review_adan The adidas All Day All Night (ADAN) will turn heads on and off the court and may just completely change the way people think about basketball shoes. by Professor K, posted June 20, 2001 The concept of designing a basketball shoe that doesn't look like a traditional "gym shoe" is not a new one. Nike has been the pioneer in this area, particularly with their Air Jordan line, which introduced a more formal and elegant sensibility to hoops shoe design. Some of the more recent Air Jordan releases can easily cross over into the realm of formal wear. This is also true of adidas' recently released The Kobe, which has an understated elegance that works as well with a business suit as it does with a sweatsuit (at least in the black colorway). An area that hasn't been tapped, however, is casual wear. In recent years so-called "brown shoes", a group which includes loafers, lugged shoes, and boots, has become increasingly popular. And this has happened to the detriment of athletic shoe manufacturers because as interest in "brown shoes" has grown, interest in traditional "gym shoes" has waned. adidas has come up with an ingenious solution to this problem by designing a shoe that looks like an attractive "brown shoe", particularly a construction boot, but performs like a very good basketball shoe. This is such a wonderfully simple idea that I'm amazed no had come up with it before now. I guess it's often the simplest ideas that are the hardest to arrive at, but it's also the simplest ideas that usually end up having the biggest impact. And with the ADAN I think adidas has a shoe that will make a very big impact on the marketplace. imagespacer_top review_adan_34zip_closed review_adan_34zip_open figure 1a & b. Shown here is the adidas ADAN with the upper zipped and unzipped. The shoe can be worn either way, but for game play we definitely recommend wearing the shoe zipped because it provides better fit and support when zipped. imagespacer_top While our reviews are always focused on the on-court performance of a shoe, I wanted to provide a quick note about the appearance of the adidas ADAN. No other shoe I've tested has elicited as many positive comments or questions as the ADAN. Every time I test wore the shoe, both indoors and out and in two different cities, one or more people asked me what they were and commented on how much they liked the look of the shoe. The pictures here don't quite do the shoe justice because the upper is made of such a buttery smooth suede that it has to be felt to be truly appreciated. For those who might not like the boot-like look of the Bahia colorway pictured here, the White/Light Blue ADAN has more of a traditional sneaker look, but with the same design, materials and overall attention to detail as the Bahia. There will also be a very sweet Black/Silver colorway in the offing at the start of August. Beyond the look of the ADAN, the first thing that I noticed after putting them on was that they are extremely comfortable. The inner of the shoe is lined with a stretchy mesh that makes the upper very comfortable and free of any hard points or exposed seams that can lead to foot discomfort. The ankle area is also well-lined and padded for comfort. This level of comfort is critical in a shoe that's meant to be worn all day and all night, on court and off. If we scored on comfort alone the ADAN would definitely score a five in that area, but I think that the fit could be better, particularly at the ankle and heel. If the ADAN had room for just one more row of laces at the ankle the fit would have been perfect, but as it is, I found it difficult to prevent my heel from moving within the shoe and ankle support is somewhat lacking. With some adjustment of the laces a few minutes into wearing the shoe, the fit can be tweaked to the point of being very good, but I could never get that really locked-in feel that the best hoops shoes provide. imagespacer_top review_adan_sole figure 2. Visible above is the car tire inspired outsole design of the adidas ADAN. The outsole not only provides excellent traction, but is also very durable. imagespacer_top Moving down to the midsole, the ADAN employs a hidden, or internal midsole design that has become very popular in modern-day basketball shoes. The cushioning is provided, I believe, by EVA foam. Unlike most of adidas' recent hoops shoe releases, the ADANs don't make use of adiPRENE in the heel or forefoot. I was a concerned about this at first because, in the past, I've found EVA-only-based shoes to provide cushioning that was too soft, particularly in the forefoot, and led to shin splints. But thankfully, the ADANs, while providing a very soft ride, did not give me shin splints, even after playing for a couple of hours on a very unforgiving outdoor surface. I would, however, caution heavy players to give the shoes a try before buying. While I can't say for certain, I think that heavier players will find the cushioning to be inadequate. I'm also a bit concerned that the cushioning may not last very long since light weight EVA foam tends to break down fairly quickly, but only extended wear will bear this out. imagespacer_top review_adan_34 figure 3. Here the large, metallic 3D TORSION structures are visible at either side of the ADAN. They provide added support at the midfoot and contribute to the overall stability of the shoe. imagespacer_top In the area of stability, the ADAN is surprisingly good. Because of the softness of the material, EVA-based shoes often give up a measure of stability in exchange for the soft ride that they provide. But adidas has cleverly employed the ADAN's hidden midsole design as more than just a design element, using the outer structure of the shoe to add an additional measure of firmness at the outer edges of the midsole. Since the midsole does not compress as much at the edges the shoe has a more stable feel, particularly during sharp lateral movements. Also contributing greatly to the overal stability of the shoe is adidas' 3D TORSION technology. Visible as the large metallic structures at the midfoot area of each side of the shoe, the TORSION system provides support for the foot at the midfoot area, while contributing to lateral stability by encouraging the forefoot and heel of the foot to work and move together. The overall result is a shoe that feel very agile on the court. Unlike a true boot the ADAN provides excellent court feel and stability and does not compromise the wearer's ability to cut sharply or stop quickly. Also a bit of a surprise for me was the excellent indoor traction that the ADAN provided. As a shoe focused primarily on the outdoor game I expected the ADAN to provide excellent traction outdoors and it does that. But since the outsole material is so durable (even after two test sessions on very rough outdoor surfaces and four sessions indoors, the outsoles showed no visible wear), I expected them to give something up in the traction department indoors. But to my surprise and delight, the ADAN provides excellent traction both indoors as out. As is visible in figure 2, the outsole design is quite unique. According to adidas it's based on the design of car tire treads. Thankfully, the outsoles perform much better than a pair of Firestones on a Ford Explorer. You won't suffer from any blow-outs or spontaneous rollovers in the adidas ADAN. imagespacer_top review_adan_heel figure 4. A last look a the ADAN. As noted in the review, these pictures don't do the shoe justice. The buttery feel of the suede upper just has to be felt to be believed (note that the Bahia and Black colorways have a suede upper, while the White/Light Blue and White/Navy colorways have a full-grain leather upper). If you see and try on the shoe you will not believe that it costs a bit less than $85. imagespacer_top To sum up, what impressed me most about the ADAN was the obvious attention to detail shown by its designers. adidas could have easily made a shoe that just looked great, but didn't perform well on the court, but instead they took the time to make a shoe that looks great, feels great, and offers the performance of a high-end basketball shoe. Anyone who needs a versatile shoe that is comfortable enough for all-day and night wear, but cushionioned and stable enough for serious on-court wear should put the ADAN at the top of their short list of shoes to buy (at $84.99 this shoe is an incredible value). There may be off-court shoes that are more comfortable and hoops shoes that provide a more locked-in fit, but none that we've tested blends these two worlds together as well as the adidas ADAN. Just be ready to answer a lot of questions about your shoes.