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Executive Summary: The Curry 3 is a solid and smooth shoe that performs well in every category but nothing outstanding. Plays very similar to the Hyperdunk 2016. Ankle collar and laces need some break in time before getting locked in but laces still loosen a little too much during play. I suggest a lace lock to help with this issue. Slightly softer cushioning than the Curry 2/2.5 and softer materials but not an upgrade overall. Build quality has also improved. Took a lot of design cues from shoes below
As many of you know, the Curry 2 was my top shoe for 2015 and most of 2016 (2.5 jumped it) so I didn’t expect the Curry 3 to outperform its predecessor..and I was right.
Pros: traction, slightly softer cushioning, improved transition, fit, materials, support, stability, containment, improved build quality
Cons: not an improvement overall versus the Curry 2 except maybe cushioning, traction needs wiping on dusty floors, not as stable as the Curry 2, heel fit needs break in time, containment not as good as Curry 2, gets hot, price increase of $10 from the 2
Sizing: true to size length wise, narrow and some regular footers will want to go down half a size depending on preference
Best for: guards
Buying advice: wait to buy when coupon eligible, Curry hype died a lot post 2016 finals plus it is not the best looking silhouette. $110 or less is about right
Same weight as the Curry 2
A full herringbone pattern, the Curry 3 traction performed slightly better than the Clutchfit Drive 1/2, Curry 1. I played on a lightly dusty court that I rarely wipe on with the Curry 2 yet I found myself wiping the 3. The rubber compound feels a little softer than the Clutchfits but harder than the Curry 2.
As for the pivot point circle, it actually works which I don’t really like. I understand the concept but don’t like slick spots at all on my outsole plus I push off a lot off that same spot.
Traction on clean floors is great but what isn’t as I always say. As dust accumulates just be ready to wipe. Still great and very acceptable to me but just not top tier like the Curry 2.
Charged is back again and even though it’s the same name, it feels slightly softer than before especially in the heel. The forefoot is still firm. How much softer does it feel ? It’s like going from the Curry 2 to 2.5 so just a bit but you do notice it.
Heel to toe transition is better than the Curry 2 since it a one piece outsole. This isn’t a big deal for me but I did notice the difference
Overall, cushioning is a little softer than the Curry 2/2.5 but it’s not game changing. I should note the shoe plays lower to the ground than the Curry 2 which I did like. I really think UA will need to develop a new super Charged set up if it wants to keep up with the Joneses. I’d love to see a dual density set up that features pure Micro G in the heel and forefoot and Charged on the outer portions somewhat like the Lillard 2. Oooh the possibilities..
I went true to size with my normal 11 and these fit longer than the Curry 2 size 11 since the 2 ran a little short. These gave me a finger width from my longest toe to the end of the toe box which is my preference. The toe box is pointier so some people may feel they run long but it’s really just the shape
I find these are true to size overall although narrow or regular width feet may want to size down half a size because I had to pull the laces tightly to get a good lock down. I bought a 10.5 to try out in the Dubnation heritage colorway and I still had enough space at the toe box but they ran too tight for me and my wide feet.
I had no movement front to back or side to side with my wide feet. Almost no dead space in the toe box. Nothing fancy in the heel collar, no Achilles pillows, just a slightly contoured notch.
The first few times playing in the Curry 3, I had to retie often because the higher cut of the shoe allows my calves and ankles to loosen the laces as I played. In addition the lace eyelets are wide and slippery (insert joke) and the memory foam in the ankle collar wants to stay open. I had this problem for the first full week. I even swapped the laces out (they are square shaped) to see if it would help and it did improve a little bit but I still had to retie. It still loosens up during play even after two weeks but it isn’t nearly as bad as it was when I first put them on. When freshly tied, the fit is great but I could never get it to stay that way for an entire 40 minute league game. I really feel the problem comes from the combo of the higher cut, the top two large plastic eyelets and how the panels don’t wrap around the front of the ankle more.
Overall, the fit is great but worsens with play due to the laces loosening. I never had this issue with the 1/2/2.5 and still prefer the fit of the previous models.
The medial side and ankle collar is composed of Anafoam. I was really surprised UA didn’t slap labels everywhere on this shoe (no Charged label either) but it does give the shoe a cleaner look
Nice job UA!
I usually don’t mention ventilation but I noticed my feet getting unusually hot in these. The Threadborne upper and thick Anafoam isn’t very breathable plus they sit so close to the foot. Throw in a high ankle collar filled with foam and there is nowhere for heat to escape. Maybe I was playing extra hard but that’s just what I experienced every time out with these.
Support and Stability
UA took a bite out of Jordan Brand’s AJ XX2 design as well as the M11. The firm foam heel counter is similar to the Melo M11 and just as firm.
There is also a slim carbon fiber torsional shank. I couldn’t really tell it was there but I didn’t have any issues with midfoot support
The slightly rounded outsole at the heel gives the shoe a little more natural feeling but it isn’t tippy and passes my heel test.
Well done UA !
The Dynamic Midsole Frame provides “Dynamic Containment” as UA puts it. It does a good job overall but the midsole frame ends foot well before the forefoot; it pretty much stops at the carbon fiber so only part of the foot is actually inside the DMF.
Overall containment is excellent as I had no issues but I still feel the Curry 2 does a better job in this category.
The first few times I wore the Curry 3, I didn’t like it much, save for the cushioning. I was frustrated with the laces loosening, which caused the fit to feel sloppy. However, after sufficient break in time, I got a good (not great) one to one fit and had to retie a lot less frequently. I like to forget about my shoes when I play but the loosening laces wouldn’t let me. I feel it’s really a design issue but I’m sure my biomechanics and ankle shape have something to do with it.
Although the shoes look very different, the Hyperdunk 2016 performs and plays very similarly especially with the way both shoes are supposed to draw the ankle back. Coincidentally, both retail for the same price. Which would I buy between the two? Well as a Curry fan, I’d buy the Curry 3, since it is his sig shoe and priced the same but from a performance perspective I’d take the Hyperdunk. Similar traction, containment, support and stability but better cushioning and fit plus the laces don’t loosen. Also the HD2016 has been out longer so it’s now priced less than the Curry 3 and will continue to fall in price.
Under Armour is still riding the Curry train so I expect a ton of these to be made this year. With a botched 3-1 lead, UA and Curry lost a lot of bandwagoners so expect all of these to go on sale in a few months. The $10 price hike to the $140 price point came at the wrong time as Curry’s new Nike teammate’s shoe, the Kd9 only retails for $10 more. Raising the prices while its biggest competitor is dropping them makes no sense. Keeping the price at $125-135 would have been a better idea.
And if you haven’t figured it out, the Curry 2 easily outperforms the Curry 3. Just better traction, fit, and stability (and looks quite honestly). But if you’re really into materials, then the Curry 3 might float your boat.