First basketball shoe. First 100-point game. First ankle breakers. First national champs. 100 years of hoops. They’re back. Here’s my Converse All Star Pro BB performance review. Let’s get it!
WEIGHT: 337.3 g. / 11.9 oz
TECH: REACT, QUADMESH
FIT: TRUE TO SIZE
RETAIL PRICE: $140
BD RATING: 8/10
BEST PLACE TO BUY: CONVERSE
Sticking to its roots, the Converse All Star Pro BB keeps business super light up in the upper department by featuring new to the game QuadMesh set-up. We already had a chance to experience a similar concept on the Kobe NXT 360 or Adapt BB with that shroud overlay, so it was something wow, but at the same time it was. If you thought that the NXT 360 has the most minimal upper, think twice, there’s a new top dog in the building.
The QuadMesh is so damn thin that everyone playing with you can see what socks you’re wearing. This actually comes as a feature since you can play around with different color socks, therefore, creating different tints of the upper. Those neon green ones… sheesh… Make them look like one of those Off-White joints.
As for the performance, straight out of the box, the upper molds your foot immediately for that awesome second-skin fit, which isn’t hindered by a plastic coating of the mesh or all of the fuse overlays & underlays. Since the QuadMesh is so thin, plastic and fuse layers must be involved in regards to adding rigidity & improving its durability. Usually, this type of tooling lacks one thing or another, but this time, everything is perfectly balanced, as all things should be.
It’s a drop-in midsole as seen on many Kobe models, the latest being the Kobe AD NXT 360, actually, this is the closest stuff I can compare with as both of the models are featuring React foam. The only difference between the two is that the NXT 360’s midsole is a combo of React + Lunarlon, whereas on the Pro BB you get pure React core.
Performance wise, pretty much identical as well. The set-up is heavily geared towards players who prefer to stay low to the ground, and built their game around court feel & responsiveness. Impact protection? There’s none in the forefoot, you basically feel like playing barefoot, while in the heel you do have a bit of life, but far from enough for a cushion maniac like me.
However, having a drop-in midsole you do get a chance to swap them. So if you happen to have a pair of past Kobe or LeBron models with a drop-in midsole that features Zoom Air, you can throw that weak stuff away, and use something way more exciting in your Pro BB. Just keep in mind that the fit may vary depending on what type of midsole you’re trying to put. Therefore, I would highly recommend you taking the midsole you want to swap with yourself to store, and do some swapping there to see if it works or not.
The Converse All Star Pro BB is rocking a diamond-like translucent traction pattern, and as far as performance goes, I would rate them as “getting the job done”. They started very sleek, something that became a norm with Nike’s translucent rubber compounds having that protective film that needs to be worn out. So that being the case, the more I was playing, the harder the Pro BB’s gripped the floor. And unlike the experience with the Zoom Freak 1 or the Mamba Focus, the after break-in version of the Pro BB’s bottoms were way more trustworthy.
Due to the deep grooves & no dead ends in the pattern for dust to settle down, the outcome was the same no matter the amount of dust presented on the floor. It does pick up some dust eventually but that’s just a normal thing, as you can easily regain that solid grip with some periodical wiping.
A quick tip: take them outside for your first ride to wear that performance-killer film down as quick as possible, thank me later. Or you can keep them outdoors as your daily drivers if you so desire, the rubber seems to be ready for those rough surfaces.
There’s no rocket science included here. The QuadMesh + the rest of the featherweight construction = seamless fit. The only few times you’re going to notice them on your feet is when lacing them up before the game or taking them off when you’re done playing. Well, maybe a few more times throughout the game, but that’s about it. The very second you slid your foot in, it’s done, the Pro BB becomes like an extension of your foot, letting you do your thing on the hardwood, obviously, if the right size. That being said, those who love that snug fit, stick to your true size. Whereas if you’re a wide footer or prefer having some extra space I would recommend going half a size up.
Another thing worth mentioning, this one is mainly aimed at our no-show sock lovers, make sure you wear high socks with these since the lining of the ankle area might do some damage to your ankles. You know, blisters, bruises, or other annoying stuff.
As much as it might seem scary to you knowing that the whole support of the Pro BB is based only on two parts – upper & drop-in midsole, there’s absolutely nothing to be worried about. Nike pulled it off again.
The sidewalls of the drop-in midsole act like an internal heel counter in the back, at the same time, giving your foot a wall to counter your lateral movements, which is helped by fuse backing & QuadMesh itself to make up for great lock-down where needed the most. Real talk, that QuadMesh did withstand the lateral force almost on the same level as the Jordan WhyNot Zero.2 with those 101 layers in place. That’s what I call high tech. Surely impressive stuff.
Oh, one more thing, although the midsole has those Kyrie-like midsole curvature vibes, they do not feel tippy on the corners since you sit really low to the ground.
The Converse All Star Pro BB, personally, is the best comeback of this season (2018-19). Yeah, we did see Puma and New Balance putting out their own best stuff to the table as well, but none of them ended up in my on-court rotation. Whether it was traction, cushion, or a combination of both, at the end of the day, they were missing something. With the Pro BB, things are different – from toe to heel, from top to bottom the shoe feels and plays like a top performer. It’s like Converse has never left the game.
You can’t grab them right now for their retail price ($140), but don’t worry, Converse is planning to do a bigger restock with a few fresh colorways at the end of this month. So if you will have a chance to snatch a pair – do it. It’s a great performer. It’s a head-turner. It’s a damn game changer.
As for now, follow the Converse Hoops IG account to be the first notified when the drop happens.