The adidas Unfadeable is a shoe that performs, can take a beating, and is priced to move -- three keys for any serious summer hoops shoe. by Professor K, posted May 10, 2002 With summer fast approaching lots of folks are rummaging through their shoe closets and realizing that last year's hoops shoes just aren't cutting it anymore. This happens every year and it's why late spring and summer are prime time for individual hoops shoe purchases. adidas is poised to make the most of this with the new adidas Unfadeable. It offers a potent combination of performance, comfort, durability, and price that's going to be tough for others to match. The adidas Unfadeable looks something like a cross between the adidas T-Mac and adidas ADAN and I found it to perform like a cross between those two shoes as well. Let's start from the bottom and work our way up and out. figure 1a & b. The adidas Unfadeable's outsole design is very similar in shape to the adidas T-Mac and, like that shoe, the Unfadeable provides good traction. Note also the Unfadeable's squared-off toe-box, another trait shared with the T-Mac. The upper of the Unfadeable, on the other hand, is quite different. The most unique element is the contemporary interpretation of adidas' trademark shell-toe design, which extends all the way to the top of the shoe with zippers along both sides. The Unfadeable provides cushioning by way of what I believe is a compressed EVA midsole augmented with adiPRENE for extra shock absorption at the heel. The cushioning felt very good, particularly at the heel, which was soft without feeling mushy. At the forefoot cushioning was firm, but not hard. Overall I didn't experience any problems with foot pain or shin splints during my testing of the shoe. The inner provides plenty of comfort thanks, in large part, to a half-length fit sleeve that coddles the foot in near seamless comfort while also enhancing the fit of the shoe at the forefoot. The Unfadeable is based on a relatively wide last, though, so if you have narrow feet you may find it impossible to get a locked down fit. Even with my wide feet it took me a little while to find a proper fit. I had to break the shoe in a bit and then readjust the lacing before I felt confident in the fit of the shoe. But after my first test wearing, fit was consistently good. figure 2a & b. Here is the adidas Unfadeable in three quarter view in both its white/silver and black/silver colorways. In my opinion the shoe is very appealing in both colorways. The adidas Unfadeable provides good support overall and the relatively high-cut ankle is well-padded without feeling overly restrictive. A side-benefit of the design of the shoe is that after you're done playing, the lace cover can be unzipped for added comfort and ventilation (see figure 1b). I would not, however, recommend playing with the lace cover unzipped because it does improve overall fit and support when it's zipped up. Moving to the outer, it's primarily made up of a synthetic leather that seems to be the same as the material used for the outer of the T-Mac. It's tough and won't stretch -- both good things. The most prominent feature of the upper is the rubberized shell-toe that extends along the top of the foot to the ankle. It's both a stylistic and functional element in that it protects the toes from other players' errant feet. It also adds a measure of durability since the toe-area often sees a lot of wear-and-tear, particularly when a shoe is used for outdoor hoops. figure 3a & b. Again, the adidas Unfadeable in both its white/silver and black/silver colorways, only this time in profile. Note the sharp edge of the shell-toe. That along with the squared-off design of the toe-box helps to make the adidas Unfadeable very comfortable -- particularly for those with wide forefeet. To sum up, the adidas Unfadeable is a good all-around hoops shoe that scores high marks in comfort and should prove very durable both indoors and out. Factor in the shoe's surprisingly reasonable $90 price tag and I'd have to say that it's pretty close to the ideal summer hoops shoe. It also doesn't hurt that the Unfadeable, at least in my opinion, looks as good off the court as it does on it. The only people I'd provide a word of caution to are those with very narrow feet because the Unfadeable may prove too wide. But, to all others, I'd say put the adidas Unfadeable on your short list of summer-time hoop shoes. Who's Worn It Doug Christie (G/F- Sacramento Kings), Jamaal Magloire (C- Charlotte Hornets), Mike Miller (F- Orlando Magic), Eric Snow (G- Philadelphia 76ers), DeShawn Stevenson (G- Utah Jazz), Tim Thomas (F- Milwaukee Bucks)