It was some time in 2010… I was thinking about picking up a pair of Air Jordan 2010s from my local outlet, but was unsure if they were a good performer or not. I made my way to YouTube and for the heck of it typed in “Jordan 2010 review” to see if there was anybody loony enough to put out a performance review on them. That was my first encounter (and first YouTube sub by the way) with Chris, Mr. Nightwing2303 (YouTube, Twitter, Instagram).
Nightwing has evolved quite a bit since those days. Gone is the annoying camera focusing sound (lol sorry bro), the Kicks on Court name, and the stoic face and monotone voice we used to get in his videos. The Nightwing of today, you can tell, is comfortable in his own skin. It shows in his sneaker reviews, in his banter with Jahronmon (YouTube, Twitter, Instagram) in their trash talk vids, and even in his willingness to share his love for comics and action figures.
He is still is the standard when it comes to performance reviews, and will continue to be as long as his knees let him. He recently released a collaboration shoe with Brandblack, a sneaker brand that he weartests for, who also supplies NBA six man specialist Jamal Crawford with his signature sneakers. There was no hesitation on my part to pick up a pair (phone order through BAIT SF), here are my thoughts! (sorry for the long intro folks, but I had to give my respects, he deserves it)
The Weartesters x Brandblack Ether Review
-Nightwing2303 and Jahronmon’s signatures on my box is just icing on the cake!-
Let’s start with the price. $120 is a very reasonable price for a collab shoe, with great raw materials, and full of Brandblack’s latest tech. Off court or on court, whatever your preference, $120 is major bang for your buck. Kudos to Brandblack and Nightwing for keeping the cost of the shoe reasonably low.
-Man these are beautiful! Weartesters shirt FTW by the way!-
The weight of the shoe completely caught me off guard. It looks like a hefty shoe (probably the classic design), but my goodness are these lighter than they appear. The step in comfort is off the charts (I stayed tts, which fits great), very little break in time will be needed whether you plan to hoop in them or wear them casually like myself. The upper looks stiff, but don’t judge a book by its cover. It’s a very soft and pliable upper with a nice conforming tongue as well. One can’t forget the Achilles pillow in the heel area for that extra bit of comfort and lockdown. Brandblack’s Black Foam is utilized full length in the midsole and man is it bouncy. It offers great impact protection and for comparison sake, the Ether/JC3 midsole sits a little higher off the ground than the Force Vector/JC2 midsole with Jetlon for those wondering. I’d say Jetlon is a little bit softer, but definitely not as bouncy as Black Foam.
-Views from the back!-
The premium raw materials on this shoe are pretty ridiculous as well. The nubuck/suede on the toebox and sides passes the “brush it with your fingers watch it change colors” test. The white leather on the heel and ankle smells and feels like genuine leather, and for someone who enjoys that scent very much, it’s safe to say I’ll be giving these bad boys a whiff pretty frequently. Oh and those gum bottoms? Straight classic!
-Those gum bottoms tho!-
It wouldn’t be a collab without hints of Weartesters throughout. Nightwing decided on a simple black/white colorway to match the Weartesters logo, you also have Weartesters branding on the tongue and heel to really give it that collab touch!
-Bird’s eye view!-
Overall, I think Nightwing and Brandblack really hit it out of the park with this collaboration. The collab sold extremely well online, and is actually sold out at the moment. If there are any restocks on these or any new collabs announced between the two, I’ll let you guys know as soon as that information becomes available to me.
*A special shout out to Jordan, aka TheWongKicks from Weartesters (YouTube, Twitter, Instagram). He really helped me out with this release and has been a great friend to me since we started talking a little while back. Thanks bro!