Adidas NMD “Clear Blue” Review

The re-emergence of Adidas is in full swing. If the introduction of the Ultra Boost model that Kanye was rocking was the appetizer, the Adidas NMD is the main course.

I’ve been waiting for some time to review these shoes, but I wanted to wait until I actually wore them before I put pen to paper (or fingers to keys, rather). When reviewing shoes, there are a few things I always like to consider.

  1. Price/Exclusivity
  2. Quality
  3. Overall Look
  4. Comfort/Versatility

Price

Let’s be clear, this shoe is not cheap. At $130, this shoe cost only $20 less than the Metallic Jordan 5s that came out just five years ago. I partly blame Adidas, but I also have to blame the sneaker community. The demand for these shoes has impacted the supply. With sell outs happening almost instantly, everyone wants to get their hands on this shoe. Also, if you’re anything like me, you’re not going to want to have just one color way, you’re going to want them all (and there are quite a few dope color ways).

While the price of this shoe is a bit steep for many, it’s at least not as expensive as the $180 Ultra Boosts that I also own. Take the good with the bad, I guess.

Quality/Materials

When Nike came out with the Flyknits a few years back, I knew the game would never be the same. My prime sneaker days were in the 90s. Back then, every sneaker had leather on them. So when the new shoes starting coming out with the synthetic materials, I called foul. However, something about the knit design just worked for me. They knit design, first and foremost, added a level of breathability that I had never experienced before. My feet sweat A LOT and the knit design helped in that regard. Also, as I’ve gotten older, sustainability is more of a factor to me. No cows have to die in order to make the shoes I have on my feet – that’s comforting.

One gripe that I have with the Ultra Boosts is that they squeak like crazy when I walk. I don’t know why, but both the white pair and the 3M pair make it so that I can be heard 10 minutes before I actually arrive. I don’t have that problem with the NMDs. They just work.

Overall Look

When it comes to looks, I haven’t seen a shoe as pretty as the NMD since the original Flyknit trainers. This shoe is absolutely stunning. When I wear these shoes, I can almost feel the eyes going straight to my feet. I get Jordan 11 type of stares when I have this shoe on. I know that because I look at people’s feet in awe when they have this shoe on.

I think that Adidas made a good choice in not including the Ultra Boost cage. While the cage is a cool look, going cageless makes the shoe more comfortable and also more versatile (which I’ll explain later). The Adidas logo is almost like it’s glued or ironed on. It’s hard to explain, but there are no stiches and it looks dope!

Let’s be real, though. The star of the shoe has to be those “clear blue” and gray side panels. I mean, I literally spent 10 minutes staring at those panels before I even put the shoe on. They just make the shoe pop. They also balance out an otherwise boring midsole. Looking at the shoe from the top, the panels also make the shoe more complex. They’re a wonder to look at.

Another thing that I like about the shoe is that the laces are 3M. They could have easily made the stitching in the toe box 3M, but I’m glad they showed some restraint there. When a piece of light hits the laces, they shine like a diamond. That would’ve looked cheesy on the entire upper.

Comfort/Versatility

I saved the best for last. As DJ Delz would say, “Boost is the Best”. He’s 100% correct. While the Boost pattern on the midsole looks dope, it’s not until you’ve walked 10 feet in the shoes that you realize that there is also some brains behind that beauty. I will go all the way out on a limb and say that the NMDs are the most comfortable shoes that I’ve ever owned. One thing I do have to note, however, is that I’m not a big fan of the exposed Ultra Boost in the inside. It makes the shoe run big (I’d recommend going a half size down) and it’s not as comfortable. To fix this, I took the insole out of my Ultra Boosts and rocked them in the NMDs. This took the comfort to a whole new level and also made the shoe fit a lot better. If you have a pair of Ultra Boosts lying around, I’d recommend doing the same.

As far as versatility is concerned, this shoe wears like a dream. You could wear it to log a few running miles, of course, but that’s not what I’d use these for. I’d feel comfortable rocking these with some tapered sweats, jeans, khakis and especially shorts. If there was one knock on the shoe, it’d be the heel tab. It’s a little too long for me, but it still works.

Did you cop a pair of the NMDs? If so, leave a comment or pic in the comments.

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