Most of you will remember the Converse Weapon, the iconic shoe worn by the likes of Larry Bird and Magic Johnson in the 1980s. (In case you don't, here's a refresher.)
Today, Converse has gone back to what once was, by officially releasing the Weapon Evo, a shoe the company calls "an all-new, court-ready, basketball shoe evolved from the original Weapon, which was worn by superstars during the game’s 'Golden Age.' "
The shoes certainly look virtually identical to their predecessor from an era gone by. But with a redesigned upper and cushioning system, these are actually court-ready kicks, even by today's more demanding standards.
I was given a pair to try out, and have been playing in them for the last few weeks. Read on for a complete review.
The first thing you'll notice when lacing these up for the first time is, these are full high-tops. Not "three-quarters" or "mids," but 100%, over the ankle shoes. I hadn't worn a pair like these in at least a few years, so that feeling took a little getting used to.
Once I got used to the feel after playing in them a couple of times, I found that the best word to describe these shoes is "sturdy." I mean this in the best possible way: they're not extremely light, but not too heavy either, and provide excellent support and cushion all around.
One thing that the Weapon Evo has debuted is something they're calling "Converse Balls Technology." While the name might be worthy of a chuckle at first glance, the idea is one that's definitely noticeable while wearing them.
"… Converse Balls Technology [is] an all-new cushioning system in the shoe’s heel that provides excellent impact protection. The heel of the shoe has several polyurethane balls that rebound and push back when compressed during play. The cushioning system creates unique, low profile support that reacts to the athlete’s foot as it responds to the demands of the game."
I'm way more of a jump-shooter than a slasher, but I did notice the extra cushion when coming down from taking a shot or grabbing a rebound -- something that definitely isn't there in other retro-editions of the Weapon that were designed for looks over performance.
Speaking of looks, these ones will definitely get you noticed, mainly because those not immersed in the shoe game will initially think that you might have broken out a deadstocked pair to play in that has been sitting around for over 20 years.
As for an overall rating of these shoes for playing hoops, I'll give them a solid B -- good enough to run in regularly with solid support, but could use a little more cushion and be a tad lighter, for those more serious about their basketball footwear.
Although at an MSRP of $80, the value for the price will likely exceed your expectations.