Performance Review: adiZero Rose 2.5

Performance Review: adiZero Rose 2.5

Adidas adiZero Rose 2.5 Performance Review | Dialing Things In For The Home Stretch
words & images // Nick DePaula

There’s nothing that I hate more in sneakers than signature lines that don’t evolve. In theory, as a series moves from season to season, year to year and model to model, there should be a progression of all that is so expertly crafted into it. Better performance, improved storytelling and in some cases, correcting the missteps of the past are all a must.

Derrick Rose’s adiZero Rose 2.5 is the only signature shoe of this year that I thought accomplished that. While other new models on the market took on convoluted modularity stories at the expense of true performance, got a bit fussy in design or took steps backward in fit and comfort, the Rose 2.5 truly took all of the best attributes and traits of DRose’s start-of-season model, the Rose 2, and improved on everything from the ground up. You could argue that the Rose 2 is a better-looking shoe, and you might be right, but where it counts most – on the hardwood – the Rose 2.5 really begins to dial in all of the performance cues that the Rose 2 fell short on.

The very first thing you’ll notice, both by simply looking at the shoe and by trying it on, is that the collar is exceptionally more plush and built up than the Rose 2. While the luxe-driven elastic gore bands along the collar of the 2 looked pretty damn cool and hinted to the best-kept secret Y-3 line’s Kazuhiri, it certainly didn’t offer exacting lockdown for all shapes, sizes and styles of play. The collar is just one of many areas where there’s a huge jump in performance, and the added comfort right away from the memory foam-like fit around your ankle is a great improvement. I thought the Rose 2 laced up just fine, but the gore bands stretched and frayed after just a few weeks of play. The 2.5 should hold up much longer, and the padding and sheer softness of the collar feels awesome to the foot. If you, like Derrick Rose, also wear an ankle brace, you’ll definitely appreciate the more traditional and accommodating closure here, too.

Coupled with that increase in comfort comes some exceptional lockdown. As designer Robbie Fuller explained it, there’s a subtle nod to the brand’s iconic three stripes in the collar design, and there’re three points of lockdown along the throat that’ll really hold you in. You’ll notice two triangles along the sides of both ankles and another along the tongue, and when laced tightly, you’re firmly locked right into place. The shoe’s modified SPRINTWEB quarter panel through the midfoot allows the body of the upper to cinch up and hug the foot well, and with a bolstered and enlarged SPRINTFRAME chassis seeping further up along the heel, there’s lockdown galore. I’m not exactly quite as fast as Derrick Rose, but on cuts and jabs, I was precisely where I wanted to be for every step.

A lot of times in a basketball shoe, impressive midfoot fit and heel lockdown can be practically worthless if the shoe has poor traction. While the Rose 2 took Derrick’s line to a new space for both on-court appeal and off-court versatility, the shoe’s huge backstory had one huge drawback. The volcano-inspired traction pattern that began along the medial side of the heel and flowed into the lateral side of the forefoot never quite cut it. Gone is the storytelling splatter traction pattern for the Rose 2.5, in favor of a fully grooved rubber outsole. Along with the difference in collar comfort, the upgrade in pure traction is something that’s immediately noticeable. It’s not quite as good as the industry-leading Crazy Light, but it’s right up there at the very top. Because the grooves are a bit more shallow than the Crazy Light, you’ll have to swipe a bit more from time to time, but keep the outsole clean and you’re completely set for sudden stops and changes of direction all night long. One of my main complaints on the Rose 2 was its lack of hold, and I loved the traction here.
What made the Crazy Light such a great shoe was, of course, its feathery weight and all-new modernized design, but there was a distinct difference in the way the shoe was actually constructed that I most appreciated. The shoe went from synthetic upper to SPRINTFRAME plate and straight to tooling, and the lack of a more traditional midsole meant you were sitting directly on a slab of, according to Fuller, what he so often calls “premium-sourced foam.” That subtle difference on the Crazy Light resulted in the best out-of-box comfort ever from adidas Basketball. The Rose 2 didn’t follow that same approach and was more firm to start, and thankfully, the 2.5 goes back to the upper-plate-foam construction that made the Crazy Light such a big hit. It’s something you might never be able to immediately notice just by glancing at a shoe, and it certainly will take a far more sophisticated consumer to be able to gather that this setup offers more cushioning and performance than an oft-duping visible technology like Air Max, but it’s greatly welcomed here in the Rose 2.5

Aside from the shoe’s improved cushioning, collar lockdown and traction, something I didn’t care for on the Rose 2.5 was the slightly roomy toe box. I have a pretty standard-width foot, but there’s some extra volume both above the foot and from side to side. If you lace your shoes a bit tighter, you’ll be fine thanks to some sweet heel and midfoot lockdown, but if you like a relaxed fit through the body of the shoe, you might find your forefoot sliding around a bit on cuts.

Another pretty noticeable issue was how slick the top of the shoe’s sockliner was. On top of the added volume in the toe, the insole doesn’t exactly keep your foot in place either. One solution I went to after just the third wearing was replacing the Rose 2.5’s sockliner with the “Crazy Comfort” insole from the Crazy Light. I felt immediately more secure, but that might not be an option for everyone, of course. The 2.5’s volume and slick stock sockliner are the only real issue in the shoe, and a good reason to possibly look into sizing down a half size. Otherwise, I didn’t notcie any hot spots or problems areas of note worth pointing out.

All in all, the Rose 2.5 carries on the quickly emerging Derrick Rose signature line with several great and targeted improvements from his first-half shoe. If you play the point guard position or consider yourself an active player, you should definitely like the great traction, lockdown, court feel and transition. If you have a narrow foot, the shoe might be a bit roomy up front and you might want to look at sizing down a half size. At “just” $110, the Rose 2.5 is a great value at the signature level and also a real durable buy. The slight toe rubber wrap and balanced foam cushioning setup will give the shoe a great lifespan over a full season of use, and unlike the fraying and decaying gore bands found on the Rose 2, the 2.5’s upper and collar foam package are definitely in for the long haul. The Rose 2 had some clear flaws that needed addressing, and it’s impressive that within the same NBA season, the Rose 2.5 is exactly the upgraded model I had in mind.

Grade Breakout & Details:

designed by: Robbie Fuller

best for: guards and forwards

colorway tested: Black / White / Scarlet

key tech: full-length premium-sourced EVA foam midsole, SPRINTWEB midfoot panel, SPRINTFRAME full-length chassis, plush memory foam-like collar padding, targeted grooved traction pattern, miCoach cell technology

pros: outstanding lockdown and support, solid traction, lightweight, outstanding court feel and control, real durable

cons: forefoot is a bit roomy and could hold the foot over the footbed better; miCoach compatibility is inconsequential

improvements: Work on fit from midfoot through the forefoot and tighten volume throughout toe.

buying advice: If you’re after court feel, transition, traction and lockdown, the Rose 2.5 is a great option. With improvements on literally every downside of the Rose 2, the 2.5 offers better hold on hardwood, a more comfortable collar and sheds weight in what is the lightest Rose shoe yet.

Available Now: adidas adiZero Rose 2.5

adidas adiZero Rose 2.5 – Playoffs

adidas adiZero Rose 2.5 – Playoffs

words // Brandon Richard
images // Nick DePaula

Currently holding onto the NBA’s best record with about 15 games left in the regular season, the Chicago Bulls are in prime position to make another deep playoff run. Led by the league’s reigning MVP Derrick Rose, the Bulls are thought to be one of the handful of serious NBA Championship contenders. With Rose’s on-court prowess and a supporting cast that has held down the fort in his absence, are the Bulls poised to bring the O’Brien Trophy back to the Windy City for the first time since the Jordan/Pippen era?

For the upcoming postseason run, adidas Basketball has created a playoff colorway of the adidas adiZero Rose 2.5. Described by adidas Basketball Category Manager Jack Gray as a style that wraps up the concept of takeoff, the “Playoffs” Rose 2.5 features a look inspired by turbulence. The shoe is served up in a mix of black nubuck and Lead Grey patent leather, accented by Scarlet Red on the adiZero pinline and 3-Stripes border on the heel. The midsole is decked out in a print synonymous with Chicago basketball heritage, while a white lower half and grey herringbone outsole wrap things up below.

Get ready for Derrick’s run toward the NBA Championship by picking up his playoff adidas basketball shoes at Eastbay today.

Available: adidas adiZero Rose 2.5 – Playoff

adidas adiZero Rose 2.5 Playoff G48886 (1)

adidas adiZero Rose 2.5 Playoff G48886 (2)

adidas adiZero Rose 2.5 Playoff G48886 (3)

adidas adiZero Rose 2.5 Playoff G48886 (4)

adidas adiZero Rose 2.5 Playoff G48886 (5)

adidas adiZero Rose 2.5 Playoff G48886 (6)

adidas adiZero Rose 2.5 Playoff G48886 (7)

adidas adiZero Rose 2.5 Playoff G48886 (8)

adidas adiZero Rose 2.5 – St. Patrick’s Day

adidas adiZero Rose 2.5 – St. Patrick’s Day

words // Brandon Richard
images // Nick DePaula 

In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, select NBA teams will be wearing green versions of their uniforms for game’s on tomorrow’s schedule. One of those teams will be the Chicago Bulls, who have donned the green unis at least once a year since the NBA’s inaugural St. Patty’s observance in 2006. Some players will also be wearing green-based sneakers to match the uniforms, including point guard Derrick Rose.

Pictured here is the St. Patrick’s Day adidas adiZero Rose 2.5, which if health permits, Rose will wear tomorrow night against the Philadelphia 76ers. Decked out in Kelly Green, the shoe features a green Luckskin nubuck upper with contrasting white hits on the laces, 3-Stripes wrapped around the heel, tongue logo and outsole. Minimal hits of gold pop up on the adiZero pinline, vamp branding and stripe borders. The colorway not only salutes Chicago’s St. Patrick’s Day Game, but Rose’s childhood school Beasley Academy.

Pick up Derrick Rose’s St. Patrick’s Day adidas basketball shoes today at Eastbay.

Available: adidas adiZero Rose 2.5 – St. Patrick’s Day

adidas adiZero Rose 2.5 St. Patrick's Day Patty's G49930 (1)

adidas adiZero Rose 2.5 St. Patrick's Day Patty's G49930 (2)

adidas adiZero Rose 2.5 St. Patrick's Day Patty's G49930 (3)

adidas adiZero Rose 2.5 St. Patrick's Day Patty's G49930 (5)

adidas adiZero Rose 2.5 St. Patrick's Day Patty's G49930 (4)

adidas adiZero Rose 2.5 St. Patrick's Day Patty's G49930 (6)

adidas adiZero Rose 2.5 Lei Feng

adidas adiZero Rose 2.5 Lei Feng

adidas adiZero Rose 2.5 Lei Feng G49116 (1)

words // Brandon Richard
images // Nick DePaula

In recent years, adidas Basketball has seen tremendous growth in key Chinese markets, spearheaded by the signature sneaker lines of league MVP Derrick Rose and Defensive Player of the Year Dwight Howard. Each summer, the two young men not only tour China along with adidas, but also treat fans to an early launch of their respective signature shoes. As a sign of respect and appreciation for the bond formed between themselves and China, adidas has created special version of the latest Rose and Howard shoes, each paying tribute to Chinese national icon Lei Feng.

Lei Feng (1940-1962) was a solider of the People’s Liberation Army in China. He was often characterized as being extremely modest and selfless. Said to have died in the line of duty at the young age of 22, Lei continues to be a pop cultural icon in Mainland China today. The 5th of March is now officially Learn From Lei Feng Day, which involves various community and school-related events where people volunteer to clean parks, schools and other community locations. Local news outlets typically cover these events.

The “Lei Feng” adidas adiZero Rose 2.5 takes on the characteristics of Lei Feng’sfamous uniform and the principles he lived by. Military style Strong Olive nubuckand synthetic materials dominate the shoe’s upper, while a black faux fur-lined interior reflects the trademark five-pointed star hat he wore. Black also worksGeoFit ankle padding and the SprintFrame support chassis, while Derrick’s Chicago Bulls are represented with Light Scarlet red accenting on the laces and 3-Stripes. Metallic gold, a celebratory color in Chinese culture, appears on the upper lace eyelets, adiZero pinline and lettering on the heel. Lastly, screen emboss screw detailing throughout is symbolic of journal entry made by Lei in which he expressed his desire to be a “revolutionary screw that never rusts.”

These limited edition Derrick Rose adidas basketball shoes are now available at Eastbay.

Available: adidas adiZero Rose 2.5 Lei Feng

adidas adiZero Rose 2.5 Lei Feng G49116 (3)

adidas adiZero Rose 2.5 Lei Feng G49116 (5)

adidas adiZero Rose 2.5 Lei Feng G49116 (4)

adidas adiZero Rose 2.5 Lei Feng G49116 (2)

adidas adiZero Rose 2.5 – School of Hard Knocks

adidas adiZero Rose 2.5 – School of Hard Knocks

words // Brandon Richard
images // Nick DePaula 

What makes Derrick Rose’s rise to stardom in Chicago unique is the fact that he was born and raised in the Windy City. Derrick grew up in the notoriously rough neighborhood of Englewood, located in the Southwest side of the city. There, he honed his craft as youngster playing on the courts of Murray Park Playground, which he credits for helping lead him to a storied prep career at Simeon Career Academy. Telling the unlikely story of D-Rose’s transition from Murray Park to the United Center hardwood, the adidas design team created this special “School of Hard Knocks” colorway of his latest signature shoe, the adidas adiZero Rose 2.5.

Representing the “bumps and bruises” incurred along the way, these adidas basketball shoes feature an eye-catching royal blue and black colorway. Patterned blue nubuck and SprintSkin are used on the shoe’s upper, while black works the tumbled leather toecap, laces and SprintFrame support chassis. Metallic Gold accents the adiZero pinline along the side panel and the “E” of the Rose logo on the tongue. The look is finished off with white hits on the heel’s 3-Stripes and herringbone traction outsole.

Below is a detailed look at the “School of Hard Knocks” adiZero Rose 2.5 and a short video clip featuring adidas Basketball Category Manager Jack Gray. You can pick up your pair over at Eastbay today.

Available: adidas adiZero Rose 2.5 Blue/Black/White

adidas adiZero Rose 2.5 School of Hard Knocks Black Black Gold White G49931 (1)

adidas adiZero Rose 2.5 School of Hard Knocks Black Black Gold White G49931 (2)

adidas adiZero Rose 2.5 School of Hard Knocks Black Black Gold White G49931 (3)

adidas adiZero Rose 2.5 School of Hard Knocks Black Black Gold White G49931 (4)

adidas adiZero Rose 2.5 School of Hard Knocks Black Black Gold White G49931 (5)