This performance review is brought to you by Ryan and Kyle, a two-man team who take a particular interest in basketball shoes, especially their performance on court. We currently play basketball at the high school and AAU level, which gives our reviews a unique perspective, since we play games almost daily and at a high pace.
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The CP3.VI from Jordan Brand will compete with the Nike Zoom Kobe 8 (coming out later this year) as the best shoe for guards released in 2012. Built to the specifications of Clippers point guard Chris Paul, this shoe offers some of the best traction we’ve seen, as well as great cushioning. Jordan Brand has also lined up many flashy colorways, ensuring that you’ll stand out on the court while breaking ankles this season.
The CP3.VI has the by far the best traction of any shoe we’ve reviewed so far (see links below). It gains its insane traction from its variable depth grooves and unique pattern. Because it has so much surface area gripping the court, it offers traction no matter what direction you cut. We didn’t slip at all with these shoes on our feet, so if you’re looking for traction, this is the shoe for you.
Cushioning is another highlight of the CP3.VI. Like its predecessor, the VI uses dual-density Podulon foam, featuring a softer foam on the inside of the forefoot and heel and a firmer foam along the outside of the forefoot. To be honest, we had a hard time noticing the difference in the two types of foam, but we appreciated the system’s soft, responsive cushioning. While many foam-based cushions sacrifice responsiveness for comfort, the CP3.VI provides the best of both worlds.
Breathability is the only area in which this shoe is somewhat lacking. Although its many mesh diamonds suggest breathability, a closer inspection reveals that only a few don’t have backing behind them; and those that don’t have backing are right against the tongue, which itself is quite thick and offers little breathability.
The inner sleeve works with the strong fuse-based upper to provide a snug, comfortable fit. The combination of a perfect fit and soft cushioning makes the CP3.VI an extremely comfortable sneaker.
Previous models in the CP3 signature line had issues with support, thanks to their narrow outsole toward the front of the sneaker. The CP3.VI corrects this issue by extending the outsole, providing stability and helping prevent ankle sprains. The new CP3 also contains a large TPU-based midsole shank plate for arch support, as well as padding along the ankle collar to help with support. Keep in mind that although this shoe is more supportive than its predecessors, it is a low-cut sneaker, so if you feel that you need the support of a high-top, this may not be the shoe for you.
Lockdown throughout the forefoot works well, even through hard cuts, but the lockdown in the heel is somewhat lacking. The shoe’s heel features a soft foam piece instead of the normal heel cup, causing some slippage, but it doesn’t have much of an effect on overall performance.
This lightweight, low-cut and responsive shoe is perfect for point guards, shooting guards and even some small forwards. At $125, you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck.
Breathability: Below Average
Support: Above Average