*injury update , still limping a little but finally able to play for limited amounts. I’m still not great at cutting like I want to so still waiting to review some shoes. In the mean time here is something I worked on prior to injury.*
Since sneaker season is pretty much over (or restarting however you want to look at it), I decided to see if there really was a difference between Continental rubber and Adidas’s regular rubber compound. I’ve read the marketing jargon (Continental Press Release) but saying is a lot different than doing.
So how did I do this test ? Same way I do most of my traction comparisons. I used my Lillard 2’s one with Continental one without as well as my Crazylight Boosts 2016. I did this on three separate trips to the gym on different days.
Each shoe was wiped and cleaned prior to play and was timed on the same day same floor basically running drills in the same area. I know it’s not precisely scientific but hey cut me some slack.
Crazylight Boost 2016
Not surprising, both the Continental and regular outsoles required some light wiping around the six minute mark the first day at my dusty 24 hour fitness. The following days yielded similar times around seven and eight minutes.
To me the Continental rubber feels firmer but it grabs similarly to the the regular rubber regardless of court condition. I didn’t experience any improved grip with the Continental rubber but the firmness of the rubber should help a little with outdoor and overall durability.
Very similar results as the CLB16 in terms of how long I had to wait to wipe but traction definitely isn’t as grippy when dirt is around with the Lillard 2.
Both regular and Continental rubber needed wiping around the five minute mark. Although one minute difference isn’t much, wiping was pretty much required to keep up the traction whereas the CLB didn’t really require me to wipe, I just noticed it wasn’t as tacky.
Interestingly enough the regular rubber bit the floor better by a hair as well but not enough to make me pick one over the other.
A tire company putting their badge on the outsole shouldn’t make you go out of your way to buy a pair of shoes. There is virtually no difference in traction performance (even possibly very slightly worse depending on the traction pattern) between regular Adidas rubber and the rubber with the Continental badge. Maybe the Continental rubber lasts longer I’m not sure but given the amount of turnover sneakerheads have with their shoes, does it really matter? If you’ve ever worn Ultra Boosts, that traction is terrible on dusty or wet floors although the flat pod design probably hurts the traction more than anything else. Where is the Continental input on the design there ?
On the flip side there really isn’t a reason not to get the Continental rubber if the pattern is designed well. If that Continental badge gives you that extra bit of confidence, go for it since it doesn’t cost any more than the regular pair.
What benefit does Continental get out of a relationship with Adidas ? Per the link above
of course there was the matter of being able to present the Continental brand in a new environment, where we could boost brand awareness in different markets and demonstrate our expertise.
Some extra advertising on their shoes? Am I going to go out and buy a pair of their tires because my shoes has their logo on it? At least it puts their name in my mind but me being me, I’d research the actual tire which is a much more sizable investment than a pair of shoes. Maybe when a young kid who is wearing Adidas UltraBoosts will come to that day in his life and say “man I loved those UltraBoosts, I’m going to get those Continental Pro Contacts for my car”. ..maybe
The Continental name and brand is already strong so it really doesn’t help with their tire sales. The science and technology that goes into creating a high performance tire for a two ton car is far more expensive and difficult to manufacturer than what goes on a pair of sneakers, not to mention the consequences of making a bad pair of tires. My guess is Continental said here is some rubber we have laying around and you can stick our label on it. Speculation of course since the press release says otherwise.
Harden Vol 1 Traction
I picked up the Disruptor colorway a few months back and haven’t had any time or desire to actually play in them until now. Traction reviews on the Harden Vol 1 have gone from excellent to decent (me) and I still feel that way about the solid outsole.
I did a similar test with the Hardens as I did above and to my surprise, the translucent outsole outperformed the solid outsole on clean floors and some dusty floors. On dusty floors that had a lot of dust sitting on the surface and not ground into the floor, traction sucked for both pairs no matter what. I literally had to wipe every time down in both pairs.
When moving forward and backward, I didn’t feel like there was a huge difference in traction but when moving laterally, I was slipping a good foot in the solid outsole while the translucent outsole still stopped on a dime. Maybe Adidas did really track Harden’s movements after all 🙂
(if you don’t get that joke, it’s because James Harden is portrayed as a very bad aloof defender who doesn’t play defense or with any effort on the defensive end and therefore doesn’t require good traction moving laterally )
Although I typically don’t give number scores, I’d say the solid outsole is about 7.5 while the I’d give the translucent outsole an to 8 to 8.5 depending on court conditions. If I had to choose one I’d go with the translucent outsole though.
Happy hooping and have a safe fun summer everyone!