I finally got around to putting together a Curry 9 review – something that I struggled to finish due to being abroad and working all the way up until March of 2022. Well, I’ve now put enough time into the shoes – so here we go!
Last year’s completely revamped Curry Flow 8 basically showed us how a runner sneaker concept can be adapted to a basketball court but with that came some compromises. The next shoe in the line, the Curry Flow 9, aims to take that same concept but improve upon it by making things a little stronger and more reliable.
It looks like UA has in fact successfully done that as lots of people seem to LOVE the 9th shoe. Well, what about a wide footer, an unforgiving outdoor environment, and 4 months of action? Let’s put it to the test.
SHOW TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Spec Sheet
- 1-Min Review
- Fit & Comfort
- The Build
- Alternative Options
- Do You Prefer the 9 Over the 8?
- Curry 9 Review: The Verdict
I. SPEC SHEET
click to enlarge the specs
THE CURRY FLOW 9 IS AVAILABLE HERE
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II. 1-MIN REVIEW ?
For those in a hurry: the Curry Flow 9 is a successor to what the 8th shoe started. It’s still a formula of a shoe but this time, it should cater towards a broader spectrum of players.
I still got the same deadly traction I did with the 8, and they’re decent for outdoors too. I’ve been playing outside for 4 months and the bite’s still solid.
UA Flow cushion is a little firmer this time but it’s still a balanced setup for just about anyone, and especially optimal for a fast guard like the Splash Brother himself.
The build was completely remade to a beefier multi-layered mesh & nylon upper and while it’s still super thin & light, it was immediately apparent to me that foot containment has improved.
Most people will be fine with their usual size, unlike the Curry Flow 8. Yes, even wide footers like myself.
There’s little reason to choose the previous shoe over this one. Unless you value more cushion over the other mentioned upgrades.
> The full review is below
III. FIT & COMFORT
How’s the sizing situation? Should go up/down? Are they comfortable? Anything else to know?
Ready for some improvements over the Curry Flow 8? Well, you asked. It all starts with the fit & sizing.
With the 9th shoe, I immediately felt more at home after putting ’em on. The 8th shoe didn’t fit me terribly per se but I did need to go up half a size and there was this foot shifting issue due to some extra length.
Not the case here – while I think the Curry Flow 9 fits snugger and things were a little too tight at first, my usual size was still the best option.
No unwanted space length-wise, no toe bumping, no side-to-side movements, none of that nasty stuff.
Most people will want to go true to size with the Curry 9, I don’t think there will be a lot of people who will absolutely need a half size up. Unless you’d like a particularly roomier fit but do that at your own risk.
Trying every basketball shoe in a store before purchasing is always something that should ideally be done but if you’re not going to – there’s very little chance you’ll regret the decision of going TTS.
The only thing of concern for me was how exactly will these turn out to be for those damn wide feet of mine. Gotta hand it to UA – I was sold on the fact that they’re not for me since they’re pretty narrow. But a few sessions in and things changed.
The build stretched out, giving me a bit more room to operate and it’s just what I needed. I think a slightly tighter fit than now would’ve meant it’s a pass for me, so it was close.
Fellow wide footers – you’ll be fine is what I’m trying to say.
The previous Curry shoe was mad comfortable if I took out those toe bumps out of the equation. With the 9, there was no need to take ANYTHING out of the equation.
The sneaker is just really damn comfortable, smooth, and a ton of fun to play in.
There’s plenty of padding on the tongue for added plushness, and yes, these have a dedicated tongue now as opposed to the previous shoe utilizing a one-bootie construction.
This paired with a heightened heel tab means that it’s easier to put on a Curry model on your foot than ever before. Even for those boat-like feet of mine.
The Curry Flow 9 is one of the lightest-feeling basketball sneakers I’ve ever played in as well. They’re ridiculously minimal-feeling and if the sculpting doesn’t give away a runner-like build for you – I don’t know what can.
The upper is also extremely nice in hugging my foot without overly suffocating it. Well, minus the first few days of action that is. We’ll break down the upper intricacies later.
Overall, this is as good as it gets for such a minimal build.
Everything works nicely together, and finally, and I mean FINALLY, I get to enjoy an experience on the court without forcing myself to ignore that 90% of shoes made today simply aren’t for my wide feet.
How’s the grip on a multitude of surfaces & conditions? How durable are the outsoles?
The UA Curry Flow 9 sports a very similar traction pattern to the Curry 8 and also returns with the same single-piece foam concept. For those unaware, the shoe’s midsole AND outsole are made of one single piece of Under Armour’s Flow foam.
Yes, foam traction. Not a single ounce of rubber is to be found on the Curry Flow 9 and that’s what reduces the weight so dramatically.
Another interesting thing is that the threads of the pattern are molded out of the same foam, so they’re not articulated as they would typically be when using rubber. This helps the threads compress more and cover more ground in a more precise way upon every single foot plant.
What’s the result? Deadly traction. I mean it.
Even though I mainly hooped outdoors with this one, I did manage to catch a few hours on a rubberized court in a high school (where I usually play when I don’t have access to a more streamlined hardwood gym).
If you’ve seen what the people say about the Curry Flow 8’s traction, this will be no surprise for you. The Curry Flow 9 offers some of the craziest levels of grip not only among basketball shoes but among all performance shoes in general.
It’s actually pretty nuts and you have to try it out yourself to get a grasp of it. Each and every stop means there will be no delay. None.
Even on a moderate-condition court I played on, these are completely destroying any competition you can put them against.
The only thing I’ve seen people report is when this foam pattern catches more dust, a more slippery spot on the floor, or something like moist, the shoe can definitely slip a bit.
And of course, playing on the worst possible courts also means that slide-to-stops will become more frequent due to the foam catching excess debris.
Rubber is better and handling this than foam but the overall package you get with these is still insane and it’s not even close.
Now, I personally haven’t experienced such issues simply because I put very little time into these inside. Still, something worth keeping in mind if you’ll be hooping in a weary gym.
Outdoors is where most of the action took place with the Curry Flow 9 for me.
I play on two courts: a classic blacktop and a rubberized court you commonly see in stadiums. As you might expect, I had no issues with traction. The more abrasive the surface, the more friction is generated between the sole and the ground. This means stronger bite. Not that these need more of it.
Seriously, this setup is almost too much at times. You’ll see what I mean when you try ’em yourself as things might feel a little weird at first.
There were a few times (not a lot and most of them happened on the first few days) where I’d almost trip myself after a foot plant.
This is because we don’t usually have such strong coverage of certain movements that aren’t particularly aggressive or pronounced.
With this shoe, EVERY single instance where the outsole comes in contact with the ground means you’ll receive crazy bite regardless. This caught me off guard at times which is what also happened with the Curry Flow 8.
So, at first, I needed to be a little bit more aware of my movements and almost get ready to “brace” for the extra-aggressive bite when I’m about to do a quick stop or a take-off.
You’ll get used to it though, so don’t worry about it being deal-breaking or anything close to it.
Just like last year’s shoe, expect similar reliability with this foam setup. Not the best in the world but definitely not the worst either.
4 months in, and I’m still playing with confidence, doing full stops, etc. The pattern is heavily worn though as the very minimal thread depth quickly burned off.
However, this doesn’t immediately turn the shoe’s traction from great to terrible. As long as I’m regularly cleaning out my outsoles after a session and occasionally wiping them down mid-game, I’m still getting A-level bite.
This foam is still able to handle the load and although I’m getting a few more slip-ups on a tricker spot on the ground, things are still very good.
You should expect the Curry Flow 9 to keep this up for at least a season.
One thing though – make sure to clean your outsoles periodically, especially when you see some debris buildup inside the threads. This will preserve good bite even a few months in and keep things responsive despite the surface condition you’re hooping on.
It seems that people are faster to complain about the shoe’s performance as opposed to actually taking care of the shoe first.
How’s the shock absorption, energy return, and step comfort? What about ride height & stability of the cushion?
Under Armour’s Flow technology returns to the Curry Flow 9 and it’s more of the same properties last year’s model hit the nail on the head with.
Though this time, it felt like the midsole is toned down just a bit, resulting in a slightly firmer ride but one that’s still as ridiculously smooth, fast, and precise as the 8 offered.
There’s still adequate impact protection in the heel, which is where most of the compression is felt, though still not that much.
Things gradually get thinner and firmer going to the front but it makes complete sense for someone like Steph since he needs that speed and precision when he’s on the balls of his feet.
Don’t get me wrong – this is not a dead setup by any means. It’s just one where it won’t exactly leave a huge impression on you while fully delivering performance-wise.
That’s exactly how my experience can be described. I had a ton of fun with the shoe but not because of the bounce underfoot, or feeling like I’m running on clouds.
It’s because the sneaker is sculpted very much like a running shoe, propelling my steps forward, delivering on insanely smooth heel-to-toe transitions, and also keeping me comfortable during a longer session.
Although I did expect to ride lower to the ground, especially in the heel portion. It’s definitely not the lowest-profile shoe you can find.
Ride height-wise, I’d put these somewhere in between a super low-profile Kyrie shoe and a more balanced adidas Dame or a Harden shoe.
I admit – I prefer the Flow setup on the Curry 8 just because it was a bit bouncier and that’s what I usually prefer.
However, the setup found here is still absolutely excellent in giving players a distraction-free experience and allowing them to feel like formulas on-court. Again, much like a runner.
Are they supportive laterally, medially, and torsionally? Any trade-offs as a result? What about foot containment?
The overall sense of security here greatly improved over the Curry 8. I love that since that was considered the weakest aspect of that shoe by a lot of wearers.
The biggest reason for the improvement is more structure throughout the upper. Even though I didn’t have major issues with last year’s release, I still immediately noticed a difference.
Foot containment just felt right this time. No near-slides-out-of-the-footbed, no movement inside the shoe, none of that business.
The Curry 9 also comes equipped with the needed support features to top it all off: internal heel counters for ankle & heel lockdown, greatly beefed up torsional shank plates that now extend all the way to the forefoot, outriggers for stability, and a wide forefoot base.
This is a great step-up while still maintaining that minimalistic look and feel of the shoe.
I remember almost rolling my ankle a few times in the Curry 8 due to the aggressive outsoles biting the floor so hard to the point where I wasn’t ready for it. Yeah, that happened and it’s another testament to how deadly this Flow setup is.
The reason I mentioned that is because I kind of experienced the same thing with the 9th shoe BUT it was never close to an ankle roll.
It was more just a trip-up and that immediately showed me that the Curry 9 had some thoughtful upgrades in holding the foot inside the footbed and also keeping things stable laterally.
Now, of course, I still wouldn’t recommend such a shoe to a big guy at 220 lbs. Or a super athletic wing that jumps out of the gym. It’s still a minimalistic shoe, just tweaked to better handle the load ideally for 1’s, 2’s, or 3’s.
If you’re one of those players – I really don’t think you’ll have any issues.
VII. THE BUILD
What are the upper materials and how do they feel & perform on the court? What about the build quality & reliability for the $$$?
The sneaker now utilizes a completely reworked upper. We’ve got a multi-layered mesh upper with a more open-based mesh underneath a criss-cross pattern of mesh for more strength.
You’ll also find nylon cables running all throughout this mesh which strategically stay tight when you need that lockdown but also keep you comfy when you’re idle.
The back portion of the shoe is a synthetic suede material and there’s a synthetic overlay around the lacing system. The tongue & ankle are padded with foam.
UA ditched the one-bootie construction in place of a more traditional lace & tongue system which I really like.
I’m not a huge fan of one-bootie uppers but that’s primarily because it’s tough to stuff my wide feet into them a lot of the time.
I really do think the build is a direct upgrade in all ways you can think of over the Curry Flow 8. That includes performance.
This build barely requires any break-in time (though some will be needed for wider feet), the materials weren’t super stiff or plasticy-feeling out of the box, they move extremely well with the foot and while being super thin, they’re actually very secure.
Breathability isn’t the best here but try to think of three recent basketball shoes that offered excellent ventilation in your mind right now. Exactly.
I really don’t have any complaints about this upper when it comes to performance and comfort. It’s really damn good.
Even the durability aspect could be considered an upgrade over the 8th shoe. Neither shoe will claim the top spots in durability charts but that’s expected for ultra-thin synthetic builds.
This multi-layer mesh reinforced with nylon is still more reliable and stronger than the pure knit setup we got on the 8.
The cheapest part of this build is probably the suede portion in the back. I don’t have any problems with it but that area seems to be the most distinguishable. I’ve definitely seen better suede implementations but then again, I’m being very picky here.
4 months in, and I’m not seeing any major damage to the build yet. I am hooping outdoors – keep that in mind!
I didn’t really have any glaring wear & tear with the Curry 8 either (at similar mileage) but it would only make sense for me to give the nod to the Curry 9 durability-wise because of the beefed-up build.
Finishing the Curry 9 review: how versatile are they? Is it an improvement over last year’s shoe?
The Under Armour Curry Flow 9 is a fantastic basketball shoe in all areas, and you rarely see me state something like this.
While I’d ideally prefer just a little bit more cushion, it’s tough to find anything else to complain about.
I’ve seen some people trashing their traction on dusty indoor courts, I’ve seen others complain about their arch hurting after a few hours as well.
This comes with the territory though – EVERYONE is completely different, so you’ll never really be able to fully predict whether the shoe is for YOU based on someone’s review.
Be mindful of yourself and the way you play, check out multiple reviews and takes on the shoe, and you’ll be able to at least form a basic opinion.
If you think you’d like this type of shoe – go for it. Time will tell if it’s for you.
The Curry Flow 9 should run TTS for most people, including wide footers. Traction was nothing short of deadly, and support underwent some very welcome upgrades.
The Flow cushion isn’t your bounciest stuff in the world but it’s a great guard’s setup with speed, precision, and balance in mind. This ride feels like a lightweight runner.
The upper was also remade for the better. There’s additional structure now, so a lot of people will appreciate the improved foot containment, beefed-up torsional coverage, and a stronger overall sense of security.
? BEST DEALS ON THE CURRY 9
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IX. ALTERNATIVE OPTIONS
Perhaps you’re not feeling conclusive on the Curry Flow 9? I’ve prepared some potential alternatives that’ll feel similar
UNDER ARMOUR CURRY FLOW 8, $160
As I’ve mentioned earlier – there are not a lot of reasons to choose the 8th shoe over the 9th shoe besides the cushion.
So, if you really value that extra pop underfoot over any other aspect – the Curry Flow 8 offers a bit more of that, though still not that much.
Besides that, the shoe performs very similarly, though you’ll compromise some of the extra structure the 9 offers. Could be important if you’re a heavier/more explosive player.
UNDER ARMOUR FLOW FUTR X, $120
For hoopers that are looking for a similar experience but aren’t ready to throw $160 at your computer screen – check out UA’s FUTR X which retails at $120.
You’ll feel right at home with these: the same UA Flow concept for low-profile cushion and deadly traction, solid support, excellent comfort, and a solid upper comprised of synthetics.
The build quality won’t be as premium as the Curry line offers but the $40 price drop has to reflect somewhere.
X. DO YOU PREFER THE 9 OVER THE 8?
Go ahead and share your thoughts down below – they’re invaluable to me AND the future reader!
This concludes the Curry 9 review and comparison to last year’s shoe! As usual, I’m very grateful you made it to the end and I also hope you found some of this stuff informative.
Which shoe do you prefer though? Do you value more cushion and a knit upper over more structure but a firmer ride?
I feel like some of the changes we saw on the Curry Flow 9 didn’t exactly make the shoe more FUN (arguably made it less fun) but I think they were necessary for performance. More people will be able to play in these now.
Anyways, perhaps you’ve got an additional question I haven’t answered in the review? Got any suggestions or just feel like chatting?
Drop a comment down below and I’ll get back to you ASAP!
XI. CURRY 9 REVIEW: THE VERDICT
My final scores of the shoe & main takeaways, and tips
Under Armour Curry Flow 9$160
Fit & Comfort9.5/10
Value for the Price8.5/10
- TTS for most people & including wide footers
- Give these a few days to stretch out if too tight
- Foam traction needs a few hours to soften up and offer optimal grip
- All-around beast & support upgrades over the Curry Flow 8
- Positions 1-3
- Low-profile guards
- Nimble 3's
- Spot-up shooters