The fourth signature shoe of James Harden has been leaked and there are enough photos to make a general first impression of the shoe.
First the upper, the main material of the shoe looks like a mixture of mesh and suede in the toe area and the heel. The nonadjustable elastic strap that was featured in the forefoot area of the Vol.3, is now located to the midfoot area on the Vol.4 and is now much larger. This would provide more lock-down than the previous strap. The low cut design of the upper has brought up lack of ankle support but Harden’s signature shoes have always been a low cut design and it hasn’t been a problem so far so I doubt that were will be a major issue with the shoe.
The lacing system is pretty normal. There are 2 extra holes of the laces to go through so you can adjust the laces up to a certain point but not up to the point where its a pick and choose which hole to use like the Dame 3 or the Harden Vol.2. One issue I have with the lacing is that the other laces go though a thin string that is attached to the mesh. It is similar to D Rose 8’s lacing. It is an issue as several people had the problem of the string ripping after several uses. Also the way the string is attached to the mesh upper looks flimsy.
The midsole is a new cushion for Adidas called Lightstrike. It has been used in the N3XT L3V3L which is a premium shoe by Adidas. According Basketball Diagnostics, Lightstrike is a light weight Bounce foam. This would be a shoe for people who more responsive shoe. Also the heel has a thick layer of Lightstrike so it should give plenty of impact protection.
The outsole is the only part in which there hasn’t been a clear leak. The initial spec sheet described it as a “Signature generative traction outsole inspired by and tailored to James Harden’s movement”. From some of the photos the edge of the traction are thin lines similar to the traction pattern on the heel of the BYW X. However, we will have to wait for more leaks or an official image to get a better picture of the outsole and how it will perform.
Overall, I think it’s a solid shoe to come after the third signature shoe and I am really looking forward to the shoe.