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adidas Barricade Men's Review

adidas Barricade Black/White/Blue Dawn Men's Shoes

Upsides

  • Durability
  • Stability
  • Lighter than the previous version

Downsides

  • Lacing system
Video Review

Summary

Fear not adidas Barricade lovers — this new generation honors the classics while introducing an even faster feel on court. Lighter than the previous version, these updated Barricades still deliver a connected and stable ride, along with improved cushioning for those long hitting sessions. Historically delivering some of the best durability in the industry, the ADIWEAR outsoles stayed true to form and lived up to our team's high expectations. Following a shorter break-in, the shoes flexed where our playtesters wanted and instilled confidence with top-notch traction during aggressive changes in direction. Yet again, with this latest Barricade adidas has produced an improved product that still feels familiar.

adidas Barricade Men's Shoe Scores

Comfort 3.8
Ventilation 3.8
Arch Support 4.1
Foot Support/Stability 4.4
Overall Sole Durability 4.6
Toe Durability 4.2
Traction 4.4
Weight 4.0
Overall 4.1

Comfort - Score: 3.8

As with most versions of the adidas Barricade, there was a notable break-in period, but it was much shorter this time around. Following a few hours of court time, these shoes ultimately felt more cushioned than past generations for Andrew. He said, "In the past, I bought adidas Barricades for their well-known durability. To me, previous versions were never the most comfortable, but with the BOUNCE 2.0 Foam and heel pods added in this edition, I am happy to report these shoes are more comfortable than past versions. I most noticed this in the heel; it had a soft 'give' to it, but that did not hinder my ability to explode off my feet and get moving quickly."

For Jason, this Barricade update offered mostly positives, but it did have a few downsides. He described, "The underfoot cushioning felt plush right from the beginning, but the shoes needed a slight break-in period before they truly felt as comfortable as they could be. For me, it was about three hours, which was much shorter than previous Barricades. I do have to ding these shoes for the toe jamming issues due to a lack of support. I also thought the shoes ran a bit warm. These are shoes that I would wear for tennis but remove as soon as I got off the court. That certainly isn't a negative since I equate these to a work boot. They have a job to do, they do it well, then you take them off when you're off the clock."

Mark very much enjoyed the new BOUNCE 2.0 technology. He said, "For my higher arches and not-super-wide feet, the 2021 Barricade was extremely comfortable. That said, it did not provide a glove-like fit. My feet are narrow enough that I needed to tug on the laces to get the snug fit I prefer. Cushioning-wise, the stock insert was fine for my higher arches. There was plenty of midsole material under my feet to take some of the sting out of hard court play. Lastly, I would say that my feet never overheated in the new Barricade, but its upper is not the most breathable — maybe slightly less breathable than previous Barricade models."

Sage experienced a tale of two shoes with the new Barricade. He explained, "It was a rocky start. Within the first hour, the tongue had rubbed against my inner ankle and caused blisters. For my next hitting session I added an extra pair of socks, which alleviated the rubbing. With that problem solved, other major categories performed well. I enjoyed the cushioning underfoot, and these Barricades remained comfortable throughout. Ventilation was another category that didn't give me any trouble, but I don't think they are best-in-class either. Arch support was great; my feet were never sore. Overall, I was torn when scoring this aspect of the updated Barricades. The ankle cushioning didn't work for me at all, but the shoes really did offer other positive attributes on court."

Foot Support/Stability - Score: 4.4

This category has long been a highlight of the Barricades, and this current offering kept the ball rolling. Mark had only great things to say here. He described, "Support and stability were both top notch for me. These shoes were trustworthy right out of the box and played great for the entire playtest. After maybe two hours of court time the uppers did stretch a bit, but without sacrificing upper support. By the third hour of use, the new Barricades molded nicely to the contours of my feet, providing a custom fit."

Sage was impressed by this shoe's extremely stable feel coupled with its lighter weight. He said, "Lateral and vertical movements were connected to the court. Anytime a shoe gets lighter from one version to the next, I make sure to put it to the test with changes of direction. My feet did move a little bit inside the shoes, but never to the point of causing toe jamming or making me feel like my ankle could roll over. I'm happy with how they performed during aggressive slides. If I had to get specific, I would have loved an extra eyelet slightly farther up the ankle to feel more locked in."

Andrew had arch support issues with past Barricades, but he was happy with this new iteration. He said, "I have an average-width foot with a very flat arch. Barricades in the past caused pain and lots of blistering in the arch area, even after break-in. These arches feel similar to previous versions in terms of excellent support, but I have not been getting any blistering, and the arch support has been comfortable. As I age, my flat feet are prone to plantar fasciitis. These shoes have definitely helped with arch support and minimizing pain."

"This is a tough category for me to score because the stability was so much better than the support," Jason said. "I'll start with the good: the stability. These shoes are very stable, like Barricades are known to be. The torsion system in the shank kept the shoes from twisting when I planted and changed directions. I always felt confident in my side-to-side movements, but moving forward and stopping was where I ran into issues. I had a few occasions when I moved forward, tried to stop, and my foot slid within the shoe and jammed my toes. That happened less and less as the playtest wore on and the shoes broke in, but overall it was tough to lock my feet into place. I think having just one more set of eyelets would really help alleviate the support issues."

Overall Sole Durability - Score: 4.6

Durability has defined the adidas Barricade since it was originally released in 2000, and with the new Barricade, adidas kept a good thing going. Jason explained, "They're really impressive! But not surprisingly, because it is a Barricade after all. I'm closing in on 20 hours of wear time, and the outsoles barely show any tread loss."

Mark echoed those comments, saying, "The outsole durability of the new 2021 Barricade was great throughout the entire playtest and beyond. I have played three tournament matches and put another 25 hours of practice time in them, so I definitely give high marks to their outsole longevity."

Recalling his juniors days, Sage offered comparisons to Barricades past and present. He said, "I grew up wearing Barricades and always knew what to expect. Even with the bar set high and a long playtest, these new Barricades held up just fine. The toe guards, though visually not as built up as other models, barely show any wear at all, and the tread is still in near-perfect condition. All that said, where did the six-month durability guarantee go?"

Unlike the rest of the team, Andrew did notice some minor cosmetic damage around the ankle, but his shoes still held up well where it counts. He said, "I have been playing in these shoes for three to four days per week for about a month and a half now, and I have not seen much wear and tear. My time in these shoes has been on a hard court, and I am an aggressive mover with plenty of skidding and sliding. The only durability issue I have experienced is on the outer construction of the inner ankle trim. I am seeing the material separating along the trim, likely due to the way the shoe bends and flexes around the ankle. It's not going to affect playability, but it can be an eyesore."

Traction - Score: 4.4

Unlike the previous version, where our playtesters had mixed reviews in this category, the traction for these new Barricades instilled confidence from start to finish. Sage described, "Out of the box, these shoes had a little bit of give during my pivot, but they settled there and never crossed the line into being slippery. The response they gave was consistent and trustworthy. Following a few knee surgeries, traction is high on my list of must-haves. I appreciated what the ADIWEAR technology offered at full speed."

"I loved the traction on these shoes," Andrew added. "For me, they are an ideal mix between grip and slickness. I never had to force a slide on quick sprints, but also never found myself slipping when I didn't want to. I would recommend these to players who utilize quick footwork and need the versatility of sliding and traction."

Similar to his thoughts on the durability, Mark was impressed with the performance here. He explained, "The outsole tread pattern of the latest Barricade is a modified herringbone, and I got the proper degree of grip versus slip on every hard court where I used them."

Jason echoed the rest of the team, saying, "I loved the traction of these Barricades. It is definitely on the slicker side, so I could easily slide out of a shot when moving side to side. However, there was still enough grip to keep me from slipping when pushing off to try to move forward."

Weight - Score: 4.0

This generation of the Barricade took strides in the right direction to feel faster on court. The designers at adidas were able to trim them down without making sacrifices in any other category. The results worked great for Mark. He described, "The weight of the men's 2021 Barricade is 14.2 ounces (size 10.5), which is slightly lighter than the 2018 version and similar in weight to other high-performance tennis shoes that I favor. Although tennis shoe weight is a factor in maneuverability, it is not the only indicator. Construction also plays a major role, and for me, the new Barricade struck a nice balance between shoe stability and speediness."

Andrew felt that the new Barricades hit a great balance in terms of weight. He explained, "I generally prefer more weight in my court shoes since I rely on extra stability with my play style. That being said, the weight was not too bad, and I only really noticed the aftereffect of the weight once I got off the court (tired feet and calves). I felt pretty fast on court, and I think adidas hid the weight well. As with heavier shoes, these kept me 100 percent confident in all my movements, from changes of direction to sprints and quick stops, which I need from court shoes."

While Jason wouldn't call these shoes lightweight, he never felt them weighing him down on court. He said, "This update doesn't feel as bulky and cumbersome as previous Barricades, but don't get me wrong, they don't feel lightweight either. I didn't think twice about the weight once I had them on and started playing, which is a good thing."

Sage appreciated how the Barricades felt throughout his demanding hitting sessions. He said, "There was certainly more to them than a traditional lightweight shoe, but they never felt clunky or heavy — a big improvement over Barricades of the past. The weight was distributed in a way that provided a blend of speed and stability. The fact that they feel like a classic Barricade but weigh just a touch over 14 ounces is impressive."

Overall - Score: 4.1

Likes

Jason - "Excellent side-to-side stability and outsole durability. I also appreciate the traction that allows me to slide out of my shots."

Andrew - "adidas honors the Barricade name by maintaining great durability and support. The arch support is comfortable, even for my flat foot. I love the Buzz Lightyear cosmetic."

Mark - "I always liked the high degree of stability and durability that all the previous Barricades featured. The 2021 Barricade is a bit wider than older models, and the heel-to-toe drop does not seem to be as extreme either, so I have no issue with toe jamming. Lastly, I have to say I like the look of these new Barricades and have never received so many glances and comments wearing a shoe before. Keep it up, adidas!"

Sage - "The performance is excellent. These shoes are low to the ground and check the boxes I'm typically looking for. Stability, traction and durability are all on display."

Dislikes

Jason - "Not being able to lock my feet in place led to some toe jamming. I also have a bit of rubbing on my heel because my foot could lift slightly in and out."

Andrew - "I always use the runner lacing system (loop lacing), but the offset laces make that technique less effective than the standard systems. I also can't ignore the long break-in period. Lastly, the back of the Barricade rubbed my Achilles during break-in."

Mark - "The nontraditional lacing system doesn't give me enough of a locked-in feel. It is difficult to tighten the laces down with the placement of the uppermost eyelet. Although I didn't have a problem with them during the playtest, I feel as if that eyelet could be a weak point over time."

Sage - "The blisters and rubbing around my ankle, though fixed by two pairs of socks, are enough to steer me away from switching to the Barricades as my go-to shoes. This isn't performance specific, but the lack of a six-month durability guarantee is a pretty big disappointment considering the multiple competitors that do offer it."

Comparing the shoe to others they've tried, our testers said:

Jason - "These updated Barricades are lighter and don't feel as chunky as the last few generations, but they still have that excellent stability and durability associated with the Barricade name. They really remind me a lot of the Nike React Vapor NXT shoes in both performance and traction."

Andrew - "Compared to previous versions of the Barricade, these shoes hold up well. The lacing system may bother some, but the durability remains, and the improved cushioning makes them shoes I don't need to take off immediately when the match is over. I have recently worn the Asics Gel Resolution 8s, and these Barricades seem to be a little more durable, but less comfortable. They are similar in terms of stability; however, I preferred the higher arch support in the Barricade over the Gel Resolutions, even with my flatter foot. Would I switch to the Barricades over the Asics? Probably not. It is merely for personal preference reasons, mainly the lacing system."

Mark - "Weight-wise, the new Barricades are comparable to the likes of the 2018 Barricade, Asics Gel Resolution 8, Court FF2, New Balance Lav v2 and Head Revolt Pro 3.5. In terms of fit, the Barricades are closer to the Lav v2 and Revolt Pro 3.5, with the two Asics shoes feeling a little more glove-like. If you are a player searching for a great lightweight option from adidas, the Ubersonic 4 is the way to go."

Sage - "They feel faster than the Barricades I grew up in, without giving up the classic stable feeling. I'd place these shoes in the same category as the KSwiss Ultrashot 3s and Asics Gel Resolution 8s. The Ultrashot 3s are wider, while the Gel Resolution 8s are more snug; the Barricades fall between the two. Aside from the blister issues, I was happy with the performance of the newest Barricades."

Mark's Scores
Overall Comfort4Overall Sole Durability4.5
Ventilation3.5Toe Durability4
Arch Support3.5Traction4
Foot support/Stability4Weight4
Overall4
Andrew's Scores
Overall Comfort3.8Overall Sole Durability4.5
Ventilation3.9Toe Durability4.3
Arch Support4.2Traction4.2
Foot support/Stability4.5Weight3.6
Overall4.1
Jason's Scores
Overall Comfort3.9Overall Sole Durability4.8
Ventilation3.8Toe Durability
Arch Support4.5Traction4.8
Foot support/Stability4.4Weight4.3
Overall4.1
Sage's Scores
Overall Comfort3.6Overall Sole Durability4.7
Ventilation3.8Toe Durability4.3
Arch Support4.3Traction4.5
Foot support/Stability4.5Weight4.1
Overall4.2
Play Tester Profiles. Click to learn more about our play testers.

Playtester Foot Types

Mark - Medium width / Medium arch

Andrew - Medium width / Low arch

Jason - Wide width / Low arch

Sage - Narrow width / Medium arch

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