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adidas DON Issue 1 Performance Review

Do adidas and Donovan Mitchell stick the landing with the D.O.N. Issue 1?

Buy adidas DON Issue 1

Traction looked like it was going to do well, but my experience was one of the most disappointing I’ve had thus far in 2019.

One thing to note is that nearly everyone I’ve spoken to, or read comments from, that has been playing in the D.O.N. Issue 1 has loved the traction… except me. I’m not sure if the rubber on my pair is poor, the floors I play on are worse than I thought, or, perhaps something else entirely. However, in cases like this, I’d listen to the majority versus the minority. If there are 20 people giving their thoughts on the D.O.N. Issue 1 and 19 of them are saying the traction is good, then the traction is likely going to be good. In my case, I am just here telling you my experience, and that was that the traction is the one area of the shoe I didn’t care for.

Now, they’re not horrible in terms of coverage, but I just had too much slipping. Especially when I needed the traction the most. I’d be wiping the outsoles every chance I had and when I wouldn’t have an opportunity to wipe that’s when I’d end up sliding out.

If I were to blame anything for causing the issue it’d be the herringbone pattern being a bit too tightly spaced together. Anything on the floor found its way into the grooves on the sole and that’s what would cause me to wipe so frequently. It could also be the rubber compound as the shoe just lacked that tacky bite that a lot of shoes offer when they’re on a clean surface. These, even when on a clean surface, these just didn’t have the bite that I enjoy.

Again, this is my experience. I understand that it may be different than everyone else’s, but all I can do is express my experience and no-one else’s. I can’t get myself to lie just because the masses have experienced great traction. Even some of our other WearTesters members have been loving the traction. I wish I was able to say the same, but I cannot, unfortunately.

I know that Boost is life, but I really like Bounce. Like, I really like Bounce.

To my surprise, I found the D.O.N. Issue 1 to be one of the most comfortable iterations of Bounce I’ve experienced. It wasn’t too thick. Nor was it too thin. It felt like the perfect amount of “bounce” along with court feel and stability. Every time I wear them my first initial thought is always, “hot damn, these are comfortable.” Every. Single. Time.

If you like court feel and stability, but you don’t want to give up any of that plush feel under-foot then you may want to consider trying the D.O.N. Issue 1 out. They really are a well rounded shoe in terms of comfort & impact protection without sacrificing stability and court feel.

Textiles and mesh are the primary material options for most of the colorways, while some will feature synthetic leather. If you wanted a bit more support from the materials themselves then opting for a pair with the synthetic leather build will be your best option. Personally, I found the textile and mesh build to be perfectly fine.

This setup requires very little break-in time while still remaining snug and supportive once laced up. There is a layer of nylon and neoprene under the main build so the upper should be fairly durable and resilient against stretching.

The midsole shape and sculpting does most of the heavy lifting in terms of supporting and caging the foot upon movements so you shouldn’t be having any regretful feelings if you happen to go with one of the textile versions of the shoe instead of the synthetic leather versions. Obviously, it comes down to preferences, but I think most will enjoy these just the way they are.

I found the D.O.N. Issue 1 to fit true to size. I do have another pair that are 1/2 size smaller than my usual true size because I wasn’t sure what these would fit like when I bought them, but going with my true size was what offered me my ideal fit. Going down 1/2 size still offered just enough length in the toe for my liking (I tend to like a snug fit) but the midfoot was a bit too tight and cramped. Try them on in-store if possible, just to be safe, but going true to size is what worked best for me.

Lockdown is perfect. I know the ankle collar looks really low while the rest of the shoe looks bulky and exaggerated, but the fit/lockdown I found to be amazing. Astonishing. Spectacular. Thwip. Thwip. Quip. Quip.

Support, like a many of adidas’ current basketball line, is very good. The base of the shoe is flat and super wide/exaggerated, but almost has an old FYW feel to them. So they move well with the foot despite the bulkiness. The midsole sculpting, as mentioned above, really cups and cages your foot in place. Lateral coverage. Linear coverage. Torsional coverage. It’s all there and ready for action.

I actually loved the D.O.N. Issue 1 with the exception of the traction. Yes, I have thought about trying out the other pair I have to see if maybe the one pair I’ve been using is somehow defective, but I don’t think it’s that important. Again, if the masses are saying they’ve had good traction then your chances of having good traction are pretty high. Plus, I am keeping the extra pair to give away to one of our Gold Team members within our Discord community.

I will say that I enjoyed the shoe a lot outdoors. No slipping or anything, so I may end up using these as my outdoor hoop shoe. They’re fairly light, breathable, and have a lot of stability — a feature I’ve come to love in my basketball shoes.

Despite my traction issues, I think the rest of the shoe has a lot of great attributes along with a reasonable initial retail price. If you happen to try them our yourself and wind up having good to great traction then I think you’ll have found yourself a really awesome basketball shoe.

Buy adidas DON Issue 1
  1. Not gonna lie, I also experienced great traction on the shoe despite playing on extremely dusty courts.

  2. Im with you on traction durability. If i read an outsole burns out too fast, thats a dealbreaker for me. I wont even consider it. Im not an nba player who gets a new pair every game, i want my shoe to have at least average durability. If not, theyve lost me.

    adidas needs to get their sizing consistent. theres really no excuse for it. i buy most of my stuff online since thats usually where the best deals are, so i cant try everything on in a store. I dont see the point to having the sizing for every shoe be a guessing game; it only results in them getting more returns.

  3. the traction thing is really concerning. however, have you tried brushing,/rubbing the bottom with sand paper or just plainly breaking down the shoe playing it (which might take longer)? see if that would improve the traction. for me, whenever I have problems with traction, I would just wore them to bits inside and out to wear off the rubber. on most instances, it did do the trick and improve the traction. but anyways, you can just return that shoe because probably you got a dud. I remember having a dud shoe from way back and it was horrible outdoors, I was practically sliding off on concrete and play courts. it was just bad.

  4. I didnt try the shoe, but from reviews i read their is an issue that the shoe is straight flat?
    Is this a problem someone noticed?
    The traction is that bad?
    I only order from the internet and cant wear them and see.
    Appreciate if you can help me

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