The adidas T-Mac Millennium performance review has arrived.
Back in the days of long ago, there was a 6’10” point guard named Tracy McGrady. He came to the NBA from high school and went to the North Lands where he teamed with his cousin, Vince Carter, to form one of the most promising young teams in the league. However, fate decided to send the young one to the sunny beaches of Orlando and he created Magic with Grant Hill. Once in the sunshine, he was given a signature line called, appropriately, T-Mac (nicknames in the 90’s/early 2000’s weren’t really creative). So now we arrive here, in 2019, and adidas has taken the basic structure of the T-Mac 1 and added Boost, for the Millenium. Is the shoe stuck in the past or is it ready for today’s new generation of players inspired by the original? Let’s see…
Freaking awesome. Dust – no problem. Dust bunnies – no problem. Tumbleweeds – No. Problem. This is some of the best traction I have played in from any brand in the last few years. I did have to wipe a few times each wear (usually once or twice per game and I played 5-7 games a night for 5 nights). Full-length multi-directional herringbone that actually varies in pattern size, it pushes dust away from the center of the shoe and almost all of it makes its way off of the outsole. It’s amazing traction can still be bad on some models when, after the last three adidas I’ve reviewed (Harden Vol.3, N3XT L3V3L, and these) have all used some variation of herringbone and all been incredible.
Outdoors? Nah, not an extremely good option, but better than the Harden or N3XT. The pattern is deeper and the rubber is a little harder but it is still not built for concrete seasons. That’s a shame, because the rest of the shoe screams playground construction.
BOOOOOOST!!!! While the original T-Mac 1 had adiprene+ in the forefoot and adiprene in the heel, the Millenium ups the ante with a full-length Boost midsole that feels freaking great. The Millenium feels like the Crazy Explosive 2017 – it rides low in the forefoot without jarring impact, providing quick response. Some Boost midsoles feel too soft and mushy, making your steps feel a little slower – not the case with the Millenium. This can be credited to the forefoot caging on the lateral side, keeping the Boost from compressing completely to the floor and also adding stability to the forefoot (more on that later). The Millenium honestly feels quick despite looking high and bulky.
The heel is more Boost, which is not a bad thing. There is no caging, so it is all about impact protection, which is great. There is a slight lag in response time because of the compression, but I will take a slight lag for added impact at my age. One other thing – there is a section of the outsole that comes up the heel Boost slightly – nice little nod to the original model.
When images first started coming out of the Millennium I got a little happy. Not “trip to Bahamas” happy, but “look – LEATHER!!!” happy. Sadly, it wasn’t meant to be, as the upper is a very leather-like synthetic. The body of the upper has images printed on it that I honestly have no idea what they mean – feathers, arrows, swords, lots of Native American images (only on this colorway – the others have different print). The toecap is a higher grade synthetic than the midfoot and rear panels – but still fake. This makes the upper really, reeeaaalllly stiff to start but is also durable as #$!!. If you grab these, give them at least 3-4 wears to break in and you will have a great feel.
The tongue is a classic separate system and allows the upper to be pulled tight with no bunching of the upper. It’s mesh to help with heat because that upper is an oven in Texas in July (believe me). No idea what the heel piece is for – it provides nothing structurally and mine actually started digging into the heel and making a funny, squeaky sound (word to Griswold). It does have a wood-grain print on the inside, a subtle callback to the heel counter of the T-Mac V that featured actual wood in the shoe. There are also some pretty massive heel/Achilles pads in the liner that lock your foot in and feel perfect.
Wide-footers, REJOICE!!!! This may be the shoe for you!!! The Millennium can go one of two ways for fit – if you are slightly wide or want a little wiggle room in the toe box, go true to size. If you want a snugger fit that needs very little adjustment, go a half-size down. I myself went true and some wears I wish I went down and some I am okay true. This is where the tongue system being classic construction really comes in handy, allowing the upper to be pulled tight without pain or a knit/one-piece material bunching up and causing pain or blisters. The synthetic toe cap does eventually break in but it is still a little stiff, so going down half may put your toe right into that cap and be rough.
Heel fit, once broken in, is locked. The padding mentioned above locks you tight and the lacing runs high enough to pull you foot back into the heel counter and down. Midfoot fit is more of the same – once broken in, the flex learns your foot and feels completely locked in.
All the normal features are here – good lacing system, good fit, synthetic upper that is stiff and supportive. The one thing adidas has added since the Rose 5 is a full-length shank plate that works with the Boost to provide spring and reflex. Sometimes it’s called an Infinity shank and sometimes it looks like a fork, but it works. One thing the Millennium does is lateral stability, and it has it in serious style. The toecap works to limit any movement side-to-side. The outsole comes up the lateral side and cages the Boost but also wraps up and over the toes and toecap, providing just a little more containment and stability.
There is an internal heel counter that works with the lacing to really lock the heel in and we already talked about the internal padding. The Millennium is a super-stable shoe that feels like a lighter low on foot.
I am about to drop some high praise, and I thought ling and hard about saying this, but here goes – this is my favorite adidas basketball shoe since the Rose 7, and is in my top 5 adidas shoes ever (Supernatural Creator, Rose 7, Rose 1.5, T-Mac 6 are the others). I think this shoe is better for me than the Harden Vol.3, and it was the #2 shoe for me in 2018. If you are looking for a great all-around shoe, locked in fit (after break-in), awesome traction and cushioning, and that nostalgic T-Mac look and memories, this is the shoe for you. Anyone can wear this shoe and enjoy it – it’s truly suitable for any position, just like T-Mac. Maybe if he had Boost back then he would still be putting up triple-doubles.