Adidas Harden Vol 1 Review [2018] the Good, the Bad & the Ugly

The Magic Behind Adidas Harden Vol 1 Review

Adidas Harden Vol 1 reviewMaterials

Previous Adidas models have been made using materials with varied colorways. In this model, the first colorway will be nothing but a knitted mesh reinforced with nylon. The set-up defined a key part of the shoe.

There is no need for flex of whatever kind. Although it’s tauter than Primeknit, it’s able to break in nicely. Those who prefer Primeknit can wait to pay $160 when it becomes available.

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Are in need of a little bit if flex? The stand-alone premium leather or suede toe cap will ensure just that. Other materials are known restrict the range of motion. Not so for leather and suede which does the opposite.

Apart from that, they ensure your feet are held in place as you make lateral movements. It’s much like the stress zones in Nike Zoom Soldier and Air Jordan 2010. Who would have known that Adidas Harden Vol. 1 will once feature this? At least something is being done about the increased feature of this type of overlay. If only it could continue.

So how does the Adidas Harden Vol. 1 look like? The upper is a full-length Primeknit. It is at the toe area that we have either a suede or leather overlay. It all depends on which shoe type you are talking about. The suede overlay is a feature on Sammy’s colorway while leather is used on the other colorways. The burrito style upper feels plush and nice thanks to the soft, easy breaking Primeknit. Because of its supportive nature, this material has received a 9/10 rating from the Sole Brothers.


In designing the pattern, the team took into account James Harden’s movements on the court. That creates a problem on how to make the traction work for anyone else. It is at the foot’s ball that the pattern was made to be the tightest. If you are walking on dust, no matter how small, this is likely to cause a fall. However, the rubber compound works well to give you maximum grip.

Not that it’s anything continental. Rather, the rubber is sticky. Expect it to hold tightly onto the court without failure. But it just wouldn’t feature among the very best. Well, it doesn’t just make an effort to go over and above. It starts out with the best but fails to reach the top because of some inherent flaws.

They made a mistake to tighten the pattern in just one area. That’s what hinders this shoe from providing maximum performance.

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Blame the Benched badge for the poor score. But, does it really need to be 10/10 to be good? No need for that kind of scoring system. The rubber chosen for Adidas Harden Vol. 1 has a traction that works just fine.

Adidas may use translucent rubber soles but that isn’t as bad as when Jordan and Nike do the same. If you have a problem with that, leave your comments. If you happen to pick a pair of shoes with translucent rubber, tell us your experience. Just like the rest of us, you are a tester.

Take note of the geometric pattern on the Harden Vol. 1 outsole. According to Adidas, this is drawn on the basis of the Fibonacci sequence. To provide optimal grip for a volatile player, the patter is made in conformity with the pressure points on Harden’s feet. Sammy tested a colorway with a translucent outsole with a suspect pattern. As for the traction, it is amazing. It has an incredible stopping power and is almost dust-proof. All you have to do a light wipe and it will be fixed. Ask the Sole Brothers and they will tell you the traction is rated 10/10.


If you are a wide footer, no need to worry. Harden Vol. 1 has got you covered. For the rest, the shoe has a body that locks you in true to size. For a more contained fit, make sure you go down 1 or 2 shoe sizes.

To reiterate, these shoes have a superb lockdown. It has an asymmetrical lacing system that perfectly wraps your entire foot. That’s different from normal lacing whose focus is to lock the foot onto the sole.

Asymmetrical lacing, on the other hand, makes the shoe and your foot a unit. Think of it like your foot getting a bear-hug.

The shoe has an incredibly well-fitting rear section. As your Achilles gets cupped in the nicely carved heel, the heavy lifting is enabled by the remainder of the lacing structure.

The shoe has a narrow mid-foot area that then widens as you move to the toes. At 1 or 2 sizes lower, there is no dead space. Always ensure you try it on before making a purchase.


Did you know that Boost is making a much-waited comeback? These shoes do not, however, pack as much Boost pellets in the midsole as the CrazyLight 2016 model. Harden Vol. 1 has a midsole with the lowest amount of Boost pellets. Just do not expect a bounce back like that you get with an Ultra Boost.

But that doesn’t mean you do not get the best possible impact protection. Can you find anything better than Boost when it comes to impact absorption? The underfoot protection is just as good as the court feel you have been looking for.

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If you aren’t playing for more than two hours, you shouldn’t mind a firmer setup. If anything, the shoes have a low amount of Boost pellets. You get to play for up to three hours before you start feeling it in your knees. After that, your mind must intervene so that you can keep going. Enough said about the Boost variation.

With Harden Vol. 1, Adidas is seeking to implement the full-length of their Boost technology. It comes with a TPU shroud that’s caged inside the heel and on the lateral side for hard cut stability. According to Sammy, it isn’t easy to feel the boost without pressurizing the heel that much. What that means that it isn’t that mushy. Although the Boost midsole is not that thick, it still has the ability to provide impact protection. Even so, it is responsive but without a bounce. You will get a very smooth feel between the toes and the heel. Just be careful if on a hard landing. It might hurt a little, owing to the not so thick midsole. When it comes to the cushion, Harden Vol. 1 has an 8/10 rating.


This may sound like a cliché, but everything in a shoe has to work together properly for the support to stand in place. If there have ever been low-top shoes that are best-fitting since Kobe 8, Harden Vol. 1 is just it. Even CrazyLight doesn’t come any closer. Harden Vol. 1 is much like a combination of some of the best features from Kobe 8 and Jordan 2010. It doesn’t just have a great fit but the shoes lie a bit lower to the ground. Lacing up doesn’t through you off-balance. Also, the platform is wide enough for enhanced stability. Together with the TPU plate is torsional support works to keep your heel and footbed together. It is in the TPU that you will find the Boost Midsole. That way, you can be sure to remain stable throughout the game.

To recap, this shoe might be a low-top but it’s still very supportive. For a wide and stable base, Harden Vol. 1 has a caged Boost midsole and outriggers. As for the materials, they nicely and do not have to stretch to support the forefoot and mid-foot areas.

Concerning the lockdown, Sammy says he has nothing to complain about his forefoot or heel slipping. What that means is that Harden Vol. 1 has a very good lockdown. To get the support and lockdown right, make sure you tie the laces tightly. To the Sole Brothers, Harden Vol. 1 has a 9/10 rating for the lockdown, fit, and support.


So what’s Adidas offering in the Harden Vol. 1? It’s safe to safe everything you are looking for. Whether its materials, traction, fit, cushion or support, they have it all together. Hard to believe it but the price is affordable. That’s what competition can do for you, the consumer. With Harden Vol. 1, Adidas has found a way to give you just the kind of shoes you need. Better if you are one to go for mobility and court feel.

For something a little more explosive, try Crazy Explosive. If what you are looking for is a shoe that straddles both worlds, why not D Rose 7? If Boost isn’t your type of thing, D. Lillard 2 is made just for you. That might not cover every shoe listed by the retailers at a price of not more than $160. Think about the codes, discounts, coupons, and sales that have now become well too common.

Guards who need a balanced shoe should have Harden Vol. 1 as the number one choice. We have already described these shoes. Do they fit your needs?

You might just end up enjoying them.


• Although it weighs only 14 ounces, Harden Vol. 1 will feel much lighter on your feet.

• It has clean floor traction.

• The Boost of low-profile.

• Great support and stability

• Greater feet containment.

• Dual lacing systems to ensure the laces hold tightly.

• It is definitely well-made.


• Low-top shoes don’t feel this heavy.

• Before it breaks in, the toe cup might hurt a little.

• For traction on dusty floors, you require break-in time and a lot of wiping.

• The break-in period can take longer.

• Correct lacing is not easy to achieve initially.

• They are heavy

• The Boost isn’t that much.

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Adidas Harden Vol 1 Review and Insights

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