For the badminton court that is. Yeah, tennis shoes are a better match for badminton, but we both know my love for basketball shoes runs deep. Gotta blame Nike and that guy named Jordan for this continued love affair. And besides, some tennis shoes look good but not as good as the variety of basketball shoes out there.
For over a year, I’ve been playing in the Adidas Crazy Light Boost 2016. At the time, this shoe was probably the cheapest entry point for full length Boost, and they’ve served me well. Great cushioning and a comfortable fit. Its only drawback is the number of lace eyelets. With essentially only three eyelets per side, tightening the shoe seemed harder than it should’ve been. But still, a great performer on the badminton court at my level.
Over time I’ve noticed that the Crazy Light Boost cushioning isn’t as good where I feel the wear and tear of playing afterwards. A sign to get new shoes right? Only thing is I couldn’t really find a good replacement. I was thinking of using the Adidas Dame 3 featuring Bounce instead of Boost. However, the Dame’s one piece upper has a small opening for your foot, and since I wear an ankle brace, getting my protected ankle in the Dame 3 is just about impossible.
While doing a routine #rossfinds, I came across the Under Armour Curry 2.5. Overall, I’ve heard good things about UA’s Curry line so while on the high end of Ross prices at $65, I got the blacked out 2.5. Sadly, these didn’t work for me as a badminton shoe. The design needs for SC30 are different from mine, and this shoe while comfortable doesn’t provide enough impact protection.
The Charged Cushioning does feel interestingly good (though it took me awhile to get used to that foamy feel), but there’s nothing else to absorb impact. That burrito-style wrap also doesn’t really work for me either. I wear the same Zamst ankle brace that Steph Curry wears, but I couldn’t get the burrito upper to close around my brace. Steph Curry must have super skinny ankles to get the proper fit for his shoes and brace. So the Curry 2.5 has been designated as a casual shoe, but with the recent rainy weather, these high tops with a synthetic upper has been great at repelling water.
So where does that leave me in my search for a replacement badminton shoe? My own collection. A while back during a Nike clearance, I picked up the low version of the Air Jordan 31. While I was spying the black and pink color way, I just couldn’t do it and instead got what I thought was black and white. The colors actually were Navy blue and white but still a good looking shoe. Unfortunately as a casual pair of kicks, they aren’t very comfortable due to a snug toe box. But Jordans are always performance shoes, so I figured why not try these on the badminton court. And perform they did!
Supposedly the lightest Air Jordan ever made, they are ultra comfortable to play in, and I had no issues from the start. The snug toe box problem went away as the Flyweave construction stretched out I guess. I don’t recall every owning a shoe with full length unlocked Zoom Air but whatever the case, these just felt great while moving in them. From a mediocre casual shoe, I found my next badminton shoe going back to my roots with the Air Jordan line.
See more pictures of the Air Jordan 31.