Pictured above is the adidas Men’s Barricade 2018 Boost Tennis Shoe in Black and Night Metallic.
adidas Barricade tennis shoes have been a staple of the tennis world for nearly two decades. Many players that I’ve talked to recounted how their first tennis shoe was a Barricade of some kind, or how they knew somebody who loved them. So what is it about these shoes that make them so enticing? How does one define the IT factor that has elevated them to a premier, mainstay status? The number of tennis shoes that have come and gone during the Barricade’s reign is perhaps the best place to start, but even others with long histories have failed to reach the same level. To gain a better understanding, I talked to a number of Barricade fans, conducted additional research on the line’s illustrious history, and tested out the new Barricade 2018 Boost Tennis Shoe.
One of the primary reasons that the Barricade Line has lasted for so long is that adidas continued to refine it over the years. They created and implemented newer and better technologies into their shoes to create a quality product. Sure, some models were less popular than others for one reason or another, but consumers could always expect two things from a Barricade: stability and durability. As mentioned above, I spoke with quite a few tennis players who used, or still use, Barricades. Below are some highlights:
- Sam Jones – Play Tester at Tennis Express:
- adidas Barricades have always been stable, but they’re less rigid now than some of the early models. When I played competitively, my favorite was the 2.0. A lot of college players fell in love with this shoe. For the longest time, I felt that the Barricade Series did the best at protecting players’ feet.
- Sal Aguirres – Shoe Expert at Tennis Express:
- All around, adidas Barricades are known for their durability. From the mesh and other upper components down to the outsole, the protection and longevity have always been outstanding. I’ve also been impressed with the overall stability of the shoes in this line.
- Anonymous – Manager and Equipment Expert at Tennis Express:
- To be honest, I have never been able to get into the adidas Barricade Line. The shoes have always had too high of an arch for me. Even though adidas has improved upon this aspect with recent models, they’re still not quite there. Nonetheless, it’s easy to see why these shoes have been so popular through the years. Their durable properties have always been topnotch, and they offer great lateral stability.
The Barricade 2018 Boost
For full disclosure, I am not traditionally a Barricade guy. I always fell into the camp that felt the arch was too high and uncomfortable, so I didn’t really give them a chance. That being said, I was able to work around this issue with the Barricade 2018 Boost. It seems as though adidas has gotten a little less aggressive with the arch; that, or the Boost technology and extra padding helps to cushion the midfoot, and allow the arch to give (arch at left). This, in combination with a volume lacing technique (at right), allowed me to play with these shoes comfortably after a short break-in period. This was a nice realization because it allowed me to experience the Barricade’s famous stability and durability for the first time.
Once I got beyond the initial, and rather uncomfortable, break-in period, I was impressed by what these shoes had to offer. My expectations were high going in, and there wasn’t really an area that jumped out as overtly negative. Starting at the top, the upper utilizes what adidas calls Seamless Forgedmesh (at left). It is not the most breathable (as you may expect from a durability shoe), but the material was flexible enough to move naturally in all directions. This stretchy quality worked well with the shoe’s form-fitting bootee construction. The GeoFit build around the ankle also felt very nice. All of this together allowed me to stalk the baseline and attack the net when presented with an opportunity.
In the heart of the shoe, we find the components that make up many of the performance aspects of the Barricade 2018 Boost. I’ve heard that Barricades have been clunky in the past, but didn’t think that these models were. I am a larger guy, though, so it’s fair to say I prefer some extra cushioning. The Adiprene+ in the forefoot performed admirably (it was not the most responsive material I’ve ever felt, but it was certainly not bad), and it paired excellently with the shoe’s Boost technology (at right). The two added a level of energy return that I was not expecting from a durability shoe. This fit my playing style well because while I enjoy padding, I hate the feeling of “dead” shoes. With the Barricade 2018 Boost, I was able to remain light on my feet and explosive without issue. Thanks to the Barricade Chassis, the shoes definitely had the lateral stability the line is known for, as well.
Last, but not least, the durability was up to par with what I expected. Adiwear 6 has been around a while for a reason, as has Adituff technology. The two provided solid abrasion resistance. Even if you did wear through the outsole, the shoes come with a six-month performance guarantee. Traction on hard courts was good, too (I did not test them on clay). Overall, I was very impressed with the Barricade 2018 Boost. My only significant criticism is with the high arch, which is designed to prevent over-pronation. However, with the workaround I mentioned, I was able to enjoy these shoes thoroughly.
Play Tester: Chris Worman
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