Men's Adidas Barricade 2002 Shoe Review
How do you improve an already superior tennis shoe? Smart companies listen to their customers (and retailers), then make minor changes based on this feedback. When we reviewed the original Barricades in March they received high marks in every category. The only concerns we had related to the shoes not being very well suited for players with wide feet. Playtesters with high arches also felt there could be more support. Otherwise, the original Barricades were (and remain) favorite shoes for several playtesters.
The new Barricade 2002 shoes are more than an updated version of the original Barricades. They're a stand-alone shoe and we believe they deserve their own identity. It's almost a bit confusing to call these Barricades. That said, we found the Barricade 2002 shoes a solid addition to the Adidas performance shoe line. They have fresh, bold cosmetics and provide the stability, support, comfort and durability demanded by serious tennis players. We playtested the Barricade 2002 shoes for 3 weeks on hard and clay courts.
The Barricade 2002s are comfortable and snug-fitting out of the gate, albeit not as snug as their predecessors according to most playtesters. Dan comments, "from day one I found the comfort of these shoes was outstanding. They had a very true, conforming fit all around, but with a slightly wider fit than the original Barricades. I liked the full-grain leather upper, and the tight lacing system held my foot in a comfortable position at all times." John adds, "the 'new' Barricades felt very cushioned and comfy right out of the box. Although they have a snug fit they're not as tight as the original Barricades. I found them a bit longer overall and wider in the toe box. The leather uppers are a little more rigid than the synthetic uppers of the original Barricades. The heel counter also has a higher rise than the originals and it cut into my Achilles a bit. They're more cushioned than the original Barricades in the forefoot and heel areas."
Don says, "these new Barricades offer good cushioning. They have a similar snug fit for my wide foot but seem a little longer. The leather uppers also seem a little stiffer than the synthetic uppers on the original Barricades. This, and the mesh fabric in the vamp area (lower tongue) kept the toe box from stretching out as much as with the original Barricades. Otherwise, they're comfortable on my feet." Randy adds, "these shoes fit very snug. I felt they were a bit narrow and was surprised by claims that they were wider than the original Barricades. My toes were a little cramped I needed a bit of a break-in period." Drew comments, "the shoes themselves fit great but it took some adjusting to get the laces right, and I occasionally had to fiddle with them during play."
The Barricade 2002s provide a bit more arch support than their predecessors.. This is noticeable by simply comparing the footbeds. While the original Barricades had a low arch support, the Barricade 2002s offer more of a medium arch. Dan comments, "clearly, these shoes were constructed with a medium arch because it was never an issue for me. I wasn't inhibited from pushing off or stopping, yet I felt confident that my foot was well supported." Randy comments, "the arch support was good. The new Barricade 2002s stress support on the medial side which helps enhance support in the arch area." Don adds, "The additional arch support was noticeable immediately, and was an improvement for my foot."
Once again, Adidas has developed a shoe that delivers impressive stability and support for aggressive players. Granville offers, "these shoes hold my feet as well as any I've worn. The snug fit forms nicely to my foot shape and there is no room for slippage. This is of critical concern to me as I've had numerous ankle sprains and a few breaks. The shoe does seem to be cut very low on the sides, so rollover may be an issue with some players." Dan says, "Adidas has include a variety of features to support aggressive players who need ultimate stability. They include a somewhat narrow fit, indented and raised heel, tight lacing pattern and the unobtrusive, yet cushioned tongue. These all come together to make a very stable and supportive shoe."
John comments, "like its predecessor, the Barricade 2002 shoes provide excellent support and stability on or off the court. In play I felt very secure when running vertically or laterally. I also found these shoes to be very stable when making sudden stops or having to change directions." Randy continues, "these shoes held my feet real well. The support is good as well, possibly due to the narrow, snug fit. They don't have as wide a 'footprint' as the original Barricades though, which might make them a little less stable." Don agrees, adding, "my feet felt 'locked in' without being restricted. The combination of good arch support, snug fit, effective lacing system and raised heel made me feel secure moving in any direction and stopping/starting. I never felt in danger of rolling over or slipping in these shoes." Drew concurs, saying, "these are some of the most supportive low-cut shoes I've worn. My feet were stable and supported without being constricted."
Overall Sole Durability
The Barricade 2002 shoes feature the adiWear 6 outsole, which is the same tough, outsole that's on the original Barricades. Our playtesters gave these shoes high marks in outsole durability. John explains, "the adiWear 6 outsole is an extremely durable compound that should stand the test of time for those who wear through shoes like paper towels. Adidas offers a 6-month outsole guarantee for those players who are extra hard on shoes and do wear through the sole. I noticed no visible signs of outsole wear during my playtest ." Dan adds, "there's a reason Adidas offers a 6-month outsole warranty on these shoes - they're tough. I noticed minimal wear to the outsole during our playtest period. Adidas clearly had serious, more advanced players in mind when designing the Barricade 2002 shoes." Randy says, "I played some aggressive, hardcourt tennis with these shoes and the outsole held up well. Minimal wear was noticeable."
The Barricade 2002 shoes have a much less pronounced toeguard than the original Barricades. However, none of our playtesters found this change had much effect on durability. John offers, "toe draggers should find adequate protection in the compound that protects the toe box." Randy adds, "I tend to drag my toe on serves and when getting down to low volleys. These shoes showed little wear in the toeguard during playtesting." Don says, "I wasn't able to put a dent in the toeguard of the Barricade 2002 shoes."
Most of our playtesters found the Barricade 2002s provided good traction on clay and hardcourts, thanks to the varied herringbone tread pattern. Dan offers, "I always felt secure when changing directions or stopping quickly." Granville continues, "excellent traction, which is what I've come to expect from the Barricade. Traction and comfort work together with this shoe.. Side-to-side, starting and stopping; slippage was never an issue." Randy offers, "the combination of tread design and rubber resulted in excellent traction on hardcourts." Don comments, "I didn't experience any slipping or sliding out problems when running for wide shots and then quickly changing directions."
Says Drew, "the Barricades had good traction on clay, maybe too good. The court was pretty chewed up after a couple of sets. The Barricades are very stiff, and any toe dragging resulted in deep gouges in the court. Mark agreed, adding,"the Barricades felt like too much shoe for playing on clay. I created some nice ruts with my toe while serving. Sharp turns resulted in some impressive divots. I think a softer, more flexible shoe would be work better on clay.
The Barricade 2002s weigh in at 15.8 ounces, a full 2 ounces heavier than the original Barricades. Interestingly, none of our playtesters seemed to notice and none complained of the newer Barricades being heavy. Dan says, "not ultra maneuverable but not heavy either. At just under a pound (each), they're an ideal weight." John offers, "weight is not an issue with these shoes. They're just right for the player seeking maximum wear and support, while providing adequate comfort on-court." Randy comments, "Adidas has always offered an excellent, lightweight performance shoe and the Barricade 2002s are no different."
The cosmetics of the Barricade 2002 are arguably what differentiate them the most from the original Barricades. The stylized 3-stripe design, mesh vamp and red tongue combine to create a more fashion-oriented shoe. If current sales are any indicator, customers certainly approve of these bolder cosmetics. Our playtesters liked them too. Randy says, "very stylish. I like the materials and colors and they match most all of my 'outfits'." Granville continues, "these are some of the coolest looking shoes around. In this era of flashy cosmetics the Barricade 2002 shoes stand out with a contemporary look founded in the Adidas 3-stripe roots. Although different, both Barricades are among the coolest cosmetics around." Dan adds, "personally, I think these are the coolest looking shoes to come around in a long time. They draw second looks, yet retain a conservative color scheme. Cutting edge - I love 'em!" John offers, "the Barricade 2002s have a very distinctive look. On court, these shoes will catch the eye of spectators in the stands or fans watching on TV. One look and you know these are Adidas shoes made for action on the tennis court."
The Barricade 2002s are a worthy and popular addition to the Adidas line. While both the original Barricades and the Barricade 2002s are exellent shoes, the Barricade 2002s are 2 ounces heavier and slightly longer, provide a little more arch support, have leather uppers (as opposed to synthetic), and offer completely new cosmetics. Although the two Barricades are significantly different shoes, they were similar enough that all our playtesters who liked the original Barricades also liked the Barricade 2002s. Both shoes offer exceptional comfort, cushioning, stability and durability. However, the changes Adidas made to the fit and cosmetics of the Barricade 2002s should make them even more popular than the originals. Adidas has truly succeeded in taking a good shoe and making it better.