|adidas Men's Barricade 2015 Shoe Scores|
|Overall Sole Durability||4.6|
The instant we slipped our feet into the Barricade 2015s we knew that these were Barricades like no other. The first thing we took note of was the fresh, aggressive look that's highlighted by the new midfoot Barricade chassis that replaces the signature forefoot Barricade Claw technology. We realized what this change had achieved as soon as we tried them on. The upper was much softer and felt very comfortable right out of the box. Yes, you heard that right, these new Barricades required no break-in! Once we hit the court we found all the great attributes this legendary shoe line is known for -- unmatched support, stability and durability -- all in a shoe that is more flexible and comfortable than any previous Barricade. While the Barricade 2015s may not be the fastest shoes on the market, they may be the most improved and impressive version of the Barricade to date.
None of our playtesters could believe how comfortable the Barricade 2015s were right out of the box, since past Barricades normally took quite a while to break in. Jason raved, "I almost had to do a double take when I first tried on these shoes. Could it be that a Barricade shoe was comfortable right out of the box? Yes! These didn't need a break-in, and I was able use them comfortably from Day 1. And speaking of comfort, I think that is the most noticeable difference between these shoes and the past few models. They're very well cushioned, not just for a Barricade, but for a tennis shoe. My one issue, which I will touch upon more in the arch support section, was the soreness I felt on my outside arch of my right foot."
Chris also found the Barricade 2015s super comfortable, especially once a slight fit issue in the heel area was worked out after a couple of hits. He said, "Something strange happened when I first put these Barricades on -- I didn't really have to break them in! Ever since the Barricade III, this line of shoes has required a solid break-in before becoming truly comfortable on court. However, I was loving the comfort of these right out of the box. The uppers felt supple and comfortable and the shoes were immediately moving well with my feet. The only area that caused any discomfort (and it was minor) was a seam inside the shoe on the medial side of the heel. At the back of the heel there is a grippy material to hold hold the foot in the shoe. I experienced some minor rubbing at the seam between the grippy material and the lining of the shoe. However, it didn't last long and didn't deter me from scoring these shoes very highly for comfort."
Andy said, "I was blown away by the out-of-the-box comfort of these shoes! Typically, Barricades have taken a crazy long time -- I'm talking weeks -- before they mold to my feet and offer some nice comfort. This version is ready to go right from the first wear. On top of that, the cushioning all around the foot is very plush, especially from the pillow-like tongue. The shoes flex in all the right places and remain comfortable once you take the court. I found myself wearing these shoes home after playing and not wanting to take them off because of how comfy they were. Top marks!"
The Ballistec mesh upper allowed for plenty of air movement through the Barricade 2015s. Andy had no issues with his feet overheating during the playtest. He explained, "The shoes felt plenty breathable, and I never thought my feet got too hot or sweaty in them during play. The perforations in the upper allow for more than enough air to pass through the shoes. Adidas made a point of making these shoes breathable."
Echoing Andy's sentiments was Jason, who added, "I really didn't have a problem with overheating with these shoes. I think the mesh holes along the upper do a fine job with venting. Even with a thicker sock, it wasn't an issue."
Chris also found more than enough breathability, but he remembered some much more breathable adidas shoes he had tried before. He reflected, "The uppers of these shoes feature extensive perforations to let hot air out. However, these are a far cry from some of the adizero Climacool shoes I've tested. I found the level of ventilation to be about average. My feet stayed comfortable enough, but my socks were pretty soaked at the end of a good hitting session."
There were mixed feelings about the more pronounced arch support of the Barricade 2015s, but for the most part the opinions were quite positive. Chris found more than enough support for his high arched feet in these shoes. He said, "One of my favorite aspects of wearing Barricades has always been the excellent arch support. This version continues the trend of offering a supportive chassis, which protects the arch and pushes the flex point of the shoes perfectly under my toes. I was able to sprint around the court without any worries that my arches would be strained, and I can't really ask for more than that. A perfect score from me here."
Andy also really enjoyed the hefty arch support of the Barricade 2015s throughout most of the test. He explained, "In typical Barricade fashion, there's a strong and pronounced arch to the shoes, which is something I really like. If I have shoes that don't offer enough arch support my feet and knees will begin to ache, and I didn't have that problem throughout most of this test. At the very end of the playtest I did feel the support starting to break down and soften up, but I wore these shoes a lot, and I think that's to be expected after so much use."
Most likely due to his flat, wide feet, Jason had a bit of an issue with the arch support, but not where a pronounced arch would typically bother him. He explained, "I just needed a short break-in period for the arches to mold to my flat feet, but the issue I had was with the outside arch of my right foot, kind of right where the 3-Stripes are on the shoe. It pushes in on my feet and I had some soreness because of it. As the playtest went on it started to fade a bit, but it never fully went away."
Just like their predecessors, the Barricade 2015s continue to offer unprecedented levels of support and stability. Each playtester felt very locked in and supported for almost all of his aggressive on-court movements. Andy felt the new, softer upper had no ill effects on the stability of the shoe. He raved, "These shoes were super stable and supportive during any aggressive movement on court. Though the uppers are softer than previous versions, I didn't think it affected the stability in any way. I really liked how the new chassis design held my foot in place through the midfoot. The ankle collar comes up nice and high as well, so I felt protected there, too. I don't want to sound like a broken record, but this version performs in typical Barricade fashion when it comes to support, and you'd be hard-pressed to find another shoe on the market that's more stable."
Chris was also blown away, saying, "The level of support was simply fantastic. The uppers held my feet very well, and I had no issues with sliding around inside the shoes. I loved how they narrowed at the heel to offer a supportive fit. Stability was also excellent. The shoes were torsionally very stable and gave a very locked-in feel. The best part of this test was finding all the support and stability I've come to expect from a Barricade in a more comfortable package."
Jason appreciated the level of support but had one slight critique about the ankle collar. He explained, "Classic Barricade! They felt as stable as ever even though they're lighter than ever (at least compared to the last few models). I was very confident in my lateral movements, but there was a little bit of heel slippage. Moving forward for a short ball was when I really noticed it, but it wasn't too bad and it didn't really affect the overall stability."
The Barricade 2015s continue the tradition of extraordinary durability that this iconic shoe line has always offered. Jason's pair looked like they had barely been used at the end of the test. He said, "First, let me preface my comments by saying that I'm not too demanding on my shoes. That being said, I thought these were just as durable as the previous, heavier models. The outsoles shows very little balding even with 20-plus hours on them."
Andy also struggled to do much damage to the outsole of the shoes. He explained, "Like I previously mentioned, I wore these shoes a lot, and in typical Barricade fashion they show very few signs of extensive wear. I don't know how adidas does it, but the Barricade always has the most resilient rubber compound on the outsole, and it lasts longer than any shoes out there. This version is no different."
Chris thought the Barricade 2015s were extremely durable, but not quite as durable as past iterations. He explained, "These shoes wore a tad faster than expected. However, they are still more durable than anything else I've worn outside of the Barricade family; they are just not as long lasting as the Barricade 5 through 8+. I saw more wear under the big toe of my right shoe than I expected. There have been Barricade playlists where you could hardly tell I'd worn the shoes. These are durable, just not superbly durable like the most recent iterations."
Chris, our lone toe-dragging playtester on this test, once again found more than adequate protection in the toe area, but it was noticeably less than past versions of the Barricade. He explained, "As with the outsole durability, the Barricade 2015s are impressively durable at the toe, but not as impressive as recent versions. I have started to wear through one small area of the toe guard on my left shoe after 15 hours of play. Other areas around the toes are showing plenty of scuffing, but they're holding up better. I still feel like I have plenty of life left in the shoes, and I'm not sure if the toes or the outsole will go first. On the plus side, the toe was WAY more comfortable in this update, and the softer feel meant there was none of the dreaded toe jamming that I endured in previous models."
Traction was another area that was relatively unchanged in the updated Barricade 2015s. Chris was starting and stopping on the hard courts with total confidence. He raved, "The level of traction was excellent in these shoes. I found the ideal amount of grip and give. I could push off aggressively and trust I'd find the grab needed for a fast first step. When coming to an abrupt stop the shoes offered just enough give to allow me a controlled slide. The shoes also performed perfectly on lateral moves. Another top score here from me!"
For some reason, it took Jason a couple of hours to adjust to the level of traction the Barricade 2015s offered. He explained, "I did have some slippage issues on my first step for the first 1-2 hours of play. After that, these Barricades gripped the hard court as well as any other shoes I've worn."
Andy liked the grip of the outsoles when making aggressive cuts. He said, "The outsole is pretty sticky, like previous versions, and there wasn't a whole lot of give when I was making an aggressive cut. I usually like to slide a little bit on hard courts, but I really had to be careful that these shoes didn't just stick to the court. I certainly found myself sliding a lot less than I normally do because of this. However, if you like shoes that are very sticky and offer good traction, these fit the bill."
While they still aren't the fastest shoe on the market, the Barricade 2015s were noticeably lighter and quicker than their predecessors. Ultimately, they really impressed our team because of the level of support they still offered. Jason illustrated this point, saying, "These are the fastest Barricades I've worn. But to say they are lightweight would be a stretch. The heel-to-toe transition was quick and seamless. They aren't like an Asics Gel Solution Speed or Nike Vapor 9.5 Tour, but I wouldn't want them to be. These do have Barricade written on them, after all."
Chris was very impressed, saying, "These shoes felt lighter and faster than any Barricade since the II. Not only did they feel like they weighed less, but they also flexed better with my feet. The added flex made them feel faster still. Also, without any of the toe jam I experienced in recent Barricades I felt more motivated to chase down every ball!"
Andy found the weight of the shoe to be fairly middle of the road, although vastly improved from the last couple Barricades. He shared, "Just like any other Barricade, they're a little heavy and clunky on your feet. They don't try to be light and fast, so it comes as no surprise. However, I did find that since they were a little softer and more responsive, they felt speedier than previous versions. They also come in over an ounce lighter, too, so there is some improvement over their predecessors."
Chris - "I loved them! The comfort was vastly improved without sacrificing any support or stability. The traction was perfect, and I felt like I was moving exceptionally well in them. I also love the look of the purplish/blue version I tested."
Jason - "Just about everything! No break-in period is huge! Lighter than ever. Great stability, traction and durability."
Andy - "The Barricade 2015s are comfortable right out of the box, breathable, extremely stable and durable. They look pretty sweet, too!"
Chris - "Nothing to dislike for me -- these are good shoes."
Jason - "Narrow fit through the arch area resulted in some soreness on the lateral arch of my right foot."
Andy - "They felt slightly clunky, and I found the heel cup required just a little bit of time to mold to my foot. I'm being picky here, though, because I really liked these shoes."
Chris - "The Barricade 2015s felt lighter and faster than other recent Barricade versions. I guess I would put them midway between a Barricade 8+ and an adizero Feather III in terms of how they blended the Barricade support with Feather-like speed. Nike doesn't really have anything that competes since both the Lunar Ballistec and Air Zoom Vapor Tour are softer/flexier shoes with nothing even close to Barricade durability. The Asics Gel Resolution 5 would likely be the closest to the Barricade 2015 in terms of on court performance since the Resolution 5 is also durable and blends support with speed."
Jason - "They're Barricades through and through, but they're faster and they don't require a break-in period!"
Andy - "Compared to previous versions, they're way more comfortable than previous Barricades from the first wear. They're also a little lighter and faster, while still providing loads of support and durability. They're definitely my favorite Barricade yet! They also reminded me a bit of the Lotto Ultra Raptor IV Speed, especially because of their slightly narrow fit through the midfoot."
Playtester Foot Types:
Chris - Narrow width / Medium arch
Jason - Wide width / Low arch
Andy - Medium width / Low arch
Review date: December 2014. If you found this review interesting or have further questions or comments please contact us.
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