Performance Review: World Balance Court Legend
The upper is made from knit which gives the shoe a modern look. World Balance has been on the right track, as it continues to go with the trend of using textiles. There are very subtle brandings so it doesn't get in the way of the overall design. The most notable is the one on the ankle collar area and on the heel area. The material is pretty nice. There are some areas that stretch particularly on the entrance to your foot because it has a bootie construction. It looks like a hightop, but in reality it plays more of a mid that stretchy material in the collar area is just there to provide you a sock-like fit. While it is made from knit, breathability is not its strong side because there are some materials underneath the upper to provide more durability. Break-in time would be about an hour since the material is not straight-up knit which is soft. With that said, it's not really that light because of the extra materials underneath, but it would give you a more durable shoe in case the upper tears due to some intense games. Somewhat best of both worlds since you get a very modern-looking shoe which is also durable.
The Court Legend uses a triple cushion system which comprise of TerraSoft Insole, full-length EVA foam, and Bubble Tech which runs from midfoot to heel. This Bubble Tech is what made a lot people curious as it looks like an air bag that some brands use. How does it perform? Well to explain things clearly, let me tell you that it is not as soft/giving as the air bag from other brands. This design was intentionally made by World Balance because the Bubble Tech will serve as the shoe's secondary cushioning. They have a softer version of Bubble Tech used in their running shoe and that one has a thinner EVA foam. The primary source of cushion where people feel the "comfort" will come from the EVA foam that runs full-length. Now, what does the Bubble Tech do? It helps stabilize and takes the brunt force of impact. Notice how some runners have a stiffer or harder material in the cushioning mostly found in the heel (usually some kind of gel like material)? That's basically what it does. For the comfort part, you will have to rely on the EVA foam which does its job because the foam has some give. Then for static positions or when walking, the TerraSoft Insole system is there to provide additional comfort.
So all I can say is while the Bubble Tech looks like a material used by another brand, the way it is implemented is not exactly the same although they all help in giving you cushioning.
The outsole is made from solid rubber with multi-directional pattern. The pattern itself is flat and the rubber is thick so it is okay for both indoor and outdoor courts. There is an instance where the court that I played on is a bit slippery because it was raining outside and the for some reason the flooring absorbs some moisture. Some quick wiping during off-ball situations is helpful and I am not the only one who is sliding on the court so you really can't blame it on the outsole. For moderately maintained courts, you will be okay. World Balance is a local brand and with that in mind we know a lot of courts here are found outdoors, so they made sure that the outsole would last for quite some time in case you play outdoors. There are some flex grooves on the forefoot as well to help give you more fluid transition as you move forward.
I usually wear size 9 but since there are no half-sizes in World Balance and I don't know what to expect in the upper since it is knit/textile so lengthwise, size 8 still fits me okay so I choose to get an 8. Wide footers might go with a size up since the shoe has a snug fit. Just to be sure, you can check them out in stores since they are available at various World Balance stores and other retail stores. Once you get your right size, then you'll be okay for the most part. There are no traditional lace holes but they do have some lace hoops found near the footbed area of the midfoot. This is perfect because since the midfoot part has some stretch to it due to the upper, they made sure that by putting that lacing system there near the footbed would minimize the dead space once you tighten up the laces as the laces will pull you down closer to the base of the shoe. Speaking of base, it is fairly wide and the lateral side of the midsole is a bit pronounced so there is some sort of outrigger to provide a wider base in the forefoot area. The Bubble Tech is on the stiff side so instability isn't too much of an issue during landings. Inside the ankle heel area, there are good amount of padding which I love as well.
For Php 2,699 I would say this is another bang for your buck shoes. The look is very modern and the build of the shoe is solid. This might be their most expensive shoe to date in terms of basketball performance shoe, but they are still below Php 3,000 which is the normal price of an entry-level shoe with other brands (around P3k-P4k). So this is a good option who wants an affordable shoe with performance on par or even higher with some brands on that price range. These are available at various World Balance stores, in malls as select retail partners.
Another great performer from World Balance in my opinion. For P2.7k, that's a great deal if you ask me. I've already explained in detail what the Bubble Tech does in this particular model and while the look might be very similar to an air bag commonly used by another bag, the purpose is somewhat different. Will we see World Balance use Bubble Tech as its "primary source" of cushion? We don't know but it would be nice too. They use that in their running shoe, so it's really up to them. At least they don't get stagnant and continue to progress giving us consumers another option when looking for a basketball shoe that looks good, durable and doesn't burn your wallet.
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