Performance Review: World Balance Cager


The World Balance Cager is the first shoe from World Balance's basketball line that feature their Trampolite foam as its main source of cushion. Is it a good choice? Check out my performance review by watching the vid or reading along the blog post.

The World Balance Cager features a high-top silhouette with different upper materials composed of leather, mesh, textile and synthetic suede. While there are different materials used, the shoe doesn't feel too heavy. Maybe it is because that the leather isn't too thick but just enough to provide durability in those high-wear areas like the toe for example and also adds layers or paneling to the shoe. Those different textures from the upper makes the shoe less boring since you get to see and feel different things as you inspect the shoe. For colorways, there are 2 colors to choose from and while I prefer a darker colorway most of the time, I find this white colorway more suitable for basketball use since the other colorway is more on the brown shade which I think would be more off-court (that's just my take I guess). If there is one thing that I would like to change in the upper, it would be the use of synthetic suede as it attracts dust more than the rest of the materials. Sure it does give a premium look, but for me who doesn't clean their basketball kicks, that would be very noticeable especially in this white colorway. Not really a deal breaker for me, but more of preference. 

main materials for the upper are leather, mesh, synthetic suede and textile
upper is made from different materials but still feels light

synthetic suede is the main culprit for attracting dirt

As I said earlier, this is the first shoe in World Balance's basketball line where they utilized their Trampolite foam. Their Trampolite foam have been around for some years already but only on their lifestyle kicks which made me wonder if when will they use it in their basketball shoes. Now that they've used it, I am happy to say that it does translate well. The tooling that they used made the foam to look chunky and heavy looking but it doesn't feel too heavy based on the way it looks. For impact protection, it is better than their standard EVA. Don't get me wrong, I think this is still an EVA blend type of foam but the density is more giving. You get more impact protection in the heel area and since the foam is more trimmed in the forefoot, you get to have some sort of court feel but not too much which I personally like. When I was younger, I prefer a low-to-the-ground feel for cushioning but now, I prefer having some impact protection even on the forefoot. The TerraSoft Insole System still provides step-in comfort so you get another layer impact protection but not too much. Using the Trampolite foam bumps up the price a bit, but to me it is still affordable and I don't mind spending a bit more (the price increase would be just a couple hundred pesos only from their normal basketball kicks) since I get to have more cushioning. I would recommend that you try this Trampolite foam if you want more cushioning from World Balance kicks.

Full-length Trampolite Foam was used for the midsole
if you want more impact protection, try WB Trampolite foam

the TerraSoft Insole adds additional step-in comfort
The outsole is made from solid rubber with herringbone traction pattern. The patterns are somewhat curved and some parts are arranged diagonally so you are covered in multiple directions. While I was not able to test the shoe on outdoor courts, I still think that these kicks would hold well outdoors. I was able to wear them when I run some errands and just looking at the rubber, there isn't too much fraying on the material so I think it is durable enough, but of course that all depends on how rough the surface of the outdoor court. But if we are talking about the cemented rubberized covered courts here in the Philippines, then you wouldn't have to worry so much.

For fit, I suggest you go with your EUR size, just like any other kicks from World Balance. Another thing that I've encountered was the tongue keeps on folding or flapping out. The tongue is kinda thick so it somewhat makes the fit a bit sloppy or produce some heel slippage even though there is an achilles padding. What I did was I used the top eyelets to get a more secured fit. Once I did that, the fit is okay I was not bothered by it anymore. I don't usually use the top eyelets in my basketball shoes and while it isn't a big deal, I just find it weird. The lacing system as some extra rope-like laces that you can use to secure the laces even more. Then at the back as I said earlier, you have an achilles notch which offers additional padding at the back as well as a TPU heel counter. The TPU counter is in black which somewhat accentuates and adds some style points as well. There's also a lateral outrigger which provides a wider base on the forefoot area. I didn't experience any issues other than the tongue so I would say that I enjoyed playing in the World Balance Cager. There are other WB shoes that already uses Trampolite cushion but I think this is the most premium looking because of the use of leather, suede, mesh and textiles which you get to enjoy especially if you grew up in the 90s like me. Sure, there is a price increase, but it is minimal and I think the benefits of the Trampolite cushion in providing more impact protection outweighs easily the price increase in my opinion. The support pieces are also very much appreciated particularly those rope laces that help give you a more secured fit. You can still get them at World Balance stores as well as online and I highly recommend them since I enjoyed playing in them.

TPU heel counter

achilles heel notch

heel pull tab

extra reinforcement in the lacing system

solid rubber outsole


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