Verdict from 1 expert and 100+ user reviews

5 reasons to buy

  • The materials used in the upper such as the suede and the tumbled leather are highly praised by several shoe buyers because they feel and look premium.
  • A couple of wearers like how the Adidas Harden LS 2 Buckle look like; they say that the shoe’s silhouette and materials make the shoe look luxurious.
  • The lockdown system of the shoe is very much effective in locking the foot down tightly.
  • Unlike other Harden shoes, the LS 2’s midsole isn’t caged in the forefoot so its Boost cushioning can be fully felt, and several reviewers say that it feels nice and comfortable.
  • The shoe’s traction works fairly well on clean courts, says a reviewer.

4 reasons not to buy

  • The outsole rubber attracts dust while the tread pattern is prone to clogging. One reviewer says that he experiences a lot of sliding even when he plays only on a mildly dusty court. Constant wiping is needed to freshen up the outsole’s gripping power.
  • Although premium, the flimsy materials on the LS 2 Buckle’s upper do not provide enough support and are not suitable to play basketball in.
  • One user says that the shoe is difficult to put on.
  • The users’ biggest complaint is that the belt buckle is not elastic. Wide-footers or people with high arches might find the shoe uncomfortable as the belt may cause painful pinching.

Bottom line

This basketball-inspired sneaker, as per the reviews of the testers, is not meant for performance basketball. The traction doesn’t have that much to offer in terms of grip.  The Boost midsole, although comfortable, is a bit wobbly. The high-quality upper is not sturdy enough to go through a beating on-court. Lastly, the midfoot belt causes fit issues. It would be better to spend your money on a better hooping shoe (like the Harden Vol 3 and Why Not Zer0.2) that covers you on all aspects.

Tip: see the best basketball shoes.

Good to know

The Harden Vol. 2 LS Buckle, also known as the Harden LS 2, is released a month before its lace counterpart, the Harden Vol. 2 LS Lace. The shoe offers premium materials, comfortable cushioning, and a stylish silhouette that definitely catches eyes when rocked casually.

Cushion. Like the majority of James Harden's signature shoes, the Harden Vol. 2 LS Buckle features a Boost midsole setup. Named to be one of the most comfortable cushioning to ever grace Adidas's sneaker tech scene, the Adidas Boost is basically the material formed by molding together elastic thermoplastic urethane pellets. This material yields the least energy loss in the shoe market. It was initially used on running shoes.

Traction. The Vol. 2 LS Buckle along with its fraternal twin the Vol. 2 LS Laces sports an outsole pattern that is different from the other Harden basketball shoes. A brick-like pattern called the running bond is applied to the sneaker's outsole from the toe to heel. This design allows for the small nubs on the shoe to splay and grip the floor when flexing or running.

Length and Width. The Buckle version of the Vol. 2 LS, although fits true to size, has a midfoot section that is said to feel narrow. Wide-footers should go to their local shoe store and try the shoe on first before purchasing if they want to be like several users who had to return their pair because of troubles buckling the shoe’s midfoot strap.

Lockdown.  The shoe relies on the nylon webbing strap on its midfoot for lockdown. This feature resembles a car seat belt, which is non-elastic but holds one’s body securely in place. The fit can be adjusted by anchoring the G hook on any of the loops on the lateral side of the shoe.

Fashioned in a burrito-type construction, the external top part of the shoe is mainly composed of a premium suede material. The lower part is made of high-quality tumbled leather. The midfoot belt is made of a strong woven nylon fabric. The midsole is composed of a Boost foam that is encaged with a thick solid rubber at the toe and heel area.

The silhouette features a modern twist to Harden’s basketball shoes, making it fit for all-around casual wear. The large midfoot straps take center stage, bringing with it a high-end military vibe. The Adidas logo is hidden on the underside of the shoe’s midfoot pull tab while the Harden logo is displayed on its surface.

The Harden Vol. 2 LS Buckle is available in two official colorways. These are discussed in the subsections below.

Adidas Harden Vol. 2 LS Buckle Cargo

One of the three colorways that the Harden LS 2 debuted in, the Cargo version features a light green upper, sharing the color of military cargo pants. The black midfoot straps together with a beige outsole and white midsole liven up the shoe’s predominantly pale color.

Adidas Harden Vol. 2 LS Buckle Night Life

With his own sense of fashion, James Harden is ready to take the streets with his Night Life colorway of the Harden LS 2 Buckle. The shoe comes in an all-black upper and straps with a white midsole and a light gray outsole.


How Adidas Harden Vol. 2 LS Buckle ranks compared to all other shoes
Bottom 38% basketball shoes
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Bottom 38% Adidas basketball shoes
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Bottom 16% james harden basketball shoes
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The current trend of Adidas Harden Vol. 2 LS Buckle.
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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.