The Adidas Rose 3.5 – Black Lotus Performance Reviews
The facts are similar. A young dynamic star drafted by the Chicago Bulls. A shoe company looking to expanded their reach in the basketball landscape signing the high draft pick with a subsequent signature model becoming the main shoe for the brand. A major injury sidelining the player for almost a whole season. Comparing Derrick Rose and Michael Jordan at this time (with all that Jordan has accomplished in the NBA and for Nike) seems like a bit of a stretch. Regardless of what happens in the future with Rose, the similarities can not be denied. Perhaps the highest performing line on the market today, Derrick Rose has been the spark that Adidas Basketball has been missing since the Tracy McGrady days. This season the Rose 3 was released as the star sat on the sidelines. Advertised as the best in the line, performance was exceptional as expected. As the calendar has turned and the All-Star game in the rearview mirror, the latest signature Rose model is here. In our latest Performance Review we take the Adidas Rose 3.5 on the hardwood for what is sure to be one of the best performers this season.
The most anticipated Adidas Basketball release for Winter/Spring 2013, the Rose 3.5 is another notch for the high performing line. The features include the following:
- Synthetic leather upper for durability and light weight performance
- Cushioning provided by molded EVA midsole
- Welded Sprintweb backing for support and breathability
- Sprintframe chassis for stability from heel to the mid foot
- Non-marking rubber outsole with raised sections for optimal performance
Aesthetics and Styling
One of the hallmarks of the dual signature model release each year for the Rose line is an eccentric design for the fall and a more sleek, traditional look for the second half. For the 3.0 a full leather/suede upper was paired with the Geofit® collar system for the aggressive, but clean look. The 3.5 changes things up with an integrated collar and a layered upper with crossing lines running throughout for flash. And what seems to be common with 2012-2013 releases, diamond shapes are the theme – found all over the upper and in the lining of the shoe. Technological features remain the same for the base and backing (welded Sprintweb, Sprintframe chassis, miCoach compatibility), with the collar seeing a protruding bubble for ankle support and flexibility. Starting off with a blast, the first color scheme released for the 3.5 represents the Chinese Year of the Snake. This black, blue, and gold color scheme rivals the luxurious Nightmare Before Christmas 3.0.
A black silhouette shot of the 3.5 would see few differences from the 3.0. But a full look shows the differences in style, from the rounded toe box to the protruding collar bubble, to the diamond shapes which engulf the upper. The 3.5 is definitely more bold when it comes to aesthetics. Below, the foundation remains untouched. Herringbone is molded into the rubber with forefoot flex grooves cutting through. The three stripe logo creates a sole that is slightly raised, keeping from a flat feel. A dense EVA midsole is used for comfort and impact support, running solidly around the base. Perhaps the best support for a light weight shoe, the Sprintframe chassis serves as a heel counter, extending to the mid foot to complete the foundation.
Unlike the 3.0, the leather upper for the 3.5 is overlaid with a shiny, sticker material. For this special Year of the Snake color scheme, the toe box has a silver base with bright blue scales. The shiny plastic material crosses through the toe box in black creating diamond shapes. On the sides, the leather is cut with small diamond shards, revealing the mesh backing. The diamonds are laid out in a spiral pattern as the shiny synthetic covers the diamonds on the quarter panels. Finishing off the sides is a protruding bubble on the collar. There is a bubble on each side, done in a scale pattern. The first Derrick Rose logo is pasted on the lateral bubble in black.
Gleaming at the heel, the Sprintframe counter is done in gold with white stripes. Gold stitching keeps the frame held to the leather, with the “SPRINTFRAME” logo embedded on the lateral side. The diamond patterned lining creeps outside, on the Achilles notch. Inside the collar, the lining has a soft, woven feel. Padding is light, with a hole felt on the sides from the collar bubbles.
For lacing, there are a total of 8 eyelets – the last three on the collar. High quality flat laces pass through the eyelets on the upper, which are segmented. Underneath the laces sits a mesh tongue. The light weight tongue is stitched on the inside close to the forefoot. An square patch displaying an octagon with the Rose logo is stitched on the back of the tongue, which is lined with the diamond textured synthetic. On the front portion of the tongue, a spiral design is made on the leather patch, which mirrors the toe box. Appropriately, the Rose logo sits in the center. The final piece of the puzzle for the 3.5 matches the 3.0 with a high quality PU insole. This flimsy, but thick insole has the bright infrared color scheme, displaying the final DRose logo on the heel.
Comfort and Fit
The Sprintweb welded backing grips tight around the middle of the foot once the 3.5 is slipped on. Fit is true to side and the upper holds the foot in place tightly. There is good comfort found at the toe box area which has room to move the toes height wise. For width, crowding would be dependent on how wide the foot of the player is, but it is not overly narrow. As the form fitting, tight grip around the mid foot shows some differences between the 3.0, ankle support is an area where the biggest differences are observed. Here, the collar has more of a relaxed feel than the padded GEOfit system from the 3.0. Padding feels light and minimal all around, especially with the tongue, which is tucked in low. Ankle support and protection are good, but seems to lean more towards free movement. For heel lock down, the Sprintframe chassis is excellent. There are no surprises here as the heels have a nice, solid, counter to rest on with little movement. As always, the Sptintframe does a great job of giving a secure and protected feel. Below, the EVA foam is responsive, with a bit of a bounce. Cushioning would not be considered plush and soft. In this instance, there is a good balance of responsiveness with a little bounce. Moving on, arch support is very good. The contours of the midsole keep the base from being flat, while the Sprintframe and leather upper hold tight. A responsive EVA cushioning base, excellent heel lock down, and a tight grip around the mid foot, the Rose 3.5 has an aggressive fit.
Any player that has stepped on to the court in an Adidas Rose signature shoe knows the immediate aspects felt, even without moving. Fit is tight, as the shoe seems ready to burst out and perform, while court feel is always excellent. The profile of the shoe is neither too high or low. Getting into a sprint is what the shoe is made for. The EVA brings comfort in terms of cushioning, while the upper holds well for tight heel to toe transitions. Running shows off the responsiveness of the shoe as it feel just as good gliding down the court as it does when bending down to charge forward. Weight wise, the 3.5 does not have an overly light weight feel. It falls in to the light weight category, but is very structured. For performance, the 3.5 is almost identical to the 3.0 (and every other Rose performer for that matter). Very aggressive and fast, the best aspect of the 3.5 is the responsiveness. The shoe does everything fast and efficient – cuts, directional changes, jabs, you name it, if it is an aggressive move the shoe does it naturally. Lateral movement is great in any sense, on defense or when performing crossovers and cuts. For jumps, the EVA midsole is excellent. Rises to the rim, hops, and jump shots have the responsive feel and the midsole foam brings a slight bounce up. Landings have great impact support all around, taken by both the Sprintframe and EVA foam to keep the player comfortable and ready to pounce when he/she has landed. With no surprise and not much more to say, the Rose 3.5 impresses with fast, aggressive, and responsive performance.
On court performance, in terms of movement, court feel, and jumping has not been changed significantly from the 3.0. However, with regards to stability, the 3.5 does show some differences. The changes aesthetically (with the uppers) show differences when stability is observed. First is the fit of the Sprintweb around the foot. The synthetic leather/Sprintweb combination has a close, for fitting feel. This holds the foot closer to the footbed, and brings a tighter feel, playing perfect to the aggressive nature of the shoe. Pushing the shoe hard on the sides, the foot is held in place. It seems like pushing the shoe to the limits is what the shoe tells the player to do. Another aspect that has changed is ankle support and protection. The GEOfit system from the 3.0 brought a sense of security and comfort. For the 3.5, the integrated collar has a less restrictive feel. Padding is light, and the bubbles on the sides can be felt giving the ankles some leeway when needed. The protection is not as cumbersome and encompassing as the 3.0, but is sufficient for the nature of the shoe, giving a less restrictive feel. Finally, stability is topped off by the Sprintframe chassis. Perfect of all those lateral cuts, deep bends, and awkward landings, the chassis does an excellent job of keeping the shoe true to form. Heels are locked in place and worrying about slipping on the backend is non-issue.
Like all Rose shoes, traction fits the aggressive nature of the shoe. Traction remains unchanged from the 3.0, which is great. The herringbone traction pattern is broken up by the long vertical grooves that form the three stripe logo. This brings great court grip for all the harsh stops, but also allows for fluid movement. Because the rubber surface is not completely flat, the player does not have the stuck on the court feeling. Traction is best observed stoping and starting, for quick cuts, and while playing defense (on the perimeter or holding an opponent in the post). All in all, traction fits in well with the court feel of the shoe in providing peace of mind on the court to allow for aggressive. Moving to ventilation, the 3.5 has no big issues. Openings on the sides are the design features that keep the shoe ventilated. A free flow of air is not what the shoe brings, but heat and moisture are controlled well.
Scheduled to return to the courts any day, Rose has completed his rehabilitation for his first major injury. Fans did not get to see the 3.0 (from Rose himself) on the court, and with the Bulls currently in a playoff position, the 3.5 should get some run for the second half of the season, as well as the playoffs (not to mention major exposure during All-Star 2013 weekend). Mirroring the performance of the 3.0, the 3.5 makes small adjustments, mainly felt in fit (how the upper feels). Always aggressive, fast, and quick, with great court feel, the 3.5 brings no surprises. Those who love the performance of the 3.0 or are looking for a more agile version of the 3.0 will find the 3.5 favorable. With the signature Rose line wrapped up for the season, the Summer hopefully holds more in store for Rose. Last year, the secondary model – the 773 – was introduced for the Olympic Games. Will Adidas further expand the Rose line with more models? If they do, this would only be a good thing. Available now at the Official Adidas Online Store, the Rose 3.5 is an exceptional performer.
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