adidas Barricade 7.0 Women's Shoe Review
- Little to no break-in
- Poor ventilation
Over the years, the adidas Barricade shoe has become known as the ultimate hard court shoe, offering stability and durability that's second to none. While there have been updates over the years, the shoe remained relatively unchanged. That all changes with the Barricade 7.0. Most surprisingly, the shoe dropped 2 ounces, now weighing a svelte 11.6 ounces (size 8.5), and required little, if any, break-in for our testers. Even with a faster break-in the Barricade 7.0 carried on the tradition of offering our testers excellent support and stability. Most of our testers were happy with the outsole durability and the durability guarantee. Toe durability, however, wasn't as pleasing, and the shoe ran hot after long periods of play.
When all was said and done, our testers were more than happy with the Barricade 7.0. For longtime fans of the Barricade line the 7.0 may feel different, but our testers didn't mind at all, and they enjoyed the quick comfort and lighter weight.
Comfort - Score: 4.2
Adidas went back to the drawing board with the Barricade 7.0, and the result was more comfort with little to no break-in. Tiffani explained, "Let me recheck the name on the side of the box... OK, just had to check that it said adidas Barricade, because I didn't have to break these in before playing. My previous Barricade experiences, the V and adilibria (aka Barricade 6.0), have required some serious break-in work. The Barricade 7 offered me a supple feel straight from the box. The shoe flexed heel to toe easily from the start. This, to me, isn't just an update to a well known shoe model. Rather, I see it as the redefinition of adidas Barricade. This latest Barricade has been comfortable from the first step."
"The comfort of the Barricade 7 was a surprise for me," said Brittany, who enjoys lightweight shoes. "I was able to play in these shoes right out of the box without any break-in period. I found ample padding, especially around the heel and ankle. There was zero rubbing or soreness during my playtest."
A former Barricade II player, Carol agreed. She added, "This shoe was very comfortable. I really liked the cushioning this shoe provided around the ankle. I think this part of the shoe is often overlooked. I definitely noticed the adiPRENE insert in the heel, which provided great support in that area. Overall, this shoe has a snug fit with ample cushioning."
Karly also noted the cushioning. She said, "One of the first things that stood out to me was how comfortable the shoe was. The shoe reminds me of a slipper because of how cushioned it was throughout. I have a slightly wider forefoot, and I felt a little bit of pressure toward the outside part of my upper foot, though I still consider it a very comfortable shoe."
Ventilation - Score: 3.0
The Barricade 7 offers a solid level of upper padding and comfort with little mesh and few perforations in the uppers. This was a recipe for poor ventilation. Carol said, "I felt a little overheated in this shoe, especially when I hit for a long time. I worry that this shoe will really overheat my feet playing in hot weather, especially in the summertime. Also, when I was finished hitting, I immediately wanted to take off the shoe."
It was a similar experience for Karly, who added, "The lack of breathability left my socks feeling damp, even after playing a short period of time in them. I usually needed to carry around an extra pair of socks to change into."
Brittany continued, "I didn't find the mesh to be very breathable in this shoe. I felt my foot would heat up during tennis and felt the need to remove the shoes after playing. I felt my foot was sweating more than normal, and I didn't feel there was enough mesh or perforations."
"There aren't many ventilation features in the uppers, and that did translate into some warmth on the court," said Tiffani. "It was not overwhelmingly hot to me, however. While ventilation was not the Barricade 7's strong point, the shoe wasn't the worst offender, either. I'd say ventilation was average."
Arch Support - Score: 3.7
The arch support garnered mixed reviews from our team. Karly said, "I noticed the arch was slightly lower than average, but I didn't experience any problems because of it. The arch support was neutral for me; it could've been a bit higher for more comfort, though I wouldn't consider the low support a disadvantage for me."
It was the placement of the arch that surprised Brittany. She offered, "The arch height of this shoe fit my medium height arch perfectly. However, I found the arch to sit a little far forward in the shoe. It was a little uncomfortable at first, but then molded to my foot after a couple hours of hitting."
Tiffani had a few issues. She said, "The arch support was a little too much for my low arches and caused some initial aches and pains. I also noticed that there was a bit of an arch on the lateral side of the foot, too, which I didn't like. Both problems waned as I compressed the shoe, however."
It was happy sailing for Carol, who said, "The arch support this shoe had was just right for me. The Barricades are known for their excellent support, and this shoe is no disappointment."
Foot Support/Stability - Score: 4.3
The Barricade line has the reputation of being one of the most stable tennis shoes. Though the design has changed, our test team remained pleased with the support level in this latest Barricade. Brittany said, "The adidas Barricade 7 has a glove-like fit, and my feet felt secure in the shoe with no movement or sliding around. I also felt my ankles were stable, even with the reduced weight. I did find a little less stability than the previous version I used (Barricade II), but I liked this version better because it wasn't as stiff (especially at the beginning)."
The fit also played a role for Tiffani. She said, "As I said earlier, I think adidas has redefined the name Barricade for women. This doesn't look like a tank, as previous models have, and doesn't feel like one on the foot. However, this doesn't mean that the shoe lacked support. It's just different. The shoe flexes but hugs my foot. When I was pushed out wide I could feel the upper materials stretch, but the shoe managed to support me with no worries of roll overs. It was a different feeling for a Barricade, but I was pleased."
Carol said, "This shoe provided a lot of support for me. I felt very comfortable with the quick stops, starts and changes of direction. I never had to worry that the shoe wouldn't support me. The shoe had a snug fit that held my foot well during play. I really liked the increased flexibility of the Barricade 7. Previous versions were very clunky and not flexible at all. This flexibility did not take away any support or stability!"
"I thought the shoe provided a decent amount of support for my foot," said Karly, who plays a baseline game. "The stability was great in any direction I moved, and I never felt like I was going to roll my ankle. However, it fit slightly looser around my heel, and I thought the shoe could've been more secure toward the back of the foot."
Overall Sole Durability - Score: 4.4
The adiWEAR 6 outsole comes with a 6-month durability guarantee. Tiffani saw little wear in the playtest. She said, "The outsole held up for me moderately well. I am not seeing excessive wear in the first month of wear. It's still too early for me to tell if the long-term durability will be up to par with previous Barricade models, which I could never wear out before the six-month guarantee."
The Barricade 7 fell in line with previous models in Brittany's opinion. She said, "Sticking true to its Barricade name, the sole durability held up well on the hard court. Even with the sparkles in the outsole, I found just a little wear by the end of the playtest by my toe. I would definitely say these are one of the best shoes in terms of durability."
Carol agreed, and added, "The Barricade has always provided great sole durability, and this new version keeps up this tradition. adidas also offers a 6-month guarantee, which for really active players is a wonderful feature, but I still think it will be difficult to test this durability."
However, Karly wasn't as sure. She said, "I thought the sole durability was fairly good, especially with maintaining the traction. I didn't find the 7's as durable as the previous Barricade models, but I would still consider them to be a very durable shoe."
Toe Durability - Score: 3.4
Our toe-dragging testers felt the shoe didn't offer the same toe durability as previous models. Karly said, "The top of the shoe was where I noticed the least durability. I also would've like to have seen a little more coverage around the toe, as I didn't think the toe guard was as prominent as other shoes."
Tiffani added, "Though the shoe has a streamlined look that I prefer over earlier Barricades, the toe durability isn't as good. I am scratching up the toe area pretty quickly. Though a hole isn't imminent, the cosmetics have taken a beating. The shoe has a seamless upper, but there's decorative stitching at the toe and I'm popping the stitches, so the shoe is beginning to look messy."
It was a similar experience for Brittany. She offered, "The toe durability was one of the negatives of the shoe for me. There was not enough toe bumper to protect the shoe from damage. The toe bumper did not go up high enough, and I ended scratching the material off the top part of the shoe. On my left shoe, I even tore apart some of the stitching."
Traction - Score: 4.4
The rubber compound and tread pattern served our testers well on hard courts. Brittany said, "I found the traction on this shoe to be good. At the beginning, I felt the herringbone pattern to be on the wider side. This caused me to trip over my feet a couple times because I would stick to the court. It only happened a couple times at the beginning of the playtest and then I was able to adjust and get a better feel for the traction. All in all, I was able to grip the court efficiently, especially when I was starting or stopping."
"The Barricade 7 offered just the right amount of grip," said Tiffani. "There was no slipping for me, whether stopping or starting. The shoe flexed really well, too, so there was good contact with the court at all times."
Carol moved with ease. She said, "This Barricade had great traction. I felt really comfortable moving around the court with this shoe and was confident that it would support me in quick changes of direction and stopping and starting."
There wasn't any slipping or sliding for Karly. She offered, "I was very pleased with the traction of the shoe. I didn't experience any problems with stopping and starting, and I had confidence when changing direction that I wasn't going to slide around on the court."
Weight - Score: 4.2
This is the category where we saw the Barricade change the most. The Barricade 7 dropped 2 ounces from the previous model. Carol couldn't be happier. She said, "Compared to previous versions, the Barricade 7 is a much, much, much lighter shoe. Past versions could wear you down with the extra weight. That's not the case with the Barricade 7. Definitely one of my favorite features of this shoe is the lightweight feel!"
Static weight and feel didn't line up for Karly. She noted, "Though I thought the Barricades were a somewhat light shoe, I didn't think it was as fast as some other shoes in the same weight range. I was surprised when I saw that the shoe weighs around 11.5 ounces; I thought it felt heavier. I think the extra cushioning and the loose fit around my heels made the shoe feel heavier than it actually is."
On the flip side, Tiffani said, "Wow! By far this is the lightest Barricade I've ever worn. I was really pleased in this category. In general, I don't complain about weight in shoes, comfortably wearing the Barricade V and 6.0, which were both among the heaviest available for women. The shoe's fit, along with the drop in static weight, helped make this feel faster than any Barricade I've worn. I'm getting spoiled, though, with new models like this shoe that are offering good support and durability without a lot of the weight."
Brittany was thrilled with the weight change. She said, "My favorite aspect of this shoe was the weight. The weight of the shoe has been reduced drastically and the feel is light and effortless. I was able to move quickly on the court from the very first moment I put them on to the very last minute of the playtest. For me, I found this to be a very positive update to the Barricade."
Overall - Score: 4.1
Tiffani - "The shoe was flexible and wearable straight from the box. I also like the redesign, as this is the sleekest looking Barricade I can recall."
Brittany - "The comfort and weight of the shoe was excellent."
Carol - "The Barricade 7 is a very comfortable, lightweight shoe that still provides great support and durability. I love the cosmetics of the shoe and the pop of color. This shoe provides a snug fit that gives confidence to great movement on the court. I really liked the adiPRENE insert in the heel for comfort and recognized the shock absorption on the court."
Karly - "The short break-in period and extra cushion made this an extremely comfortable shoe to play in."
Tiffani - "The toe durability wasn't great."
Brittany - "The arch support was a little too far forward for me, and I didn't like the ventilation."
Carol - "The only aspect of this shoe that I didn't like was the ventilation. If I played for more than a couple of hours at one time I felt my feet overheat a little bit. Also, when I was finished hitting, I immediately wanted to take this shoe off. This did get better the more I played in the shoe, but I worry that when the warmer months come this could return as an issue."
Karly - "I would've like to have seen better ventilation. I didn't like the extra laundry I was doing because I had to bring more socks with me to the courts."
Comparing the Barricade 7 to other shoes they've worn, our testers said:
Tiffani - "This is not like the previous few models of the adidas Barricade. The fit on the foot is more streamlined and reminds me a bit of the adidas Response in fit."
Brittany - "I would compare this shoe to the KSwiss Tennis Tubes 100 in terms of comfort. I found the shoe to have very similar durability as the Asics Gel Resolution 3 and a very similar weight to the New Balance 1187."
Carol - "In comparison to previous versions of the Barricade, the Barricade 7 is definitely my favorite! Compared to all other shoes I have playtested, this is a top 3 shoe. It met all my checklist items that are required of a good, playable tennis shoe."
Karly - "Compared to the previous generation, I felt the 7's offered the same amount of foot support with added cushioning -- though it wasn't quite up to par to the typical Barricade durability. I also thought they felt much heavier than 11.5 ounces, especially compared to the 12.5 ounce Mirabella III, which felt much lighter to me."
Playtester Foot Types:
Tiffani - Wide width / Low arch
Brittany - Narrow width / Medium arch
Carol - Medium width / Medium arch
Karly - Medium width / Medium-low arch
Review date: February 2012. If you found this review interesting or have further questions or comments please contact us.
All content copyright 2012 Tennis Warehouse.