Under Armour has a new basketball shoe that looks rather odd, but offers some useful functionality for basketball players. This sneaker, called the UA Charge, offers the feel and flexibility of a low-top sneaker with the ankle support of a high-top thanks to the top of the shoe functioning like an ankle brace.
While the top wraps around the ankle like a brace, it is attached to the shoe. It wraps snugly around the lower part of your leg and helps keep your ankle supported, preventing ankle rolls. The difference between this and a regular high-top sneaker is the articulation it gives you. Normally, a high sneaker is all one piece, so while they typically offer plenty of support, they don't provide nearly as much flexibility as these shoes.
Low-top sneakers offer plenty of flexibility, but they make it a lot easier to roll your ankle during the intense stopping, starting, and cutting that comes with playing basketball. That's why you will rarely see basketball players wearing low-top sneakers; the risk of injury is just to high. This shoe from Under Armour is designed to blur the line between the two types of shoes.
Besides the interesting looking ankle articulation, the shoe also features Under Armour's heat gear material inside, which is designed to wick moisture away from your foot and help keep them dry. They are also very lightweight, and according to user reviews on Under Armour's website, very comfortable.
The UA Charge shoes are available now, for US$129.99.
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