Performance Review: adidas D Rose 4

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Derrick Rose is back and his signature shoe series is looking bolder than ever. Hosting a split silo design and top of the line technology from adidas Basketball, the adidas D Rose 4 looks to propel the fearless, explosive point guard in his return to the NBA hardwood. While we anxiously await Rose’s regular season return, the question for wearers still remains: how will they hold up for your game?

Adding adapted Crazyquick capabilities to a slightly altered foundation of SPRINTFRAME support, SPRINTWEB structure and GEOFIT construction, the adidas D Rose 4 is a worthy successor to the well-reviewed D Rose 3 and D Rose 3.5. Moving forward, we put the D Rose 4 to test on the hardwood and outdoor court. How did they play and will they be a good fit for your game? Find out in this Performance Review installment.

Lockdown: Lockdown impresses on the D Rose 4 but doesn’t quite provide that five-star, second skin feel. The GEOFIT ankle collar really holds the back portion of the foot in an incredibly supportive and comfy manner. That was probably the first thing I noticed when putting on the D Rose 4, and such standards prevailed when playing. The combination of an adapted SPRINTWEB upper and slightly evolved lacing system makes for a snug and consistent fit throughout the shoe with little to no pinching or excess space. Oddly enough, the only thing that I think could have made these better in the lockdown department was a higher traction insole. The silky finish feels great when putting these on but is a tad slippery when hooping. Not enough to slow down your first step or mess with your pivot, but enough to keep it from a full five.

Traction: Indoor to outdoor and back to indoor, the D Rose 4 saw no signs of slipping. The tread was good on both sides of the ball and didn’t seem to break down between surfaces or over the course of long runs. These don’t quite possess that glue-like tack that make some shoes a five, but they do the job and they do it well. I can’t say that I noticed the attributes of Crazyquick technology impacting this category too much, but it definitely didn’t hurt. As a general rule, the heel portion of the outsole takes to the same pattern as the D Rose 3, with the mid and forefoot using a sturdier, adapted version of the Crazyquick sole. The results are good and will please fans of the Rose line – even those that weren’t crazy about the Crazyquicks.

Cushioning: The calling card for the adidas D Rose line as of late has been standard, no frills cushioning. (Note: The adidas D Rose 4 uses a compression molded EVA midsole and PU insole.) Despite its somewhat dated tech and look in this era of big Air and Springblade, the adidas D Rose 4 is very comfortable on court. It doesn’t wow like some competitors, but it’s functional, which is the most important point for someone that’s actually going to hoop in these. I was pleased with the ride the Rose 4 provided when playing, and don’t recall any soreness or fatigue that could be blamed on the shoe. The implementation of Crazyquick is more noticeable in this department than in the traction category, and, oddly enough, I find the D Rose 4 to be firmer, bouncier and more flexible than its well-reviewed predecessor.

Responsiveness: I found no issues with responsiveness when playing in the D Rose 4. High scores in lockdown, cushioning and traction all play to this category, so no surprises here. The fact that the D Rose 4 doesn’t quite pack a second skin fit or out-of-this-world cushioning keeps it from a perfect score, but they’re still great. These held up awesome at any task, whether on the run, cutting and jumping.

Support: By far the best attribute of the adidas D Rose 4. On earlier models like the adidas D Rose 2.5, the GEOFIT ankle collar really impressed but played more of a cameo role. The Rose 4 uses GEOFIT construction for a fit that’s anatomically sound, incredibly supportive and also comfortable. Pair that with the solid SPRINTFRAME structure that we’ve seen on the Rose 3 and 3.5 and you have a winner. Tech talk aside, these just feel supportive, and in a wowing way. They’re far more stable than the Rose 3, which wasn’t really lacking, and provide some of the best support that I can remember in a basketball shoe that still allowed you to play fast. If you’re a guard that still likes midtops and cares about ankle support, the D Rose 4 is definitely worth checking out.

Breathability: Breathability? Not so cool on the D Rose 4. While I never had any problem with excess heat or sweat when hooping in these, the abundance of perforations on the upper really doesn’t do much. The consolation for support and lockdown seems to be breathability with this iteration of SPRINTWEB, but for me, it’s worth it. With that said, I wouldn’t leave these in a contained area after hooping in them, definitely let them air out.

Durability: Durability’s always a tough category to call when reviewing a shoe because it’s more of a marathon measure than a sprint. I can say after a few weeks of playing off and on and indoor and outdoor in the D Rose 4 that they still perform at a high level and do not appear to have regressed. This alludes to being good in the long run, too. The GEOFIT collar and SPRINTFRAME support are strong, while the sleek SPRINTWEB upper shouldn’t rip. Like all shoes, I expect that traction and cushioning to wear down over time, but I still think these hold up better than average.

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