Adidas didn’t bring too much clarity whether this new Harden’s budget line is changing the prior budget-friendly version B/E or just adding up to the whole list. Either way, the more sneakers, the better.
That being said, this is the adidas Harden Stepback performance review. Do they make you step back like James Harden? Let’s find out.
WEIGHT: 393.9 g. / 13.89 oz
FIT: HALF A SIZE DOWN
RETAIL PRICE: $80
BD RATING: 7.4/10
Covering material aspect of a budget model is pretty much on the same degree as talking about the weather in Santa Barbara – same thing 9 times out of 10. This time, is no different.
The main bootie construction features a two-tone mesh setup – more playable in front, sturdier in the back. All of it’s connected with some synthetic bits and pieces. As per usual, in-hand feeling and built quality aren’t the main perks of this type of tooling. Same goes with the durability, it’s questionable on these, but ain’t the worst one either. Though on-foot experience is where all of the money was put. The upper just simply does its job. That’s all she wrote.
Personally, BOOST has never been a disappointment for me since day one, unfortunately, that winning streak ends with the Stepback. Correct me if I wrong, but this is the first time that we seeing a caged BOUNCE setup on a hoop shoe. That might have to do something with improving the overall stability of the midsole. But on the other hand, BOUNCE has never been lacking in these areas being all naked. They just light-handedly locked it down from doings its awesome thing. And that is probably the most stupid move made by adidas this year, and I don’t care if it’s just an entry-level shoe which has no place in the sneaker game for most of you. If it’s BOUNCE, it should play like one.
That being the case, the heel section, where the caging is the heaviest, did feel pretty much dead. Even a heavier build player like me, I couldn’t get that heel portion to work. That BOUNCE had no sole.
The Harden Stepback is ricking your traditional herringbone pattern in front, while the heel portion rapidly transforms into a very similar foot map pattern found on the Harden vol.2’s. And as much as it sounds interesting, to say the least, the performance part gave me the same feelings.
In the first few runs, the bottoms were close to having one of the trashiest traction patterns this year, along with the dame 6. However, some type of voice in my head kept me not giving on them, which eventually turned out to be a wonderful decision. The Harden Stepback was saving up some stuff in his tank, and that stuff was awesome performance. The biggest comeback this decade? Yeah, I think.
That 4-5 days break-in process was hiding consistent performance outcome on any type of court I took them, including outdoors as well (yes, that means they’re suitable for this occasion). You’ll just need to put out your regular wiping routine in order to maintain that solid grip since the front end of the pattern is tightly put together.
Adidas stays true to their sizing game, therefore, narrow to regular footers should go half a size down. Wheres for wide footers I would recommend staying true to size due to a narrower forefoot section.
Apart from that, I didn’t have any issues related to the fit. The upper was rather solid of adjusting to your foot, a short & unpainful break-in process made it quick to do so. At the same time, support didn’t lag behind. You shouldn’t experience any lateral blowouts of the upper while taking sharper moves.
Solid once again. It’s a standard support package in which all the pieces work well together for a supported and stable ride in the Harden Stepback.
As appropriate for a true adidas hoop model, this one does have a vastly wide platform which in tandem with the upper ensure your foot is going nowhere laterally while in action. While an external heel counter with fluffy internal ankle pillows and your classic lacing system is here to lock down your foot from going back and forth. So while the whole support setup is looking boring, it does its job quite well.
While the adidas Harden Stepback isn’t the next flagship killer or tremendous value for the money, it is still a really solid performer. That being said, if you’re looking for just a well-rounded shoe with a low profile cushion tooling to hoop in that won’t break the bank – this is it.
Do they improve your step back skill cap? Nope, unfortunately.
BALLER FROM EUROPE? WE GOT YOU.