Let’s take a deep look at Lillard’s 5th signature sneaker installment – presenting you my 3-month comprehensive Dame 5 review, where we’ll find out if this one’s more of the same awesomeness the brand just keeps spoiling us with.
I’ll take a look at the shoe from comfort, performance, and overall value standpoints. I’ll also hopefully answer the question to people who bought the 4th or the 3rd model and wondering if they should upgrade.
Let’s begin with the detailed specifications.
SHOW TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. SPEC SHEET
click to enlarge the specifications
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II. 1-MIN REVIEW 🕒
For those in a hurry: the Dame 5 from adidas became an instant classic for me. I’ve always loved the Dame line since it seems to fit my game and preferences well but this one should be a great option for most guys, regardless of the style or build.
Most people will likely need to step down half a size since these run a bit long. Wide footers – you should stick with TTS.
Traction was phenomenal in true Dame fashion and these are great for long-term outdoor play.
Bounce cushion isn’t anything super crazy but I liked it this way – it’s balanced, fast enough and also precise enough to fit just about any style or position IMO.
Support has almost never been an issue for adidas and the Dame 5 is no exception – expect a sturdy build that will take a bit to break in but eventually, it’s a well-balanced package that won’t overly restrict you.
For $115 at retail, this is a great buy if you don’t care about trends or shoes that are “popping” right now.
> The full review is below
III. FIT & COMFORT
TTS is the way to go or should you adjust? How about general comfort and anything else to know fit-wise?
Nothing too spectacular has changed from the last few models – Dame’s sneakers are very comfortable. This one’s no exception.
It’s pretty clear why though. The Dame 5 has a solid mixture of flexible and not in-your-face materials, the inside of the shoe has a lot of soft padding for a pleasant experience for your feet, plus, you sit inside the shoe’s midsole, so it feels like you’re almost sinking into the shoe’s awesomeness, but performance isn’t taken away either.
That is simply brilliant. I think this is currently among the most comfortable modern hoop shoes I’ve worn in the past 1-2 years. Not much to add to that.
One thing a lot of players and fellow reviewers mentioned and that I can agree to – the Dame 5 will run half a size large for regular/narrow footers.
The shoe runs a bit long in the forefoot area. If you happen to have a normal-sized foot – I strongly advise going down half a size. Doing that, the issue is pretty much 100% fixed and does not get in the way in any shape or form.
I happen to be a very prominent wide footer, which happened to mean that the shoe actually fits me perfectly going true to size. I’ve got a bit of extra length up at the toes but nothing that would distract me.
Regardless, if you get the fit right – the Dame 5 is awesome to play in.
A moment of applause for Adidas here – literally nothing to complain about (besides the sizing), no matter how much I wanted to.
How does it grip various surfaces? What about sensitivity to dust/debris? Are they durable for outdoors?
The shoe comes in several editions and some of the colors come with a translucent outsole. Usually, not a good sign. Not the case for the Dame 5 though – much like the KD 12, I’ve experienced near-perfect traction both indoors and outdoors.
I happen to have the translucent outsole and played 70-80% of the time outdoors. No complaints at all.
I loved the fact that, despite being the opposite experience for some, the traction was fantastic from the very first minute I stepped into them, no matter the court. I am also not a huge fan of wiping the outsoles – and these didn’t need that at all.
Now, this might depend on the edition you go with – as some players reported the need to break the shoe’s outsole in before they experience actually solid grip. Something to keep in mind, just in case.
I find these to be one of the top dogs for outdoors and indoors, as the classic herringbone pattern looks very reliable, and the grooves are just dense enough not to collect dust so much.
I’d still look for a solid, non-translucent outsole if you’re aiming for 100% outdoor play, for maximum durability.
How does the ride feel and how’s the impact protection energy return of the foam? Is the midsole stable?
BOUNCE is back, as it’s now the staple of Dame’s cushioning setup of choice. And now, it’s stronger than ever – coming in with a full-length implementation – my movements and jumps felt hella nice!
I felt very protected from any kind of impact, my movements were supplemented well but I think the balancing of this setup is what really stands out.
It’s a pretty springy cushioning setup but it’s also extremely well contained, the stability is kept at bay due to the flat forefoot tooling and your foot sitting inside the midsole, and court feel is not sacrificed either.
This didn’t come as surprising to me since the previous Dame models did a similar job. The Dame 5 keeps its amazingly balanced ride and does it just a tad bit better.
Guards, spot-up shooters, even bigger/heavier forwards will surely find these to be awesome. Versatility is nothing to be reckoned with on the Dame 5.
Take Nikey’s Kyrie 5 – and you get an awesome shoe for a low profile guard.
Take the Dame 5 – you get all that Kyrie 5 offers but you also get amazing versatility for a forward, a heavier guard, a center, or pretty much anyone who’s perhaps not too sure what shoe to get yet.
How’s overall security and what support features are utilized? Any trade-offs as a result?
The shoe has pretty much everything covered in the support & lockdown department: a heel counter, a very flat and wide forefoot area, a fit that makes your foot sit deeper into the shoe for stability, and those ultra weird-looking TPU panels on the shoe’s lateral areas for optimal lateral support.
And everything works extremely well. I’m a very explosive and physically driven player and I always feel when a shoe fails to supplement my game. That most often comes from the support and cushioning aspects since aggressive and high volume movements need to be well supplemented by the shoe.
The Dame 5 did a brilliant job containing my foot, making my ride stable, and preventing me from rolling my right ankle like I always do.
This is a serious tank for anyone who’s having some sort of issues with their feet, perhaps coming off an injury, or perhaps you’re just looking for very good support and security.
VII. THE BUILD
What are the materials used throughout the build and how do they feel & perform on the court? How about reliability?
You can get these in leather or a mesh upper. I had the mesh variant – basically mildly soft mesh combined with synthetic nubuck in the shoe’s rear area.
Nothing premium on-paper, sure. Similar to the Kyrie 5 – the Dame 5 didn’t sound like something really impressive from a material standpoint but turned out to be excellent.
The play well, I didn’t feel any discomfort or experienced any kind of issues here. Due to pretty strong mesh reinforced with synthetic nubuck & the TPU lateral panels – you get a very durable shoe that’s built with love.
And that really shows here. I don’t see the shoe breaking down any time soon on me and I surely plan on playing with these for quite some time.
I suppose if you’ll come to a crossing and will need to choose between the mesh and leather variants – they don’t really differentiate in terms of performance but logically, I suppose the more durable variant will still be the leather option.
Ventilation on both of the editions could be better but ventilation is the last thing I care about a basketball shoe when I’m playing an intense game and worrying about other things. That’s just me though.
Finalizing the Dame 5 review: would I recommend them for everyone? How’s the competition for similar $$$?
You’ve probably already guessed it. The Adidas Dame 5 is one of the best shoes I’ve tried recently. I’ve really given my all, played a lot, and still didn’t find any glaring issues with these.
That did not come with zero surprises though. For those wondering if you should upgrade from the last models, if you got the budget – do it. The full-length BOUNCE implementation is alone worth the upgrade.
The rest is Dame’s usual working formula – a versatile, balanced option that does not break the bank at all when compared to other signature lines.
BUY THE DAME 5 🛒
IX. ALTERNATIVE SHOES
If you’re not feeling the Dame 5 for one reason or another, but want to achieve a similar feel, I’ve got some options
ADIDAS DAME 7, $110FULL REVIEW 🛒 ADIDAS
I’ve updated this review with some fresh alternatives that are very easy to find right now (not that the Dame 5 is tough to track down even in 2022+). One of those is the Dame 7 – a very similar experience but with some modern tweaks to make it lighter and more mobile.
The Lightstrike cushion setup is also refined as there’s more plushness in the heel, while the forefoot is ultra-responsive. Might be your cup of tea.
The outsole of these doesn’t look as tank-like as the Dame 5 offers but it should still get you through multiple seasons, even outdoors.
ADIDAS D.O.N. ISSUE #3, $110FULL REVIEW 🛒 ADIDAS
For those looking for a similar adidas sneaker but looking to save the maximum amount of cash – take a look at Donovan Michell’s 3rd shoe.
These won’t exactly blow you away but they’ll definitely do the trick.
The D.O.N. Issue #3 offers great traction (decent for outdoors), a lower profile cushion system, great all-around support, and a basic, yet functional build that shouldn’t get in your way.
X. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?
I’ve had an amazing time with the Dame 5. How about you?
That’s it for the Dame 5 review! I hope you enjoyed my take on the shoe and found it useful for your upcoming purchase decisions. Also, check out some of the relevant posts I left below!
And of course, if you have any questions, suggestions, or perhaps you felt different about the Dame 5 and want to share your take,
Leave a comment below and I will get back to you as fast as I can!
XI. DAME 5 REVIEW: THE VERDICT
My final ratings, key takeaways, and recommendations
adidas Dame 5$115
Fit & Comfort9.5/10
Value for the Price9.0/10
- Runs long: regular/narrow footers go 1/2 size down
- Comes in 2 outsole options: solid rubber recommened for outdoors
- Tank-like support: a guard's shoe with the protection for a big guy
- All positions
- Most play styles
- Explosive/athletic players