It’s that time of year where we are once again bringing you our Top Performance Picks list. 2019 has been a revolutionary year for sneakers from the Nike Adapt BB being the first ever self-lacing basketball shoe, to Giannis Antetokounmpo and Donovan Mitchell revealing their first signature shoes. Thus, in honor of the great half year of sneakers we’ve had so far, Nick and Noor from the One on One Testers Team have compiled our Top Performance Picks of 2018. Let’s take a trip down memory lane to see straight performance beasts. You can view each shoe’s respective analysis by clicking on each image down below.
Our top performance picks of the year all have either released in 2018, or were made available in 2018, but saw the majority of its life in 2019. Additionally, the list will only include shoes we have wear-tested. We have provided the pros and cons of each model for your convenience. The models below are listed in order from our favorites onward. Thank you to the viewers ands supporters for the tip to do pros and cons on our favorite picks of this year! Here is the One on One Testers: Top Performance Picks of 2019 list.
Noor’s Top Performance Picks
The adidas Harden Vol. 3 was definitely a shoe I was hyped to try, especially after loving the Vol. 2. The Boost cushioning was even better than the Vol. 2, un-caging the most of the Boost really made a big difference. I was able to feel the Boost immediately and loved how nice it felt right beneath my feet. The traction was superb in these, I love herringbone tread done right and these were it.
Dust was hardly a problem and I got good stops in these. The material used on the upper is a textile, but the way adidas did it was totally right. I loved the way these fit my foot, but just like it’s predecessor, the Vol. 3 had heel containment issues. The Vol. 3 features more padding in the heel than the Vol. 2 and the containment has improved, but I still experienced minor heel slippage.
The Dame 5 has definitely found its way in my rotation and for good reasons. I got this colorway for $50 off at adidas.com in honor of Dame’s 50 point performance that ended with a game winner we won’t be forgetting anytime soon. Performance is amazing to say the least, for being more on the budget side, these excelled in some areas.
With the Hoops Analysis on these dropping soon, you’ll all have to tune in and see what these are about. For me traction is crucial and these have definitely been my go to when I want solid traction.
The Crossover Culture Sniper LP has become one of my favorites to hoop in my current rotation. The materials are awesome; they are pretty soft but not too soft and still offer a good deal off support, especially since it’s has some overlays.
The traction is a deep herringbone pattern and the cushion setup is the only drawback, as I feel it is too firm for my liking. Stay tuned for the full Hoops Analysis for these bad boys.
Nick’s Top Performance Picks
Pretty much a no-brainer. These guys got the job done in every category, and excelled in almost every category. My main nag that I had with the shoe, which Noor also had, was the heel slippage. The sock liner material adidas Hoops implemented into the shoes is a micro-fiber material and due to the nature of this material texture and its ability to wick away moisture, my heel never felt fully contained in this gray colorway.
Although, after purchasing a new colorway in a black/blue primeknit textile build, the miro-fiber material as featured in the grey colorway I initially wore is no longer evident. The new black/blue colorway I have in my collection does not feature the micro-fiber material and instead features a standard cloth-like sockliner. No heel slippage was evident in this colorway, so just be sure of the material of the sockliner for any colorway you purchase.
I stayed true to size and had no deal-breaking issues regardless of the heel slippage in my initial pair I purchased. The shoe fit is perfectly for my normal foot, and is by far the best shoe I have ever worn. Six months after purchasing my first pair, these are still number one in my rotation.
After initially purchasing the adidas Dame 5, I had developed one of the oddest love-hate relationships I ever had with a shoe. Damian Lillard’s fifth signature shoes was just one of those basketball kicks I had to wear for a while to actually enjoy over time. Although none of the aspects of the Dame 5 were deal breakers, the aspects it didn’t excel in initially were just a disappointment due to the high expectations I had since its two predecessor models were great on the court for me.
The Dame 5 has a great fit and extremely secure support/lockdown. The Bounce foam cushioning was also a no frills, no gimmicks sort of set-up. Impact protection was off the charts as well as its court feel. Until broken in, traction was a major disappointment, being extremely inconsistent, as well as the materials being extremely cheap. While the traction picked up a lot of dust at first, that “factory layer” of glue, residue, or whatever is coated on the rubber outsole eventually wore off the actual sole. And, after that, the traction was money. While minimal dust pick-up is still evident, it is nothing at all compared to the slipping I experienced initially.
To conclude these guys, the Dame 5 started off disappointing due to the amount of break-in time the outsole needed to grip the hardwood, but they eventually moved their way up to the top of my rotation after breaking in. While the mesh and synthetic suede (felt) materials on my colorways are awful in quality, the actual fit and feeling they provide on foot does not disappoint. On the bright side, adidas has also offered a plethora of new color options featuring new knitted textile builds that should give the shoe a more premium feeling, still keeping its standard price at $115.
As badly as I wanted to put these above the Dame 5s to sit at the number two spot in my rotation, I just couldn’t, and there is a reason why. Let’s dive into the Crossover Culture Sniper M LP, the odd man out from the bigger brands like Nike and adidas.
First things first, huge shout out to Crossover Culture for sending these out, and also taking our feedback and implementing it into their second round of shoes they released. In comparison to their first season debut that features the same exact tooling as the current Crossover Culture Sniper M LP; the first season had a different rubber compound. The initial rubber compound on the first season pairs just didn’t bite the floor as well as we wanted it to. Dust-pick up was not awful, it was just the actual rubber compound of the outsole. Additionally, the Crossover Culture logo at the forefoot of the sole was completely flat, so that didn’t stick to the floor. Luckily with these new pairs in the second Crossover Culture season, the rubber compound is off the charts with how it grips the floor. Minimal wiping, and there is now indentation into the Crossover Culture logo at the forefoot, so it does not pick up dust.
Moreover, the cushioning was good. Not great, but good. Impact protection was adequate, but not anything special. Although I don’t want to compare, LP Foam 2 is a firmer set up then a standard Bounce/Boost set-up adidas would have to offer. While impact protection was adequate, there is little give in the foam both in hand and on foot. The high-rebound technology in the foam really must work, because I hardly noticed the foam over compress, and the set-up always made me feel quick on my feet due to that. My only gripe was that the foam was a bit high off the ground and didn’t offer as mucha court feel as I expected. Although, there was no noticeable lag in the shoes due to this. While I enjoyed this set-up, others may not. So buyer beware the cushioning set-up in these may not be for everyone.
Aside from the cushioning and traction, the materials were phenomenal. Improved from its predecessor model, the new 3D molded knit uppers feel like a true knit on foot. While being soft and forgiving on foot, this does not sacrifice support. Everything about the upper I enjoyed, but due to the cushioning being firm and feeling high off the ground, that is why I chose not to rank these above the Dame 5.