Unboxing the Harden Vol 5.

Photo taken by Chad Sanchez

Watch the video below of an unboxing of the Harden Vol 5:

When I got wind of this shoe releasing, I was excited! I’m a big fan of Harden, although he’s gone to Brooklyn and even the way he went about it. However, I’ve followed him closely and really enjoyed his game while he was in Houston.

When he left Nike for Adidas, I was disappointed because he was doing some clever marketing tactics, especially the whole “Fear the Beard” campaign and products that Nike had made. He also had a couple non-exclusive basketball shoes in the Nike Zoom Crusader, and the Nike Zoom Run the One (had his own signature colorway with this one), the latter drawing more attention on court.

As he signed his deal with Adidas, a lucrative $200 million dollar deal (you can read one of my first posts on it, James Harden Inks with Adidas for $200 Million, What’s Next?) I was looking forward to what they would create. Harden has shown with his style that he can be creative, and Adidas would definitely allow him to put his style into his product, just like Kanye and recent signing, Fear of God creator, Jeremy Lorenzo.

While I don’t have a huge collection of Hardens, I do like models 1, and 3. I’m not a big fan of the Harden Vol 2, or 4 because of the sizing of the 4, and the weight from the 2. But the 1 was definitely a game changer and is still rocked on courts today. The 3, while slimmer and simple, is also a good shoe so after the new year, I took to copping a pair of Vol. 1’s in the cargo colorway, and a pair of 3’s in the “doodle” colorway from eBay. Wife wasn’t too thrilled with this, but I was.

When the Vol 5. first dropped on January 4th at 2 am, I set my alarm the night before to be one of the first to cop. Although I lost some sleep, it was worth it because later on in the week they had sold out. It wasn’t until I initially tried them on, I started to panic.

I had ordered a size 10 and I wish I had tried them on as soon as a got them, rather than waiting to do the unboxing video. I figured I needed to go down a half size, because the 10 looked big and felt big. The lockdown wasn’t great either. I could feel my whole foot sliding around in the shoe and could visualize where my big toe was inside the shoe. I began to panic.

When I checked Adidas, all the shoes were sold out and another drop wouldn’t happen until Feb 5th. I marked my calendar for the drop. But then with a quick search, I was able to find out that Academy had them.

I ordered a 9.5 and they came within two days because Academy apparently has a distribution center her in Houston, just my luck. Still, I was bummed when I tried on the 9.5. Did I need to now try a 9? I began to ask myself. The 9.5 felt good, especially for my fat foot (we all have one) but my foot still slipped at the heel when laced up.

I contacted my local Academy because I saw there were still some in stock, but the store said they didn’t have them in yet. I had gotten my info wrong. So what I ended up doing is buying the size 9, then once it came in, I would compare the two and return the one I didn’t want at my nearest location. It would have been easier to just go in store and try them out, but knowing myself I probably still made the wrong choice.

Like before, the third pair came within two days. Once I had them both, I argued with myself over which pair to keep. The 9 was just the right length, but a bit snug. The 9.5 felt good, but was long and heel slipped. I did the best thing I could and went with the 9.

I’ve heard many bad reviews on the Harden Vol 5, and for good reason. The sizing is crazy, the shoe is super stiff, heel slipping, how long do they need to break in, etc. But when you see Harden balling in them you think, “man that shoe is nice!” though I wonder if Harden is having or had any issues with them.

Shoe companies need to really do their work when it comes to sizing and letting consumers know how a certain shoe fits. They have the money for it, why not get weartesters to test the shoe out before they go to market and let the consumer know how it feels? This would have saved me a lot of time and even money, though I got back what I spent. Still, I hope to not have to experience this with any other shoe in the future.

While this story is crazy, I still enjoy the shoe and can’t wait to break them out on court. I love the colorway, even in other colors. The Boost sole with the LightStrike looks like it will be good once the shoe is broken in, but since gyms are closed, I can’t try them out. Maybe in the near future, I will enjoy this purchase, but maybe I should have waited for the shoe to have dropped in price. Either way, you got to take chances sometimes and hope you win most of them. Check out some of the photos below for the design of the shoe and let me know what you think of the Harden Vol 5. Don’t forget to follow Social Rec. on Instagram and Twitter.

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