The “Girl’s Artwork” colorway of Gordon Hayward’s first signature shoe will be the final release of the GH1 as the GH2 will begin releasing in the Winter. This colorway has inspiration and meaning way beyond basketball; family and love. Click here to check out everything you need to know about the ANTA GH1 “Girl’s Artwork” release. Now, here’s Nick’s Detailed Look & Review.
Alan’s Performance Review:
ANTA sent me these shoes. While I was sent these shoes for free, ANTA has never had input or monetary influence on the content of my review. With that said, does the knit version of the GH1 come close to challenging the suede version? Let’s find out.
There is no difference between the two versions’ traction, cushion, or support features. If you didn’t read my review of the all suede/leather “Gentleman” GH1, the quick rundown is that it’s my personal pick for best shoe for quick guards:
1) Durable and quality traction
2) A low-profile and quick rebounding Pebax derivative called A-Flash foam
3) Excellent stability, containment, and support
The knit version differs from the suede version mainly in how the shoe’s upper fits, flexes, and feels.
ANTA sent me a size US 7, and my real size is a US 6.5. Despite the half size increase, the knits pair still molded to my foot just fine. Lengthwise, the size 7 gave me a thumb’s width of room while the 6.5 gave me a pinky’s width of room. Since these are a knit shoe and built on a wider foot last, I recommend going down half a size for most people. If your feet are egregiously wide, go true to size. The high quality polyurethane insole is 6 mm thick, so if your foot is feeling cramped, remove the insole. If I had to choose between a 6.5 suede and a 6.5 knit, I’d choose the suede because I suspect the knit pairs’ fit may potentially change a bit over time. Dozens of hours and heat may potentially allow the knit to warp and stretch over time. The suede would theoretically be more resilient in the long term. In terms of real life practical use? Both work great.
The toe cap of the shoe is made of a Kobe-11-esque knit while the mid foot and heel is made of a strong non-stretching polyester fabric. While the knit pair had no containment and support issues, the shoe “moved” with your foot differently. The toecap and the rest of the shoe are both backed by a glue layer, like the Kobe 11. It took about 3-4 hours of wear to heat the shoe up and soften the material up before it molded to your foot.
However, although the toe cap molds and flexes nicely with my movements, the back polyester took significantly longer to break in. In that time period before breaking in, it never truly moved freely like the knit toecap. The back section of the shoe had sharp creases, meaning the back half of the shoe simply “folded” according to how my foot moved. It wasn’t uncomfortable, but I wish the entire shoe was made of the same impressive knit material in the toe cap. When Anta chooses to use knit, they get it RIGHT. e.g. the KT5s. Dear Anta. Use MORE knit.
The toe cap and the rest of the shoe are made of different materials, so there was a notable difference in performance between the two sections. The forefoot felt airy and free flowing, while the back half of the shoe, although very supportive, felt more restrictive. In contrast to the all suede versions, the entire shoe is made of the same buttery soft suede. There’s a continuity with the feeling of the shoe, albeit the suede is not ventilated at all. I could feel the different materials if I concentrated hard enough when I was sprinting. It’s a shame that the GH1 did not use the knit for the back section of the shoe, too. Had the entire shoe been made of a knit, I would actually prefer these over the suede shoes for performance. The knit is incredibly lightweight and breathable yet still has the same containment as the suede.
What do I prefer?
The suede shoes all day. But would I choose anything Nike, Adidas, Under Armour, or New Balance has to offer over the knit pairs? No.
Let us know what you think of our ANTA GH1 “Girl’s Artwork” Performance Review in the comments below. It’s so inspirational to see a basketball signature shoe receive a special colorway that has meaning beyond basketball, which is Gordon Hayward’s love for his family; his wife, Robin, and his daughters, Nora, Charlie, and Bernie, and soon to be son. Not only does the shoe perform excellent on the basketball court, but the colorway is gorgeous as well.