Nike Kobe Dream Season III Low 2011 Basketball Shoe Review

My next pair of basketball shoes after the Reebok ATR Elite II as mentioned in the previous post were the Nike Kobe Dream Season III Low from the 2010-11 season. I actually didn’t intend to buy a pair of Kobe. I am never a big fan of Kobe even though I lived in L.A during the three-peat of Shaq-Kobe era. But it just happened I was hanging out with my friends at a department store and I saw these Kobe V on sale. It was actually at one of those bins with very limited sizes left. So I went to check it out. I didn’t know the exact original price of Dream Season III but they were marked off significantly. They were around US$60 and I knew they used to be priced at over US$100. I found out it was their only pair, size 10.5! It’s exactly my size because my feet size is 9.5-11 depends on the shoes. I tried it on and although it was a little tight in the toebox, it fit nicely. The only problem was my pinky felt a bit tight.

My pair was the white top with black at the backheel and yellow bottom. It has flywire on the two sides, leather at the front and blade traction on the bottom. It has zoom air for cushioning.

Enough with the official description and marketing lingo, so how does it feel to actually wear and play in them?


When I first wore them, like most shoes with leather and non-mesh material, they felt hard. But as time went by, after breaking them in, they became softer. They are actually my first pair of low-top basketball shoes. I always had high-top before. The Kobe shoes really made low-top basketball shoes trendy and legit. Before the Kobe shoes, there were hardly any low-top basketball shoes and only high-top are considered real basketball shoes. And it more than compensates the lack of high-top protection with extra cushioning around your ankle. They really snuck your ankles and heels.  My feet feel secure in these shoes. Although it’s 10.6 ounce, they feel heavier where you put them on and I don’t feel in any way they are flimsy or super light. They are well made and very solid. I like the material inside the shoes, it’s comfortable and not sticky when wet.


As said before, they were a bit hard to play with at the beginning and I remember after the first trip with them playing basketball for just over an hour, my bottom of my feet were a bit sore. I felt there was less cushioning than my Reebok ATR Elite II and the zoom air didn’t feel as thick as the cushioning of ATR Elite II. Kobe V was a bit hard but it did get a little better but my feet were more used to Nike Airmax and especially Reebok Hexalite cushioning which are really good thick cushioning from the 90s. I actually don’t like Airmax cushioning because I had one of the shoes deflating and leaking air.

Traction is pretty good on Dream Season III , actually, they were one of the best ones I had ever worn traction-wise. The blade traction really works and it’s pretty durable. But that’s probably because I wasn’t playing on them at my high school or university rate. I used to play 6+ hours of ball each week in high school and university and wore basketball shoes as part of my normal daily shoes so they got worn out quite quickly. After working, I only play during the weekends for at most 4 hours per week.

I do like to play in Dream Season III  except for the cushioning but it’s not a dealbreaker. It’s more of a slight weakness. Dream Season III  is responsive and it doesn’t feel clumsy like in the Reebok ATR Elite II or Air Jordan XII. They were actually my lightest, most agile pair of basketball shoes until I bought a pair of Kobe Venomenon 5 later on. I never felt so free in a pair of basketball shoes before but also secure and protected at the same time.

It does get hot and wet playing in them for me. The flywire is thin but it’s all plastic so there’s no ventilation from the sides, only from the holes punched in from the leather at the front so there isn’t enough ventilation to keep things dry inside.

Otherwise, Dream Season III is a good pair of basketball shoes that you can also wear with jeans.


This is a special section just for Dream Season III . When I bought my Kobe Venomenon 5, the Dream Season III became the backup basketball shoes. And I do play soccer or football if you are from UK. And yes, you guessed it, I played hardcourt football with Dream Season III ! I had hardcourt football shoes but I couldn’t find them and didn’t want to buy a pair of new hardcourt football shoes just for those few times a year I play hard court football so I used my Dream Season III . Why? Because Dream Season III is low to the ground, has good traction, well built and has the leather upper front. It is not designed to be football shoes but it worked well enough in an amateur game of fun. I was surprised at how well they worked for me. Nobody said I was wearing the same shoes and I played as well if not better than some of the other guys in real hardcourt football shoes. I got great protection and freedom of the low top. I really believe this ties into how Kobe’s experience as a kid playing football in Italy translate into this design of the Kobe shoes being low to the ground and really agile for cutting and movements. I also played badminton and tennis in these Dream Season III .

This is really one of the things I like best about Dream Season III , you can wear them for different sports and occasions and they also look like tennis shoes which you can wear with jeans and other clothes.


Since my previous basketball shoes were the Reebok ATR Elite II with all around ventilation from the sole to the top, I do find the Dream Season III to be a little stuffy especially at the toebox even though it does has some holes in the leather for ventilation. I would it’s average. In comparison, the Nike Zoom Kobe Venomenon 5 is much better.


I like how clean look it is and it is also elegant in a simplistic way. I bought the white, yellow and black version. It looks a lot like the Kobe V and could almost pass as Kobe V if you are not looking carefully. It can also substitute as white sneakers people like to wear with jeans or dress pants for smart casual. There were times when I would wear this as my daily kicks since it kind of look like a pair of white tennis shoes. Despite its clean white look, the black at the heel and the yellow cues give it an subtle aggressiveness.


Overall, I really like my pair of Dream Season III . I wish it has more ventilation then I would wear them more. That’s my major complaint, otherwise, they are great. I am sad to part with them as I found the bottom is falling out slowly after not wearing them very sparingly for a year and leaving them at my office (where I thought the dryness from constant air conditioning would be better for them). I don’t think I can play with them anymore, the plastic got a little hard and I can see the glue coming off a little. I will miss them.


Reebok ATR Elite II KFS Basketball Shoes

This post is actually really random. It’s really cold right now and so a moment before I looked into the shoe cabinet to look for my woolen shoes and I found these old Reebok ATR Elite II KFS from around 2008. These were my primary basketball shoes from around 2008-2012. I bought them on sales at around HK$480 which is about US$60.

I bought them because they are wide, has good ventilation (especially of that era) and comfort. I didn’t know Yao Ming wore them at the time. And they looked alright. They also provide pretty good protection.

As someone who sweats a lot, it is great to have a pair of basketball shoes with almost 360 degrees ventilation at the back and on the bottom of the sole. I didn’t notice it at the time but Reebok was pretty advance in its ventilation technology and the material they used inside the shoes to wick sweat away to keep the feet dry as much as possible. This was the day before Adidas Climacool or the Nike mesh.


So how good is it to play in them? When I first played in them, I felt they were a bit hard but eventually after breaking it, they didn’t feel so hard and heavy. But I often feel like they are big man’s shoes for posting up with very good ankle support being high-tops. They do give support and protection. The area around the back, the heal and the ankle is made with tougher and harder material than the rest of the shoes. It feels like it cradles your heel and ankle. You feel secure in these shoes. Mine are size 11 with half an inch of space but I feel like they are a little big for me strangely and at times I find them a little clumsy, like running like Big Foot in them. But I was able to play well in them. Not much complain.

They do have good cushioning and more so with the slight platform at the back. But again, I can tell they are for post-game more than guard’s game. They are not as agile as say Kobe or the Iverson line. They are not quick.

Traction is alright. Good outside on concrete, alright indoor. Not much problem.


I am surprised at the quality of these Reebok. At a time, I think in the late 90s around 1996, there was a time when Reebok made questionable quality basketball shoes, but these are really well made. It’s 2018 now and they are still intact. I haven’t played in them since 2012 but they haven’t fallen apart yet like my Kobe V which started falling apart when I put them on 2 days ago. The bottom was coming out. I haven’t play in these for a long time but as I inspected they are holding up well and other than the bottom plastic which is harder than before.


  • Good ventilation
  • Good cushioning
  • Good comfortable material inside to wick sweat
  • Great protection and ankle support


  • Boring look
  • A bit heavy, clumsy

Can you play soccer with football cleats?

Recently I was asked if I wanted to play soccer (or football for those using British English). My last pair of soccer cleats were the ones I had from 8th grade which I used through college (university) and graduate school. I threw them away several months ago when I moved because the plastic was shattering off.

However, I do have a pair of [American] football cleats. Can you play soccer with football cleats?

To find out, I took my Nike football cleats and my new Adidas soccer cleats to the test at the soccer field.

I decided to put on the football cleats first. Nobody could tell I was wearing football cleats because they were low tops. They felt tight and secure with the added gloves. I really felt my feet and ankles were well protected.

However, I found the upper to be very hard and lack flexibility. I could run on the field without slipping or losing any grip but they felt heavy and somewhat restrictive. When I tried to kick a simple ground pass, the pass was of the ground but in the right direction.

I also felt my feet were a little above the grass and I wasn’t very confident in moving side to side quickly, I felt that if I cut quickly to either side I might topple over.

Moreover, my left foot was starting to hurt from the hard carbon fiber sole and the tight fit against the hard recycled plastic the boot is made of. My left foot is bigger than my right.

During that a break, I switched into my new Adidas X soccer cleats and I was in a whole other world.

My ankles were liberated with freedom of movements. My feet felt much lighter. My feet were low to the ground. I felt like I transformed from an SUV into a sport car with AWD. The material of the upper is soft synthetic leather like a thin layer of skin on top of my feet. I ran and cut without any worries. I could feel the ball so much better than in the isolating and rock hard football cleats. My ball control and passes came back improve significantly as a result.

In conclusion, you want to play soccer in soccer cleats.

The Worst Thing about iPhone since iPhone 7. No headphone jack!

The worst thing about iPhone 7. No headphone jack. Period.

I have been an Apple user before Apple it became a status symbol and before iPhone. But I am very angry with Apple ditching the headphone jack for iPhone 7. It’s not a decision made for the benefit of its loyal followers, fans, customers and users. It’s is a greedy, profit-maximizing decision to squeeze even more profits from its very expensive smartphone that is no longer a leader in the smartphone world.

Truth be told, there is hardly any big upgrade since iPhone 6. It’s almost like a catch up to Android flagship phones since the iPhone 5. The camera is only as good as the best Android arguably. It’s good but not the best and we all pay a premium for an iPhone, like being stuck with 16GB while Android counterparts were offering double or triple the memory with expendable miniSD card storage.

I bought the iPhone 7 and after about 10 months I am sick of the lack of a headphone jack. At first I went along with it. And the lightning headphone was actually quite good until it started to break down. I knew about Apple’s idea of pushing for wireless and I actually bought a Jam Transit Mini Bluetooth headphone for sports. I went along with the idea but soon I found the annoyance and inconveniency of not having the headphone jack.

1.You can’t charge when listening to music.

This is something I struggle with every day. If you are a heavy smartphone user, the battery is not enough to last you a day. You will need to charge it on the go. Sorry you can’t do that while listening to music so you have to take out the lightning headphone and charge. Or buy an expensive splitter dongle. And isn’t the phone expensive enough, why do I have to buy something it should already come with.

2. Using wireless headphones just create more problems. 

Okay, so you say wireless headphone will solve this problem. But wireless headphone only gives you more problems and annoyances. You also have to charge the damn wireless headphone and many of them on the battery that are not super expensive only have 4 hours of playing time. Freak! Another thing that need to be charged! Another thing to worry about. I don’t want to be stressing about when my wireless headphone will run out of juice while already worrying about my iPhone running out of juice. And worst, turning on the Bluetooth further drains the iPhone’s battery. Now I have shorter music playing time and do I need another external battery or cable to charge both my iPhone and my wireless headphone.

3. You are excluded from a universe of great 3.5 mm headphones. 

So, you hate the wireless headphone, how about just using the lightning headphone that comes with the iPhone? Sure, I can’t charge but I will endure but then the lightning headphone breaks down! And then you found out how expensive it is. It’s good but not great. And then you look at the thousands of 3.5mm regular headphones that give you better audio costing less that are available everywhere BUT you can’t use it because you have a freaking iPhone. You just excluded yourself from a million other great choices and many of the best headphones in the industry. Nobody makes lightning headphones because Apple requires a licensing fee to cut into their profit. Of course the lightning earphone has a warranty but it’s only for a year and usually, headphone doesn’t last much longer than that.

4. Hard to find audio accessories for Lightning port. And you can’t share them with other devices. 

If you are into video recording and recording quality sound, you found out that 99% of the mics and recorders out there use 3.5 mm not lightning. There are few lightning recorders and mics but you could only use them for your iPhone, not on the cameras or other devices you already have.


These are only a few annoyances I find with Apple getting rid of the headphone jack on iPhone since iPhone 7. I am so annoyed and frustrated that I am seriously thinking about downgrading to an iPhone 6s.

I am sick of deciding whether to sacrifice enjoying music or charge the phone. I am sick of finding out my wireless headphone running out of juice and having trouble pairing with the iPhone.

Technology is supposed to make our lives better, easier, more convenient, more enjoyable but in the case of Apple getting rid of the headphone jack, it is the opposite. I hate this decision from Apple because it is punishing its loyal fans, followers, customers, users to gain more profit from its industry-leading profit margin for its smartphone.

Lenovo IdeaPad long-term review

I bought a Lenovo IdeaPad and I really regret it now. I was thinking about buying a light laptop which I could bring to work and school because my 2015 15in Macbook Pro is simply just too heavy to carry around.

I had the choice down to Thinkpad and the IdeaPad. I chose the IdeaPad because of the slightly better graphic card for media work (I planned to do a little photo and video editing) and it being slightly thinner, lighter and better looking than the ThinkPad. Now I regret it because of the following reasons:

  1. It’s a not a full-size keyboard and the shift and control keys are at awkward places and I kept on typing the wrong key for shift.
  2. The mouse pad is over sensitive and I found the cursor going somewhere else or something I typed being highlighted accidentally frequently. It’s the worst mouse pad I had ever used.
  3. Eventually, the mouse pad died after 6 months of usage. I now have to plug in an optical mouse. And it gets worst, occasionally the computer can’t connect with the optical mouse connected via USB…
  4. Quality, the paint job was coming off within two weeks. Just bad design and paint job.

So I regret getting the IdeaPad over the ThinkPad and now I wondering if I was better of sticking with Apple and getting a Macbook Air but…the Macbook Air had not been updated for like forever in computer years and looked like it will be scrapped soon and I just hated the ultra thin keyboard of the new small Macbook and Macbook Pro. I tried it for a few minutes at the Apple store and it hurt my hands.

Update 28th May, 2017

After about 7 months, I am disappointed in the IdeaPad and wish I chose the Thinkpad instead. Why? I never got used to the keyboard and how it places the right shift key. The touchpad is oversensitive, it often double click when I only intended to click once. Worst, the touchpad died about three weeks ago. I never had a problem with a laptop’s touchpad. Now I have to attach a USB optical mouse to it. It’s just annoying. 

Adidas Climacool Revolution M


I am a big fan of Adidas Climacool shoes because they are simply the most breathable sneakers in the market providing 360 degree ventilation.

I recently saw the Adidas Climacool Revolution M at the mall with two colours, black/yellow and  mineral blue. Personally, I really like the mineral blue but I am actually thinking of wearing it at work to replace my black dress shoes since the management decided that we can all wear sneakers to work as long as they are not too flashy and appropriate. I struggled for a long time because they both look so good, especially mineral blue but after listening to opinions of my friends and colleagues, I chose black/yellow.

I have wide feet so for me Adidas shoes are always on the narrow side (I used to only wear NB because they have the E and EE width sizes. However, although not the best for your toes and feet, my experience with the Adidas shoes is that they would eventually sketch, and the ventilation benefits overweights the short-term crampness of the narrow shoes.

I live in Hong Kong and it’s a very humid and hot place with a humid subtropical climate. Simply said,  it’s hot, stuffy and wet. It means that you would sweat a lot in Hong Kong. On a hot summer day, you would sweat after a minute while waiting for the bus during daytime whether you are under cover or not. My shirt gets wet after a short 15 minutes ride on the bicycle. Now imagine the sweat inside your shoes if there’s no ventilation. That’s why I am a big fan of Climacool. My socks still get wet but it’s way better than in any other sneakers and especially leather dressed shoes I usually wear for work.

Let’s get back to Climacool Revolution M. I have a older pair of grey Climacool Ride which I bought back in the end of summer in 2015 and they have really soft cushioning especially for a 190 lb guy like me. Compare to Climacool Ride,  Climacool Revolution M (CCRM) feels like it has slightly harder cushioning. It has moderate arch support which I can feel. The ventilation seems to be even better than Ride.

I am keep you guys updated and please comment on the post if you have experience with Climacool Revolution M as well and tell me how it works for you.

Update 28/5/2017

After about half a year I must say I am happy with Climacool Revolution M. I wish I had chosen the blue one instead but they pair been good to me. I can really feel the difference  in ventilation with my normal sneakers. They really keep my feet drier. At first I found it kind of narrow but the toe box eventually stretched. It’s still a bit too narrow for me but it’s livable and doesn’t cause any blister or pain. What I appreciate most is Adidas arch support. I tried other light weight sneakers from Puma, Reebok and Nike and none of them offer much arch support. 

As a heavy person the Climacool Revolution M are holding up but I definitely made my footprint on the insole. 


LaPierre Sensium Wet Terrain Experience



Once Hong Kong hits spring, it’s unpredictable wet weather time. And it’s summer now so it’s humid and hot with occasional thunderstorm and heavy rain.

I had been wanting to ride the Sensium onto the Tolo Harbour bike trail before the sun goes down and finally I had a chance. I just happened to get a Wednesday off and to I thought to myself, “Yah, finally a day to ride in daylight next to the sea.” However, it started raining. I waited for the rain to stop and started riding.  I found out that riding a road bike with smooth 700×25 tires is a bit tricky on wet terrain if not dangerous especially where I live with bumpy and some broken paths.

I watched GBN’s How To Ride In Rain And Wet Weather and How To Corner In Wet Weather videos (which are very informative and recommended) while I was putting my gears on before I heading out.

I knew that drainage cover/ drain cover, basically all metal with water was going to be very slippery and I tried to avoid them yet I still hit them and I felt my rear tire losing grip them few times but luckily I was able to stay balanced but the real tire did sway side way. It was scary, I didn’t want to crash my brand new carbon frame  bike within three week. I actually ran into the side of the road into the fence when both my tires skidded.

The experience is very different from riding a mountain bike with fat 2 in. wide tires. With a mountain bike I could just roll on anything, small broken tree branches, whatever debris, sand, dirt, trash and of course drain covers. It will be slippery of course but I got my powerful disc brakes and much better grip. Also I am not afraid of hitting things with my aluminum frame. I crashed my aluminum bike a few times and there are only a few paint job scratches as a result.

The worst thing was that I popped a tube. I don’t know what I hit but the the front wheel just lost all the air and I had to walk 25 minutes to the nearest bike shop where they changed my tube for HK$70 (US$9), pretty cheap really but I can get a tube for US$3.

Then I was on my way again to Tolo Harbour. The trail path is so much nicer at Tolo Harbour bike trail. It is horrendous at Fanling with all the pot holes, dirt and mud. My bike was actually quite dirty already. But somehow at Tolo Harbour trail the sun had quickly dried most of the pathway so I could accelerate up to around 30 kmph.

Midway to Shatin,  I started to get hungry and found a restaurant right by the harbour that serves lunch with a mini salad and soup bar. I parked my bike against a tree and because of the wind, it fell. My heart stopped a bit. Ouch. There was a mark with the bike’s pain and there was a very very slight concave mark on my upper tube of the frame. Carbon is fragile. You have to be really careful about where and how you park. I thought it was sturdy, obviously not.

I continued to Fotan and rode back to Fanling.


The bike was dirty and I found a public toilet to clean it. It actually got everything I needed: water, soap and even a sponge. I used my water bottle to carry the water and took about 15 minutes washing my bike. At the end of the 50 km ride I was totally wet from rain and sweat, a nasty combination.



I am still getting used to the drop bar and still don’t feel comfortable with it. I tried wearing gloves and it helped, but only a little but I rather not wear gloves because there was just too much moisture. The guy from the bike shop told me to put on a longer stem from 90mm to 110mm. I don’t see how it would and that’s a HK$320 (US$40) worth of part





LaPierre Sensium 300 CP


I was at my local bike shop just to take a look at bikes. I was also somewhat thinking about getting my first road bike. I was looking for a entry level road bike around US$500 or HK$3900. Of course, this is really the very low end for a quality road bike. However, I asked the shopkeeper any good deal on road bike and he points me to a heavily discounted  LaPierre Sensium 300 CP Carbon Road Bike with Shimano Ultegra / 105 component for HK$8000 (US$1025) . There were cheaper LaPierre road bike there, the Audacio 300, 200 and 100. 300 for HK$6500 and the 100 at $6000.

The carbon Sensium looks like the best deal. It is originally listed for about HK$14,900. So it’s about 40% off.

One problem though, there is only one size, XS. I looked up LaPierre’s website and at around 173cm, I should be in a S or M bike.

The shopkeeper told me it’s the best deal and the size difference isn’t such a big deal. He let me try it and then a S bike. The S bike felt better. However, the Sensium has a carbon frame and an upper grade of components with Ultegra and 105 sets.

I finally caved in and bought the Sensium 300 CP. And it’s actually the right bike I am looking for, a comfortable endurance bike for long ride and gear sets for climb. The carbon frame is a big bonus.


I took the Sensium for a ride the next night. I was trying to go for a ride before the sunset but I forgot to install a bottle holder when I bought it so I had to get it installed before going for the ride. I just don’t like putting a bottle behind my back pocket.

The sun was pretty much gone when I got the water bottle holder installed. I went for a relatively flat 25 km ride. It’s my first road bike so I was playing with the gear shifting and braking around. The shifting was smooth and precise on the big rig, less so on the small rig, but that was probably I wasn’t use to using the road bike shift lever. I was still trying to understand my bike.

Acceleration was way better than my LaPierre Raid but the funny thing was, my max speed was 34kmph, not much faster than I was on my LaPierre Raid mountain bike. Some people say it’s the body fitness, not the bike; and I think they are right. But it was after work so I was tired to begin with. I might need to do another ride on a weekend to see I could go faster under better condition. However the Sensium is quicker and accelerates faster. There was a stretch of straight road when I shifted to the biggest rig and I was like whoa, “That is fast.”

Climbing up the bridge took much less effort than the Raid mountain bike. On the Raid I had to pull myself hard on the handlebar but not much on the Sensium, I was just pedalling, had a few seconds out of the saddle but it didn’t require much upper body. The only thing was, there wasn’t a long stretch of straight road from Fanling to Tai Wo and I didn’t want to worn myself out going all the way to Tai Po and Shatin.

One thing though, my palms got a little sore and tired from resting on the handlebar. I am still very new to the road bike handlebar. I am checking it if it’s my positioning, bad posture, or bad fit. The bike shop guy, Maxis, said that because it is an XS frame and I am actually more of S/M size I should get a longer stem. I told him I will try it out first before shelling another HK$330 for a 110mm stem instead of the 90mm one installed now.

I am also wondering if the handlebar is too narrow for me.

I will keep this updated.



Polar M400 Activity Tracker Watch

I had a Chinese Mi activity tracker bracelet but I am also a watch wearer and I didn’t want to wear both a activity tracker bracelet and a watch (a G-shock) so I started looking for a activity tracker that could do both, to function as a watch and an activity tracker.

When I was shopping for an activity tracker watch, or a fitness watch, I was looking at something that would track steps as well as distance with a heart rate monitor. I bike and swim so I wanted to have GPS as well. My previous fitness watch is a Polar F7 so I also looked at Polar other than the Fitbits. The problem is that I do swim and Fitbit can’t go underwater and Jawbone doesn’t make any watches. I think the ideal watch for me would be the Polar V800 but I didn’t want to shell $350 plus for a fitness watch. The A300 is a nice sport watch but as a cyclist, the GPS is important to track my speed and distance. I just wish the M400 can actually sync to a HR monitor that could work in water while swimming. I decided to buy the M400.

I bought my M400 back in October of 2015 so I have been using it for about 8 months. So far I am satisfy with it. It does what it is suppose to do. I bought it for around $180 and it’s $199 included with tax. Now it’s actually only $157 so these things do drop their prices as time passes by.

So how do I like it so far? It does what it is suppose to do. It never broke down and the GPS worked well except maybe 2 days when it had a hard time finding GPS signal. One of them might has to do with it running out of memory.

I found out there is the trick to getting GPS started faster, it is to set it to your sport and the M400 will start to pick up the GPS signal, it takes about 10 seconds to 30 seconds usually, sometimes a minute or two. Then only then do you press record. Using this method you will not lose time when it is still looking for GPS signal while you are already on the move and it still looking for GPS signal because then it will suggest for you to standstill and wait which can take…forever sometimes. I used to just record it and let it find the GPS signal on the way while I am on the move and a few times it couldn’t or it only record part of the exercise.


I like the big screen of the M400. It’s very clear. It is simple to use. It’s totally waterproof so you don’t have to worry about going into the swimming pool or getting it wet. I haven’t try it at the sea yet but I would think it would be okay but you would have to rinse it with tap water afterwards. I really like how it would take me the time, heart beat, distance and average speed while I am riding on the bike clearly all on one speed. It’s big but I don’t find it bulky. I do take it off when I am doing some serious typing work on the computer, but it doesn’t get in the way of anything too much. I did scratch the screen though, so it would be good idea to buy a screen protector. The screen is plastic so it’s not hard or scratch resistant. The bluetooth HR monitor that came with it works well and never missed a beat. Overall, it’s what you expected with Polar, a very well established brand in the fitness equipment business. The M400 is reliable and I really like how I only have to charge it once every two weeks or so depends on how much I use the GPS. It would probably last 3 to 4 weeks if you are not using the GPS at all.

However, with the GPS on, the battery life is only about 8 hours maximum, mine drained out at around 5-6 hours but it wasn’t fully and newly charged that day. I was already wearing it for a few days before I went hiking with the GPS on the whole time to track my progress.

It did drain out on me when I went for a whole day cycling but the great thing about the M400 is that it uses the very common mini USB port which is basically the one all Android phones use so you can easily give it a quick charge with your external battery pack. You can charge it up to about 70% in about 45 minutes so you could basically charge it up during lunch or during rest easily.

Now I am going talk about some of the things the M400 doesn’t do quite well on.


Weak Sleep Data

The Polar M400 doesn’t really track sleep. There’s no data for sleep and it’s quite disappointing such a high-tech product.


Heart rate monitor doesn’t work in water

One major disappointment for me is that the HR monitor chest band doesn’t work in water so it won’t track heart rate while swimming. This is something that kind of baffles me because I also own the Polar F7 and the HR monitor works in water and I use it in the pool with me, so why can’t a newer and more high-tech model doesn’t work in water.


Skin irritation

I am someone, one of those freaks, who wears the watch the whole day and night even in shower and sleep. I wear my watch 24/7 until I found that the soft comfortable band was making my skin look dry and red. It wasn’t itchy but the skin on my wrist was certainly has an issue with it. After that, I put it on my right wrist and it would happen to skin of my right wrist after a week or so. Afterwards I decided to take it off at night to give my skin a breather. It was better.



Overall, the Polar M400 is a very good product and function well as a GPS fitness watch. I don’t regret buying it and it has served me faithfully in the past 8 months. I just wish it tracks more sleep data, has a HR monitor that works in water for swimming and the issue with skin irritation. I hope Polar can come up with software update or new product that would solve those issue because the M400 is good but it just miss some marks to prevent it from being a great all-around product that can truly do multi-sport like its much more expensive sibling, the V800 which cost more than twice as much. I find it frustrating how M400 is fully waterproof yet it cannot receive analog signal from the H7 HR monitor in water. It’s just weird because the V800 uses the same H7 HR monitor strap. I really hope a software update could change that, but it is probably a hardware thing where the M400 just doesn’t have the sensor to receive the analog signal from H7.

So maybe I will get the V800 or another one later when the M400 has served its time.

Nike Kobe Venomenon 5

The Nike Kobe Venomenon 5 was on sale (yes again) and was 40% off so I couldn’t resist myself from getting it. All that was left was the Bright Crimson/Black/Tide Pool Blue US size 11 which just fit me. The size of the width is D which is medium but surprisingly it really fits me so I am wondering if Kobe Bryant has wide feet as well. I have about half an inch space length wise. I usually wear US size 10-11 and it fits quite well. The toe box has enough space and my feet don’t feel cramped. The width was almost perfect and I could feel how secure my heel and ankle are supported in the Venomenon 5. 
I previously has a pair of Nike Kobe V which is US size 10.5 and I really like it. At first I thought it was a bit hard and narrow but eventually it stretched very quickly. The Nike Kobe line is probably my second or third favourite basketball player line after Air Jordan and tie or after Allen Iverson’s. My favourite pair of basketball shoes usage-wise is my Reebok Iverson Answer 3. I wore them until I wore out all the grip on the soles. I wish I bought another pair when I saw them at the outlet for about $30.
So anyway, back to Kobe, I really like the Kobes. I played ball a lot less now but I really like how with the low-top Kobes I can wear them casually with jeans and play ball in them. Despite being low-top, the Kobes do protect your ankles with the supports that keep your heel in place. I play tennis, badminton, basketball and even hard surface 5,7 player football in my Kobe V. They work.
Nike Kobe Venomenon 5 has really good grip as I found out playing badminton which requires a lot of sudden movements of the feet covering the court. The Venomenon 5 also feel very secure in the air as I jumped up to hit some high ball and for smashes. One annoyance I found was that the shoelaces came off three times during 2 hours of badminton. It was probably because I didn’t tie a double knot, but I thought that is a detail Nike can work on. I had great shoelace designs from New Balance and Reebok shoes that make the shoelaces more secure. I thought the somewhat puffy shoelaces of Venomenon 5 have that feature as well but no.
Another thing I don’t like is how easy the Kobe logo on the sole wore off after just two hours of badminton. It’s gone. When I took off my Kobe Venomenon 5, it was completely rubbed out on both my shoes. Very disappointing. That’s just minor detail, actually that is very minor yet not done right as expected in a  pair of US$119 shoes (I got them for US$83 on sale).
Otherwise, I find the Nike Kobe Venomenon 5 a great pair of shoes so far. It’s secure, I feel protected all around, it fits great, it’s well balanced and has great grip on the hardwood. It also looks great and very eye catching if that’s what you want.
To rate the Nike Kobe Venomenon 5 out of five star, I give it 4 and a half stars out of five.
I will update on this as I wear this shoes for longer for a long-term and wear-and-tear review of Nike Kobe Venomenon 5.
I finally played some basketball in my Kobe Venomenon 5. It was alright, I felt secure in them. However, my feet did feel sore at the end of the two hours session which we rotated to play. I think I played about an hour in total. I really like how they breath quite well with the fishnet mash material, much better than my leather Kobe V. As a comparison, my socks get all wet with sweat in my Kobe V but not in the Kobe Venomenon 5. My socks did get wet but they dried much faster due to the much better ventilation.
As for grip on the court, it was good, probably as good as my Kobe V. This I knew from playing badminton in them. There was no slip at all.
However, I wish there is more sole support. It’s not as bouncy as I like it. It’s nothing like the DMX from Reebok, it’s a little hard and I think that’s why the bottom of my feet got sore and tired at the end.
Afterward, I think I am going to rate it 4 stars out of five.