Time to get crazy…
Traction – It’s a hit or miss. On really dirty courts, you’re not gonna dig them. Clean courts, you’ll love them. The one thing that I noticed is that the rubber is really soft so outdoor use is out the window right off the bat. However, indoors I’ve worn down the traction quite a bit and that’s with just a solid week’s worth of play. Will they last you the entire season, practices and all? I don’t have the answer. Just know that when you’re on a clean surface you’ll be covered. Dirty surface you’ll need to keep the grooves free of debris.
Cushion – Let me just get this out of the way now. The heel’s cushion is amazing, simple as that. The forefoot on the other hand, you’ll need to work with it. It’s stated that adiPrene+ is used within an EVA surround. That means the majority of the midsole is EVA while the center, where your forefoot places most of its pressure, will have a targeted adiPrene+ section. It takes time to break-in before feeling good…you’ll need at least 4-6 hours before you’re enjoying the feeling. However, the insoles they used are garbage and really thin. I replaced mine with a PU insole that used to be standard on previous adidas Hoops shoes. Once I put the PU insole in place…man, do I love playing in these. They give me just the right amount of everything. Yes, I’d still prefer Boost to be in the forefoot, but until that happens – I’m looking at you D Rose 6 – this’ll do just fine.
Materials – PrimeKnit, baby! No, this isn’t the same as FlyKnit…at least not on Basketball products. When it comes to hoop shoes, PrimeKnit is what FlyKnit should’ve been. If adidas could figure out how to make a knitted upper work without the use of glue all over the place then Nike should’ve been able to as well. Suffice to say, if you love woven/ knitted uppers on Basketball footwear then this is going to be heaven for your feet. Yes, like any woven or knitted upper, durability could eventually become an issue. But, like I’ve said many times before, if you want your shoes to last long then get something made with tougher materials. Otherwise, enjoy the feeling of PrimeKnit on your feet because it’s amazing.
Something that I think is interesting with adidas’ take on the knitted upper is that they’ve incorporated ventilation pretty heavily. This is the most well ventilated shoe I’ve worn with a woven/knitted upper. Second would be the J Crossover II, but these surpass those quite a bit in the ventilation department. Even with all the ventilation, you still have great support and lockdown from the material itself. It’s a really great feature, and while it might not be for everyone, if you like woven/ knitted kicks then you’ll love these.
Fit – Like the cushion, the fit needed some tweaking too. Luckily, the solution came from the same place; the insole swap I used to help give me a little extra cushion also filled up any dead space I was experiencing. As mentioned before, the insoles these come with are really thin and cheap. So if you want your size 9’s to fit like a size 9, throw in an insole that’s of normal thickness and you’ll achieve your goal.
As for lockdown, like most woven uppers, it gets better with age. The more you wear them the more they will conform to your foot shape. I think that’s my favorite part about woven/knitted uppers. They’re so light and malleable on-foot, but somehow lock your foot into the shoe just as good as any other material. The lacing structure is similar to Nike’s Dynamic Fit so when you’re lacing them up you’ll feel them strap you in like seat belts.
Support – adidas usually comes strong in the support section, sometimes overdoing it a bit, but these are just right. There is an external heel counter to keep your ankles secure and StableFrame to ensure the base or platform isn’t going to be unstable. The tooling is nice and flat which helps your own sense of balance and stability. There is also a small torsional TPU bar in the arch. All of which works and works extremely well.
If you prefer something a little higher on the ankle then be patient as a strapped version will come out soon, but I prefer low tops so these are my sh*t.
Overall – This is my favorite Hoop shoe adidas has ever made. Each time you wear them they’ll fit better. Change the insole and they’ll feel better as well. If they’ve made this drastic of a change between last year’s CrazyLight and this year’s then I’m really excited to see what they have in store for the D Rose 6. The only thing I wasn’t too crazy about was their traction, and it’s mostly from a durability standpoint. Otherwise I thought they were really solid on all fronts.
Just for your own peace of mind, I’ve included two score cards with these. One with the insole swap and one without.