adidas Harden Vol 3 Performance Review

The adidas Harden Vol 3 performance review is here and its one of the best basketball shoes of 2018.


The adidas Harden Vol 3 is Available Now at adidas.com


Herringbone. Herringbone everywhere! My only complaint here is that the grooves of the herringbone are a bit too tightly spaced. When you’re on a floor that has a good amount of dust you will need to maintain wiping the soles. This happens to be something that a lot of players do whether they need to or not so it wasn’t a huge issue for me. One benefit to having tightly spaced grooves is that they were able to pack on a lot of the pattern from heel to toe. So, when there was dust and you would be in a situation where you are unable to wipe, there was enough coverage to eventually get that bite you’d expect from this type of setup.

As one would suspect, on clean courts the traction was nothing short of awesome.

Outdoors they performed really nicely as well. The rubber is soft and they’ve begun to fray a bit, I only played outdoors for about 2 hours, so if you wanted something that works then this will do. If you wanted something that will last then I’d probably opt for the Harden Vol 2 instead.

Full length Boost makes up the midsole and its the most well-balance ride adidas has been able to come up with since implementing the cushion into its basketball line.

Heel to toe transition is smooth. Court feel is perfect. Impact protection still exists despite the latter. This has been my favorite version of Boost in basketball.

It’s not too bouncy. It’s not too firm. It’s just right.

While knits can be a hit or miss, when the material is able to mimic leather without the break-in process then that’s when it truly shines.

The setup here is very similar to what was used on the Nike LeBron 16. Despite the build being comprised of fabric, its thick and strong. Perfect just just about anyone. There is no dead-space within the shoe and they just feel awesome on-foot.

What’s with the elastic band? Does it do anything? No. Nothing at all. I think it’s just there as a design piece. While I thought it was strange at first, it does give you something to look at when you look down.

I went true to size and have no issues with the decision. In fact, these have been the best fitting adidas shoes I’ve worn in quite some time.

Lockdown was great as well. Once laced up they remind me a lot of the Nike Kobe 5. Only with a knitted upper. Pretty awesome, right?

Everything on the Harden Vol 3 works perfectly with one another. From the internal heel counter to the way the upper wraps around your foot. The flat stable base and the torsion spring plate running from the heel to the forefoot.

The adidas Harden Vol 3 might not look like much, but its performance on the court is nearly perfect. I’ve said this recently in a video — I wish I could remember which one — but sometimes simplicity garners the best results. There is nothing special about the Harden Vol 3, but the Harden Vol 3 is a special shoe. Its so simple that it does everything right. Some would say they played it safe, but if all you want is a shoe that hits every aspect you could want on a shoe then playing it safe might’ve been the best way to go.

If you end up with a pair, or have already been playing in a pair, I’d love to hear what you think about them. Do you feel the same way I do or was there something on the shoe that didn’t work out for you?

23 Comments

  1. Finally! I’ve been waiting for this review. 🙂
    I never buy shoes without watching and reading your reviews man. I’ve been fitting these shoes in the mall just to know my proper size but I had to wait on your insights before buying them. They feel like the kobe 5/6 on initial fitting. Hopefully they feel the same on court as well. I just bought 2 pairs online on a great discount after watching the video. 🙂 Great job sir!

  2. Thanks for another great review Nightwing. I agree that these are some very good to great basketball shoes even if they don’t look terribly impressive. Traction, fit, lockdown, containment, and court feel are all very good. The cushioning is a nice balance of court feel and impact protection and one of my favorite Boost setups from adidas. I grabbed the drew league purples and the red/whites off ADC with discount codes. The uppers are similar on both, but I like the slightly nicer feel of the drew leagues. These shoes are a great pickup for playing basketball – especially if you can get them closer to $100.

  3. The height of the heel collar is really the only off-putting aspect of it aesthetically IMO. Clean, simple silhouttes are the best. Awesome review! Definitely looking to cop these once it starts getting discounted

  4. Great review, I tried these on the other day and i was so mad the fit was so good. Haha why is it so Damn good, love this shoe

  5. I played on a very dusty court and thought the traction wasn’t great there but it was very dusty. I love the feel and fit of the shoe. I got the purple colorway for 132 on eastbay and love the look on foot on and off court. Simple shoe that looks great on foot and plays well on court.

  6. I’ve had this shoe for a couple of weeks and I’m surprised at how much I love playing in it. I usually prefer boost over zoom air because of no break-in time required, and these remind me why. It feels so much lighter and is so less bulky than the vol 2.

    I haven’t worn a bball shoe this good in ages. I also personally really like the black colorway (and the new Supernova white one)

  7. i got nothing against the simple design. if it works, then it works.

    just wondering if they would bring out the flashiness of the vol 3’s in the LS models – like the vol 2 had a somewhat complex design and toned down the LS.

  8. Hey Nightwing, you mention D-Rose when talking about a shoe’s overall fit and the amount of force a player can generate. Do you think, with the shoes that D-Rose was wearing (his signatures with Adidas), that his shoes were a factor in D-Rose’s knee injuries?

    1. It might’ve played a small role, but when you look back at old footage you can see he’d land improperly. I think him landing in a way to make a forceful/powerful statement put too much stress on his knees. Wear and tear is also a factor. These guys play a lot since they’re kids trying to make it into the league.

  9. Perfect timing. 30% off with code NOVSALE at adidas.com right now. They also reduced the price of the Drew League colorway to $140 even though it has colored boost.

    Thanks for the review.

  10. Your reviews are the only ones I take seriously. Other’s that I watch focus too much on the wrong things with a shoe IMO. I originally did not like these when they came out, but the more I’ve looked at em, especially this colorway the more I’ve grown to like em. I likely will get a pair to use as a gym shoe to replace my UA Heatseekers as those shoes are just killing my feet (especially my arches).

  11. Nightwing, do you notice that adidas have conversion size of 9 UK to 9-1/2 US and 9-1/2 UK to 10 US while nike and the other brands convert 9 UK to 10 US?
    Any suggestion for which sizing is more consistent, UK or US?
    When you talk about true to size, which sizing did you mean?
    Thanks

    1. I’m not nightwing but my advice is to just stop thinking in UK/EU sizes and just use the US ones. My nike 14 equals my adidas 14 most of the time. There is no “adidas size” and no “nike size”, there’s just… Your size.

  12. Man got excited with all the rave reviews on this shoe ended up buying 4 pairs. They do fit true to size and felt good on my feet when I tried them on. However court performance for me was a different story. The traction was good. But the support was not there and felt my feet sliding. I felt pain I never felt before on my old pair of D Lillard 2s. Im not a fan of Boost and even though these were better than the D Rose they are still not for me. My knees hurt and they never hurt before. I will stick to Bounce. Its way better on the joints. Need to find something to replace my D Lillard 2s which was a great shoe! Hardens are getting returned! I only like Boost for casual wear. Performance no thanks.

  13. Great review, man! Can you compare these cushion and court feel with the cushion and court feel on Jordan 31’s? From all the bball shoes I’ve ever had, I think the cushion on the 31’s was the best, because was lightweight and had a really nice court feel. The boost on harden 3’s is comfy as the J 31’s or firmer? And is lower than the J 31’s?

    Thanks!

  14. How do these compare, if you can remember, to the Crazylight Boost 2016 which you had (and I agree) as one of the best low tops, and one of your best of 2016. I got these based on your review and love em. Similar feedback and cushion? traction? Appreciate the review as always.

    1. Meant to say I got those, as in the CL 2016, and can’t get enough of them, especially for what $$$ I can find em for now. But if the vol. 3 performs better I may have to cop.

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