Verdict from 1 expert and 100+ user reviews

4 reasons to buy

  • Aside from the ‘MVP’ colorway, the Harden Vol. 2 LS Lace also has neutral and sleeker colorways that a couple of users actually prefer.
  • The Harden LS 2 feels soft and comfortable due to the knitted fabrics on the upper, says an expert reviewer.
  • The majority of testers find the leather on the shoe to be of premium quality.
  • The Boost used in these Adidas shoes feels really comfortable, a wearer reports.

4 reasons not to buy

  • The shoe’s silhouette is polarizing; some love it while others hate it. Most people’s initial reaction is that the shoe looks like water shoes due to the mesh material in the forefoot area.
  • Because of its $180 price, some reviewers wish that Primeknit is used in the upper instead of mesh.
  • Several commenters say that the shoe doesn’t offer much support due to the soft and stretchable materials used on the upper.
  • These Adidas sneakers’ laces do not really contribute much in securing the feet, a couple of expert reviewers report.

Bottom line

Due to the materials used on the upper, the majority of users consider the shoe to be an off-court sneaker rather than an on-court basketball shoe. The upper has minimal support while the lockdown system of the shoe isn’t enough to survive a rigorous round of play. With a price of $180, there are so many other choices for basketball shoes that give solid performances on-court.

Tip: see the best basketball shoes.

Good to know

As James Harden continues to grow his signature line with Adidas, the lifestyle tier of his Harden shoes releases two models in 2018, a month apart from each other. Both are named Harden Vol. 2 LS but they have different designs as one features laces and the other buckles. The Harden Vol. 2 LS Lace was released as part of a special "MVP" colorway collection together with the Adidas Vol. 2 and the Adidas B/E X.

Cushion. The Harden signature line is known to have some of the most comfortable Adidas basketball shoes because of the cloud-like Boost cushion that many of its releases are equipped with. The Lace version of the Harden Vol. 2 LS is no different as it also uses the same tool. The Boost foam is partially caged in the toe and heel areas by the extended thick rubber outsole and the external heel counter, respectively. This aids in making the plush cushion a little bit more stable.

Traction. Instead of the organic data-driven shapes that we are so used to seeing in James Harden basketball shoes' traction patterns, this shoe utilizes a running bond pattern that splays when the shoe is flexed. This gives the outsole a better grip when running down the court or when doing hard cuts; the splaying adds resistance to the bottom of the shoe and decreases slipping.

Length and Width. The Lace version of the Adidas Harden LS 2 runs true to size. However, reviewers advice going half a size down to achieve that snug, foot-hugging fit.

Lockdown. The soft materials in the upper such as the neoprene liner, the stretchable mesh, and the foot-hugging ankle collar create a sock-like fit that moves closely with your foot. The thicker material on the midfoot staples the foot down, ensuring zero internal slipping.

The upper of the lace version of the Harden LS 2 is a mix of stretch materials and premium tumbled leather. The forefoot is made of mesh fabric while the midfoot area is composed of a softer but thicker knitted fabric. These two fabrics are lined underneath with stretchy neoprene. The sides have tumbled leather overlays. The lateral side exposes some of the raw leather, giving the sneaker a classy touch. Like the Harden Volume 3, The midsole features the favorite Boost cushioning while the outsole is a solid rubber compound.

With the monochromatic colorways of the Harden LS 2, it is clear to see how its designers play with different textures on the shoe. The ribbed and knitted fabrics together with the supple leather on the upper, the irregular patterns on the Boost cushioning, and the symmetrical pattern on the outsole make this shoe a work of art. Perforations that form the Adidas Three Stripes in the medial side of the heel hint of a subtle branding, which is the trend nowadays.

The lacing system also adds to the shoe’s aesthetics as the Harden Vol. 2 LS implements a lacing style that is similar to that of the Pharrell Williams x Adidas Human Race NMD. The lace holes are only in the top part of the midfoot and are threaded with thick, rounded laces with metallic aglets.

The shoe is available in two regular colorways, and one special colorway called the “MVP” colorway. The regular James Harden sneakers come in Core Black/Cloud White/Gold Metallic and Grey/Core Black /Running White.

Adidas Harden Vol. 2 LS MVP

The lace version of the second Harden basketball sneakers is part of the special MVP pack together with two other shoes from the Harden line. This colorway was dropped in honor of James Harden’s first MVP title at the 2018 NBA Awards ceremony. The shoe comes in Core Black/Gold Metallic/Steel colors and is embellished with different details that point to Harden’s achievements on-court.


How Adidas Harden Vol. 2 LS Lace ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 26% basketball shoes
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Dimitrije Curcic
Dimitrije Curcic

Dimitrije Curcic has been playing basketball for over 22 years. Like Manu Ginobili, he’s a left-hander whose moves led him to a better career-shooting percentage than the Argentine himself. After playing professionally for 10 years, Dimitrije moved to coaching for two seasons before he became a basketball statistician for StatScore, and FanSided contributor for the San Antonio Spurs. Dimitrije loves to tell hoop stories through numbers and graphics and has been featured on Fansided, FiveThirtyEight, Eurohoops, and TalkBasket among the others.