The next chapter of James Harden’s signature line has been put to the test and that means that the adidas Harden Vol 2 performance review is finally here.
You can find the adidas Harden Vol 2 available now at Eastbay.com
Unfortunately, the traction on the Harden Vol 2 just wasn’t as good as that of the original. A re-engineered rendition of the Harden Vol 1’s data-driven pattern was utilized in the Harden Vol 2 and it didn’t pan out the way I had hoped.
I never received the same bite that I had experienced on the Harden Vol 1, despite the rubber compound being nearly identical between the two sneakers. When it gripped I was very pleased, however, I wasn’t pleased the majority of the time while playing in the shoe.
Excessive dust collection is a major issue for this pattern and keeping it free of debris will be your number one priority on the court rather than playing. Even in an NBA practice facility — a nearly pristine court — I wasn’t getting much bite and I always felt like I was going to slip if I put too much pressure on an area of the outsole with the compacted pattern.
I was pretty disappointed in this category because I loved the Harden Vol 1, but I can’t say the same for the Harden Vol 2 — and it was one of my most anticipated sequels to a great first model.
Boost is back and thicker than ever before on the Harden Vol 2. Surprisingly, I never felt too high off the ground or unstable. Packing more Boost pellets into the midsole made it firmer, creating more stability while also increasing overall impact protection.
Some may not enjoy this setup because it won’t give you that bouncy Boost feeling, but you don’t always have to feel something working — as long as it actually works. Luckily, Boost actually works, and works really well, so if you were interested in a shoe that provides you with stability, court feel, and tons of impact protection then the Harden Vol 2 might be for you.
While I was initially disappointed that a premium or raw material was left off of the Harden Vol 2, once I started playing in it I never once thought, “Some premium leather would enhance my overall experience right now.”
The textile mesh at the forefoot required no break-in time while the additional stitching throughout increased the material’s strength quite a bit. I was very impressed by this and wondered why we’re just starting to see this implemented when we’ve had mesh on basketball shoes for a number of years now. Great work by adidas for adding this onto the mesh.
It’ll be interesting to see how this material wears long term because I’ve seen so many players with a ripped lateral forefoot on their engineered mesh sneakers. If this small modification allows the upper’s material to last the life of the shoe then it’s a worthy addition.
I know most have been unimpressed by the synthetic rear panel of the shoe, but it works on-court so I can’t complain. Yes, I’d love for this panel to be where the raw materials seen in the first model are brought into the mix, but this is what we have to work with. This panel is very strong and durable so containment isn’t an issue. Longevity shouldn’t be an issue either.
So, while you may be disappointed by the materials used, you shouldn’t be disappointed by their performance.
True to size. Wide footers, try them on in-store and then shop online. There is an elastic-like band where the mesh and synthetic layer meet that doesn’t stretch much. I love how it fits and feels, but wide footers and those with high arches may not. For everyone else, I love the fit going true to size.
Lockdown was really good as well, and it was a tad better than lockdown in the Harden Vol 1. The rear panel is strong and wraps around the midfoot nicely. Meanwhile, that band I mentioned (where the two materials meet) keeps the forefoot snug and secure.
The internal bootie feels like neoprene and acts like one as well; you can feel it wrapped around your heel and ankle — but not in a suffocating way. It’s somewhat like the Dame 4’s compression collar but stretchier, so it’s easier to get on and off, and it’s able to adapt a bit to different heel/ankle shapes and sizes.
The Harden Vol 2 was very supportive despite riding so high off the floor in the heel. Its Boost platform is very wide and you actually sit within it just a bit so you never really feel as high off the ground as you actually are. The TPU-wrapped forefoot ensured the Boost’s stability in this section while also acting as an outrigger.
At the heel, there is a very strong internal heel counter and that large exaggerated rubber piece from the outsole; these make the heel one of the most supportive aspects of the shoe. Lastly, the torsional plate is alive and well and even extends into the forefoot to act as a TPU spring plate. For a Guard shoe, the support is here and shouldn’t let you down.
The only thing I can say I didn’t enjoy here was the traction. I loved the Harden Vol 1 and if the Harden Vol 2 had provided me with the same exceptional grip then I would have loved it as well.
Unfortunately, the inconsistency that I experienced with the traction will likely keep the Harden Vol 2 out of my rotation because traction is an attribute I need. However, I will be interested in trying the shoe out on an outdoor surface once it warms up around here.
So you just felt like you were going to slip if you put too much pressure in certain areas? Or you did slip out? Need clarification on this. Thanks.
Both. There were times when it’d bite and other times when I’d slip or skid.
What do you use to wipe dusty outsoles?
The defenders body.
Would you say that the outsole is durable enough if played on outdoor courts?
I want to see them make a boost ball shoe where I can feel it more in the forefoot. I dont think i felt anything substantial since the Rose 6. They may sell more of those because when people try them in a store, their first impression would have more of a wow factor. I understand that some would prefer a dead forefoot, but all I’m saying is that one shoe could have more of a boosty feel in the forefoot, not all of them. So far they all have somewhat of a same-ish feeling.
It could just be as simple as putting holes in the stroble board in the forefoot. I’ve modded some boost ball shoes buy cutting holes or slashing cuts in the stroble board, and the boost feels nicer and is more impact absorbing.
I feel you man. I read the product description, and adidas specifically talks about this model’s great traction and how they spent all this time engineering it. Then I get the shoes and try them on a squeaky clean court, and they slip and slide like an old and worn-out pair of b-ball shoes! Did anyone at adidas try these out before putting them on sale??? If they had my pair, they definitely would’ve went back to work on that outsole.
Just came back from 2.5 hours of pick-up. Loved them. Fit I found otherwordly, and my feet and adidas shoes aren’t exactly a match made in haven. TTS all the way! In hand they are really heavy but I actually felt very fast and springy in them. Traction wasn’t a deal breaker for me. I’m very shifty and it did the trick on the floor I play in (the outsoles were even squeaky). Since Father Time is ever so present for me, I can’t rely on my Kyrie 3s, Curry 2s and Dame 4s type shoes every week no more so, while the V2 is def a departure from what I’m used to wear on court, I’m really happy with them.
Man you hit that nail on the head… There are so many ways to get traction right, yet for the sake of getting cute or doing something new, companies just ignore what works. I mean, why do I care that you data mapped Harden’s foot to create the aesthetics of the traction? All it is too, is just smoke and mirrors to try and create the illusion that they’re doing something new and fresh. I don’t sit and admire the bottom of my shoe, so I don’t care what nifty designs you come up with for traction… Pick something that works and make the rest of the shoe design fresh.
The team colors are DOPE!!!! Check them out at adidas.com
Nice Review. I agree with everything you said, except the traction portion. They have been money for me. Everywhere I go. Really enjoy the shoe, probably my favorite over the last 6 months.
How’s everyone else finding the traction in the Vol 2s for hooping? I bit the bullet and picked up a pair of the Traffic Jams despite the reports. Been taking them to some of the worst rec courts in my neighborhood and haven’t had any traction problems you wouldn’t also experience in any other shoe. Been enjoying them overall.
On a side note, I’ve absolutely been loving the Westbrooks. Picked up the 2-way color way a while back ago. Thanks for the reviews as always.
i used to wear size 8.5US with nike shoes. i thought adidas shoes is little bit wide so i decided to go down for a haft size , 8us. But it still wide for me. Then i had to change to wear 7.5us. My foot is normal shape! so i think you should go down at least a half of size if you have normal shape foot!