adidas D Lillard 1: On Par with the Lillard 2?

In my review of the D Lillard 2.0, I said it is one of the best basketball shoes ever made, along with its incredible price tag. Well, maybe you can’t even afford the second shoe for $105? If so, the first Damian’s signature shoe, D Lillard 1 may be what you’re looking for. Let’s take a look at the shoe’s appearance, featured technologies, performance, comfort and price aspects.

SPOILER ALERT: you should be interested in the D Lillard 2 more.


These look a lot like the D Lillard 2. They surely have a very compact and slick look, which I’m a big fan of. For me, basketball shoes are not for the looks, but performance. However I can’t help but notice their awesome look, which is a tiny bonus for me and may be a HUGE bonus for a lot of people.

These are low-tops, so keep that in mind. These days, a low-top shoe doesn’t usually tell that it’s not going to be supportive. As for these shoes, find that out in the Performance & Comfort section.

There are about 4-6 colorways available. All of them are really simple and solid looking in my opinion, so you can already tell I’m not a fan of aggressive/fancy looking sneakers.

Important note! The shoe’s upper material is dependant on the colorway. Now the weird thing is, it’s not clear or pointed out that way. Some colorways feature one material, other use a different one. Adidas has been doing that lately and don’t know why, because it may confuse some people. But basically the 3 different materials the D Lillard 1 uses are: synthetic leather, synthetic suede and synthetic nubuck. Nubuck is the hardest one, while leather and suede are a bit softer and loose, so it’s a personal preference.

That’s also the case for the D Lillard 2 and you’ll find explanations on that HERE.


adiPrene+ is used for the cushioning setup. Now this is considered to be an “old technology”, because today’s cushioning setups by adidas are mostly BOOST or BOUNCE. Old doesn’t mean bad though, it works surprisingly well. You can see the unit troughout the whole heel area.

SprintFrame, which is another “old” adidas technology (StableFrame is used mostly now) also doesn’t disappoint. It does what it’s supposed to do, which is providing midsole support and stability.

TECHFIT™ is a part of the upper material. This is a really cool thing to have. It makes the upper way more durable and sustain Lillard’s quick and aggressive movements. 

TORSION SYSTEM® does excatly what it did to the Lillard 2. It is a bridge between the heel and forefoot, so it smoothens out the step transition and provides that extra kick to adiPrene+ cushion.

There’s not a lot to explain about the NON-MARKING outsole. It does what it says in its name.

You can see that pretty much everything is the same as in the D Lillard 2 exept a couple of differences. And not in a good way.


Kicking things off with cushioning, adiPrene+ does its job reasonably well, like I said before. It is surprisingly bouncy (what you wouldn’t expect from just foam) and quite responsive. It is by all means not as good as the Lillard 2, which has a kick-ass BOUNCE setup. This setup is still not bad. It maintains the balance between court feel and bounciness.

Traction is, again, nothing great, nothing bad. The rubber pattern on the outsole is durable and hard, so playing outdoors is an option. Indoors though, it does its job well enough to be trusted. You won’t experience discomfort or movement restrictions because of bad traction. One thing worth mentioning, the Lillard 1 doesn’t feature Continental Rubber like the D Lillard 2 did. So even though I said it could be taken outdoors, the 2nd model would probably be more effective and durable.

Support is a thing which is hard to talk about for these sneakers. You have successfully implemented SprintFrame and a TPU heel counter that works. What you don’t have is hard enough materials. They’re simply too wobbly and unbalanced to be supportive.

Shoes like the Curry Two have super loose materials, but they’re made in a way to be supportive. This is not the case for the D Lillard 1. Playing in them will make you question their suppot. A lot of people are also reporting heel and forefoot slippage. It has some deadspace in the forefoot, so that explains it.

If excluding support, materials are definitely signature-worthy though. They’re durable and well built. HOWEVER, they don’t have a supportive fit and there’s some dead space, so good built quality means nothing here. It is sad, but true. If you don’t trust me on this one, you can check some major reviewers opinion on this. Check out WearTesters or Schwollo for that, if you want to.

Lastly, for comfort, there’s not a lot to be said. The shoes are comfortable and pleasant to the feet. BUT their lack of support and balancing issues means comfort doesn’t play a big role here.

You should keep in mind one thing. This is a review of the BASKETBALL PERFORMANCE for this shoe. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy them if you just want to rock ’em casually. They’re perfectly okay for walking or even minor sports. Hell, they’re even okay for basketball, they just have some annoying issues.

adidas D Lillard 1 Review: FINAL VERDICT

This shoe is a cool addition to the vast majority of signature shoes. It looks awesome, it’s comfortable and it has a crazy attention to detail. Cushioning isn’t bad for adiPrene+ and traction does its job well.

For a $100 shoe, the tech featured for it is simply amazing. BUT that doesn’t really matter, unfortunately.

If you’re a big guard or even a forward, support is a big problem. Your foot could slip very often, dead space in the forefoot is also annoying. And to me, support is literally THE most important aspect for a basketball sneaker, especially when I tend to roll my right ankle very often.

It’s a shoe that delivers in some things, but fails in some others.


  • Old, but effective adiPrene+ cushioning

  • Not bad traction, viable to play outdoors

  • Durable materials


  • Wobbly materials resulting instability

  • Pretty bad support causing foot slippage



Yeah, of course it’s the Lillard 2. After all this time, it’s still one of my favourite shoes, and for a good reason.

The shoe has BOUNCE cushioning, SprintFrame, TORSION SYSTEM and a Continental Rubber outsole. The upper comes in multiple options, so have a look at the review.

Killer all-around performance for $105. Sums it up right there.

I hope you enjoyed the review. Since there’s not a lot of basketball shoes coming out lately, I’ll focus more on older / lesser know models. After all, not all people can afford to buy the newest Kobe 11 or a pair of premium Air Jordan XX9 Lows.