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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
OVERALL – Ridiculous. 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.