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It’s clear that when adidas designers took to creating Dwight Howard’s first ever signature sneaker, they were counting on his back-to-the-basket post-up game being completely ready for the 2010-2011 NBA season. A true center’s shoe, the Beast Commander’s strength lies in its ability to help a player push through a defender, instead of run around it. Like the player it was built for, it’s not your everyday shoe. A lone weakness hurts this shoe in a handful of categories though, causing a sharp decline in its overall score. Check out the full, in-depth review below.


Response Time

The balance between Cushioning and Response Time is a delicate one, as so often a sneaker designed to cushion your feet on impact results in one that slows your step. The Beast Commander has a solid overall balance, as the cushioning is adequate at softening blows on your feet when returning to the court after leaping, but also doesn’t give too much. Though the traction is poor (see below), the pod design of the tooling makes for a great, spring-loaded step when moving in straight line (ie. Taking off for a fast break). The also helps when battling for rebounds or when reacting quickly with a lone step before jumping.

Though the Beast ?Commander possesses no inner sock or fancy liner, the lockdown on it is great. Part of this is due to the thick tongue, which is very comfortable on the foot and harkens back to the sneakers of yesteryear. At the top of the midfoot, the wide tongue folds at just the right spot and allows the wearer to tighten the laces to their own desire. The large flaps wrap around the ankle and really make the player feel secure. At the heel, a hard plastic exterior heel cup applies just enough pressure to the foot to hold it in comfortably. As noted above, Dwight Howard’s ever-developing backdown offense requires solid hold out of his shoe as he moves in to position against his defender. This shoe’s lockdown seems to be more than adequate.


The most unfortunate feature of this sneaker is definitely its lack of traction. The shape of the forefoot outsole makes it very difficult to feel confident getting up on the ball of one’s feet and turning a corner. Because of the pods on the underside, the weight and force a player applies on the court when planting is spread over a smaller total surface area and in turn, more is asked of the area actually touching the floor. The shape does make for a springy step when moving in straight lines, but overall, the traction is a glaring issue that must be addressed for the next version of this sneaker. It was hard to feel confident attacking the basket, regardless of the court surface.

The bulky shape of this sneaker is an immediate giveaway that it doesn’t utilize a whole lot of thin, mesh-based materials. The weight may not show it, but this shoe doesn’t seem to have many characteristics that take heat reduction in to concern. A mesh tongue would go a long way to helping breathability.

Overview: It’s not often that a center, even one of Dwight Howard’s caliber, receives his own signature sneaker. Because of this, the adidas Beast Commander is built for a type of player of which most casual hoopers simply do not fit the mold. As springy as this sneaker can be, those who plan to attack the basket with the ball or facing the rim should look in to a sneaker built for positions 1-4 (point guard through power forward), like the adidas TS Heat Check. Still, centers and players who rely on power over finesse should definitely consider checking out the adidas Beast Commander.

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