Just finished reviewing Nike’s king of team lineup – the Hyperdunk X. So there’s no better time to hop on adidas and test their brand new rivals. But this time around, I’m going to be doing a duo performance review. Which means that I’m putting two the same caliber sneakers side by side. Test them. Then compare them in each category of the performance review. And give you my in-depth personal opinion which one to pick at the end.
I feel the need to do that mainly because both adidas Pro Bounce & Explosive Bounce have so much stuff in common – starting from a design perspective and finishing off with used materials & tech. So that being said, let’s dive into the adidas Pro/Explosive Bounce review!
WEIGHT: PRO BOUNCE – 391 g. / 13.79 | EXPLOSIVE BOUNCE – 389 g. / 13.72 oz
TECH: PRO BOUNCE – BOUNCE, GEOFIT, FORGEFIBER, TORSION PLATE | EXPLOSIVE BOUNCE – BOUNCE, GEOFIT
FIT: TRUE TO SIZE
RETAIL PRICE: PRO BOUNCE – $120 | EXPLOSIVE BOUNCE – $100
BD RATING: PRO BOUNCE | EXPLOSIVE BOUNCE
Much like the HP X – both of the adidas team models share almost identical mesh set-up – the only difference being additional Forgefiber tech stitched in between mesh material of the Pro Bounce model, which I will explain more in-depth later on. Everything else basically being copy/paste.
Now, as much as I enjoyed the fact of how rigid/supportive this type of mesh was on both of these two lineups without actually sacrificing comfort too much – there still was one issue that I thought would be gone when switching from one brand to another. I’m talking about that sloppy fit within the toe section. Had the exact same problem with the HP X and it seems like I couldn’t manage to escape from that, well, for the most part.
Strangely enough – I didn’t experience that with the Explosive Bounce – reason being that there’s no extra stuff other than mesh itself and thin fuse backing on the sides. Making no room for factors that could potentially restrict the nature of mesh material. Obviously, something like flyknit is still a few steps higher in terms of second-skin-like fit. But then you need to remember that you’re looking at a $100 team model. And for what it stands for – this is probably one of the best set-ups you can own as of right now. Whereas with the Pro Bounce I had just a tad bit of volume around my toe cap – it definitely doesn’t hinder your on-court performance – but it’s something that could make some of you feel pissed off.
Adidas know where to cheap out – so the heel section is halfway covered with rather cheap mesh – which doesn’t make any tangible difference on the overall fit since you can’t really feel it in that area. While the other half of the back (in the Explosive Bounce’s case it’s only the pull tab section) does feature that SUPER soft/fluffy/pillow-like material to make sure your ankles are gently protected from any type of bruises to appear.
Bounce has conquered almost the whole adidas basketball market by now. Leaving only the Harden signature line’s flagship model rocking BOOST tooling. So is it Bounce got so premium & beloved among ballers? Or is it just adidas sales got dropped again?
Anyways, as you probably guessed it, both the Pro & Explosive Bounce does feature the same sized BOUNCE cushioning. Which means I couldn’t tell any perceptible difference between each other. If you do own a pair or two of the Dame 4 – these are, give or take, pretty much identical as far as performance goes. For those who didn’t have a chance to try the dame 4s – this is basically one man’s midsole for any type of player to enjoy. In most cases in life, universal things have a bad record to suck at everything they’re intended to do, but not this BOUNCE stuff. It’s freaking awesome. Though, I still miss BOOST.
Sticking with the subject – the rare end of the midsole is pretty thick so you do have a ton of compression along with high level of impact protection – exactly what bigger dudes need, right? Just don’t be fooled by those hyped up words (explosive, bounce) in their names. They do not bring more powerful or even the same level of bounciness, like BOOST does. You can still feel it tho – just not as much. And even though the heel section seems to go rather high of the ground potentially causing sluggish ride, it actually isn’t a case for both of them, since the 1/3 of the midsole lay over the upper. So all of the sudden you have a drop-in midsole with robust foot containment without mobility/speed getting hurt.
Meanwhile, the forefoot is all about responsiveness & speed with a tad bit of pep in your step type of action going on, so it’s not feeling dead. Something like the forefoot Zoom Air on the AJ 32 in the shape of foam, if that explains something. Altogether – the forefoot BOUNCE will let heavy forefoot strikes to be as fast as they can be, quick dudes to be mobile/shifty while cutting to the basket or breaking ankles & more explosive/heavy ballers to have enough impact protection not to hit the ground after a landing.
Up until this segment, both of the models were just trading baskets, none of them actually had a reason to pull away. But this is where it all has changed…
Starting with the Explosive Bounce – the bottoms are rocking the crop circle traction pattern. Which, straight out of the box, did look to me like it’s gonna deliver some pretty damn good bite. But it didn’t, unfortunately. Due to fairly narrow/compact pattern construction, dust didn’t have enough room to channel out back on the court, causing some mad slip offs when performing intensive sh*t. Usually, I’m a pretty patient guy when it comes to keeping my bottoms clean, well, until it’s not a close game. Unfortunately for them, I had more than a few of those while testing them. So in the middle of one of those nailbiter games I literally just freaking took them off. I had enough of that skating nonsense. It was time for the Pro Bounce to shine. And they actually delivered.
So hopping onto the Pro Bounce – these bad boys feature much wider “radar” traction pattern with which I had almost zero issues dealing with nasty courts. I can easily count on my one hand’s fingers how many times I had to wipe my bottoms. But even when dust was a present – it still didn’t prevent them from having a pretty decent bit with the surface.
When it comes to rubber compound – the Pro Bounce has reasonably firmer rubber so it should be a better option for outdoor courts. Whereas the Explosive Bounce seems to have that pliable rubber which eventually doesn’t make it an ultimate outdoor option. But for the price – it’s worth the risk.
Again, the Explosive Bounce has a slight edge over its opponent, doing a better job of creating more premium/custom fit. Still, having just a tad bit of unnecessary real estate over my toe with the Pro bounce didn’t bother me when playing. It was only bothering me when I was not focused on the game, which is nothing too major.
Adidas actually didn’t screw up with the sizing this time. So for regular footers out there I suggest going true to size, while players with narrow feet should be cautious, you might want to go half a size down. As for wide footers, the best option would be trying them in-store first, most likely, it’s going up 1/2 a size type of situation if you don’t have a chance to try them on for one reason or another.
If there’s only one shoe out there that can utilize strap system the right way – it must be the LeBron Soldier – if looking at the modern era. Everything else is just pretending to do something. Same thing goes for the strap system on the Explosive – it’s just there, sitting, holding the three stripes.
However, everything else and I mean EVERYTHING works flawlessly. Probably the word “flawlessly” is rather too soft for them. They’re built like a freaking tank – much like every single D Rose shoe after the 4s. That platform is wider than a Brazilian ass on both of the models – no outrigger is needed. The combination of mesh & Forgefiber/fuse is straight up nightmare for unwelcomed lateral movements. And you just look at that heel arch – it’s like a tornado sucks in your heel once you tie your laces & never lets it go.
The torsion system only appears on a more expensive model which, in this case, is the Pro Bounce. For many of you, including me as well, this part is heavily overlooked. When you’re testing one particular sneaker, there are no things to compare with. But when you’re dealing with two pretty much identical performers, things become so clearer. That being said, the Pro Bounce did feel more robust & controlled on the ground. Meanwhile, the Explosive Bounce felt somewhat more free-flowing/natural to your foot.
They’re both good at their price tags – no doubt about it. But when it comes choosing one winner – the adidas Pro Bounce is taking home the cake. Why I’m so sure? Well, personally, traction is the most important part of the shoe. You can fix a bad fit by adjusting the laces. You can add an extra insole if you ain’t happy about your cushioning. Okay, maybe you can’t fix support if it’s lacking so that should come as the second most important part. Anyways, continuing my idea, an outsole is the only part of the shoe that connects a player with a surface on which he’s playing. It must be like a fine time peace – time being as a player, in this case, and traction being as a watch mechanism itself – it must follow player’s movement & impose his will no matter what. So for that reason – the Pro Bounce has a strong edge over the Explosive Bounce.
adidas Pro Bounce
adidas Explosive Bounce