Our verdict

We have reason to believe that nimble guards and big players are going to have lots of fun playing in Adidas Harden Vol. 7 shoes. This basketball shoe's design effectively ensures control, energy return, and confidence during our games. Additionally, the remarkable traction of this shoe made us unstoppable inside the court.

Pros

  • Super amazing traction on dustless courts
  • Heel-to-toe transition is smooth
  • Well-pronounced court feel
  • Fairly dependable impact protection
  • Comfortable and supportive heel area
  • Very good overall containment
  • Laces offers exceptional lockdown
  • True-to-size fit
  • Easy to put on and take off

Cons

  • Ventilation has to be improved
  • Shoe is on the heavier side

Audience verdict

91
Superb!

Who should buy

This signature shoe from James Harden and Adidas suits the following:

  • guards who are quick on their feet and appreciate low-to-the-ground forefoot constructions
  • bigger players who want impact protection and lots of lateral support
  • players who need shoes that have a really strong bite on the hardwood
  • athletes who play on both indoor and outdoor courts
  • buyers who have a little leeway for pricier shoes

Adidas Harden Vol. 7 P2

Who should NOT buy

The Adidas Harden Vol. 7 is not going to be the best pick for those who want well-ventilated kicks. They are better off wearing the Adidas Dame 8

Another good pick that we can recommend is the Adidas D.O.N. Issue #4. Both of these basketball shoes are also lighter than the Adidas Harden Vol. 7, so those who are not happy with the Harden Vol. 7's weight may go for these options.

Adidas Harden Vol. 7 Laid out

Breathability

The Harden Vol. 7's breathability definitely has to be improved. During our tests, smoke could barely pass through the upper material. It's only the tongue that offered just a bit of aeration, and this is the only reason it got a 2 out of 5.

Even light found it hard to shine through the upper material.

Upon closer inspection with our microscope, we saw clearly that there are just no perforations in the upper.

Adidas Harden Vol. 7 Micro1

The upper material is so closed that you might as well be wearing a cardboard!

Adidas Harden Vol. 7 Micro2

Test results
Harden Vol. 7 2
Average 2.4
Compared to 39 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Toebox durability

It's clear now that the non-breathable upper offers another good thing: noteworthy durability. Our twelve-second Dremel drilling only went through the colored first layer. It got a 4 out of 5, and it truly deserves it!

The Adidas Harden Vol. 7 is indeed a jackpot for players who drag their toes a lot. Compared to the damage suffered by the Adidas Harden Stepback 3 after the same test, the mark on this shoe just looks superficial.

Adidas Harden Vol. 7 Toebox Comparison

Adidas Harden Vol. 7 (4 out of 5) vs Adidas Harden Stepback 3 (3 out of 5)

Test results
Harden Vol. 7 4
Average 3.7
Compared to 30 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

The durability of the heel counter padding is out of this world. Our Dremel test was no match for it; it's a perfect 5!

Post-test, the heel counter just looks like its feathers only got ruffled the wrong way. No structural issues whatsoever.

Adidas Harden Vol. 7 Heel Dremel Result

Test results
Harden Vol. 7 5
Average 3.6
Compared to 27 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

This shoe's outsole hardness is just around the average. It got a rating of 82.9 on our HC durometer in the lab. 

Though this is not the best shoe for the outdoors, using it there once in a while wouldn't hurt.

Adidas Harden Vol. 7 Outsole hardness
Test results
Harden Vol. 7 82.9 HC
Average 81.6 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 39 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
59.5 HC
Outsole hardness
91.0 HC

Outsole durability

Durability really is this strong highlight. After doing some Dremel drilling in the lab, we saw that the outsole incurred only 0.5 mm of damage. This makes it 55% more durable than usual!

The 0.5 mm damage is way way lower than the damage seen in typical basketball shoes. We do not have any reason to doubt this shoe's durability, and we are definitely going to use this shoe outdoors to our hearts' content.

Adidas Harden Vol. 7 Outsole Dent

Test results
Harden Vol. 7 0.5 mm
Average 1.1 mm
Compared to 18 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm

Outsole thickness

It's a pleasant surprise that the Adidas Harden Vol. 7 delivers all the durability that we enjoyed without having a specially thick outsole.  Its outsole is only 3.5 mm based on our lab measurements, making it slightly thinner than average. 

Adidas Harden Vol. 7 Outsole thickness
Test results
Harden Vol. 7 3.5 mm
Average 4.0 mm
Compared to 39 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole thickness
6.9 mm

Weight

It's such a bummer that this Adidas shoe really packed some weight. Even the Harden Stepback 3, which we already consider to be just a teeny bit on the heavier side, is lighter than this!

Our scale reported it to weigh 16.4 ounces or 466 grams. It's definitely heavier than the typical hoop shoe. Our first steps definitely felt heavy, and it really took some getting used to.

Adidas Harden Vol. 7 Weight
Test results
Harden Vol. 7 16.44 oz (466g)
Average 14.18 oz (402g)
Compared to 39 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
11.29 oz (320g)
Weight
17.46 oz (495g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

The midsole brought us closer to the ground, allowing us to feel the courts better. Back in the lab, we've seen that the heel stack is thinner than usual at 27.5 mm.

Because of this setup, we are able to improve our agility and control.

Adidas Harden Vol. 7 Heel stack
Test results
Harden Vol. 7 27.5 mm
Average 30.1 mm
Compared to 39 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
25.2 mm
Heel stack
38.4 mm

Forefoot stack

Just like the heel, the forefoot is also on the thinner side. Our caliper measurements revealed that it's significantly thinner than average at 18.2 mm.

Adidas Harden Vol. 7 Forefoot stack
Test results
Harden Vol. 7 18.2 mm
Average 21.9 mm
Compared to 39 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
18.2 mm
Forefoot stack
29.2 mm

Drop

The drop was measured to be 9.3 mm, and it was particularly supportive of our heel strikes and forward motions.

Adidas Harden Vol. 7 Drop
Test results
Harden Vol. 7 9.3 mm
Average 8.2 mm
Compared to 39 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 moment we put this Adidas basketball shoe on, we already noticed how soft the midsole is. Calling it a pillow for our feet still felt like an understatement!

After we assessed the midsole softness using our HA durometer, we were pleasantly surprised by the results. The device gave it a rating of 11.0, making it a good 58% softer than average. 

Adidas Harden Vol. 7 Midsole softness
Test results
Harden Vol. 7 11.0 HA
Average 26.0 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 39 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
11.0 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
35.9 HA

Insole thickness

The removable insole is slightly thinner than the usual. Fortunately, the reduced thickness did not have any significant effect on our experience because of the uber-soft midsole.

Adidas Harden Vol. 7 Insole thickness
Test results
Harden Vol. 7 3.4 mm
Average 4.4 mm
Compared to 39 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Insole thickness
8.6 mm

Stability

Lateral stability test

We had so much confidence in how the shoe clasped our feet during our test games. The sidewalls were sturdy enough to keep our feet in place even as we moved quite intensely up and down the court.

Torsional rigidity

After doing some manual twists in the lab, we learned that this shoe is a 4 out of 5 when it comes to torsional rigidity. The firmness of this shoe's base helped us a lot in maintaining stability. Not once did we have to worry about painfully twisting our feet.

Test results
Harden Vol. 7 4
Average 4.5
Compared to 39 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

Just by feeling it with our bare hands and feet, the heel counter did not give us any reason to doubt its capacity to secure the rearfoot. After giving it a good squeeze in the lab, we were left with no other choice but to give it a 4 out of 5. This rating makes it better than the majority of hoop shoes that we've ever played on. 

Test results
Harden Vol. 7 4
Average 3.5
Compared to 39 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

A good deal of the stability that we enjoyed was because of the wider-than-average platform of the Adidas Harden Volume 7. As per our caliper measurements, the platform is 116.4 mm wide at the forefoot. 

Adidas Harden Vol. 7 Midsole width in the forefoot
Test results
Harden Vol. 7 116.4 mm
Average 114.1 mm
Compared to 39 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
106.2 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
122.2 mm

Midsole width in the heel

The width of the platform at the heel is even more noteworthy. It adds 12% more to the average. Now, that's a lot of extra space for great stability.

Adidas Harden Vol. 7 Midsole width in the heel
Test results
Harden Vol. 7 102.0 mm
Average 91.3 mm
Compared to 39 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
82.4 mm
Midsole width in the heel
105.1 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

That its supportiveness did not sacrifice flexibility is a noteworthy benefit of the Harden Vol. 7. Using a digital force gauge, we learned that this shoe needed only 34.6N of force to bend at 90 degrees. This is much lower than the amount of force needed by the typical hoop shoe.

During the games, this flexibility allowed us to move much more freely. The shoe was perfectly able to accommodate the peculiar but natural flexions of our feet.

Test results
Harden Vol. 7 34.6N
Average 40.3N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 39 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
29.5N
Stiffness
67.2N

Grip / Traction

During our test games, we never had issues with grip. Whether we wanted to turn or just stop abruptly to make a stable block, we got all the help that we needed from the outsole.

A close look at the outsole revealed that it's the ripple patterns on it that ensured multidirectional coverage. It must be noted that dust had the tendency to stick to the outsole, but just a wipe or two and we were again good to go.

Adidas Harden Vol. 7 Grip

Size and fit

Toebox width at the widest part

We have to say, the Adidas Harden Vol. 7 is a treat for wide-footers. At its widest part, the toebox measured 108.2 mm, far wider than average.

Adidas Harden Vol. 7 Toebox width at the widest part
Test results
Harden Vol. 7 108.2 mm
Average 100.9 mm
Compared to 39 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
92.6 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
108.2 mm

Toebox width at the big toe

This shoe did not have the usual problem of tapering too much toward the tip. At the big toe, the toebox measured 85.1 mm. This width is again far greater than usual.

Adidas Harden Vol. 7 Toebox width at the big toe
Test results
Harden Vol. 7 85.1 mm
Average 77.1 mm
Compared to 33 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
71.2 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
85.1 mm

Tongue: gusset type

The sock-like design of the tongue was one of the main reasons support was never an issue. It also prevented debris from getting into the shoe, especially when we were playing outdoors.

Adidas Harden Vol. 7 Tongue: gusset type
Test results
Harden Vol. 7 Sock like

Comfort

Tongue padding

We noticed that the tongue padding is way lower than usual. It's only 4.7 mm thick based on our caliper measurements in the lab.

Adidas Harden Vol. 7 Tongue padding
Test results
Harden Vol. 7 4.7 mm
Average 9.3 mm
Compared to 39 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1.3 mm
Tongue padding
15.1 mm

Heel tab

The Adidas Harden Volume 7 is equipped with a heel tab that helps us to put on and take off the shoe with ease.

Adidas Harden Vol. 7 Heel tab
Test results
Harden Vol. 7 Finger loop

Removable insole

The removable insole afforded us more space should there be a need to wear orthotics.

Adidas Harden Vol. 7 Removable insole
Test results
Harden Vol. 7 Yes