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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In recent years, Under Armour has delivered a number of innovative basketball sneakers. In this review, we take on one of UA's latest offerings, the Spine Bionic.
The traction of the Spine Bionic is surprisingly good. The herringbone pattern is simple yet effective, and the foam along the outrigger is actually quite sticky. However, after limited use, the foam has already started to wear because of hard cuts and stops. This may prove to be a problem later on as the foam wears more, and would be a bigger problem for outdoor players as the asphalt or concrete will quickly tear up the foam.
The Micro G foam system works very well in this shoe. The foam offers good cushioning while maintaining good court feel and responsiveness, which is surprising, since you're almost an inch off the ground in the heel.
The Spine Bionic allows for very little air flow. Most of the materials are rather thick and offer little in the way of breathability. Even the tongue doesn't have much ventilation.
Overall, the Spine Bionic is a fairly comfortable shoe. The only problem that we encountered was the TPU heel counter would occasionally dig into our Achilles tendon, causing slight discomfort. Other than this minor annoyance, the shoe was pretty comfortable throughout.
The TPU heel counter helps give the Spine Bionic great support in the ankle and heel area. The ankle support is incredible, preventing virtually all ankle rolling during play. The Spine system is also incredible, offering flexibility while still providing great foot support.
Lockdown in the heel and midfoot is superb, but the forefoot area is a little too wide. Because the forefoot has space to move, the toe can jam into the hard toe box during hard cuts. However, if you have wide feet, you should be fine.
This shoe is extremely versatile. It provides adequate traction and lockdown for guards as well as the cushioning and support that big men need. This is a solid entry from Under Armour and another sign that the company is emerging as a force in the basketball market. Look for more and more players to start lacing up in UA sneakers in the future.
Traction: Above Average
Cushioning: Above Average
Support: Above Average
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