Another brand that I was super hyped to try, Brand Black. Nick @mtmhoops, hooked me up with a pair so this review wouldn’t be possible without the homeboy. Alright so let’s jump right into the review.
Starting off with what is to me the most important category in a shoe for me personally and I know for others as well, traction always will make or break a shoe with me. Unfortunately, traction broke this shoe for me. This blade traction was really inconsistent for me, I don’t really remember getting a really solid stop in these, I was sliding more often in not in these. For those of you who know me, I usually play on indoor courts, but I had the chance to play in these outdoors, same problem of inconsistency though. I will say this though, the traction did not fray much after outdoor use, but some spots on the traction did start to flatten out after the outdoor session, so outdoor hoopers keep that in mind when deciding if you want to buy these. Traction was a 6/10 for me, these did not stop well or bite the floor well, I slipped in these a couple of times as well, traction is the weakest link regarding this shoe.
The Rare Metals feature a full jacquard upper, there is an overlay on the medial side of the toe to add durability in case you toe drag. These materials were a treat for me, they really fit my foot well, were soft (not too soft) and supportive of my foot. Ventilation definitely is an issue here, some people might have an issue with having hot and sweaty feet, so for those who care about ventilation you might want to skip these. (Hours in these will make these a hot, sweaty, swampy mess). The jacqard upper also breaks in fairly quickly and should be good to go right out of the box, there were no spots that pinched my foot initially. I just slipped these things on and hooped. There is some fraying on the collar on my right shoe, but that should not be too much of an issue. The Materials get an 8/10 from me, they were everything I expected them to be, only gripe I have is the lack of ventilation, my feet did not feel overheated in these things personally. I do see how others who experience problems with overheating would want to shy away from these, I’ve seen people wear these and take them off, only for the shoes to be soaked in sweat.
Brand Black is using their Jetlon EVL foam on the Rare Metal and boy was it fun to play in for me. The cushion is fairly bouncy and provided amazing impact protection alongside responsiveness. What surprised me is how stable the cushioning was, I have heard that people did experience some instability issues with the original Jetlon, but with these there was definitely none of that. All cushion and none of that bad stuff we don’t want. Jetlon EVL gets a 10/10 from me, not only were these bad boys responsive, but they had good impact protection, I could play in these things for days and not get sore. Definitely an upgrade from the last shoe I was testing out.
Due to many factors, like materials and lockdown, the Rare Metal fit me really well. The fit that these have to offer is amazing, another shoe that creates an awesome one to one fit. I would recommend going true to size with the Brand Black Rare metal. Fit is a solid 10/10 for me, everything from the material to the lockdown ensured that the shoe really did fit my foot well.
As for support, one of my favorite features of any shoe, is a nice fat ol’ lateral outrigger and I definitely got that with this pair. I felt confident in my lateral movements due to the outrigger used, my foot wasn’t moving around much and felt stable in the shoe. Additionally, a heel cup is used to make sure that your heel is locked in and supported, that way you aren’t slipping. The materials themselves supported my foot adequately, I as aforementioned, they are soft but not too soft. Ain’t hard to please me when it comes to support, these get a 10/10.
The Brand Black Rare Metal is a shoe that offers amazing cushioning and good materials at a great price. The only thing holding these shoes back from being a top performer for me, is the traction. I was simply slipping around way too much in these and when you’re slipping around like that, your confidence goes down in the game, I was really hesitant with these due to the inconsistent traction.
As always, thanks for checking in guys, more reviews and sneaker news to come so stay tuned to the site!