Let’s take a look at Joel’s first signature – the Under Armour Embiid 1. Launched back in 2020, it shaped up to be among the best overall basketball shoes and it’s also a great fit for bigger guys like Embiid himself (obviously).
So, for anyone who’s hunting for a new pair of basketball shoes – I’ll break down the Embiid 1’s fit & comfort aspects, on-court performance, value for the price and evaluate if it’s ready to be banged up outdoors. That’s pretty much all we have available due to quarantine anyway.
Model: Under Armour Embiid One
Weight: 14.77 / 419 g. (size 10 US)
Retail Price: $120
Cushion: full-length Micro G & HOVR heel unit
Best Offer On: Finish Line
I. COMFORT & FIT
SIZING: TRUE TO SIZE FOR EVERYBODY
Let’s tip-off with the must-know stuff first. These will fit most of you true to size. I went true to my size being a prominent wide footer and I have zero complaints about a week in.
The materials are very forgiving and thin, so most foot shapes will be compatible with this one since it’ll quickly mold to your foot accordingly. Plus, the base of the is fairly wide, so wide footer-friendly it is.
If you’d like to have some room for your toes or laterally and don’t like a snug, one-to-one type of fit, going up 1/2 a size is an option but do that at your own risk.
Remember that this type of shoe tends to stretch out to conform to a larger foot but if we’re talking the opposite – you might run into containment & overall security issues.
COMFORT: NOTHING SPECIAL, YET IT DELIVERS
The Embiid One resembles how Under Armour’s shoe fit, just in a slightly larger frame this time as opposed to Curry’s compact silhouettes. There’s enough internal padding around the ankle and achilles to softly cup you which is nice, we’ve got a traditional lace-and-loop system with a separate tongue which is also very nice and pillowy.
I’m not a huge fan of one-bootie constructions (with some exceptions like the Dame 3) so I’ve appreciated this one. The shoe is pretty easy to put on and the upper’s absolutely not a chore to wear.
For a big men’s shoe, these feel quite light, nimble, and comfortable enough to get a pass for versatility. So yeah, I think most people will find these comfortable, not just dudes at the frontcourt.
The TPU lateral wings (the plastic pieces you see on the sides of the shoe) did cause some slight discomfort for my feet but that went away about 1 week in. Probably due to my wider than normal feet though.
The traction slightly reminds me of a classic herringbone pattern mixed in with a modern take by UA as it’s not running a consistent pattern throughout the outsole. Overall though, the traction was more than enough for me to grip a few different surfaces in my block where I play, so right away, I don’t have much bad to say about it.
I usually play in a park that has a synthetic rubber surface. You know, the court that looks like a basketball court but produces more bounce and generally softer for impact. It’s still an abrasive surface though and there is PLENTY of debris lying around.
Besides a few slips here and there & needing to wipe the outsoles off occasionally, I didn’t have any issues. The pattern is spaced out just right and the grooves are deep enough to leave room for dust to escape.
How will it hold up if playing solely outdoors? While that’s impossible to pin-point accurately, I’ve been playing in these for over 3 months now and the traction’s still fine. There is some cosmetic damage but I’m not feeling any effect on performance yet.
The rubber doesn’t look ultra-durable though, for those that are wondering. This isn’t your outdoor XDR stuff, just fairly good solid rubber. These should hold up better than an average modern sneaker primarily made for indoors.
How much longer? I really don’t know. I wouldn’t put these in my top 5 most durable outdoor options if that helps somewhat.
Full-length Micro G along with a HOVR heel unit is used for cushion and it’s very similar to how I’d describe the rest of the shoe – nothing mind-blowing but very solid.
Forget about the Curry 7’s Micro G & HOVR combo though – those are still much stiffer and lower to the ground compared to how the Embiid One implements its cushion tech.
Give these some time for the foam to fully soften up and you’ll have yourself a very nice performance-friendly package. This Micro G almost feels like the Micro G some of you might remember from the Clutchfit Drive or the Torch by UA.
It almost seems like UA has been attaching the Micro G name to excite people but it never truly felt like the classic Micro G for quite a while now. The Embiid One is a step in the right direction.
Excellent impact protection, smooth step motions, not super bouncy but still soft underfoot and feels pretty damn nice.
The HOVR unit adds some response at the rear and the end result is extremely well-balanced. I never felt like a sluggish 7-footer. The setup is stable, nimble, and comfy to jump around in.
If you’re looking for a low-key solid ride that fits just about any player out there, this one is an option.
Support has virtually never failed among UA’s basketballs product, they seem to have nailed the formula to making to a mobile, light shoe that’s still super secure to play in without the typical restrictions you’d see on a shoe that maximizes support but adds stiffness & weight in return.
The Embiid 1 sports TPU lockdown wings that hold your foot during lateral motions, the read section of the midsole rises up and cups your heel for additional stability, the base of the shoe is wide as well. Torsional rigidity is also solid due to a midfoot shank.
But all that doesn’t make the shoe excessively stiff or heavy. The upper is very light and the base of the shoe is also a bit rounded which reminds me of a classic Kyrie shoe. This helps quick players who find themselves in awkward, exaggerated foot plants or positions.
A very solid job – put the shoe on and forget you have it on. Something all shoes should strive for from a performance standpoint.
V. BUILD & MATERIALS
The shoe is completely based on open mesh which is lightweight, breathable, breaks in very quickly, stretches out when it needs to and due to the support features implemented, I never felt this upper wasn’t enough.
There are also some Fuse panels on key areas for more structure and durability. The lockdown wings are pretty much plastic and might feel a little stiff at first but it probably won’t cause issues for most of you. I’ve got some truly wide feet and after about a week, the issue was gone even for me.
The lacing system looks solid but I do have some concern for the lace loops inside the TPU wings. If we’re talking multiple years of mileage that is. The forefoot area of the mesh already looks a bit worn but that’s merely cosmetic damage – don’t expect mesh to look fresh as a leather Air Jordan 1 after banging it on the blacktop.
I think durability for this one is on the average side. I’ll gladly take it though – sure it’s a signature shoe and the use of something more “premium” could’ve been even cooler but this gets the job done if we’re talking performance.
You might expect a premium knit or touches of genuine leather for a signature but don’t forget we’re paying just $120 for it. AND, it packs Micro G & HOVR for cushion, UA’s two best foams at the moment. A solid deal in my eyes.
The Under Armour Embiid 1 is a very solid basketball shoe for not only big guys but for just about any kind of player out there. Sure, there is perhaps something you’ll like more if you have very specific needs such as maximum court feel & responsiveness, or the opposite, maximum cushion and bounce underfoot.
But for the rest of us, this will do just fine, especially at $120. Traction is fine & good for some outdoor action, cushioning accommodates most players well, there is plenty of support packing that doesn’t restrict you and the materials are pretty basic but have all the qualities from a performance standpoint.
Well done Under Armour, well done.
Why buy on Finish Line? Click to find out!
WHY FINISH LINE?
Finish Line is my usual #3 option to get my basketball shoes from if Amazon currently doesn’t have it and the brand’s retail store (Nike.com, adidas.com, etc.) might be out of stock or doesn’t have my size.
I find them, along with a handful of other sports stores, to bring in new major and also lesser-known releases just as quickly as the main brand retailers, most of the time.
Very similar advantages to manufacturer’s stores here: very quick shipping times (and it’s free), convenient return & refund policies and you’ll never find any shoe priced over retail.
For some reason, Finish Line seems to be good at keeping a healthy stock of products, as there’s always a wide variety of sizing for most mainstream models. Something you can’t say about Nikey, Adidas, AJ, or Under Armour stores.
Of course, there will be exceptions and rare shoes that are hard to find globally won’t magically be available in large quantities here either.
Buying from the store will only be applicable for U.S. residents, so not an option for international users (unless you’re using a third-party service to ship internationally from US stores as I do).
Overall, I consider Finish Line to be the top pick out of the US’s popular sports retailers. Or perhaps I’m a little biased but regardless, I think I’ll be sticking to it for quite some time.
- All shoes priced at retail
- Good stock most of the time
- Fast & free shipping for the U.S
- Convenient refund & return policies
- You can find quite detailed and relevant reviews left by buyers
Still not sure? I’ve made a comprehensive guide and compiled some general tips on where to buy basketball shoes online. Check it HERE!
Alright, thanks for staying with me all the way to the end! I hope you’ve found it informative! As always, the train never stops and I’ve got plenty more packing as well as plenty more to come.
The Embiid One is a solid budget option for a center, be sure to check out the complete list of the best shoes for big guys! It’s also among my favorite shoes of 2020 – check out the whole list of the year’s best releases!
And if you’ve got a question, suggestion, feel like sharing your own experience with these, or just want to chat,
Leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you as quick as I can!
Under Armour Embiid One$120
Fit & Comfort8.5/10
Value for the Price8.5/10
- Wide footer friendly: true to size is recommended for everyone
- Going up 1/2 a size is not recommended: might run into containment issues
- Super quick to break in but the TPU wings might cause some discomfort at first
- A very solid all-around performer
- Positions 1-5
- Most playstyles
- Frontcourt players