Performance Review: Jordan CP3.VII

Prose: Jake Sittler (@jtsittler)

cp3_5

Back when I reviewed the Jordan CP3.VI, I lamented that most of the shoes in Chris Paul’s signature line were pretty good on court, just not great in any one aspect. Something always held the shoes back from being elite performance models – in the case of the CP3.VI it was its inability to provide sufficient lockdown from heel to toe. Unfortunately, even though I really like a lot of aspects of the shoe, the CP3.VII falls victim to a similar problem.

I struggled worse with this review than any other because there was so much that was great about the shoe, but it didn’t exactly work for me. Even though it personally didn’t suit my playing needs I will wholeheartedly recommend the CP3.VII as a performance model.

Fit
Jordancp3vii_Lockdown
For me, the fit of the shoe is weighed more heavily than any other aspects and that’s the reason I didn’t really enjoy playing in the shoe as much as I have others this year (including the Crazyquick and Anatomix Spawn). Again, I will stress that this is a personal opinion, but the last (shape of the outsole) just didn’t fit my foot right and I wasn’t able to get the type of lockdown I look for. To me, lockdown = confidence when I’m playing. If a shoe fits me right, I won’t even notice that it’s there and I have complete confidence making cuts, changing direction or stopping on a dime.

cp3_6

In the CP3.VII, I always felt that my foot wasn’t fully secure. My toes were kind of cramped in the toebox (laterally, that is), I felt a bit of an unnatural flex in the toebox as well, and the Achilles notch continued to hamper the heel fit. While the lacing system and Dynamic Flywire integration was adequate, I never felt fully locked in through the midfoot either. This was all probably due to the shape of my foot and for you, the fit may be just fine; it just didn’t suit me.

Other than that, I felt like the shoe was built slightly wider than some others I’d tested (I have a pretty narrow foot) so it might fit a broader variety of players. The upper was comfortable and inner bootie was extremely plush – one of the best interiors I’ve tested. While I probably won’t add the CP3.VII into my hooping rotation, it’s definitely sticking around as an off the court go-to shoe.

Heel-Toe Transition
Jordancp3vii_Transition
Transition was smooth from heel to toe, aided by a multilevel outsole and large midfoot shank. The implementation of Podulite in the midsole gave the shoe a nice, natural ride through the footstrike. No complaints in this department.

cp3_2

Cushioning
Jordancp3vii_Cushion
Jordancp3vii_Court Feel
Jordancp3vii_Responsiveness
The CP3 line has long used a Podulon cushioning setup, which is basically a dual density cushioning system that places responsive foam pillars at strategic points throughout the footstrike. It’s a responsive and bouncy cushioning platform that’s relatively stable, although you won’t feel quite as low to the ground as a Lunarlon or Zoom Air systems. The CP3.VII debuted Podulite, which uses a forefoot Zoom Air unit under the ball of the foot which added even more responsiveness.

cp3_1

Bottom line, this shoe is ridiculously comfortable. The Podulite is bouncy and plush, and simply feels great on court. A Phylon midsole houses the aforementioned external TPU shank provides plenty of midfoot support. I didn’t give it a 10/10 simply because I personally like a little more court feel, but this cushioning platform is excellent.

cp3_3

Traction
Jordancp3vii_Traction
Traction is also top notch, as it was on last year’s CP3.VI. Deep herringbone is used throughout and you’ll get that reassuring squeak on quick stops. It is a multilevel outsole with raised portions along the lateral side of the outsole that do an excellent job providing traction laterally.

Materials/Durability
Jordancp3vii_Materials-Durability
In the black/red colorway I tested out, synthetics were used throughout the upper. The midfoot portion reminds me a lot of the makeup of the Air Jordan 2010 Outdoor – which was quietly one of the better shoes I’ve ever played in. It’s a relatively tough and durable upper, and should hold up well. TecTuff is used on the toe wrap on the medial side, as CP3 tends to drag his toe when he changes direction – it’s an intelligent addition to the shoe and beefs up the durability on that end. All in all, the CP3.VII feels and plays like one of the more well-made shoes I’ve tested this year.

cp3_4

Once again, I want to reiterate that I think the CP3.VII is a great performance shoe and it’s certainly one of the most comfortable I’ve played in in a long time. It featured the best balance of court feel and impact protection that I’ve tested in a long time – I loved the cushioning.

It doesn’t suit me on-court because I value fit so much and I simply couldn’t get the right lockdown out of the shoe – but I still recommend it to most players. Definitely try it on in store before you buy if you go the online route, but for a guard/swingman type that likes the feel of a lowtop I think the CP3.VII is one of the best options out there.

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27 responses to “Performance Review: Jordan CP3.VII

  1. Hi, thanks for the review. I am sorry for going slightly off-topic. It is still with regards to CP3 but a slightly older version.

    Would the Jordan CP VI be durable outdoors? I am a Center and a PG. Pretty funny right? My Lebron X’s outsole wore out until the air deflated. Only had them for 5 months with less than 30 hours of play.

    So now I am deciding between Jordan CP VI, Hyperdunk Low, Lebron Soldier 6, Jordan SuperFly and another one which is cheaper than those 3, a shoe called Nike Hyperchaos (no reviews at all online).

    Which shoe would be the most durable and also suitable for me?

    Many thanks in advance

    Here is what my Lebron X looks like now;

    • I’ve played in 3 of those so I can only speak for the Soldier VI, Hyperdunk Low and CP3 VI. For you I’d go with the soldiers as your first choice. Lockdown is great, plenty of toebox room and can’t beat the Zoom setup. The upper can take a serious beating-I played in mine for several months. CP3 would be my next choice, fit isn’t quite as snug but obviously there’s a freedom of movement with the low cut that’s nice. Podulon is good underneath and is a pretty durable setup, though maybe a little mushy in the heel. Upper is great as far as durability though, pretty rugged in my experience. I’d stay away from hyperdunks tho, lunarlon, after a few weeks outdoors is gonna kill your knees. Not enough impact protection.

      Hope this helps!

      • Hey man! Thanks for getting back at me. I really appreciated your comment. The Soldier, Hyperdunk and CP3 VI are all out of stock now.

        Now I only have Lebron Ambassador V as an option because it’s on sale at USD100 which is a steal in my country or wait for the Nike Crusader. Would like Kobe Venom but the reviews weren’t that good. I play outdoor, black top. Burned 3 shoes already in less than a year. Actually less than 6 months. Lebron X, and 2 Nike running shoes. So this time, I must get a proper XDR shoe.

      • Man that’s not good! Given your situation though, I might at least try on the Venomenon if I were you. I’m playing in it and reviewing it as we speak and so far I love it. Granted I’m playing indoors, but the traction and rubber compound used for the outsole are built for outdoors. Not technically XDR, but definitely a tougher outsole than most.

        I’m not sure if they’re available to you via ebay or any online retail, the Hyperfranchise and Air Max HAM Low both have XDR soles. On ebay you might be able to find a pair of Air Jordan 2010 Outdoors, which was a fantastic that I played in forever. Black top just chews up shoes haha

      • I’d worry about that air bag outdoors with the ambassador (I have always wanted to try those out but they never release in the US and online prices are steep here), so I’d say maybe try the Crusader if you can find it.

  2. Yea I have no idea what the hell this guy means with the “fit” isn’t good but I can ASSURE you kids out there reading this that the fit is FINE. This moron probably just got the wrong size (they run small), or probably has lurch like scrawny deformed feet.

    they’re probably the best guard shoes out there right now (even ahead of the hyperdunks whose cushioning isn’t as ample, and actually HAS “fit issues” b/c of heel slip no matter which size you get).

    I can’t personally think of a single “bad” thing about these other than the fit not being true to size, the lack of raw materials, and the toebox being stiff.

    whoever made this review is probably a retard who doesn’t know how to choose the right size for himself, or probably is full of sh*t and never reviewed them at all. one has to be true, b/c I’m always honest myself and I can assure you having tried on the hyperdunks and the superfly ii’s, these are BY FAR better, and probably underrated at that.

    also I just KNOW this idiot didn’t get the right size, or even the shoes AT ALL, b/c they def. DON’T fit “wide” at the toebox LMFAO. that’s such an obvious lie it’s pathetic. they fit NARROW at the toe box if anything, and narrow all around.

  3. oh and btw, having played compet. basketball since the age of 8, worn shoes from adidas to fila to and 1 to Jordan to nike to reebok, I can tell you STRAIGHT UP some of the terminology here stinks of hyperbole.

    you can’t “feel” podulite lmfao. the only cushioning you can REALLY feel a difference in in footwear is eva foam if its DENSE (t-mac ii’s), or nike zoom air (but they have to be AMPLE bags). shox you could feel but only when really testing them.

    you absolutely CANNOT “feel” podulon, lunarlon, or any of that crap. that’s just nonsensical rhetoric used to fill empty space in your “review”. the cushioning feels like normal foam cushioning; it doesn’t feel any different or “new” than most normal cushioned kicks I can assure you of that.

    I always find it hilarious when dorky ass reviewers try to sound wise or sophisticated saying sh*t like “heel to toe transition”….what are you driving a car fool?

    they’re BASKETBALL SHOES. you beat the hell out of them, you run in them. you’re not driving a Porsche jesus Christ. speak in terms that are applicable to SHOES, not CARS.

    what I’D SAY is quite simple – the cushioning isn’t “plush” but it’s supportive as hell; they’re mid-cut shoes, not low-cuts; the stability is very good laterally as well as on your heel; traction is thick and durable; and the fit is lockdown but they run a half size small.

    4 lines.

    none of this jargon bullcrap that you “suck at basketball” nerds like to use to sound educated when we’re talking about A CLOTHING ITEM.

    it’s the equivalent of a gay costume designer describing cloth. theyre shoes…not cars, not trucks, not planes, there’s no such thing as “tech” in shoes…they’re a CLOTHING item without electricity. theyre materials and that’s IT.

    • Since your comment was so well-written and thought provoking, I’m going to respond in the most civil way possible.
      – I said multiple times the CP3.VII was one of the best guard shoes out there
      – I said multiple times that the shoe didn’t personally fit my foot perfectly and I went to great lengths to qualify that it was simply a personal opinion. Maybe you didn’t comprehend that (you seem to struggle with big words or “wise or sophisticated sayings”) or maybe I should have been clearer. I don’t know.
      -I also said the toebox felt cramped to me and thus wasn’t “wide” as you have insinuated. The rest of the shoe was a little wide for me, yes, (clear enough?) but the toebox seemed narrow and cramped. Again, I said it was a personal feel as it related to the “last” of the shoe (this is getting old already.) This is, word for word, the final paragraph of the review: “It doesn’t suit me on-court because I value fit so much and I simply couldn’t get the right lockdown out of the shoe – but I still recommend it to most players. Definitely try it on in store before you buy if you go the online route, but for a guard/swingman type that likes the feel of a lowtop I think the CP3.VII is one of the best options out there.” I don’t understand your conclusion that I thought the shoe was bad.
      – I was genuinely confused by your Podulite statement. Different cushioning systems indeed feel differently underfoot so I’m not sure where I went wrong in explaining how Podulite felt different than others.You can’t “feel” Podulite or Lunarlon? Those two setups feel completely different from each other and from Zoom Air or an EVA midsole. But next time I’ll consult you since you’re obviously such an experienced basketball player.
      – There is no heel-toe transition when driving a car. That analogy confused me more than your thoughts on cushioning systems. All the good, experienced reviewers out there will talk about heel-toe transition, so perhaps you should pay attention to that.
      – “There’s no such thing as technology in shoes”…….I’m just going to leave that one alone.
      – In the interest of full disclosure, I do in fact play in all of the shoes I review for at least 2 weeks (can’t believe I had to actually type that). I buy all the shoes out-of-pocket, they’re not given to me by a retail store or shoe company. I don’t make any money off the site. Therefore, it would make very little sense for me to buy these and not wear them.

      If you have any further concerns please let me know, or better yet, meet me in person like gentlemen.

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  6. Does anyone that has this shoe find that it takes a looooooong time to break in the traction? Also getting knee soreness after playing in these.. not sure if they’re broken in or not :S Probably played about a week and a half in these 2-4 hours at a time

    • My traction was good to go from the start-what kind of floor were you playing on? Maybe just collected some dust. I personally loved the cushioning and didn’t have any issues, thought it was one of the better cushioned guard shoes out there. Sometimes just depends on the wearer.

  7. Hi there,

    Really succinct review here. One point I’d like some clarity on is fit. I’m by and large an 11.5 (Melo M8, M10, Kobe 7-8). I went a half size down with the KD V. I tried on the CP3 VII in my normal size and it felt like my toes were swimming in the toebox. There was ample room side to side and about a thumb and a quarter space between the top of my toes and the top of the box. I ordered a pair a half size smaller than usual and am awaiting there arrival.

    Have you heard similar things regarding sizing? The forums have wide ranging feedback.

    Best,
    Donald

    • I’m the same way – almost always an 11.5. I tried on both an 11 and 11.5 in the CP3.VII and I felt like the length on the 11.5 was about right but – like you said – my toes had too much room side to side. Even with 2 pairs of socks on, which I always play with, it was a weird shape. The 11 just felt too short when I pushed off on my toes even though it fit better width wise. I’m betting you’ll notice a difference side to side with the 11, just have to see how they are on length.

      I know a lot of people have liked the shoe, and I really did like most everything about it except the fit in the toebox.

      • Thanks for the quick reply! Now I’m nervous going down the half size. I look at it this way, the black/gamma blue Bel Airs were only available in 11 and given the ample room with my normal size, I figured that not only could I swing the slightly smaller size but it may actually fit better. I was really glad I went down to an 11 in the KD V and hope the CP3 VIIs work out in the same way!

      • Yeah I mean the 11s would probably have been doable for me, but definitely would have been snug and I hate getting my feet torn up from shoes that don’t fit quite right. Even if they don’t work, you can probably just rock em anyway – one of the more comfortable shoes I have in general. Good luck man.

  8. Thanks for the in depth review. I was curious if you tried the CP3 VI AE as they seemed to address the heel slip issue that plagued the VI? I have not tried either personally though was going to grab the VI AE or the VII and give one a go. i am currently addicted to my Kobe 8s.

    • I didn’t try the AE simply because the tooling was the same (and funds were low haha) but i heard from most people that the heel slip was fixed. Personally i liked the VII cushioning much better because the heel was more firm/responsive and forefoot zoom was nice. I think the VII is probably a better shoe overall in terms of overall fit and tooling

  9. Hey Jake, one quick question, I see you rated the traction high, comparing the VI and the VII do you feel they are basically equal in traction or did you have a preference? Thanks.

    • They were both very good, with very deep grooves that held up really well. If I had to choose I’d lean towards the VII just because of how the whole shoe plays underfoot – outsole included – but they’re basically equal when it comes to traction alone.

  10. Thanks Jake. I have had the CP3 VII for about 2 weeks and overall I really like them. Traction is very good. Cushion and support is very good. I myself got good lock down with my foot structure. Your review was pretty much spot on. Although the shoe will be in rotation with the Kobe 8 and Hyperdunk low it is not the one (you know where you stock up on 2-3 pairs). Looking forward to the Kobe 9 em review and hopefully a super fly 2 low (if the make one, god i hope they do). Thanks man!

    • Glad it was accurate – I tried to convey the fact that it was a really good shoe but just didn’t work for me – so that’s great they’re working out. I think I’m gonna try the AE version too but maybe go down a half-size just to see if that makes a difference…the Kobe IX EM is coming along, still reminding me so much of the Kobe VI in terms of the fit – good for me since I bought 2 pairs of the VI like you were talking about haha.

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  14. Hi can these shoes fit a slightly wide foot? it looks suited for me but i just want confirmation from you guys before i hunt.

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