Our verdict

The Adidas D.O.N. Issue #4 comes with a highly stable platform and lighter-than-average build which allowed us to stay quick yet surefooted on our feet. For a low-top, this hoop shoe felt amazingly supportive! It may be a disappointment to those searching for incredible energy return as it highlights court feel and flexibility. Overall, we believe that it is a great value for money at his price point.

Pros

  • Consistent grip
  • Lighter than average
  • Balanced impact protection and court feel
  • Very stable platform
  • Great ankle support for a low-top
  • Lockdown is super secure
  • Quite a flexible sole
  • Amazingly durable upper
  • Wraps around comfortably

Cons

  • Not for outdoors
  • Firm cushioning lacks bounce

Audience verdict

85
Good!

Who should buy

Donovan Mitchell's fourth signature shoe from Adidas continues to deliver! We think that it will be most appreciated by the following:

  • quick and shifty guards
  • hoopers looking for a stable and supportive low-top
  • beginner-intermediate players who want the best value for money

Adidas D.O.N. Issue #4 review

Who should NOT buy

The Adidas D.O.N. Issue #4 is not the best option for the bigger players who need a lot of cushioning or a pair that lasts long. These athletes are better off with the Harden Vol. 7, which is also from Adidas Basketball.

Another major complaint is that the Lightstrike foam on this basketball shoe feels dull compared to other foams from Adidas. If this is a concern for you, we recommend the Adidas Dame 8 (Bounce Pro foam) or the Adidas Trae Young 2 (Boost foam).

Adidas D.O.N. Issue #4 lab test

Breathability

Phew! That's one really stuffy shoe!

Honestly, the D.O.N. Issue #4 made us feel like we were wearing a waterproof hiking boot. To convey our experience through a lab test, we pumped some smoke through the shoe's upper. As you can see from the video below, there is absolutely no smoke/air passing through the toebox!

Only a tiny streak of vapor is able to escape from the gap between the tongue and the upper edge. This is obviously not enough to keep your feet ventilated and fresh on a warm summer day. Thus, we gave this Adidas shoe the lowest breathability score: 1 out of 5.

And just to be 100% sure, let's have a transparency check. Holding the shoe's upper half over bright light makes it absolutely clear that there are no hidden ventilation holes or breathable mesh panels.

Finally, we gave the shoe one last shot by turning to our trusty microscope.

Adidas D.O.N. Issue #4 microscope

Looking at the incredibly tightly woven threads leaves no doubt - the Adidas D.O.N. Issue #4 is hot as hell!

Adidas D.O.N. Issue #4 microscope upper

Test results
D.O.N. Issue #4 1
Average 2.5
Compared to 38 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Toebox durability

The airflow doesn't come easy for the D.O.N. Issue #4, but neither does abrasion! Its woven upper material is nearly bulletproof as far as basketball shoes go.

Putting it through our most demanding durability test, we held the Dremel against the shoe's toebox for 12 seconds at a consistent force (3.2N) and speed (5K RPM). And what did we get? The tool only damaged the topmost fabric layer! We're happy to say that it didn't even get halfway through.

That way, on a 1-5 scale, the Issue #4 receives a well-deserved score of 4 for toebox durability.

For context, let us compare this Adidas shoe's upper to a textile upper from Nike. The difference here is immense! But so is the price difference (Adidas is $45 pricier!).

Adidas D.O.N. Issue #4 vs. Nike Precision 6 toebox durability

Adidas D.O.N. Issue #4 vs. Nike Precision 6

Test results
D.O.N. Issue #4 4
Average 3.8
Compared to 29 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

Even the shoe's heel padding stood strong against the Dremel!

In an unequal battle that lasted 4 seconds, we saw only minor scuffing on the D.O.N. Issue #4's collar lining. With such an impressive result, we again, granted this Adidas shoe a high durability score of 4 out of 5.

Adidas D.O.N. Issue #4 heel padding durability test

Test results
D.O.N. Issue #4 4
Average 3.6
Compared to 26 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

Checking the hardness of rubber at the bottom of the Issue #4, we also found it to be 4% firmer than average. That is usually a sign of higher abrasion resistance too.

And just like that, we had our hopes high for the shoe's outsole durability.

Adidas D.O.N. Issue #4 Outsole hardness
Test results
D.O.N. Issue #4 84.5 HC
Average 81.8 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 38 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
59.5 HC
Outsole hardness
91.0 HC

Outsole durability

But, to our disappointment, the outsole only showed average durability. It's not terrible but there is nothing to write home about either.

First, we drilled the rubber for 22 seconds at a relentless speed of 10K RPM and then measured the dent with a tread gauge. Turned out that the damage was 1.4 mm deep which is about the same as the average 1.1 mm.

Adidas D.O.N. Issue #4 outsole durability test

Our primary concern here is that the treads are so thin that we cannot wholeheartedly recommend the shoe for outdoor use. As you can see, they get shredded pretty easily which will result in loss of grip pretty early on.

Test results
D.O.N. Issue #4 1.4 mm
Average 1.0 mm
Compared to 17 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm

Outsole thickness

Another factor that makes this shoe less appropriate for outdoor games is that its outsole is a millimeter thinner than average. Our caliper shows 3.0 mm which could be a problem combined with the results of the Dremel test above.

Adidas D.O.N. Issue #4 Outsole thickness
Test results
D.O.N. Issue #4 3.0 mm
Average 4.0 mm
Compared to 38 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole thickness
6.9 mm

Weight

As a shoe that's meant for guards with an agile playing style, the Adidas D.O.N. Issue #4 comes in a lighter-than-average weight.

Adidas D.O.N. Issue #4 Weight

Tipping the scale at 13.5 oz (383g), this Adidas shoe turns out to be slightly below average (by 0.7 oz). But if you look for something even lighter, you can't go wrong with the Under Armour Curry 10 (12.6 oz/358g).

Adidas D.O.N. Issue #4 weight

Test results
D.O.N. Issue #4 13.51 oz (383g)
Average 14.22 oz (403g)
Compared to 38 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
11.29 oz (320g)
Weight
17.46 oz (495g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

The D.O.N. Issue #4 features a pretty standard amount of cushioning which shows in our caliper readings too. At 29.5 mm, the shoe's heel stack sits right at the average of basketball shoes.

Adidas D.O.N. Issue #4 Heel stack

Test results
D.O.N. Issue #4 29.5 mm
Average 30.2 mm
Compared to 38 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
25.2 mm
Heel stack
38.4 mm

Forefoot stack

There is also a fairly average amount of stack height in the shoe's forefoot. Showing 20.5 mm on the caliper, it is nearly the same as the average.

Adidas D.O.N. Issue #4 Forefoot stack
Test results
D.O.N. Issue #4 20.5 mm
Average 21.9 mm
Compared to 38 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
18.2 mm
Forefoot stack
29.2 mm

Drop

Looking at the difference in stack heights, we get a heel-to-toe drop of 9.0 mm. As boring as it sounds, it is also close to the average of hoop shoes.

Adidas D.O.N. Issue #4 Drop

On the court, this translates into a pretty good balance of impact protection and court feel. The shoe's heel is not overly raised, while the forefoot cushioning is sufficient for those who stay on their toes the entire game.

Test results
D.O.N. Issue #4 9.0 mm
Average 8.3 mm
Compared to 38 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
4.4 mm
Drop
14.8 mm

Midsole softness

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.

The Adidas D.O.N. Issue #4 features one of the brand's renowned foams - the Lightstrike. Of course, we had to check how soft it was with the help of our trusted durometer.

Adidas D.O.N. Issue #4 Midsole softness

The tool returned 27.3 HA which is very close to the average but still a little firmer (by 3%). On foot, the shoe's cushioning indeed felt quite firm. This is not at all surprising if we take a look at our durometer measurements for the Boost and Bounce Pro foams in other shoes:

  • Adidas Harden Vol. 7 (Boost): 11.0 HA - 148% softer
  • Adidas Dame 8 (Bounce Pro): 20.3 HA - 34% softer

The Lightstrike foam is meant to be firmer and more stable than the rest of Adidas' foams. But on the downside, it lacks the same plushness and energy return. So, to us, it felt rather dull and even somewhat old-school.

Test results
D.O.N. Issue #4 27.3 HA
Average 26.0 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 38 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
11.0 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
35.9 HA

Insole thickness

Buffering the firmness of the midsole is a well-padded insole. Using a caliper, we measured it to be 4.1 mm under the heel which is an average thickness for basketball shoes.

Adidas D.O.N. Issue #4 Insole thickness
Test results
D.O.N. Issue #4 4.1 mm
Average 4.4 mm
Compared to 38 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Insole thickness
8.6 mm

Stability

Lateral stability test

Playtesting this Donovan Mitchell shoe, we experienced plenty of support and stability during lateral movements.

As you can see from the video below, the shoe does not allow our ankles to roll inwards so easily. For a low-top shoe, that's an impressive amount of ankle support. It is in fact one of the shoe's stronger aspects.

Torsional rigidity

Among the key contributors to the shoe's stability is of course the shank plate embedded into the midsole. We felt how well it prevented the shoe from twisting and folding too much.

As you can see from our manual test below, twisting this Adidas shoe with our bare hands doesn't come so easily. On a 1-5 scale, where 5 is the stiffest, we rated the Issue #4's torsional rigidity with the maximum score of 5.

Test results
D.O.N. Issue #4 5
Average 4.5
Compared to 38 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

We were amazed at the shoe's ability to create a pliable yet highly supportive heel collar.

In our manual test of the shoe's heel counter stiffness, we found it to be more on the flexible side. This convinced us to give it only 2 out of 5 for stiffness.

But worry not! There is so much padding around the ankle that heel slips are not known to this Adidas shoe.

Test results
D.O.N. Issue #4 2
Average 3.6
Compared to 38 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

In addition to having a firm and stable midsole with a fair amount of rigidity, the shoe also features an amply wide base.

Measuring the platform in the widest part of its forefoot, we got 113 mm on the caliper. This is exactly the same as the average across hoop shoes.

Adidas D.O.N. Issue #4 Midsole width in the forefoot
Test results
D.O.N. Issue #4 113.0 mm
Average 114.0 mm
Compared to 38 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
106.2 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
122.2 mm

Midsole width in the heel

The D.O.N. Issue #4 also has a solid amount of width in the heel. Measuring the widest part, we got 90.2 mm which is also very close to the average.

Adidas D.O.N. Issue #4 outsole

Having such a reasonably wide landing area helped us feel quite confident and surefooted. Especially when rapid movements and direction changes were necessary.

Adidas D.O.N. Issue #4 Midsole width in the heel
Test results
D.O.N. Issue #4 90.2 mm
Average 91.3 mm
Compared to 38 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
82.4 mm
Midsole width in the heel
105.1 mm

Lockdown

Alongside the shoe's stability, we believe that foot containment is another great strength of the Adidas D.O.N. Issue #4.

In our opinion, the extra eyelets are really underrated in the basketball realm. For us, the shoe's extra eyelets turned out to be the difference-makers as far as preventing heel slippage is concerned.

Adidas D.O.N. Issue #4 laces

Once this Adidas shoe was fully laced up, we felt absolutely covered for all kinds of moves, quick ones in particular.

Flexibility

Stiffness

Wearing the D.O.N. Issue #4, we experienced really nice and smooth heel-to-toe transitions. It seems like this is due to the smooth curvatures on both ends as well as the shoe's pretty flexible build.

To test the shoe's flexibility, we bent it to a 90-degree angle while holding a force gauge against the sole. The latter showed how much force it took to get the shoe that far. In the case of this Adidas shoe, it required 30N which is 36% less than average!

The Issue #4 is definitely among the most pliable basketball shoes we've tested.

Test results
D.O.N. Issue #4 29.9N
Average 40.6N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 38 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
29.9N
Stiffness
67.2N

Grip / Traction

Having playtested the Adidas D.O.N. Issue #4, we can confirm that it delivers a solid 10/10 traction performance. We noticed that this was the case on both indoor and outdoor courts.

The grip felt consistent all throughout the game but it did require an occasional wipe to perform 100%.

Adidas D.O.N. Issue #4 outsole

Size and fit

Toebox width at the widest part

As someone with medium-width feet, we experienced no issues with the Adidas D.O.N. Issue #4's fit.

Measuring the shoe's toebox at the widest part, we got 102.7 mm which is an average width for a basketball shoe.

Adidas D.O.N. Issue #4 Toebox width at the widest part
Test results
D.O.N. Issue #4 102.7 mm
Average 101.0 mm
Compared to 38 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
92.6 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
108.2 mm

Toebox width at the big toe

Also, at the big toe, we measured the width at 77.7 mm which is again, an average measurement across hoop shoes.

This Adidas shoe doesn't taper much around the forefoot, saving toes from being cramped. 

Adidas D.O.N. Issue #4 Toebox width at the big toe
Test results
D.O.N. Issue #4 77.7 mm
Average 77.0 mm
Compared to 32 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
71.2 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
85.1 mm

Tongue: gusset type

The shoe's tongue is semi-gusseted, or partially attached, on the sides. This made it feel considerably more secure on te foot and sliding was never an issue.

Adidas D.O.N. Issue #4 Tongue: gusset type
Test results
D.O.N. Issue #4 Both sides (semi)

Comfort

Tongue padding

The Issue #4's tongue is also quite generously padded reaching 11.2 mm in the thickest part. This is actually a couple of millimeters thicker than average.

Adidas D.O.N. Issue #4 Tongue padding

We thoroughly enjoyed the interior comfort provided by this Adidas shoe. The whole experience felt super cozy and pampering. You can see how the shoe's collar is also well padded around the ankle.

Test results
D.O.N. Issue #4 11.2 mm
Average 9.3 mm
Compared to 38 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1.3 mm
Tongue padding
15.1 mm

Heel tab

There is no heel tab on the D.O.N. Issue #4 but we didn't feel it lacking. Because the tongue is only semi-gusseted, the shoe mouth opened wide enough to let the foot in easily.

Adidas D.O.N. Issue #4 Heel tab
Test results
D.O.N. Issue #4 None

Removable insole

The shoe's insole can be effortlessly removed and swapped for a different kind of insert or orthotic.

Adidas D.O.N. Issue #4 Removable insole
Test results
D.O.N. Issue #4 Yes