2015 marks Chris Paul’s tenth anniversary with Jordan Brand (which explains the recent releases of some of his P.E. retros), and in that time he’s not only managed to remain one of the elite point guards of the NBA, but he’s also reached the ninth iteration of his CP signature sneaker. Only Carmelo Anthony has more from the active roster of players under contract to Jordan Brand.
Starting5online were invited to a special wear test of the CP3.IX in New York in early October, and have been hooping consistently in the shoe since then, so stick with us as we break down the specs of the CP3.IX for you.
Okay, full disclosure. I’ve never worn a Chris Paul sneaker to hoop in previously so I, unfortunately, cannot compare it to previous models. My lack of familiarity with CP’s line may have it’s advantages, however, as I began wearing the IX with a clean slate of expectations.
The CP3.IX fits true-to-size. If you like your sneakers to have that snug feeling, then definitely just get your size, if you prefer a little room, then go up half a size. I usually wear a 9.5, but much like the Super.Fly 4, I wore a 10 to wear test and it seemed perfect.
Chris Paul is adamant about wearing a new pair of shoes for every game he plays, so one of the things he insists on is that his sneaker requires minimal break-in time. This is true with the IX. Backed by a foam/textile mesh upper the shoe is supportive, without being restrictive. It’s not too stiff, and after a couple of hours of playing in them the shoe really does shape itself to your foot.
There’s an external heel counter on the CP3.IX, and does have some plush interior cushioning at the heel which will give you some extra support. You don’t have to worry about heel movement/slippage as you play. You’re securely tucked in.
My favorite aspect of the shoe was/is the web lacing system. The CP3.IX features a new web-lacing system that offers lateral support and 360-degree lockdown which provides added containment as you move on the court. The lace loops are attached to these nylon straps that go across the top of the foot, so when you tighten the laces, the straps lock your foot down as well. Loved that. It’s probably my favorite lacing system in a Jordan Brand performance model of the last couple of years. I don’t tend to lace my shoes all the way to the top, so this gave me the support I needed while not restricting the top of my foot.
If you’re a guard that makes quick, sudden lateral moves, or things of that nature, then your foot will feel secure and locked down appropriately.
Let’s start with the traction here – it’s fantastic. It’s a multi-directional herringbone pattern and it grips better to the floor than the Melo M11, which had been my previous favorite. I only played on pristine indoor surfaces, so wiping of dust was kept to a minimal. I wouldn’t recommend playing with these outdoors simply because the outsole is made of a soft, pliable rubber. You would burn through that very quick. Stay indoors with these.
My only gripe – if you could call it that – is with the cushioning. After having played in the Air Jordan XX9, the Melo signature line, and even the Super.Fly 4, I expected more from the nine-chamber Zoom Air unit in the forefoot. The problem is, it’s only located in that area. There is no cushioning in the heel. At all. Because of this, I found that it just wasn’t as responsive as the other models. Personally, I need that bounce. For those of you that are mid-foot strikers, then this will serve just fine. It’s just that it’s missing that shock absorption.
Pretty similar to the Super.Fly 4. It’s a breathable mesh over a light structural foam, so ventilation is there. It’s not the best ever, but it’s not the worst, ether.
The CP3.IX is a very solid shoe. After having played in it steadily for a month I wish I had a previous iteration of the CP line to really compare it too. It’s a great option for quick guards and guards who play low to the ground.
The ‘Hornets’ colorway of the CP3.IX releases on December.1 and will retail for $130.