The adidas Exhibit A, the brand’s latest team basketball shoe, has landed. Thanks to the power of the internet, I was able to grab a pair for testing and a timely performance review.
Is this “successor” to the adidas Pro Boost worth the time of players with an interest in the silhouette? Time to share some thoughts and experiences.
A full-length collection of diamonds make up the outsole pattern of the Exhibit A. Though all are placed in one direction, the hollowed-out shape provides coverage whether you are moving forward, backward, side-to-side, or diagonally.
The second layer of tread should provide a buffer as far as durability. Without playing outdoors, I haven’t had any issues burning through the first layer.
I primarily play on two well-finished floors — one usually swept often, one dustier. On the latter, a light wiping of the outsole is necessary once or twice during each game. When the traction is clean, a reliable bite is typically present on the Exhibit A.
Full-length Lightstrike, a lightweight EVA compound, makes up the midsole of the Exhibit A. Lightstrike has been a mixed bag in my experience. In my opinion, the Exhibit cushion falls somewhere in the “adequate” category.
A slight, not abundant, amount of cushion is felt. Mostly what you’re getting in this midsole is lightweight stability in the forefoot with just a touch more impact protection in the heel.
It’s far from the best we have gotten from the Lightstrike compound, but as far as getting the job done underfoot for a couple of hours of play, the adidas Exhibit A fits the bill.
A modern, lightweight textile blended with recycled content makes up the upper. I’m happy adidas went with a more comfortable half-bootie construction instead of the elastic midfoot bands used a lot lately.
The open-cell mesh layer of the upper with fuse overlays reminds me heavily of the rebooted UA Spawn line aesthetically. More importantly, the materials work well on-court.
With the Exhibit A, you can expect minimal break-in time, a better fitting midfoot (compared to past adidas team models), and well-placed protection from wear and tear.
If you’re not a wide footer, you’ll want to consider going at least a half-size down from your true US size. I actually played in a full-size down from my US size and had a decent experience, but that may be pushing it for some — the back of the shoe sculpting may irritate the Achilles area due to the decrease in length.
I now have a second pair at a half size down, which is my preference. However, the fact I was even comfortable giving a full-size down a blind chance (not to mention it working out for me) says a lot about how sizing has been inconsistent across adidas basketball models. But hey, if it works, it works.
When you can find a good fit in adidas hoop models from the last few years, support is one of the more consistent aspects of the brand. That’s no different on the Exhibit A.
adidas does the base of a hoop shoe about as good or better than anyone. What I like most about the Exhibit A is the heel support. Not only does the external heel clip remind me of something minimal but effective like the Nike Kobe 6, but it’s strengthened up even more with the addition of an internal heel counter.
I appreciated the skin TPU overlays, which add support in addition to durability. But again, having a good fit really brought everything else together as far as support goes.
The adidas Exhibit A is a surprisingly refreshing model. It manages to offer much of the same from some of my favorite recent pairs from the brand (adidas Dame 7, adidas D.O.N. Issue #3) in a lighter, faster package.
Had the Lightstrike midsole offered a little more balance between bounce and stability, this might have been a contender. Even without great cushion, I think many can expect a reliable shoe that doesn’t get in the way of focusing on your game.
You can currently buy the adidas Exhibit A Low in White and Black/White colorways at adidas.