October 17, 2012 BY John Kim
The rapid growth of the Under Armour brand over the last fifteen years can be largely credited to its advanced athletic and training apparel and products, but in the realm of off-the-field performance footwear, UA is still relatively a new breed. It was just a little over two years ago that Under Armour began its foray into hoops, signing Milwaukee Bucks guard Brandon Jennings as its first-ever NBA athlete, and since then, they’ve added an impressive crop of young, versatile players like DeAndre Jordan, Kemba Walker, and Derrick Williams. Is there enough room for another brand to join the already packed store shelves? If a brand is aiming to emulate the industry standard of design convention, the answer is a resounding “no”.
But Under Armour isn’t a brand about the “status quo”. They’re going to offer something different, and they’re going to do it in the same way it did with its past products. Remember, UA is a billion dollar company for a reason, and they’re entering the performance basketball sector heavily armed. Earlier today, Under Armour invited a select group of sneaker and basketball media outlets to experience Under Armour’s Fall 2012 Footwear products first-hand – namely the Micro G Spine and visually stunning Micro G Charge BB. The Spine is cleanly designed, with a heavy focus on the unique midsole structure (a harder “cage” encapsulating the softer Micro G cushion technology), but our focus was on the Charge BB – a super high-top performance shoe that quite simply is unlike anything else out there. Continue on for more of Sneaker News’ recap of the event, a thorough gallery of the shoes, and an interview with UA Basketball designer Dave Dombrow.
Whether your response is positive, negative, or neutral, the Micro G Charge BB is going to grab your attention. Just like how UA’s earlier ad campaigns featuring hardcore athletes screaming “We must protect this house!” engrossed us into the brand and its slogan, the Micro G Charge BB has a magnetic attraction that only the most head-turning footwear designs in the last several decades have done. Aesthetically speaking, the Micro G Charge BB is a multi-hybrid of a basketball sneaker, a snowboard boot, a roller blade, and space travel gear. But at the core of the shoe is pure performance, where every bit and piece serves a functional purpose. The skyscraping heel articulates freely with the movements of the lower leg, while the tongue allows for ample ankle support. The lower-end has a bootie-like structure for lock-down fit, with a sturdy heel-counter offering stability.
The outsole is designed for complete function as well; the plate at the midfoot stretches longer than the conventional midfoot plate, offering springboard-like response, the herringbone traction keeps your feet in tune with the ground, and the groove at the heel provides coupling for multi-directional bursts. Clearly, performance is at the core of design, which echoes the Under Armour mantra of providing the highest level of athletic support. The Under Armour Micro G Charge BB is available now ($130) at Under Armour, Foot Locker, Eastbay, and Champs, so find them in stores now and check them out for yourself.
Filed under: Basketball