Yep I’m way behind so to expedite the process I left out the pics for the time being. It’s almost March (thank you leap year!!) so hope this helps everyone out. If you read my Pricing 101, you’d know the longer you wait, the better the prices get so if you were waiting for my 2019 review you get low prices and a good guide all in one!

Kyrie 6
I never got around to writing about Kyrie 6 and I was trying to review it before I did this year end but we’re almost into March so yea…sorry I’ve just gotten too busy with life’s.

The Kyrie 6 is a great shoe all the way around just go up half a size for a more comfortable fit. Great traction, Zoom Turbo feels pretty good plus traction, support, containment are all great. I definitely enjoyed it more than the 5 probably due to a little softer feel underfoot. Nothing bad to say about it at all as you can see from its ranking below.

My 2019 Rankings

Since I didn’t review a whole shit ton of shoes and actually went after shoes I knew (thought) I’d like, I was able to compile a nice little list. This is only for shoes released in 2019 FYI

From worst to first(s)

  • Curry 6 (I thought it released in 2018 but nope it was Jan 2019)
  • NB Omn1
  • Nike Zoom Freak 1 (too flexible in midfoot iffy traction on dusty floors)
  • Dame 6 (too tippy for me)
  • Why Not Zero 2
  • Dame 5
  • Pro Model Bounce
  • Curry 7
  • PG3
  • Spawn 2019
  • Kyrie 6
  • Harden V4*
  • AJ 34 *
  • Kobe IV Protro *
  • KD12*

Nobody really cares about anything but the top 5 but they should. Everything except the bottom few are excellent all around shoes that have no major weaknesses. Take your pick from the list because they are all on sale except for the Kobe IV and the Omn1 (artificial limited supply). Despite the weaknesses of the Freak1, I really enjoyed playing in it and for some reason I just balled out in it (I think I averaged 25-30 over a nice little stretch in them). Just comes to show you it ain’t the shoes so don’t base your purchases off any type of lists or shoetubers. I like a well rounded shoe that isn’t overly squishy, is supportive, stable and just covers all the bases. Of course I love me some good traction and all of these have you covered. Personally I love the Kobe IV bc the IV and I have a deep history and mental connection that you can’t replace (great games = great memories= confidence). If I were to pick one other than the Kobe IV, I’d pick the KD XII. Pure Full length Zoom, not overly soft, low to the ground, great traction all right out of the box. If I were on a more limited budget, I’d go Harden IV. Great all around and I picked up some last week for $62.50. (Told you adidas prices drop like rocks). The AJ 34 is also great with no glaring weakness although cushioning could feel a little more fun but hey that’s what the KD12 is for. I think I’ve pushed more friends into the Kd12 than any other shoe in recent years because it was so damn fun to play in a reminded me of what fun you could have with the KD line. Plus it was very Zoom BB feeling which is one the purest Zooms you’ll ever feel.

Best Budget

  • Spawn
  • Dame 5
  • Harden V4

I’m still perplexed how people use retail prices as the basis for a budget shoe. I wrote an extensive pricing guide to help those who think retail means the price you pay. Price is the price of the shoe at the time of purchase not the retail list price. So if you’re buying two months after a general release you’ll pay a lot less than someone who buys stupidly on release day..especially if that shoe is from Adidas or UA. All that being said, if you want to spend less on the sticker price, the Spawn and Dame are the way to go. Dame hit the swaggiest shot ever in PG’s face and they sell for under $50 a year later. Great overall shoe although cushioning was a little Ho Hum for me. You can splurge more and go with Hardens as well if you don’t base your numbers in retail. Already on sale for $104 plus Adidas discounts and you get a great shoe for $80 or less. Thanks for being unlikeable James! The spawns are ugly and on sale everywhere so if you are paying retail for them, you just wasted fifty bucks. Great shoe awesome traction with the right amount of cushioning even if it has zero relation to the original spawn aside from the name.

Best Sig Shoe

See Rankings

I mean how do you pick ? It’s basically the same list up top. Who wears team shoes nowadays anyways? I honestly think this year you pick by going with your favorite player and or your favorite looking shoe. Mine just happens to be the Kobe IV Carpe Diem which has always been one of the shoes I just love to look at and wear on court. As I said in my review, I got more compliments on those than any recent shoe I’ve reviewed. Well AJ Alpha 1 is up there too.

Best traction

  • Kd12
  • Curry 7
  • PG3
  • Kyrie 6
  • Aj 34
  • Kobe IV

All these are great but if I had to pick one for simply traction, I’d go with the .. Spawn ?!Pliable soft rubber just works like a beast. I mean everything I listed above are excellent but the spawn just bites like a bulldog.


Cushioning

  • Kd12
  • Aj34
  • Harden V4/Dame 6

FLZ directly underfoot just makes the KD12 feel great. The AJ34 is a bit muted but still feels good and Lightstrike just feels great out of the box. I still don’t trust its durability but hey they are practically half price now so buy two and rotate. Man adidas prices 😂

Best fit

  • Kobe IV
  • Harden V4
  • Kyrie 6
  • AJ 34

The Kobe IV wins this category hands down even if it’s from 2008. Just a perfect fit for me and nimble as can be. See I can rhyme in threes.


Best retro

  • Kobe IV
  • Pro Model Bounce

Aside from a switch in the forefoot, these are very true to the original which is all I wanted out of the Protro. As I said in my Kobe V review, Kobe was never my favorite player but I loved his shoes. Without the Kobe IV, I really doubt we’d see the proliferation of low tops like we see today.

I also really enjoyed the Pro Model Bounce and it can more than hold its own versus any modern shoe. If only it didn’t get so damn hot..but at least it looks hot too.

2020 vs 2019

If you were wondering how 2020 shoes have stacked up, don’t worry you aren’t missing anything. PG4 is solid but I still like the PG3 and 2 more. The Kobe V would be the only shoe I’ve tried this year that I’d seriously consider playing in so let’s keep our fingers crossed that Nike opens the floodgates for Kobe fans and sneakerheads alike. It’s funny yet sad how $180 doesn’t sound so bad once someone is gone. #ripall9

34 Comment on “2019 Rankings + Review

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