Review: Converse Star Player Evo

This post is long overdue, as I’d spent enough time in them before Christmas to write a review. I didn’t see much sense in writing this up over the holidays though. No one was around, and then New Year’s Eve/Day hit, and I was working. (Anyway, that’s my excuse/lame apology for the delay.)

Don’t need to beat the dead horse again, but briefly, I’ll say my expectations were aimed low when I first received these. Wasn’t wild about the colorway and hadn’t been wild about how stiff some Converse offerings had been in recent seasons. The last Converse shoe I really enjoyed was Dwyane Wade’s first shoe with the company, which was really a classic.

But on to the shoe itself. It doesn’t feel heavy, weighing in 1 oz. above the Nike Hyperfuse (13.4 oz vs. 12.4). As I suspected, the heel cup on the shoe is a really strong way to keep your foot in place without having something like a strap up around the ankle. I love how more companies are taking advantage of this. I don’t know that it’ll go make me play in lows with heel cups, but I know it probably makes it safer for your ankles.

I ran these through all sorts of different tests. I did solo shootaround workouts, pickup games, and even did some sprints and steps in them — the kind of things you’d do in hoops conditioning. Across the board, my feet felt great. Better than expected. The longest and most strenuous run I got was a series of pickup games that lasted about two hours. By the end, I had a blister on one of my toes, but honestly, that could’ve been my socks and the fact that, oh yeah, I’d been playing for two hours! Even after a long run like that, I still thought the breathability was very good. So much of the shoe being mesh really helps that along the way.

The shoe does a great job in a few sensitive spots at the top of the shoe. It’s got a padded area near your ankles and also near your Achilles’ tendon. This is a huge plus as far as I’m concerned. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a shoe that rubbed my Achilles raw and ruined the experience. New Balance used to be notorious for this when the shoes wear down.

Ultimately, the biggest road block for the Star Player Evo is going to be sizing. It’s a strange shoe in that regard. Converse provided me with a Size 8, and it actually fit. I’m typically an 8.5-9 depending on the shoe. (8.5 in a Jordan XI, 9 in an Air Max 95.) The shoes only come in full sizes, so you will absolutely want to go and try these on. If you must order, sight unseen, go down a size. These things run big. Just how big they run is tough for me to say. My gut is probably a half size. But again, this is why you’ll want to go try them out in a store.

The shoe is priced competitively, right at that $90 level that everyone seems to be offering at this point. (If you’re looking for a deal, you could wait for coupons. If you want to buy immediately, Eastbay is offering free shipping on orders over $75 as of this writing and they don’t charge taxes.)

Have you tried out the Star Player Evo? Let me know in the comments, on Facebook or Twitter!


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