Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Review of 3N2 Reaction Umpire Shoe

Recently the folks at 3N2 Sports sent me a pair of 3N2 Reaction Umpire Shoes to test. Special thanks to Marty Graham, president of 3N2 Sports, for allowing me the opportunity to review this shoe.

I had never worn a 3N2 shoe prior to this test. Unlike shoes used by umpires from New Balance, Nike, and Reebok, the 3N2 Reaction is specifically designed for and marketed to umpires. This is unique in the shoe industry, so this shoe is especially intriguing to me. The question is: can 3N2 run with the big boys?

Traditionalists will appreciate that the 3N2 Reaction features a completely black and smooth genuine leather upper for easy cleaning and polishing. The 3N2 Reaction also has an entirely black removable tongue to protect the laces. The compression-molded all black EVA midsole is specifically designed to reduce the knee and joint stress associated with prolonged standing.

The 3N2 Reaction is the Official Umpire shoe of the National Softball Association. It weighs 14 ounces on my postage scale. That is one ounce heavier than the popular New Balance MF995LBK advertised at 13 ounces (and made entirely of synthetic materials).

While the 3N2 Reaction is presently only offered in a medium width (no narrow or wide sizes), my size 10.5 E foot fits comfortably in a size 11 D. Consider this information when ordering. There is plenty of room in the toe box and the forefoot cushion is comfortable. The leather is substantial without being stiff.

I tested this shoe while working the bases during an adult baseball game and found the 3N2 Reaction to have adequate support and stability for moving around the infield. I also appreciated the turf sole for superior traction.

The 3N2 Reaction Umpire Shoe is available at the 3N2 website for $54.99

Also available at All Around Sports LLC for $49.95

At the time of this writing Sports Officials Supplies is offering the 3N2 Reaction at a closeout price of $39.95

Bottom Line
Honestly, the 3N2 Reaction was a pleasant surprise. This field shoe is comfortable, supportive, lightweight, and has a quality feel to it. I prefer its all-black appearance for easy cleaning and the lack of distracting logos. Finally, it is considerably cheaper than many popular umpire shoes. I consider the 3N2 Reaction Umpire Shoe a wise choice for umpires at any level.
Marty Graham reports that 3N2 will offer an umpire plate shoe in January, 2010, as well as EE widths for the Reaction Field and Pro-Plate shoe.


Arik said...


How was the shoe in terms of ankle support? I have been wearing mid top shoes by New Balance (the 350s for almost 6 years and thinking of getting the 995s this year). I need the extra ankle support due to some issues with knees and such but if the 3N2 shoe holds up, I might consider that instead.

Thanks for the help.

Arik said...

So I decided to go with the Reebok Quag II mid shoes. They are the same as the Field Magistrate but have the NFL logo on the bottom of the sole (you know, a place where no one will actually see it). I seriously would have gone with the 3n2 shoe if it came in a mid. I really liked the review but I needed the ankle support.

Anonymous said...

my foot size is 10 and half to 11 EE...i bought the 3NR plate shoe from purchase officials in pennyslania...i bought the 11 EE..great shoe..very very light but they fit small...the size 11 EE was tight in length and width.. my 1992 pos 11 E are one size bigger length and width..if they made this shoe in EEE it would great for me and others with wide feet...i recommend this shoe with caution of the steel toe...does not look as solid as others

Anonymous said...

Everyone-- I tried the 3N2 in both plate and base. they are terrible. If you are doing only one game behind the plate fine;however, if you do 2 or more games behind the plate your feet will hurt on the corners. yes, arch support is good but they fell through on the side cushion and protection from the steel toe. Also, the field shoes feel like plate shoes, there is zero bend and flexibility , and again no cushioning or flexibility in the toe box for movement. I would give everyone 10 dollars not to try these shoes if i had that kind of cash.