adidas Barricade 6.0 Men's Shoe Review
Adidas Barricade. Ten years of success and renown. We could rehash the decade of Barricade history in detail, but odds are, it would be like watching an episode of "Seinfeld." Though the episode is classic and good, you probably already know the storyline. So I'll save you the history and get right to it.
The Barricade 6 is armed with a fresh look, yet is loaded with the same effective ammunition. From the support claws to the rock solid stability to the seemingly everlasting durability, this latest edition of Barricade continues to stick to its roots. The subtle changes include a softer feeling upper and less weight than the previous two versions. How will these changes affect what has become known as the "ultimate hard court tennis shoe"? Let's check in with our playtesters to see if they could put any holes (both figuratively and literally) into this seemingly impenetrable shoe.
Comfort - Score: 4.0
Our playtesters noticed a slightly different fit from the Barricade V, though they still felt the comfort was good after a brief break-in. Chris felt the break-in was worth the wait. He said, "It took me about a week of break-in before I felt the shoe start to flex and move with my feet. I never felt any discomfort during break-in and had no issues of poking or pinching, the shoes just felt a little clunky on the first few wears. Once the Barricade 6s started to break-in and move with my feet, as expected, it was worth the wait. The cushioning was great and they felt very comfortable. I'm now on my third pair, though I went up a half size after my first pair. This version does not fit me as well due to the width of the shoes. My feet were sliding forward and hitting the toe tip, which was really uncomfortable. Going up a half size and wearing two pairs of socks took care of this issue."
Reveling in the secure fit was Granville. He said, "If there was any more cushioning, it would not be a Barricade. At the first fitting I felt like there was a lot of material surrounding my foot (like putting my foot into a marshmallow). Heel cushioning is as plush as any shoe I can recall. The glove-like fit remains an irresistible draw for me."
Jason felt there should be two scores for comfort, stating, "This shoe should really have two comfort scores: before break-in and after. The first 3-5 times on the court the uppers felt rigid, but after those first few hours the entire shoe softened up. The cushioning was more than adequate, but I really had to dock it points because of the fit. The 6 seem to fit narrower than the Vs, especially in the toe box. I could feel my big toe rubbing against the edge of the shoe, causing blisters to form from time to time."
Anticipating a brief break-in was Spencer. He said, "I liked the comfort of the Barricade 6s in regard to how they fit my feet. One of the things they have in common with all the previous versions is the undeniable support. That being said, and again like previous versions, there is a brief period of necessary break-in because of the initial stiffness. After a few hours of wearing them around they were good to go for hitting. Because of how the arch sat in the right shoe I experienced a blister within the first couple of hits. One other nuance I experienced was my toes jamming into the front of the shoes when I stopped short, usually at the net to retrieve a drop shot. I even have a black toenail now to prove it! As I continued to wear them they did seem to mold to my feet, making them a definite 'go-to' preference."
Ventilation - Score: 3.7
Though the Barricade 6 didn't cause noticeable heat, there was room for improvement when it came to breathability. Finding the ventilation features to be a welcome benefit to the shoes was Chris. He said, "Ventilation was decent in these shoes. They have ventilation features throughout, and my feet never got overly hot. What I liked most was that the perforations fit nicely into the styling of the shoe while providing that performance benefit of allowing my feet to breathe."
Spencer felt the same, noting, "There was an ample amount of breathability in the Barricade 6. I've experienced better ventilation in less substantial shoes, but would choose the adequate ventilation in this shoe to get the same level of stability and support as provided by the Barricade 6."
Hoping for a cooler sensation was Jason. He said, "I know the uppers show plenty of perforations on the medial side, but I still felt the shoes would get hot on warmer days. Airflow just wasnÕt as noticeable as I anticipated by just looking at the shoe. I wish the tongue couldÕve been constructed using a more breathable material."
Arch Support - Score: 4.3
There were differing opinions from our crew, but overall they felt the arches were indeed supportive. Needing some break-in for his low arched feet was Jason. He stated, "After wearing these shoes on court for a few hits, the arches wore down a bit and my arches were no longer getting sore while playing."
Spencer had some brief discomfort, saying, "I felt the arch support was a tad higher than medium. I didn't have any discomfort from the height and felt the support was placed in the right spot. However, like I stated in my Comfort comments, I experienced some friction in that area in the right shoe, causing a blister."
Granville said, "After so many years of playing with the standard foam layer insoles in all my tennis shoes, which offer little to no arch support, I now put in orthotic style insoles in all my shoes. With the Barricade 6 it was a must, as I found the thin foam layer insoles provided no arch support and little cushioning."
Feeling the arches were perfect for his feet was Chris. He said, "The arch support was a perfect fit for my medium height arches. The contour of the insole hit my feet in all the right places and my arches felt well supported inside the shoes. The shoes also feature an excellent mid-foot shank with the Torsion System. It seemed to push the flex point nicely under my toes to further help protect my arches. I have always been impressed with the arch support in the Barricade line and this latest version didn't disappoint."
Foot Support/Stability - Score: 4.5
It was no surprise, based on the Barricade history, that the support and stability shone through in this playtest. Jason raved about the support and stability, saying, "Both were top notch! However, I expected nothing less coming from a shoe with 'Barricade' printed on the side. I really felt like my foot was locked in, so there was no sliding around within the shoe. The Torsion System in the midfoot, along with the 3 claws in the forefoot, seemed to do a great job in preventing the shoe from deforming on side-to-side movements. I never once felt like my ankle was going to roll."
Playing with total confidence at full speed was Chris. He stated, "Moving side to side in the shoes, I found all the support and stability I've come to expect from a Barricade. The chassis just felt rock solid under my feet and inspired total confidence to go all out with my court movement. On sprints toward the net my feet would slide inside the shoes when stopping. This caused some discomfort, which I cured by going up a half size and by wearing two pairs of socks to fill out the width."
Granville felt he was between sizes, though still happy with the support. He said, "The sizing may be slightly off as I am a 10.5 normally but am most comfortable in the 11.0s in these Barricade 6s. That being said, I would be best served with two pairs of socks as I did slide around a bit without the second pair of socks. I cinched down the shoe to help, and while not perfect, it still beats about anything else out there."
After some brief break-in issues, the Barricade 6s settled in nicely according to Spencer. He said, "I was thrilled with the amount of support I got with the Barricade 6. The arches were supportive on my feet while the width was comfortably snug, keeping any side to side sliding inside the shoe to a minimum. On that note, though, I did experience my feet sliding to the front of the shoe when having to stop quickly when running forward. My toes jammed into the front of the shoes, causing discoloration of the nail on my right big toe. This didn't stop me from playing, but was slightly uncomfortable. Let me also note, that after two weeks of play, the shoes settled to my feet, which stopped the jamming issue. The side to side stability was excellent, as I've come to expect with Barricades. Like the last Barricade, this shoe provided me with confidence when planting and changing direction. Overall, I was pleased with the support and stability."
Overall Sole Durability - Score: 4.7
Adidas continues to do a stellar job maintaining durability without sacrificing performance in its Barricade line. The adiWEAR 6 outsole proved just as impressive. Chris gave top marks for durability, saying, "As far as the outsoles go, adidas offers a six-month durability guarantee. The Barricade has always been one of the most durable shoes on the market. This version lives up to that reputation. The outsoles of this pair are only just starting to show some wear. I had no durability issues and gave them top marks here."
Happy with the durability, but leaving room for improvement was Granville. He noted, "I offer a 4+ here as it remains one of the toughest tennis shoes on the market. In case you were wondering, I don't give 5s."
Jason was impressed with the long lasting outsole of this shoe. He marveled, "The words 'like a tank' come to mind. I wore these shoes on our gritty indoor court for well over 15 hours and I barely put a dent in them. As usual, the medial forefoot showed the most signs of wear and tear."
High expectations were met for Spencer, too. He said, "Like my other tennis shoes, the Barricade 6s showed the first signs of wear on the medial side of the forefoot, on the bottom, and under my big toes. The durability was exceptional, as usual, for Barricades. I was even more impressed with how durable they were considering the excellent traction. I don't normally expect such high marks in both areas of the same shoe."
Toe Durability - Score: 4.7
Only two of our testers drag their toes, but both were impressed with how well they held up.
Happy to not be able to penetrate the toe bumper was Chris. He said, "The toe durability was excellent and earned another 5 out of 5 from me. The tip and medial side of the toe are both protected well with the adiTUFF material, and it held up superbly. I have scuff marks all over the toes of the shoes, but I've not made a dent in the durability."
Granville had no problems, stating, "The toe area is tough. I had no issues here, with only scuffing in the most extreme cases of toe drag."
Traction - Score: 4.8
Our test squad was dazzled by the amount of grip they were getting on the hard courts. To be able to combine this amount of tack with so much durability was amazing. Jason was impressed with the gripping ability, saying, "It didnÕt take me too long to recognize the superb gripping ability of the Barricade 6. I had no issues with slippage when starting to run or changing directions. I had only a couple instances where I tried to stop when going from side to side that the shoe slipped slightly. But it was minimal and rare. It's like this shoe had built in anti-locking breaks! It performed very well."
Able to be aggressive and rely on the tack of the shoe was Chris. He said, "The traction was excellent in the Barricade 6.0. I was able to make really aggressive cuts, starts and stops, and I always had confidence the outsole was going to hook-up and provide the grip I needed. When coming to a quick stop there was just enough give in the shoe and the outsole to allow for a controlled, even stop. Top marks were given again here."
Granville found this outsole to be effective on all surfaces. He stated, "The multi-court thick herringbone pattern is my favorite outsole. Good and sticky. I've played on clay, grass and hard court successfully in the Barricades. This is obviously best suited for hard court, and it is a winner."
Finding no other shoe to top the Barricade's traction was Spencer. He noted, "The Barricade once again impresses with its traction on hard courts. Every iteration of Barricade I've played in has had excellent tack. I would say I haven't experienced better traction in a tennis shoe. That doesn't mean that others haven't come close to the traction, but the Barricade 6 is definitely at the top."
Weight - Score: 4.0
Impressively, the Barricade 6 came in lighter than the Barricade V without sacrificing stability and durability. The majority of our testers didn't notice their performance inhibited by the weight. Happy with the weight for a Barricade shoe was Chris. He said, "Considering all the support and durability these shoes offer, I thought the weight was very impressive. They are not the fastest feeling shoes on my feet when walking around, but the heavy feel goes away during play. I never felt the weight that was there hindered my movement."
Jason had similar feelings, saying, "It is certainly not a lightweight shoe by any means, but it does feel lighter than the previous Barricades that I've worn. I wasn't too disappointed with the weight because I never expected it to be light. It is a Barricade, after all."
Spencer found the support and stability offset the heavier weight. He stated, "Though this is still considered a heavy shoe, it has improved from previous versions. That said, I didn't feel the weight to be a hindrance with speed, whatsoever. If anything, the stupendous support and stability only added to my efficiency when it came to movement."
Granville thought the weight was a tad on the heavy side, saying, "My cut-off for a performance shoe is a pound per foot/shoe. These felt heavy when I took them out of the box. The size 11.0 shoes I wore weighed 17.5 ounces each."
Overall - Score: 4.3
The look changed, the weight was lighter, the uppers were softer. There was a slight difference in fit compared with the last version. Those were the things that differed from the previous two Barricades. However, the characteristics that define the Barricade were very evident. The Torsion System, along with the support claws, helped once again to provide undeniable support and stability. With the support and stability being top of the line, the Barricade 6 needed to offer traction to match. And deliver it did, by offering a seemingly never ending level of grip. Most impressively, the legendary Barricade durability was still there -- a testament to how good the adiWEAR 6 outsole material really is. All in all, when it came to performance, the Barricade 6 lived up to its heritage.
Chris - "I liked the comfort, support, traction, durability, ventilation and styling of the shoes. For this review I wore the black version and got lots of compliments when wearing them. Simply put, these are bloody good shoes."
Granville - "Heel cushioning is a standout benefit here. Great outsole, traction, and improved ventilation."
Jason - "The stability, durability and traction stood out the most for me."
Spencer - "The solid, supportive feel made for a very sturdy shoe."
Chris - "Just the jamming of my toes into the end of the shoes, but I fixed that by adjusting my size choice."
Granville - "A bit roomy in the forefoot width wise for my medium width feet, but I also went up to a size 11 for a better length fit and usually wear a 10.5."
Jason - "I have a wide foot and the forefoot did not fit my foot shape well, as it felt narrow. I wouldÕve also liked a bit more ventilation."
Spencer - "The break-in period."
Comparing the Barricade 6s to other shoes our testers have worn they said:
Chris - "Although I was seriously impressed with this shoe, I still prefer the previous Barricade. This shoe performed better in every category except fit. However, fit is such a huge deal, I'm willing to overlook the performance and style of this one to go with the Barricade V. This is a great shoe, but the previous version is good enough, and the better fit keeps me loyal."
Granville - "It remains a standout tennis shoe; the standard of performance, in my mind. Really, nothing else comes closer to my preferences than the Barricade."
Jason - "It still feels like a Barricade shoe because it is so durable and so stable. But the fit has become narrower, especially in the forefoot."
Spencer - "Most comparable to the previous two versions of Barricade, the V and IV, the 6 offers tremendous support and stability with excellent traction. I felt the break-in time was shorter, though I did experience my toes jamming into the front of the shoe when having to stop short. I didn't have that with any of the previous versions. Once the break-in was over, these became my favorite of all the Barricades."
- Fit is different than previous Barricades
- Break-in Time
|Adidas Barricade Mens's Shoe|
|Overall Sole Durability||4.7|
Playtester Foot Types:
Granville - Narrow width, low arch
Jason - Wide width, low arch
Spencer - Medium width, medium arch
Chris - Narrow width, medium arch
Review date: September 2010. If you found this review interesting or have further questions or comments please contact us.
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