Adidas Dame 4 Performance Review: An In-depth Look
Shoe companies like Adidas and Nike are on another level in the popular imagination. They are like Apple: superstar companies. In their case, it’s because of the celebrity endorsements and deals they ink with the biggest superstars in sports.
Damian Lillard is a sports superstar, a point guard for the Portland Trail Blazers. Dame has had a fruitful relationship with Adidas, producing several Dame signature shoes. A good example is the Dame 4.
As a sneakerhead or basketball enthusiast, how do you figure out if a shoe is worth buying? We’ve got your back. The following is a comprehensive Dame 4 review.
Features and Benefits
Lightweight, Breathable Mesh Uppers
The Dame 4’s uppers consist of mesh. This is hardly a surprise as this has also been the case with the previous Dame shoes. That is not to say that this is a rehash of previous Dame shoes – the implementation is where the difference and fresh approach comes in.
It is, in fact, an improvement on the Dame 3’s upper – it’s softer, and needs little to no break-in time. Foot containment has also improved thanks to a neoprene compression collar and the inner-bootie utterly encapsulating your feet for almost-perfect comfort and fit.
Mesh is a great material. For one it’s breathable, so you stay relatively fresh when playing in a hot, stuffy gym. The mesh in the Dame 4, in particular, has better airflow than what you get on the Dame 3.
Mesh is also lightweight and flexible, so your feet don’t feel constricted or weighed down. This will come in handy when you need to make quick motions, run faster than your competition, or jump higher.
The mesh contains within it black wire threads which strengthen it against stretching. The textile is coated with PU spray for anti-abrasion strength. These are materials that enable easy break-in without any loss of strength. While this made for a plasticky kind of feeling in the Dame 3, this time around it doesn’t.
The shoe also has a compression collar, which gives you sweet compression in the heel and the ankle collar area.
Bounce was one of the highlights of the Dame 3. The cushioning in that shoe gave you quick responsiveness, flexibility, and enhanced comfort. Well, it’s back in the Dame 4.
Boost is the best cushioning technology, and it helped change the fortunes of Adidas, but Bounce is great too and has its advantages. The design team behind the Dame 4 felt that Bounce was the technology that most suited Damian Lillard’s style of play.
Dame plays point guard, so he is always running, passing, and making split decisions. Point guards are expected to set the pace of the game and go hard at offence. That needs nimbleness. A heavy shoe that has no spring to it would slow you down.
The Dame 4, on the other hand, is perfect for the job thanks to the Bounce setup. The design team aimed at amplifying the benefits of Bounce and matching them to how Dame plays the game. Bounce provides a good cushioning setup to help Dame (and you) dominate on the court.
The Bounce cushioning absorbs impact shocks, enabling you to run and jump with freedom. It also gives excellent court feel and flexibility, enabling you to channel Dame’s quickness on the court.
The Dame 4 is lower to the ground than the Dame 2 and the Dame 3, which means that it has less Bounce than those two predecessors, particularly in the forefoot. That said, the sacrifice in cushion is offset by greater court feel. With good court feel, you can have a quicker first step. Bounce in the heel is still as good as in the previous Dames.
According to the design team, the shoe’s traction pattern is inspired by the “passage of time”. This bit of poetry notwithstanding, the traction pattern actually works. They based the flow and movement of the outsole pattern on Dame’s movements and his attacking style.
The pattern is aggressive and gives you coverage in multiple directions. The channels have enough space in between them so dust won’t collect on the outsoles as it usually does on tight patterns.
The rubber of the shoe is on the softer side, so we would not advise you to use them for outdoor play. Not that the traction is not good enough, but that the rubber is soft and will not last as long as it should if you play on outdoor courts.
Fit and Lock down
If you are wide of foot, you can go true to size. If you have a regular size foot, it might be better to go a half size down. Of course if you really want to be sure you can test the shoe in a store and come back to shop online afterward.
Thanks to the compression collar, the Dame 4 has excellent lockdown. The unique lacing system also helps. It enables you to customize the shoe fit to your personal preference. The reinforced lace cables give your leg supportive lockdown and the mid-top design enhances ankle support.
The Dame 4 is similar to the Dame 3 in how support is built into the shoe. Just like in the predecessor, the Dame 4’s midsole enwraps up and around your foot. As a result, your foot does not budge from the footbed.
The difference is that the Dame 4’s midsole sculpt is less exaggerated. This could be because it sits lower to the ground than the Dame 3 and therefore needs less cupping in the midsole sculpt.
It’s a mid-top, so it doesn’t have much ankle support, except for the ankle collar, which is a kind of sock. You get support from the shoe’s fit and the internal heel counter.
The Dame 4 has a wide outsole and firm lower cushioning. The result of this combination is superb stability.
Basketball shoes have gone beyond their performance imperative. Shoe companies like Adidas and Nike understand the hunger for their products that everyone has. They therefore ensure that the shoes they make are not only practical for playing sports, but are also stylish as streetwear.
The Adidas Dame 4 does not disappoint in this regard. These are sneakers that you can wear in the street as fashion items as well as rock them to the game or practice.
The shoe has some interesting flourishes – for instance the teeth-like grooves on the shoe’s midsole. The grooves are supposed to mimic the audio files Dame creates in the studio as a rapper. There is a message printed on the heel which says YKWTII – this means “You Know What Time It Is.”
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do you recommend outdoor use?
No, we would not. The rubber is soft and pliable. The traction pattern is shallow and would not last long on an outdoor court. It’s a kick ass shoe for indoor playing.
2. My feet are wide. Should I go true to size?
Yes, that would be the best option for wide-footers. Everyone else, especially if you prefer a close, snug fit, should go half a size down. If you want to be completely accurate, consider testing them out in a store to see what size fits you and then come back online to shop.
3. How would you rate the cushion?
The cushion is alright. It’s not as bouncy as in the shoe’s predecessors, but it does its job. You will especially like it if you are looking for something with low ride and immediate responsiveness. If you prefer a more cushioned feel when you put on your sneakers, these might not be for you. On the other hand, if you really value court feel, you will probably enjoy Dame 4 sneakers.
4. What do you have to say about the materials?
A: Considering this is a budget model, the materials are excellent. In many cases, they are an improvement over the Dame 3. The mesh, for instance, provides better airflow than the previous shoe. Furthermore, there is no pinching or binding – overall, the verdict is that the materials are comfortable. Even though the materials are not high end, they look premium.
We will conclude this Dame 4 performance review with a summary. The Dame 4 is an improvement over its predecessors. For instance, the mesh upper has better air flow than the Dame 3’s upper.
Though it’s a wonderful shoe for playing indoors, it may not be so durable for playing outdoors because its outsole is made of soft rubber.
The Dame 4 brings back bounce, which was one of the great things about the Dame 3. The only difference is that the Dame 4 sacrifices bounce in the forefoot to give you better court feel.
We conclude this Adidas Dame 4 review by answering the question we asked at the beginning: is it worth buying?