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adidas AE 1: The Best Basketball Shoe of 2024?

adidas AE 1 Breakdown

adidas AE 1 Performance Review

adidas AE 1

The adidas AE 1 is one of the most anticipated basketball shoes of 2024 and it just might be one of the best as well.

Colorway: Acid Orange / Core Black / Acid Red

Release Date: 2024

Price: $120

8.5/10
Total Score
Buy adidas AE 1

The adidas AE 1 is Minnesota Timberwolves’ high-flying superstar, Anthony Edwards’ first signature shoe with the brand. It was easily one of the most anticipated shoe releases of 2024 and it just might be the best adidas basketball shoe of the year and one of the best overall basketball shoes out there.

The shoe features a unique and polarizing design and is packed with some of adidas’ top performance features, including full-length Jetboost cushioning. On top of all that, the shoe retails for a very reasonable $120, which is great to see. But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves and see what makes this shoe so special.

adidas AE 1 Review

adidas AE 1 Tech Specs:

adidas AE 1 Traction

adidas AE 1 Traction

The AE 1 boasts a no-nonsense traction setup that promises to be a beast on indoor surfaces. What we have is a translucent rubber outsole, with an aggressive, full length and full-width herringbone traction pattern. The rubber adidas used on this model is super grippy and it bites the court like no one’s business.

It does need some time to break in and tends to pick up dust, so keep that in mind. But once you have put in an hour or so with the shoe, and wipe the sole with some regularity, you should have zero issues. It also isn’t a good option for outdoor use, but, as long as you reserve the AE 1 for indoor hooping, you will have top-tier grip underfoot.

adidas AE 1 Cushion

adidas AE 1 Cushion

The adidas AE 1 features a dual-density foam cushioning setup that combines Lightstrike and Boost (Jetboost to be exact), however, you can’t see or feel the Lightstrike anywhere, which isn’t a bad thing. It’s a very low-profile setup but it still retains a good amount of compression and impact protection.

This is, in part, because, well, Boost is awesome, and because the wavy shape of the outsole and the multiple cutouts allow the cushioning to expand and contract as you play. The Boost is completely caged and the shoe is equipped with a full-length spring plate, so it’s more on the reactive side of the cushioning spectrum, but impact protection will be more than adequate for most hoopers.

adidas AE 1 Materials

adidas AE 1 Materials

Materials on the AE 1 are odd, non-premium, and slightly heavy, but, they are innovative and performance-driven. The upper is wrapped with a honeycomb-shaped TPU piece which is strong enough to give the shoe structure and excellent containment, but at the same time soft enough that the shoe has no problem conforming to your foot.

The black portions of the upper (in this colorway) are a soft textile and have a sock-like construction, so, even though this shoe may look like a mid, it is in actuality a low top. Also! have no fear, that sock-adjacent construction is easy to get into because the tongue is semi-gusseted, and the shoe is very well-ventilated because the textile beneath that honeycomb is highly perforated. In general, this is a top-notch design and build.

The trade-off is that the shoe does feel slightly bottom-heavy and it requires a bit more break-in time than usual before it truly molds to your foot. The forefoot flex area in particular can create some soreness at the beginning so just keep that in mind.

adidas AE 1 Support

adidas AE 1 Support

Support is certainly a highlight of this shoe. For starters, we have a very wide base with tons of contact area with the court and a very stable cushioning system. Then there is that TPU wrap that does a wonderful job of providing lateral containment. The adidas AE 1 is also equipped with the brand’s X Frame spring plate and with an internal and external heel counter.

The X-shaped torsional plate is practically full-length and adds a good amount of torsional rigidity and a nice springy feeling underfoot. The heel counters do a great job of keeping your heel in place and the interior of the shoe is very well sculpted, so lockdown in this area is superb.

The two minor issues you will find is that the shoe fits a bit long and the black laces the shoe comes with are rather smooth so they have a tendency to come undone. The AE 1 does come with an additional pair of laces which have a bit more grit and do a better job of staying in their place.

adidas AE 1 Fit

adidas AE 1 Fit

As we just mentioned, the AE 1 fits true to size but it is slightly longer than normal. If you enjoy a snug 1 to 1 fit, you could go down half a size, but most basketball players will be just fine wearing their usual size.

adidas AE 1 Overall

adidas AE 1 Overall

adidas has been having a bit of a resurgence in the performance basketball market. The Harden Vol 7 was fantastic, the Trae Young 3 was very solid, and now we have the AE 1 which is a top-tier basketball shoe and one of the best first signature shoes we have ever seen. The AE 1 might end up being the best overall basketball shoe of 2024, but even if it doesn’t end up at that level, it’s an excellent shoe.

It is a slightly heavy shoe and fits a tad bit long, but all in all, these will be hard to beat, especially if you take the shoe’s price ($120) into consideration. If the freaky design doesn’t weird you out and you are jonesing for a good pair of adidas basketball shoes to play in, the AE 1 should be at the top of your list.

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