adidas D Rose 9 Performance Review | Duke4005


Derrick Rose has been my favorite player since entering the league in 2008. His ability to slash, rise, play defense, and lead a team reminded me of a young Duke (in my mind). Then came the injuries, the trades, the jumping around the league, and finally, the D Rose 9. Through it all, adidas had at least given him shoes that performed great. Enter 2018. Here we go…

adidas d rose 9 performance review duke4005 traction

When clean, on a clean court, the traction pattern performed…decently. The outsole is patterned with simple straight lines that have been turned and angled to offer multi-directional coverage. The only problem is, the lines are reallyclosetogether, which means dust doesn’t get pushed out and makes this house a home.

It honestly reminded me of the Lillard 2, but with less bite — more of a smooth, flowing stop. This is a serious problem for fans of the Rose line because almost all of his shoes have had killer traction. The solution should be an easy one: remove about half of the lines in the traction pattern, widen the grooves to allow the dust to push out, and give the rubber room to bend and grab.

On top of being too close with too many, the lines are flat meaning there is no wiper-blade action. I never completely slipped out while playing, but I did have to slow down on lateral moves, just to make sure my feet were stable. I didn’t notice it as much on defense for some reason. Overall, this is not a good combination.

Outdoors? Nope, the pattern is shallow and the rubber is soft, so outdoor player will eat the D Rose 9 alive in a short time.

adidas d rose 9 performance review duke4005 cushion

Boost is Life. How many times have you heard that in the last four to five years? Well, apparently Derrick Rose and his designers didn’t agree and honestly, I can see why.

When Boost is uncaged, it can feel slightly unstable. When it’s caged it loses some of its rebound properties. Coupled with the fact that Boost is heavy, if you aren’t getting the rebound, why use it? Bounce is the alternative and over the last three years we have found Bounce to be pretty special itself. It’s so…bouncy. However…

The Rose 9 has a slimmed midsole and the Bounce just isn’t what we fell in love with in the Lillard 2 and the AlphaBounce series. Don’t get me wrong — it absorbed impact just fine and it rides low for great court feel, but there is just no real feedback, no response to forces. For getting into your next step and move, this is perfect — for helping out knees and ankles it could use a little more, well, Bounce. It is full-length, so transition is great; there is no slappy feeling from heel-to-toe and changing direction (if the traction holds) is good to go.

adidas d rose 9 performance review duke4005 materials

The upper on the Rose 9 is definitely the bright spot, as adidas is using a knit upper (but not calling it Primeknit). The lines and folds in the material give the Rose 9 a definite casual-friendly look and make the shoe passingly the most appealing Rose shoe ever (the Rose 3 may also be a contender). The sleek toebox and flared ankle collar look more street than court and it works on-foot. The stitched lines in the toebox and tongue are meant to provide a little extra support and keep the material from stretching laterally to hold your foot in place.

The heel area is a synthetic suede that is extremely thin and pliable. That is not the heel counter (there is an internal counter in place). The inner liner is smooth and padded, making any rough spots or chafing nonexistent. The sole is made of ADIWEAR, a rubber that has been rare since adidas and Continental started working together, but the idea is the same — it should wear slower and have better grip over the life of the shoe than normal outsoles.

adidas d rose 9 performance review duke4005 fit

adidas got me again. I had just ordered the AlphaBounce Instinct in my normal 10.5 and the fit was perfect for me. I ordered the Rose 9 the same week, in my normal 10.5, and these could probably fit a true 11.5. The Rose 9 is definitely a half size big, and maybe a whole size.

While the ankle is completely locked in — hardly any heel slip and very little side to side movement — the midfoot and forefoot are completely swimming. The length on the big toe area is almost ok, but around the toebox there is a ton of room and empty space.

Making this an even bigger issue is the softness of the knit upper. It does nothing to hold the foot in place, and your foot sits on top of the midsole, not in it, so as soon as your foot begins the sideshift, it just keeps going. Luckily, the base is wide so stability is not an issue, but my foot was taking a vacation on every lateral move.

Normally, I would stop testing and be done with a shoe at this point. However, after the Crazylight Boost 2018 and its generous fit, and then the Harden B/E 2 having the same problems in the forefoot, I decided to make adjustments. I added an insole from my Rose 7 and then had to double sock with Nike Elite Lows over my normal socks. This took up any extra space and helped slightly. The upper still didn’t hold as I would have liked, but my foot had less space to build up momentum and push out. Not ideal, but it worked for the testing period.

adidas d rose 9 performance review duke4005 support

Support, even with the fit being too big, is actually nice, once I made my adjustments. The wide base feels stable underfoot on every cut and move and the heel is locked in, keeping your ankle in its normal state. The Bounce not feeling extremely responsive means it doesn’t deflect or lose shape while landing, so no tipping over when coming down from rebounds or layups.

The forefoot is the issue, again. The lacing system stops before the toebox, so no help there from a lateral standpoint. The materials are just not enough to keep hard-driving, slashing players contained. The laces are also set and don’t tighten easily, so pulling and cinching does nothing, unfortunately.

adidas d rose 9 performance review duke4005 overall

One of the first shoes I ever reviewed was the Rose 1. It was a minimally-cushioned, sleek, foot-rocket that felt fast and serious on-court (I swear it made me faster). Ever since then, the Rose series is a shoe I look forward to playing in. The Rose 2 was a letdown, but every shoe after that has been a hit in my review book. The one thing the series has always had is traction, followed by support and fit.

The Rose 9 misses on those fronts, at least in true-to-size fit. Going down at least a half size or double socking/adding insoles does help, but c’mon adidas. Other brands can size across the market for most of their shoes — if I am a 10.5 in Kobes I will be in LeBrons (KDs are a different animal). Currys fit like Phantoms, and so on. adidas has had this issue for too long. When every site, including ours, talks about “your true adidas size,” not your true shoe size, the issue is out of hand.

If you are a mid-range jump-shooter, or don’t rely on quickness and stability to get to the basket, the Rose 9 should work for you. If you require absolute lockdown and take-no-prisoners traction, you might want to look elsewhere. Priced at $140, there are plenty of cheaper and better options than the Rose 9. If, like me, you are a Rose fan since day one and can’t resist supporting the man, then definitely grab these…and rock them casually, because they look nice.

adidas d rose 9 performance review duke4005 score


5 Comments

  1. So even though the sole is made of adiwear, which is supposed to make it more durable, you still say the rubber is too soft to last outdoors?

    That’s a bad look, adidas.

    1. The pattern is just too thin to last very long, in my opinion. I didn’t wear them outdoors to see how quick they will run out, but in past experience these won’t last.

  2. Got the rose 4-7. Skipped 8 because its generic looks. Will probably skip 9 because of performance.

  3. Another well done review! You have anything lined up for the next one? I’m looking on pulling the trigger on either the Adidas Explosive Bounce or the UA Torch Low. But I don’t know if I believe that an $80 shoe would have legit Micro G lol

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