adidas D Lillard 2 Performance Review – Duke4005

duke lillard 2.8

They FIXED IT!! They fixed EVERYTHING!! I love, love, LOVE when I write a review and it seems like companies listen. I know I am nowhere near important enough for adidas to care if I like a shoe, and I understand the shoes are not made for me but for a world-class point guard named Dame. When I pointed out the issues I had with the Lillard 1, I knew I was a small voice in the crowd. But when I got the adidas D Lillard 2 on foot, I felt like the shoe was made to correct everything I had issues with a year ago. This shoe, man, wooooh, eff it, let’s get going…

duke lillard 2.1

MATERIALS – Whereas last year we got a synthetic leather and mesh inner bootie, the 2 comes with a Jacquard knit upper and leather details. I enjoy leather/good synthetics more than most textile/fused uppers, but the 2 is premium. The upper doesn’t have much stretch, which is great — think Jordan XX9 instead of Primeknit. I liked the knit of the CLBoost 15 but it didn’t contain as well as the Dame 2. And the sewn pattern/details on the upper? Just adds to the already premium feel. If you are scared of a knit material in an upper, try this one. Leather (or a really good fake) around the lace areas and heel cup just add to an already lux shoe.

The full-length inner bootie, that is thicker and more comfortable than the 1, works to improve the fit from a year ago (more on that next) and the added ankle/Achilles pads hold you in tight.

Midsole is bounce, a new foam introduced by adidas last year in the Rose 773 series and in the running line. Not as springy as Boost, Bounce is along the lines of Micro G — a denser, firmer response that is perfect for guards and small forwards. A solid Continental rubber outsole finishes the shoe out.

duke lillard 2.6

FIT – A little iffy, but for the most part, true to size. I could see maybe going half size down just from a little extra length in the toe, but my true size 10.5 left me about a half inch in the length. The material is pliable and soft so sizing down to get the super-snug fit shouldn’t be too painful.

Heel slip is GONE. The added collar padding and dogbone insert around the heel lock you in and the higher lacing system pulls the collar together nicely. The lacing allows for even wide-footers to fit and the midfoot is further locked in using the plastic inserts instead of normal lacing holes.

The tongue/bootie is extra-thick this year and takes up most of the empty space inside the shoe. Without lacing super-tight I felt little to no movement at all.

duke lillard 2.7

TRACTION – Hmmmmm. On clean courts, bites and grabs; add a little dust and get the wipes ready. On Mondays my local 24 court is CLEAN — they mop it on Sundays. The Lillard 2 grabbed and caught on every move. By Wednesday, when every musclehead looking for some cardio comes in and plays in his old football shoes, there is a visible layer of sludge with a few hairballs and dust bunnies floating around. The Lillard let me down on those days, mostly because I REALLY don’t want to wipe some of that junk on my hands. If and when I did wipe, it only took once and I was back in the hunt.

However, with a pattern this tight, it never takes long to clog up again. Keep it clean and you will not be disappointed. As far as durability, nah, I don’t think so. The sole rubber is thick but the pattern is quite thin. I think it would be better than the CLBoost, but not as good as the Lillard 1 or the Rose 5.


duke lillard 2.3

CUSHIONING – Darkman got y’all bouncin again — sorry, DMX moment. This ain’t your KG Bounce, this is a real, serious foam cushioning. No, it isn’t Boost, but I could see Bounce appealing to a wider audience. Boost is like a Super Ball — it starts and rebounds and bounces and pops forever, kind of uncontrolled, but alive. Bounce is like a box spring under a mattress — absorbs and goes back to shape, but doesn’t really give a sense of “boing.”

Bounce is a little behind Micro G, but is great at shock absorption and durability. Best of all, it’s full length; the feedback from heel to toe is consistent and absorbing. One thing this let’s adidas do is pack the foam a little thinner for better court ride and feel while still giving great impact protection. If you have tried Boost and found it too unstable, give Bounce a try. Personally, if you are torn between the Bounce or Boost/adiprene version, I would go Bounce.

duke lillard 2.5

Stability/Support – As good as you can get in a low cut shoe. The huge heel counter, although not super-stiff, wraps around the heel and gives the wearer just enough support without restricting. The extra padding and thicker bootie fill empty space so the foot slides in the 1 are minimized. The stiffer material around the ankle also cut down on heel slip, adding to the extra stability.

There is an outrigger set a little back from the forefoot, which I enjoyed. When I plant it is off the lateral side of my foot, not my toes, so being back helped push off. Midfoot support is provided by a Torsion bar hidden in the midsole – you can’t see it but try to push in under the arch. Ain’t happening. All in all, WAY improved in just a year.

duke lillard 2.2OVERALL – Love, love, LOVE the adidas D Lillard 2. It is easily top five this season. Materials are so much nicer than they should be at this price. An actual cushioning system that has impact protection and is full-length. Fit is excellent.

If I could change one thing, I would have kept the traction pattern from the 1 and this shoe would be damn near perfect. But then what would we have to look forward to next year?

Buy the adidas D Lillard 2 if you love woven uppers, need cushioning, and play on a good court. If you are strictly outdoors, be wary. If you love value, look no further. adidas is coming hard this year and taking no prisoners. I can’t wait.


D Lillard 2 Performance Review Duke4005



  1. 24 hour in Lake worth and on Western center and 35. Horne street too. Leagues in City of FW and Roanoke.

  2. Can somebody please give me a clue why this “road” colorway is not available at Australia

  3. Bro, I could feel the excitement through the writing. Great review. I have the Away and two customs that should be on the way in a few weeks. The shoe was that good to me and the price was insane so I had to do it. Good work as always Duke.

  4. personally, I like this shoe although I’m pretty torn about the Cushion. while Bounce feel quite nice, it doesn’t give the same type of comfort that Boost gives. although it does have a better court feel.

  5. Please make a review for Adidas Light em up 2. Full lenght bounce,engineered mesh for only 80 dollars.
    I think thats very interesting and worths a review

  6. Guys most of the “consumers” not us the “sick ones ” that purchase more than 1 pair a month get o pair for the basketball season.. I know guys that are more interested on the durability of a pair rather than the prime knits and the combination of tech specs on a shoe that will wear off indoors in less than 2 weeks (talking about most clear soles)
    The audience you are referring is not the general consumers is those that have a job, don’t have a massive morgag and only eat sleep and hoop.
    The average consumers will probably wait for a price drop and a coupon.
    And no I am not into economics I work at healthcare 😛

    Love the reviews

  7. guys, is this something you can recommend for flat feet baller like me? I had the Jordan 28 and UA Anatomix Spawn lately and these didn’t give me the comfort I thought I’d get.

  8. Nice review Duke,

    For me ever since I bought and played in a D Rose 6,

    It’s hard to go back to anything without boost,

    Im sticking with my D Rose 6 🙂

  9. It’s a lot of shoe and details for $105 retail, but I wasn’t blown away by their performance and I wasn’t expecting to be. It’s hard to top them at their price point, especially with discounts. They’re solid all around and good for the price, but I prefer other shoes.

  10. This shoe is easily one of my favorites and actually use these more than my D Rose 6, as the Rose 6 is softer but my reaction time is slower in them. Also be warned, not every CW has the knit upper, so I think the H.O.F badge only relates to the Home/Away CW’s as of now

  11. I’m of the belief that there is no excuse for not being able to handle dust in 2016.
    Not at any price.
    I have a dozen shoes that feel great on court that sit on the rack, even when I go to cleaner courts.
    I grab the shoes I know will stick everytime.

  12. any thoughts on where to buy it online? because I live in Australia and the footlocker store here doesn’t have stock of the men’s d lillard 2, Where do you think can I buy a legit one other than eastbay?

  13. I agree about a review on the Light ‘Em Up 2. Looks like it could have the potential to be a really good bang for your buck review.

  14. I’m a STUBBORN toe-dragger. Can any of these, or the DRose 6 CW’s take those kinds of beatings on the toe part?

  15. I dont really see the point in reviewing a shoe thats allready been reviewed by another guy.Practically you all say the same things.
    There are many shoes out there that people would like to read a review about them,instead of reading two or three kind of indentical reviews about one shoe..
    Could you please give Adidas Light em up 2 a chance??
    Its full lenght bounce midsole,full mesh upper for only 80 dollars.
    I think that this worths a shot!!

  16. Here’s an idea – YOU buy the shoe and send it to me and I will review it. We review the shoes we are interested in. I have ZERO interest in spending my money on the Light Em Up 2 at this time, and won’t waste money on a shoe I don’t want. I wanted the Lillard 2. If you don’t enjoy reading it, don’t.

  17. Besides the fact I play different than Chris. If you play like me then my opinion matters more than NW. If you play like Zak his matters more. Just enjoy the reviews and work we put into what we are doing.

  18. Dont get me wrong. I enjoy the reviews and I have tons of respect for the work you’re doing at weartesters.
    It’s just my personal opinion,and nothing more,that it would be more interesting to have reviews of more shoes,than more reviews of a shoe.
    Thanks for replying and keep up the good work

  19. Understood, and maybe I jumped the gun and misunderstood what you were trying to say. To be honest there just isn’t a lot out there from the big brands past the signature lines shoes. They are all throwing so much money into their big name players, rightfully so, but the timelines are being neglected, in my opinion. You do get a gym every once in awhile, like the hyper rev 2016 or the clutch fit drive, but for the most part budget shoes are exactly what they say, budget issues. We will continue to test other brands as well, such as peak, anta, li ning.

    1. This assessment of the companies’ priorities and the way WearTesters allocate their reviews accordingly makes sense to me. Though there is some overlap in the different reviewers’ opinions, I take that as a good sign, statistically, that I’ll agree if I wear the shoes, plus you get a higher likelihood that one of the guys will catch something that another might’ve missed or not spent much time discussing. Duke’s right—the non-sig bangers are rare and team shoes haven’t been great recently (e.g., the recent HyperDunk duds). But, Bzark, I also feel you on holding out hope for the diamond-in-the-rough budget joints that perform really well, like the Prime Hype DFs that NightWing spoke highly of.

      Duke, I also liked your rant about voting with your purchases. It’s a catch-22 when you’re shopping for performance, though, especially when it’s a case like this where you could go TTS or 1/2 down—obviously preferable to be able to try ’em on in store. I had drive waaaay across town to the only FootLocker in the Los Angeles area that carried the CFDrives to try them on (still ended up having to order them because they had a size 1/2 away from what I really needed, but that let me know the right size for me).
      And your jab at the cardio-seeking muscleheads’ old football shoes—haha!

      1. The truth is that im from Europe,Greece in particular,and we play mostly outdoors here. That means that the shoes wear off easily,so yes im looking for shoes that perform well and dont cost much.
        My kd 7’s lasted only 3 months. Same as my hyperdunks and my hyperrevs.
        But aside from my personal needs,I believe that people prefer to read reviews on various shoes,than 2 or 3 revies of the Kyrie’s,Curry’s and so on.
        But since the reviewers buy their shoes with their own money,as stated by Duke previously,which is a fact that I didnt knew,then I tottaly understand how this goes and its more than ok

        1. Bzark – unfortunately, there is not much out there “high end” built for outdoors. It usually comes down to an indoor pair that has served it’s duty getting relegated to concrete. The Fire Shot from UA may be a good one (working on a pair now), and adidas and nike have some cheaper models that would hold up, but the tech and cushioning is a little lacking.

          And yeah, for the most part we buy our review shoes. We do get media gifted some, but 90% is purchased.

        2. Hi,beside asking here and other English group, forum about the durability of the sole I would recommend using Google translate on the hupu or kenlu sites. Those Japanese and Chinese play a lot outdoor so they always include a durability section in their reviews. You won’t understand all but can at least get the idea of how long those shoes might last. Anyway if you want a pair that last, adidas have been releasing shoes with adiwear soles such as the Energy BB TD, Electrified and even the Rose Englewood 3,4. Just buy a pair that have adiwear or shoes like the Kobe Mentality, KD Trey. Personally I would recommend the Energy BB TD, EngleWood 4, Kobe Mentality and if you can get a pair of LEbron Ambassador, try them too.

  20. I’m not sure which shoe I want for ball, can’t decide between the new hyperrev or d lillard 2, what do u prefer?

  21. Zman,depends on Zoom or foam. Both shoes have incredible fit, good traction (rev is a little better), and good support. Just have to decide which cushioning you have liked in the past. Although, if looks are included, Lillard wins.

  22. I’m torn between the J Crossover 2 or 3 and the D Lillard 2, besides the price what shoe do you think is the best?

  23. Awesome reviews Duke, very informative.
    Wondering if any of you guys at weartesters would do a video comparison between this one and the primeknit allstar version?

    1. The All-Star version uses a PrimeKnit Lillard upper with a Crazy Light Boost midsole and outsole. Reviews have been done on both models so we (and you) already know how they perform.

  24. For anyone else looking to pick this up – I grabbed a pair yesterday from the Adidas store and had to go a full size down from my usual size. A size 7 in these is the same length as my Melo M11’s in size 8, so weird.

  25. Hi! Long time reader, first time commenter. (Is that even a real word)

    Anyway, I just did measurements of my feet because my lillard 2 caused a great amount of pain while playing with them. My feet are 10″ long and 4″ wide which is a size 8.5-wide. (Narrow is 3.6″, medium is 3.8″)

    Are there any wide footers here who could share their lillard 2 experience? Is there a way I could play in these without them causing me pain? Traction is great and the home c/w I got looks good enough to wear off-court, but it would be a waste of performance if I can’t play with them.

    Thanks for the response!

  26. Hi Duke, and Nene too. It’s nice to see how you guys are excited about the Lillard 2 as well. Personally those look the best compared to other models this year, CL Boost’s fit is a little bit clunky, laces are too long, Rose 6 used too much Boost which make them slow and heavy and Wall 2 don’t catch my eyes at all. I haven’t bought the Lillard 2 because they won’t release the YOTM version here in Europe (I got to get that version since it’s my Zodiac year, already got the Rose 6). Anyway I tried them on and they looked and felt great, the Bounce is actually thicker (you can see how thick it is using the miadidas editor with transparent sole) than the Rose 773 and Light Em Up. Personally I like Bounce more than Boost now since they are more stale and responsive and heavy guys like us can get more out of them compared to softer midsole.

    Anyway great review, it’s nice to see Brian have been consistently pumping out reviews again. May I ask which pair are you going to review next?

    1. Got a ton of runners coming (Ultraboost st for sure) and then Superfly 4 po and UA Fire Shot and Peak Dwight shoe.

  27. STUNNING shoe ! can’t believe i bought them for only 76 euros, about 90 dollars, i went true to size due my very wide feet. Adidas is putting on exceptional products market.

    A big hello to Ryan that is always excellent and comprehensive reviews!

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