Our Adidas AE 1 review is finally up! Continue reading below for a detailed assessment and basketball-related performance review of Minnesota Timberwolves star Anthony Edwards’ first signature shoe with the Three Stripes.
Athletic, charismatic, and flamboyant — Anthony Edwards had the makings of a marketable shoe endorser since first stepping foot in the NBA in 2020. Coming off an All-Star year in 2023, Edwards is also piling up a career season with the Timberwolves also collecting the wins.
The adidas AE 1 release date launched on December 16, 2023, and it couldn’t come at a better time. Edwards is steadily becoming a superstar, and the Wolves are currently one of the top teams in the league.
We’re not here to talk about Edwards, though. Is the adidas AE 1 performing on the court where it matters the most? That’s what we’re going to find out. Read on!
Why should you read the adidas AE 1 review?
There’s no best basketball shoe in the world. Different shoes cater to different playing styles and player archetypes. You might want a low-to-the-ground shoe if you’re a quick and shifty guard. On the other hand, a heavily cushioned, bottom-heavy shoe might be the best option if you’re a vertically athletic big man.
The adidas AE 1 is actually a low-to-the-ground, bottom-heavy shoe, which is a rare combination in the market. However, this doesn’t guarantee quality, as threading a balance between two opposing elements could result in a confusing shoe that won’t cater to a specific play style.
Did the adidas AE 1 shoes provide an excellent balance of responsiveness and impact protection? Continue reading below to find out.
Adidas AE 1 Features
The adidas AE 1 is a modern basketball shoe that features the brand’s newer Jet Boost tech, along with a bit of a Yeezy look in its uppers. Let’s dissect all the features that this basketball shoe offers, starting with its exceptional design and aesthetics.
Design and aesthetics
Adidas has recently been launching one futuristic design after the other, and the AE 1 is no exception. Our adidas AE 1 review starts with the silhouette that’s a combination of swift, eccentric, and fluid characteristics, probably speaking to Edwards’ personality on and off the court.
As for the branding, there’s the adidas logo on the heel area, then the “AE” branding on both the tongues and the removable insole. The adidas AE 1 colorways are nothing short of dynamic, too. It debuted in the “With Love” colorway, and has since released and announced new iterations, as we listed below:
- AE 1 “With Love”
- AE 1 “New Wave”
- AE 1 “Stormtrooper”
- AE 1 “Coral”
- AE 1 “Deep Blue”
- AE 1 “Arctic Fusion”
- AE 1 “All Star”
We’ll continue to update this list as new colorways are announced, so stay tuned!
Material and quality
Next up in our adidas AE 1 review is material and quality, which feel premium because they really are. The most noticeable feature in the uppers is the polyurethane material on the medial and lateral sides. The holes in these parts of the shoe offer breathing channels that offer more breathability as you play.
The upper portion of the adidas AE 1 is wrapped in a full-length TPU, which provides extreme lockdown and support. The split tongue design is supported by elastic bands, and the back of the shoe features a carbon-plated double-heel counter.
Moreover, the combination of Jet Boost and Lightstrike cushion materials provides even more durability to the shoe. This cushion combination is one of the best in recent memory, as we’ll further discuss later on.
If there is a drawback in terms of the adidas AE 1 material quality, you could point to its insole. It is a bit thin, which might cause a bit of an issue for those with existing heel problems. The good thing is that the insole is easily removable, so it’s recommended that you find an orthotic insole that best fits the mold of your foot.
Traction performance on different surfaces
One of the most important aspects of our adidas AE 1 review is its traction performance. It features a translucent rubber outsole, which immediately tells you that this shoe is best suited for indoor use. Its performance might not be as grippy on outdoor courts, and you’ll be chipping away at its durability, too.
If you’re going to use the AE 1 solely for indoor courts, then you’ll have one of the best traction performers on your feet. The herringbone pattern throughout the outsole provides tremendous grip for multi-directional movements. Upon closer look at this part of the shoe, you’ll also notice that the outsole has peaks and ridges throughout, giving you additional grip on the court.
The drawback of this kind of rubber outsole is decreased durability, which you’ll find out when you use it regularly on outdoor, dusty courts.
Cushion and support
Despite being a low-to-the-ground shoe, the adidas AE 1 actually packs a whole lot of cushion for impact protection. In fact, it combines two top-of-the-line cushioning technologies, namely the Lightstrike and the Jet Boost.
The Jet Boost tech is one of the newer iterations of the Boost lineup. It is lower than most Boost techs, but it does provide additional springback for more bounceability. The Lightstrike cushion is a bit on the minimal side in the AE 1, but it does offer another set of impact protection. It is uncommon for a basketball shoe to thread a balance between responsiveness and impact protection, but Adidas managed to do it well in the AE 1.
There’s a bit of an issue though: the combination of a dual cushioning system and the full-length TPU makes for a bottom-heavy shoe. This might be a minor stumbling block for hoopers who want a lightweight pair to play in.
On the other hand, the advantage of having this bottom-heavy setup is extra durability and impact protection. If you’re a high-leaping athlete who likes to go for second jumps, you’ll encounter little to no issues with the adidas AE 1.
Comfort and fit
The step-in comfort in these adidas AE 1 shoes is among the best among recently-launched basketball sneakers. The split tongue system makes for a comfortable fit, and the breathing channels throughout the uppers offer a high level of breathability. Your feet won’t get hot in this pair, that’s for sure.
If we can pinpoint a downside here, it could be the lack of flexibility in the forefoot portion of the AE 1. Due to the full-length TPU that wraps the shoe, the toebox of the AE 1 does not offer tons of forefoot flex. You’ll feel a bit of toe soreness for a while, but it does go away once you completely break in the shoe.
As for the fit, the AE 1 is not as snug as many basketball players want. If you have narrow feet, you might want to go half a size down to have that 1-to-1 fit. On the other hand, wide-footed players can go true to size, as the AE 1 provides a lot of room in its toebox.
How does the Adidas AE 1 perform on the basketball court?
Dynamic is the perfect word to describe the adidas AE 1. How can a bottom-heavy shoe provide an adequate amount of responsiveness? To provide more information, we answered some of the questions you have about the AE 1’s performance on the basketball court.
Is the Adidas AE 1 good for quick and shifty guards?
While it’s true that we’re quite surprised by how responsive the AE 1 is (considering its dual cushioning system), its responsiveness is still not on the level of the Nike Ja 1 or the Nike Kyrie 8. You won’t have problems accelerating and decelerating in this shoe, but quickly shifting directions laterally could be an issue. The AE 1 does offer a lot of springback on your first step, something that probably addresses Anthony Edwards’ unique ability to quickly glide down the lane.
Does the Adidas AE 1 offer good impact protection for bigger players?
Yes, the AE 1 is a bottom-heavy shoe that provides excellent impact protection even for bigger or heavier players. If you could replace its thin insole with a thicker orthotic one, then you’re looking at a cushioning system that will give you extra bounce and protect you from heavy landings.
|Acceleration and deceleration
|Quick changes in direction
|Spin moves off a drive
Adidas AE 1 Buying Guide
Along with its on-court performance, our adidas AE 1 review also includes If you feel that the AE 1 is perfect for your play style, then we recommend copping it now. It is priced at only US$120, which is actually quite a bargain considering the dual cushioning system and the full-length TPU that it offers. You could also find the adidas AE 1 for sale on your trusted resellers, which we listed below for your reference.
Where to purchase Adidas AE 1
You can purchase the adidas AE 1 for US$120 at your local and online adidas stores. You can also get this basketball shoe through trusted resellers, as you can see below:
Come for the aesthetics, stay for the performance. The adidas AE 1 introduced itself to the tune of futuristic design and sleek-looking materials. Now that we have tried it on, its performance on the basketball court is actually impressive. The Jet Boost cushion tech offers amazing springback, and the herringbone outsole provides tremendous grip.
The adidas AE 1 nets an overall rating of 9.1 out of 10.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is the adidas AE 1 good for wide-footed players?
Yes, the AE 1 has a spacious toebox, giving enough room for wide-footed players to be comfortable. If you’re a wide-footed player, you don’t need to go half a size up in the adidas AE 1.
Does the adidas AE 1 perform well on outdoor courts?
The translucent rubber outsole of the AE 1 is best suited for indoor courts. Its outsole doesn’t provide the same amount of grip on outdoor courts, and it does pick up dust rather quickly. Moreover, the rubber outsole’s durability will not last long if you regularly use it outdoors.
Does the adidas AE 1 go true to size?
You can go true-to-the-size in the AE 1 if you’re a wide-footed player. However, the fit is not snug enough for players with narrow feet. If you’re a narrow-footed hooper, you might want to go half a size down with the AE 1.