Jordan CP3.VI

The Jordan CP3.VI

Introduction

Chris Paul is entering his second year with the Los Angeles Clippers.  A fast start has put the team as a legitimate contender for the Western Conference crown, albeit it is very early in the season.  Being a Jordan Brand athlete from the start of his career, Paul has risen to become a main signature athlete, alongside Carmelo Anthony.  And as one of the premiere players in the league it is only fitting that his signature line is placed among the major releases each year.  For the 2012-2013 season, the latest CP3 performer was debuted during the Gold Medal game at 2012 Summer Olympics.  Equipped with a Hyperfuse constructed upper and the Podulon technology for cushioning, our latest Performance Review takes the CP3.VI for a hard test run.

Marking the sixth Jordan Brand signature shoe for Chris Paul, the CP3.VI looks to be the best of the line thus far.  The features include the following:

  • One-piece Hyperfuse construction for light weight performance and excellent ventilation
  • Cushioning provided by a Phylon midsole and Podulon technology
  • Rubber outsole with flex grooves and herringbone traction pattern
  • Mid foot TPU stability plate
  • Low-cut design with padded Achilles support

Aesthetics and Styling

Following in the footsteps of the Kobe line, the CP3 went the low cut route starting with the IV.  The VI continues the trend, updating the V with a more bold and daring approach.  Diamond shards are now prominently visible on a thin, textured Hyperfuse based upper, compared to the smooth look of the V.  The designers have went all out on the outsole with an aggressive style – curves, ridges, and signature touches all over.  Technological features are no surprise this year, highlighted by the expected light weight Hyperfuse upper and the rare Nike Podulon cushioning.  And as a signature shoe, there is no shortage of logos and themes.  Fittingly, the Nitro theme is represented with this metallic silver, purple, and black color scheme chosen for this Performance Review.

Jordan CP3.VI

A metallic silver upper with purple accents makes up this special "Nitro" version of the CP3.VI

Swooping long the lines of the CP3.VI are accentuated by diamond shards on the upper and a segmented sole.  For all intensive purposes, the shoe is cut low, although the collar does rise to give some support, and the back end rises high with an Achilles notch.  The look is one of the most aggressive in the Jordan brand catalog this season, which is no better evident than on the underside.  From the sides, the segmented rubber sole is split into black and purple sections.  The “PODULON” logo is molded in on the slight lateral outrigger.  Flipping the shoe over, at first glance, the rubber sole is a shock to the system.  Herringbone is molded from top to bottom with the pattern climbing up the toe cap and medial forefoot sidewall.  The forefoot area has two deep horizontal flex grooves, which create segments along the sides.  For each segment, three very thin flex grooves are cut into each.  There is one horizontal groove cutting through the herringbone and a J-shaped section is colored in a darker shade of purple.  All in all, there is plenty to look at on the forefoot area.  At the mid foot, a stiff black plate with a silver jumpman logo sits sculpted.  Crossing lines run throughout the plate and on the lateral side, the number “8” is molded into the smooth rubber.  The heel area is designed just like the forefoot with the herringbone pattern, a combination of thick and discreet flex grooves, and segments.  At the middle a piece of the Phylon sits recessed with a line design much like a stump of a tree.  Solidifying the foundation is a Phylon midsole.  Hugging close to the segments, the midsole fits in well with the sleek look.

Hyperfuse material constitutes the one-piece upper.  For this special edition, the base fuse layer is a metallic silver.  To keep weight down, a thinner layer of fuse is used, giving the shoe a textured, chain mail-like look.  The toe box is smooth while the sides are dominated with a diamond shard pattern.  Nylon openings are created with the diamond shards to add ventilation.  The fuse layer is stitched on to the back side support, which is made of a glistening patent leather.  A plastic jumpman logo on the lateral heel finishes off the sides.

At the heel, a thick fuse piece is stitched on the patent leather base.  Each side of the heel also has a small triangular fuse piece for added support.  A hang tab is stitched at the top of the heel, connected to the Achilles support.  For the collar, the medial side has a patent leather outline, while the lateral side is simply made with the fuse from the upper.  Lining is a smooth synthetic and padding is light, but very soft.  A padded Achilles notch lies above the heel counter.

Appropriately, there are six eyelets that hold the standard oval laces.  The eyelets are reinforced with maximum layers of fuse material which have a raised look.  A padded mesh collar creates an expansive inner bootie, extending all the way to the heel, for a tight and precise fit.  The collar is lined with a the smooth soft synthetic for added comfort.  On top of the tongue, a long vertical lace holder sits stitched.  Six tally marks are printed close to the top portion, which has a plastic “CP3” logo.  Rounding out this Jordan Brand signature model is a special foam insole.  The insole is contoured and stiff, with a special nitrous oxide graphic printed all over.

Comfort and Fit

A wide opening is left to slide tightly into the low cut CP3.VI.  The inner bootie fits close and comfortable, with the fuse layer conforming to the foot.  Lace pressure is alleviated by the tongue padding, and because the shoe does not use the maximum layers of fuse on the sides, it has a more flexible feel than most fuse based shoes.  Those who have wide feet will be accommodated at the toe box which is rounded with a low profile.  At the rear, heel lock down is very comfortable.  The heel is comfortably locked in place, and the padded Achilles notch helps to limit movement.  Ankle support is sufficient for a low cut as the collar grips tight below the exposed ankles.  Phylon and Podulon serve as the cushioning base which is thick and dense with a soft feel.  The heel is a bit recessed and the shoe has bouncy feel to it.  Arch support is excellent as the mid foot plate is sculpted and the upper fitting tight.  Tight and close to the foot with thick and soft cushioning, the CP3.VI is very comfortable.

Jordan CP3.VI

An intense design for the outsole brings bold aesthetics and amazing traction performance

Performance

Unlike most fuse based shoes, the CP3.VI has a soft feel, with the inner bootie bringing a secure fit.  Because of the thick foundation, court profile is a bit high, but cushioning is soft.  Rocking the shoe from heel to toe has a natural feel and once the player gets into a sprint many aspects of the shoe come out.  Heel to toe transitions have a rolling, natural feel.  All the curves on the outsole make running easy and the dense & plush Podulon can be felt with every step.  The shoe has excellent flexibility all around with the fuse upper conforming to the foot and bending easy.  Weight wise, the shoe is definitely on the light side due to the thin Hyperfuse upper.  For performance, the CP3.VI does a little of everything.  Getting around the court is natural and comfortable.  The Podulon cushioning provides comfort all around, from the heel, mid foot, and forefoot.  For fast or lumbering players, and all play styles in between, the Podulon brings both comfort and good responsiveness.  The player can push off hard for a pull up or standing jump and the cushioning provides a comfortable base.  It has a dense and responsive feel, but at the same time does propel the player up – almost ideal for all players.  Moving laterally, the segmented sole has a rolling, natural feel.  That is the player can move smoothly side to side without any hiccups.  This is very evident playing in the post where backing down an opponent just feels right.  The cushioning is dense and comfortable while the sole allows for subtle movements to be fluid.  For jumps, the Podulon and Phylon set up is very comfortable.  Again, pushing off the Podulon propels the player up, while the Phylon does the job of helping to absorb impact comfortably.  At the end of the day, the CP3.VI brings comfortable performance with a natural court feel.

Secure and tight, the inner bootie and upper give a great sense of support, which is the basis for stability.  Ankle protection and support are not what the shoe does best, given that it is a low cut shoe.  The inner bootie works in tandem with the Achilles pad to create lockdown for the foot.  Sliding and movement is limited with the foot held down comfortably.  Arch support is one of the bright spots, and with the tight hold, the player can feel the shoe working for those sudden cross overs and harsh stops.  For the upper, the Hyperfuse layers are thin to allow both flexibility and ventilation.  Because of this, the upper does play on the soft side compared to other fuse based uppers.  Stability in this sense comes from the fact that the upper conforms more to the foot, eliminating all those awkward bends that can plague fuse uppers.  Below, the foundation has a thick feel.  The Phylon and Podulon are very supportive for any type of player, whether light or heavy footed, light or heavy impact.  The cushioning is comfortable for running the court and jumping, but also has the density to take hard and heavy impact.

The highest aspect of performance comes with the evaluation of traction.  For marketing purposes, Nike characterized the CP3.VI with the label “traction control,” and this is a great description of how the shoe performers.  In a static position the player can feel the grip of the herringbone on the court surface.  Grip is sticky, but it does not feel as like the player is stuck in one place.  Designed with ridges and curves, traction is controlled to bring both grip and the ability to make harsh movements.  Herringbone all over is there to grip the court for those abrupt stops and give a solid foot hold for those harsh jabs.  Traction is found everywhere, including the heel, which grips as well as the forefoot.  The added traction pattern on the forefoot side walls is great for those lateral bends when leaning forward, as the player can feel the added traction.  What makes traction performance shine is the fact that movement is more fluid than clunky.  The herringbone can stop the player, but because of the curves on the outsole and the segmentation along the forefoot area, it feels like the player can roll naturally when moving.  In the end, the exceptional traction performance observed allows the player to play without even thinking.  Moving to ventilation, there are no big issues.  The shoe has a more open feel because of the light weight upper and diamond slits on the sides.  On the inside, the inner lining is silky and smooth to keep the foot in comfort.

Conclusion

The CP3 line has lurked in the shadows, much like all non-retro Jordan Brand shoes.  Even with the jumpman behind them, the market is smaller than those for Kobe and Lebron.  But for the past 3 years, performance has been consistent characterizing the play Paul himself – a light weight low cut performer that plays well for the stop and start player.  The CP3 line is one of the few shoes in the Nike catalog to implement the Podulon cushioning system.  This gives the shoe a very unique feel compared to other Nike performers, and with the design on the VI, Jordan Brand has created an amazing performer.  Doing it all on the court, the CP3.VI brings light weight performance with great comfort, court feel, and traction.  It looks like it will be a defining year for the Clippers and Chris Paul.  The team is poised to be Championship contenders, and Paul himself is in the final year of his contract.  These next few years will reveal how great CP3 can be.  Released this fall, the CP3.VI is available in multiple color schemes at the Official Nike Online Store.

This shoe is comparable to:

Jordan CP3.V
Jordan CP3.IV