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adidas DON Issue 4 Performance Review

adidas DON Issue 4

The adidas DON Issue 4 has a lot of potential for outstanding performance, especially with the upper getting an upgrade from previous models.

Colorway: Vivid Red/Core Black

Release Date: 2022

Price: $120

Donovan Mitchell’s name was included in a bunch of trade rumors this off-season. There was some talk about him joining Jalen Brunson in New York to play for the Knicks. Some speculated about him taking his talents to South Beach. At the same time, some thought he would stay in Salt Lake City, Utah. But in the end, he will wear the adidas DON Issue 4 in Cleveland as a member of an up and coming young Cavs team. We’re excited and ready to see both his and his shoes’ performance on the court.

The adidas DON Issue 4 was good enough to make the following lists: Best adidas Basketball Shoes, Best for Outdoors, and Best for Shooting Guards.


The traction for the DON Issue 4 was solid for both indoor and outdoor courts. The multi-directional pixelated pattern worked best when I played on clean courts. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for the dirtier courts I played on. I found myself slipping and wiping the outsole constantly. My test pair’s outsole was two-toned: the forefoot half being slightly translucent and the rear half being more solid. Other colorways of the shoe offer one-colored solid traction setups. Hopefully, that option works better for others since that would just have one consistent rubber compound throughout. The traction threads are gummy, but they are moderately hard. Even after playing outdoors, it did not show considerable wear. I also like that the threads are thick, raised, and fairly spaced out.


This was, unfortunately, my least favorite aspect of the shoe. The Lightstrike setup felt too stiff for me, even after playing for close to 15 hours. Now maybe I’m too light to thoroughly break in the cushion, or it just has a long break in time. I am assuming that this is just the Lightstrike in this shoe, and I assume it will mostly feel stiff. The good thing is that the cushion is doing its job, as evidenced by the multiple compression lines on the foam after heavy use. There is also a gradual decline in stack height from rear to front. It doesn’t feel as noticeable as others, so the forefoot still feels high from the ground. You may not like this if you’re used to low-profile and minimal shoes that have a low to the court feel.


The adidas DON Issue 4 is light, but when you put them on, they feel heavier and bulkier. A large part of that is due to its upper. The exterior of the appearance has a nice Jacquard texture, but for performance, I’m more concerned by how the inner lining felt. The shoe upper’s interior has a thinly padded lining that gives a hugging feel to your feet. While it does feel comfortable for my feet, I felt like it dragged me down and made the shoes feel heavier the more I played in them. This may be more of a preference that can be a positive for other users. There is a Core Black colorway coming soon that seems to have a more breathable knit upper option.


Going true to size should work for most people, but if you have wide feet or wear ankle braces like I do, going up half a size will be helpful. It is moderately snug in the midfoot area, but it won’t be as snug as KD or a Li-Ning pair. It is a low top, so there is a lot of ankle mobility depending on how you utilize the last eyelets. The lacing system also contributes very well to providing a secure lockdown. My only minor gripe with it was that the laces interlocked so much it was hard to adjust. That’s probably the whole point of it, but I do think it could have still been implemented with an easier way to adjust while still providing a secure feeling. The upper material is quite padded and more structured compared to other options, so that is another thing to keep in mind when thinking about fit.


Support was one of the stronger aspects of the shoe. I would like to highlight three key support features it has: a shank plate, extra eyelets, and a wide base. First, there is a full-length shank plate that covers your torsional needs. There is some forefoot flex, but for the most part, the shoe can’t overfold or twist laterally. My favorite and most underrated support feature is the three extra eyelets at the very end. I know they are just eyelets, but an extra eyelet can literally be the difference-maker in preventing heel slippage. Just ask people who had problems with the Nike KD 15s. Overall the eyelets, along with the plush cushion around the ankles, provided a secure locked-down feel for me. Lastly, the adidas DON Issue 4’s wide outsole base really helps with stability and traction performance.

adidas DON Issue 4 Overall

The stiff cushion in the adidas DON Issue 4, combined with the wide base of the shoe, makes it a good shoe for someone who craves stability. It prevents you from rocking side to side or sinking into the cushion as you would in a softer cushion setup. Personally, I wish that cushion setup felt more forgiving. They felt too rock-hard. While I don’t love these shoes I also didn’t hate playing in them. This may just be a coincidence, but my jump shot was doing well whenever I played with these shoes. I think that a wide stable base really helped with keeping my balance. This will be an outdoor shoe for me since that stiff thick cushion, and the shank plate becomes even more important for protection when playing outside.

What’s in the video?

In the video, Chris provides detailed information from all the usual categories, providing the in-depth information you need. He supplies expert-level opinions on the materials, cushioning, traction, support, and fit. Here’s some of what he discusses:

  • Slightly different box
  • Reminiscent of adidas Dame 2
  • Pixelated traction pattern
  • Gummy rubber outsole
  • Full-length Lightstrike midsole and strobel
  • Substantial torsional plate
  • Awesome Jacquard upper
  • Fuse overlays for durability
  • Thick rubber Three Stripes
  • Interesting collar shape
  • Synthetic nubuck and suede rear section
  • “Determination Over Negativity”
  • Upcoming Utah Jazz-themed colorway
  • Sizing recommendations

As an added bonus, Mrs. Wing and Chris discuss how these line up visually with the rest of the DON Issue series.

Let us know your opinion on the DON Issue 4 in the comment section below or on YouTube or Twitter.

Buy DON Issue 4 at adidas

How to Buy the adidas DON Issue 4

The adidas DON Issue 4 is available now for $155 at iD4Shoes on eBay and for $120 at adidas.

First Impressions of the adidas DON Issue 4

Spanish First Impressions of the adidas DON Issue 4

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