Under Armour burst onto the performance basketball footwear scene in the fall of 2010 with a shoe called the Black Ice and a young, free-spirited point guard named Brandon Jennings, endorsing it. The Black Ice wasn’t the greatest performance shoe we had ever seen, but UA’s first attempt at a basketball shoe surely didn’t fall on deaf ears.
Four years later, the “I Will” brand is being heard loud and clear. It’s latest basketball sneaker creation, the Under Armour Anatomix Spawn, not only demands attention with its abnormal design, but also with its performance capabilities, which solidifies UA as a player in the performance basketball world. No, the Anatomix Spawn is not a perfect shoe, but it’s an improvement on UA’s previous models. Check out a full, in-depth performance review of the Anatomix Spawn below.
**Note** Tune in to Kicks On Court Weekly Recap tomorrow for an on-court review of the Under Armour Anatomix Spawn by way of our Review Report segment.
RELATED: Wear Test: Jordan CP3.VII Review
Lockdown: The Anatomix Spawn is, well, anatomically correct in regard to foot fit and incomparable in terms of security and lockdown. Up until this point, I’ve never worn a performance basketball shoe that features as snug of a fit as the Spawn; it truly is one with your foot and fits true to size. Even though it is an extremely compacted wear, the comfort level is not effected. The only problem I had – a very small one – was the snug fit not allowing me to easily slip the shoe on and off of my foot. However, that does not interrupt the fact that, once on, the Anatomix Spawn is the best fitting shoe on the market today.
Traction: There isn’t anything sumptuous here, just solid herringbone traction from heel to forefoot, which I absolutely love. Herringbone seems to always do the trick and should be a part of most shoes, traction-wise. It’s noticeably thinner than other shoes on the market, however, so this sneaker may not be as effective for everyday purposes on an outdoor court.
Cushioning/Responsiveness: Though the Spawn owns full-length Micro G cushioning from heel to toe, I found mild discomfort in my multiple wears of this shoe, especially on the days I played for two+ hours. UA’s Micro G cushioning is extremely firm, which is a great characteristic for ideal stability, but it diminishes the responsiveness level. The Micro G cushioning, in my opinion, has been historically stiff, as it was with the Black Ice, Torch and other UA performance basketball shoes. Yet, it seems firmer in the Spawn’s construction.
Support: Sure, the Spawn has a TPU shank, which extends from the forefoot to the heel, but most of the actual support is derived from the shoe’s matchless fit and lockdown factor. The slender construction really holds the foot in place and prevents any sliding when changing directions. You can also attribute this to the previously mentioned TPU shank, which wraps around the lateral sidewall and provides some stiffness and stability.
Durability: The Anatomix Spawn is composed of a three-layer system: an underlay for structure, an overlay for support and mesh in between. The overlay is composed of a fuse-like material, like many other shoes on the market, and is reinforced on the forefoot, heel and eyestays. What I liked about the Anatomix Spawn’s materials the most is that they’re extremely flexible, especially around the toe where most of the mesh is located. I’ve heard a few people mention that the mesh areas began to tear, but everything remained intact for me after multiple wears.
Breathability: The Anatomix Spawn is equipped with exposed mesh areas throughout the upper, which allow air to flow in and out of the shoe’s construction. Therefore, breathability is not a concern. In fact, the Anatomix Spawn is actually one of the more breathable shoes out there. There aren’t many shoes on the market that place extreme emphasis on providing the wearer with a sense of ventilation, and you don’t see a lot of performance basketball shoes that contain exposed, ventilated areas, but the Anatomix Spawn privileges both. An emphasis is placed on the toe area, which features the largest amount of mesh seen on the shoe.
Overview: The Anatomix Spawn is an extremely flexible sneaker that fits to your foot like a glove. If you’re looking for a basketball shoe that truly acts as one with your foot, there’s no better shoe on the market than this one at the moment. You can find much better options if you’re main focus is cushioning/responsiveness, but the Spawn is a shoe you can really be relentless in for short, fierce workouts. It’s the ideal ‘power’ shoe, and it works for positions 1-4. The Under Armour Anatomix Spawn is available in multiple colorways at retailers across the nation and UnderArmour.com for $120.