Executive Summary: The Rose 7 Mesh had the shortest stay at number 1 ever ..then the Primeknit came in..but then I played on a dirty floor and the Mesh returned to number 1.  Firmer cushioning than the Rose 6, ridiculous traction, supportive and stable while staying flexible, insole swap highly recommended to improve fit and forefoot cushioning especially on the mesh version. 


A CLEAR NEW NUMBER ONE IN MY ROTATION. 

I’ll admit,  I was disappointed that the CLB 16 didn’t work out for me but I wasn’t devastated since I knew the Rose 7 was around the corner.. And I’m glad I waited

Pros: traction, cushioning, fit, support and stability, containment 

Cons: overall Boost is firmer but smoother  than last year, forefoot cushioning is underwhelming in mesh version, deadspace in forefoot especially in front of the first eyelet, insole swap recommend to help remedy problems above. 

Sizing: true to size for me. Narrow width feet will want to size down half a size.

Best for: any position 

Weight


17.5 to 18 ounces?! It doesn’t play heavy at all so I was very surprised. Heaviest Rose to date and heaviest than Lebrons recent shoes. 

Traction

Fantastic. 
That is all. You can see in the pic below the variable depth of the outsole. Rubber compound and pattern is just perfect. 


Hi I’m Schwollo and I’m a traction whore. Traction is my top priority and these are up there in the top tier with the Curry Two, AJ XX8, Kobe IX. These just plain work on anything .

The translucent outsole of the Primeknit cost the Primeknit version the top spot. I played on a semi dusty Pergo floor last night and if you know what Pergo is, it doesn’t absorb anything so dirt just sits on top of the surface. I switched back to the mesh and had no issues the rest of the night. 

This translucent outsole compound is similar to the Hyperdunk 16 FK so it picked up everything and needed wiping to stick. When a Primeknit version comes out without this outsole, I’m all in though. 

Awesome job Adidas 

Cushioning

Last year’s Rose 6 set up was great even though it wasn’t full length Boost but making this year’s model full length added more fluidity to the shoe. However, that fluidity comes at the expense of forefoot comfort.  The Rose 6 had a nice plush balanced feel from heel to toe while the Rose 7 feels very similar to the Rose 5 with a distinct toe drop  and decline in Boost feel from heel to toe despite all the additional Boost. Very similar firmness to the CLB16 overall although the CLB has a meatier and more balanced feel than the Rose 7.   Overall it sits lower and feels firmer in the forefoot. 

For the life of me I couldn’t figure out why the Boost felt so much firmer in the Rose 7 versus the 6. The forefoot is caged on the lateral side like the Rose 5 so that makes some sense. But there is a lot more Boost in the heel and forefoot and it isn’t a whole lot denser 


and then I remembered how the Nike Zoom BB did it and voila, mystery solved


The strobel in the Rose 7 (far left) is hard like a typical board while the Rose 5 (far right)and 6 (middle) use soft cloth. You can even see the texture of the Boost with the Rose 5. The firm strobel is used instead of cloth since there isn’t a Stableframe like the 6 to stabilize the Boost. 


So I replaced the ultra thin insole with the good ol Rose 4  PU insole and. I was in cushioning heaven. That feeling of uneven “flat” cushioning went away by just swapping the insole. Adidas really should have put the PU insole into the Rose 7 since they switched the strobel to a firmer board. I know I use the bed analogy a lot but it’s like putting a piece of cardboard on top of a Sealy mattress. 

Primeknit Version

  After I swapped out the insole of the mesh version, I got my Primeknit version and it looks like somebody at Adidas didn’t get the memo on TPS reports. 


Top to bottom: Rose 7 mesh, Rose 7 PK, Rose 4

As you can see the Primeknit version has a thicker insole nearly as thick as the Rose 4 insole. It is the same cheap foam as the mesh version but much thicker so it fills that bit of deadspace. No need to swap anything around with the Primeknit version fit wise although I prefer the PU feel.  Why the mesh version doesn’t have this is beyond me. 

Well done Adidas but made even better job by me and the Primeknit Rose 7
Fit

The fit of the CLB drove me crazy as I went back and forth for weeks with the sizing. I’m happy to say the Rose 7 fit was simply true to size. Perfect length and width for me and I’m a wide foot. I think narrow footers may want to go down half a size because the lack of half a tongue will make it tough to lace tightly in the forefoot. 

However, there is a little deadspace in the toe box again since there isn’t a normal length tongue and there is a synthetic underlay in the toe box 

 

After I swapped the insole, the deadspace was minimized and I had that solid one to one feel  in the forefoot. Very similar situation to the Rose 5. 

Primeknit

Since this version already has a thicker insole and almost pure Primeknit, the fit improves from the mesh version. There is still a little bubble due to no tongue but it is a lot smaller than the mesh bubble. 


Near perfect one to one fit with the Primeknit version with no break in time needed. 

The Heel and Midfoot

The heel and midfoot fit is excellent. The lace loops/rope lace combo of the Rose 7 are very tight so they don’t loosen during play but you have to tug pretty hard to tighten correctly. The heel and ankle are drawn back and down perfectly with the synthetic overlays and the feel is very reminiscent of the Rose 5 which I love.

 Gone is the ultra puffy padding of the Rose 6 (Man I hated that tongue)


The Rose 7 returns to a slimmer and very contoured collar. 

Overall, without the insole swap, the overall fit is very good but with the insole swap, the fit is excellent. No need to change anything on the Primeknit version. 

Well done Adidas !

Materials

I thought these were pure mesh with synthetic overlays but there is actually a synthetic underlay ( part of the engineered mesh) in the toe box as well so those of you expecting a Crazylight Boost 2016 feel will be disappointed. That underlay plus lack of a tongue cause that bubble of deadspace in the mesh version. It pops a little in the beginning, especially the medial forefoot, but breaks in nicely. 

Primeknit

The thought that went into the design of this upper impresses me. It’s as if they read my article on Why Mesh and Knits don’t work for me


Primeknit is very comfortable, don’t get me wrong but it needs more strength when it is applied to a basketball shoe. Adidas actually addressed that need by putting nylon (I think) straps underneath all the dark red stripes. This gives the upper strength on lateral moves without giving up flexibility. No break in time needed with the Primeknit version. 

The synthetic leather panels aren’t premium feeling but they look nice and do their job so no complaints here. 


Great job with the mesh, awesome job with the Primeknit Rose 7. 

Support and stability 

All DRose shoes have have had a nice balance of protection and mobility and the Rose 7 is no different. Unlike a lot of recent shoes, the Rose 7 ankle collar actually has some strength. No flopping around like a sock. These hug and hold the ankle very similar to the the Rose 5. I actually rolled my bad ankle last night on someone’s foot and kept going . I’m sure my ankle exercises had something to do with it but having the Rose 7 support didn’t hurt.


You have a solid external counter as well as internal to keep the ankle locked in an upright. I’m not sure if that overhang on the heel counter actually cages the Boost at all but the heel is locked in regardless. 

Here you can see how the collar heights all compare 



Stabilty is excellent with no tippiness in the heel and a very large forefoot outrigger. 
Adding to the stability is the torsional X bar we saw in the Rose 5/6 and firm strobel sandwiching the Boost (ala JC3 Vector plates) no tippiness anywhere on the Rose 7.

Well done as always Adidas!

Containment 

Drose and his herky jerky movement require a lot of lateral containment and the Rose line has never failed to deliver. The biggest key to containment is the raised midsole at the forefoot 

Add in the synthetic underlay and hidden lace straps and containment is great. 

Primeknit

Just as good as the mesh thanks to the nylon strap under the Primeknit 


Overall containment isn’t as good as the Rose 5 but still damn good . 

Conclusion 

I’ve had to modify every Drose from 5 to 7 in some form or another and it isn’t ideal but I’m not going to give up on a shoe if a cheap quick mod does the trick. I highly recommend swapping the insoles to improve the forefoot fit and cushioning. With the Primeknit version, the shoe is near perfect right out of the box. You get better insoles plus a nicer feeling material.  All of the shoes in my rotation perform well in every catagory so it’s not surprise the Rose 7 took the top spot from the Curry 2. I love the Curry 2 and it will continue to be used a lot but the Rose 7 does every just as well but with better cushioning. My ideal set up is PK plus Rose 4 PU insole and a solid outsole whenever that comes out but mesh will do just fine until then. 

Is the Primeknit version worth the extra $20? Yes. Usually I’d say no, because usually the only major difference is the material but the $20 gets you better feeling materials, fit, cushioning and that extra pair of insoles. I’d wait for the non translucent outsole if you want the best traction performance like I do. 

Should you go out and buy the Rose 7 today? Unless you need something today, HELL NO, not when the Rose line prices fall every year by nearly 50%. Drose and Adidas have an unfair and old stigma attached to them which is bad for Adidas but great for smart, patient consumers.  The Primeknit version is already coupon eligible on Eastbay after one week making it $128 and I found the black white and all whites for $103 on Amazon


Good luck to the rest of the shoes I review for 2016, it’s going to be hard to beat these out. 

178 Comment on “Adidas Rose 7 Primeknit + Mesh Performance Review and Comparison

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