The New Balance Two WXY V3 is a shoe we can easily recommend, and it appears on several of our best basketball shoe lists. We hope people give it a chance.
Colorway: Black with blue
Release Date: 2022
New Balance is still climbing up the basketball footwear ladder. Going toe to toe with Nike, Jordan, and adidas isn’t easy for any brand, even for one with a history as big as New Balance. However, we have in our hands a basketball performance model that feels like one of the best of the year: the New Balance Two WXY V3. The previous two models were great, and these take the on-court performance features a notch higher.
The New Balance Two WXY V3 is also featured in overall Best Basketball Shoes, Best New Balance, Best for Shooting Guards, Best for Small Forwards, Best for Power Forwards, Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes, and Best for Ankle Support.
Bryan: Two areas of the Two WXY V3 absolutely hold ground against any shoe on the market, and the first one is traction. An abstract pattern based around circles in the high-contact spots, the traction absolutely stuck to anything I played on. The circles actually make a suction-cup “POP” sound when walking (you can hear it) and that’s exactly what they feel like on court. The rest of the pattern is lines running mostly laterally around the circles, and in most cases, this would be a problem when sliding on defense (you want the pattern to be perpendicular to the movement to grip), but with the circles in the middle, they just feel smooth and easy. The grooves are spaced wide enough that dust was not an issue and honestly I am not sure I wiped even one time during the three weeks I have been playing in them.
Outdoors? Honestly, I don’t know. The rubber isn’t really hard, and the grooves aren’t really deep, but they feel like they would last as long as they weren’t an every day, three hours per day on rough concrete shoe (rotate your shoes!). But, I did say “I don’t know,” so don’t blame me if I am waaaay wrong on this.
Stan: The Two WXY V3 takes queues from the Two WXY V2 with a wide-based rubber outsole. While the rubber is thin just like the V2, the whole outsole covers you on every movement you make. The circular cored-out portions of the shoe along the heel and forefoot (right below the ABZORB DRS – Dynamic Response System) almost act like suction cups to the floor. However, it doesn’t prevent movement once you go through your foot-lift transition. These would also work outdoors well but don’t expect them to last long on the rigors of the blacktop.
Bryan: Probably my least favorite aspect of the shoe and even then I still liked it. New Balance is using a FuelCell midsole with ABZORB inserts in the heel and forefoot. This isn’t the FuelCell from the runners (DAMMIT!!!! – that stuff is AWESOME), but it still absorbs impact and bounces back underfoot quickly. The ABZORB feels quick and stable and, again, not a lot of soft compression but the stiffer setup feels quick and agile. If you are looking for a soft, pillowy feel from NB, look at the Two WXY V2. The V3 feels much more like the V1 or the Kawhi 2. Again, these are great for players looking for that extra quick first step and quick changes of direction, and I loved the stability coming off screens and planting for jumpers or elevating in the paint on drives – whatever move I wanted to make the shoe was RIGHT THERE with me, but if you are looking for that extra bounce or pillowy feel on landings definitely look somewhere else like the Nike LeBron 20 or Nike KD 15.
Stan: A combo of FuelCell Foam and ABZORB pillars at the heel and forefoot provide ample responsiveness in all facets. This shoe is literally made for those who want the ultimate court feel. For my part, I prefer the cushion setup from the V2 over the V3 due to my size (so if they do make a variety of cushion setups between the V2 and the V3 to select from that would be dope), but it’s nothing a Move Game Day Pro insole can’t fix. But that’s beside the point, this shoe gives you all the nooks and crannies.
Bryan: Weird. That’s the best way to describe it, and the tongue logo kind of ties in – the material looks like a brain, especially the colorways with the added hits in the upper. It’s a soft textile with added padding in areas around the midfoot lacing and medial arch area. It’s super flexible and comfortable and lets the shoe wrap your foot without getting in the way. It doesn’t exactly feel durable, except for the big toe area with the fuse layer, so beware of toe drags outdoors. The way it feels on foot is amazing. The heel and tongue areas are medium padded – not overly thick (like the Trae 2 from adidas) or super thin (Jordan 37), just a nice amount to hug the foot and keep lace pressure away.
Stan: The materials of the shoe are comprised of a Textile wrap-around upper, midfoot TPU shank plate for torsional rigidity, FuelCell midsole combined with ABZORB cushioning, and depending on your pair either solid or translucent outsole. Not bad New Balance…not bad at all.
Bryan: The second-best aspect of the New Balance Two WXY V3. One thing New Balance has always had on lockdown is fit. I mean, they do offer wide shoes for basketball, so fit is on their mind. I already talked about the upper and how the material feels wrapping your foot. Taking it further, the N logo is integrated into the lacing, forming a strap system over the foot and pulling you into the shoe. It’s honestly one of the best uses of a logo I have ever seen – functional, sleek, and still branded.
I am a semi-wide footer (I’ve been going up to an 11 in Nike’s recently because of it) and these in a 10.5 (TTS) fit me perfectly. The heel is locked in using the padded ankle, and the top lace comes back far enough to lock you in completely. The lacing system reaches right to the toebox and holds you tight. Enough said – the fit is perfect.
Stan: I was gifted a pair by the good people over at NB in my true-to-size, and I highly suggest staying true-to-size. If you wear an ankle brace – I suggest bringing them with you to try the shoe one, or if you can’t go to the store, I definitely suggest 1/2 size up. Anything other than true-to-size would be both a disservice to the shoe and your foot.
Bryan: Wide base. Great lacing. Lockdown in the heel. The foot sits down in the midsole. Solid heel counter. Midfoot shank. All of the above are aspects of a shoe with great support and stability, and the New Balance Two WXY V3 has them all. Yes, it is cut low (although it’s not as low as it appears) but by now, surely we know, it’s not the ankle height that matters. With the wide base and stiff cushioning, elevating for jumpers while moving is easy (a stable base equals better form – now you know). The stiffer heel cushioning isn’t as easy on impacts but doesn’t compress and deform under pressure, so if you land on your heels, you won’t roll those ankles over.
Stan: The New Balance Two WXY V3 has been great as far as support goes. I never had any stability issues, and I played my normal game without any hesitations. The bite from the traction really helped maintain my movements and balance, while feeling totally locked down in the shoe. The minor caveat I have with the shoe is the lacing structure. Because of its unique lacing structure, I find that area of the midfoot where the New Balance N wrapped up along the top of my foot – if I lace too tight – really start to dig into the top of my foot. That definitely felt uncomfortable. The other thing for me is the lack of enough cushioning just based on the way I play and what I need. This is strictly compared to how much I love the way the V2 feels. This is not a total knock at all, I just wish the V3 had the same plush feel.
New Balance Two WXY V3 Overall
Bryan: New Balance has been soooo close to making “the shoe” over the past couple of years. The Omn1s was the beginning and was a serious shoe, but they were too new. The Kawhi 1 was too stiff for the masses, and the Two WXY 1 was a top shoe for me. I still even see them at the gym today. The Two WXY 2 was waaaaay under the radar, and the Kawhi 2 was DOA because he didn’t play last year. The New Balance Two WXY V3 is different. With the Murray’s rocking some clean PEs (Jamal and Dejounte) and Lavine wearing these in the classic Chi-Town black/red/white, this is THE shoe to break out for New Balance. Easy to wear, easy to play in, and easy to look at – it has it all. Priced at $120, it’s accessible to all consumers, and with the colorways we have already seen, there’s something for everyone. If you are looking for a do-it-all shoe on every level, then you found it. The only reason NOT to try them is if you just don’t like the letter N, and that’s just weird.
Stan: The shoe has all the bells and whistles to be named one of the top ball shoes of the year. Yeah. I said it. No hesitation whatsoever – even with the minor gripes I detailed in the support section. It’s honestly one of those shoes where you grab it knowing you’re ready to do battle. I highly recommend the shoe without hesitation. Cheers New Balance, you have a winner here.