I have really mixed emotions about the Curry 4. On one hand I love how it looks and certain aspects of how it plays. On the other hand, the Curry 4 is a budget shoe in almost every way but the name. However, even as a budget shoe, UA got the basics down pat which makes it acceptable. But on the third hand (?), the Curry just proves what I’ve always known..it ain’t the shoes. And if you’re wondering what about that proprietary foam, I might have figured it out.

Look how much smaller the Curry 4 size 11.5 is vs a size 11 Curry 3

If you were to take the Curry 3 and go full on opposite Costanaza, the Curry 4 is pretty much what you’d get.

Rather than raising the price from the previous model, UA lowered the price by $10. Instead of an overly padded Curry, UA stripped the Curry 4 down to essentially a shoe and a layer or two material for the upper. Latest and greatest and greatest cushioning and upper? Nope, let’s just go no name. Maybe from now on UA will do like George and just do the opposite of their instincts and maybe they will get rid of their 95% of their basketball clothing line. #Costanza4CEO

According to ESPN’s article Steph wanted “sleek and fast” so what Steph wants, Steph gets. None of us are Steph, so the real question is whether or not that’s what you or I need.

Pros: traction, low to the ground cushioning, fit, stability, outstanding containment

Cons: traction needs some occasional wiping to stay tacky, overly specific fit, no name generic cushioning is firm and unremarkable, experienced slight sizing variation due to QC that caused sizing issues for me, some lace pressure where ankle and foot meet, some break in digging at the forefoot, feels cheap but that’s a value thing

Sizing: Nobody should attempt to go down in size. Runs a little short but true to size for most everyone. Wide footers may want to go up in size for comfort but try them on in the store because the fit is fickle. Bring a combo of socks too. Read the fit and sizing section for the combination that worked for me.

Best for: quick guards and Curry fanboys (including myself of course)

Buying advice: unless you’re buying a high demand colorway, just wait. I didn’t pay retail for any pairs and they are everywhere.

Weight

12.5 ounces puts it in Rare Metal territory. Not as light as the Kobe V or VI but lightweight relative to today’s mids including the Curry 2 and 3 which were around 14.5 ounces

Traction

I had preordered the White Black colorway but due to UA’s sloppy recall process (Don’t worry the white black pair still has the discolored toe smh), I settled for the More Fun which has a solid rubber outsole. It uses similar if not the same rubber to the 2 but with a different pattern. These have a nice bite to them and but need the occasional wipe to stay sticky depending on how dusty the floor is. They don’t get slippery when dusty but you will notice a loss in the bite. The main “weak spot” of the pattern is the lateral forefoot where the pattern tightens and firms up like the Harden V1 but thanks to the rubber, the flexibility, and spacing of the rest of the pattern, it doesn’t get slick.

When clean or freshly wiped, these work fantastic but if they get dusty you’ll need to wipe to revive that bite.

More traction than the 3 and 1 but the Curry 2 and 2.5 still own this category.

Nice job overall though UA!

Cushioning

I might as well leave this part out since UA did the same.

Fit

Sorry this a long read so here is a summary. True to size for most but bring a variety of socks. Wide footers might want to go up half a size but extra bring socks

The Curry 4 is a tweener for me. It runs somewhat short by about quarter to half a size but I can still fit it. I tried half a size up at 11.5 and liked the length and width better but the overall fit wasn’t as good even with thick Stance NBA socks. Side to side I had no movement or heel slip true to size but half a size up I had tiny bit of dead space around the entire shoe. I tried true to size but the shorter length and tighter width wouldn’t let my toes splay and my foot would bang the front so I went half a size up. With half a size up I had to go with one thick sock and one thin sock to make it fit the way I wanted.

I suggest true to size for regular and narrow footers. Wide footers can go up half a size BUT you need to try them on. I also suggest bringing thinner and thicker socks to try them because unfortunately it makes a difference with the overall comfort and fit because there isn’t much wiggle room for error..literally and figuratively.

The Curry 4 is the antithesis of the Curry 3 and has almost zero padding including inside around the heel.

It isn’t contoured much and there is (3)Zero padding so that’s why there isn’t much room for error with the sizing. It’s frustrating knowing that I have to wear a specific pair or socks to accommodate a certain shoe but if you’re willing to try different combos of socks, you’ll eventually get it right.

Further adding to the frustration of finding the right fit was the sizing variation which isn’t a big deal normally but the way the Curry 4 is designed, slight variances makes a difference.

I know it’s hard to tell from the pic but the white colorways as well as the black pair not pictured all run a little longer than the blue pairs. These two blue pair ran were almost the same length as the white pairs but still ran a little short. All size 11

Moving on, the rest of the shoe fits like a glove. These are so minimally padded that they run smaller than my Nike Free’s which are already already form fitting and small. There is some dead space and bunching above the forefoot but that’s due to the one piece sock design more than anything.

11.5 in both the Curry 4 and the Nike Free

No wasted materials or space should equate to better quicker movement on court at least in theory.

Overall the fit is excellent if you fit the shoe correctly or if you adjust to the shoe by wearing thinner or thicker socks. If you’re a tweener, try them on in store and bring different types of socks. It was a lot more work than it should have been for me but that’s the problem with not wanting to settle.

Materials

It’s 2009 y’all !! Synthetic is back again and nobody would mistake this upper for Flyknit or Primeknit. UA incorporated the strength of synthetic to benefit the player to keep the foot on the footbed on hard cuts. The entire shoe is a one piece knit sock with a bonded synthetic covering 2/3 of the shoes. The “tongue” and majority of the medial side is uncovered to keep flexibility and for comfort. You can feel the glue on the entire inside as well which is why it may feel uncomfortable to start. Very early Hyperdunkish feel since the majority of your foot is touching an unpadded stiff surface.

There is some flexing issues as I had some digging at the forefoot the first hour or so but it goes away after that. UA calls it a microfiber synthetic and if you look really closely you can see some of the texture to consider it a microfiber but you have to look pretty damn close.

I have no issues with the materials but I know others do. If you don’t like that hollow sound plasticky shoes make when you tap on them, buy something else. If you’re a materials snob, wait for the black gold colorway because it is a synthetic suede that feels much softer to the touch.

Yes these are mine, all mine. Thanks eBay!

Overall, materials feel cheap and may turn off some consumers. But you know my take on materials by now.

Support and Stability

Support is decent but majority of the support comes from the fit and the contoured midsole. The actual heel counter is real tiny and flexible unlike the Soldier XI.

One thing I found interesting is that there is a some slight support on the lateral side due to the synthetic. It isn’t D Rose level but at least it’s something.

There is also the Speedplate which provides midfoot support and assists with containment.

Stability really shines on the Curry 4. Low to the ground, firm cushioning, forefoot outrigger, a split heel, and a very stable wide outsole reminiscent of the Curry 2 just feels stable and safe on all movements.

Great job UA!

Containment

The Curry 4 is all about quickness and no wasted movements and the Curry 4 excels at containment.

The Curry 4 features a raised midsole that runs all the way around the show to form a nice bucket as well as the Speed Plate that extends up the lateral side. In addition you have the synthetic upper on the entire lateral side.

Just fantastic. You’re welcome UA, just send me a Champ Pack and we can call it even.

Cushioning

You didn’t really think I’d skip an entire section did you?

The Curry 4 sits very low and has a firm, minimal cushioning set up. It is not as firm as the Kyrie set up and still has a little give to it. If you liked the old DRose 1-4, Crazyquicks, Non Boost Crazylights cushioning set ups you’ll probably like these since it has a similar height and a very slightly softer feel. These actually sit about 18-20 mm which is lower than Curry 2 by about 3 millimeters. My Nike Free’s are about the same height and feel awfully similar underfoot.

*just did a measurement of the AJ XXXI since someone asked and it sits at around 20 mm as well. Way better cushioning and similar height I’ll take that any day*

What is this cushioning you may ask? It is the Cushioning with No Name . UA states that the foam is a UA proprietary foam which is really just code for generic cushioning like Phylon or in this case EVUA (I’ll have to trademark that before UA does).

Nooooo, it can’t be, it must be a propriety foam they just haven’t named yet you say? Cushioning tech is the number one marketing angle that sneaker companies use so for UA to leave it out altogether and not even bother to name it says it’s just a whatever foam. It isn’t even mentioned in the ESPN article linked above and nobody can get an answer or even a good marketing story from UA. Peculiar isn’t it?

Oops did someone slip?Per Sole Collector’s Kort Neumann interview, the designer of the Curry 3Zero and 4

Photo courtesy of Sole Collector

In all fairness, I think there is there is some kind of crash pad since there is that little bit of spring but once again why the secrecy? I cut open the strobel to take a peak inside but I really couldn’t tell what it was inside.

Even if there is, the midsole is mostly EVA. If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck as I always say. Hey Under Armour you can use EVUA , it’s catchy and truthful at the same time.

Name aside, I had no issues with the cushioning even if it isn’t my favorite but it does have a little spring to it and it plays quick and firm. Some of the “comfort” comes from the insole which isn’t Micro G but it is thick enough to hide some of the firmness of the actual foam. I swapped the insole out with a Micro G insole and it really didn’t make a difference in how the cushioning felt because it the midsole is just that dense and dead. Don’t forget that Speed Plate is occupying a lot of that midsole as well.

This is as much as I can squeeze the insole so it really isn’t doing much in terms of additional cushioning

If this is indeed EVUA, which it really seems to be, don’t stress because it can feel okay out of the box like the Risewear 720 but it dies quickly so I don’t expect this cushioning to last long. It isn’t going to feel much different after it dies anyways since it already plays firm.

Relative to other shoes out there, these do not have much bounce or fun factor except a little in the heel. The main benefit of this set up is that it’s just flexible and low to the ground. Play in the Curry 4 for a bit then switch to something else and you’ll feel the difference immediately.

If you really want to wear the Curry 4 and want more cushioning, add another insole on top of the existing one or just replace with with a thicker aftermarket insole. Be careful though because the fit of the Curry 4 is fickle (sorry I keep saying fickle, it’s the best way to describe it) and if you get too thick on an insole, you might get some heel slip. I’ve found the Curry 4 isn’t really modification friendly. Sadly, I found that wearing more socks makes the Curry 4 more comfortable.

If you didn’t like the Charged set up on the Curry 2 or 3 you’ll hate these, simple as that.

Conclusion

Who does number 2, I mean 4, work for ?

It is for the quick guard who likes a low to the ground ride with responsive cushioning, tight traction, stability and containment for quick cuts and movements. Or basically what we all pretend to be. Now in reality, how do you really play and what do you really need ? Be honest with yourself.

I absolutely hated the shoe the first few times I wore them but part of it was out of frustration trying to find the right size. But after a few days, I started to enjoy playing in them. Freedom up top with an ultra stable base is something I really like and the sock like one to one fit made the shoe feel like an extension of my foot. Great traction also cures a lot of faults for me.

However, despite the good fof the Curry 4, the Curry 4 isn’t going to make the cut because it isn’t what I need nor does it provide the much value. The “proprietary foam” doesn’t provide More Fun; as much as I love Steph, I won’t mince words, the cushioning is boring, even if it does an adequate job absorbing impact for me. And it probably won’t last since EVA is notorious for short wear life. Also, the in between sizing and quality control really bothered me but that’s just me and picky feet. I I went through my memory database and the shoe reminds me a lot of the Hyperdunk 2012 but with a more flexible ankle collar and lower, less springy ride. If that sounds like your cup of tea, you’ll enjoy the Curry 4.

Where does this rank among the Curry line? It has its strengths but the Curry 2 and 2.5 still remain at the top due to its superior traction and better cushioning. I’d put Curry 4 in second by a hair since it has better traction and fit than the 1 and 3 and leave those two to duke out the bottom spot. The only thing the Curry 4 does slightly better than the 2 is the fit and that was after a lot of trial and error. I’ll use the Curry 4 on occasion but I can’t say it’s something I’d reach for since the 2 does what I need even better.

If you’re after the Curry 4, just do as I always say and just wait. Lots and lots and lots of colorways will end up with lots and lots of excess inventory. I haven’t paid more than $116 yet and on average, they’ve only cost me around $100.

At a retail price of $130, the Curry 4 toes the line between being a being premium or budget shoe. Based on materials and (lack of) tech specs, it’s really a budget shoe but add in “SC” and UA can charge $130 especially on its Championship pedigree and its looks. Let’s face it, 99% of the consumers will buy this shoe for the name and looks, not the tech or performance so it does make sense for UA from a business standpoint. At least we know why the China colorway was called More Magic.. the sneaker biz is all smoke and mirrors. Go work on your game if you actually want to get better.

49 Comment on “Under Armour Curry 4 Performance Analysis and Review

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