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 Charge BB is the latest basketball shoe from Under Armour. The shoe has already made a splash thanks to its outlandish design. We take it to the court to find out if it lives up to the hype.
The Charge BB's outsole consists of two pods with a herringbone pattern for traction and translucent rubber with small diamond indents for texture. When we tested the shoes, we didn't get much traction from the two pods. Because they're placed on the sides of the shoe, they didn't help much with cuts. Instead, we mostly depended on the translucent rubber for traction, which ended up attracting a lot of dust over the course of the game. At least at first, if you don't wipe your shoes after almost every possession, you may find yourself slipping during hard cuts.
This being an Under Armour shoe, the Charge BB uses full-length foam Micro G cushioning, which was a bit firm at first but quickly wore in. Overall, it had good balance between cushion and support, but did not provide as soft of a ride as other foams we have tried, such as Nike's Lunarlon or Jordan Brand's Podulon.
The shoe does not have many spots for ventilation. The only real spot for airflow is the gap between the upper and heel collar. Breathability may be lacking a bit, but it didn't hinder the shoe's overall performance.
The shoe uses Under Armour’s HeatGear lining and padding for support. The lining was soft and remained comfortable throughout play. The Charge BB also includes two large, comfortable pads in the front and back, dramatically improving comfort for such a high shoe.
Support is where this shoe really shines. A mid-foot shank provides good arch support, but the real star of the shoe is the ankle support. The Charge BB's super-high design is not a gimmick. It provides excellent ankle support. Unfortunately, in our experience, the shoe's fit was not quite as good as its support. Although the lower part was snug, the collar area had a lot of dead space. If there were an additional lace lock at the top, the fit could have been fantastic.
There was dead space in the area above the ankle, but the Charge BB still had decent lockdown. We didn't experience any slippage in the heel or mid-foot.
The Under Armour Charge BB is perfect for large players who need extra ankle support. Centers and power forwards will enjoy the shoe's comfort and support without really noticing issues with traction. If you're a guard who depends on quick cuts, however, we'd recommend something closer to the CP3.VI.
Traction: Below Average
Cushioning: Above Average