Profile of 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.


Cushion. 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. 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.

Traction. 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.

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.


Length and Width. Although the Adidas Harden Vol. 2 fits true to size, the shoe feels narrow at the midfoot due to the elastic band in that area. This, however, will eventually stretch after breaking in. Thus, it is recommended to stick with your standard Adidas basketball shoe size.

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.

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.


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.

Another layer of materials cover 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.

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.

A 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.


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

Special Colorways of the Adidas Harden Vol. 2

Three colorways were released during the Harden Vol. 2’s global launch. These were the “California Dreamin’”, “Ignite”, and “Vision.” Adidas, later on, released several other colorways. Below are some of the ones available:

  • Navy Green/Orange/Black/White
  • Burgundy/White
  • Burgundy/White/Light Gray
  • Burgundy/Yellow/Black/White
  • Mystery Ink/Ftwr White/Blue Tint
  • White/Red
  • White/Red/Charcoal

Adidas Harden Vol. 2 Bred

The Bred colorway is simply a prominent combination of black and red. It is a common color scheme for Michael Jordan’s signature line. James Harden comes up with his own Bred scheme for the Vol. 2s. With a predominantly black upper, these Harden basketball shoes also feature red detailing and a yellow Harden logo.

Adidas Harden Vol. 2 California Dreamin’

The “California Dreamin’” colorway is one of the three colorways that James Harden’s second signature shoes are released in. It comes in peach, teal, and lavender to represent Harden’s love for the City of Angels.

Adidas Harden Vol. 2 Concrete

Dominating the court by literally grounding his opponents, Los Angeles Clippers’ Wesley Johnson is an example, seems like a normal day for The Beard. The "Concrete" colorway celebrates this in a gray on gray ensemble.

Adidas Harden Vol. 2 Ignite

The “Ignite” colorway represents Harden’s ability to drive the Houston Rockets to that coveted championship title. This colorway comes with a maroon and burgundy upper.

Adidas Harden Vol. 2 Imma Be A Star

Also a featured  color of James Harden’s Vol. 1, the “Imma Be A Star” colorway is a symbol of the Beard’s fulfilled promise to his mother. He once wrote to her through a refrigerator note, “Could u wake me up at 7:00 and could u leave me a couple of dollars. P.S. Keep this paper. Imma be a star.”

Adidas Harden Vol. 2 MVP

Bagging the 2017-2018 NBA Most Valuable Player award is a cause for a huge celebration for James Harden. Together with the newly crowned MVP, Adidas released a pack of Harden signature kicks in a special MVP colorway. The Vol. 2 is part of this collection, and it is outfitted in black, gold, and blue hues.

Adidas Harden Vol. 2 Pioneer

Another colorway that was also applied to the previous model, the “Pioneer” rendition has the  upper bathed in different shades of red. Balancing it out is the white midsole and the light gray outsole.

Adidas Harden Vol. 2 Traffic Jam

James Harden can go to anywhere he needs on the court regardless of the traffic, most especially when he goes for a score. The "Traffic Jam" colorway pays tribute to his unique offense abilities in a black, gray, and white upper. Harden debuted this colorway in a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2018.

Adidas Harden Vol. 2 Vision

The “Vision” colorway comes in shades of teal, blue, red, orange, and yellow. This color scheme represents the NBA player’s Audubon Middle School in LA where he developed the vision of becoming who he is today.


How Adidas Harden Vol. 2 ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 2% basketball shoes
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Top 4% Adidas basketball shoes
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Top 16% james harden basketball shoes
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The current trend of Adidas Harden Vol. 2.
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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.