Category: Tennis
Best for: All-court play
Star feature: Redesigned D-Core 6 outsole for lightweight support
Weight: 15.8 oz

Tennis sneakers may not have the same marketing pull as they did in the ‘80s and ‘90s, but every now and then a shoe comes along that gets my attention. This time around, it’s the latest version of one of the most successful tennis models of the past decade, the adidas Barricade 8.

The Barricade series has undergone plenty of noticeable changes since the original version made its debut back in 2000, and the latest version is no different. To take the Barricade to the next level, adidas took feedback from its top sponsored pros like And Murray and Novak Djokovic and turned it into a completely redesigned silhouette. Surprisingly enough though, both Murray and Djokovic have held on to their Barricade 7’s throughout the year—it’ll be interesting to see if either Top 5 player makes the switch to the 8 for the last major of the season, the upcoming U.S. Open.

The most obvious change in the shoe comes in the form of a completely new upper. adidas replaced the previous one, which was bulky and lacked proper ventilation, with a new D-Core 6 synthetic and mesh upper that immediately improves the shoe’s fit and breathability (not to mention it looks a lot less clunky).

The Barricade 8 has excellent step-in feel. Whereas the previous model felt like it need to be broken in a bit, the 8 is ready to go hit the court right out of the box. There’s ample room in the toe box for players with wide feet, and the reinforced Torsion System offers excellent midfoot support, helping reduce the risk of the dreaded rolled ankle.

In the midsole, an EVA unit offers the perfect balance of cushioning and support, and is integrated with Adiprene+ for improved toe-off (particularly on serve). The beveled design of the heel offers even more support and stability for a completely locked-in fit, so slipping out of your shoes is one less thing you have to worry about. An AdiWear 6 outsole adds some durability to the Barricade 8, and the herringbone pattern offers exceptional traction on virtually any surface.

The shoe does seem to fit a bit on the smaller side. I stuck it out with my true size 11, but you may want to consider going a half size up based on personal preference.

Bottom Line: adidas has truly served up an ace with the Barricade 8. It’s a great all-around shoe for players of all levels. It offers the best of comfort, support, and durability, and in a lightweight package that’s just as easy on the eyes as it is on the feet.

$135

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