9/9/13: Today in Performance Kicks

Prose: Jake Sittler (@jtsittler)

“Fire Red” and “Cement” Elephant Air Jordan XX8

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Yes, the price tag put the shoe out of reach for a lot of consumers (including yours truly) but the XX8 was a true performance shoe in a groundbreaking aesthetic package. Tinker and the Nike crew gave us ProPlate Zoom Air and a Flight Plate chassis – both of which appear to be staples going forward. The new Zoom setup reportedly returns 46% more energy in each step (validating what Finch and I have said multiple times that not all Zoom setups are created equal) and the Flight Plate has been used already in the Super.Fly 2, Trunner Dominate and the upcoming Melo M10.

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With all of that said, we’re getting classic colorways hooked up with classic print in this Fire Red and elephant print Jordan XX8. Are they gaudy? Possibly, but I’d certainly rock them (especially the Cement joints) and in my opinion the print and colorways work well on the XX8 canvas. Look for them to drop on September 21.

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via yamaotoko

9/16/13: Today in Performance Kicks

Prose: Jake Sittler (@jtsittler)

First Look at the Nike Zoom Revis 2

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Thanks to some awesome folks at NikeTalk, we have a shot at Tampa Bay Buccaneers DB Darrelle Revis’ next signature shoe. The Zoom Revis 2 is another clean design, with what looks to be a patent leather toe rand and dual midfoot straps. I’d venture to say that the midsole will be Zoom-loaded (since the first one feature a full-length bag) as well. The original Zoom Revis was a great performer as an all-around trainer and everyday shoe, and happened to be one of my favorite purchases of the year. Expect big things from the second model.

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via NT/SC

KD Trey 5

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Each season, Nike typically trots out an Asia-exclusive Kobe Bryant signature shoe (check the Zoom Kobe 81, Venomenon or Dream Season), highlighted by extra durable construction and simpler materials that are geared towards outdoor play. Apparently, Kevin Durant’s signature is going to get a takedown model, dubbed the KD Trey 5. The shoe features a fairly simple  Hyperfuse upper atop Zoom cushioning and sturdy midsole. The outsole reveals a wide herringbone traction pattern for grip on outdoor courts. The shoe is expected to see an overseas release, and is at least worth a Google image search (even if these models typically get slept on in the U.S. market.)

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via hoopcity

Jordan Melo M10

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Believe it or not, we’re up to ten signature shoes for one Carmelo Anthony. The line has typically been a solid performer for guys at the wing spots, even if it has flown under the radar some. It’s featured some unique performance innovations along the way – remember the ankle sleeve on the M4 and exterior Flywire lockdown system on the M9? – and the M10 appears to incorporate some of the best tech Jordan Brand has to offer.

Featuring the brand’s Flight Plate midsole shank and Proplate Zoom cushioning, the M10 looks to be a performance monster (and a direct descendent of the XX8). From the outsole to the midsole, the M10 looks nearly identical to the XX8, but the etched heel counter and a Dynamic Fit upper give the M10 a few of its own details. Take a look at the four colorways previewed so far and stay tuned for further release info.

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via NikeBlog

9/5/13: Today in Performance Kicks

Prose: Jake Sittler (@jtsittler)

In order to get us some more consistent content, we’re testing out a new theme here at TGRR. It’s called Today in Performance Kicks, and I’ll basically be highlighting the top news of the day in performance sneakers. We’ll range from running to training to hoops shoes and will highlight more or less options depending on the news flow.

Nike Presents Three New Trail Running Options
As the fall season approaches, Nike is releasing three lightweight trail options for those outdoor running enthusiasts. The Zoom Terra Kiger, Zoom Wildhorse and Free Hyperfeel Trail each present high performance options in a lightweight package.

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The Zoom Terra Kiger boasts a lugged outsole with sticky rubber portions for grip in all conditions and is complimented by a responsive Zoom midsole unit. The heel-toe drop is a barefoot-like 4 mm and the heel is rounded off to provide a more natural midfoot stride. Dynamic Flywire is featured within a mesh upper for solid lockdown.

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The cousin to the Terra Kiger is the Zoom Wildhorse. Featuring a similar midsole/outsole setup (including a classic Waffle outsole, rounded heel and Zoom cushioning), the Wildhorse differs by employing a lightweight Dynamic Fit lockdown system under a single layer of mesh. The Wildhorse is probably considered a slight takedown model from the Terra Kiger as the upper materials aren’t quite as nice, but you’re still getting quality Zoom cushioning in a lightweight trail shoe for right around $100.

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The Nike Free Hyperfeel Run Trail takes Flyknit to another level, employing it on a trail shoe for the first time. The Hyperfeel uses a combination Flyknit and synthetic upper to provide a simultaneous sock-like fit and outdoor-worthy durability. The collar is where you’ll find the Flyknit hugging the ankle like a sock in order to provide the best fit as well as keeping out debris. The unique rear lacing system also plays a role in providing a snug fit. A Lunarlon midsole takes care of the cushioning while the outsole is finished off in a Nike Free-inspired Waffle pattern. The outsole lugs are heavier in higher-wear areas, as evidenced by the heat map graphic on the outsole.

news via Nike, Inc/images via Nike.com

Nike Sonic Flight
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For now all we have are a few images, but it appears we’ll have a new Nike Basketball hybrid model at some point in 2014. It’s being dubbed the Sonic Flight, and appears to be a mashup of the Nike Zoom GP and Afterburner Flight (the lateral vamp), the Zoom Garnett III (heel Air unit) and Gary Payton’s “Glove” model (the exposed monkey paw ankle structure). It’s an interesting hybrid of 90s Nike Basketball models, and it’s a shoe I haven’t fully formed an opinion of. Either way, it’s worth paying attention to in the future and we’ll relay more news to you as it comes in.
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via f_nike

TGRR Blog: First Impressions of the Reebok ATV 19+

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Prose: Finch (@Sir_Stymie)

Like many, I could be called skeptical about change and especially when it come to sneakers. After watching the promotional videos for Reebok’s ATV 19+ featuring “Rampage” Jackson (who just retired, mind you) as the pitchman, I must admit I was more than apprehensive; entertained, but apprehensive nonetheless. I was concerned that Reebok had made a grave mistake after a great run of retro releases from their Classics line (which included the previously written-about Kamikaze II.) and the ATV 19+ seemed to be a step in the wrong direction.

I was was confused about the functionality of the sole, which has 19 “Lugs” (a term coined by Reebok) which are supposed to help you run and train on virtually any type of surface. While looking at spec pictures, I was confused about how the Lugs would be viable in terms of the overall stability of the shoe since no part of the sole itself was a flat surface.

I brought my grievances to Sittler, who is well versed in sneaker technology, and a big fan of innovation. He too was was very wary of the comfort and the the overall functionality of the design. Even with all of our doubts, we both were trying to be the first to try on the kicks and to share our experiences with you fine people.

I got the opportunity to try on the ATV19+ yesterday as I was leaving my job at Foot Locker. As I was walking to the exit, I walked by the Finish Line in the same mall (I usually try not to frequent this store because I try hard not to buy shoes without my discount unless its completely necessary.) There on the door display sat an ATV19+. I couldn’t resist. I made a beeline with the shoe in hand to the nearest sales associate. Before I knew it I was sitting on a bench with the classic blue Reebok box in my lap (in other words It was about to go down).

The shoe comes in three colorways: a black, blue and orange “Rampage” colorway, a grey, black and lime green, and a red, black and yellow. I thought it was fitting to try on the “Rampage” colorway. The first thing I noticed when I opened the box was the length of the shoe. I wear a size thirteen so I’m used to the shoes in my size looking totally different than the shoe on the display. This shoe was a monster. The Lugs looked like they jutted seemingly from every which way, and even though the shoes’ shared identical Lug placement there didn’t seem to be a real pattern. The position of the Lugs also played a major factor in the overall width of the shoe as well.

As I put the shoe on my foot I came to the realization of two things:
1) That the ATV’s are a bit narrow
2) The ATV’s run a bit long

After tying the laces for a secure fit I stood up and the most amazing thing happened: the Lugs, which I previously thought to be locked in their respective positions, began to flatten once my body weight was applied. The Lugs work cooperatively with the soft midsole, almost making them like the Reebok equivalent to Nike Free plus Shox in some weird/awesome hybrid combination.

To say it in as few words as possible, these shoes are awesomely comfortable. I just wish they looked a bit better. To be honest, after viewing the shoe on foot for a while it begins to grow on you but still it’s a pretty ugly piece of footwear. When I talked to my source at Reebok they explained to me that the shoe was built for functionality and comfort and not as a fashion statement.

I can dig it but still I wish they would have done something better than what they did. I would have loved to pick the shoes up and done a total in-depth review but until then, the jury still is out on the overall functionality of the shoe. I am still very curious to see how The ATV 19+ perform in the elements intended. I guess I’ll have to save that for another time.

The Reebok ATV 19+ is available at FinishLine.com and of course Reebok.com with a price tag of $139.99. I thought that they ran a bit long so you may want to think about getting a half-size smaller. If you can’t overlook the aesthetics of the shoe and if $140 is a little too much for your pocket, I strongly advise that you hit up your local Finish Line and at least try them on – you won’t regret it.