How is Under Armour’s shoe launch going?

In lieu of an actual review — no samples were made available to me (such is the life of doing this blog independently now — I wanted to sort of scan the marketplace now that we’re a few weeks beyond release date for the Under Armour Micro G hoops line. While I haven’t played the shoe, I did at least try them on at a local Finish Line and made a few observations about the fit, feel and design, too.

First, a look at how they’re selling. I scanned some of the major sites like Eastbay, Under Armour and Finish Line. (Eastbay’s online system feeds into the same site as Foot Locker, Foot Action and Champs, so checking those would just be redundant.) The black colorway of the Black Ice shoe, the one that Brandon Jennings wears, appears to be selling well. The UA site has just 8.5, 9 and 11.5 in stock. Eastbay has an 8.5 and 9.5. Finish Line has a wider range with everything from 8-15. Not sure if that’s a re-stock or their first batch though. The white/black/red/green colorway isn’t selling quite as well. Eastbay has 9-13.5 in that colorway, while UA has 8-12.5.

The high sales surprise me, given what I’d heard from people on the street. While I was out shopping the last few week, I tried just anecdotally to get numbers or at least vague ideas of how the shoe was being received. At one Finish Line, I was told two pairs were sold, but one pair was returned by a larger player who felt like it wasn’t a shoe made for big men.

At that same Finish Line, I actually tried on a pair of Black Ices. An 8.5 felt like it fit me perfectly, but once I started walking around I noticed a few oddities. I’d actually heard a few good things about the Micro G cushioning, and it did feel nice on my feet, but walking around a Finish Line store and running on the court for two hours are two very different things, so I can’t really weigh in on that point.

But I do have to say, the asymmetrical design I’d heard so much about — largely based off of Jennings’ Gumby haircut, if I remember correctly — is interesting in concept, but I’m not sure it makes sense in practice. Check out these two pictures.

I’m not sure I understand why the asymmetrical pattern gets smaller near your big toe. Again, I didn’t actually get to run and jump in these, only walked, but the asymmetrical bend at the front of my foot didn’t feel natural. Sticking along those same lines, I wanted to take a look at the ankle support.

As someone who’s rolled his ankle before, I’m not sure why a shoe would be created that A) has uneven ankle support and B) leaves less support on the outside. Whenever I’ve rolled my ankle, i’ve rolled it with the ankle going over the top and to the outside of the foot. (Oof, that hurt just to type.) But I’ve never rolled it going inside, so why is the support higher on the inside? Is my experience unusual here?

I know a lot can be done in a heel cup, kind of like the Sprint Frame on the adiZero Rose, and the Black Ice shoe does feature a similar cup, so perhaps that’s the case here too. Again, tough for me to say for sure without playing them.

Have you picked up the Black Ice or anything else from the Micro G line? If you did, let me know here, on Twitter or on Facebook!

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