By now, pretty much everyone in the world has seen and/or goofed on Under Armour’s “Chef Curry” 2 Low, which was unveiled on June 9 and immediately savaged via social media. Even Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert kept the roast going on their respective late night shows. The backlash was so pervasive and severe that it has created a self-perpetuating shoe roasting apparatus that will likely stick around for a while yet.
But we wanted to give the shoe a fair shake. Under Armour sent us a pair, I wore them for a while, played ball in them, logged some hours in them, and here is my objective review of these bad boys.
Let’s just go ahead and get this out of the way up top. Yes, the shoes look almost exactly like you would expect them to after seeing the ubiquitous press photo of them. The main difference is that there are a lot more reflective elements in person, ones that just do not photograph at all. The “UA” logo is reflective grey material and the “I can do all things” script on the inside is similarly shiny, but that’s pretty much the extent of flash on these.
There has been some debate over whether these shoes would have gotten as much flak if they had a Nike Swoosh on the side instead of the Under Armour logo. There’s no way to know for sure, but I am leaning on the side of “probably not,” although the Nike model these most resemble is probably the Monarch, which is pretty definitively a dad shoe.
Regardless, Steph should probably get some points for dropping, bar none, the least-flashy signature kicks in history. The average pair of LeBrons looks like something out of Neon Genesis Evangelion, so kudos to a baller having the gumption to be like, “Nah, just white.”
They certainly look better on the feet than they do just sitting there, but they’re just not flashy shoes. I have to believe that’s the entire point.
Here was my first impression: These are, bar none, the most comfortable basketball shoes I’ve ever put on straight out of the box. The SpeedForm upper functions like Flyknit, but more closely resembles a typical basketball shoe upper. There’s plenty of cushioning and they’re firm throughout. I experienced a little bit of slipping in the heel, but the grip is fantastic and I felt completely comfortable and confident shooting hoops while wearing them.
I would say the biggest drawback to the shoes is not feeling fully “locked in” when they’re cinched up tight, but that just helps add to the comfort factor. These shoes may have been derided for being “mall walkers,” but dang it, man, if you’re gonna walk in the mall, you might as well be comfortable.
I understand that a lot of people will have trouble getting past how these look. Maybe you’re not at a point in your life where you’re fully comfortable with embracing normcore, or walking into a room wearing all-white shoes that aren’t Air Force Ones. That’s cool. There are a lot of other shoes out there for you. An endless number of options.
If you want something comfortable that you can also use to play a pick-up game, the Chefs are a pretty dang solid option. I have a hunch that anyone who has picked these up ironically – and make no mistake, the Chefs are selling very well, with likely some of those purchases being of the wink-wink-nudge-nudge variety – will be surprised to find how much they enjoy them.
They’re not going to turn a lot of heads, but your feet don’t always have to be a focal point.