One on One Testers finally gives a striking new performance model on the market a performance review. Damian Lillard’s newest signature model might be one of the best bang for your buck models on the market right now. My adidas Dame 4 Performance Review is here, and available on YouTube below, so lets get into this.
Adidas is calling the wavy traction pattern on the outsole called a “passage of time”. Yeah, I’m just about as confused as most of you probably are by that name. All I can say is that the name doesn’t mean anything because this traction pattern is the sh*t! This pattern not only looks weird, but it just played phenomenally on court. Since the grooves are decently spread apart, it was harder for dust to find itself getting trapped in there. These grooves are also super aggressive and it kept me covered when doing lateral cuts and crossovers. The only way dust could find itself getting into those grooves is where the slight indentations are in some of the grooves. There’s literally tiny lines cut into the grooves for better flexibility, I’d presume. As per outdoor use, you could play in them and get some solid traction for a little while. But all I can say is that these will wear down fast from my personal experience. I’ve had my Rip City pair for just a few months and the heel rubber is already fraying.
Bounce, bounce, and even more BOUNCE. The adidas Dame 4s continue the same setup as the 2s and 3s with a full length Bounce midsole. Although we’re getting the same thing as last year, this stuff sits very low the ground. No, it doesn’t mean we are necessarily receiving less Bounce than last year’s model, it just means adidas is reducing weight and giving us more court feel in this model. In theory, yes, we are losing some Bounce foam in the forefoot, at least. Despite the fact, this cushioning is probably the best foam I’ve played in, to date. I feel like with the thinner Bounce midsole I’m not losing any impact protection but am gaining more speed and responsiveness with the court feel I am receiving. With this Bounce foam, you should be receiving a low to the ground feeling on foot and substantial impact protection. Unlike other foams, this stuff still hasn’t bottomed out!
The materials are going to be different for each colorway of the adidas Dame 4. I own the ‘Rip City’ edition of the Dame 4, so I’ll be touching on the upper materials on these guys only. For performance reviewers like myself, it is a pain to review one shoe with four or five different upper materials, but most of the other builds on colorways are either textiles, fuses, or knits. For this year’s model we have a foam-backed mesh with black TPU strands that will provide us with even more support than we already get out of the sneaker. We also have a neoprene compression-collar, which doesn’t make the shoes a true mid-top or low-top, it’s sort of in between. Let me tell you, these materials are legit. I’d personally wish I could have had the opportunity to play in the ‘Static’ colorway with a woven upper, but the foam-backed mesh is probably just as good. These materials for sure don’t feel like plastic, unlike the Dame 3s. It’s for sure a lot more premium, and the tech specs of these guys can go on and on. The neoprene compression collar is insane and it actually WORKS. It provided me with superb lockdown around the back of the shoe and really compresses the area around your ankle but trust me, it’s nice.
There’s already so many nice things that I’ve written up on these shoes, but I got even more to say. As per the fit, I went true to size, and the fit was incredible. As previously stated, I said the compression collar area really compressed the back of my feet and shockingly increased the lockdown. There is the slightest bit of wiggle room between my big toe and the front of shoe, it’s barely noticeable. I’d still say stick true to size because the fit was fine for me anyways, as well as the lockdown. If I had gone down a half size, it may have been too tight. Lockdown is great as well. The laces don’t do much of anything because you receive most of the lockdown from the compression collar/tongue of the shoe. It’s tricky to lace up this shoe because the laces are attached to these rubber lockdown cables on the media and lateral sides of the shoe. It’s hard to tighten, but once you lace up the kicks, you should be good to go. The one-to-one fit was perfect for my feet. As per support, you’ll be covered. The midsole wraps up a bit around your foot to give you that “cradling” feeling on foot. There really is no sign of a noticeable outrigger on the shoes, but we do have a fairly wide and flat stable base which will help support your foot torsionally.
The adidas Dame 4 was my first overall pick for performer of the year in 2017. Months later, these are still at the top of my growing on-court rotation. There’s really nothing wrong to talk about these sneakers. The adidas Dame 3 was also one of my favorite performers of last year, over the Summer. Both are great performers and you can totally notice the development and evolution between each model every year. Personally, these are still the BEST bang for your buck model on the market currently, just right above the Crossover Culture on-court lineup. Thanks for tuning in for another review!
Nick Montesano, born and raised out of New Jersey. Been hooping since I can remember. I’ve been interested in kicks since my early teenage years, and now I’m a junior in high school writing daily articles about my passion. My favorite hoop shoe of all time is the adidas Dame 4, and my favorite player is LeBron James.