Our verdict

Adidas brings back the unspeakable stability of the Barricades in this refreshed design of the Barricade Clay. With very few tennis shoes living up to the same level of surefootedness, it continues to be a winner on the clay court. But what's the kicker? It's still heavy as a brick. On the bright side, the shoe's updated Barricade 13 Clay edition lets you enjoy the same steadiness but an ounce lighter.

Pros

  • Stability level is through the roof
  • Wider-than-average platform
  • Solid toebox and outsole durability
  • Supportive and bouncy cushioning
  • Excellent impact protection
  • Perfect grip-and-give combination
  • Very comfortable interiors

Cons

  • Among the heavier shoes
  • Toe jamming is likely (especially for narrow feet)
  • No outsole durability guarantee

Audience verdict

77
Good!

Who should buy

As one of Adidas' top-rated and best-selling tennis shoes, we believe that the Barricade Clay remains a perfect option for players who:

  • want uncompromised arch support and stability
  • expect responsive cushioning for a dynamic playing style

Adidas Barricade Clay review

Who should NOT buy

if you've never experienced an asymmetrical lacing system and you're not in the mood for experiments, the ASICS Gel Resolution 9 Clay is a much safer bet.

This version of the Barricade received a massive upgrade from the predecessor but it feels a bit like a work in progress. We think that the newer Adidas Barricade 13 Clay addressed some of its shortcomings and it comes with a 6-month outsole guarantee.

Adidas Barricade Clay lab test

Breathability

If you are concerned about getting your feet toasty, the Barricade Clay will most likely leave you disappointed.

As you can see from our smoke-pumping machine test below, the Barricade only lets out a thin streak of vapor. But because it's not entirely stuffy, we gave the shoe's breathability a moderate score of 3 out of 5.

With its upper fully covered in PU, ventilation is only allowed through a dozen ventilation holes in the tongue. You can see them clearly in our transparency test below as we hover the half-cut upper over the light.

We even attempted to find more pores in the shoe's toebox through a microscope.

Adidas Barricade Clay microscope

But as you can see from the photos, the PU coverage is very dense in this Adidas shoe.

Adidas Barricade Clay microscope upper

Test results
Barricade Clay 3
Average 3.4
Compared to 21 clay court tennis shoes
1
Breathability
5
Number of shoes

Durability

Toebox durability

But we can forgive and forget it when tennis shoes sacrifice breathability for enhanced wear resistance. And this Barricade showed some pretty good results in our toebox durability test.

Using a Dremel with a sandpaper tip, we held it against the shoe's upper material for 12 seconds. The speed (5K RPM) and pressure (3.2N) remained consistent.

Adidas Barricade Clay Toebox durability

Adidas Barricade Clay

Luckily, the damage turned out to be minor enough and the tip didn't blow through the fabric completely. On a durability scale from 1 to 5, we gave it nearly the highest score of 4.

Interestingly enough, Adidas managed to achieve the same level of durability without covering the upper with PU in its updated 2023 edition.

Adidas Barricade Clay 13 toebox durability

Adidas Barricade 13 Clay

Checking the Adituff overlay on the medial side of the shoe's toebox, we also think that the 2023 version is much better equipped for aggressive toe dragging.

Adidas Barricade Clay toe drag guard

Adidas Barricade Clay

Adidas Barricade Clay 13 toe drag guard

Adidas Barricade 13 Clay

Test results
Barricade Clay 4
Average 4.1
Compared to 19 clay court tennis shoes
1
Toebox durability
5
Number of shoes

Heel padding durability

The inner lining is a very touchy subject for most tennis shoes. As one of the more delicate shoe parts, it is quite often prone to tearing fast. Once again, we used a Dremel to test that on the Barricade Clay.

After 4 seconds of drilling at a 5K RPM speed, the shoe's collar padding developed a visible tear exposing the inner foam. It's not a bad result though and is quite common for tennis shoes. On our heel padding durability scale, we gave it a moderate 3 out of 5.

Adidas Barricade Clay Heel padding durability
Test results
Barricade Clay 3
Average 3.3
Compared to 19 clay court tennis shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5
Number of shoes

Outsole hardness

As a clay-court shoe, we expected the Barricade Clay to have a slightly softer outsole rubber compared to hard-court shoes. But not too soft to make it abrasion-sensitive.

With a durometer measurement of 80.0 HC, its hardness turned out to be just right for a clay shoe.

Adidas Barricade Clay Outsole hardness
Test results
Barricade Clay 80.0 HC
Average 85.6 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 21 clay court tennis shoes
73.4 HC
Outsole hardness
92.0 HC
Number of shoes

Outsole durability

As a quick substitute for spending hours on the court, we set the Dremel speed to the rigorous 10K RPM. We also increased the drilling time to 22 seconds to really put the shoe through its paces.

Once done, we used a tread gauge to measure how much tread depth the shoe had lost. At 1.0 mm, that's an excellent result for a clay-court tennis shoe! The Barricades' quality does not disappoint.

But the absence of a durability guarantee does! Luckily, it is available in its newest 2023 and 2024 editions.

Adidas Barricade Clay Outsole durability
Test results
Barricade Clay 1.0 mm
Average 0.6 mm
Compared to 19 clay court tennis shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm
Number of shoes

Outsole thickness

It is also important that a tennis shoe has enough rubber to withstand the rigors of the sport. Based on our caliper, the outsole of this Adidas shoe is 4.4 mm thick. That's more than enough rubber for numerous hours of play.

Adidas Barricade Clay Outsole thickness
Test results
Barricade Clay 4.4 mm
Average 4.1 mm
Compared to 21 clay court tennis shoes
3.3 mm
Outsole thickness
5.0 mm
Number of shoes

Weight

Even though this renewed version of the Barricade loses a little bit of bulk, it is still a whale on the scale we've come to expect.

Adidas Barricade Clay weight

In a men's US size 9, this Adidas shoe returned a whopping 14.5 oz (410g). By far, it is the heaviest tennis shoe on our roster. If a lighter shoe is a must, get the 2023 Barricade 13 Clay (13.4 oz/378g) or try an even lighter speed-oriented Adidas Ubersonic 4.1 (12.3 oz/349g).

Adidas Barricade Clay Weight
Test results
Barricade Clay 14.46 oz (410g)
Average 12.77 oz (362g)
Compared to 21 clay court tennis shoes
10.30 oz (292g)
Weight
14.71 oz (417g)
Number of shoes

Cushioning

Heel stack

No matter how hard we planted our heels during the playtest, the Adidas Barricade was there for us every time. The impact protection is hard to beat in this shoe!

Measuring its heel stack with a caliper, we got 29.1 mm which is in the average range of tennis shoes.

Adidas Barricade Clay Heel stack
Test results
Barricade Clay 29.1 mm
Average 29.4 mm
Compared to 21 clay court tennis shoes
25.3 mm
Heel stack
33.0 mm
Number of shoes

Forefoot stack

The forefoot, on the other hand, is very noticeably low to the ground at only 17.0 mm. A few millimeters thinner than average, it made our big toes feel the ground very intimately.

Some players may prefer more cushioning in this area to keep them well-cushioned on their toes. But as for us, we enjoyed the sensitivity and maneuverability it offered in the Barricade.

Adidas Barricade Clay Forefoot stack
Test results
Barricade Clay 17.0 mm
Average 19.8 mm
Compared to 21 clay court tennis shoes
17.0 mm
Forefoot stack
23.4 mm
Number of shoes

Drop

The only problem is the shoe's steep incline from the heel to the forefoot. Based on our stack height measurements, it is as high as 12.1 mm (a little over the average).

Doing aggressive forward movements on such a slope resulted in occasional toe-jamming for us. We had to really cinch down the laces and make sure that our feet were securely locked inside the shoe. However, we don't see that happening for players with narrower feet.

Adidas Barricade Clay Drop
Test results
Barricade Clay 12.1 mm
Average 9.6 mm
Compared to 21 clay court tennis shoes
6.3 mm
Drop
12.4 mm
Number of shoes

Midsole softness

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

If you enjoy a nice little spring in your tennis shoes, we think you're going to enjoy the Bounce cushioning packed into this Barricade.

Pressing our durometer against the foam returned 29.5 HA which is an average reading across tennis shoes. Neither too hard nor mushy, it helped us quickly recover in between shots feeling sprightly and agile.

Adidas Barricade Clay Midsole softness
Test results
Barricade Clay 29.5 HA
Average 29.6 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 21 clay court tennis shoes
21.5 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
34.0 HA
Number of shoes

Insole thickness

In-shoe comfort turns out to be of high priority in this Adidas tennis shoe. Based on our caliper measurement, its insole is 6.7 mm thick in the heel. That's a little more padded than the average.

Adidas Barricade Clay Insole thickness
Test results
Barricade Clay 6.7 mm
Average 5.3 mm
Compared to 21 clay court tennis shoes
3.9 mm
Insole thickness
8.5 mm
Number of shoes

Stability

Lateral stability test

In the tennis shoe realm, "Barricade" has long been synonymous with stability. And this reiteration of the iconic Adidas shoe continues that legacy successfully. Our feet felt planted at all times, no matter how fast and awkward the footwork got.

Torsional rigidity

The star of the shoe is of course Adidas' proprietary Torsion System. This stiff TPU shank wraps around the midfoot hugging it with large and unforgiving wings on the sides.

Adidas Barricade Clay arch support

The result is a highly rigid platform that supported our arches brilliantly and made us forget what an ankle roll is. Is that a kind of sushi?

Attempting to twist the Adidas Barricade Clay in our manual test was of no effect, earning the shoe th highest stiffness score of 5/5.

Test results
Barricade Clay 5
Average 4.3
Compared to 21 clay court tennis shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5
Number of shoes

Heel counter stiffness

The shoe also comes with a rather supportive and structured heel counter. Assessing its rigidity in our lab, we gave it nearly the highest score - 4 out of 5.

In addition to being stiff, the Barricade also creates a secure heel hold with the GeoFit pods. These padded pillows create a rather ergonomic hug around the ankle.

A great alternative to a thick-foamed collar, we love how this setup offers the same benefit with fewer materials.

Test results
Barricade Clay 4
Average 3.8
Compared to 21 clay court tennis shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5
Number of shoes

Midsole width in the forefoot

With the Adidas Barricade Clay, we were always guaranteed a safe and planted landing. Its forefoot comes with a large outrigger creating extended contact points with the ground.

Measuring the platform in its widest part, our caliper showed 114.8 mm which is slightly wider than the average. This is the kind of base you can trust when doing the most extreme lateral movements.

Adidas Barricade Clay Midsole width in the forefoot
Test results
Barricade Clay 114.8 mm
Average 112.0 mm
Compared to 21 clay court tennis shoes
105.3 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
117.4 mm
Number of shoes

Midsole width in the heel

The shoe also beats records in the heel portion of the sole. We didn't even need a caliper to see that it is larger than most tennis shoes.

But when we actually measured it, we got a whopping 96.3 mm in the widest part. It is among the widest heels we've seen in tennis shoes.

Adidas Barricade Clay Midsole width in the heel
Test results
Barricade Clay 96.3 mm
Average 90.0 mm
Compared to 21 clay court tennis shoes
82.4 mm
Midsole width in the heel
99.7 mm
Number of shoes

Flexibility

Stiffness

Even though the Adidas Barricade Clay is so rigid torsionally, its forefoot has enough pliability to bend along with the foot.

Adidas Barricade Clay flexibility

In our controlled flexibility test, we bent the shoe to a 90-degree angle with the help of a force gauge. The tool showed that it takes 23.7N to do that. That is 25% less than it takes a tennis shoe on average.

The only caveat is that the PU coating creases pretty badly. It didn't rub against our toes but was quite tangible and distracting at times.

Test results
Barricade Clay 23.7N
Average 30.9N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 21 clay court tennis shoes
20.6N
Stiffness
44.9N
Number of shoes

Grip / Traction

The herringbone pattern on the outsole did an amazing job of biting into the clay court whenever we needed it. We felt wonderfully surefooted both stopping on a sixpence and taking off for the next shot.

Adidas Barricade Clay outsole

The treading was deep and sharp enough for a strong grip but never made us stumble or feel stuck in place. The give was sufficient to slide and pivot too.

Size and fit

Toebox width at the widest part

The overall fit of the Adidas Barricade Clay felt right at home on our medium-sized feet. But it did feel slightly on the edge of loose, triggering us to really cinch down the laces before heading for the court.

Adidas Barricade Clay fit

Our caliper measurement confirmed that the toebox of this Adidas shoe is indeed slightly on the wide side. The tool returned 105.0 mm in the widest part of the forefoot which is a few millimeters bigger than the average.

Adidas Barricade Clay Toebox width at the widest part

We don't think that this is the best option for players with narrow feet given the risk of toe jamming. The shoe's unique lacing system doesn't allow to tighten up the fit that much.

Adidas Barricade Clay laces

Test results
Barricade Clay 105.0 mm
Average 101.2 mm
Compared to 21 clay court tennis shoes
98.2 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
105.0 mm
Number of shoes

Toebox width at the big toe

The Barricade has an adequate toe room towards the tip of the forefoot. Measuring its width at the big toe mark, our caliper showed 77.1 mm which is typical among tennis shoes.

Adidas Barricade Clay Toebox width at the big toe
Test results
Barricade Clay 77.1 mm
Average 76.6 mm
Compared to 21 clay court tennis shoes
74.8 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
79.8 mm
Number of shoes

Tongue: gusset type

The tongue of this Adidas shoe is fully integrated into the upper with some of the lace loops stretching down to the midsole. Once the shoe was all laced up, our foot felt like it was wrapped inside a burrito. And it remained that way throughout the playtest.

Adidas Barricade Clay Tongue: gusset type
Test results
Barricade Clay Both sides (full)

Comfort

Tongue padding

In addition to the GeoFit pods in the ankle collar, the Barricade also added soft pillows to the shoe's tongue. Measuring their thickness with a caliper, we got 8.3 mm.

Adidas Barricade Clay Tongue padding
Test results
Barricade Clay 8.3 mm
Average 8.0 mm
Compared to 21 clay court tennis shoes
2.5 mm
Tongue padding
13.1 mm
Number of shoes

Heel tab

Adidas put so much thought into the Barricade Clay but it forgot one little detail - the pull tab. Given the shoe's fully gusseted tongue, it would be really nice to hold onto one when sliding inside.

The good news is that the Barricade 13 Clay comes with finger loops.

Adidas Barricade Clay Heel tab
Test results
Barricade Clay None

Removable insole

If you even need to replace the shoe's stock insole with an aftermarket one, it won't be a problem at all.

Adidas Barricade Clay Removable insole
Test results
Barricade Clay Yes