Reviews / 12.23.10

Performance Review: adidas TS Beast

words and images_Zac Dubasik

adidas TS Beast

Good, but…

Step-in comfort, for many people, is the make or break moment in the decision to buy a shoe. For people that don’t closely follow the sneaker world, and don’t necessarily have knowledge of the ins and outs of sneaker technology, it’s the only thing they have to go on, so it makes sense that they would base their decision off that brief initial impression.Performance Review: adidas TS Beast

I feel that adidas often suffers from this try-on comfort scenario. The majority of adidas hoops shoes that I test use high-quality materials and are well constructed – almost overly so sometimes – which results in them requiring plenty of break-in time. While the shoe may end up lasting better, or being more desirable in the long run, it requires faith in something that may or may not end up happening, which is a lot to ask from an uninformed buyer. The adidas TS Beast, in contrast to many adidas hoops shoes, actually fares pretty well in the step-in comfort department. The problem is, this time, it’s actually a bit misleading.

Directly under the shoe’s insole is a layer of PORON, which provides a plush first impression. This memory foam-like material has been seen on past shoes, and is a welcome addition; it helps immensely in the shoe’s step-in comfort. Here’s the problem though: as Nick DePaula best put the situation into words, “it’s padded, but not cushioned.” This extra layer of foam feels great to try on, or even just walk around in. In an on-court situation though, it quickly bottoms out, and gives way to the much firmer foam below it. I definitely prefer to have it there, than not have it, but it doesn’t address the cushioning issue many adidas shoes face. More on that later.

Performance Review: adidas TS Beast

This isn’t the shoe’s only potentially misleading area from that initial impression either. When tightly laced, multiple issues reveal themselves. The worst, and one of my biggest problems with the shoe, was the sharp pain I felt at my small toes, coming from the lateral side’s overlay. The three large stripes act as a support system, and when tightly laced, created a lever-like effect on the aforementioned overlay, creating unreasonable pressure on my small toe. Players with more narrow feet may not have an issue, but the pain was enough that I had to adjust my lacing to alleviate the pressure. I was able to get it laced to a comfortable zone, but, then the shoe wasn’t laced at tightly as I’m comfortable with. The next issue is also lacing related. Across the top of my foot, I felt far too much lace pressure. The shoe doesn’t conform and shape itself to your foot as much as it binds and constricts it. You can get it to fit tight, just not well. And that tight fit isn’t too comfortable either. The last issue I had deals with the collar.

Performance Review: adidas TS BeastWhen tightly laced, the two sides of the collar actually met in the middle, and prevented me from getting it any tighter. The tongue partially gets in the way here (although not nearly as bad as with the Heat Check), but it has more to do with the design of the collar. With some work, and adjustments to the tongue, I was able to get it pretty good, but not as good as I would have liked. Luckily, it didn’t prevent solid heel lockdown. Another “interesting” thing worth noting on the collar is the strap-like pieces on each side, that attach to, well, nothing. These pieces, which display Dwight’s signature, serve seemingly no purpose, other than adding a little weight. It doesn’t necessarily hurt the shoe’s performance any, but in an era where we are seeing unnecessary weight being stripped from shoes, its inclusion is an odd choice.

Once these fit and lacing issues were figured out, I was able to get some positive runs going. Like every shoe using adidas PureMotion technology, I found a smooth transition, and good court feel. For a big man’s shoe, the Beast felt light, and played even lighter (thanks, no doubt, to that good heel-to-toe transition). The traction was solid, although it did require some swiping to keep it clean. The shoe’s large external heel counter did a solid job of keeping my heel locked down, and helped compensate for the collar’s less than perfect setup.

Over the course of a few weeks of playing in the Beast, the shoe constantly improved. It wasn’t the upper loosening up, and transition improving, like with many shoes though. Those were pretty much good to go out of the box. The cushioning however got marginally better the longer I played in them. It’s definitely better for the cushioning to improve, than get worse, but it didn’t get that much better, and it took a long time.

Here’s the biggest issue I have with the Beast. I was able to make some adjustments and compromises (like not lacing as tight as I like), got the cushioning to eventually break in, and get the shoe to the point where I liked it. It is a good shoe. But, there are shoes out there that don’t require this struggle, and are better shoes period. If you are looking at these as a game day-only shoe, the season might be over by the time you get the fit sorted out, and the cushioning to break in. But if you plan on hooping in these for practice, pick-up and games, and want something that will last the season and beyond, they are a solid choice.

Available now: adidas TS Beast

Performance Review: adidas TS BeastPerformance Review: adidas TS Beast

Author: Nick Engvall


  1. Nene33 says:

    Now this is just a bogus review, if you wanna hate adidas for not being Nike(which seems to be the base of all your reviews lately”no Swoosh, no love”) just do so, but don’t be spreading non-sense lies like this.

    This IS the only great BIG MAN shoe this season, on which actual athletes don’t have to compromise.

  2. chill nene 33 their not hating just saying their opinion ive seeen some negativ nike reviews 2

  3. pkop says:

    Nene33 is 100% right “no swoosh no love”.

  4. pkop says:

    I also don’t get how the beast is 15oz and th soldier 4 is 15oz but the soldier 4 gets more stars in the weight category.

  5. Nene33 says:

    Spencer Caron, this isn’t opinion, this is misinformation, for one, the PORON used isn’t memory foam(granted PORON can be used as memory foam, since it has many applications) in these shoes it’s a Performance Cushioning application, which is what it says CUSHIONING. And what is the key feature of PORON cushioning since it’s invention……it doesn’t bottom out, so that’s 2 straight lies.

    The little ‘jokes’ don’t show up in Nike reviews, even the bad points on Nike reviews, have a lead-in with an apology, or something like “If I would be overly critical” , so don’t tell me you don’t see bias, because you might wanna take a reading course if you don’t.

    And then there’s the structural underrating, pkop pointed out, look it up, every non-Nike shoe gets points deducted for not being Nike.

  6. paullusty says:

    it was a different person who reviewed the soldier 4’s
    thats propably why

    though i have to admit SC does tend to give nike more points than other brands
    these days anyway…
    perhaps not when Prof k was doing the reviews..

  7. Nene33 says:

    Still a big flaw though if the same objective measurements get different scores, but it’s inline with the propaganda machine that’s SC right now.

  8. Nene33 says:

    I was gonna point out more mistakes, but for some reason I keep getting blocked.

  9. mede says:

    This is flat out ridiculous. I will tell you what, I want to see the Hyperdunk 2010 review next.

  10. Nene33 says:

    Lol, that tightly tied lacing pic, you must have an amazing amount of give in your cankles Zac, because that doesn’t happen to people with a normal anatomy. 😆

  11. Nicholas says:

    So yall aint gonna review the Air Max Hyperdunks

  12. jimmyy says:

    pretty harsh review zac…… i understand bball zigtechs were a gimmick from day 1 so wasn’t surprised by that review. but these are quality great performing product from my experience…………. dont get mad if people are reviewing your performance on performance reviews.

  13. ralliart says:

    nene33 – just a suggestion, put up your own shoe review website rather than wasting your energy bashing SC’s reviews. Do you own reviews man and stop whining, freakin’ idiot.

  14. Nene33 says:

    I tried son, I just got blocked by the mysterious Eastbay censor.

  15. Nene33 says:

    And I’m not whining, it’s a legitimate question to ask why Zac is reviewing shoes at all.

  16. aFamousz says:

    I just want to point out on the weight issue is that Nick wears a Size 13 and Zac I believe wears a size 10?

    So a Size 13 in these TS Beast would be more then 15 oz as they put the weight of their own shoe size.

  17. Nene33 says:

    They both used the official weight, not the weight by size.

  18. Miguel says:

    @ralliart -> why do you call other people names just by saying that a review is not that good? Learn to debate…

  19. Miguel says:

    @ralliart -> why do you call other people names just because they say that a review is not that good? Learn to debate…

  20. AJ says:

    Reading the comments above I would have to say Nene is a high ranking internal adidas person. I know people there and can tell from the defensive nature of the replies he’s internal, if not “running the show.” It’s important to remember that SC doesn’t have anything to do with adidas’ dwindling market share (3%-4%) and Nike’s dominance (94%). The shoes suck and until they make changes internally they always will.

  21. Nene33 says:

    Don’t be a moron AJ, I don’t work for anybody, I wouldn’t be this aggressive if I did.

    I just don’t appreciate a fat vegetarian, that prides himself for having to wait on the bench for the good players to show up, to criticize an actual athlete oriented shoe.

    Especially with all the one-side inaccuracies, and plain lies.

  22. Theohux says:

    Dude it says memory foam ” like” material. They never called it memory foam

  23. Nene33 says:

    It isn’t memory foam ‘like’ either, it’s cushioning, it’s straight up cushioning. Just as the mid-sole is compressed EVA, which is also……cushioning. The fact they call it padding(which also is a reference to memory-foam, not cushioning, either means they’re too weak to get it going(which seems to be a badge of honour for ’em, boasting how weak they are, and being proud of it) or is a straight lie, both not very good for people doing performance reviews(either they can’t perform, or be honest).

    You can try and nitpick at it all you want, it’s just wrong, because they didn’t give any effort to figure out what it is.

    Description of Poron:
    This microporous polyurethane is known worldwide as a durable high performance underfoot cushion with excellent shock absorption properties. With its unique cell structure PORON 4000® pumps air and moisture vapour around the inside of the shoe while ensuring superb protection against the “step shocks” of walking and running.

  24. Dennis40 says:

    @AJ : First you said that Nene work for Adidas ,second you said that the shoe sucks . Both are just saying without thinking

  25. Nene33 says:

    AJ’s just trying to turn it into a childish Brand-dispute.

  26. FLYTLYT2@KOBE says:

    I have owned many Adidas, Reebok, and Nike shoes and overall, Nike has been a step above both Adidas, and Reebok. I also worked as a manager for Footlocker for 3 years and heard/witnessed more returns of Adidas basketball product as either defective/ineffective. Nike makes great product most of the time, and really seems to be on the cutting edge of performance technology along with comfort, and fit. Adidas has made some great strides in the last couple of years with the TS line of product, but they are still not up to par with Nike. That be it said, this is OK! Nike is a monster company that employs the best of the best design and tech people imaginable.

  27. Nene33 says:

    Maybe for you, but not for me, Nike’s much more LifeStyle oriented, and as a bigger athlete, their shoes are just too weak, and especially the last couple of years(the FlyWire era), have little to no performance value left.

    But this is all besides the point, poor reviewing, is poor reviewing. Whether you like Nike better or not, is not the issue. A terrible, inaccurate review is the issue.

  28. bobman says:

    lol everyone is entitled to their own opinion, this is just merely a guideline as to what you MAY experience, though obviously everyone is different. One of my friend that own this shoe thought that it suited him better and were more comfortable than the kobe v. maybe zac does like nike more, but due to the fact that nikes do suit him better. again, everyone is different, this is only one persons review.

  29. Don Keyballs says:

    Thought I’d chip in here as I just bought a pair. Needed a new pair and as I’m coming to the twilight years of my career didn’t wanna spend too much money so ventured down to the nearest outlet village hoping that they have something decent in my size, a U.K. 13. High street shops over here very rarely carry basketball shoes never mind in my size. Reebok outlet had nothing, no surprise, then went to Adidas. Came across a pair of Derrick Rose Adizero and was amazed to find a 13. Tried it on, wasn’t overly impressed, bit uncomfortable, bizarre ankle guard and just didn’t inspire much confidence. This I kinda expected though as I’m far from the Derrick Rose ‘type’ player! I was literally leaving the store when the missus spotted a pair of these, straight away I was impressed by the look and really hoped they had a 13. Even more amazingly they did. I’ve played for nearly 20 years and played in Converse, Reeboks and Nikes but never had a pair of Adidas. Nothing personal in that decision, just more the availability over here of Adidas basketball apparel. Anyways, as soon as I tried them on I knew I was having them. As the review admits, the step-in comfort is good. In my case it was perfect. I worn enough shoes/trainers/boots to know everyone is different and you have to except that your foot will need time to fit the shape of the shoe, but this was not the case. I laced them up as I would for a game and was extremely happy with the fit. At $64 I was genuinely happy with my purchase. And that’s the reason I’m on here now, cos I played in them last night for the first time and just thought they were an outstanding shoe. I’m 6’8 and 270lbs. I’m predominantly a centre but on offence play all over the court. My main concern in buying a player like Dwight Howard’s shoe was that it would be strictly built for support and wouldn’t be a very flexible shoe but they were both. I had confidence when going for blocks and boards and I was able to make cuts and change direction freely. Like I said I came on here today now not to write a review but to just find out more about the shoes, like how old they were, if I’d paid the right money, if I could get any more. But having found this site and read the above review I felt I had to comment. Some of the criticism is downright bizarre like when you laced them the two sides of the collars met and they couldn’t be laced any tighter?!?! How does it make it a bad shoe because you happen to have toothpicks for legs. These will be my game day only shoes and I know for a fact they do not need any more breaking in. I speak as a former national and international player.

  30. Jpthunderup says:

    The biggest decision(besides LeBRON)- The Swoosh Or Adidas: I am taking myself to the Nike Factory building and help creating my own shoe.

  31. airsyd says:

    @jpthunderup = 12 year old idiot who’s Amway at the furthest end of the bench. The only thing that sucked is you