Peak Team Dynamic - Chicago Bulls

The Peak Team Dynamic

Introduction

As a newcomer into the US sneaker market, Peak has quietly established themselves in the heart of Southern California.  A headquarters and retail location to start their arduous task, this season has been under the radar for the company in terms of a wide marketing campaign to promote the brand.  Nonetheless, last month, the Battier VI was our first Performance Review for the Peak 2011-2012 basketball catalog.  With little known about the technology and performance features integrated into their shoes, let alone the company itself, the performance observed from Peak (both the Battier VI this year and Kidd III last year) has been solid enough to compete with the more established and popular brands out there.  This Performance Review takes the 2011-2012 standard Peak basketball model, the Team Dynamic, on the hardwood.

Representing the standard model in their basketball catalog, the Peak Team Dynamic is one of the most versatile performers of the year.  The features include the following:

  • Synthetic grain and patent leather upper
  • Rubber outsole with herringbone and rock traction pattern
  • Foothold mid foot stability plate
  • Cushion-3 at the heel for added support and cushioning
  • Padded mesh tongue

Aesthetics and Styling

In the basketball shoe market dominated by minimal, light weight performers, the Peak Team Dynamic looks more appropriate for the mid 2000’s, which is not entirely bad.  As with most of the Peak shoes we have covered, the design is simple and straightforward.  Aesthetically, the shoe relies on details for flash, with a patent leather panel on the medial side, grain design on the synthetic leather, and rock traction pattern on the outsole.  Peak technological patents come in the form of a Foothold stability plate and Cushion-3 at the heel.  As the team shoe for the season,  the color of choice is appropriate for the Chicago Bulls, who have CJ Watson as their Peak representative.

Peak Team Dynamic - Chicago Bulls

A synthetic leather build covers the shoe from top to bottom

Thick, sturdy, and high quality in build, a side profile of the Team Dynamic screams stability.  The synthetic leather lateral side envelops the shoe, as the Peak triangle stands out.  From front to back, the patent leather panel drapes across the toe box, while the stiff, reinforced counter takes up the back end.  Looking on the underside reveals a contoured rubber outsole, which is relatively flat.  A slight dip at the midfoot, the outsole is marked with two traction patterns and vertical flex grooves.  At the forefoot area, the medial side sees herringbone, with a vertical flex groove separating the lateral side.  Here, the outsole forms a toe cap up front, and a flaring outrigger.  A rock-like traction pattern runs through the lateral side, into the midfoot, and down through the heel.  The middle of the forefoot area is cut with a large vertical divot, leading to the Foothold plate in the middle, which is sculpted on both sides.  The heel area has an X-shaped flex groove pattern, with a small herringbone traction surface on the medial side.  Completing the outsole is the signature clear plastic Peak triangle on the heel, marking the Cushion-3 technology.  A thick foam midsole runs along the lower half of the shoe, with grooves molded in on the heel and lateral mid foot.  The midsole has a bouncy, yet dense feel, and is branded with “CUSHION-3” towards the heel.

Synthetic leather provides a very stable base for the upper.  Two panels of leather, synthetic and patent, meet at the toe box.  A perforation hole pattern runs vertically from the throat line, as the patent leather portion forms a cap from the lateral forefoot to the medial side.  The medial side panel is marked with perforation holes all over the patent leather and a nubuck section, which makes up the collar.  A plastic Peak triangle logo sits high on this side.  Conversely, the lateral side is simply made up of the synthetic leather.  With a larger Peak logo pasted on, the leather is stitched diagonally and done with a grain like print.

The stable build is continued at the heel where a stiff counter resides.  A smooth stiff base comes with shiny reinforced sections on the sides.  The Peak logo protrudes from the center, and at the top of the stiff plastic is a stitched leather patch.  On the lateral side, a carbon fiber pattern makes up a small diagonal underlay along the lower side of the collar, which is integrated seamlessly on this mid cut.  Padding on the inside is light, but firm, with a smooth synthetic inner lining.

Shiny metal tipped oval laces run through a combination of lace hoops and eyelets.  A patent leather hoop, with a Peak triangle logo at the throat line, the laces first run through the inner lace hoops.  A “PEAK” logo is placed on the lateral eyestay as two eyelets are punctured into the leather before the final eyelets are reached on each side of the collar.  The tongue is made up of a mesh base, with thick padding up top for comfort and support.  Connected on the inside by two elastic bands, the top of the tongue flares wide with a leather patch and excellent padding.  On the patch, which is designed inline with the lateral side, is the Peak logo and triangle.  To round out the Peak Team Dynamic, a thin contoured foam insole is used to keep responsiveness high.  The final “PEAK BASKETBALL” logo is observed on the heel.

Comfort and Fit

The shoe sucks the foot right in after navigating through a narrow opening.  Comfortably snug and secure, fit is true to size.  All around the foot, the leather on both sides is comfortable, with the elastic bands holding the tongue right in place.  Lace pressure is felt down the center and is alleviated at the top of the collar with the tongue padding as well as the leather patch on top of the tongue.  Up front, the toe box area has some wiggle room, but width wise may not be suitable for some.  Ankle support is surprisingly good despite the fact that the ankles are exposed.  Because of the dense padding from the top of the tongue and collar, there is very little movement around the ankles.  Add this to the fact that the heels are locked in place, and the back end is as secure as it can get.  For cushioning, the minimal insole provides great comfort over the firm and dense foam bed.  The result is more comfort and a very responsive feel, with support on both sides of the foot to keep it from lying completely flat.  A comfortable and secure fit, with a responsive base, the Team Dynamic delivers the feel of a true basketball performer.

Peak Team Dynamic - Chicago Bulls

A comfortably snug and secure fit is what the Team Dynamic brings

Performance

The Team Dynamic has a flat and somewhat high feel on the court in a static position.  Regardless, what truly stands out is that the shoe just feels ready to perform basketball movements.  Running heel to toe is just comfortable all around, from the leather to the responsive cushioning base.  The upper breaks in rather easily and has a sturdiness which is fit for intense play.  With this, performance can be best described as versatile.  For the back court player, the cut of the shoe and responsiveness gives the player quickness and agility.  Moving forward, laterally, or back pedaling, the shoe flows with ease.  In terms of weight, light would not be the best to describe the performance, but there are no problems raising up for a finish or a quick runner.  The flow of the shoe is just excellent.  Perimeter players and those who like to spend time down on the block, the fit and responsive set up bring advantages.  Both the fit and cushioning set up provide comfort while working slowly, and the lower mid cut allows for fluid turn arounds and spins.  For landings, the shoe takes impact consistently, with comfort.  Landing on the forefoot or sides, the thick midsole takes impact without loosing responsiveness, while heel strikes on the Cushion-3 have a slight bounce.  Versatile and fluid, the Peak Team Dynamic is simply an excellent performer for any type of basketball player.

There are few shoes on the market today that are made without the issue of light weight taking precedent over all other aspects of performance.  The stability performance of the Team Dynamic is excellent due in large part to the leather upper.  Because of the use of leather, the fit is comfortably snug, and the shoe seems to always stays in place during play.  There are no moments where the player feels the upper is failing, whether is is sliding laterally from an abrupt stop or torquing the medial side while bending low.  On the back end, the stiff heel counter and Cushion-3 provide the best in comfort and hold.  Landing on the heels, as well as turning, there is little slippage which eases the player into focusing on carrying out a movement.  In fact, there is very little slippage to be found anywhere, from top to bottom, front to back.  For mid foot support, the leather upper provides plenty of arch support, while the Foothold stability plate below fits the contours of the foot well.  This shoe can not only take a pounding, but do so in the context of fluid performance.

A dual traction pattern on the outsole brings balanced performance.  Traction is both sticky, from the herringbone side, and responsive, on the rocky side, which goes along with the versatility of the shoe itself.  To illustrate, running up court to catch an opponent, the shoe can stop quickly, and when reacting to a first step, the rock pattern allows for a smooth and quick lateral transition.  Blasting forward, the herringbone sections on the medial side grip well, while others who play heavy, can find advantages pushing hard off the deep cut rock pattern on the lateral side of the outsole.  In all, a good mix of grip and fluid movement makes traction performance excellent.  Thick synthetic leather vents well in this context.  Those looking for constant air flow will not find the Team Dynamic to provide that in abundance, but the perforation holes and a smooth synthetic lining offer heat control and limit heavy moisture build up.

Conclusion

With very limited distribution in the United States, the Team Dynamic can be considered a bright surprise this season.  Just as the Battier VI and Kidd III showed, Peak can deliver high performance on the court.  The Peak Team Dynamic is an exceptional effort from Peak and a representative team shoe that has versatility for anyone that just loves to play basketball, whether it be casually or in an organized setting.  In other words, it is just everyday shoe that all players can find an aspect that will fit their game.  Various team specific color schemes of the Team Dynamic are currently available at select Peak retail locations.

This shoe is comparable to:

Peak Shane Battier VI
Peak Jason Kidd III