After Paul George having an MVP conder worthy season, there’s one question left… How much is it due to the new signature sneaker? Today we will find out. Welcome to the Nike PG 3 performance review.
Let’s get it!
WEIGHT: 363.1 g. / 12.81 oz
TECH: ZOOM AIR
FIT: TRUE TO SIZE
RETAIL PRICE: $110
BD RATING: 7.8/10
First of all, I want to share my in-store experience with the PG3, particularly about the quality & material choices of different colorways. Although the NASA version of the PG3 supposed to be like a more limited, more premium version of the sneaker, it actually comes with cheap synthetics that look exactly like foil, which I use to bake my chicken wings in, rather than something that should end up on a performance model. Moreover, I spotted tons of exposed glue around the connecting lines. Yes, glue marks are the part of a shoe’s manufacture process as you can spot some on pretty much any single sneaker. However, in this case, this glue fest was out of the norm, really. So instead of them rocketing you straight to the moon with its spacesuit-like color scheme & equally impressive performance, you most likely will end up at Nike store, ready to return or exchange them for a pair with the regular colorway. Basically, like this dude…
For that reason, I went safe by picking up that generic black & white colorway which eventually doesn’t add any spice to the whole design, though the materials were “basketball beating ready”, and that’s what matters most to me. No foil stuff. No extra glue peaking through. No “remove before the flight” key chains that you can get on aliexpress.com for 50 cents. Just your regular mesh/nubuck set-up for trustworthy performance, nice ventilation, and lightweight ride.
The PG line has been consistent with the “kidney” type of forefoot Zoom Air units – the PG3 isn’t the exception, and neither its performance. The forefoot felt simply amazing, well, why wouldn’t it? It’s freaking Zoom Air that creates “smashing your opponents on a first step” type of responsiveness and a hypercar-like precision ride (didn’t have a chance to drive one, though, Doug is my plug) wherever it sits in, for the PG3 that happened to be the forefoot.
Now the heel area is empty, I mean, it’s Phylon. And while I would have preferred to have another Zoom Air unit back there, it actually wasn’t that bad. Considering I’m a heavier dude, it was just enough impact protection to feel comfortable playing in the paint or just doing basic big man work. Just barely, but it made it through. Which means for those who are not using their heels so often or just doesn’t emphasize cushion so much, the amount of cushion in the back section will be more than enough. Again, give it some time to completely show its potential and shut your damn mouth from spitting nonsense about how you expected more from it. Trust me, it has more.
No surprise, the PG3 is rocking the moon craters traction pattern, damn, Poul Geroge really got into some space stuff. There’s even a phrase embedded into the midsole – “Don’t tell me the sky’s the limit when there are footprints on the moon”. However, I’m not gonna joke this time, since there’s nothing to joke about really.
The pattern itself does heavily remind me of the stuff that can be found on the Jordan Why Not Zero.2. Same could be said about performance – straight up glue. Obviously, with the PG3 that “straight up glue” performance comes after a break-in time which takes around 3-4 days. Before that, the traction is wack so don’t get scared. Just trust the process.
Dust problems are not an existing factor due to deep & widely spaced craters holes, it just simply leaves no home for dust to stay in. Same goes for wiping – if you want to, you can. But there’s no need to.
Also, the rubber compound they’re using is rather soft and will benefit the indoor performance, but kills the ability to sufficiently play outdoors. Sorry street ballers, not this time…
While making the shoe, Nike probably had the vision to make them the winners at least in one area, so they did exactly that. The PG 3 is easily the narrowest performance sneaker I’ve ever tested in my entire sneaker reviewer career, I’m dead serious. Putting them on for the first time was like strangling your foot to death (if it’s even possible), then revive it and strangle again. That pretty much sums it up. It’s something you will need to go through when going true to size, yet it’s so worth it. And that’s what I recommend for narrow/regular footers – go true to size, overcome that hell, then enjoy afterward. For wide footers, the shoe is suitable for you, but I highly recommend first trying them in your local Nike store, see which size fits you better and go with it. Nike actually does have a really nice return policy. They give you 30 days to properly test them out and return/exchange if they don’t fit you.
Once broken-in, they still do have that snug fit, but it’s that good snug fit. It allows for speed, nimbleness of the shoe to unfold to its fullest potential, in addition, offering tons of containment for your foot.
Although the PG line does not emphasize support that much, like the previous models, the PG3 was solid. The support package has every essential part that you would need to ensure trustworthy lockdown – no more, no less. Obviously, have of that performance comes from having a snug fit.
For lateral coverage, the midsole on the outside is more rigid and it comes onto the upper just a bit, and in conjunction with the synthetic wing are ready to keep your foot from busting off of the footbed. Talking about the footbed, the lacing system has that one extra lace hole up there which, once in use, improves the ankle containment & pushes the foot back to make sure there’s no heel or other slippage issues.
However, while having a narrow construction helps with the lockdown on top, the bottom part of the shoe gets hurt. It’s mainly just my preferences for having a wider base or, at least, a substantial outrigger. For you, they might be perfect.
If keeping the NASA version out of this conversation, the PG 3 is a true successor. And the only bad part about them is going through that break-in process to unveil their full potential, yet it’s so worth it.
I love how Paul George’s signature line, while still being young, shows its consistency in terms of performance. Although can you say the line is consistent if it’s getting better? Maybe the PG line has been inconsistent but in a good way; and the PG 3 is the latest proof of it.