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A Close Look at adidas Harden Vol.5

Talking about Adidas shoes in recent years, the first several words popping up in my mind were “cheap”, “emotional” and “moderate”. All in all, nothing to do with words like high-end. However, the fact is when the adidas Harden Vol.5 came out, I knew I had to ditch my stereotyped image about Adidas shoes.

The size of this one is US9 EUR42 2/3 and a single shoe weighs 480g.

Personally, the moment I got this adidas Harden Vol.5 , I felt it quite like a pair of children’s shoes. But as the saying goes, “Never judge a book by its cover”. And so is the case here : Never judge a shoe by  its appearance. After some more testing, it turned out that this is a reliable comrade on court.

Like the sneakers, the shoebox is cartoonish and childlike with a lot of speckled patterns, and at the bottom of the box is a Harden’s handwritten signature.

And on the side, in addition to the shoes’ name, Adidas Harden Vol.5 , there is also a word “Futurenatural” which is the name of the major new technology of the shoes.

There is not an absolute official definition of the word “Futurenatural”, but as the name suggests, the shoe is quite futuristic and natural in its appearance.

As regards the midsole, it adopts a built-in BOOST+LightStrike, which is quite thick. And above the insole, there is a flannel-like material with the word BOOST written in a hollowed-out finish. But to be fair, such a built-in midsole is not uncommon today.

As is obviously seen, there is a super hard TPU extending from the midsole to the forefoot part. But as a rule, when talking about such design, people tend to related it with poor torsion resistance and arch support. However, you can be assured that the design in this Harden Vol.5 won’t fail you because it is an exception.

Then in terms of the upper layer of the midsole, there has been a lot of upturned processing so that the locking of the foot would be better.

In fact, only one layer below the blue part is the Boost, which is used to boost feedback while the lighter LightStrike wraps around the Boost. This design allows the overall weight of the shoe to be reduced as much as possible. So it’s the delicate treatment of these details that makes the shoe a little bit different. 

The vamp of the shoe is made with a 360-degree hot-press forging technique. Simply put, the vamp and outsole are integrated, so we can’t see any stitching on the shoe.

Simple as the shoe looks, all the most basic setups of other excellent sneakers can also be seen in this one.

As a pair of mid-top shoes, there are totally 5 sets of shoelace buckles which offers enough support.

Besides, the thickness of the lining of the heel is quite impressive because there are four sponges in the heel.

With respect to the outsole, there is some resemblance to Harden 4, but not exactly the same. The horizontal and vertical grid is more dense in the forefoot and more rugged in the back with a big “boost“ and an ”inside“ next to it.

Overall:

In short, after a thorough and detailed understanding of the shoes, I really have great interest in them and high expectations for them. But can adidas Harden Vol.5 reverse some negative images of Adidas combat shoes? Well, please wait and see. Maybe there would be some surprises.

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Deconstructed of the Harden Vol.4

As a fan of the Harden series for years, I have always been looking forward to seeing improvement in its shoes. So when it comes to the Harden Vol.4, it is for sure that I will take a shot. And since I myself was also very curious about the setups and techs of the shoes, I decided to check it out, and here is the destruction of the shoes.

In the toe part of the  shoes,  it adopts the suede material whereas the vamp is in the whole made of mesh material.

For the shoelaces,  it is the elastic nylon material that can enhance the wrapping performance.

Inside the lining of the heel is printed with “Hassayampa 106th Street”. With respect to the words, there is something fun behind it. It is said that it is the  address of a barbershop that Harden frequented.

The leather heels of the shoes, which are surrounded by TPUs  that are also printed with a three-dimensional logo of Harden, can enhance the support performance.

In the TPU, it writes the “DESIGNED WITH JAMES HARDEN”, indicating that Harden was involved in the design of the 4th version.

For the outsole,  it’s patterned with deformed grids that are greatly helpful in offering grip.

However, what is most surprising and touches me most is the numbers in the outsole. The “0001.9.59.11.12” is the birthday of Harden’s mother. So we can see that however famous and successful Harden is, he still puts his mother first, which is quite moving.

With regard to the weight, a single shoe is about 395g, which I think is of average performance.

Separating the left shoe in the middle, we can see clearly the internal structure and the  full foot Lightstrike cushioning material matched with TPU stabilizer.

And then cutting open the vamp and the sole, we can also see that the inner side of the vamp is made of fabric lining which is comfortable and skin-friendly.

The heel is filled with quite thick foam and surrounded by a TPU, making the heel stability stand out.

The blue insole has also been printed with the symbolic logo of Harden.

And the upper layer of the insole is made of foam material while the lower layer is made of non-woven fabric.

In recent years, Adidas basketball shoes are all equipped with soft foaming material as the midsole cushioning, and it therefore needs a larger stabilizer to reinforce the midsole that can  reduce the deformation caused by the force brought to the midsole.

Because of this, the TPU is so large that it almost covers the whole sole.

Printed on the TPU is the words “SS19 BASKETBALL_N3XTL3V3L”.

Here are the data of the TPU in size 42.5 shoes. Its length is about 208mm; its width in the front foot is about 85.45mm and that of the heel is about 57.47mm.

In addition to that, the thickness of the TPU is about 3.84mm.

Then in terms of the cushioning, the LightStrike is is responsible for the shock absorption and feedback.

Overall:

Although the brand adopts the large TPU to stabilize the midsole and this method has also been imitated by many brands, it just turned out that this can not stand up to the long time testing. Maybe someday Adidas will return to the double-density midsole.

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adidas Supernova Performance Review

Many running events were delayed or suspended over the past special year, and because of this, many people were also restrained from running outdoors and some even gave up exercising. However, because of the marathon, many people have begun to resume running to better prepare for the match. And one of the basic conditions for preparing running games is to have a pair of good running shoes. So here I bring the adidas Supernova to share some of its information with you.

Firstly, with regard to its appearance, there are a number of different colorways available. And this one I picked is the fluorescent pink which is said by many buyers to be coquettish when it is compared with other colorways. But on the other hand, the pink one, from my perspective, is brighter,  more stylish and eye-catching. And most importantly, I think it will make me more confident when I am running for some challenging matches. But this is just kind of psychological effect.

 

The vamp is made of woven breathable mesh cloth and in the different areas  of the vamp are fabric with different density. For the front vamp, there is the mesh cloth with larger air holes which ensure sufficient air permeability. What’s more, the stitching on the vamp can to a great extent improve the vamp support and comfort.

The three black stripes at the side vamp is always that iconic and eye-catching, which forms a contrast to the pink vamp. They are distinguishing and can increase support though, they also reduce air permeability of the vamp. But this is so negligible that I am willing to write it off.

The tongue adopts an all-in-one design, which can avoid the displacement of the tongue during our the movement. It also has a laminated structure, which can make the shoes hug our feet better, but its air permeability is at the mean time affected to some extent. On the upper part of the vamp is the plastic logo which may rub our ankles during running.

 

The midsole adopts the  BOUNCE which is a little lighter than the Boost and provides a lot of feedback during our running, making us more comfortable when exercising .

 

At the heel of the shoes is added with BOOST material, which is relatively light and elastic. Actually, when I am exercising, I can clearly feel the rebound from  underfoot, especially from the heel.

And for the sole, it is made of anti-slipping and wear-resistant rubber, which can effectively improve the durability of the sole. At the same time, the grid anti-skid pattern design adopted, which is mentioned earlier, can increase the anti-slipping performance. The pattern of the sole is hallowed, which can provide good grip for us in different kinds of roads.

 

As a pair of running shoes, this adidas Supernova is in fact superior considering its overall performances. And as a pair of running shoes, adidas Supernova is also outstanding in terms of its weight. When we are running oblivious of ourselves, it surely won’t bring burden for us and will only be of great help.

Overall:

To summarize, Adidas Supernova’s overall performance is good. The full-foot Bounce and the rear Boost help save energy during running; the outsole can then offer traction to help us run faster. All in all, this is an ideal model for short daily runs, trainings and matches.

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Adidas adizero adios Pro Performance Review

With Nike’s NeXT % with thick carbon plates taking up a favorable foothold in all kinds of marathons,  brands are also starting to use carbon plates as a research and development focus for running shoes. But anyway, as the saying goes, “One man’ s meat is another man’s poison.” ; therefore, no matter how good a pair of running shoe is, it is the most suitable one  that is just the best one. And before making a purchase, one is highly recommended to have a try.

The Adidas adizero adios Pro I got here seems to be glowing like the sun. It is the bright fluorescent yellow which I think is more energetic than the fluorescent pink. And you are sure to be the most eye-catching guy wearing the shoes.

What is new here is that there are some innovations in its design.  Adidas has changed its routine design. That is the three stripes has changed from the small ones to almost covering the side vamp, which is quite visually shocking.

The knitted net vamp of the shoes is very thin and there are big gaps between the fibers, which ensures the air ventilation and heat emission during running. And the tongue is directly connected to the lining and sole on both sides, so we won’t be affected by the movement of the tongue when exercising.

A single shoe weighs only 246 grams which is relatively light and brings no burden to our feet. Besides, the heel of the shoe is 39.6mm thick while the forefoot is 29.6mm, with a height difference of 10mm.

Before this Adidas adizero adios Pro, I have also tried the  adizero pro, the boston 9 and the adios 5 before. And they are all bouncy enough that I could obviously feel the feedback underfoot. But this Adidas adizero adios Pro is no less inferior in this respect. It also offers me a very nice cushioning performance.

The Adios Pro looks very similar to the Adizero Pro, which was launched almost around the same time, but the biggest difference between the two lies in the thickness of the two shoes’ soles. And on the other hand, the Adizero Pro also uses Adidas’ traditional LightStrike Boost midsole, while the Adios Pro uses the latest LightStrikePro midsole, which is much lighter and more flexible.

From an objective perspective, this Adios Pro  isn’t like the Nike Fly 3 I copped before; the former actually feels softer and more elastic. On top of the above performances, the shoes also have a nice wrapping. During my testing it, the shoe wraps my feet very well and my feet are also firmly fixed inside.

While the sole differs significantly from other running shoes in that there is no lumpy grains and looks quite smooth, tests on plastic grounds and asphalt roads showed that the anti-slipping performance of shoes is not inferior to other running shoes. However, when the shoes  run into rainy days, it would become another story: the anti-slipping performance would be greatly decreased. And because of this, the shoes are not wear-resistant and won’t last long.

Overall:

As a pair of running shoes with carbon plate, Adidas adizero adios Pro focuses more on helping improve runners’ speed, so its support is relatively inferior. Therefore, it is recommended that runners having weak ankle strength should be more cautious when wearing carbon-plate shoes with thick soles.