Peak Basketball Jason Kidd III

The Peak Jason Kidd III

Introduction

At 38 years old, Jason Kidd is still performing at a high level, as an elder statesmen in the NBA.  One of the top point guards ever to play in the league, Kidd has had an accomplished career with the icing on the cake being the 2011 NBA Championship victory tonight.  Recently, big name NBA stars have signed with relatively unknown Chinese sneaker brands, which began with Shaquille O’Neal teaming up with Li-Ning in 2006.  In 2008 Kidd made the switch from Nike to another Chinese brand, Peak.  With Kidd at the tail end of his career, and the Peak brand beginning their marketing campaign in the North American market, it may be a surprise to some that Kidd is on his third signature shoe for the brand.  Back in the spotlight of the NBA Finals, our Performance Review points towards the signature shoe of an all time great – the Peak Jason Kidd III.

The features include the following:

  • Full grain leather upper, with seamless no stitch construction
  • Light rubber outsole with herringbone pattern
  • Cushion-3 technology at the heel
  • Foothold stability plate at the mid foot
  • Multi-layered heel counter, extending from the midsole

Aesthetics and Styling

Like many signature shoes we have covered, the Peak Jason Kidd III is very fitting for the 10 time All-Star.  As a point guard, the ability to make overtly flashy plays and stamp a personality on the offense of a team is common in the game we see today.  For Kidd, the position is more about controlling the offensive with his exceptional passing skills, court vision, and overall understanding of game situations.  It is only right that the aesthetic features are subtle, yet tastefully stylish, which includes a gradient fade on the toe/forefoot reinforcement, use of full grain leather, as well as a large stacked heel counter.  In the end, the Kidd III translates his playing style into a simple and streamlined look.

Peak Basketball Jason Kidd III

A simple and streamlined design is complimented with subtle style features such as the gradient fade

Colored in the Dallas Mavericks blue, white, and black, the “Home” version of the Kidd III has been seen on the NBA hardwood throughout the season, including this years NBA Finals.  A slightly lower than middle cut, the side view shows off the simplicity in design, with the Peak triangle standing out on the upper.  Compared to the upper, the outsole is bold and daring. With a herringbone pattern cut into the rubber, the contoured outsole is marked with vertical flex grooves and diamond shaped cut outs.  The main three vertical grooves start around the toe area and extend down to the mid foot, with the middle groove making it through the heel.  Interestingly, the grooves run through 5 diamond shaped cut outs at the forefoot, which have the blue foam midsole inset each diamond.  Finishing off the forefoot is a lateral outrigger with “LIGHT RB” carved into the outsole and the signed initials “JK” engraved on the side.  Moving on, the mid foot is marked with a shiny stiff bell-shaped “FOOTHOLD” plate, and on the heel, the blue midsole shows up again, this time in the form of a triangular cut out which is branded with the “PEAK” logo and covered with a clear plastic piece.  The last pat of the outsole is the y-shaped flex groove pattern which is cut around the Peak logo.  Finally, and one of the more interesting aspects of the lower half, is the blue midsole.  The most prominent feature of the shoe, the midsole not only shoes up on the outsole, but wraps around the shoe, also serving as the large heel counter.

For the upper, complexity takes a back seat.  Starting up front, the rubber toe cap is formed from the outsole and is connected on to the patent leather support by four stitches.  Soft and slick, the patent leather strip runs from the mid foot on the lateral side, following the toe box, and climbing up the medial side, acting as a semi-strap and reinforcement for the second and third eyelets. Style touches are added, as this strip is colored in a blue to white gradient fade and the diamond theme makes another appearance as perforation holes on the medial side of the toe box.  The rest of the upper is simply made up of full grain leather.  Perforation holes mark the medial side, again in the shape of diamonds, with a blue triangle Peak logo, outlined in black, adorned on each side.

At the rear, the large triangular heel counter is made up of the blue foam from the midsole.  The thick counter in done in a stacked, layered pattern, which gives it the bulky look.  Pasted in the center is a black plastic triangle piece, with the number “2” of Jason Kidd and “CUSHION-3” is embossed into the foam towards the bottom.  Moving up, the collar is outlined with a black strip of smooth leather.  The leather is done with a rock pattern, which is only visible when inspected up close.  Inside, the black lining is soft and silky, with ample padding.  This lining extends around the back end, covering the ankles, Achilles, and heels.

Peak has included heavy duty round braided laces with each Kidd III pair.  The laces are equipped with silver aglets, going through six eyelets punctured into the upper and collar.  At the throat line, a patent leather lace holder contains the “KIDD” branding.  The tongue is made up of a blue mesh, with black netting over top.   Forming a foot sleeve, the lightly padded tongue is connected on the inside, and is lined with a soft blue synthetic.  On top of the tongue, a white patent leather panel is found, containing a lace holder with the “PEAK” text and triangle logo pasted on the center.  Finishing off the tongue, the home state and college of Kidd is represented with “California” stitched in cursive text.  To round out the third Peak signature shoe for Jason Kidd is a very soft and padded black insole, marked with the “JK” signature and Chinese characters on the heel.

Comfort and Fit

Out of the box the Peak Jason Kidd III is true to size, with the fit being on the snug side.  The construction of the shoe is tight and bulky, but not overbearing.  When tightened, the pressure is centered around the collar, with the semi-medial strap holding tight when worn with thicker socks.  Up front, an expansive toe box area is felt, which is comfortable whether the foot is wide or narrow.  Heavy padding is felt around the ankles, contrasting lighter padding felt on the tongue.  What is interesting is the low tongue height.  Although the shoe gives the illusion of a mid top, the feel is more equal to a low cut shoe.  That established, the ankles have plenty of support and comfort, with the freedom of a lower cut shoe.  For lock down, the massive stacked heel counter leaves some wiggle room.  But, even though the back end is not fully locked in place, it does not have a slippery feel.  Below, the footbed has a near perfect feel.  The cushioning has a responsive and comfortable feel.  With the heel equipped with the Cushion-3 technology the comfort is neither plush nor spongy, which feels just right.  There is a slight raise at the rear, but overall the foot sits relatively flat with ample arch support.  Overall, the Jason Kidd III has a tight & bulky, yet comfortable & responsive feel.

Peak Basketball Jason Kidd III

On the court, the Peak Kidd III is characterized by exceptional performance, from the top down, including superb traction provided by this unique outsole

Performance

Taking a step in the bulky Kidd III, it becomes evident that a break in period may be necessary to loosen up the tight and rigid construction – which should come as no surprise with the all leather upper.  Once the leather is worked in, running is comfortable and eased by the low cut.  Although the shoe is not the lightest, there are no restrictions on the ankles because of the low height of the tongue – an important design aspect of the shoe.  With this, the shoe plays closer to a low cut than a mid cut, giving it some versatility.  When evaluating transitions, the shoe can be described as consistent.  On offense and defense transition from lateral movement to forward and back, there is very little response time.  This allows fluidity for players who actively play both sides of the ball.  Landings are very comfortable all around.  Active players who fight for rebounds are well served, as the cushioning set up is ideal for multiple jumps.  Impacts feel as though they are dissipated evenly through the lower half, as there are rarely any hard spots when landing.  Furthermore, the Cushion-3 provides excellent comfort and responsiveness.  On the whole, the performance is versatile and consistent.

Stability is another high performance area of the shoe.  First, the leather upper is bullet proof.  Towards the lower half of the shoe, the shiny patent leather strip is a solid foundation for abrupt lateral stops.  The inclusion of a slight lateral outrigger only adds more stability, to keep foot rolls to minimum.  Next, although the shoe is for all intensive purposes a low cut shoe, there is enough ankle stability for swingmen type players.  This is due, in large part, to the leather constructed collar and massive heel counter.  The ankles are held in place through the rigors of a game session, and tweaking an ankle would only seem likely for uncontrollable situations.  One minor negative in stability can be observed with sliding and movement on the inside.  When playing at a face pace, the foot can slide.  And with the lack of heel lock down, the back end can get slightly out of place.  However, the Foothold plate and sufficient arch support help to limit awkward foot placements.

Adding to the overall excellent performance of the shoe is great traction.  The outsole design fits perfectly for a quick stop and start player.  Traction is good enough to halt from a full sprint, as the light rubber outsole has grip even on less than ideal playing surfaces.  Most importantly, when performing taxing movements such as jab steps or driving baseline, the shoe never slides or gets caught in place, making the shoe very easy on the knees.  The balance in traction is one of the better aspects of the performance.  Conversely, ventilation is not one of the stronger points of the Kidd III.  Although there are perforation holes across the entire medial side of the shoe, heat seems to get trapped in because of the collar lining & padding, as well as the leather upper.  On the positive side, the lack of ventilation is just a minor blip when evaluating the shoe as a whole.

Conclusion

During All-Star weekend, Peak announced their plans to open up offices in the United States, with the obvious plan of becoming a player in the highly competitive American sneaker industry.  The stable of young and veteran NBA talent includes not only Jason Kidd, but Shane Battier, Jason Richardson, JaVale McGee, and Dorell Wright.  In the next coming season, Peak is expected to make an introduction into the market, and if the performance of the Kidd III is any indication, the company will be able to compete from a performance stand point.  Characterized by versatility, consistency, and comfort, the third signature Peak shoe for Jason Kidd is suitable for a wide range of players.  With limited availability, the Peak Jason Kidd III can be purchased through the Official Peak USA Website.

This shoe is comparable to:

Adidas adiZero™ Rose
Adidas adiZero™ Rose 1.5
Nike Zoom KD III
Nike Air Max 360 BB Low
Nike Air Max Flight ’11

For the 2011 NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks Recap:

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