Our verdict


Although some are disappointed with the Adidas Harden Vol. 2’s traction, it still is a solid performance basketball shoe. The shoe is heavier than its predecessor. However, it offers premium cushioning that protects bigger players from impact while remaining responsive at the forefoot for guards.


  • Comfortable upper and cushioning
  • Thick durable midsole
  • Impressive adjustable lacing system
  • Wide and stable base
  • Snug, supportive fit


  • Not for dirty courts
  • Not very pliable outsole
  • Clunky external heel cup
  • Tight midfoot elastic band

Who should buy the Adidas Harden Vol. 2

The Adidas Harden Vol. 2 is built around James Harden’s main moves such as the Euro-step, Step-back, and Jab-step. Forefoot containment, secure lockdown, and plush cushioning are all addressed by the shoe’s thick Boost, ForgeFiber mesh, and adaptive lacing system. This pair is the best for you if:

  • You're looking for a shoe with the most adjustable lockdown sytem to support your foot size.
  • You play like James Harden, quick and with a unique style of play.

Adidas Harden Vol. 2 logo

Adidas Harden Vol.2's stable midsole structure

Contrary to Harden’s first shoe the Vol. 1, the second signature model goes the opposite direction and implements the thickest Boost cushioning on an Adidas basketball shoe.

Adidas Harden Vol. 2 midsole

Responsiveness is retained, however, as the cushion is partially caged at the lateral side of the forefoot. The midsole is noticeably wider than the shoe’s upper, providing a stable base for the foot and ultimately enhancing foot containment.

Adidas Harden Vol. 2 midsole mid

Powerful outsole setup of Harden Vol.2

The random-looking fractal pattern on the outsole is similar to what is seen on the Harden Vol. 1. For the shoe’s designer Rashad Williams, however, the pattern isn’t actually random. He shares in an interview that, "as you get to the smaller clusters, that is where James puts the most pressure on his foot." Hence, the pattern is inferred based on gathered data about Harden’s foot and playing style.

Adidas Harden Vol. 2 outsole

The outsole’s traction pattern extends to the shoe’s external heel counter. Its grooves, however, are not very deep. Probably, it will not last long if used outdoors.

Adidas Harden Vol. 2 outsole back

Adjustable secure lockdown

The shoe has an adaptable lacing system that is similar to the Adidas Dame 3’s. The laces are anchored on molded synthetic materials that also serve as the shoe’s supportive side panels.

Adidas Harden Vol. 2 lace

The Vol. 2’s full cleatie upper adds to the total lockdown of the shoe, while an elastic band at the midfoot allows the shoe to have a tighter fit.

Adidas Harden Vol. 2 collar

Adidas Harden Vol. 2 high-quality construction

The Adidas Harden Vol. 2’s upper has an internal neoprene and mesh cleatie. This material provides flexibility and helps hold the foot in place.

Adidas Harden Vol. 2 upper

Another layer of materials covers the shoe’s internal cleatie. At the midfoot are polyurethane side panels that add support to the heel. At the forefoot is a type of mesh that is stitched alternately with a thread called ForgeFiber. These threads are coated with TPU and are stitched to the mesh in such a way that they provide support and flexibility only in targeted areas, significantly reducing the shoe’s weight.

Adidas Harden Vol. 2 upper front

The stitched mesh on the forefoot acts like the shroud on the Vol. 1, containing the foot during quick cuts or movements. The mesh tongue gives the shoe breathability and ventilation.

Thick Boost foam is the cushion used in the midsole.  A TPU shank plate is embedded in between the outsole and the midsole for torsional support. Lastly, solid rubber is what makes up the Vol. 2’s outsole, which extends to the heel and acts as the shoe’s external heel cup.

Adidas Harden Vol. 2 heel cap

James Harden's signature style

James Harden’s second signature shoe was released during the NBA All-Star 2018 Weekend. The Adidas Harden Vol. 2  is a low-top that has the Adidas Equipment logo stamped on the heel, while the Three Stripes are printed on the lateral side of the forefoot.

Adidas Harden Vol. 2 heel

James Harden’s logo is prominently displayed on the tongue.

Adidas Harden Vol. 2 style