Last updated on February 16th, 2024
If you're on the hunt for an affordable basketball shoe that delivers solid performance, Way of Wade is likely your best choice. They have consistently produced high-quality products that are worth praising. What sets them apart is that they also offer basketball shoes specifically designed for outdoor courts, which not many other brands do. The Way of Wade Fission 9 is a prime example of this.
The Fission series has consistently delivered strong results, with the Fission 8 being particularly impressive. While the Fission 9 boasts intriguing performance enhancements, there might be concerns regarding their execution.
Outsole & Traction
The Way of Wade Fission 9 is designed with a specialized traction system for outdoor use. Although the outsole appears separated, it is actually a solid rubber sole that extends the full length of the shoe, made with durable rubber. The traction pattern consists of thick, deeply embedded horizontal lines that are extremely long-lasting. While this design excels in outdoor performance, it may not be the best choice for overall versatility.
The traction pattern's horizontal design is well-suited for moving in a straight line on the court. However, it may not provide sufficient side-to-side coverage, particularly when playing indoors. If you intend to use these shoes solely on rough outdoor surfaces, you shouldn't encounter any difficulties. Nevertheless, on smoother surfaces like PVC parquet, there is a higher chance of slipping sideways.
The construction of the rubber cupsole is worth mentioning. The rubber used is extremely durable and abundant, preventing the cushioning system from flexing and causing the shoe to feel excessively rigid. This compromise greatly enhances the longevity of the outsole, a feature that may be desirable to a select few, but not to the majority.
Foam & Cushion
The Way of Wade Fission 9 incorporates a three-fourths length Boom cushioning system enclosed in a Lightfoam+ carrier. Boom is the top-notch foam cushioning offered by Way of Wade, while Lightfoam+ is a solid and simple lightweight EVA material. On paper, this appears to be an excellent choice for outdoor activities, providing great value for money at $119. However, as mentioned earlier, the problem lies in how it is put into practice.
The Boom foam in the Way of Wade shoe is unfortunately stifled by the cup sole, despite its usual excellent performance. Although there are a few small openings in the rubber, they are insufficient for the foam to function as intended. Even with a sufficient amount of time to break in, the midsole might only slightly soften, resulting in a cushioning system that is highly responsive and almost neutral, which is not ideal for playing outdoors.
Materials & Upper
The Way of Wade Fission 9 showcases a predominantly textile construction, which is considered above average for its cost. Two distinct types of textiles are utilized in the design of the Fission 9. The fabric employed in the toe area resembles a robust ballistic mesh, with an additional fuse overlay at the front of the shoe. On the other hand, the side panels of the shoe utilize a thinner and more flexible textile.
Both of these materials excel at molding to the contours of your foot and providing a secure fit. While they may feel somewhat plastic-like to the touch, they effectively fulfill their purpose when it comes to performance.
In addition to that, there are two lace cables positioned near the top of the shoe, plastic eye stays in the middle, a well-designed external heel counter, and a secure microfiber tongue. Although not of the highest quality or extravagance, these elements are practical and enhance the overall performance of the shoe.
Support & Stability
The Fission 9 is known for its excellent support and containment. The standout feature is the PROBAR LOC torsional plate, a durable TPU shank plate that covers the midfoot and extends into the forefoot. This provides both the necessary rigidity and a boost in energy return. Additionally, the shoe includes a second, top-loaded TPU shank plate.
In addition, the heel counter effectively secures your heel in position. The shoe's upper construction, lace cables, fuse and synthetic leather overlays, and overall fit also contribute to a secure and stable lockdown. Consequently, the Fission 9 provides a strong sense of stability and security on the court, possibly even to an excessive extent.
If you're in need of exceptional torsional support as a basketball player, the PROBAR LOC plate, second TPU shank, and sturdy rubber cup sole in this shoe will definitely deliver. However, it's important to note that these features also make the shoe quite rigid, meaning it will take some time for it to loosen up and become more comfortable.
Size & Fit
The Way of Wade Fission 9 runs true to size, so stick to your usual size when purchasing. It's important to note that these shoes are slightly narrower compared to other Way of Wade models. Typically, Way of Wade designs their shoes with wider lasts to accommodate their Chinese customers, but the Fission 9 deviates from this norm. Although not as wide as other Way of Wade shoes, the Fission 9 still meets the standard width expectations in the western market.
Summary & Conclusion
The Way of Wade Fission 9 is a specialized basketball shoe designed for specific needs. While it may not be suitable for everyone, it excels in stability, durability, and protection for outdoor play. When it comes to indoor use, as long as you don't require excessive lateral traction, it performs just as well. However, it falls short of the versatile, comfortable performance of its predecessor, the Fission 8, which is admittedly disappointing.
The Fission 9 basketball shoe is incredibly affordable, considering all the impressive performance features it offers. However, its execution falls slightly short. While it may be suitable for a few individuals, it is unlikely to be the ideal choice for the majority.
- Price: $119 (Wayofwade)
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