The adidas Harden B/E 3 is the latest installment in James Harden’s secondary signature line. The shoe is inspired by James Harden's childhood friends. It’s built with an adjustable strap for stability and fit, they feature a padded internal collar that aims to provide comfort. The Harden B/E 3 also features a herringbone outsole gives you the traction needed to stop on a dime.
The traction on the Harden B/E 3 is pretty solid. The multidirectional herringbone traction pattern of the outsole grips the floor really well on clean courts. If I haven’t played in shoes with better traction, the Harden B/E 3 would’ve ranked higher on my personal list of shoes with the best traction.
adidas’ decision to go with herringbone outsoles for all of their basketball sneakers is really bearing fruit, with most of their basketball shoes having great traction, and the Harden B/E 3 is an example of that.
I also want to point out that the rubber used on the outsole is relatively soft and I don’t recommend using them outdoors on a consistent basis because you will burn through the traction real fast.
The cushion set up used for the Harden B/E 3 is a large Bounce midsole. In my experience testing the shoes out, the cushion felt a bit stiff at first. It took a while for the Bounce midsole to break in, but when they do break in, you’ll feel the Bounce working its magic.
The cushioning system is geared towards responsiveness which means the Bounce midsole is on the firm side. No, they’re not really plush BUT they’re definitely not bricks on your feet either. If you prefer court feel over impact protection, the Harden B/E 3 is a shoe that should right up your alley.
The adidas Harden B/E 3’s upper is split into two halves; the front end is made up of open-celled mesh covered by an elastic textile shroud while the back half of the shoe is made up of a sturdy padded panel with a Velcro strap that wrapped the around from the medial side of your foot up to the ankle area on the lateral side of the shoe.
It’s obvious that adidas didn’t go all-out with these in terms of materials and are pretty much run-of-the mill as far as budget models. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I do think that adidas could’ve done better in selecting the type of material they used for the front end of the shoe as there is little-to-no structure in that area of the shoe and heavily reliant on the fit to make it work. More on this below.
For the Harden B/E 3’s fit, I recommend you go half a size down as they run long and narrow. Getting the fit the right is a must for these shoes.
As I’ve mentioned above, the forefoot area of the upper has nothing that provides structure, which means it’s soft and comfortable but also prone to become loose due to wear and tear.
I’m usually a US 8 on sneakers, and that’s the case for most of the shoes I wear no matter the brand. But adidas’ shoe sizing has often been inconsistent for me. I got a US 8 for the pair I got to test and I found that it was a bit long for my feet. They felt fine in terms of width during the 2 weeks I got to play in them but I think getting a smaller pair is best as the elastic material will eventually break-in the more you play in them.
In terms of support, the Harden B/E 3 provides ample heel lockdown with the combination of the Velcro strap and padded heel collar. You can really feel them working together to keep your heel on the footbed and it felt secure without being uncomfortable.
The Bounce midsole also has a good amount of width in the forefoot area to provide stability and helps prevent rolling your ankles. I really feel like it would’ve been a good set-up if the upper on the forefoot area was sturdier. North to south movements are fine but lateral movements can be tough for the shoe to handle. There’s a chance you might tip over, especially if you’re going full speed.
To sum it all up, the Harden B/E 3’s are solid on-court performers. They have great traction, incredibly responsive Bounce cushioning, and the heel lockdown is exceptional too.
If you find that the soft elastic upper in the forefoot area works for you and addresses your needs as a player, go ahead and grab a pair. For a price of P 5,500, it doesn’t look too bad, eh?
Have you gotten a pair of the Harden B/E 3? Have you played in them? Make sure you share your thoughts in the comments.
If you’re interested in copping a pair, make sure you head to your nearest Toby’s Sports store and check out Tobys.com.