Our verdict

With stability as its number one priority, Adidas is back with another Torsion System-equipped hooper. We've found the Adidas Trae Young 3 is a perfect match for those players who want to perform like the NBA's most aggressive guards and need a pair of kicks to keep up with their quick game. In our wear tests, this shoe made us feel stable and surefooted in our every move. And in our lab tests, we discovered it focuses on keeping it low to the ground, so it doesn't have the plushest midsole. Still, we believe it's ideal for athletes who are agile and quick on the court. If your playstyle is all about imposing offences, sudden sprints, precise dribbling, and dominant cuts, make sure you sign this new assist leader of your shoe game!

Pros

  • Superb stability with Torsion System
  • Reliable heel containment
  • Balanced impact protection and court feel
  • Incredible traction on indoor courts
  • Amazingly durable outsole
  • Comfortably padded interior
  • Wide-foot friendly
  • Removable insole
  • Eye-catching clean design

Cons

  • Quite heavy
  • Upper lacks durability
  • Poor grip on dusty courts

Audience verdict

90
Superb!

Who should buy

Trae Young fans and Adidas lovers, your 2 favs are back with this third iteration! We know this shoe will be the collection's MVP of:

  • Guards that have a quick and aggressive playstyle and need something that prioritises ground-contact.
  • Players who want something to keep up with their advanced technique regarding motion control.
  • Wearers that love a grippy and durable sole that can resist their tricky moves in the offence.
  • Hoopers that are looking for a shoe that shines in stability and lockdown.
  • Athletes who play indoors.

Adidas Trae Young 3_13

Who should NOT buy

The Trae Young 3 might not be the best option if you're looking for a pair with a durable upper. The Trae Young 2, despite being the previous iteration, is built using way more heavy-duty materials. But let us warn you: even though it has a slip-on design, it's incredibly tricky to put on! On the contrary, this new model features a traditional lacing system, which makes things easier.

If you are a point guard fan or player who wants to hoop it up in the summer, you're gonna need a trustworthy breathable pair. As long as you don't mind changing brands, we recommend the Under Armour Curry 10, which is not only better ventilated, but also much lighter than the Trae Young 3. 

Adidas Trae Young 3_11

Breathability

As Trae Young once said: "My confidence level never varies". And we do believe that's what his shoes would say too if they could talk!

Even though this pair's outsole is not the best for dusty courts, it sticks to everything else like a BEAST. When we played on clean indoor courts, the shoe offered an outstanding grip thanks to its different traction patterns.

In our opinion, an incredibly important upgrade in comparison with the previous version is the wider pivoting area in the ball of the foot. That allows easier and more seamless pivoting moves (as well as more stability). And now you might be wondering: "Is that not just for pivots? Like the name says?", so let us explain this to you.

Adidas Trae Young 3 Lug depth

Can you see the whitest zone right there with the circular pattern? That's what we're talking about right now.

It's helpful for moves that every player makes during a game. And even though it's indeed beneficial for pivoting right under the rim, it's also incredibly advantageous for guards who need to change directions quickly, or for anyone who needs to secure a pass after grabbing the ball (and avoid a travelling violation).

Adidas Trae Young 3_16

If you are a point guard and you're facing a defender as merciless as Giannis Antetokounmpo, you will DEFINITELY need that extra help to try and fool him!

Test results
Trae Young 3 3
Average 2.3
Compared to 47 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Toebox durability

Unlike the NBA players, who should be good at offence and defence, shoes can be bad at breathability but good at resistance. These two parameters are usually opposites, which means that, in most cases, if a shoe is highly breathable, its upper won't be very durable.

To check this, we drilled the Trae Young 3's toebox for a good 12 seconds (half of a shot-clock violation, wow!) at a 5K RPM speed. Wanna see what happened?

White material flying around like a ball hitting the very end of the rim! Getting a score of 3 out 5 for its toebox durability, we have to say that we were a bit disappointed. As this new version has the same breathability as the previous one, we did expect an upper just as durable (the Trae Young 2 scored a 5 out of 5 in this same test).

Adidas Trae Young 3 Toebox durability_1

We used the Reebok Shaq Attaq (which also scored a perfect 5/5) again to compare the resistance of each toebox to our Dremel. And just by looking at it, you can probably tell the Trae Young 3 got destroyed in this 1vs1... literally.

Adidas Trae Young 3 Toebox durability_2

Honestly, you should just stick to the Trae Young 2 if you want an okay-ish breathable but very durable pair. But if you're looking for something truly breathable and you don't mind "helping the enemy team" a little bit, the Nike Lebron Witness 7 is well-ventilated, slightly cheaper, and incredibly stylish!

Test results
Trae Young 3 3
Average 3.8
Compared to 38 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

In this sport, moves are usually aggressive and pretty fast: cuts, fakes, layups... Trae Young is an astounding player, but he shines specifically because of his offence. He's a strong attacker, so his shoes can't fall short!

When we put this 3rd version on, we felt the heel was nicely padded and comfortable. Forget about annoying rubs or blisters, our feet were pretty happy even during our first game with it! But... we couldn't let it run away from our Dremel.

 As you can see in the video, we put our tool not at the back, but right in the middle of the plushy sides of the heel. And... they performed just as badly as the upper. After only 4 seconds, we could see considerable wear.

Adidas Trae Young 3 Heel padding durability_2

Still... we have seen worse! It does look dramatic in the picture, though. But as the heel is quite padded, our tool could not take all its comfort away. This made us give the Trae Young 3 another 3 out of 5 in our heel padding durability test.

Adidas Trae Young 3 Heel padding durability_·

You might think that the padding looks just done after our test, needing a timeout badly. But have a look at the Reebok Answer DMX (on the left). It doesn't look that bad anymore, does it? This Reebok player wouldn't need to catch its breath during halftime... the game is already over for it!

Test results
Trae Young 3 3
Average 3.6
Compared to 35 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

Overall, we found this shoe's upper pretty comfortable, so... what about its outsole? Well, we can say that it does reflect Trae Young's hard game! When an outsole is hard, it usually means that it's ready to last. Let's see if our durometer agrees!

Adidas Trae Young 3 Outsole hardness_1

And... it does! At 88.0 HC, this outsole is definitely harder than average!

In other words, these kicks won't run away from you any time soon. As you know, Trae Young is also a fairly young player, so of course he would want something to walk his long basketball path along with him!

Test results
Trae Young 3 88.0 HC
Average 82.1 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 47 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
59.5 HC
Outsole hardness
91.0 HC

Outsole durability

Alright, let's get down to our Dremel and its man-to-man... offence.

After a 22-second attack at a high speed of 10K RPM, we measured a small 0.7 mm deep dent. Literally just a scratch, wow! This is where we start to see the improvement compared to the last version, as the damage was more than 2 times deeper!

Adidas Trae Young 3 Outsole durability_2

You might be wondering if this means that you can use this pair for outdoor basketball, right? Well, its outsole is indeed durable, we're not saying otherwise. Still... that's just not enough. We couldn't recommend it as a solid outdoor-ready option, but it will definitely be with you for a long time!

If streetball is your thing, check any of these toughies out and show your neighbours how it's done!

Test results
Trae Young 3 0.7 mm
Average 1.0 mm
Compared to 26 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm

Outsole thickness

Our calliper made sure we understood why taking these pals outside for a game was not a good idea.

Adidas Trae Young 3 Outsole thickness_1

At 3.5 mm, its outsole thickness is below the average. This means that the amount of rubber protecting this shoe is slightly thinner compared to other pairs.

Test results
Trae Young 3 3.5 mm
Average 4.0 mm
Compared to 47 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole thickness
6.9 mm

Weight

We know that you'll definitely nod if we say that Trae Young is an incredibly talented player. As a point guard, he needs to be extremely fast, so we did expect this shoe to match his strikingly quick attacks.

Adidas Trae Young 3 Weight

But... that wasn't the case. The crowd would boo at the fact that this version is even slightly heavier than the previous one! (15.0 oz / 425g compared to the v2's 14.8 oz / 420g).

We know that's not much of a difference, but honestly, we did expect some improvement in this area. This pair is not only heavier than its predecessor, it's also heavier than average!

If you're looking for a lighter option that belongs to another extraordinarily gifted point guard, have a look at the Jordan Luka 1 (12.80 oz / 363g).

Test results
Trae Young 3 14.99 oz (425g)
Average 14.00 oz (397g)
Compared to 47 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
11.29 oz (320g)
Weight
17.46 oz (495g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

As these teammates are quite heavy, we thought all their weight would go to its cushioning and padding.

Adidas Trae Young 3 Heel stack_2

But our calliper disagreed. At 29.6 mm, the heel stack of this shoe is quite close to the average. So, to say it in a nice way, nothing special.

This decision regarding a shoe's design is usually to keep its weight low. Even though it hasn't been the case here, we've got some good news for you.

When the stack height is low, we can feel the court closer. This translates into accurate and precise moves. It is starting to sound more like a point guard shoe, right?

In our wear test, we definitely felt in control when we were playing. Additionally, this pair does have enough cushioning for our joints not to suffer. In other words, our feet felt the ground, but there was also some impact protection for our jumps.

If you're looking for an extra padded companion, the Nike Lebrons are ready to pick and roll you into an extra comfy game experience!

Test results
Trae Young 3 29.6 mm
Average 29.4 mm
Compared to 47 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
23.6 mm
Heel stack
38.4 mm

Forefoot stack

The same happens with the forefoot stack, but we were not surprised.

Adidas Trae Young 3 Forefoot stack_!

At 20.7 mm, your toes are pretty close to the ground. Even though this score is just slightly lower than average, it was enough for us to feel the ground and stay stable in our every move.

The Trae Young 3's stack heights might not sound like much, but trust us, they are enough to make you feel supported. This model focuses on stability, hence its low stack, but it also makes sure your feet are protected not only from unbalanced steps, but also from impacts.

We really enjoyed this mix in our games. Nice one, Adidas!

Test results
Trae Young 3 20.7 mm
Average 21.7 mm
Compared to 47 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
18.0 mm
Forefoot stack
29.2 mm

Drop

The stack of this shoe is not high, and neither is its drop.

Adidas Trae Young 3 Drop

At 8.9 mm, the difference between the toes and the heel heights is nothing special. Both parts let your feet stay close to the court and, consequently, the platform is low enough to keep you stable at all times. That was exactly our experience with this pair!

Look at that, our foot barely even moves when landing!

Test results
Trae Young 3 8.9 mm
Average 7.7 mm
Compared to 47 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.

Even though this pair's outsole is quite hard and it's made to last, we felt the midsole was different.

At 22.5 HA, our durometer told us we were right, as in our playtests we noticed the Trae Young 3's midsole was slightly plush. Yet, once again, nothing compared to the v2's (11.5 HA).

Still, we can assure you it doesn't feel like a brick underfoot. Don't worry!

Adidas Trae Young 3 Midsole softness_1

Side note: Compared to the previous iteration, this one does not include a secondary foam.

Test results
Trae Young 3 22.5 HA
Average 25.6 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 47 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
11.0 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
38.6 HA

Insole thickness

Once again, this shoe's insole is thinner than we expected if we take into account the Trae Young 3's overall weight.

Adidas Trae Young 3 Insole thickness_1

At 4.1 mm, it's just slightly lower than average, as it focuses on making sure you feel every part of the court under your feet.

Test results
Trae Young 3 4.1 mm
Average 4.5 mm
Compared to 47 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Insole thickness
8.6 mm

Stability

Lateral stability test

Remember: The lower the platform, the more stable the shoes!

During our games with these kicks, we felt that the motion control was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! No wobbly ankles, no unsteady steps, no unbalanced landings... just pure precision.

This is one of our favourite parts about this pair. It lets you feel the court, and it makes you feel that you own it! More specifically, we loved it for in-n-outs, pump fakes, and any type of dribbling that required very precise or solid movements.

In the previous video, you can see our feet performing a key point in an in-n-out. Check how stable our feet are, there was no slippage at all!

Torsional rigidity

In order to keep our feet stable, we need a solid structure that keeps them in place.

Unlike pivots, who usually have slower and more "you won't move me from my spot" moves, point guards like Trae Young need to be fast. And as you might know, the faster you move, the more risk there is for your ankles to suffer some kind of injury! In order to protect you from that, the v3 of this lane holds an incredibly rigid upper.

Just look at our thumbs... you can definitely tell we were trying our best to bend these baddies! But they didn't feel like cooperating. With a well-deserved 5 out of 5 in our torsional rigidity test, the Trae Young 3 is a trustworthy teammate that will keep your feet safe.

Adidas Trae Young 3_15

Test results
Trae Young 3 5
Average 4.5
Compared to 47 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

The heel follows the same path, as it focuses on keeping your feet right where they should be!

With a 4 out of 5 in our heel counter stiffness test, you might think that this shoe is prone to heel rubbing. Even though this part might seem unforgiving, it's thickly padded, remember?

Adidas Trae Young 3_19

So your heels will stay in place AND protected!

We're loving this, Adidas!

Test results
Trae Young 3 4
Average 3.6
Compared to 47 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

If something is already great... why would you change it? That's what the brand decided after seeing how loved the midsole width in the forefoot of the previous version was!

Adidas Trae Young 3 Midsole width in the forefoot

Once again at 122.2 mm, this pair can proudly say it accommodates wide feet!

Test results
Trae Young 3 122.2 mm
Average 114.4 mm
Compared to 47 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
106.2 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
122.2 mm

Midsole width in the heel

But in the heel... the results were EVEN better!

Surpassing its older sibling, our calliper showed 105.1 mm, which is also way wider than average!

Adidas Trae Young 3 Midsole width in the heel

Remember we said before "the lower the stack, the more stable the shoe"? Well, let us add one more motto: "The wider the midsole, the more stable the landings"!

We found this extremely convenient for our layups when the opposing team had a tough pivot or a solid defence, as the shoe kept us stable even if we landed after being slightly hit in the air.

Test results
Trae Young 3 105.1 mm
Average 90.4 mm
Compared to 47 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
82.4 mm
Midsole width in the heel
105.1 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

As the whole structure of these toughies is quite stiff, we knew they wouldn't be super duper flexible.

We used a gauge to measure how much force was needed to bend this Adidas shoe to a 90-degree angle. At 40.8N, on the one hand, we were pretty happy, but on the other hand... kind of disappointed. You see, the v2 required only 31.4N in this same test, which means it's more flexible.

Regarding our experience, we did feel this in our heel-to-toe transitions. The thing is, the Trae Young 3 is equipped with the brand's Torsion System (which is an Adidas technology that promotes stability), and it doesn't let the shoe bend more than it should.

Despite all that, our wear tests proved the v3 does have a comfortable and unrestricted ride. 

Test results
Trae Young 3 40.8N
Average 40.3N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 47 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
28.9N
Stiffness
67.2N

Grip / Traction

As Trae Young once said: "My confidence level never varies". And we do believe that's what his shoes would say too if they could talk!

Even though this pair's outsole is not the best for dusty courts, it sticks to everything else like a BEAST. When we played on clean indoor courts, the shoe offered an outstanding grip thanks to its different traction patterns.

In our opinion, an incredibly important upgrade in comparison with the previous version is the wider pivoting area in the ball of the foot. That allows easier and more seamless pivoting moves (as well as more stability). And now you might be wondering: "Is that not just for pivots? Like the name says?", so let us explain this to you.

Adidas Trae Young 3 Lug depth

Can you see the whitest zone right there with the circular pattern? That's what we're talking about right now.

It's helpful for moves that every player makes during a game. And even though it's indeed beneficial for pivoting right under the rim, it's also incredibly advantageous for guards who need to change directions quickly, or for anyone who needs to secure a pass after grabbing the ball (and avoid a travelling violation).

Adidas Trae Young 3_16

If you are a point guard and you're facing a defender as merciless as Giannis Antetokounmpo, you will DEFINITELY need that extra help to try and fool him!

Size and fit

Toebox width at the widest part

This might sound confusing, but a wider platform does NOT mean a toebox just as wide! And the Trae Young 3 is a great example.

Adidas Trae Young 3 Toebox width at the widest part

At 100.8 mm, this Adidas shoe is just average, and we do believe this is a wonderful design choice. Why? Because even though the platform is wide and the shoe accommodates wide feet, its snugger toebox makes sure they are supported. You will totally understand what we're talking about just having a look at the picture below.

Adidas Trae Young 3_20

Listen here, we are the ones dancing in the court, not our feet!

Test results
Trae Young 3 100.8 mm
Average 101.4 mm
Compared to 47 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
92.6 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
108.2 mm

Toebox width at the big toe

As well as in the widest part of the toebox, this shoe is also wider than its predecessor at the big toe.

Adidas Trae Young 3 Toebox width at the big toe

At 76.7 mm, its width is average, but a whole 5.5 mm wider than the v2! This means wide-feet / big-toed players will definitely feel more comfortable.

We're loving this design upgrade!

Test results
Trae Young 3 76.7 mm
Average 76.6 mm
Compared to 41 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
71.2 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
85.1 mm

Tongue: gusset type

Unlike the previous version, which had a once-piece upper, this shoe has a both-sides gusseted tongue.

Adidas Trae Young 3 Tongue: gusset type

We really liked this change. It doesn't only give the shoe a wider opening, it also helps with its breathability!

Can you see the amount of holes it has? That's why all the smoke was coming through the tongue in our breathability test. So it does not only look cool, it's also very functional!

Adidas Trae Young 3_17

It looks really pretty all tied up, doesn't it? And there's nothing better than defeating your enemies... with style.

Test results
Trae Young 3 Both sides (full)

Comfort

Tongue padding

This shoe's tongue could be the MVP. Stylish, functional, helpful regarding breathability... and also not stuffy!

Adidas Trae Young 3 Tongue padding

At 3.7 mm, the Trae Young 3's tongue is WAY thinner than average. And when we say "way", we mean a whole 61%!

As you can see, this shoe is plush just in the right spots, so the fact that it doesn't have a massive tongue helps not to add more unnecessary weight, as it's already a heavy pair.

Test results
Trae Young 3 3.7 mm
Average 9.6 mm
Compared to 47 basketball shoes
Number of shoes
1.3 mm
Tongue padding
15.9 mm

Heel tab

We're loving the double game of a finger-loop at the heel AND at the top of the tongue!

Adidas Trae Young 3_18

Once again, it's a functional and very nice detail that matches the minimalist vibe and clean style of these baddies.

Test results
Trae Young 3 Finger loop

Removable insole

You can change this shoe's insole and use your own orthotics, there's no problem!

Adidas Trae Young 3 Removable insole

Remember we said its insole is quite thin? If you're looking for a plushier ride, you can just use another one. The whole platform is quite wide, so you shouldn't have any issues accommodating it!

Adidas Trae Young 3_12

Test results
Trae Young 3 Yes

Misc

Reflective elements

Nuh-uh, mate. You're the one shining in this pair, no reflective elements here!

Adidas Trae Young 3 Reflective elements

Test results
Trae Young 3 No

Trae Young 2 vs. 3

As we have already mentioned throughout the whole review, there have been multiple changes regarding the previous version of this basketball shoe. These are some key points that might help you make up your mind and stay with the v2, or go ahead and buy the v3:

  • Both have an average breathability and heel padding durability of 3/5.
  • The v2's toebox is way more durable than the v3's (5/5 vs. 2/5).
  • The v3 has a harder and more durable outsole.
  • Both are about the same weight. The v2 is 0.2 oz / 5 g lighter, but your feet won't notice the difference.
  • The v2's midsole is way softer (11.5 HA vs. the v3's 22.5 HA).
  • The v2 holds a secondary foam, but the v3 doesn't. Consequently, the ground feeling is better.
  • Both are very rigid (5/5 in their torsional rigidity tests).
  • The v2 got a lower score in our flex test, where we bent it to 90 degrees (31.4N vs. 40.8N). This means it's more flexible, so the ride is smoother.
  • The v3 has a wider platform and pivoting area, so it's more stable.
  • The v3 includes Adidas' Torsion System technology, and the v2 doesn't.
  • The v2 features the Lightstrike cushioning technology and a BOOST midsole.
  • The v2 has a sock-like fit that's very hard to put on, but the v3 has a more convenient traditional lacing system.
  • The v3 is wider at the big toe, which makes it more comfortable for wide-feet / big-toed players.