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While the world anxiously awaited #thereturn, adidas had new beginnings in mind when conceiving of the D Rose 3, Derrick Rose‘s latest signature sneaker. With a new name, look, logo and price tag, the new Rose model is a marked departure for both the brand and player. Easy to miss, perhaps, is the name change — adidas decided to drop the “adiZero” moniker, deciding to brand the sneaker instead as a true signature model. The D Rose 3 is also the most intensely personal of all shoes, with elements of family, basketball and city incorporated into the new logo and design. According to Rose himself, “I worked side-by-side with adidas on everything from materials to fit to colors to make it the best we’ve done yet.” Just how good is the adidas D Rose 3? Is it worth the $160 price tag? We recently put the new signature model through its paces to find out.
The adidas D Rose 3 is arguably the best-looking Rose signature sneaker to date and one of more handsome options on the market. Upon first glance, one will notice the shoe’s upscale, premium materials and sleek lines. In keeping with Rose’s preference for a clean toe and on and off court wearability, the D Rose 3 was designed to supply all performance needs while still being able to transition to a more casual, off-court setting. Also notable is the new logo — each rose petal representing a family member — and the family tree print inside the oversized tongue. adidas decided to retain the branding of past Rose signatures in addition, keeping the 3 stripes motif to the rear for those instances when the Chicago star leaves defenders in his wake.
The D Rose 3 fits true to size for the most part. Wearers familiar with the Crazy Light series and past Rose signature models will immediately notice the modified fit, courtesy of a re-designed SprintFrame and SprintWeb. Though snug at the first, the shoe does conform to one’s foot as it breaks in, providing a nice balance of support without any noticeable pressure points. We would say it sits somewhere between the tight fit of the Crazy Light 2 and the roomier adiZero Rose 2, and should also provide wearers of the narrower Nike Lebron X or Hyperdunk 2012 with a more accommodating option. With high lace eyelets, SprintFrame and GeoFit collar working in tandem, the sneaker also ensured good lockdown from heel to toe, contributing to its great support and stability. Again, the GeoFit collar does a stellar job of conforming to one’s ankles while providing enough give for ankle braces or Speedwraps. While we did experience some minimal foot movement during play, it was never a hindrance and may be attributed to the smooth insoles or our personal foot types. As an aside, chafing along the achilles may also occur for wearer’s of no-show socks.
adidas did not play any games when designing the D Rose 3′s outsole. Forgoing trendier storytelling patterns, the brand stuck instead with tried-and-true herringbone from heel to toe, providing some of the best traction of any signature model on the market. As the pattern extends up to the toe and heel areas, traction for forward and backward movements is particularly outstanding; also noticeable was the great forefoot grip on hard cuts and quick changes of direction. A word of warning — as the outsole is made from a stiffer, slightly less sticky rubber, it will take a bit of use for it to truly break in.
The D Rose 3′s cushioning consists of the same “premium-sourced” foam — essentially compression-molded EVA — as in the Crazy Light series and past Rose models. Though slightly denser and less springy than that of the Crazy Light 2 — especially in the heel — the sneaker’s cushioning is noticeably more forgiving than the firmer Rose signatures of the past. The consistency of the foam cushioning, along with the spring of the SprintFrame, also resulted in a smooth heel-to-toe transition while running the floor. On the whole, the cushioning here — coupled with PU insoles — provided a nice balance of responsiveness, court-feel and impact-protection over our 3 hour basketball sessions. Larger players may wish to look elsewhere — Max Air cushioning this is not — but the sneaker is more than suitable for quick, athletic guards.
With a redesigned SprintWeb construction and diamond-shaped perforations cut throughout the shoe’s uppers, ventilation was more than adequate despite the balmy conditions in Hong Kong.
As mentioned previously, the D Rose 3′s outsole is made of a stiffer rubber that should transition well from indoor to outdoor courts. After one month of regular play, we did not see any noticeable wear on the outsole, which is a sign that the shoe should hold up to at least a good full season of play on any surface. There was some minor creasing, though this may also vary depending on the colorway purchased — the Home, Away and Chicago Fire versions all feature different synthetic upper materials. For the most part, the D Rose 3 should prove to be one of the more durable performance models you will find in stores.
With its new $160 price tag, much of the talk surround the adidas D Rose 3 has been centered on how it measures up to other top-tier performance models. Though less flashy and technology-laden as some of the other signatures on the market, the sneaker is a stellar blend of the most significant performance attributes and should be the standard-bearer for all guard-oriented shoes this year. This, coupled with its price-worthy premium look, feel and construction, should warrant the D Rose 3 serious consideration from players who share the star’s speed and power-based game.