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Don’t Call It a Comeback – adidas Rose 6 Performance Review

Who needs a good year in basketball more – adidas or Derrick Rose? adidas is riding the public perception – undeservedly – that their shoes cause injuries due to Rose’s (and others) past couple of years. Never mind that other brands have athletes go down just as hard and often. Rose is, of course, continuing his comeback from three years of injuries rarely seen in an athlete’s career, not to mention his broken face.

Together, they are coming back HARD with the Rose 6, and before we get in to the review, I will get this out of the way: this is the BEST adidas shoe ever made for basketball. It overtook my pick of the Supernatural Creator, which if you know me was the pinnacle of greatness by which all other adidas is measured. Now, if you want to skip the rest and save time, you know. If not, read (and watch) on…

rose 6 hinkle8

MATERIALS – Depends. Just like last year, the Rose line will be made up of various materials depending on the colorway/theme. Already, we have the Home white/grey with a mesh overlay on synthetic and the Away, seen here, in a straight synthetic fuse over Sprintweb. Which is better? No idea – I only have the Aways, and even though my love of leather is well known, I have no complaints about the materials here. They are made of a thinner synthetic so the break in is minimal and the shoe quickly learns flex points and creases just right to your foot.

Bad part – ventilation is not good. There are vent holes but they are lined with mesh. The tongue and ankle are heavily padded which leads to more sweat and absorption. If you need fresh feet this will probably bother you greatly. If you play to play, no big deal.

Speaking of ankle padding, the material lining is a fabric adidas called “cat’s tongue” about 12 years ago when they lined the adidas a3 Superstar Ultra with it. Rubbing down from the top it is smooth to the touch. Rubbing up from the insole it grabs and is rough, helping control ankle slip. Nice touch.

Midsole is Boost and StableFrame – more on that shortly. Outsole is solid thick rubber – more on that too.


rose 6 hinkle9

FIT – True to size, maybe, MAYBE, a half size down. The padding is thick inside and takes up most of the extra space from last year, along with a slimmed down toe box from top to bottom and a thicker (little bit) insole, so going down will probably be too snug. Length-wise it would be okay, but I would stay true.

Gene Simmons tongue and Nicki Minaj ankle padding keep you locked up. The tongue has had some criticism on the message boards, but it is necessary – the top lace sprockets, when pulled tight, would give serious pressure without it. The lacing system through the rest of the foot is set wide and really lets you pull tight, but you can still be free if you have a foot like a parade float – the shoe is cut pretty wide.

Once tight, no movement. NONE. Even without any real sidewalls on the forefoot I never felt any side-to-side when playing defense or pushing off on drives. The SprintWeb and synthetic keep your foot over the bed and the lacing keeps you in.

rose 6 hinkle5

TRACTION –  Most surprising of anything on this test. I figured the pattern would hold on clean courts, but out of the four I played on I had no, NADA, slippage. One dirty 24 court, another almost clean 24 court, rubberized church court, and a clean high school court; all had me grabbing and most had me squeaking. Full herringbone (pattern anyway) and a soft, pliable rubber compound made me happy, but not for outdoors. About two weeks of solid outdoor wear and you are smoke. The rubber slab itself is thick but the pattern is shallow, so it would wear off after two hard Rose-like drives (if you are like me). Honestly, for indoors, lace them up and you don’t need another stand-by for bad courts or good – they will hold.


rose 6 hinkle7

CUSHIONING – I almost skipped this category just to see who I could make angry, but here goes: Best. Cushioned. Shoe. If you find better softer but responsive cushioning, you are lying. Boost is thick but bounces – it lets your foot sink in but then, just as suddenly, pushes back to shape and propels your next step. Same heel puck as the CLBoost 2015 so you know what you get there – stable but bouncy. No, NO jarring from landing back on rebounds or awkward jumpers.

Forefoot – YES!!!! Not as low as some “guard” shoes but I will give up a little court feel for the response and bounce of Boost. No reason not too – it is too good. Whether running down court on a break, stepping into a three, driving on a blow-by, backpedaling on defense, I LOVE THE FEEL OF THIS SHOE. Done. No slow down like you normally get from soft foams, just quickness back into play.


rose 6 hinkle1

Support/Stability – Like the Rose line since Day 1, the 6 is built on stability and support – he wears more ankle braces than Forrest Gump. The straps look cool as h-e-!! to me, but I love out-there looking shoes. However, I don’t think they do much work. I thought the four straps would pull that heel counter into the shoe and lock you in, but the straps on the bottom are fixed to the upper, so they don’t go anywhere. The upper straps pull slightly but not from the heel – they are sewn into the plastic right behind the laces. Concept great – execution meh.

However, the shoe still has great support from the fit and base as well as the StableFrame. The Boost is amplified and stabilized again, like last year with an X-Beam frame under the midsole, but it is far from stiff in the forefoot. Mainly to keep the shoe rigid in the midfoot, it also keeps the forefoot Boost from being unstable and tipping on lateral movements (one reason last year was encased). The wide base gives you a helipad for landings and the heel counter internally keeps your ankle upright if you don’t like Frankenstein boots for ball.

d rose 6 scorecard (435x580)

OVERALLRidiculous. Ridiculous performance. Ridiculous we had to wait this long for great Boost in basketball. But maybe the wait is what makes it great. Now adidas is in a real situation – where do they improve?

This may be the highest I have ever rated a shoe, and deservedly so. Cushioning, traction, fit, stability, transition – all made for Rose and all are what a player of ANY caliber needs, and at a reasonable price compared to the market. Not much else to say – the comeback is complete. Best adidas shoe. Ever.

  1. You said this is one of the highest rated shoes you’ve ever reviewed. Does it compare to the xx9’s? Or are the shoes just too different?

  2. Surprised on the results, but in a good way, didn’t really expect these to perform that great. Especially the traction since it looked iffy. Quick question, did you play or at least try these shoe outside? If so how did the traction perform there? The same inside?

    1. Ec – just some dribbling/shooting/lateral workouts in the driveway court. Smooth concrete but still had some noticeable wear after two 2 hour sessions.

  3. Great review. Bought them for my son on the 30% off sale. He tried on the lebron 13s and said they were horrible but as soon as he tried on the 6s, he said they were the most comfortable ever. So my 9 yr old approves.

  4. Thank you so much for putting all your hard work, money, and time into this performance review. Now I know what shoes I’m rocking on and off the court. Thumbs up!

  5. Great review duke. Better than the sn creator? Now that is something.
    I too, feel like the 6is a bit higher than the 5, especially in the forefoot.

    I read the whole review but did not watch the vid, were u able to touch on the topic of whether this is full lenght boost or just forefoot/heel? (not that it matters, im still grabbing a second pair soon. Ballin dead cw hopefully.)

    Great review as usual. Keep it coming.

    1. I didn’t get too into it but from removing the insole and seeing pics of the translucent bottoms it seems to be only heel/forefoot.

  6. Thank’s Nightwing!! Your reviews are the best. I have never bought an Adidas performer, until now. Definitely giving these a go!! …been here for years!!

  7. Thanks for the review, Duke.
    Aesthetically, and performance wise, adidas is getting back into the fold.
    Completely backs up their designation of “top of line” basketball shoe.

  8. WOOOOOOW! Thanks for the review, Duke. Exciting that you have a new favorite. I’m really psyched for this shoe now. Was hyped for the CL Boost 2015 but wanted Boost in the forefoot too so I’m glad that they nailed it with these bad boys. Now I’m kinda hoping to wear out my XX9s and Curry 1 Lows so I have an excuse to get these—haha! … Digressing a little, but it pertains to excuses: was surprised to notice when removing my XX9s after playing recently that the lateral side of the internal heel counter had cracked or split from its top to its base. Is that a valid excuse to retire them and replace with Roses? Hahaha! But seriously, now I’m wondering if Nike would honor a return for that. Haven’t tried playing in them since I noticed it so I’m not even sure it’ll affect performance.
    Anyway, thanks again, Duke—always look forward to your reviews!

    1. Nike will honor that. Especially if you mention how you use them for ball and they won’t perform anymore. Done it for 20 years with them. Process takes long so call asap.

    1. Like I said in the LeBron XIII review – I’ll wear anything anywhere. Jordans and 80’s high tops weren’t aesthetically pleasing at the time – reebok tennis and kswiss and kaepa and Stan smith’s were. And look how we drool over Jordans now.

  9. It’s a great shoe, and while the heel’s fit/support/lockdown is perfectly fine, I hoped it would’ve contributed to a more articulated fit like the Zoom Solider IX’s straps.

    What it may be instead, though, is interesting: Seems to be serving as a continuous reinforcement from the collar to the midfoot; and the subsequent junctions of the TPU housing the straps can be interpreted as flex points so overall it’s a supportive yet articulate system. Also, the vertical lace hole routing eliminates pinching at the top.

    I did see that other review with the added lace hole, but imo I think the lockdown is actually reliant on the hidden loops, and the shoe is supposed to fit like a low.

    eh, too much thinking/guessing out loud.

    1. I actually relaxed and skipped the hidden eyelet for a couple of games and you’re right – for lockdown you need that loop.

        1. I really appreciate a shoe under 15 ounces at a size 9, do you know how much these weigh? If they are are under 16 ill have to try them because I had had the Chicago ice pair last year and these look to improve on everything I didn’t like about them. Not that I didn’t like them, they were decent. Great review BTW, love when you guys are excitex..its contagious. ..there’s a lot of us that love shoes especially one that performs at this level on the court

  10. I played for three hours yesterday and I was amazed at how they feel compared to the 5s. You can really feel the BOOST!!!! Lockdown is amazing and so is the traction. That’s the three most important things for me in a basketball shoe.

  11. I remember reading your original SN creator review on another site (showing my age) and bought them on the spot following that. Looks like history is gonna repeat itself. Thanks duke!

  12. You’re really tempting me, combined with Noah playing in ’em, I think they should hold up, for bigger guys too.

    1. I’m 6’1 and 185 lb mainly play 4 or 5, DRose5 (weaving top) is actually my favorite shoe in my rotation. 🙂
      The heavy padding Rose6 feels similar with 5 on feet, therefore I can said the 6 will be a safe bet.

  13. In order to get used to Boost for hoops, I have been running in the Adi Sequence Boost line, which is a great shoe made for runners with a heavy foot strike. I am trying to get used to the extra bounce you get while wearing Boost, as it feels as if my feet are still moving after I know that I have come to a stop. I can say that I do not feel the pain I used to feel a few days after running in shoes that featured full length zoom air.

    So Duke, not that you have had the same issues as I while wearing zoom air but after hooping in Boost, did your feet feel any soreness? Any noticeable differences in how long it took for you to recover from hoops? If you do not have any preexisting injuries, how did your knees and lower back feel after balling in this setup?

  14. How do these fit compared to the Clutchfit Drive? My CFD are a size 11 and they fit me perfectly, should i go half size down or stay TTS with these?

  15. Sec – no pain at all although I do have an MRI next week for a knee injury – unrelated, just old. I did used to get foot fatigue in Zoom shoes, especially the extremely bouncy like Zoom 96 and the 2K3 – too stiff and responsive almost always had my forefoot cramping. Nothing yet with Boost – it gives that sink and then bounces back perfectly for me. Good idea with the runners first.

  16. Duke, if these had a primeknit upper introduced for the all star game, would the materials most likely become weartesters hall of fame?

  17. Thanks for the Review! Is it possible they would deepen th grooves in other colorways? So it would hold out for outdoor play.

  18. Hi duke I have another question though unrelated to the shoe, Have you ever played in the zoom flight 95’s? Saw that they retroed those recently and I am crazy interested. Just wanted to know how they would be for hoops. I am guessing that you’ve played in them though not sure. Hope you can share your thoughts Duke.

    PS: Reason I asked you Duke is because I remember skimming and scanning a top ten 2000 review you did before on another site and remember a mention on zoom 95, though correct me if i’m wrong.

    1. I have the previous retro – 2007 I think -and the cushioning and traction were good. Heel fit sucks – couldn’t get them locked in at all.

    2. Nightwing played in this year’s retro and seemed to have a similar impression as Duke. He didn’t do a full review but wrote this on IG: “Traction and cushion are alright, but the fit gets worse the more I play in them.”

  19. I’m hoping whatever signature show Harden comes out with, it’ll be full boost, similar to the Rose 6. These might be my next hoop shoe.

  20. Great review Duke! I kept my Curry 2 so i”ll wait for some better colorways before trying out my first pair of Adidas basketball shoes.

  21. I ordered a customized pair for 130ish after tax with the Hoosiers discount. I couldn’t resist after this awesome review. And whatever shoes they release for Harden, it will be a low top. I’ve never seen him in anything but low tops.

  22. Duke, in your opinion, is the insole better than what was in the Rose 5s and in last year’s Crazylight Boosts? You mentioned it’s not as thin, but it still sounds cheap to me. Do you think they are using thinner insoles on purpose so that you can feel the Boost better?

    By the way, I’m glad that you’re on this site and part of the wear testers team. You’re an awesome wear tester, and I hope your knee is OK so that you can continue to do these great reviews. I also prefer the longer videos that you do. Keep up the great work.

    1. Thanks Ice – ever since Counterkicks I have been a little over-wordy. And it has been a LONG time since I started on Niketalk.com (tmac 5). Thanks for hanging in. As for the insole – same material but just a little thicker. Little, not much, and yeah, I think it is because of the need to feel boost. But it is almost like they had a thicker one in and then realized a thinner one improved boost feel so they switched it after production, hence the extra room in the shoe.

  23. Does it seem likely Adidas may make a forefoot boost only basketball model with adiprene in the heel? I feel something like that would really appeal to me…

  24. tried these last weekend and they felt really great and better than my pair of CLBOOST2015. shoe may look big in the picture but they are actually smaller and feel small in person unlike the Lebrons which just look ridiculously large. these are probably my first Rose shoe purchase.

    1. no idea but the weight is not something that is worth concerning or worrying about.

      if there was worth notifying is that the shoe could have done better if it had options for the outsole like harder rubber or bigger tractions like that on the Lillards. materials could have been nice if woven or prime knit was available as well. other than that, the shoe is perfect for what it is intended for.

    2. Nope – and don’t care. If it fits good and flexes well with good cushioning weight is not an issue – UNLESS we are talking steel toe Red Wings.

  25. I’m going to have to agree with everything the review says. These sneakers are absolutely the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever worn. As soon as you put it on and walk around, you feel the cushion. I purchased the “Home” (gray/white) version with the mesh and I’m not sure how it compares to the synthetic leather upper but mesh is forgiving in terms of it being able to stretch when needed. The tongue on this thing is ridiculous – almost cartoon-like but it provides huge benefits in terms of securing your foot/ankle in place. And if you have issues with other basketball sneakers and the front of your ankle hurting, then the D Rose 6 should solve it. Also, the “cat’s tongue”. It’s weird. Cool…but weird. If you slide your fingers downward inside the show, it’s smooth. But if you slide your fingers up, it feels like a cat’s tongue/sand paper. More sneakers needs to have this.

    One last thing – go true to size. I wore an 11 in the D Rose 5 – bad mistake. I should have bought 10.5 and the 10.5 in the D Rose 6 fits perfectly. Another comparison in sneaker size – if you wear 11’s in Nike Basketball sneaks, definitely go down to 10.5. I’m able to get a thumb’s width in an 11 Nike Basketball show and the same in a 10.5 Adidas D Rose.

  26. How do these fit in comparision with the Clutchfit Drives? I use a size 11 on those and they fit me perfectly, should i go half size down with these or stay true to size?

  27. The major drawback for me is the traction. I don’t think I can buy these because of it. I really want to, but since I play outdoors, I don’t think I can justify getting them to only be able to wear them a few times before burning through the traction.

    I wonder if Adidas could release a certain colorway or two with more outdoor friendly traction? If they were able to change up the uppers on the D Rose 5s, then I don’t see why they can’t do it with the traction on the D Rose 6s. I think it would be a great idea that can help boost their sales.

    1. Ice – NW played more outdoors than I did and his traction is holding up fine. I would say, based on his review, try them.

      1. I haven’t really had a chance to watch his review yet. Is the traction the same on all colorways? I mean, is one more pliable than the other?

  28. From the looks of the shoe and trying it on in store, they look and felt stiff/clunky in regards to heel to toe transition and overall flexibility of the shoe. Obviously it must not be too bad because rated the shoe so high but could you specifically comment on that for me? Since that’s the only thing that is keeping me from buying them

  29. I actually like the lower to the ground feel on the rose 5, I get great courtfeel on those, this ones look hella confy but higher to the ground, I still want them tho

  30. Duke, great review!
    In your opinion how durable is boost foam (for that matter Micro G/Charged)? I’ve been a zoom guy for the last 10 years or so but now that i’m older and have aches and pains I’ve been wanting to try out a solid foam like Micro G, Boost, or Charged. My only hesitation is bottoming out of the foam.
    I usually only play, now with kids etc, once or twice a week about 4-5 games each time hoping to get at least a year out of the next pair of shoes since I’m used to zoom cushions lasting as long as your traction and insole can manage.

  31. is there a benefit to put an outsole in an elite basketball shoe? particularly this one looking forward to buy them as a PG.

  32. Hey Duke! Have you tried the D. Lillard 2. Everybody seems to agree that the Bounce cushioning in the Lillard feels better than the Boost in the Rose…better responsiveness, similar impact protection…whatchu think?

  33. I wanted to know, do you prefer these or the D lillard 2? I want to get hoop shoes for my birthday in may and want to know if the Drose 6 boost has better or worse than the D lillard and how good it is. Please respond Nightwing, Duke 4005, or anyone.

  34. Duke, this question may sound off, but does the cat tongue inner fabric damage socks? Rose 6 are discounted heavily here and i might get one. I felt that the fabric is a little rough when i touched it

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