Performance Review: And1 Empire Mid 2.0
The Empire Mid 2.0 is made up of mesh and some synthetic overlays, which would resemble materials used in other brands. As you can see from the images, there are air vents found on the medial and lateral aspect of the shoe. Although this is great for those who prefer a breathable shoe, the only issue I can see is that there is an inner bootie inside the shoe so air would not easily flow since there is a hindrance. As I mentioned earlier, the upper is made up of mesh and some synthetic overlays. This promotes a lightweight feel as well as some durability from the harsh environment of the blacktop. There is a short break-in time for the upper material to flex well but that is not an issue because it just took me about an hour and I'm okay with it.
With its L2G philosophy, And1 uses a low-to-ground profile by using a very thin cushion. I personally do not prefer this as I would like a much thicker cushion in there. There are times that my knees hurt after games especially when you exceed that 2-hour mark for casual balling. However, this could be a good setup to those who prefer a low profile and would want to have a bit of responsiveness since being low to the ground gives you that court feel that guards and wing men like.
Traction: 4.5/5Best Foot Forward segment where I featured this shoe, I am quite sure that traction will not be a problem as I had some And1 pairs back in the day and I never felt any slippage whatsoever. Indoors or outdoors, the traction pattern which looks kinda wavy still grips the floor well. Even on courts where there is some moderate amount of dust present, the shoe gives you confidence to dish out those ankle-breaking moves that you practice during your alone time. The traction pattern goes full length and the rubber used is durable enough to be used outdoors so this could be a good outdoor shoe.
Price: 3.75/5I got this on sale from Olympic Village Trinoma for Php2995. Would I personally buy it on its regular price? I don't think so, since the cushion is a deal breaker for me. I'm not saying that the shoe is bad, its just I would want my shoe to be a bit comfortable from a cushioning standpoint. However, this is a good shoe especially if you prefer a really low-to-the-ground court feel and the shoe's outsole is also a great plus since its could be used outdoors without burning the rubber quickly.
The And1 Empire Mid 2.0 is a good shoe especially if you are looking for a low profile shoe that promotes responsiveness. The shoe's highlight for me is the outsole which gives excellent traction indoors and outdoors. Even from the start, I knew that traction wouldn't be a problem here since And1 has been known for giving us excellent traction even back in the day. Although I prefer a more cushioned setup, this is still a good shoe out there and who knows, you might even get this on the sale racks.