Hadn’t done one of these in a long time so here you go. I’m not enamoured with either but I compared each aspect so you can pick and choose what works for you.
Here are the original reviews:
Harden Vol. 1
$160 Kobe AD
$160 Harden PK
$140 Harden non PK
Similar prices across the board although Adidas shoes will always go on sale faster and harder than Nike. These are both on the high end and are about average for superstar sig shoes but as I said earlier Hardens will be get cheaper more quickly. Nicekicks had a nice deal for $98 already.
Kobe: 13.5 oz
Harden: 17 oz
Both shoes provide excellent traction on clean floors or when freshly wiped so it really come down to sub optimal conditions.
I’ve found that any dust just makes the Harden traction slippery so constant wiping is needed while the Kobe just hums along and sticks with minimal wiping.
Boost has been getting a lot of press and love on sneaker sites and rightfully so. Addictive feel and just fun to wear.
Lunarlon isn’t my first choice but it does a good job overall, however I’ve found Lunarlon wears out out quickly compared to other cushioning set ups. I can’t say in the long term for certain but pretty sure the Kobe AD will suffer the same fate even with its “microtuned” set up. The Zoom in the heel isn’t what you actually see on the midsole it is a typical 8 mm Hyperdunk esque Zoom and can barely be felt.
In the shoe’s current state, the AD isn’t bad at all but the Harden’s Boost easily just feels better.
Although there is a lot more to the fit than the exterior size of the shoe, look at the huge discrepancy in size between two size 11’s. The Harden looks like at least a size 12. I didn’t even line them up perfectly.
I wasn’t even going to bother writing this part because finding the right size and getting just the right fit in then Harden was the most time consuming thing I’ve done with shoes in the past few years ..that and the Crazylight Boost 2016.
With the Kobe AD, I bought my true size 11, put them on and was done. No heel slip, no side to side movement. I could have gone up half a size and still been fine.
Adidas really needs to look into standardizing their sizing or at least making it more similar to Nikes. There is nothing wrong with being the same size as your competitor. Most first time Adidas customers will just say forget it because they bought the wrong Adidas size and bought their normal Nike size. Which is better keeping a customer or keeping your pride? Granted it would cost a lot to change their manufacturing process and machines etc, so time to call your finance department to do a cost benefit analysis.
I feel I need to remind people I only include materials because readers want to know how they feel. The Harden Vol 1 materials are excellent and easily feel and look better than the mesh on the Kobe AD. They provide a nice value to the consumer. Primeknit or mesh Harden, the materials are easily nicer than the Kobe AD
Support and Stability
Both shoes use TPU cages on the lateral side to keep the shoe stable. I’ll give the edge to the Harden Vol 1 because they feel wider and the AD has the occasional forefoot outrigger rolling which is anything but a plus.
The Harden looks like it would run away with this category but the Kobe did a decent job even without any physical barriers. However in the end, more is better
What do you want out of a shoe? That’s what it boils down to. If you want a more comfortable ride and better materials and value, go with the Harden. If you want a better fit and traction go with the Kobe A.D. For me, I weigh traction most heavily and the Kobe A.D. worked far better than the Harden. The cushioning isn’t as good as the Harden but it works well enough for me.
If you want to save money, just wait for sales as they will both get to the $100 price point or below.
Not sure if you did but did you do a top 10 list of 2016?
I didn’t yet lol. I haven’t had time to take pics but I might just publish without pics even if it’s boring
Very nice head to head post!
Traction and fit are probably my top priorities when it comes to basketball shoes. I have the AD’s and I found the fit on those to be perfect, a little disappointed with the tech but overall it’s a decent shoe. Ordered some CLB’s that should be in this week, and will be keeping an eye out for discounts on the Hardens. How would you rank those three as far as overall performance?
Btw, keep up the great work!
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CLb is nice but I had heel slip so made two extra eyelets off a reader’s suggestion and help a lot. I liked everything else about the shoe though esp cushioning and traction . Half size down was too tight in forefoot for me btw. Harden fixed and improved everything in clb but traction got worse whenever any dust was around. Also started off a little clunky but got better. Full reviews are on the drop down. Thanks for reading and for the praise!
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Have you played in the Kobe 11 Engineered Mesh? I know you did a review on the Kobe 11 elite. But there’s some differences in those. I love the Kobe 11 EM, just wondering how these AD’s compare to those. If the ADs aren’t an upgrade I might just get another pair of 11 EM’s to have once my current ones wear out. Love the fit, very light and minimal feeling, enough cushion, and great traction.
I have not played in the mesh XI. I wouldn’t switch if you like all those things. I only played in the translucent outsole so traction wasn’t good on dusty floors. Traction might be the only thing that is better on the AD for you. Cushioning is firmer on the Ad than the XI as well.
Thanks. I’ll probably stick with the 11. I’ve got the solid rubber bottom and traction is great. Needs occasional wiping, and then they stop on a dime.
Nice ! Yea no point in getting the ad if you’re happy with the XI.
Fit is a funny thing ..i always wonder how do other brand make their shoes,since the factory that make them probably similar with nike,so at what point do the fit start to differ??
Nike in general always have a better fit than adidas (not all model of course)
My guess is adidas have different last when they make their on shoe,but then again why???i mean they sold it to the same consument,if it really is the difference in shoe last for what purpose
??what do you think schwollo??
I’m not sure but it probably has to do with the last but the Crazy Explosive and Rose 7 fit more true to size than others so there are lots of factors (insole thickness Cushioning thickness materials thickness) Just frustrating to try one size and need another lol
You are the only one who says nice things about Kobe A.D. Don’t get me wrong, not implying anything at all, just saying.
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Haha it isn’t perfect but i liked it overall . Search YouTube or forums and there are other positive reviews.
Which would be a better choice for a wide foot? They would be for casual play at the fitness center (indoor courts). I’m 6’3, 218 and 47 years young (with added Ibuprofen) . Thanks
Depends on what kind of wide foot you have. I have wide flat feet and I had some aches with the Hardens in the midfoot but it got better. Kobe is a more snug fit. If you get either go true to size with harden and up half a size with Kobe for more comfort and width. I tried on half size up w the Kobe and it felt more comfy without loss of a good fit and not too much longer either. Sorry it’s kind of a wishy washy answer!
And congrats on still going strong at 47. I hope to do the same.
So I spent some time at the mall today trying on shoes, here’s $.02:
The Harden has a weird lower lace loop that pokes into your toes when your foot flexes. The upper also folds and pops when you get the laces tight enough – which is a chore. The forefoot feels almost like being barefoot – a feeling similar in the Kobe EM. The heel boost was nice though. Containment was decent but too much deadspace in the toe box left me sliding into the outrigger, when I would prefer to be up against it to begin with. I would want an insole with a thin heel and thick forefoot to play in these. And definitely a half size down for me. I liked the heel-toe transition. I would change the laces to soft fat soft round ones for sure.
The Kobes: the Kobe 11’s outrigger is in the wrong spot. I don’t need my pinky toe slamming into something. Outrigger should be against your forefoot bone instead. Looks like the Instinct has it in right place, but the Kobe 11’s have it all wrong. I bet the flyknit elite is a little better, but they didn’t have my size to try. The outrigger is in the same spot though, so I don’t expect it to be great. Kobe X did the same stupid thing. (Jordan xxx outrigger is in perfect spot, fwiw) Now, the AD’s – these actually have more arch support than the Harden’s, or it’s at least in a different spot. The materials weren’t that stiff to me, and I appreciated the simple tongue and lacing. Easy to put on and be ready to go. No modifications needed. The upper kept me fairly well contained (side to side jumping in the store anyway, lol), without jamming into an outrigger. The cushion in the forefoot actually felt better than the Harden, but the heel wasn’t near as nice. Transition wasn’t as good as the Harden’s. I think forefoot cushion is underrated though. That’s where 80% + of your game should be played. Of course you don’t want it mushy, but having something there really saves your body unnecessary stress. You can get hairline fractures in your metatarsals if you play in paper thin forefoots on really hard floors with lots of jumping/landing pounding. (Obviously the lighter you are, the less likely)
I went in thinking i’d prefer the Harden, but in off-the-shelf form, I’d actually take the AD’s. Better traction, and at least easier fit , are bonuses. Now, with a forefoot-thick insole and fat round soft laces … the Harden just might win. It just sucks having to finish manufacturer’s jobs. Adidas stuff takes work … to work.
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Yes adidas has been mod city for me lol. I always have to tweak or change one or two things. I’m looking for the flat laces like harden uses before I swap them out. I like that black with red specks on them. And yes the outrigger needs to be moved back like the Instinct has.
how is heel to toe transition in kobe AD? do they feel clunky?
No not at all.
Just stumbled on your reviews. Wanted to say that I really like your reviews, keep up the good work man. Haven’t you ever tought of doing video reviews ?
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Thanks ! I don’t have the time to put create and edit anything worth watching on YouTube. Same info just different medium and for people that don’t read, oh well. lol
Well I have a slightly narrow foot and Eastbay dropped my favorite color AD’s (the black and white like you have) to $119 and sent me a 20% off coupon to boot. Sold. Bought some for $95 shipping today. (Which feels much better than $160) Looking forward to breaking them in, and even more forward to playing in them after that, lol. If they don’t work, it’s the Zoom live up next …