The Barricade V Classics fit long on all of our playtesters, and we strongly recommend you move down a half-size from what you normally wear. There was also a long break in period before our playtesters found a comfortable fit. "Putting the adidas Barricade V Classics on my feet was a blast from the past," said Tiffani. "These were my go-to shoes when they were originally released, but putting them on in 2015 was a quick lesson on how much shoes have evolved over the past few years. These shoes weren't light and flexible out of the box like many of today's shoes. They were solid and sturdy, and they needed to be broken-in. Being a veteran Barricade V wearer, I wore them around for a few days before stepping on the court. It took an additional five hours on the court before they started flexing enough for me. My arches felt a bit strained until the shoes broke in and began flexing more easily, but the issue subsided and I completed the playtest without any arch issues. In total, the break-in was easily 10 hours, but I was expecting this, and the effort was well worth it. The cushioning was great and protected my feet from hard impacts. I was also surprised how well hot air was escaping. My feet never felt too hot, and our indoor court has been getting quite humid lately. My only drawback was that I found these shoes to run a little long, which isn't an issue I had with the originals. I wish these shoes came in a size 5.5 because I wanted to drop a half-size from my usual size 6."
Michelle touched on the traditional makeup of the adidas Barricade V Classics. She explained, "Women's tennis shoes just aren't made like this anymore. Breaking in shoes for more than two court sessions is unheard of now, and with the shoes we've been playtesting recently I've been able to get on the court and go. However, with the Barricade V Classics I definitely needed to put a handful of hours in to get to a comfortable feel. Once the shoes were broken in, though, I thought they were very cushioned, and I really liked the comfort level. They weren't the most ventilated shoes, but this was never an issue that hindered me on court. These shoes have some good perforations, but all that extra material keeps them a bit warmer than my lightweight shoes that have a lot of mesh. As for the arch support, they felt low for my higher arches. I don't usually mind low arch support in shoes, but I wanted a bit more support here. I also had to go down a half-size to find the right fit, and even in a smaller size they still felt slightly roomy. Overall, I thought these shoes were pretty comfortable after the break-in."
Brittany said, "The break-in period was on the longer side. I wore the Barricade V Classics for several days around work and in the gym before heading to the court. It took about 10 hours on court for the uppers to soften up and flex comfortably. Once I was past the break-in period I found them comfortable, with just the right amount of cushioning. I did find this reissue to fit long, and I ended up going down a half-size. I playtested these shoes in the summer and found the ventilation to be just fine. My one issue with the comfort of these shoes was the arch support. It was sitting a little high and too far forward for my arches, and I ended up having some arch pain and soreness. I ended up taking out the insole and replacing it, which seemed to help relieve the issue."
"Luckily, I knew what kind of break-in period I was in for with the Barricade V Classics," said Karly. "I grew up playing in Barricade IVs for a few years and I remembered that they took longer than most shoes to loosen up. When I first put them on they were easily the stiffest tennis shoes I've ever worn. They hardly flexed at all, and all the rigid material felt clunky. It wasn't until I'd worn them on the court for about five hours that they finally started to loosen up slightly, and then it took another five hours before they felt completely broken-in. After the break-in period I didn't have any issues with comfort as long as I wore thicker socks. The ventilation never bothered me, and the arch support was decent. However, because the padding was more dense than cushiony, and the firm uppers wrapped around my midfoot tightly, when I wore thin socks I got blisters on my arches from the rubbing. Subsequently, I only wore padded, cushioned socks and didn't experience anymore discomfort. I should also note that I had to wear a half-size smaller than my usual size because a size 7.5 was just too long for my feet."
When it came to the foot support and stability, our playtesters couldn't have been happier. Michelle said, "There's no doubt about it, the Barricade V Classics were built to be very supportive and stable, and that was definitely a standout feature of these shoes. My feet felt completely secure no matter which direction I was moving. They always felt stable, and I was never worried about rolling an ankle or sliding around. With all the support and stability, though, I did find a little speed was sacrificed, and I didn't feel like I could be as quick as what I'm used to. However, these were easily one of the most stable shoes I've playtested in a while!"
"The exceptional support and stability are the reasons I put up with the tough break-in period," said Karly. "Their level of support was unmatched. My feet felt locked-in and my ankles secured, even when the uppers loosened up. They allowed me to feel my most confident with quick change of directions and aggressive movements. I can't say enough good things about how supportive and stable the Barricade Vs are. They are the epitome of stable shoes."
Tiffani agreed that the support and stability were top notch. She said, "The big payoff for putting so much time into breaking in these shoes was the unrivaled support and stability. These shoes historically set the bar in this department, and they continue to do so. These adidas Barricade V Classics offered me all the support I needed, and more, to be honest. I moved in these with full confidence, whether sprinting forward or side to side."
Brittany offered, "These shoes were tanks! They were easily one of the more supportive and stable shoes I've ever worn, and exactly what I expect when wearing a Barricade. I could be extremely aggressive with my movement without fear of turning an ankle. My feet were securely in place (in a half-size smaller), and the ankle collar was the perfect height to keep my ankles secure."
The Barricade V Classics knocked the durability out of the park. All of our playtesters agreed that the outsoles held up tremendously well. Karly said, "The durability of the Barricade V Classics ranks among the best. After wearing them on the tennis court for about 20 hours I haven't come close to inflicting any significant damage to the outsoles. There's only slight smoothing at the balls of my feet, which is where I generally get the most damage. I'm very confident that these shoes will last me longer than most tennis shoes I've played in."
"Tennis shoes don't get much more durable than the Barricade Vs!" exclaimed Michelle. "I've worn these shoes before, and I've always have a hard time putting a dent in the outsoles. After several weeks of play the outsoles are still going strong. The durability was definitely one of the strongest features of these shoes. The Barricade V Classics will last for even the most aggressive players, which also make them a great option for junior or college players who put in a lot of hours on the court. Even if you can wear them out in six months, you have another pair coming your way from the outsole warranty!"
Brittany praised the durability as well. She said, "After 20-plus hours on the court I have yet to see even an ounce of wear on my outsoles. They look practically brand new. I gave the outsoles a perfect score because I don't think any shoes can top the durability of the Barricade V Classics, and to top it off, they come backed with a six-month durability guarantee. The toe durability is just as excellent, too, offering plenty of protection for toe-draggers. After the playtest the only wear I can see is some slight scuffing on both toe bumpers."
Tiffani echoed the other playtesters, saying, "Another bonus of such beefy shoes is the durability. I can easily wear through shoes within six months and smooth outsoles and toes during our month-long playtests. However, with these Barricades I've barely scraped the toes and have seen just the slightest wear on the pivot points. These will last me beyond six months. Durability is outstanding on all fronts."
The traction of the Barricade V Classics proved to be another hit with our playtesters. Michelle said, "Great traction! I was never worried about slipping in these shoes. Again, because they're a bit heavier I did feel like I was a little slower on the run. However, traction was never a problem. The outsoles have a good amount of tread, and because they're so durable the tread held up great for me."
A little wary at first, Brittany needed some time to get used to the feel of the shoes. She explained, "When I slipped these shoes on the first thing I noticed was that I was sitting up higher than I like, and I wasn't sure if I would feel as connected to the ground. After a small adjustment period I wasn't noticing the height. These shoes gripped the court very well -- I even had a couple instances when I felt stuck. That may be due to the heavier weight of the shoes, because the traction had the right amount of give when I was quickly changing directions. Overall, I was satisfied with the traction the Barricade V Classics provided when I was moving aggressively."
Tiffani said, "I felt that the outsoles needed a little bit of breaking in. The outsoles are so hard and durable I had to put a little bit of wear on them before I found the amount of stick I really like. After that I was starting and stopping the way I like. When I was wrong footed I could stop and move in the other direction without any worries of slipping."
Karly also thought the traction improved over time. She said, "The traction was a little slick in the beginning. It wasn't necessarily slippery, it just had a little more give than grip, and I would slide a tiny bit on stops. However, as the shoes broke in so did the grip. I was sticking to the court better as time went on. After about the fifth hour the traction was great for the rest of the playtest."
Given their durable and supportive nature, it came as no surprise to the playtesters that these shoes were on the heavier side by today's standards. Tiffani said, "Shoes have certainly gotten lighter as a whole since the Barricade Vs originally were released. These shoes have never been considered light, and now more than ever I noticed their weight. Initially, I was very aware of every move I was making because I hadn't worn shoes built like this in quite some time. I felt much more comfortable moving quickly as the test progressed. Although I'm never going to feel lightning quick in these shoes, they offer unmatched durability and stability and allowed me to move with confidence."
Brittany offered, "With the excellent support, stability and durability these shoes offered, I wasn't surprised that they felt heavier than normal. I didn't feel as quick or light on my feet as I would have liked. I could definitely feel them when I was moving around, and they felt clunky, especially at the beginning of the playtest. However, I found that the more they broke in the better I felt moving in them."
Like Brittany, Karly thought the Barricade V Classics played faster the more she played in them. She said, "These were certainly heavier than most tennis shoes I've played in recently, but I got used to their weight as the playtest went on. I was able to move even faster in them once they broke in and flexed better. In the beginning I thought they slowed me down because of how clunky and bulky they felt, but once they loosened up I didn't mind their heavier feel. I was so confident making aggressive movements, due to their outstanding stability, that I was willing to compromise a lightweight feel for reliable support."
The heavier weight was more noticeable to Michelle, who commented, "My least favorite feature was probably the weight. At almost 14 ounces, they feel bulky and heavy compared to many of the shoes I've worn this year. Again, there just aren't shoes built like this on the market anymore. At times, especially on the run, I felt like their weight might have hindered my speed."
Tiffani - "There is a lot of cushioning without it being overwhelming. They are stable, durable and comfortable."
Brittany - "The Barricade V Classics are probably the most durable, supportive and stable shoes I have ever playtested."
Michelle - "Stable, sturdy and durable! I played college tennis in the first couple generations of adidas Barricades, so these shoes always have a place in my heart for being a great option for players putting 20-plus hours of tennis in a week."
Karly - "The rock solid support and durability. I can't think of another tennis shoe that comes close to matching the performance of the Barricade V Classics in those areas."
Tiffani - "They run a little bit long."
Brittany - "I had trouble with the arch support, which caused some arch pain. The weight was also on the heavier side."
Michelle - "The Barricade V Classics are heavy and feel a bit bulky. Sometimes that seemed to hinder my movement. They aren't the quickest shoes out there."
Karly - "They have one of the longest, toughest break-in periods I've ever experienced."
Tiffani - "Previous wearers of the Barricade V will find these to be very familiar on their feet. These shoes feel like they run a little longer than the originals, but the performance is the same. The Barricade V Classics are also a lot like the adidas Barricade IVs. There aren't any other shoes that can match this level of durability and stability, but some that come close are the Yonex Power Cushion Pro and the Asics Gel Resolution 6."
Brittany - "There aren't many shoes that compare to the Barricade V Classics, but I think the Prince Warrior and Fila Sentinel would be the two closest. They're all stable, durable shoes that are on the heavier side, and they all offer an ample amount of cushioning. I would say the Barricades had the longest break-in period, but they also felt the best after they were broken-in. The ventilation of the Barricades was also better than the other two shoes."
Michelle - "There aren't a whole lot of shoes that compare to the Barricade V Classics right now. If I had to pick one, I'd probably choose the Nike Zoom Cage 2 because they offer a lot of stability and durability."
Karly - "It's hard to compare the Barricade V Classics to the most recent adidas Barricade, the Stella 2015s, because they're extremely different from each other. The only thing they have in common, in my opinion, is the durability. The Stella 2015s require no break-in while the V Classics need about 10 hours. The V Classics have very stable and bulky material while the Stella 2015s rely on their glove-like fit for support. As for weight, the Stella 2015s play significantly faster than the V Classics. Between the two, I prefer the V Classics because of the more traditional, stable fit."
(Scores are determined by averaging individual play test scores)
|Overall Comfort||4||Overall Sole Durability||5|
|Overall Comfort||3.4||Overall Sole Durability||5|
|Overall Comfort||4||Overall Sole Durability||4.8|
|Overall Comfort||3.7||Overall Sole Durability||4.7|