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WEAR: NIKE SHOX VC

Manufacturer: Nike
Price: around £140
Web: www.nike.com/inv/vc/flash.jhtml
 
 
 
 

The Pitch: Be Vince Carter! No, not a under-achieving prima donna. The other one, the one who soars like an eagle and drops leather bombs onto the faces of unsuspecting Frenchmen. 

According to Nike: "This second-generation basketball shoe has improved and built on the Shox breakthrough column technology to provide additional cushioning, responsiveness and a smoother ride. The Shox column technology has been extended from the heel to the forefoot of the shoe. These columns act as both springs and shock absorbers for the feet to give even more responsive performance."
 

The Look: VC looks top-notch. Its sleek black (or red) mesh exterior is supported by a cage inside, giving the shoe a uniquely hip look. The tie up laces have been replaced by a pull-up lace with a zip to tidy them away. Nice. And underfoot, the red sole has a funky bubble which should light up under the strobes.
 

The Shoe: We tested VC on both an outdoor and indoor court to see if its feel was as good as its look. The answer is yes, with minor reservations. 

The lightweight frame is as good as the hype and you genuinely do forget you're wearing anything on your feet, perfect for leaping like Air Canada itself. On the playground, there wasn't any particular wear and tear on the soles, a good sign for a longer-lasting product. 

The shoes are very comfortable, with ample support round the ankle. And the Shox technology, designed to offer better support underfoot really does come through in the clutch. It's springy without giving up control and does offer protection in the impact after you drop back off the rim (or in most cases, from that much-easier lay-up).

The one downside we found is the lacing. The pull-up tag which can be loosened or tightened slipped open too easily. As did the surrounding zip which meant that it was all too easy to find yourself running around with a length of lace spilling out, a recipe for a nasty prat-fall. More velcro would have done the trick, Nike.
 

The Verdict: At £150, the Shox VC doesn't come cheap. As a fashion shoe, it is terrific, just the thing to impress your homies at the club. For game, it's good.. but not great. Nike tried to be a little too clever but with a little tinkering, this could be the model for basketball in the future. Just like Vince himself.

Rating:  7/10
 

Test by Alex Russell