2019 marks a bold new direction for Adidas and their performance tennis shoe line. Adidas has shelved the iconic Barricade nameplate in favor of introducing a brand new top line, the Adidas SoleCourt Boost. This new line brings increased usage of Adidas’ popular Boost foam, a redesigned chassis for support and stability and a sleek new aesthetic. There is a lot of Barricade inspiration in this new model so I was excited to hit the court with it and see how it measured up against the icon it replaces.
The SoleCourt Boost was immediately step-in comfortable. The textile upper was soft while also offering enough structure to feel supportive. Flex points were natural and strategic placement of RPU dots allowed the shoe to bend and stretch naturally right from the start. Length was true to size in my U.S. size 10. The shoe had a wider toebox than the outgoing Barricade (it’s similar to the Ubersonic 3). The TPU chassis offered more arch support than the Ubersonic 3, but was less obtrusive than the huge arch plate the Barricade model had been using the last few years. Players who like to re-lace for more width, etc. may find it cumbersome as the upper hid the bottom eyelets. Boost was implemented in the midsole from heel to about the ball of the foot and offered plush comfort and energy return. The toe box switched to EVA foam and I could feel the transition under foot a little bit, but it was nothing that hindered my movement or felt uncomfortable. The 3D molded foam around the ankle provided additional comfort and lateral stability. Overall the cushioning was responsive and comfortable without making the shoe feel too elevated off the court.
While not as heavily mesh based as the Ubersonic model, I had no breathability issues with the SoleCourt Boost. The upper material was lightweight enough that the shoe vented heat well. I’d have to play it during the hot summer months to be sure, but there was no indication that the shoe would trap extensive amounts of heat and leave my feet soaked.
From a performance perspective, this shoe really had the “sole” of a Barricade in a sleeker, more dynamic package. It felt quick on foot despite being a pretty substantial shoe. I felt fast off the mark and the shoe changed direction confidently. There was plenty of lateral support for changes of direction and the TPU chassis bumpout, which looks odd at first, provided some extra stability when planting and on hard cuts. The Boost cushioning was simply incredible for extended hard court sessions, absorbing shock and putting some extra bounce in my movements. I’ve always found AdiWear rubber to be some of the most durable in the segment and the AdiWear 6 proved no different. It had a pretty deep tread pattern that offered a good blend of traction while also being just slick enough to facilitate sliding into shots. Barricade fans will immediately lament the lack of a 6 month outsole guarantee on the SoleCourt Boost, especially given that the durability looked to be on par with the outgoing model.
Barricade loyalists may miss the name, but they should have a lot to love in Adidas' new offering. The SoleCourt Boost brings many of the Barricade hallmarks like support, stability and durability, into a design that is more dynamic feeling. The increased usage of Boost also provides improved comfort for the long haul. The wider fit at the front of the shoe may not work for everyone, but the shoe offers better arch support than the Ubersonic range and is more comfort oriented than the Barricade. While it’s a bummer to lose the 6 month outsole guarantee, the SoleCourt Boost proved it is more than capable of providing comfort, support and top of the line stability for even the most demanding of player.
About the Reviewer: Matt Locke formerly served for 3 years as the Junior Programs & Development Coordinator for USTA-Idaho. He is a PTR certified coach and is an active USTA 4.5 League and Tournament player.