KICKZ Performance Review: adidas D.O.N. Issue #1

Photo by Albi Quito (2020)

What’s good, people? I am back on the KICKZ Blog and today I am bringing along the adidas D.O.N. Issue #1. Sure, Donovan MITCHELL’s first signature shoe has been around for a while, but adidas keeps putting out new colorways to keep this model fresh and clean. So even with a potential second rendition of the Spida’s footwear 🕷 already in sight, let’s have a look at the #1.


So many colorways and as a comic book fan, you just have to love where adidas went with these. From Spiderman (obvious 🤷‍♂️) to Iron Man all the way to Star Wars, the German sneaker producer left nothing to chance. Good job on the variety here! I think there should be a likeable color for everyone. From a visual standpoint, what instantly caught my eye though, was that big chunk of BOUNCE in the rear 😲. Not quite sure what to think about it except for hate it or love it 🤷‍♂️. But let’s get to that later. From a technical view, with 433 g not a lightweight. Especially for a low.


Really nothing unusual about my “Glory Blues”. You’ll find the basics of mesh and textiles, while other colorways can have synthetic leathers. Performance wise I don’t think it will make much of a difference. So no exciting lightweight performance or smooth premium materials here. However, the selection works fine. It feels soft, moves well and is not too stretchy. Overall, I was experiencing very little to no break-in time and was basically ready from the get-go. Just as you would want it from a performance sneaker.


Unfortunately, inconsistent. Inspecting the outsole beforehand, I was actually in high hopes as it looked like it had all the good stuff. From the herringbone pattern to the rubber compound, it actually looked and felt like serious business. And in the beginning, it actually was like that. But the longer I used them, the more that feeling vanished. After a while, even wiping did not seem to make too much of a difference. I was having some difficulties with planting my feet for direction changes and would catch myself sliding out occasionally. Even at times when I wasn’t going full speed. So that really made it hard to navigate around the court as I was not getting the same bite throughout the sessions. However, the rubber looked pretty durable and would make these a good outdoor option in my opinion.


BOUNCE. Pretty much the standard adidas cushioning for basketball nowadays. Court feel was great. I felt quick on the forefoot and impact protection in the heel was also alright. Ironically, what I was missing though, was bounce. I was definitely expecting it to be softer. I mean, look at that foam in the heel! But honestly, I didn’t feel too much of a compression there. Just enough to make landing comfortable. Fine for me, but it being a bit bouncier, I would not have minded. In general, this setup did its job solidly.


As usual, I find it tricky to find my right adidas size. This time however, true to size was the right choice for me. The sneaker felt very comfortable from the start and gave me a pretty good first step-in experience. No pinching or jamming at all, at any time. Additionally, ankle and achilles pillows were placed in the heel area. Normally great to extend comfortability and lockdown. For some reason, these did not quite get the job done for me, as I would feel my heel slipping out of position every now and then. Not too bad, just a bit annoying over time.


Apart from the occasional problems with the heel lockdown, support was actually my biggest highlight on these. Remember the long history of ankle injuries that I mentioned in my first article on That made me naturally sceptical towards lows. But these just have a lot of the right features. From the flat and exceptionally wide base, to the midsole that comes up quite a bit to cup the foot, to the robust upper materials that take care of lateral containment. If only heel slippage was not an issue, support would be top-notch on these.

Bottom Line

There are a couple of things that I liked and there are a couple of things that I didn’t like. The brightest feature being the support. I was very pleased with how in combination with the fit, these gave me a safe and comfortable feeling. The downside apart from the weight was definitely the traction, which was a bit unpredictable for me. You can get that stop on a dime traction in one possession but may slip in the next one 🤷‍♂️. Also I guess it’s just me not being used to this setup, but my feet and calves were unusually tired after each session. Not 100% sure where that came from but it may have been the firm cushion or insufficient arch support. But that’s just my personal experience with them. For EUR 100,- they are part of the lower price segment. However, don’t get fooled by that and certainly don’t just label it as another cheap shoe. Because this is a solid performer, which does a lot of things right. Not perfectly, but solidly! The materials are quite alright and feel better than most materials in that price range. Of course, compared to other higher priced options, you can go better, but let’s face it, you can go much worse too. And on top of that, this is the signature shoe of one of the NBA’s more exciting young stars. So for your cash you’ll basically get nice support and comfort, robust materials, solid cushion in multiple colorways. So except for the cutback in the traction, you definitely get good value for your money.


I am exceptionally curious about your experiences with the D.O.N. Issue #1. Especially interested about the traction and heel slippage. Did you have the same issues? Let me know. Find me on Instagram & Twitter under @ONEtothe2.

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