Test Subject: Micro G Blur
"Sneakerhead" was sort of the term for who I am to some. But I realized, I'm no sneakerhead, I'm a Nikehead. I really don't wear anything other than Nike. It's not that I don't like wearing other brands, but I'm just a HUGE fan of Nike Inc and everything that revolves around it.
But once in awhile, I'll step outside of the orange box and try something totally different. This week, as promised, I would wear a different brand of footwear, should it go on sale at my local store. For the one's that have been listening to the podcast, I decided to succumb to the ever expanding footwear society and purchase a newcomer into the basketball world - Under Armor.
Under Armor has been world renown for their products in all-purpose cross training, thermal fitted work out gear and running apparel. It's very risky for any new brand to step into the basketball market when you have companies like Nike, Adidas and Reebok. That being said, it would be interesting to see how the Micro G stacks up against the top performers of the hardwood. Will under UA take step further up the sporting goods pedestal? Or will they fall short on certain aspects for a well built basketball shoe?
Thanks to a local hook up at Sport Chek on the Friends & Family Sale, I was able to cop a pair of my current test subject, the Micro G Blur, in gray/white, for a very fair price of $55. My first test wearing was a fairly positive one. Here is my official review of the Mirco G Blur.
For one, the shoe looks great overall. Not something I'd wear on the daily, but it looks great on the basketball court. The colorways need to get back to simplicity, some were too busy for me, but the gray/white ones looked great.
Stepping into the shoe initially was a little narrow, but wearable and didn't give me any problems during my test run. The height from the floor, the height of the upper and overall fit was similar to the Jordan 13. The lacing system was similar as well, but my only beef aesthetically was the flat laces. When running with a narrow sneaker with an inner lacing system, use round laces. Not only did I catch them untied in some occasions, but they just looked ugly with a lacing system like that.
Ventilated upper with UA's Heat Gear and the UGLY but effective lacing system.
Breathability was a major issue. The shoe looks like it breaths really well . The upper is ventilated with small holes, but there is a layer of fabric under that area which, for me, didn't allow the shoe to breath. The Micro G Blur is also equipped with Heat Gear, UA's Dri-Fit type material to keep your skin cool. For me, the ventilation and Heat Gear did very little. I felt hot inside the shoe and my feet ended becoming a little sweaty. Although, it didn't breathe it didn't cause any discomfort. But it didn't do what it claimed to be doing.
The sock liner is also thin. It reduces the lockdown fit that many slashing guards might be looking for. The molded collar is a nice touch, but the toe box and inner sock liner could use some improving.
The ankle support, I found was a little better than the Jordan 13. Albeit the Jordan 13 is a 12-13 year old shoe, it still remains as one of my favorites for ball wear as far as Jordans go. The heel cup and TPU support on the Blur were solid. This allowed the upper heel counter of the shoe (right above the achilles tendon) to fall low for more maneuverability. Overall, I didn't have major issues with ankle support, but the shoe could be wider for more stability.
Low cut upper heel counter
TPU heel counter
This is where the shoe falls short. The phylon midsole is great, but the outsole doesn't do so well in this department. It's narrow at the arch of foot, which doesn't respond well in latteral movements. And it would have improved much more with herringbone traction. It didn't grip as well as I would have thought, but it wasn't shitty either.
Midfoot was a little too thin for me
Traction comparison: Air Jordan 13 (L), Micro G Blur (R)
I'm not sure if the Mirco G technology requires significant break-in time, but the cushioning was very stiff. Parts of the shoe in the heel and forefoot provided some good impact cushioning, it's hard to say if the cushion was good or bad, because honestly, I don't know what Micro G does. If it's strictly for explosiveness or impact stability, it does a good job. But if the shoe is supposed to respond like Zoom Air does, it's not as good. Micro G does however, provide a nice court feel and is also very light weight, with the shoe weighing only 13.8 ounces.
I didn't feel a solid response from the Micro G as I would have liked. And it also appears to be lacking a midfoot shank at the arch of the foot. It could be inside the midsole, but I won't know anything about the cushioning until I dissect the shoe and see what's inside. This may be my first subject for an "Unlaced Autopsy".
I enjoyed wearing these, to be honest. Other than small traction and transition issues, it's nice to say UA came in with a solid effort to bring us a shoe for the hardwood for the first time and come out a success. Again, the shoe was very similar to the Jordan 13s, with the usual pros and cons compared to MJ's '98 signature. If you're a forward in the post, spot up shooter or clutch 3-pointer, these babies are mighty fine. If you're a picky guard with a cut and slash game, I wouldn't recommend these. But overall, for a first timer in the basketball market, Under Armor can actually be a solid contender at a fair budget. The Micro G Blur provides a solid performance at a retail price of $99 CDN.
Similar looks and feel
Air Jordan 13 (L), Micro G Blur (R)