adidas adiZero Rose review

With a big assist from adidas, I was given the opportunity to play in the new adiZero Rose, the shoe obviously worn by Bulls guard Derrick Rose. (If you didn’t know it by the name, then you certainly knew it from the omnipresent ads with Ken Jeong.)

For me, I’m coming off of a season where I absolutely loved the adidas offering – the TS Supernatural Creator – and I think the brand had a very high standard to live up to as a result. Last season, I didn’t think I’d like the shroud that covered the shoe, but it really only added to a great, locked in feeling. (The strap wound up being a bit superfluous, but the overall lockdown in the foot was great.) This season’s shoe is really drastically different in design.

If you’ve seen the ads, one of the things they’re really pushing is how light the shoe is. I’ll use Eastbay as the standard bearer on this one, as I don’t have a digital scale. The adiZero Rose checks in at 12.8 ounces, which is certainly light, but it’s only 0.8 ounces lighter than last year’s shoe. Is that enough to tout it as a marketing point? It is lighter than the Under Armour Black Ice shoe by 0.6 ounces, and more than 2 ounces lighter than John Wall’s Zig Slash. But it’s 0.4 ounces more than the Nike Hyperfuse and 2.2 ounces more than the Zoom Kobe V. (In fairness, Kobe’s shoe is a true low-cut basketball shoe.)

The issue of the cut brings me to the next observation, which was one I raised in my initial post. If you take a look at the adiZero Rose, minus the GeoFit around the ankle, you’ve got a shoe that’s cut significantly lower than last season’s offering.

So it’s curious that they went with an overall shoe that was cut so much lower, only to add on that GeoFit “ankle support” Here’s the description on “GeoFit”:

GeoFit® is an internal footwear technology that enhances fit and comfort by placing padding where you need it. Offering greater stability, more effective distribution of pressure, a higher level of protection and better heel fit and functional location.

In this case, there’s GeoFit padding that goes around your ankle. And yet, this was probably the part of the shoe I liked the least. Perhaps it’s because I’m such a freak about ankle support, but I felt compelled to lace my shoes tight and go to the extra hole up top, which pulled the band around the ankle tighter. After a two-hour run on the court, my Achilles was a little bit sore from the constant pressure from the band. It’s probably the only real negative thing I’ve got to say about the shoe. Keep this in mind: The shoe was designed for Derrick Rose, who wears those adidas Speed Wrap braces. Perhaps when paired with that, the padding around the ankle makes more sense.

If you’re going to get these, I’d advise two things right away: 1. Wear thick socks. 2. Wear socks that will come above that GeoFit band that goes around the ankle, particularly if you plan to use the top lace hole. (And for the record, GeoFit is present in other places in the shoe, but it’s explicitly marked and visible in the upper ankle area.)

The anatomy of the rest of the shoe is actually very similar to the TS Supernatural Creator from last season. adidas uses PureMotion on the sole, which is inspired by the old “Feet You Wear” pods from the Kobes you remember way back when. It was present in last year’s shoe and it’s here again, which is probably we it felt like I needed no break-in time. My feet were already accustomed to that style. I can play for prolonged periods of time in a PureMotion shoe and not blister or anything. The Torsion System is present on the bottom of the shoe again.

The new features come from the Sprint Skin and Sprint Frame. The Sprint Skin is a lightweight material used on the shoe and is one of those places they reduced weight this season. The Sprint Frame adds stability, and as I mentioned in my first post, makes up for some lost stability when there isn’t as much upper ankle support. Both necessary for adidas to improve on last year’s shoe.

If you’re interested in how they hold up after a few wears, I’d say pretty well. Even with a patent-ish toe, they don’t look beat up or overly creased. Design-wise, it’s a really interesting shoe because it’s probably as understated as you’ll ever see adidas go with its own logo. There’s really nothing that even brands it as an adidas shoe unless you’re looking at the shoe from behind. (Maybe that’s the idea; you’re always streaking away from the competition because Fast Don’t Lie!)

So here’s the bottom line: I’m not in love with what they did around the ankle. Maybe Derrick Rose never feels it because he’s got a big, thick pair (or two) of NBA socks, plus an ankle brace, but when you’ve got one pair of adidas socks on, you might feel more pressure than you’re used to. Try them on for yourself though. Everything else about the shoe is outstanding. PureMotion is maybe my favorite sole on a basketball shoe right now. The pods just feel outstanding. The reduced weight is a plus, too. If you’re wading into the adidas pool for the first time in a few years, this is a great place to do it and the $99.99 price, for a signature shoe, is very reasonable. You can get the adiZero Rose at Foot Locker and on


5 Responses to adidas adiZero Rose review

  1. Ostap Bender says:

    You’re far enough removed from all of the politicking in the sneaker world, which is great. I also enjoy your writing a great deal.

    Can I add you to my blawg roll?

  2. Ostap Bender says:

    I meant to say that your observations are trustworthy because you are far enough removed from the sneaker ‘game’ and all of its politics. A little drunk right now (five, maybe six beers deep over here) and having trouble conveying my thoughts.

    Can I still add you to my blawg roll?

  3. Rob says:

    I loved every part of the shoe aswell but the geofit collar ate my ankles up, I usually don’t wear a brace or anything but I’m hoping once you break them in it’ll go away, any suggestions other than just thick socks?

  4. chrislittmann says:

    I think we’re in the same boat on that Geo-Fit collar. Other than thick socks, I’m not sure what to suggest. I definitely felt the pain in my Achilles’ tendon of it pressing because I feel like I should lace up my shoes tightly. Wish I had a better suggestion for you.

  5. chrislittmann says:

    Hey, completely forgot to approve these comments a while back, but anyway, feel free to add me to any blog rolls!

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