No need to drag out a long review. If you follow my IG, my initial impressions out of the box pretty much matched the on court impressions and all in all it’s a pretty sorry shoe in all aspects. However, my curiosity got me experimenting to see the whys which is where a lot of reviewers fall short.

Pros: traction when clean, stability, containment

Cons: everything else

Sizing advice : these run long so it depends on preference: if you like a certain length but tight fit in the toe box go down half a size . If you need more space stay true to size.

Buying advice: don’t


Errr this is 19 ounces for a low top. Wasn’t light strike supposed to be light ? The shell alone weighs14.5 ounces which is heavier than the Curry 8 by an ounce .

Just the shell

I’m not a big weight guy but Adidas outdid itself this time. You realize that ONE V5 weighs almost the same as a pair of crazy lights. 👀


Traction is good on clean floors or freshly wiped but doesn’t do the best job brushing away dirt. A solid outsole should help but really zero point to buy this shoe. I’m about to stop writi…..


You da real LVP insole

*this is where the majority of the V5 issues comes from so I’ll cover it all right here*

I can’t recall a drop in insole for any company other than Nike so the swoosh can consider the V5 as the sincerest form of flattery even if it’s a really poor effort.

The drop in is really thick and is mostlly with a layer of Boost on the top. I’m not sure who implied that Boost needs space to expand but there is no space for Boost to expand in this insole. As I have often stated Boost needs volume to feel like Boost and it’s why I don’t really use these replacement insoles.
Because of how dense the insole is it takes a bit to break in but it still feels packed and dense with a little feedback and bounce particularly in the heel. It feels NOTHING like the Boost on the V3 or the Lightstrike on the V4 or Dame 6/7 or bounce for that matter. It’s just there.Sound boring enough ? Read on

Here you can see the V5 vs the Kobe IX insole.

If you take a look at the heel, you’ll see how sloped it is. I never wrote a review on the Kobe VII but the VII had a similar issue but not to this extent. (You could actually just the little piece in the heel to make it fit better). The slope in the heel basically doesn’t allow your heel to sit all the way down as intended since the heel is pushed forward and up thus you get some major heel slippage. A traditional cushioning set up would have fixed this issue but hey Adidss had to show off its imitation innovation.

Now the heel shape added some heel slip but this super long super stiff shank is the real LVP of this insole. Even after break in it just wants to stay super in it’s original form because of how stiff it is I accordion’d the sht out of it and it helped a lot with the three F’s: feel, fit, and flexiblility but not to the point that the shoe felt like I wasn’t wearing a shoe .

Well since I could interchange the insoles I decided to mess around and put my Kobe IX Insoles and instantly the shoe got more flexible felt better underfoot and fit better since it isn’t as thick aND IT doesn’t have that slope in the heel nor the shank. Addition by subtraction is amazing

The shell and upper materials aren’t the main culprits

Just for kicks (get it) I threw one of these zoom insoles off Amazon w an extra insole on top and it made the shoe feel like.. well a … Nike

Now can you put LeBron drop ins or Kobe’s seamlessly ? No, because the shell of the shoe is much bigger than the typical stated size to accommodate the thick insole . ..Segway please


Harden V5 in size 11, V3 11.5

The V5 is much large than a regular size 11. If you see my pic of the V3 v V5 it’s close to a centimeter larger. If you like to feel nimble big ass shoes like this might not be for you.

One positive about the Harden V5 fit is the lack of deadspace in the forefoot and no movement side to side. Having an extra thick insole will do that I guess.

Heel slip is an issue due everything stated in the cushioning section.

The heel pillows help but not enough due to the poor insole design.
Btw I went true to size. You can go down half a size but that would be too tight for my wide feet. Overall the fit is good in the forefoot and poor in the heel.


Fuse and little scraps of clothe taken from the floor of Joanns. #premium

Future natural upper is what Adidas calls it and it is a one piece upper (Kobe NXT anyone?). But it really feels like a throwback to 2010 maybe 2012. It does not feel premium to the touch at all. No issues with pinching or hot spots but I’m not a big stickler for materials. The stiffness and clunkiness comes from the insole as stated earlier. If you like to DJ you may enjoy scratching these .

Support and stability

No issues with support and stability.

Just as wide as the V3 in the forefoot and wider in the heel

Sorry nothing to really state here but hey it’s a positive at least!


No issues here. That fake lightstrike texture runs all the way around the shoe and is made of a stiffish TPU. Good for containment


As I stated earlier, the V5 is proof that it ain’t the shoes. Sure, the Beard got off to a slow start and overweight but hey Treasures and Ricks food isn’t exactly healthy. But now that the Beard got his trade he is crushing it in Brooklyn (maybe it’s the sorry strip clubs in NY 🤷🏻‍♂️ ) . I even saw Kyle Lowry wearing these but of course as a 3 stripes guy he kinda has to. But regardless of how badly this shoe rates among reviewers, it makes no difference to a players actual output or performance. Not really a big whoop but I’ll drop the “performance” out of the title starting today because it makes no actual difference on court as I’ve said this for years. Shoes don’t get buckets simple as that.
The V5 is truly an exercise in nomenclature and using “new tech” for the sake of using “new tech”. The funny thing is this is almost an identical idea to the Kobe 360 NXT but executed way way way worse. Better fit, cushioning, traction, far lighter..doesn’t feel like a shoe (of course I do need the support and stability but just saying).

At $130 it isn’t super expensive and you literally get a lot of shoe for the money. (For the ones who don’t get the joke I’m referring to the size of the shoe and how heavy it is). As with all things Harden and Adidas, don’t buy these at retail unless you’re a real diehard Harden fan..actually even if you are just wait because these aren’t going anywhere and have no appreciable value. Normally I’d say fair is about $100 but that’s too generous so I’m going to say $80-70 is fair bottoming out around $50-60. Who knows maybe the big Apple will help sell some shoes 😬

All in all the Harden V5 does nothing better than its predecessors and that’s being generous.

45 Comment on “Adidas Harden Vol 5 V5 Review

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