UA Curry 6 Performance Review

The Under Armour Curry 6 is put through its paces with this performance review by Duke4005.

After waiting over a year for promise of HOVR cushioning to appear in the Curry line, we finally get it in the Curry 6. We all know by now about Curry’s love of court feel – does the Curry 6 keep that low, fast feel or turn into a cushy, mushy mess? Let’s go…

One of the best traction patterns I have tried in the last year. The pattern shouldn’t work – it’s flat, it’s tight, and it’s shallow. There is no herringbone, which ALMOST ALWAYS WORKS!!! So why does the Curry 6 rate so high? I have no idea, but on clean and semi-clean courts, these things stick like Gorilla. Cuts, lateral movements, starts-and-stops, coming off those “Draymond” down screens, my foot went only where I wanted it to. If dust did appear, one extremely quick wipe and I was good-to-go. That was a good thing, because dust will grab onto the outsole, especially the translucent colorway like the Christmas and Fox Theater.

Outdoors? Not. A. Chance. The soft, shallow pattern will get eaten up immediately. Indoors is doing a number on my pair, as some of the pattern is fraying off from hardwood. However, after 7 wears for game nights (roughly 28-35 full-court games), I haven’t experienced any of the peeling issues that some have had — thankfully. The cutouts in the forefoot allow for flexibility and help with transition while running (although it would be better if the foam was segmented for flexibility) but those cutouts could catch on the floor and peel. Again, mine haven’t, and I know a lot of people who haven’t experienced this yet, but it can’t be ignored.

Cushioning in a Curry? Yeah, but it’s not fluffy and puffy – its tuned for optimal impact protection while still keeping you close to the court for those crossover/step-back combo move three’s that you see Steph do and then want to try yourself. Seriously, those of you wanting the HOVR found in the Phantom or even the Sonic runner, keep looking. This foam is dense and tight but warms up the more you play, providing a solid, stable base under foot that never compresses on the edges on cuts and lateral moves. However, there was no impact issues with force coming back up the ankles and knees. The response was NOW – when you decide to move, there is no delay from the foam rebounding. For me, a bigger guard with broken knees and ankles, the Curry 6 never caused me any pain or discomfort. I wouldn’t call this HOVR magical like some of the best cushioning systems, but for quick guards that play fast and tight, it doesn’t get much better.

There’s a full knit upper with elastic areas over the top of the foot and some fuse around the high-wear areas — pretty typical for a basketball shoes today, but it works. The knit is super comfortable and not restrictive or rough at all, which truly feels like a sock on your foot. The toe area is a tighter knit with some additional backing for structure and containment but still — it’s comfy. The lacing system could have been serious — the loops are all connected until it gets to the last hole and the heel counter. If the Curry 6 would have pulled all of the cords, even around the heel with the lacing, the fit would have been killer — but more on that next. The heel interior is deeply padded and again, super-comfy. Notice a trend here? After the minimal uppers and thin padding of the Curry 4 and 5, the 6 brings the comfort strong.

The fit on the Curry 6 confused me. I saw a ton of wearers on Instagram and other sites saying the fit was perfect, but honestly, I had to double-sock to keep from having heel slip and forefoot movement. It wasn’t bad or a deal-breaker, but I don’t like to feel my foot moving inside my shoe at all, and no matter how hard I pulled, the 6 had some empty space around my foot. Again, as simple as double-socking and I was good (I did get some serious lace pressure at the top loop if I pulled way tight like I like). It was really kind of frustrating, because I had the same heel issue in the Curry 5 and the 6 had, it HAD, to be better. I gave it some break-in time for the midsole to begin softening and flexing a little smoother, and I still get slip. I think it’s because the laces pull down and not into the heel, just like the 5.

I would NOT tell anyone to stay away from the Curry 6 based on fit though. The movement was so slight it probably won’t bother a normal person, but I’m far from normal. Again, an extra sock fixed the issue for me. As for length, I had my standard thumb’s-width from the end of my big toe to the end of the toebox but if you like that real 1:1 fit, you could go down a half-size and the materials should stretch enough to stop any pain.

If anyone knows basketball, especially the NBA, then they know Steph Curry NEEDS support. The Curry 6 has sneaky support: it’s a knitted low top, but the sole is wide and the midsole is solid, meaning there is no edge compression that can lead to instability on off-balance landings (and sometimes on normal landings). The flat, wide base makes take-offs on jumpers solid and stable, which leads to better shooting. The midsole is already supportive under the arch from the HOVR but Under Armour went ahead and gave us a midfoot plate called Speedplate for additional torsional support (and I think it works with the HOVR like the FlightPlate/unlocked Zoom Combo in recent nike pg 3).

The other main factor in support and stability is side-to-side containment and the Curry 6 locks it in with a raised midsole. Your foot will sit down in the midsole so any harsh cuts and lateral movements will be stopped on the spot with the raised sidewalls.

Best Curry model ever? I can’t say that; for me, the Curry 2 is still tops (that TRACTION!!!). However, in the last 4 models, the Curry 6 is the best. A great combo of traction, cushioning and support, keeping fast players happy and non-fast players, well, still not fast, but at least they will look good. Again, the cushioning is stiff and fast but absorbs all that bad energy. If you enjoyed the Curry 2 then you need to check out the 6. If you liked the Curry 5 you should check out the Curry 6. If you liked the Curry 3, well…

Another thing — this shoe is plain fun to play in. It’s been a while since a shoe made me feel young, but the Curry 6 did. It takes a special athlete to make the public feel like them just by wearing their shoes, and at my age, I should be past all of that propaganda, but I did. It helps that I have range like Curry (Ayesha), but the fun factor always raises the score a little (new category?).

The Curry 6 is a great indicator of the future and what Under Armour can do — make a good/great performer for a nice price and it actually LOOKS good too (I liked the 4 and 5 as well, but all the internets say the 6 looks great). Much like Curry, Under Armour started out as a long shot, but the Curry 6 shows they are serious about staying around.

The Jordan Why Not Zero.2 Performance Review is here

Traction performed just as I had initially anticipated: they just gripped. Dust was never really a huge problem unless the floor at 24 Hour Fitness hadn’t been cleaned all week — yes, that actually happens at my 24 Hour Fitness. However, when the dust build up was that bad, the shoes still held its own on the floor.

I still prefer slightly larger circular patterns, like the Air Jordan 1, but if we’re just talking about what works, this is it.

The Why Not Zero.2 gripped outdoor courts just as well as they did indoor courts. However, thte rubber is on the soft side so if you were expecting a long-lasting outsole, then you may end up disappointed. While the outsole lasts, you’ll receive very good coverage but the blacktop will chew up the rubber sooner rather than later.

Forefoot Unlocked Zoom Air is in place, the same setup as the forefoot in the Air Jordan 33. The under-foot feeling is a bit different as the Phylon used between the two is not the same. Injected Phylon is what the Why Not Zero.2 midsole is made of and Injected Phylon is on the fluffy/bouncy side compared to the stuff used on the AJ33 — which may have been compression-molded Phylon and that is a much more dense foam compound.

With this model, you’ll get all the forefoot impact protection with the large volume Zoom Air unit that you did in the Air Jordan 32 and 33 but without the break-in time. Thank goodness.

The heel, despite just being Phylon, feels very comfortable and will help with minor impact. Do I miss the full-length Zoom Air setup found on the original Why Not Zero.1? Yes. I really do enjoy full-length Zoom Air, not just because it’s full-length, but because you sit a little closer to the floor. That obviously won’t be the same for all players, but my preference between the two leans towards the original setup. The Zero.2 is a little bouncier so if cushion and feedback from the cushion is your thing, then these might be exactly what you’re looking for.

Mesh and knit are found along the upper and there isn’t much to be said about it; it works. It requires zero break-in time. It’s moderately durable and it’s comfortable. Is it my first option? No, I’d have gone with a mix of textile and leather. However, for this being the new modern standard, the build gets the job done nicely.

The shoe fits true to size. I’ve been told by a friend that is wide-footed that he also went true to size, but if you happen to have a wide foot, then trying the shoe on is the best option to ensure they fit to your liking.

Lockdown, while nowhere near as awesome (suffocating) as the first model, is very good. There are overlay straps/panels in place that wrap around the foot at the forefoot, midfoot and rear. When you use textile, this is the way to enhance the experience; these areas can be customized to your specific foot shape as they’re fairly independent from the main build.

The only time I ran into any real issues with the lockdown was in the rear section of the shoe and it was only with certain socks. For whatever reason, the lining inside the shoe and some of my socks don’t get along very nicely. Once moisture is involved, things get a little slick. Luckily, the heel has an exaggerated TPU heel counter which is what really helped keep my foot onto the footbed whenever this would occur.

Support is good, but not as good as the original.

The original Why Not Zero.2 sat on a very wide flat base. These do not. This model is a bit more tipsy up front like the Air Jordan 33. It’s not something I prefer, but it is something you get used to. However, as a direct comparison, I preferred the stability on the Zero.1 much more than this setup. The Why Not Zero.2 feels like it was designed for speed whereas the original definitely wasn’t. A wider base and a more flat forefoot area, maybe an outrigger, would have been my ideal setup but I never had any issues with the shoe in terms of lateral stability so it might just be a placebo.

Midfoot and rear heel support come from the TPU plates that makeup the FlightSpeed system. These are two areas that are much better than previous renditions featuring decoupled tooling. The TPU keeps the area strong but not heavy. It also allows for some flex up front at the toe.

Again, my only real complaint is the width in the forefoot. I loved the really wide setup we had on last year’s model, but I know there were plenty that didn’t. If you were one of those players, then this setup might be the right one for you.

Overall, the Jordan Why Not Zero.2 is a badass shoe. They’re quick, comfortable, supportive where you really need it and they don’t need a ton of break-in time. The price point is perfect and the tech specs are all there. Yes, there are some things I preferred a bit more on the last model, but the Why Not Zero.2 is a shoe built for Russell Westbrook — the Why Not Zero.1 was a team model with his name put on it. It wasn’t really made for him but they made it work. These are truly Westbrook’s shoe.

If you’ve enjoyed the Air Jordan 32 and 33 but disliked the bulky feeling they had, the Why Not Zero.2 will give you what you enjoyed out of those models without the restriction.