by Sandy Dover / @San_Dova
After the rise of NBA guard Brandon Jennings to a bonafide talent in the NBA, fans and media alike were amazed by the young talent from Compton, California. His style became a part of his package, and thus Jennings’ shoes got a great bit of the glory as well. Having primarily worn a few critically-acclaimed models of the Under Armour basketball footwear line, he’s finally premiered his latest signature shoe, the Micro G Bloodline.
The following describes Under Armour’s take on the Micro G:
The UA Micro G Bloodline is relentless. These basketball shoes are hell-bent on winning—at all costs. They’re built with full-length Micro G technology—it’s thinner and lighter than traditional foams, plus it cushions better. It also adds bounce that gets you airborn quicker. When you come back down, a midfoot TPU shank and strap keeps your foot locked in. Inside, a Micro G sockliner molds to your foot to keep it from slipping around. Outside, light-reflecting materials in the strap and collar help you and these kicks shine when the lights are on you. Literally. Wear the shoes that never let up. The UA Micro G Bloodline.
Leather uppers deliver ultra-lightweight support
Graphic midfoot strap provides adjustable support to keep foot from rolling
Perforated fabric on strap and around collar reacts to light so you shine even brighter
Internal and external full-length Micro G foam cushions your landings with the unique ability to quickly re-launch you
Rigid, midfoot TPU shank prevents foot from twisting and rolling from side to side
Full-length molded Micro G inner liner cushions, rebounds, and keeps your foot from slipping
Full-length one-piece rubber outsole with multi-directional traction pattern gives sure-footed lateral and linear movement
The UA Micro G Bloodline is a mashup of Brandon Jennings’ unique styles and influences, and UA’s relentless obsession with performance-enhancing innovation. We put special light-reactive materials on the Brandon-branded strap and around the collar to throw the camera’s flash right back at ‘em. But look up to see it. With it’s light weight and legit cushioning, you get explosive takeoffs. Like all the other UA innovations, in these basketball shoes—it’s the best, built for the best.
In my testing of the Micro G Bloodline, I found it to be a surprising shoe for a variety reasons. The Micro G Bloodline is built for Jennings, a small guard, and usually with guard-based shoes, it’s expected it is to be of a certain weight and feel. In my wears, I found the shoe to be something more appropriate for a larger player, like a bigger wing player or a post player.
One reason for that opinion is that the shoe has some extra power from its weight. I believe this to be, because of the construction of the strap and the midsole that is integrated into the shoe. The midfoot strap is very nice aesthetically and performance-wise. It’s synthetic, it’s wide, and it helps to retard the potential of degrading fit because of the use of the shoe’s full-grain leather upper (a rarity in basketball shoes these days; the leather is feels premium and adds a bit of luxury to the shoe). Because of the more substantial feel, it seems better suited to be a shoe for players that aren’t necessarily slashers or strictly perimeter-based on the court.
Beyond the midfoot strap, the cushioning is very solid. The Micro G midsole is not dynamic in jumps, but it rebounds decently for protection, which is excellent for players who play closer to the basket and land harder when coming down from jumps. The Micro G midsole holds weight and stress well, while the Micro G sockliner/insole acts more like a memory foam and feels best when walking or running at slower speeds, where I was able to achieve a more dynamic feel from the actual sockliner. In support of the arch, I found that I needed more in that area, but the great thing is that the insole is totally removable, so inserting my own orthotics was an easy move to make my feet feel better, and thus, customization of fit helped the feel of the shoe itself. On top of the that, the Micro G Bloodline is a beautiful shoe. It draws from modern architecture and has great lines. The traction was also solid as well, and the outsole is very attractive to the eye.
On the whole, the Micro G Bloodline is a quality shoe and a quality buy ($110). I recommend the shoe for indoor and outdoor use, as it has the makings of a very durable shoe. Though it’s made for the young point guard of the Milwaukee Bucks and players of that similitude, I also recommend the shoe for forwards and centers who play a more rough-and-tumble game, as I feel that shoe would shine brighter in that environment with said users. In fact, I feel that the Micro G Bloodline may shine the most with forwards that put a lot of stress on their shoe, centers that want lockdown with a generously lower cut, and any other player that wants a durable and fit-customizable shoe.
Of course, Jennings and the rest of the Bloodline-wearing point guard nation will be rocking them, too.
(For additional photos of the Under Armour Micro G Bloodline, go to Facebook.)
Sandy Dover is a published author, fitness & media professional, and a SLAM web columnist & print contributor whose work has been featured and published by US News, Yahoo!, Robert Atwan’s “America Now” and ESPN. You can find Sandy frequently here at SLAMonline and via his website at About.Me/SandyDover, where he can also be contacted.