Our verdict

Donovan "Spida" Mitchell is back again with a new shoe, the D.O.N. Issue 5. According to our lab and wear tests, this model focuses on traction and containment. We felt quick and surefooted in our games thanks to its stable yet streamlined structure, which features some extra arch support on the medial area in the form of the Three Stripes Adidas logo. Its outsole showed outstanding performances regarding traction outdoors and indoors, beating even dusty courts after a couple of wipes. Nevertheless, its upper and outsole materials aren't the most durable, so you might need to change hooping pals sooner rather than later.

Pros

  • Incredibly good traction
  • Lots of stability and containment (extra midfoot support)
  • Adapts to different playstyles
  • Feels quick on foot
  • Smooth heel-to-toe transitions
  • Recycled upper (50%)
  • On the affordable side

Cons

  • Not responsive
  • Outsole lacks durability
  • Weird tongue design

Audience verdict

88
Great!
  • Top 3% most popular basketball shoes

Who should buy

Whether you're a Spida lover or not, you should definitely check this shoe out if:

  • You're looking for a grippy beast that bites pretty much every court.
  • You want to feel surefooted and supported but you don't fancy bulky hoopers.
  • You're trying different positions on the court and you need a versatile pair.
  • You would love some extra arch support.

Adidas D.O.N. Issue 5_outdoor_002

Who should not buy

During our wear tests, the D.O.N. Issue 5's materials felt quite cheap. We verified this in our lab using the Dremel, which showed us this shoe's outsole is not ready for abrasive surfaces. In other words: forget about playing streetball if you want this pair to last! If you're looking for a more resistant pal to play some ball outside, you should have a look at our outdoor basketball shoes catalogue.

If you need a new hooper with a lot of impact protection for your jumps but you don't want to give up surefootness, the Nike LeBron Witness 7 might be what you're looking for. This shoe offers great lateral stability for unstable landings, and it's from LeBron's budget line!

Adidas D.O.N. Issue 5_001

Breathability

Our first test in the lab has 4 main characters: our smoke machine, our microscope, our light, and the Adidas D.O.N. Issue 5!

We started by grabbing our smoke machine and moving it all the way to the shoe's opening. What we do is fill it all the way up with smoke and wait patiently, looking carefully at any spot that might let the smoke get away.

It doesn't stand a chance against the Under Armour Curry Flow 10 regarding ventilation, that's for sure! We waited, and waited, and... waited some more. Yet the toebox's airflow was nowhere to be found! These Adidas definitely skipped getting the lowest score in our breathability test thanks to its unique tongue. A 2/5, that is!

Adidas D.O.N. Issue 5 Breathability_3

Come on, now! What's with that bait? Don't tell us those round details don't look like tiny ventilation holes!

Adidas D.O.N. Issue 5 Breathability_4

Well, our microscope said: "Not today", once we saw this close-up of the black dots. They're there to level up this shoe's style, that's it!

Our light test was the last evidence: it's the tongue the one that lets this shoe breathe! When we put the Issue 5 on in the summer to play some streetball, our feet were sweating like crazy. We did try thinner socks, but... it didn't solve the issue. And it was the same when we played on indoor courts!

If you're looking for a breathable pal to play with when temperatures go up, you should check our air-flowing hooping kings and queens.

Test results
D.O.N. Issue 5 2
Average 2.4
Compared to 50 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Toebox durability

When we took this shoe out of its box we already knew our Dremel was going to have trouble fighting its upper. At a speed of 5K RPM and with a pressure of 3.2N, we grabbed our tool and attacked the Issue 5's toebox for 12 seconds.

We could see black dust flying around, but that's just a protective overlayer! Even though our Dremel managed to get through it, this didn't have a negative effect on the shoe's integrity.

Adidas D.O.N. Issue 5 Toebox durability_3

Consequently, this model got a well-deserved 4/5 in our toebox durability test. Just in case you want to see what it looks like when our Dremel doesn't lose its battle, have a look at this:

Adidas D.O.N. Issue 5 Toebox durability_2

The Under Armour Charged Assert 10 got completely destroyed. Just look at that, that's definitely a 1/5 in this same durability test, no doubt! The D.O.N. Issue 5's suede overlayer and rubber compound fought bravely, but the UA model's mesh... was our Dremel's dinner.

Test results
D.O.N. Issue 5 4
Average 3.8
Compared to 41 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

We moved our tool all the way back to test the heel padding durability. This part of the shoe is usually more fragile, let's see if our Dremel agrees!

As you can see in the video, this shoe has a superior piece designed to hug your ankle snugly. It embraces the back of the foot nicely, and we definitely felt it during our wear tests.

Nevertheless, we can't say the Issue 5's hug will be as long as you might want it to.

Adidas D.O.N. Issue 5 Heel padding durability_3

The considerable damages left by our tool made us give it a standard 3/5 in our heel padding durability test. We can't say it's a perfect score, but it's not that bad if we compare it with the messed heel that the Under Armour Charged Assert 9 ended up with after our Dremel came by to say hello!

Adidas D.O.N. Issue 5 Heel padding durability_2

Test results
D.O.N. Issue 5 3
Average 3.6
Compared to 38 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

When an outsole gets a higher score in our durometer, it usually means it's more durable. On the other hand, if the score is lower, it means the compound prioritises traction.

Adidas D.O.N. Issue 5 Outsole hardness

At 75.1 HC, this shoe's outsole is 9% less hard than average. This wasn't only what our durometer stated, because our feet would definitely say the same thing if they could talk!

During our wear tests, we played ball outdoors and indoors. In every single surface we hooped on, the Issue 5 performed incredibly well regarding traction. It bit anything and everything, and we felt surefooted even if we tried crossover steps or backdoor cuts.

We'll talk about this shoe's grip later on, but we are so happy with it that we just had to mention it!

Test results
D.O.N. Issue 5 75.1 HC
Average 81.7 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 50 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
59.5 HC
Outsole hardness
91.0 HC

Outsole durability

Even though we were incredibly happy with this shoe's outsole grip (no more spoilers, though!) we can't say the same about its durability.

After a 22-second-long drilling session with the same pressure (3.2N) but at a higher speed (10K RPM), we grabbed our tread gauge and saw a dent of 1.3 mm.

Adidas D.O.N. Issue 5 Outsole durability_2

This result is slightly higher than average and, in this case... higher doesn't mean better!

After analysing the hardness and durability of the outsole, we can say we wouldn't recommend this model to play streetball. Why? Well, because this hooper will definitely last way less if you make it go through the abrasion of outdoor courts!

Adidas D.O.N. Issue 5_outdoor_0014

And it would be a shame to make this pair lose its wonderful traction. It'll still be grippy on outdoor courts, that's what our wear tests playing streetball tell us; yet... the surface will wear out its pattern, making the outsole lose its top traction.

Test results
D.O.N. Issue 5 1.3 mm
Average 1.0 mm
Compared to 29 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm

Outsole thickness

When our calliper showed 2.9 mm, we simply shook our heads: streetball will destroy the Issue 5!

Adidas D.O.N. Issue 5 Outsole thickness

Now that we have the results of the 3 key tests that assess outdoor use, we need to advise you against it. If you want your new ball pal to have a longer and happier life, use it in indoor courts!

Test results
D.O.N. Issue 5 2.9 mm
Average 4.0 mm
Compared to 50 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole thickness
6.9 mm

Weight

With its resistant upper, we guessed this shoe wouldn't be as light as a feather.

Adidas D.O.N. Issue 5 Weight

At 13.8 oz/390g, these Adidas weight is just average. And that's exactly how the Issue 5 felt in our feet when we played with it: average! It wasn't super heavy despite having durable upper materials, which we appreciated; but we would never say it's a light model either.

All in all, its weight was not an issue when we performed quick and explosive moves. If you're a versatile player who might change positions, this model might work for you. Nevertheless, if your playstyle relies on quick and heavy footwork, you might want to have a look at our lightweight basketball shoes catalogue.

Test results
D.O.N. Issue 5 13.76 oz (390g)
Average 13.90 oz (394g)
Compared to 50 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
11.29 oz (320g)
Weight
17.46 oz (495g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

At 30.3 mm, this shoe's heel stack is slightly higher than average.

Adidas D.O.N. Issue 5 Heel stack

This gave us some extra support in the rearfoot during our playtests, yet we can't say we felt the Issue 5's foam was responsive. A little bouncy at best, yeah, but that's pretty much it.

You can see it in the picture when we cut this shoe in half: it doesn't have any specific technologies from Adidas. Its midsole features a full-bed of Lightstrike foam and a strong shank. Even though this combination wasn't uncomfortable or any of the likes for our feet, we did feel it slightly stiff in our ride.

Adidas D.O.N. Issue 5_outdoor_007

Far from being a problem, this only added some extra points to the shoe's overall supportive nature.

Test results
D.O.N. Issue 5 30.3 mm
Average 29.3 mm
Compared to 50 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
23.6 mm
Heel stack
38.4 mm

Forefoot stack

The forefoot stack is just about average, according to our calliper.

Adidas D.O.N. Issue 5 Forefoot stack

At 21.4 mm, we could feel the court pretty well under our feet. Even though this shoe is not the most bouncy out there, we felt quick and light during our playtests, which is something we believe to be ideal for players whose playstyle relies on quick footwork and speedy moves.

Test results
D.O.N. Issue 5 21.4 mm
Average 21.7 mm
Compared to 50 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
18.0 mm
Forefoot stack
29.2 mm

Drop

After comparing the stack height at the toes and at the heel, we concluded this shoe has a drop of 8.9 mm.

Adidas D.O.N. Issue 5 Drop

We can clearly see in the picture that the Issue 5's heel is more elevated than the forefoot area, which gave us some extra cushioning whilst letting us feel the court closer with our ball of the foot.

Adidas D.O.N. Issue 5_outdoor_0011

Even before we cut the shoe in half in our lab, when we were playing ball we could feel a lot of supportiveness in our midfoot. Like, a real lot! Then we found out this shoe had some extra arch support added to the side. Look!

Adidas D.O.N. Issue 5_outdoor_0013

Adidas' Three Stripes logo acts as a containment and supportive feature that offered us a wonderful snug fit during our playtests. Thanks to this, we felt more confident hooping, which is something that every player should get from their shoes!

Test results
D.O.N. Issue 5 8.9 mm
Average 7.7 mm
Compared to 50 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
4.0 mm
Drop
14.8 mm

Midsole softness

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

When our durometer showed us a reading 16% lower than average, we knew our feet were right when we felt this Adidas model was on the softer side.

Adidas D.O.N. Issue 5 Midsole softness

At 22.0 HA, this midsole's lack of hardness was strategically compensated by the stiffness of the shank we mentioned before. Thanks to the brand's intelligent decision, we could enjoy the best of both worlds: comfort and support.

Test results
D.O.N. Issue 5 22.0 HA
Average 25.6 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 50 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
11.0 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
38.6 HA

Insole thickness

The D.O.N. issue 5 features a simple insole.

Adidas D.O.N. Issue 5 Insole thickness

No fuss, no problems, no crazy stuff. At 4.3 mm, our calliper confirmed it's just average.

Test results
D.O.N. Issue 5 4.3 mm
Average 4.5 mm
Compared to 50 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Insole thickness
8.6 mm

Stability

Lateral stability test

During our wear tests, we felt this shoe was very stable! We know we've mentioned it before, but we want to highlight that this is an incredibly important feature for a basketball shoe.

Check how stable our ankles and feet look in the video above. Well, that's exactly how we felt! We loved this, as feeling safe is a crucial base point to perform more aggressive moves and jumps. Let us give you a quick example: we wouldn't go for an alley-oop against a zone defence if we didn't feel surefooted enough!

Adidas D.O.N. Issue 5_outdoor_0016

In the front, we have a low-height stack that lets us feel closer to the ground and, consequently more stable. In the middle, we've got a supportive structure on the medial side. And in the back? Drums, please... A wonderful heel clip!

Adidas D.O.N. Issue 5_outdoor_0015

This structural piece gave us even more support, so heel slippage was totally out of the question! To summarise, our overall experience regarding stability with the D.O.N. issue 5 was terrific.

Torsional rigidity

And more support is on the way!

We tried to bend, pinch, twist, and wring this shoe, but it didn't even give in a little bit. As you can imagine, it scored a perfect 5/5 on our torsional rigidity test. Honestly, if this test was any longer, we might have needed to go to a physiotherapist... our thumbs were exhausted!

Adidas D.O.N. Issue 5_outdoor_0012

Such high torsional rigidity also has its downside, which is a break-in period. It was not horrible, though, at least for us! Or maybe it's that we're comparing it with the hell on earth we were given by the Nike LeBron 21? Now those were blisters, oof!

Test results
D.O.N. Issue 5 5
Average 4.5
Compared to 50 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

The Issue 5's whole structure favours containment, so we thought the heel counter would get a high score in our stiffness test. Nevertheless, we didn't feel that during our wear tests. Before we describe it to you, let us show you a video.

We can clearly see it's bendy, but just from the middle of the heel up! The bottom part features a TPU heel clip that supports this area, and we literally couldn't get enough of this wonderful move Adidas smartly pulled off!

This shoe got a 3/5 in our heel counter stiffness test, which is slightly below the average. Yet, thanks to the heel clip, our feet didn't move an inch!

Test results
D.O.N. Issue 5 3
Average 3.6
Compared to 50 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

When our calliper returned 110.9 mm we just couldn't close our mouths. How was it possible for such a stable model to get such a low score when we measured its midsole's width in the forefoot?

Adidas D.O.N. Issue 5 Midsole width in the forefoot

We literally couldn't believe it but, to be honest... our feet did feel how streamlined this model is during our wear tests. Yet, as this didn't translate into instability, we didn't really pay a lot of attention to it until we brought the shoe back to the lab.

Test results
D.O.N. Issue 5 110.9 mm
Average 114.5 mm
Compared to 50 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
106.2 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
122.2 mm

Midsole width in the heel

The heel doesn't follow the same path, though! At 95.4 mm, the midsole in this area is way wider than average.

Adidas D.O.N. Issue 5 Midsole width in the heel

This only led to more stability. Just imagine how wonderfully the wider base and heel clip worked hand in hand!

Test results
D.O.N. Issue 5 95.4 mm
Average 90.4 mm
Compared to 50 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
82.4 mm
Midsole width in the heel
105.1 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

So far, our lab tests indicated a wonderful mix of stiffness and softness. Basically, its balance structure gives us some support right where we want it, and also some softness whenever we need extra comfort.

With a score of 37.8N, our gauge confirmed what our feet felt: despite the overall rigid structure, this model didn't have any problems bending easily along our feet!

Adidas D.O.N. Issue 5_outdoor_006

This translated into smoother transitions and shot drills in our wear tests. Why? Because the ball of the foot is constantly bent when you train shooting mechanics. And the Adidas D.O.N. Issue 5 is perfect for that!

Test results
D.O.N. Issue 5 37.8N
Average 39.8N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 50 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
23.8N
Stiffness
67.2N

Grip / Traction

We've finally made it to what we can confidently say it's one of our favourite parts of this shoe: its traction!

Yeah, yeah, we are madly in love with its incredibly supportive yet streamlined structure, as it makes it a quick and nimble model to dribble with. But when we played, we just couldn't get enough of its outsole... it bit the court as if it was its last meal!

Adidas D.O.N. Issue 5_outdoor_003

Look at that beauty, the design is just to die for!

Alright, alright, let's get down to business and stop drooling over one of the coolest outsoles ever. There are a couple of things we'd like to address here, so we're gonna go for it as bullet points to make it easier to follow:

  • The wonderfully sticky herringbone pattern that spreads throughout the whole outsole. It bites literally anything, so what can we say apart from "yes and thank you!".
  • Not one or two, but three pivot discs! We could go heavily into detail as to why this is a wonderful design choice from Adidas, but we're going to keep it short. First and foremost, most basketball moves rely on the ball of the foot. Crossover steps, pivoting, fakes... you name it! So the fact that there are 2 pivot discs in that area makes every move way smoother. There's also one at the heel, and it follows the same logic. Nevertheless, whereas the ones in the forefoot favour any position, the one in the heel focuses on centres and power-forwards. Even though Donovan himself is a guard, we believe the pivot point at the heel improves centre's moves when pivoting and post-playing to move quickly and face the rim, creating an opening.
  • Last but not least, the super cool signature of the player! Even though this doesn't necessarily have an effect on playability and performance, who doesn't want to hoop in style?

Adidas D.O.N. Issue 5_outdoor_005

To sum up, all these small details have worked together to create a shoe with a wonderful grip. We felt it was super sticky out of the box, and even though it picked up some dust, after a couple of wipes it bit the court like crazy once again!

Size and fit

Toebox width at the widest part

At 104.0 mm, our calliper had to open up way more than average to give us this measurement!

Adidas D.O.N. Issue 5 Toebox width at the widest part

This was great news for our standard-width feet, as we felt we had plenty of space! So we didn't have to deal with any hot-spots in this area, yay!

Test results
D.O.N. Issue 5 104.0 mm
Average 101.5 mm
Compared to 50 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
92.6 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
108.2 mm

Toebox width at the big toe

But... the Issue 5 tappers quite A LOT towards the toe! At 72.4 mm, we definitely can't recommend it to wide-foot hoopers, as they'd feel constrained.

Adidas D.O.N. Issue 5 Toebox width at the big toe

What's more, this shoe's materials are not stretchy at all! So don't expect it to accommodate wider feet after some time... it won't happen!

Test results
D.O.N. Issue 5 72.4 mm
Average 76.7 mm
Compared to 44 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
71.2 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
85.1 mm

Tongue: gusset type

When we put this shoe on for the first time, we actually took our sweet time checking and trying to understand its tongue. In our lab, we could see it's a both sides semi-gusseted tongue, yet the medial side is fully sewn, up to the top!

Adidas D.O.N. Issue 5 Tongue: gusset type_2

Here we have the outer side, now look at the inner one!

Adidas D.O.N. Issue 5 Tongue: gusset type_1

Adidas, if you were trying to show us how innovative you are... it worked!

This is a 2 piece tongue that opens up laterally, covering the whole instep. The whole experience was just... different. Let's move on to the tongue padding so we can explain why!

Adidas D.O.N. Issue 5_outdoor_009

Test results
D.O.N. Issue 5 Both sides (semi)

Comfort

Tongue padding

Even though we were pretty happy with this shoe's snug fit, we can't say it was because of its tongue.

At 5.2 mm, our calliper claimed it is an incredibly 83% less padded than average! You know what this means, right? Watch out for lace bite! It's true that the Issue 5's supportive nature helps with this, but we felt the eyelets were not on our side...

Adidas D.O.N. Issue 5 Tongue padding

The lace loops looked a bit flimsy, but what confused us the most was the last one. As you can see, it's not a loop anymore, but an eyelet as a hole in the upper. We actually felt it might break if we pulled too hard, which we didn't like at all! You know, one of this shoe's strongest points is its containment, and every piece and detail should be on board.

Adidas D.O.N. Issue 5_outdoor_008

Still, we want to say that during our wear tests, we pulled the laces and went for a tight and snug fit. The fact that the top eyelet is part of the shoe's upper helped us with this, as we felt the entire structure was hugging our feet.

Test results
D.O.N. Issue 5 5.2 mm
Average 9.5 mm
Compared to 50 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1.3 mm
Tongue padding
15.9 mm

Heel tab

The Adidas D.O.N. Issue 5 features a finger-loop at the heel.

Adidas D.O.N. Issue 5 Heel tab

We are huge fans of finger loops, and of anything that lets us put our shoes quickly and start hooping asap!

Test results
D.O.N. Issue 5 Finger loop

Removable insole

First of all: Look. At. This. Insole!

Adidas D.O.N. Issue 5 Removable insole_1

It features Donovan 'Spida' Mitchell logo, and we loved it (it looks like a spider, can you see it?)! Leaving the style aside, the fact that this insole is removable is simply the cherry on top!

Adidas D.O.N. Issue 5 Removable insole_2

Test results
D.O.N. Issue 5 Yes

Misc

Reflective elements

No reflective elements here! Pitch black it is.

Adidas D.O.N. Issue 5 Reflective elements

Test results
D.O.N. Issue 5 No