Jordan CP3.V | The Low For Everybody
words // Zac Dubasik
images // Nick DePaula
At first glance, the changes from last year’s CP3.IV to this year’s CP3.V seem minimal. The CP3.IV almost appears like it could have been an earlier sample for the V. And in a way, I guess that’s accurate. This is much more of an evolutionary than revolutionary design. It may not be a major design shift or breakthrough, but the V’s small tweaks have led to improved performance in pretty much every possible area. The IV had potential, but was flawed. The V nailed just about everything.
One of my biggest gripes with the IV was its collar cut. It fell somewhere in that area of not low or high enough, and ended up just being uncomfortable. It didn’t offer the range-of-motion benefits of a low, nor the perceived support benefits of a mid. It kind of just fell in a no-mans land of 5/8ths discomfort. The collar on the V isn’t drastically lower, and unless you hold them next to each other, it may be hard to even see a difference. But the change is huge on the court. The CP3.V offered outstanding range of motion. The collar foam isn’t as secure and perfect as the gold standard – the Kobe line – but when laced tightly, offered excellent lockdown.
The entire Flywire upper provided excellent lockdown, and over 3 ounces in weight reduction compared to last year’s CP3.IV. The shape of its last is more generally accommodating, and less sleek, than that of the best fitting shoes out there, but in turn, it should fit a wider range of players. The only real issue caused was that when laced extremely tight to get the best fit, I had comfort issues with too much lace pressure. The only other negative with the upper was some minor pinching at the flex point, which, thanks to the materials and pattern, was reminiscent of the Hyperdunk 2010’s flex point issue. This one isn’t nearly as much of an issue, but worth noting.
The next area of improvement over the IV was the traction. It’s not that the pattern or materials were bad on the IV, but thanks to the bi-level design, aimed at highlighting the Podulon cushioning system, there just wasn’t enough rubber touching the floor at times. This has been completely corrected with a flat and leveled forefoot outsole on the V, which provided excellent traction in all directions. I felt like I wanted to cut in them – always a sign of confidence in traction.
Cushioning wise, I’m a big fan of Podulon. As far as foam-based cushionings go, it’s probably my favorite. The dual-density based Podulon is extremely smooth, and offers just the right amount of protection, without being too soft. It’s not exactly responsive, but about as close as it gets in a foam. Both the heel and forefoot cushioning provided excellent protection, but also maintained a high level of court feel. Add to that a large TPU midfoot shank, and you’ve got an outstanding tooling that is fast, has excellent transition, and is still very supportive.
The Zoom Kobe IV launched a low-top revolution. It wasn’t the first low-top signature shoe, but it was the first one to be so widely accepted. And if you’ve been paying any attention to the NBA over the past few seasons, you’ve seen players of all shapes and sizes hitting the courts in lows. The CP3.V may not be the fastest and most minimal of its low-top siblings, but I did find it to be the most supportive – and in a good way. For small and fast players, it offers the speed and range of motion that lows are known for. What’s so impressive though is that for larger players, it offers a level of support and security not typically found in a low. The CP3.V is an easy recommendation for all players who favor low-tops, but an especially strong recommendation for larger and stronger players who do.
designed by: Tom Luedecke
best for: Players of all sizes who prefer a low-top
colorway tested: Black / White / Stealth
key tech: TPU midfoot shank, Flywire upper, dual-density Podulon cushioning system, 3/4-length innersleeve
pros: Cushioning, weight, range of motion, stability
cons: Lace pressure, flex point pressure
improvements: Thin and targeted padding on tongue to aid in comfort; more refined last
buying advice: The CP3.V may have the logo of one of the game’s fastest players, but this shoe isn’t exclusively for speedy point guards. The Zoom Kobe IV made it acceptable for players of all positions to start wearing low-tops
Available: Jordan CP3.V