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adidas D Lillard 1 Performance Review


Bang for your buck, or budget friendly… yes, there is a difference…

adidas D Lillard 1 Performance Review 1Traction – I thought we were going to see some D Rose 5 level traction with the Lillard’s, and while they share a very similar pattern, that wasn’t the case. Don’t get me wrong, they definitely get the job done, but elite level traction is not what you’ll receive. The Rose were a bit more pliable thus causing more friction between the court and the outsole. I also think the rubber compound has something to do with it as well. A solid option, but not the best option… which is strange because this type of traction pattern is usually flawless.




adidas D Lillard 1 Performance Review 2

Cushion – adiPrene+ is used for the entire midsole, much like the J Wall 1, but unlike the Wall’s… these feel great. adiPrene+ might be ‘old’, but it’s still affective. You’ll notice that the forefoot is a bit thinner than the heel, something you can feel as well, but if you have an old adidas PU insole lying around somewhere then I think that would achieve great court feel along with good cushion. If you happen to strike with your heel often, impact will be absorbed and you’ll feel a slight bounce back too. If you’re looking to gain court feel without sacrificing too much cushion then this is an ideal setup.




adidas D Lillard 1 Performance Review 3Materials – Synthetics are used along the entire upper, but they are nice synthetics… much nicer than you’d expect from a shoe with a $105 retail price. Each colorway will be a little different – some will feature synthetic leather, others will feature synthetic suede, and these feature synthetic nubuck. Its got a rubbery feel, and its pretty durable while providing support. The suede version – like the Weber State – felt a little flimsy for hooping, but casually I think that colorway would be awesome. I hate to bring up the price again, since the term affordable is subjective from person to person, but these don’t feel like a $105 sneaker… in fact I’d be happy paying up to $130 and getting this type of material quality. Of course, I’d prefer them to keep things at $105, but you get what I’m saying.


adidas D Lillard 1 Performance Review 4Fit – The fit is where I had issues, and they are unfortunate issues that keep me from wanting to play in them regularly. They just fit sloppy. Some people have had some heel slip issues, which I haven’t experienced, but I am having forefoot issues. I just can’t get them to secure my forefoot. Though this is not going to be a problem for everyone. If you have wide feet then this setup might be the best thing since the 90’s. If you’re someone with an average or narrow forefoot then you might want experience the same issues that I have. No, going down 1/2 size wasn’t a viable option, they would be too short for me length wise, unfortunately.



adidas D Lillard 1 Performance Review 5Support – Most of the support, in any shoe, relies heavily on their fit. With my experience, the sloppy forefoot caused the support upon lateral movements to suffer greatly. If you are one of the people that may be experiencing heel slippage then ankle stability and lockdown will suffer. So while there are some nice pieces that usually help regulate support, such as the SprintFrame and outriggers, if the fit is bad then every other piece implemented to enhance their support just gets canceled out.




adidas D Lillard 1 Performance Review 6Overall – The D Lillard 1 is a decent budget model. Don’t get that confused with bang for your buck… there is a difference. Being a budget model means that you are getting something for less while a bang for your buck model means that you’re paying less for something, but getting a lot out of your dollar. If you’re stacking them up against another budget friendly model, like the J Walle 1, then they’re very close to one another. I loved the materials on both shoes, but the cushion goes to the Lillards, however, the fit goes to the Wall 1. I’d probably choose the Lillard for outdoor hooping, and spend a little bit more to get something with greater bang for your buck as an indoor option. Looking on the bright side… this is Lillard’s 1st signature, so there’s plenty of room for improvement with future models.

adidas D Lillard 1 Performance Review 7

  1. I purchased these being from portland to wear off court, but they surprised me on court, especially with the cushion. I could notice that the forefoot fit was sloppy but being wide footer, as you mentioned, it wasn’t a probable at all for me and actually with some lace tightening I had no problems except for some heel slippage at times.

    1. Actually for some reason my foot fits in their perfect….What I didn’t realize was that with mine the sprint frame was slightly deformed which I did not notice but actually made my foot fit in them extremely well with very little heel slip and perfect forefoot.

  2. Couldn’t agree with this review more. I grabbed the All Star colourway online. Enjoy almost every aspect of the shoe, but the Fit is atrocious. The forefoot is fine for me, but the heel lockdown is non-existent and bad enough for me not to want to play in them.

    Great looking casual shoe, and a nice first model for Dame, but man, so disappointed as far as performance goes.

  3. I haven’t had any forefoot issues luckily. I’m 9.5-10 in everything and went with the 9.5. The design is flawed in my opinion, but I actually enjoy playing in the shoe a lot. Where it gets me is the lace pressure because I have to lace them so tightly and the techfit bootee is thin, so I have to lace them just right. I haven’t played in the Rose 5, but the traction on the Lillard 1 is fine for me where I play. Maybe edges out the CF Drive. I also changed out the insole recently to the Rose 3 insole for a little more cushion. Just a really fun shoe for me.

  4. I was waiting patiently for your review on these shoes. I am skeptical about the forefoot fit because i ‘ve tried them on and they are a bit roomy. I wonder if adidas will release an upgrade version for all of their signature shoes for the upcoming Playoffs.

  5. Man Adidas B ball has disappoints me. They have the tech to compete Nike, UA, and Brandblack but (in terms ofmperformance) they are notmdoimg well

    1. I completely agree. A lot of people point to the Rose 5 as being a positive advancement. I agree that those look like good performers but with all of their models, that’s the one that you can point to. That just doesn’t seem to be good enough.

      1. Yeah. I also dont like they change the upper for every Rose 5. If you are going to do it do it Like the Melo M11

  6. I owned these for about three weeks now and I can tell you that the fit gets better as you wear the shoe. Heel doesn’t slip anymore and the cushion molds to your feet. Of course I am in between sizes in adidas and I went a half size down.
    As far as the traction I love the durability of the rubber if you play outdoors at all you will be grateful.
    Hate to say I cannot wear narrow shoes anymore I love the stability on these, it feels like you have more support than you have.

  7. Hey Nightwing,
    So I have just started playing indoor/outdoor again and I have been getting sharp pain on the front area of my shins, both legs. I tried multiple shoes, Melo M10, way of wade 2, and Adidas J Wall. I even tried after market insoles but the pain still lingers when I play. I’m suspecting shin splints and it stops me from going full speed. The only shoe that felt good was the Wades, but pain is still there just a bit. Im only 5’5″ 125 lbs, and I’m not sure what causes the pain. It might be the cushioning or I’m out of shape. Any idea on what could help? I been wasting money on these shoes that causes me pain.

    I’ve been to your site since 3 years ago and am a big fan of it. Keep it up.

    1. Shin splints can be from a few different things; lack of cushion, lack of flex in the shoe or overuse of the legs. If you can cancel out any of them then you’ll find the cause of the problem. My guess would be overuse too quickly, but only you can really answer that. I know my legs would get severe shin splints when I’d be testing shoes for weeks at a time… legs were telling me to give it a rest for a bit.

      1. Flex is not an issue because the j wall is plenty flexable. Cushion might be it because the Wade has a soft cushion and the pain is not prevalent but still there. So I’m going to say overuse, I’m a bit out of shape and rest is something I haven’t tried yet which I think I will.

        Thanks for the input man, highly appreciated.

  8. okay, so i picked these up instead of the currys that are dropping in two days, largely because i already have the clutchfit drives in both the high and low iterations, and don’t really feel like buying a shoe that is almost identical (i’m sure i’ll pick a pair up somewhere along the line, the father to son pair look incredible)…after having played in them for about two and a half hours on an outdoor court (cement, not blacktop), this is what i can say about them:

    – the cushion is plush as hell, i mean seriously, i don’t remember adiprene+ feeling this nice underneath your foot…in terms of step-in comfort and bounce i’d say these are superior to the rose 5

    – transition is beautiful and effortless, very smooth and fluid shoe

    – court feel is also on-point, i love how low the rose 5 sits but these feel even lower

    – traction, as noted above, is perhaps not quite as good as the rose 5, but for the most part i have no complaints, i could grind to a halt for pull ups and execute sharp lateral movements without any problems, i don’t know about how they would perform on dusty indoor courts, of course

    – the upper feels great….i wish the techfit tongue was thicker, though, the lace pressure doesn’t bother me as much as it seems to do for a lot of people, but there is a tiny bit of discomfort over time

    – i didn’t have any significant fit problems, no heel slippage and no forefoot movement inside the shoe, might have something to do with the fact that my true size is actually in between 9.5 and 10 and i chose the smaller size…i have read elsewhere that some people went down so small that their toes were crammed right against the toebox, and i tried a size 9 in store, but they were just too uncomfortable for me to fathom going that path…some have said that the heel slippage has to do with the heel cup being shaped strangely, and i can very much see where they are coming from, but i never felt endangered or unstable playing in them today, like any good hoops shoe i forgot that i even had them on for most of my runs today….

    to be honest i think

    FYI i am a 6’0″ 175 athletic 1/2 guard who loves low top sneakers
    my current rotation consists of
    – clutchfit drive low (a shoe you can play in for half a day and still feel great in, i don’t think it is the lowest to the ground, the most stable shoe on the market, the most fluid shoe around or the most comfortable, but it is excellent in almost regard without having any significant weaknesses)
    – kd7 (stable, flexible, supportive and breathable low-top that fits great, not much else you can ask for)
    – kyrie 1 (great traction and fit)
    – rose 5 (the fabric uppers on these are incredible, despite being magnets for dirt, everything else is on point)
    – xx9 (what i reach for the least, unfortunately, fun to play in but the upper feels like it’s going to disintegrate every time i ask too much of them [they started fraying a bit after the first day of pickup games in them], there is a hot spot on the top of my right pinky toe that has never really gone away, and i fear for the fate of the unlocked zoom bags constantly)

    the lillard 1 could go all the way up to number two the way things are going, it seems madness to suggest that i might want to make them my go-to above the CF drive or the kd7, but yeah, i like them, plus they are the best looking shoe to have come out this year next to the WoW3s, and we all know those are rumored to be totally unplayable…

  9. Wide footer here. Got my true size of 8.5 whereas Nikes I’m a 9. Same poor heel lockdown as everyone else already mentioned. Traction is good though, could be better on those multi-purpose basketball courts. I had to wipe my shoes off a lot but on a clean court, it was amazing. I NEED the squeaking sound.

  10. i was waiting for this review because these shoes looked like they can accommodate wide feet. i do agree that the 90s are awesome, but yes i am looking forward to playing indoor ball with these!! thank you for pointing out the different upper materials used for different colorways! i love the synthetic leather, nubuck, and suede!

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