Performance Review: AND1 Tai Chi 3

I'm back with another performance review and this time, it's the AND1 Tai Chi 3. I already posted my initial impressions <HERE>. So did I enjoyed playing in the shoe? Read along or watch the video below to know more.

Materials: 4/5

And1 uses Radium Weld

The Tai Chi 3 used what And1 calls "Radium Weld" combined with synthetic leather and mesh. The Radium Weld is lightweight and while there is leather mostly on the toe area, it still doesn't feel heavy. The leather panel was used to provide protection as well in case you get stepped on, which happened to me most of the time. While most brands are into textile 1-piece uppers, having a shoe with multiple layers is somewhat a breath of fresh air. And speaking of fresh air, there are some ventilation areas on the lateral side of the shoe that promotes some air circulation, keeping your feet cool. Nothing more can be said on the shoe as there isn't really anything special or mind-blowing that we haven't seen before but it gets the job done and I didn't need any break-in time for this shoe even though the material is not the softest out there, so it is still okay.    

Use of synthetic leather is a breath of fresh air in an era where most uppers are 1-piece construction.

Ventilation areas provide some air circulation

Cushion: 4.25/5

It's just EVA but I enjoyed it.

This is one aspect of the shoe that I initially thought I'm not gonna enjoy. In fact, I accepted the fact and even came at peace with the idea that my knee joints will be painful after games because I am not expecting an EVA foam to provide me with good cushion (based on the last AND1 shoe that I reviewed which is the Empire Mid 2.0). Surprisingly, this is not the case and I actually enjoyed the shoe's cushion. The foam is lightweight and ideal for my play style as I felt somewhat close to the ground but not to the extent of feeling too close. I play guard most of the time and whether running down the break or grabbing some rebounds from time to time, I felt no pain after games. Well, given that I am not a heavy player or a high-flyer or an explosive type of player, the cushioning is enough for me. If you are a player who looks for a lot of impact protection in a shoe, there are other options out there. But if you are on your forefoot most of the time and want some court feel and a bit of impact protection, then this might be a shoe for you. Another good thing is that they added a nice memory foam-type looking insole which is quite a bit plush to offer some step-in comfort.

This insole is a good addition as well.

  Traction: 4/5

I've had other And1 shoes before and one thing that I know that would perform beastly is the traction. However, this model is a bit of a let down because my expectations are high with regards to traction. They used a combination of translucent and solid rubber on the outsole with the translucent rubber located on the outer portion while solid rubber on the inner part. It's not horrible, don't get it twisted. I just expected more. There are times when moisture or the court has a lot of dust which made you hesitate or slide a bit. You need to wipe the bottom of the shoe from time to time but it's not bothersome. I'm just putting it out there in case you are the type of person who loves that "quick bite" when you do your jab steps or sudden change of pace/direction. The solid rubber has a combination of herringbone and circular patterns and I just wish that they could have just made it straight up herringbone just because it is tried and tested. Maybe a straight up solid rubber would do just fine also.

Fit: 3.75/5

I usually wear size 9 and since I don't have the luxury to try them on in store (I bought them online), I just went true to size. The shoe runs a bit long than what I would so I suggest that you try them in stores. If you don't have a chance to try them in stores like me, you can even go half-a-size down and you will still be fine. The shoe has a pretty basic construction so the overall support will come from the fit so it is critical to get the right size. There is an Achilles notch on the heel area to lessen some irritation in there. There is a TPU plate as well to provide torsional support and the upper materials act as barrier to outside forces as well which is pretty basic. No other gimmicks at all so main lockdown will be provided by the laces and having your desired fit because you don't need a very roomy shoe, as it would cause your foot to slide inside the footbed which might cause instability.

Price: 4.25/5

I got them on sale at Amazon Prime and with 2 days shipping in the States, I didn't go overboard the $100 mark which is a steal. It is a bang for your buck if you ask me as the shoe offers a perfect balance of cushion and the basic construction of the shoe still performed quite well. While there are brands out there who are jacking up the price on their entry-level or mid-level kicks, And1 is keeping it fair by offering their kicks at a normal price range and still give you good performance attributes. While we have no word yet when this will reach in the Philippines, I have no idea what will be its initial price. But the good thing is they tend to go on the sale racks quickly so should they drop here in the Philippines, just be patient then you can get them for a lower price point.


The And1 Tai Chi 3 isn't the best shoe out there in terms of latest innovation but it still gets the job done. When brands go crazy on 1-piece textile uppers, they keep things pretty basic by layering materials with different properties to give you performance attribute that you need. When I thought the traction would be its best selling point, I was amazed how just an EVA foam can soft and provide adequate impact protection without being stiff. It is lightweight yet it offers good amount of protection that I need. The traction could be better in my opinion, as the translucent rubber made me shave off some points in the traction department just because it is almost a no-brainer that And1 kicks will have great traction. Hopefully, And1 will continue to provide us more good quality kicks under a good price point in the future.

Analykix Grade: 4.05/5



Popular Posts