|adidas barricade 7.0 Men's Shoe Scores|
|Overall Sole Durability||4.7|
The release of a new adidas Barricade is always highly anticipated. Coming in lighter than past versions and touting a new all-seamless upper, the excitement over the barricade 7.0 was at a fever pitch. Our testers were, needless to say, excited. As they pulled them out of the box they saw that the cosmetic mixes new with old by going back to the more traditional 3-Stripes insignia. The next thing our crew noticed was the break-in time. Offering more comfort from the onset, this shoe doesn't require the same hours of break-in as past models. In fact, it was quite minimal. Those seemed to be the major differences from past iterations. Our playtesters were pleased with support, stability and durability -- signature Barricade traits. If there were a negative, it was that a couple of our testers jammed their toes into the front of the shoe on quick forward stops. While this was a common problem with the Barricade 6.0, the toe jamming was hit and miss with the 7, as our other playtesters didn't experience the same issue. When it comes down to it, the latest Barricade impressed us just as much as previous versions have. We can say that it still lives up to the moniker of the "ultimate hard court shoe."
Outside of some minor initial discomfort our testers felt this Barricade offered better comfort and less break-in than many previous versions. Spencer liked the overall comfort but had issues with the arch placement. He said, "The fit was right on in length and width. They were a little stiff at the beginning (good stability and support), and I noticed the arches to be slightly high and forward. This caused a dime sized blister in the first hour of hitting. It also took 15-20 minutes to get the traction right and to get used to the flexpoints. Once there (minus the blister), the shoes were great, and I liked the overall comfort. There was a bit of discomfort at the beginning because of the awkward arch placement in the shoe (reminiscent of the CC Genius), but after a couple of hitting sessions the arches broke in, and it was smooth sailing from there."
Jason felt the toe box was a bit tight. He said, "A definite improvement from the previous version, the barricade 7.0 had a softer upper and needed a very short break-in period. The cushioning was responsive and comfortable, so I had no issues there. The toe box was a bit too narrow for me, and I had some rubbing on my big toes that caused some minor blisters. There were no problems with pinching, as the uppers flexed in all the right places."
Jose was happy with the fit and cushioning. He said, "The cushioning and the fit of the shoe were great, but I had problems when coming to a stop. Like the Barricade 6, my toes would jam into the end of the shoe on all my quick stops."
Mark has always found Barricades to be comfortable, and this version was no exception. He said, "I never had an issue with the toe box portion in any version of the Barricade. The new 7 has no seams in the forefoot area and I continued my good fortunes with no issues. The barricade 7.0 is comfortable for me, but I would say that the materials they used to increase the comfort in this shoe felt more spartan when compared to the materials used in prior models."
Though the upper of the 7 has less mesh than past iterations, it still breathed well enough for our testing squad. The shoe had enough perforations for moisture management in Mark's mind. He said, "Previous models of the Barricade made more use of mesh in the upper, so when I first looked at this shoe I wondered how good the ventilation would be. Kudos to adidas, though. The tongue, the vamp, and both the lateral and medial portions at the rear of the shoe have plenty of perforations for heat and moisture management."
Spencer felt there was room for improvement. He said, "There was some ventilation, but there is room for more breathability. It wasn't anything I couldn't deal with, though."
Jason found enough ventilation, saying, "The mesh and perforations in the upper allowed the shoe to breathe enough to keep my feet from overheating. It did just enough -- no more, no less."
Jose experienced some warmth. He said, "The uppers do not have a lot of mesh, causing my feet to heat up. It was not as bad as I first imagined the ventilation could be, but I do like mesh on my shoes to help keep my feet dry."
Most of our playtesters had to wear the shoes a few times before the arches were comfortable. Jose was one of those testers. He said, "I didn't have a major issue with the arch support, but I did feel the arch was a bit high when I first put them on. It became much less noticeable after they were broken in."
Spencer felt the arch was a bit out of place. He said, "As mentioned in the comfort section, the arch seemed to sit forward in the shoe, causing some blistering during the first couple of wears. It did break in after that, and I don't notice it now."
Jason agreed with Jose and Spencer. He said, "Even though the upper really didn't require a break-in, I felt like the arches did. For the first 4-5 wears I could really feel the arch, and it made my arches sore. I think it's partly because of the medium arch and partly because it's located a bit more forward than usual. Eventually, though, the arches wore down enough that I could play without thinking about it too much."
Mark experienced no issues, saying, "In terms of width and arch height, my foot is pretty middle of the road, so to speak. The arch height of the barricade 7.0 was low for my foot but was substantial enough for me to move around without any issue during or after play."
The Barricades are known for their support and stability, and the 7 didn't disappoint. Predictably, Jason was impressed. He said, "Once again, there was impressive stability from a Barricade shoe. Like previous versions, this one offers great lateral stability for even the most aggressive movements. I did have some sliding issues within the shoe when I tried to stop while moving forward. I think the sliding, along with the toe box, is what caused the blistering. I had 100 percent confidence in the shoe's ability to protect my ankles from rolling over."
Spencer enjoyed the trustworthy stability. He said, "Like many of the previous Barricades, the 7 provided top-notch stability and support. I am always trusting of Barricades when it comes to lateral stability, and this latest version is no different."
Fond of the support was Jose. He offered, "The shoe's best attribute would be its lateral support. It's been the best shoe I've worn all year. I felt very comfortable staying on the baseline and rallying, as well as playing defensively. I felt plenty of support for my ankles, which is great, as I've experienced a lack of support with many other shoes."
Mark found the low-to-the-ground ride enhanced the stability even more. He said, "The barricade 7.0 seemed different in a number of ways compared with previous iteration. One difference was the new version keeping my heel closer to the court. This was an aspect that I really liked. My side to side movement was improved by having my feet in closer contact with the court, reducing my chance of rolling an ankle, which was a minor gripe I had with prior Barricades. The 7's upper is supportive, yet pliable enough to accommodate foot widths that are not extremely narrow."
None of our testers could deny that the barricade 7.0 lives up to its legacy as the ultimate hard court shoe. Finding excellent durability, Spencer said, "The durability was very typical of a Barricade. It lived up to what I expected. adiWEAR6 provides an excellent combination of grip and longevity, and provided more than enough durability for my hours on court."
Jason had no new words to describe the excellent durability of the Barricades. He said, "What else can be said about the durability of a Barricade that hasn't already been said? I put about 20 hours on my pair and only see slight balding on the medial forefoot and heel. It would be tough for me to wear them out in six months to take advantage of the durability guarantee."
Feeling the 7 to be consistent with previous versions was Jose. He said, "Over the years the Barricade line has been known for its durability on the hard courts. This model is no different, and I find it to be one of the most durable shoes on the market."
Mark felt this Barricade offered better durability than most other shoes. He said, "The barricade 7.0 is more durable than most sole warranty shoes. I play around 15 hours per week, and as with most of my tennis shoes, the forefoot portion is where I had the most wear. After almost two months of use the shoe still has some life left."
The playtesters who are toe draggers agreed that the toe bumper did its job well. Finding optimal abrasion resistance was Jose. He said, "The toe guard on this shoe is excellent. The thick layer that adidas adds to the shoe makes it possible for all toe draggers to have optimal durability."
Mark finds no shoe to be bulletproof, but felt the 7 held up well. He said, "I tend to wear out that area of the shoe, and the barricade 7.0 showed the same sort of wear, albeit over an extend length of time."
The barricade 7.0 offers a high level of traction -- especially impressive considering the durability of the outsole. Jason was happy with the amount of traction he was finding. He said, "For a shoe with such tremendous durability I'd expect the rubber to be quite dense and firm, and not as traction oriented. But the barricade 7.0 gripped the court very well. A sudden change of direction is the benchmark I use to rate a shoe's traction, and this pair performed almost flawlessly. There was very, very slight slippage that really didn't affect the outcome of the point. "
Jose liked the response when starting and stopping. He said, "Just like the support, the traction was excellent on the barricade 7.0. It responded well when stopping and starting. However, the combination of good tack and my feet sliding forward when stopping quickly caused my toes jam into the tip of the shoe."
Mark felt the barricade 7.0 stopped well. He said,"On our indoor court the barricade 7.0 stops on an electron, and on our area's municipal courts, which tend to have some dirt on them, the shoe still performed well, but required a bit more stopping distance."
Feeling the outsole needed a short break-in was Spencer, saying, "It took about 15-30 minutes to get the outsole 'seasoned.' Sometimes outsoles need a little court time to get roughed up for better traction. That was the case here. After 30 minutes the outsole responded with excellent traction, in typical Barricade fashion. It seemed to only get better as the testing went on."
Though it offers plenty of substance, this Barricade also offers a nice balance of weight for good mobility on court. Mark felt he could get around the court efficiently. He said, "Officially, these new Barricades are only 0.2 ounces lighter than the previous model, but they seem even lighter, which may have something to do with the heel being a little closer to the ground. I was able to get around the court swiftly and comfortably."
The weight didn't register with Spencer. He said, "It seems the Barricade line gets better and better when it comes to weight. Though I felt plenty of support and stability, I didn't feel the weight that usually goes along with it. There's plenty of substance, but not so much that I felt sluggish on court."
Jason didn't feel the weight affected his movement. He said, "When a shoe can provide the durability and support that the barricade 7.0 can, I don't expect it to be lightweight. And even though this version does feel slightly lighter than the previous one, it still think it's a shoe with some heft. I could definitely notice the weight of the shoe while walking down to the court, but once playing, it didn't affect me."
As someone who is used to the weight of Barricades, Jose said, "With such a durable shoe it's almost impossible to make it light, so I knew going into the test that this shoe was going to be on the heavy side. A thick sole adds expected mass to the shoe."
Spencer - "The support and stability, along with the more classic 3-Stripe cosmetic."
Jason - "The stability, durability and traction."
Jose - "The stability and durability is great on this shoe. It's one of the most durable shoes I have worn. I wore the shoe for about two months, and it was hard for me to see much wear. The support and traction are excellent."
Mark - "Function wise, the 7 was borderline incredible with the lower to the ground ride (compared to previous Barricades), and the overall performance/ fit of the barricade 7.0 helped provide lots of quality time on the tennis court without any post-match foot pain."
Spencer - "The location of the arches in the shoes didn't line up with the arches in my feet. Thus, blisters."
Jason - "I still would like to see a Barricade that can accommodate a wider foot."
Jose - "The toe jamming! Coming to a quick stop really hurt my toes."
Mark - "They do look a bit more plastic-like with the lack of mesh, and the change in the 3-Stripes looks a bit like thick zip ties, so my criticism comes more in the form of aesthetics, rather than function."
Spencer - "I would say it's similar to the Barricade 6, but easier to break-in. And the way the arch sat too forward in the shoe reminded me of the CC Genius."
Jason - "It's like the Barricade 6, but lighter, more comfortable and required less break-in."
Jose - "Like a Barricade 6, but with a more open toe box area."
Mark - "Out of the multitude of shoes that I have worn/ tested here, I regard the new barricade 7.0 as a top five high performance tennis shoe. They are in the realm of the Nike Court Ballistic 3.3/4.3, Asics Gel Resolution, Babolat Propulse and Prince T22."
Playtester Foot Types:
Spencer - Medium width / Medium arch
Jason - Wide width / Low arch
Jose - Medium to narrow width / Lower than medium arch
Mark - Medium width / Medium arch
Review date: March 2012. If you found this review interesting or have further questions or comments please contact us.
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