Jordan CP3.VII  - Fresh Prince

The Jordan CP3.VII

Introduction

Chris Paul has been a perennial All-Star and Jordan Brand athlete for almost a decade.  As one of the few players to ever have a signature Jordan Brand shoe, Paul has take his career to the next level by transforming the Los Angeles Clippers in to legitimate title contenders the last two years alongside fellow Brand athlete Blake Griffin.  Timing could not be more right for the CP3 line, coinciding with the prime of his career.  The CP3.VI is arguably the best of the series yet.  It was no doubt one of the top performers for the 2012-2013 season.  Kicking off the new season, Jordan Brand brings the VII to the table.  Will the VII live up to the high expectations that the VI created?  Our latest Performance Review looks at the highly anticipated Jordan CP3.VII.

Following up one of the best performers of the 2012-2013 season, the CP3.VII kicks off the start of the season for Jordan Brand.  The features include the following:

  • Synthetic leather upper with Dynamic Flywire for durability and comfort
  • Cushioning provided by a Phylon midsole with Podulite cushioning containing hexagonal Nike Zoom units
  • Rubber outsole with raised herringbone traction pattern
  • Stability provided by stiff mid foot plate
  • Synthetic leather heel stirrup with Achilles notch for back end support

Aesthetics and Styling

Jordan Brand has always given the CP3 line an eccentric look.  The technology within each iteration does fall in line with what Nike pushes each season, but the aesthetics and style have a look that does not follow trends.  For aesthetics, the VII makes a transition from what the VI AE brought.  The cut of the shoe is still considered low, but does rise up a bit higher.  Going for more aggressive performance, the VII is outfitted in a full leather upper replacing the Fuse material of the VI.  Dynamic Flywire adds another element of stability and fit.  The biggest changes are seen with the outsole, which now has the Podulite/Zoom cushioning.  For style, the shoe has discreet signature elements.  Paul is no stranger in letting the public have a glimpse of his personal life, with his young son making plenty of post game appearances throughout the season.  It is only fitting that the signature markings pay tribute to his family.  And for color schemes, the VII dose not disappoint.  Four color schemes mark the initial run of the VII including this multi-colored “Fresh Prince” version.

Jordan CP3.VII  - Fresh Prince

Equipped with the full leather upper and Podulite/Zoom cushioning, they are the major changes from the VI to the VII

A perforated upper has the Dynamic Flywire strands creeping through as lace holders.  The shape and lines of the shoe are straightforward just like the past 3 models, highlighted by the large jumpman logo at the heel.  One of the best aspects of the VI was found at the outsole.  For the VII, the designers have taken a more traditional approach, but have kept the customary raised look.  The clear rubber is molded with herringbone for the raised sections and deep grooves for all the areas around.  A toe cap is formed up front which has a split down the center.  Wavy grooves extend to the medial side, while the lateral side has a forefoot outrigger marked with the “PODULITE” branding.  The main forefoot area has five raised sections, all marked with the herringbone traction pattern.  A deep wavy flex groove runs around these sections through the lateral side to the mid foot.  On the medial side, a hexagonal pivot point is the most prevalent of all the raised pieces.  With the use of clear rubber, the Zoom units are visible.  At the mid foot, lies the matte finished stability plate.  It hugs the medial side for added Arch support and has small numbers & letters etched on the edge.  A neon green jumpman logo tops off this plate.  The heel area is separated by the midsole into two sections.  Herringbone makes up the lateral side, which connects to the rest of the sole, while the medial side simply has the deep grooves.  Finishing off the foundation is a speckled Phylon midsole.  The midsole runs around the shoe with crimps for impact support.  The foam extends up around the heel on each side.

Panels of synthetic leather engulf the upper for the VII.  For maximum protection and support, the toe box has a large leather portion stitched on top.  The leather cuts through the toe box all the way to the mid foot on the medial side.  Each side has a nubuck like leather panel.  Rows of various shaped ovals help with ventilation, while the Dynamic Flywire strands make up the lacing system.

Covering the wide heel counter is a large leather stirrup.  A jumpan logo is embroidered on the lateral side, while the top of the leather has a plastic emblem with chevron arrows.  Breaking up the leather is the nylon material on the medial collar.  With a low cut design, the collar integrates seamlessly with the height of the Achilles.  Padding on the inside is soft, but minimal, with and Achilles notch added for better lock down.  The lining is a silky synthetic, and for this special color scheme, it has a colorfully print with geometric designs.

Cut through the leather upper, Dynamic Flywire strands make up the bulk of the lacing system for the VII.  Standard oval laces run through four Flywire based hoops, with the first eyelet cut through the leather and the last eyelet on the collar reinforced with plastic.  Sitting underneath the laces is a generously padded tongue.  This tongue forms an inner sleeve as it is connected on the sides of the shoe.  The Dynamic Flywire strands lie along the outside of the sleeve to lock down the foot.  There is a lace holder stitched on the center of the tongue, while a CP3 emblem sits on top of the tongue.  The last part of the tongue is the small nylon patch on top with an embroidered pulse line.  Rounding out the CP3.VII is a thick PU insole.  The insole is glued down on the footbed and has the final jumpman logo printed on the heel.

Comfort and Fit

The full and wide construction, along with the low cut design makes it easy to get into the VII.  Laced up tight, all the aspects of the shoe have a stiff feel from the upper to the cushioning set up.  Fitting is a very close true to size with tight lace pressure felt right on top of the foot.  The leather upper does hold stiff out of the box, and the Dynamic Flywire can be felt gripping when tightening the laces.  Even with the close fit, there is good room for those with wide feet at the toe box and through the sides, with very good comfort considering the stiff feel.  Speaking of the toe box, it has very comfortable wiggle room all around.  The toes are neither bunched up or open freely to move.  In essence, it feels excellent for both comfort and performance.  At the rear, the ankles are left somewhat exposed, as the collar lies just below.  The tongue sits up high in the front, while the back end is secure with the Achilles notch.  Heel lockdown is excellent.  There is little to no movement here which is very important with the low cut collar.  Next, cushioning is stiff.  The Phylon midsole is thick, and the raised rubber outsole feels very hard on the court surface.  Normally, a Zoom set up would give a slight bounce, but for the VII, there is almost no give at all due to the Podulite housing.  Cushioning in this case favors responsiveness over casual comfort.  Arch support is very good.  The leather panels combine with the Dynamic Flywire for fit and tightness, as the sole does not have the dramatic contours seen with most performers on the market today.  A very aggressive set up with the synthetic leather build, the CP3.VII looks to push the pace on the court.

Jordan CP3.VII  - Fresh Prince

Most prevalent on the court are the raised sections at the forefoot

Performance

In a static position the CP3.VII has a compact, precise feel.  There are no excess material, but what separates it from the minimal shoes on the market are the comfort from inner sleeve & leather upper as well as the full, dense foundation.  It may take a short break in period to ease the materials and sole in.  That said, court feel is excellent.  In this context, the raised forefoot is very prevalent.  The foot does not feel slammed to the surface but it also does not feel too high off the court.  One aspect that has changed from the VI is the feel of the cushioning set up.  The normal Podulon had a hallow feel.  Using the Podulite/Zoom combination it is now fuller and more dense.  As the player gets up to speed, the light weight and free feel of the shoe stands out.  The low cut and tight feel bring a tight sense of movement without restriction.  Heel to toe transitions have a very solid feel.  Make no mistake about it, this shoe is not made for those who want to be swift and fluid on the court.  Performance is fit for the aggressive guard who likes to push a shoe hard.  First off is the free movement and responsiveness of the shoe.  Since the foundation is full and dense, the player can play very aggressive off the sole.  Stomps, aggressive pull ups, and planting a foothold seem natural in the VII.  The free movement of the shoe comes with the upper.  Dynamic Flywire, synthetic leather, and the low cut provide hold without restricting movement.  Also, the shape and contours of the sole make it so that aggressive lateral movements are not hindered in anyway.  Back to the foundation, the raised areas not only help with responsiveness, but give the shoe some added quickness.  Since they are sectionalized, they play just like pods.  When the player stops and plants, the raised areas do not let the player get stuck in place – helping push the player in the direction desired.  For jumps, the Podulite/Zoom foundation is explosive.  Since the set up is on the stiff side, the player can push off hard.  Jumps off high speeds and drives are what the shoe is made for.  For landings, the Zoom bags add a sense of comfort, but overall have a stiff feel.  A very aggressive performer that has a good balance between the upper and sole, the VII keeps the CP3 line on top this season.

For the guard position, stability is very good.  The aspect that keeps the VII from being versatile is the lack of ankle support and protection.  Even though the Achilles notch, good heel lock down, and tightness from the Dynamic Flywire hold the back end from moving, the lack of protection is not the best.  The ankles, for the most part, have free movement.  This is the one drawback that those who value ankle support may not be comfortable with.  So, the first aspect of stability comes with the upper and fit.  The leather and Dynamic Flywire do a great job of protecting the foot and limiting movement.  They both work with the inner sleeve to keep the upper from moving and limit sliding during intense play.  The player can push and bend the shoe hard.  This is one shoe where the failure point is rarely felt.  For the foundation, the density is very stable.  It can take all the heavy pounding from the guard to the big man.  The stiff stability plate only solidifies the foundation.

Traction performance favors heavy and aggressive play.  With the raised design and herringbone traction surface the player will have to use pressure to get the most out of the shoe.  Since the Podulite is raised and the rubber is hard, those who play with a light step might have to adjust their play style.  Stop in place traction is what is normally expected of a herringbone traction pattern.  In this case, the raised areas act like pods, brining traction based on the amount of pressure placed on each one.  Heavy footed and stop & start players will get the most out of the shoe.  Stomps, abrupt cuts, and hop steps are where the shoe shines as far as traction is concerned.  There are better shoes on the market for flat out putting on the breaks, but the VII stays aggressive with the raised, Podulite design.  A perforated upper and low cut collar bring ventilation relief for the player.  The slight inner bootie and gripping fit may cause some problems as far as ventilation is concerned.  The perforations and collar help the shoe from playing extremely hot on the court.

Conclusion

Last season, the CP3.VI was one of the standout performers.  The shoe had a good blend of court feel, responsiveness, and light weight performance in an aggressive package.  Following up the VI, the VII follows in the aggressive nature.  The upgrades over the VI are with the leather upper, Dynamic Flywire, and inclusion of the Podulite/Zoom cushioning.  All in all, the VII is one of the most aggressive shoes for the guard on the market today.  And, it does not sacrifice light weight performance or court feel.  It may not be a fluid performer as the VI is, but does play more aggressive.  Jordan Brand has, once again, designed an amazing performer for one of the top point guards in the league – one that is more than worth of carrying the jumpman logo.  This is a very impressive start for Jordan Brand to the 2013-2014 NBA season with the Melo M10 and Air Jordan XX8 SE to come.  Released this month, the Jordan CP3.VII is available in multiple color schemes at the Official Nike Online Store.

This shoe is comparable to:

Jordan CP3.VI
Jordan CP3.V
Jordan CP3.IV