Brandblack has given us teasers and quickstrike releases of their up coming apparel and sneaker releases for some time now. Nothing has caught my eye more than the J. Crossover 2 “Future Legends”, a colorway sophisticated enough to wear casually, but with enough performance appeal to wear on court. After missing a big online release at MajorDC, and simply being located on the wrong side of country for some of the other releases, I finally got my hands on a pair.
I purchased these sneakers from RiseNY, a new boutique located in Huntington Village, and I was fortunate to even grab a pair. The size 9.5’s sold out immediately, but luckily, I was able to get a size 9. Shipping was exceptionally quick, which is always a plus, and the package came with some stickers and a business card.
I will make a lot of comparison’s to the Phantoms. It’s the only other Brandblack sneaker I have worn and own, and since it’s an older model of theirs, it only makes sense to compare the older Brandblack product to the newest.
At first, I was disappointed. A pullout box and the “J. Crossover” logo greeted me, instead of the lid-style box I got with the Phantom’s. With the premium box you got with the Phantoms, you would expect an elevated packaging for the brand’s signature athlete.
When you pull the box open, you are greeted by the signature blue we see on all the outsoles of Brandblack sneakers, and your sneakers are packed neatly inside a soft, segmented dustbag. A great touch, and an addition to the packaging that all brands should consider doing, especially when it comes to a signature athlete’s sneaker. Just a nice upgrade from paper, even really fancy printed paper.
The upper is segmented between the heel and the mid and forefoot. The structured heel portion is covered in parametric patterning, which is covered in a light brown leather The knit in the forefoot features stripes of black as well, adding some depth to the color from afar. The leather hit right at the bottom of the tongue is a great contrasting hit as well.
Brandblack branding is relatively minimal, aside from the tongue, which has “BRAND” on the right tongue, and “BLACK” on the left tongue (which totally contradicts my “minimal” comment), with the tongue have a 3M-like reflective property to it, as well. The reflective, mirror-like logo on the medial side of the sneaker, and “Brandblack” running down the heel, completes the branding on the upper.
The outsole is bright blue, and the traction pattern is very simple. Tan colored rubber outlines the bright blue, and right in the middle is a torsional plate, with the same kind of reflective look as the branding seen on the upper of the sneaker. A small logo hit on the toe, located on the tan rubber portion, finishes off the outsole.
Overall, the sneaker has a premium feel of a high-quality lifestyle sneaker. The leather is soft to touch, the navy color of the knit, with the contrasting black patterned in, brings a sophisticated quality to the sneaker. The execution of the colorway was excellent, in my opinion, and is the big reason why I bought these when they release at Rise.
My only knock is the inner lining, and the feel of the tongue. The tongue does look and feel a bit cheap, and very thin. It’s not as thick as the Phantom’s, and the material that was used felt a bit cheap. This could be because of how Jamal Crawford wanted the sneakers to fit, which is understandable. I just like the feel of a plush tongue on my sneakers, and it also works a bit better when you have the sneakers unlaced.
I wish the inner lining was quilted, or stitched in the same way that the Phantoms were. It’s still well cushioned around your ankles and Achilles, which is always great, and at this point, it’s nitpicking. I would just like to have seen a quilted inner lining, like I saw on the Phantoms.
If you made it to the end of this, thanks for reading through my ridiculously long review of the sneakers. After an initial wear, these feel amazing, like socks on your feet. The weather is cold and wet from freezing rain and snow, which means even on nice days, there’s so much salt on the ground. I usually tend to avoid conditions like these when wearing suede, even knit, material sneakers. But you best believe I am waiting for the perfect opportunity to break these out and give you guys a walkthrough in these sneakers!
Thanks for reading this ridiculously long first look!
- Mr. Hype