Verdict from 12 experts and 8 user reviews

6 reasons to buy

  • Responsiveness: The cushioning system of the UA Embiid One provides enough energy return to fuel explosive drives to the basket.
  • Impact protection: The Micro G midsole is "incredibly comfortable" and cushions impact quite effectively.
  • Supportive upper: While it is not made of premium materials, the upper still gets the job done in keeping the foot contained and supported.
  • Lateral support: The TPU wings on both sides of the shoe do a great job in containing the foot even during the shiftiest moments.
  • Ventilation: Players are happy that the open mesh in the upper allows enough airflow for their feet to "breathe."
  • Lightness: Despite being 386 grams (13.62 oz), the Under Armour Embiid 1 still feels light on foot because of the minimal materials and plush cushioning.

5 reasons not to buy

  • Average-at-best grip: While the traction gets the job done, it's not issue-free. It picks up dust and suffers from performance inconsistencies.
  • Cheap-feeling materials: There seems to be a consensus that the upper materials are not really the most premium; they're like those used on ordinary mid-tops.
  • Excess toe space: Players point out that there seems to be some extra space in the toe box. 
  • Needs break in: The traction, cushion, and materials definitely improve with time.
  • Not for outdoors: The Embiid 1's outsole easily frays, so it is definitely not for rough outdoor courts. 

Bottom line

Joel Embiid's signature line from Under Armour is off to a good start with the Embiid One. It is obviously built for a big man, but the shoe is still flexible enough to catch the interest and patronage of lighter players who function as guards and wingmen. There are notable issues, but they are ones that are quite easy to remedy.

Tip: see the best basketball shoes.

Under Armour Embiid One: A promising start

In 2020, Joel Embiid joins Stephen Curry to become only the second player to be given his own signature shoe line by Under Armour. The debut release UA Embiid One allows wearers to gain the following on the court:

Control. The unique traction pattern provides strong multidirectional grip, giving the wearer more control over their movements and direction changes.

Power. The midsole is equipped with both Micro G and HOVR, and this combination provides both comfort and explosive energy returns.

Agility. Because it is kept low to the ground and light, the shoe does not hamper with movement. It adequately supports the shiftiness of guards and even bigger players who are quick on their feet.

UA Embiid 1: Built for 1, used by everyone

Signature basketball shoes for big men such as Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O'Neal are known to appeal only to a very small portion of the market. Under Armour, however, deviates from this and comes up with an Embiid shoe that addresses the needs of not only bigger players like Joel Embiid himself but also smaller and shiftier ones like Stephen Curry and Kyrie Irving. This functional flexibility is what makes the Under Armour Embiid One a favorite among basketball players and hobbyists.  

Dimitrije Curcic
Dimitrije Curcic

Dimitrije Curcic has been playing basketball for over 22 years. Like Manu Ginobili, he’s a left-hander whose moves led him to a better career-shooting percentage than the Argentine himself. After playing professionally for 10 years, Dimitrije moved to coaching for two seasons before he became a basketball statistician for StatScore, and FanSided contributor for the San Antonio Spurs. Dimitrije loves to tell hoop stories through numbers and graphics and has been featured on Fansided, FiveThirtyEight, Eurohoops, and TalkBasket among the others.