way around. Exceptional traction and great cushioning are the highlights of the HR16. Can be had for under $69 now
The Top Ten
Zoom Kobe I
I still can’t believe how I got these for $35 at Footaction back in the day. I bought three pair that day just because I was curious about the shoe and continued to buy them on the cheap after I fell in love with them. Excellent traction and more than normal cushioning for a Kobe. This was my first replacement for the AJ XIV.
Zoom Kobe IV
I’ll admit it, this Kobe ad made the Del Sol look sexy as hell. And of course I was curious how a low would play. The Kobe IV was probably the first Kobe that actually didn’t go on discount quickly and actually appreciated in value. Still my one of favorite lows because it does everything well. I wish the Lunarfoam lasted longer though.
Rose 5 Review
You’ll notice I never mention Rose 1-4 and that’s because the cushioning in those were antiquated as Adidas was being too lazy to add any innovative cushioning.. and now that Boost exists, look what it’s done for sales.
Not as fast and quick feeling as the 5 or 7, some days my legs need that extra cushioning. Sure it’s not full length Boost but the majority of the pounding is at the forefoot and heel and Adidas put plenty of Boost in the Rose 6. It isn’t as soft as the Crazy Explosive in the heel but it makes up for it in the forefoot.
Clutchfit Drive I Mid and Low
Clutchfit Drive Low Review
Just realized I never wrote a full CFD I Mid review..
Great performance all around even if the traction is the bottom end of my preference. Although I tried all UA shoes from the Black Ice to Spawn , this was the first UA shoe that did it all.
Nike Zoom BB 1
I hadn’t played in the BB for awhile and I forgot what a fun and great shoe it was. Low profile and quick without compromising cushioning. Before pure Boost, there was pure Zoom.
I love this shoe and was happy they hit outlets and discounts hard because it was only a team shoe. I think I paid $55 on average with the Soldier VI. Big fat Zoom, excellent traction, supportive and stable, these did and still do it all.
I did not like the Curry One much due to the underwhelming Charged cushioning. And while the Curry 2 cushioning is firm, at least it provides some bounce and impact protection. It’s just a quick shoe that does everything well. Of course the main reason I love the Curry 2 is the awesome traction. Not many traction patterns work this well aside from the AJ XX8, Kobe IX and..
Geez I waited this long to play in these and put in a full review. Improved slightly on the Curry 2 fit, cushioning and containment while maintaining flexibility. Best of all they aren’t selling great so that means some price cuts. These are currently battling the Rose 7 for the top spot even though the cushioning isn’t as nice as the Rose 7.
I’ve never wiped less .. the outsole of my shoes that is.
The Rose 7 does everything just as well as the Curry 2 but improved upon the traction as well as the cushioning. Forefoot Boost is a little thin and firm but adding the PU insole made it perfect for me.