Following a disappointing result in 2021, the adidas Harden line looks to bounce back in 2022. Check out Dribble Media’s adidas Harden Vol. 6 performance review below.
The adidas Harden Vol. 5 was one of the most disappointing basketball shoes released in 2021. The shoe was heavy, and the negative aspects of the pair far outweigh its positive features.
With its predecessor becoming such a disappointment in the market, the adidas Harden Vol. 6 is in facing a lot of pressure. Released last February 2022, James Harden’s latest signature shoe bounced back in a good way, although there are still several areas it could improve on.
To help you decide if this is a good buy, Dribble Media offers this adidas Harden Vol. 6 performance review. Happy reading!
The adidas Harden Vol. 6’s materials don't offer a lot of ventilation.
The upper on the Harden Vol. 6 is made of recycled straps, which adheres to adidas’ mission of bringing a higher level of sustainability to their products. However, the downside is that it doesn’t feel premium at all.
Moreover, the forefoot area is made of a felt-like material that doesn’t allow a lot of airflow. Ventilation is a problem when playing with the adidas Harden Vol. 6, as you’ll feel heat accumulate, especially on your forefoot.
But what I like about the upper of the Vol.6 is that it tends to get very soft as soon as you break it in. You’ll get a lot of forefoot flexibility in this shoe, and it’s not as stiff as compared to the Vol. 5. The tongue padding is minimal, but the internal ankle pods should be able to keep your feet secure and stable.
The materials on the Harden Vol. 6 did improve, but the cheap-feeling upper may not be worth its price tag.
The adidas Harden Vol. 6 provides an excellent traction performance on outdoor courts.
The outsole of the Vol. 5 was its main point of criticism, but that’s not the case in this new release. The adidas Harden Vol. 6 steps up big time in terms of traction performance, and it can even be categorized in the same tier as that of the Curry Flow 9.
From its lackluster 3D web traction in the Vol. 5, the Harden Vol. 6 switched to a solid rubber outsole that offers a herringbone traction pattern. The herringbone pattern varies in terms of thickness. You could also see that the grooves are actually deep, which could help add to the durability of the outsole.
If you’re playing regularly on an outdoor court, the adidas Harden Vol. 6’s outsole will serve you well. An outsole that performs better on outdoors than indoors is a rare commodity nowadays, but that’s what you’ll get from the Vol. 6. It offers a solid compound that actually grips better outdoors; your feet won’t slip even on dusty courts.
The traction in the Harden Vol. 6 will also perform great on an indoor court, but its outsole setup better suits the playing terms of an outdoor court.
CUSHION AND SUPPORT
The adidas Harden Vol. 6 is infused with a full-bed Boost cushion.
We saw adidas combine two cushioning techs (Lightstrike and Boost) in the Vol. 5, which wasn’t as good as advertised. In the Vol. 6, adidas opted to infuse a full-bed Boost technology that is better than its predecessor.
The Boost setup is reminiscent of that in the Harden 1, and that’s a good thing to have. Impact protection may not be the best in the Harden Vol. 6, but you’ll get a highly-responsive shoe that keeps your feet stable when doing quick movements. You see the insole and the cushion caged by rubber on the lateral side, and this setup improves the lateral containment of the Vol. 6.
Thanks to the rubber wall on the lateral side, making heel-dominant strides won’t be a problem. The rubber cage is actually softer than it looks, and you still get a lot of flexibility from it. Moreover, the ankle pods on the Achilles area serve as a foam that helps lock down your feet when doing quick side-to-side movements.
The adidas Harden Vol. 6 is a low-to-the-ground shoe that provides a high level of court feel, while offering an adequate amount of impact protection. This is still a guard shoe though, as it’s not designed for players who rely on their jumping ability or vertical athleticism.
SIZE AND FITTING
The adidas Harden Vol. 6 is best suited for wide-footed basketball players.
The toebox on the Harden Vol. 6 goes a bit wide, so this is a shoe that is perfect for wide-footed basketball players. If you have a narrow or medium fit, you might want to go true to size or even a half size down.
The Harden Vol. 6 injects new life to the adidas Harden line. After the Vol. 5 flop, adidas bounced back by limiting the weaknesses of the shoe and making it more balanced in every aspect.
The best feature of the Harden Vol. 6 is still its responsiveness, as we know that this has always been the department where the Harden signature line excels at. The surprisingly good aspect of this shoe is its traction, as the rubber outsole combines a good amount of grip and durability, which is a combination that we rarely see among modern basketball shoes.
The downside of the Harden Vol. 6 could be traced to its cheap-feeling upper materials. Ventilation is not good either, so this is something that adidas might want to look at in the next Harden shoe release.
The adidas Harden Vol. 6 nets an overall rating of 8.0 out of 10.
WHERE TO BUY
The adidas Harden Vol. 6 is available at your nearest adidas stores for a retail price tag of USD 140.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)
Yes, the Harden Vol. 6 is way better than the Vol. 5. The Harden Vol. 6 greatly improved in terms of traction and cushioning setup.
Yes, the adidas Harden Vol. 6 surprised us with an excellent traction performance on outdoor courts. Along with tremendous grip, the Vol. 6’s outsole is made of solid rubber, which could last long on outdoor surfaces.
Yes, the Harden Vol. 6 actually runs wide on the toebox, a feature that wide-footed players would prefer.
If you want a basketball sneaker that offers a high level of court feel and responsiveness, you could choose a low-to-the-ground shoe like the Harden Vol. 6.
We hope that our adidas Harden Vol. 6 performance review helped in your search for the basketball shoe that’s perfect for you. Stay tuned for more Dribble Media sneaker reviews!