Introducing the Harden V1.5. I guess I should have rearranged the lineage differently. 😐

While some shoe companies are making stories about astronauts and eject buttons and somehow not getting laughed for the the absolute ridiculousness of the concept and idea, Adidas has quietly created a great shoe that is almost totally devoid of tricks and gimmicks.. and for that I say thank you Adidas. Btw Jordan brand you should have cross promoted the Aj 33 with the first man or Ryan Gosling if you really want to go hard with the astronaut idea.

https://youtu.be/PSoRx87OO6k

There is no asymmetrical lacing system, no “articulated” forefoot that did nothing. This is a straightforward normal laced shoe that plays well right out of the box. If you were a fan of the Vol 1, you’ll really love the V1.5 V3

Pros: traction, cushioning, fit, stability, containment, more flexible than the V2

Cons: some break in time required to minimize heel slip. Heel fit is pretty good but could be better.

Sizing advice: half size down for best fit. Wide footers can go true to size

Best for: any position

Buying advice: the Adidas cool, new, and different factor has cooled off. I’m sure MAGA Kanye didn’t help. The Harden V2 were selling for $42 on adidas.com. Wait as always, these are very plain Jane and I can’t say the V3 are 3 times better than the 42 dollar V2. Fair is around $100, low around $42? Let’s hope

*this just popped in my inbox It’s the perfect time to stock up. For two days only get 20% off footwear, apparel and accessories at adidas.com.* From 10/29/18 – 10/30/18 use code OCTSALE at checkout. Exclusions apply.*

Weight

LIGHTEST HARDEN EVER … by half an ounce. Sorry for the bad pic. 16.5 ounces. Harden V1 was 17 ounces while the V2 was 18.5. Crazylight it is not.

Traction

Remember when Adidas told us about all the measurements and mapping that went into producing a Fibonacci pattern for the V1? 🗑

Adidas went with traditional herringbone set up and it’s easily the best traction on a Harden yet. Very tacky when clean, some wiping needed on dusty floors even with this translucent outsole. I really wish I had time to test between solid and translucent again but I found these worked pretty damn well.

Thanks for cutting the BS Adidas! Well done!

Cushioning

These feel a lot closer to the v1 than v2 cushioning set up. They have a little more give to them like the v1 without being overly spongy and are lower to the ground.V3 measures about 20mm while the V2 is about 23-24mm (foot sits below the Boost line on the V2). Heel measures approx 27 and 30 respectively. Not a big deal either way so Let It Go

I was really surprised by the measurements because I never felt the V2 ran high off the ground at all. It’s numbers are about average while the V3 is what I consider low to the ground like the Curry 4, Kyrie 3 Etc…

This is the most “uncaged” Boost set up that we’ve seen on a Harden with only this tiny forefoot lateral piece caged.

While the V2 was touted as having the “most Boost ever” (probably true), it really wasn’t all underfoot and it felt firmer overall than the V3 and 1.

Both the V2 and V3 use the cloth strobel so it’s really surprising how different they feel

I don’t have much to say about the cushioning which is a good thing. Overall, the cushioning feels very similar to the V1 and it’s a nice balance of comfort, court feel, springiness and fun.

Great job Adidas!

Fit

These run almost as long as the V1 (almost a thumbnails width at the toe)so I’d advise half a size down for regular to narrow and true to size for wide footers. Half a size down would have really helped the fit for me but my feet are too flat and fat and I had a lot of arch pain with half size down in the V1. If you can try them on in store do it. You can fit more than one size believe it or not.

Everything feels better/tighter than the v1 out of the box which should help the shoe be a little more adaptable to different foot shapes. If you’re trying them on in the store, be aware that the fit will feel slightly sloppy because the materials don’t really conform to the foot right away. It does goes away after about an hour or two of play. I had some minor heel slip to start but it went away for the most part. Still some very minor slippage which is due mostly to the lacing set up getting loose as I dorsiflex and loosen those laces during play. I’d like the top eyelet a touch higher or further back with flaps that come over the ankle like the CLB or every Kobe. I think the flaps would really help with heel lockdown.

Top eyelets are set about where they should be which really helped with slippage. I think adding some “flaps” that cross over the ankle slightly would have improved the fit even more.

I still feel the V2 feels more secure than the V3 and V1 but maybe that’s just due to the feeling of the inner bootie design of the V2.

This is not the same “cat tongue” material as the Rose 6. Feels more like a terry cloth/Velour like the CLB16 (neither really helps with lockdown imo)

Overall, I had no side to side movement and some very very minor heel slip. Much better than the V1 not quite V2 level though. Still a very good fit out of the box and gets better with wear. No issues here and I’m sure if I could fit half a size down, it would have worked even better.

Materials

Adidas states “textile” as the materials which is a really generic term. These feel somewhat like ballistic mesh but thinner and with a tighter pattern but at the same time it has some thickness and strength than other simple mesh materials to give it a more premium feel. It is also backed by nylon so it doesn’t feel flimsy and cheap. Add in a little glitter and you have $140 materials 😂. Adidas has really learned how to upgrade inexpensive materials to make them feel premium. Just don’t raise the prices.

Support and Stability

The extra tall Achilles really isn’t needed but oh well.

These are a low so support is minimal and comes from the fit and heel counter. No issues here at all.

Midfoot support is great with the same shank as the V1. It isn’t super stiff midfoot and back like the V2 and flexes just enough with that shank.

Stability is excellent on the V3 with a lower ride than the v2 with a nice wide flat outsole like the V2.

I really love the stability on these. Adidas should consider bringing this exact set up to its tennis line.

Well done Adidas!

Containment

No issues here. You’d think this strap had something to do with it but it’s just an slim elastic band.

Da real MVP is the raised caged portion (as seen earlier)

Remember those thin years before I came along and companies (and reviewers) didn’t even address this? Thank you Adidas and you’re welcome sneakerworld.

Conclusion

I think Adidas did a great job with the V3 as it returns to a feel more similar to the V1 than V2. Improved fit from the V1 and traction ? Yes please.

Some people may feel that Adidas took a step back (get it) in the looks department but oh well. It is a bit plain Jane looking but nobody will care if you’re getting buckets.

How does this compare the the v2?

Hurray! Two Hardens within one year. Next thing you know we’ll have new models quarterly. Shoe companies can’t keep that buzz up for a year I guess with 30 colorways yearly (see UA Curry 4,5, and 6 coming soon) I digress…

I’m not sure which pair I like more but I do know this. The V2 fits better for me while the traction is slightly better with the V3. Cushioning is also firmer on the V2 than the V3 and V1. If you liked the V1 and wanted to love it, you’ll probably really like the V3. If you liked or loved the V2, you probably don’t need to switch unless you want a little better traction. But once again wait, you’re not getting paid to win those big time games at 24 Hour Filthiness and Harden prices will fall hard (en) . Speaking of pricing.. .

Pricing

Should you go out and buy the V3 now? Heck no. Adidas’s cool factor is dying in a hurry, and Adidas prices fall like rocks now. Kanye and his MAGA hat plus new BFF definitely hurts the three stripes core demographics. I picked up the V2 for $42 last month on Adidas.com. I’ll gladly take an excellent shoe at $42 versus another excellent shoe at $140. (I paid 119 btw thanks Adidas burner email accounts.).

I expect these to drop in price quickly because

A) they aren’t that appealing looks wise

B) neither is Harden.

These could be the best b-ball shoes in the world but 90% of consumers don’t buy shoes for their actual use. Expect these to go on sale in a month or two and add on some coupon codes to get to the $100 price point. $80 ish will be up for grabs for sure and bottom will be around $50. And that’s assuming that Harden and the Rockets have a good year. 😐

Overall, I’m going to give this a first team rating . Great traction and a pretty good fit while keeping the shoe fun with Boost done right plus it’s light less heavy. Sign me up Scotty!

43 Comment on “Adidas Harden Vol 3 V3 Performance Analysis and Review

  1. Pingback: The Archive: Nike Kobe IX 9 EM Performance Analysis and Review | schwollo.com

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