BOOST has officially gone off the radar for adidas Hoops signature lines with the release of the adidas Harden Vol.4. The Lightstrike is taking over that spot. But is it any good on the Harden’s freshest model?
Welcome to the adidas Harden Vol.4 performance review. Let’s get it!
WEIGHT: 396.8 g. / 14. oz
FIT: TRUE TO SIZE
RETAIL PRICE: $130
BD RATING: 8.4/10
I love when brands offer a bigger variety of material options, and this time around, it’s a wide one. Whether you’re an OG guy or a modern era kid, without a doubt, you will find a setup to your liking.
This particular colorway is rocking a full-length Neoprene upper. But if that does not rock your boat, you can choose from: a full-length leather, open mesh\leather or a full-length Primeknit combo. The performance itself shouldn’t differ that noticeably from each one. It’s more about which one is more durable if you’re planning to rock them outdoors; or which one might be better ventilated if that’s what you’re prioritizing.
Either way, you decide to go, you’re guaranteed of getting that true signature sneaker quality. And by quality I mean not only them feeling nice in-hand, but also being durable. It has been way over a month of ownership, and they still look factory new, minus a few battle scars on the fuse panel and midsole.
First time in the history of Volumes we don’t get to see BOOST. The last iteration featured in the Vol.3 was just simply phenomenal for all players across the board. This time, it’s the Lighstrike making its second appearance on a basketball shoe. First time introduced with the release of the adidas N3XT L3V3L, the form factor didn’t change that much drastically while making its way on the Vol.4. However, I can’t say the same when talking about its performance.
I wouldn’t say the tooling has been completely shifted towards guards. Not yet. That versatility still remains alive. Maybe not as pronounced as in the last few predecessors, but it’s still there. The best proof of that is the heel area which offers you a nice amount of impact protection backed up with as nice compression. But that awesome stuff, like all the good things in life, doesn’t last long. Going towards the forefoot, it’s where the midsole goes flat bottom, like really flat, to obtain that pure court connection with your foot in order to allow for full control over your on-court moves, and make the forefoot as snappy as possible.
Traction was never a problem for the Harden’s signature line – the vol 4 was no different. The pattern itself, compared to the last year’s beastly herringbone, took a step back to its original roots of looking not that promising. Luckily, that didn’t stop the 4’s to have one of the most if not the most beastly traction setup in the whole line-up.
Now if you want to squeeze out the most out of its traction tooling, you need to go with translucent rubber over the solid option. Never have I thought of saying “translucent rubber” in the same sentence with “better performance”. Adidas is changing the game of rubber compounds.
Performance? It goes something like this… Clean courts? Too easy. Semi-dusty courts? A walk in the park. Heavy dusty courts? Just a few wipes from time to time, no extra maintaining is needed, and they are ready again to bite that wood like a… (that’s what she said).
Straight away, wide footers should be aware of how these fit. When it’s wide, you go half or whole size down. Too narrow? Just go and grab that bigger size. It ain’t that hard to manipulate with the sizing. However, things aren’t that straight forward with these when it’s hella narrow in the forefoot, but the rest of the body seemed to fit normal. That being the case, regular footers should still stick true to size, even though it might seem like a bad idea at first. No worries, you will break-in the materials pretty quickly. Though, expect the break-in process to be somewhat cruel as in the PG3. The good news is that it isn’t as long as the prior mentioned.
After the adaptation phase, the shoe did end up feeling like a continuation of my foot. No dead spaces or loose sections, just pure comfort & containment. Yes, the forefoot did stay pretty snug, it might be due to the rather tight midfoot strap, but it’s that good snug.
While the upper doesn’t offer much in this aspect, the lower tooling of the shoe pays the bills for both. The Vol.4 does have that typical body built with a wide & stable platform, which in this case, does not compromise shiftiness of the shoe at all, thanks to the flex zones in between the bods. Continuing with the midsole, you do sit inside of it, which means that your foot is caged in, and with the help from a beastly external heel counter, the lateral & linear lockdown is flawless. But if it ain’t flawless for you, the customizable lacing system is always here to find that sweet setting of your own.
The brand with three stripes has decreased the retail price (from $140 to $130), but that didn’t affect the shoe’s performance or build quality by any bit. Kudos for adidas.
That “knee crashing” forefoot is the only reason why I can’t put the Vol.4 over or side to side with its predecessor, and my most favorite Harden signature till this date – the Vol.3. Though, the 4 isn’t that far behind.
On the other hand, if that raw connection with the floor, plus great overall performance is what you’re aiming for, there’s no need to look elsewhere than these.
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