adidas DON Issue 1 REVIEW – Better Than Freak 1?

This is adidas answer… The adidas DON Issue 1 performance review is here. Let’s get it!



WEIGHT: 426.3 g. / 15.04 oz






BD RATING: 8.5/10





So for $100 (yes, it turns out a signature sneaker can be produced at a lower cost even than the Dame 5), you wouldn’t expect to receive some premium stuff, like knit or some type of leather. The DON Issue 1 was no exception as it is rocking a full-length textile mesh upper. Except, like any other sneaker in this price range, the upper not only feels nice & offers great performance once you start playing in a shoe, but it also does feel really premium in-hand as well. The build quality is definitely up there among way more expensive performers, which is pretty mind-blowing how did adidas was able to pull that off. Where you at Nike?

As for on-foot experience – it’s a great one. There’s little to none break-in time as far as it takes for materials to mold your foot for best possible fit. Also, like many other recent mesh set-ups in the game – it’s lightweight, flexible, doesn’t hinder your movements, as all of this great stuff is backed up with enough support & containment that come from the synthetic panels on the sides, and a few  more extra pieces (that I’m going to cover in the support section) to keep you confident in all of your movements. Overall, the material usage did definitely exceed my expectations, even though it’s only a simple textile mesh set-up.



It’s your regular full-length BOUNCE cushioning – nothing extraordinary in a good or bad way, which is all good, don’t get me wrong. Personally, I think that BOUNCE foam for adidas is like Zoom Air for Nike – the main two cushioning systems that you can always count on to deliver great performance no matter what. No disrespect for BOOST, though. It’s just something not for everyone to enjoy. Obviously, certain Zoom Air implementations and most stuff from BOOST are more fun if you’re a massive cushion lover, however, BOUNCE isn’t actually that far behind.

So in the back, the shoe features a HUGE chunk of BOUNCE for that nice amount of impact protection/plushness/bounciness – not too crazy, but not too settle either. While some of that plushness & bounciness of the midsole are transferred into the forefoot where the main role is left for the court feel, of which you do get plenty.



Unlike the other brand that I will not mention its name *cough* Nike *cough*, adidas kept that storytelling part for Donovan to say himself in his signature sneaker presentations, while keeping all performance business creating the shoe itself. Therefore, we do get some OG vibes, yep, it‘s the herringbone. Adidas has been slapping on herringbone pattern left to right on pretty much every single basketball sneaker as of late, and for the most, it‘s been working out really great. Obviously, this is a signature sneaker so you do have some pressure to do it right, and adidas just simply delivered.

On clean courts you‘re going to experience that well known aggressive herringbone bite: stop on a dime performance, all-around coverage, all of that good stuff. Now due to the pretty compact pattern, the bottoms are slight dust pickers, but it‘s nothing major as your regular wiping routine will be enough to keep that herringbone going full throttle. But I‘m not done here… The other awesome thing about it is durable rubber compound pared up with deep grooves which can only mean one thing – great outdoor option.



As per usual, adidas puts us in that “guess how that shoe fits” game, this time, the DON Issue 1 runs true to size. I would want to say true to size for everyone, but for a true wide footer, it might be a better idea to try them in-store or go half a size up if there‘s no way to do so.

The step-in experience, again, was really enjoyable from the get-go: soft, form-fitting materials that follow your foot movements, but keep it in place in high-pressure areas, and TONS of interior padding for your heel to be kept locked-in & comfy at the same time.

Now talking about the midsole, because it‘s so thick and protruded in the heel, that makes the shoe a bit rare-heavy at first, but it did go away pretty quickly as I got used to it. Well, at least that was the case for me. For those who are wondering if that chunky midsole combined with a completely flat out platform can cause some strange sensations or decrease in performance, the answer is no.  It all comes down to your own personal preferences whether you like being stable (like in the DON Issue 1) or you‘re about that buttery smooth transition (like in the Kyrie 5), or maybe some from both worlds (like in the Why Not Zero.2).



Despite the fact that pretty much everything about the DON Issue 1 is cash money, still, support is the brightest highlight of them all.

Starting from the bottom, there you do have a massively wide/flat platform which is created by that thick midsole. There‘s no outrigger because this shoe is too good to have only one, instead, these bad boys do feature a double outrigger set-up that, again, is a part of the midsole. Not to mention, it also wraps on to the upper and in conjunction with the synthetic panels on the sides completely isolates your foot upon lateral movements.

The heel lockdown was great as well, although in my few first runs I did receive a light heel slippage. Luckily, it was just a part of the break-in process that pretty quickly was gone, taking away the heel issue with itself.



Every single year the three stripe brand shocks the basketball sneaker game with a killer performer, this year it‘s the DON Issue 1, well, for now, we still have four months left. Anyway, kudos for adidas for creating such a successor, and congrats to Donovan Mitchell on a beastly first signature sneaker. Hopefully, many more to come.

As for our baller around the world, this sneaker must be on top of your “my next ball shoe” list, it better be. While for those who are thirsty for some new stuff but not sure on which to pull the trigger, I‘m talking about the face-off between the DON Issue 1 & the Zoom Freak 1, it‘s pretty darn easy. No doubt about it, the DON Issue 1 puts the Freak 1 to sleep without a real fight, it‘s a different weight class fight at this point. Oh, and you save 40 bucks.





Hope you enjoyed my Performance Review on the ADIDAS DON ISSUE 1. Will you be picking them up? Let me know!
If you have any questions don’t hesitate to comment down below!

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