The Under Armour Micro G™ Black Ice

Introduction

Founded in 1996, Under Armour started as an athletic apparel manufacturer, focusing on performance.  Breaking into the NFL in recent years (and now the official sponsor of the NFL Combine), Under Armour made their introduction into the NBA last season with Brandon Jennings as their showcase athlete.  This year, a full line of basketball shoes has been released, featuring the Micro G™ technology.  The signature shoe for Brandon Jennings, and the basketball line as a whole, Under Armour looks to make a statement with the Micro G™ Black Ice.

The Under Armour Micro G™ Black Ice is a high quality performer.  The features include the following:

  • Full length Micro G™ midsole and molded insole
  • Adjustable rubber forefoot strap
  • Asymmetrical collar
  • Patent leather toe cap, with fully perforated synthetic upper
  • “Shattered Ice” pattern on the outsole

Aesthetics and Styling

The first signature basketball shoe for Brandon Jennings and Under Armour, the Micro G™ Black Ice has a simple and smooth look, with nice clean lines.  The shoe is made of multiple materials, from patent leather to a rubber forefoot strap. The designers executed a consistent theme of diagonal lines throughout, giving it a distinct personality.

From the side profile, the shoe gives two different looks, due to the asymmetrical collar.  On the medial side, the collar rises to a normal high/mid top, in contrast to the steep cut on the base side.  The outsole is comprised of a single piece of translucent black rubber.  With the Under Armour logo placed in the middle, the eye catching shattered ice pattern is made up of alternating diagonal ridges.  The outsole connects to the toe cap with a single line of stitching, and ends at an upward slope on the heel.

The "Shattered Ice" Outsole

The black Micro G™ midsole wraps around the whole shoe, ending on the medial, at the forefoot strap.  The midsole has softer feel, which provides cushioning and flexibility.  The toe box, outfitted in all black patent leather, extends diagonally to the forefoot rubber strap.  An embossed Under Armour logo provides an accent to the toe box.  The rubber forefoot strap, connecting from the midsole on each side, gives the user the ability to adjust for personal comfort.  Two velcro strips on the medial and base side hold the strap into place.   Again, the strap follows the diagonal lines theme, covering the throat line completely.

A simple perforated synthetic upper covers both sides of the shoe.  The upper has a light weight, yet durable feel.  Starting from the forefoot strap moving around the whole shoe is a black leather panel.  The panel, which separates the upper from the midsole, has a glossy shattered ice pattern and continues the theme of diagonal lines.  Three lines of stitching attach this leather support on to the upper.  The heel counter, which sits above the Micro G™ midsole, is made up of a single glossy plate.  The triangular shaped heel counter contains the Under Armour logo, and rises to the middle of the heel.

There are six circular shaped metal eyelets (5 on the base side, as the forefoot strap covers the first) for which flat premium laces go through.  A light weight mesh tongue, connected to the inner of the shoe, contains a single lace holder in the middle.  On the back of the tongue is the number “3,” representing the number of the Milwaukee Buck’s star.  To finish off the shoe, the textile inner collar lining contains the signature mark of Brandon Jennings.  The foot molding Micro G™ insole rounds out the performance features of the shoe.

Comfort and Fit

A great deal of comfort is felt when the Micro G™ Black Ice is laced up.  The Micro G™ cushioning is immediately felt from the insoles throughout the whole foot. The combination Micro G™ insole and midfoot give a firm and bouncy feel.  The shoe holds the foot well, and fits true to size without having a tight snug feeling. The rubber velcro strap is useful in adjusting to a complete lockdown of the forefoot.  Ankle protection and support is provided by the asymmetrical collar.  With a soft and not intrusive feel, the ankle is covered completely on the inside, while stopping in the middle of the ankle on the base side.  The heel counter works in conjunction with the curved insole, providing a perfect cup that keeps the heel from moving. On the whole, the fit, comfort, and feel of the shoe is impressive.

The forefoot strap can be adjusted for different comfort levels

Performance

The Black Ice, from a standing position has a weighty feel. The patent leather holds the forefoot and toes in place, but does feel heavy. This is quickly dismissed when in movement.  Running in a straight line, the light weight of the shoe is prominent.   The cushioning is responsive and supportive.  The Micro G™ midsole makes transitions from running to jumping seamless and quick, while providing soft landings (all the way to the heels).  Transitioning from movements is swift, and all the attributes of the shoe come to the forefront.    The foot is held in place by the patent leather toe box and rubber strap, with the upper flexing and holding the foot in place.  The Micro G™ cushioning is definitely the main feature of the shoe.

Stability is not an issue with the Black Ice.  Above the midsole, the leather panel that runs around the shoe provides the necessary stability.  You can feel the foot push against the medial when making lateral stops, but the panel keeps the foot from slipping. There is very little sliding of the foot when making quick jab steps or abrupt lateral stops.  On the heel side, the curvature of the outsole heel gives the versatility of playing with your back to the basket.  Spin moves, and transitioning to running feel natural.  Again, the Micro G™ heel cushioning provides excellent comfort and support when landing on your heels.

On both indoor and outdoor courts, the Black Ice is a dream in the traction area.  The shoe gives great grip on either surface, for all movements.  There is no drop off when playing on an outdoor court.  The shattered ice outsole handles hard running and quick stops without failure.

Conclusion

The Under Armour Micro G™ Black Ice is an impressive signature shoe for Brandon Jennings.  As the premium style in the Under Armour basketball catalog, the designers of the shoe have created a high performance shoe that holds up well to any competitor.  The shoe integrates many aspects into one package, without a lot of excess material. The comfort, fit, and performance of the shoe is top notch, with the Micro G™ cushioning providing fresh new technology to the Under Armour lineup.  Although this shoe was made for Brandon Jennings, it has the versatility for forwards to use, which is a testament to the design as a whole.  With the Micro G™ Black Ice, Under Armour has taken a step towards becoming a major player in the basketball shoe market.