We finally have a First Impression for you on the adidas adiPower Howard. Since the adiPower Howard 2 is hitting retailers, this version will likely be getting the discount treatment… which is a good thing for those looking to find great performance kicks while saving a little cash.
Traction – Cilia traction is featured throughout the entire outsole. I have never used this type of traction surface before but I have heard good things about it. Only concern at this point is the clear outsole… I loathe clear outsoles for indoor use unless the floor is in immaculate condition.
Cushion – An injected EVA midsole sits directly under the foot bed with an insole that feels similar to the usual PU insoles featured in most adidas performance products. Typical with foam based cushions, you don’t have that step in ‘squish’ you usually receive from other cushion sources however, I love foam cushions and if these are good enough for a 7 footer then they should provide me with enough cushion throughout games.
Material – A full blown synthetic upper along with SprintSkin on the lateral panels. The synthetics featured here are soft and flexible, which I like. Other brands that place synthetics on their shoes have recently opted to go with stiffer materials for durability yet that involves a lot of break-in time which is something I wish to not have to experience.
Fit – They fit nice and snug. Padding throughout the shoe is abundant, especially in the ankle collar. This makes for a nice snug fit but not a ‘tight’ snug. These also fit true to size and those who may have wide feet could easily break-in (very little time) the upper so they’ll allow you to have a comfortable experience.
Ventilation – This area is lacking a bit, in my opinion. The tongue has perforations under the mesh outer layer but there isn’t much air flow with all the lining behind it.
The medial side is perforated however; the same thick lining is in the way. You will get some air flow but it will be minimal at best.
On the lateral side, the SprintSkin offers the most air flow. I do feel there could have been cleaner cutouts within each square as most of the squares are only punctured through instead of the skin being an actual net-like layer.
Support – adidas has placed the ‘Z’ Torsion System under the footbed for support and natural motion. This works very similar to the SprintFrame found on the Crazy Light and adiZero Rose 2 just a little more restricting for those who are in need of additional support… meaning larger players with more weight being added to the shoe.
The adiPower Howard, much like the Melo M8, is not a shoe geared towards a Guard but if these end up working well for me then they should do perfectly fine for someone twice my size.