Adidas Is BACK: In-Depth Dame 7 Review

After a subpar Dame 6, it looks to me that adidas and Damian Lillard have somewhat returned to what makes this shoe line so special. Here’s to my comprehensive Dame 7 review!

The latest tech and super-solid build quality, the ability to play outdoors without worrying about durability, and also a fantastic price no other signatures really put their stuff out at the moment. These are usually the pillars of a Dame basketball shoe and something I was really looking forward to getting with the Dame 7. 

Now, a few important things I need to mention!

  1. I’ve played in the shoe for just under 3 months now, all the action has been outdoors on either concrete or synthetic rubber.
  2. There’s no access to gyms right now, so you’ll get a pure outdoor review which should tell you a lot about the shoe’s all-around durability.
  3. I’ll break down the shoe’s fit & comfort aspects, on-court performance, value for the price, versatility, and for those who might own a pair of Dame 5’s or Dame 6’s, we’ll decide if the latest 7th is worth the upgrade.

Let’s go!

SPEC SHEET

Dame 7 Review: Angled Front

Model: adidas Dame 7 “I Am My Own Fan”
Build: Mid-Top
Weight: 14.84 oz / 420 g. (size 10 US)
Retail Price: $110
Cushion: Full-length Lightstrike
Best Offers On: Amazon Finish Line adidas

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I. COMFORT & FIT

Dame 7 Review: Midfoot

SIZING ADVICE: TYPICAL ADIDAS SHENANIGANS

If you had a pair of recent adidas basketball shoes, you’re probably aware of their sizing/fit weirdness. Well, looks like that’s not going anywhere, as the Dame 7 follows a similar trajectory.

For regular/narrow footers, stick with your regular adidas size (whatever that might be). For those who are unfamiliar, going true to size will be the best option.

However, adidas shoes, especially basketball ones have a knack for running a bit long, and the Dame 7 looks to follow a similar formula, although not as apparent this time.

So going with your regular size might present a bit of extra space length-wise, though not to a crazy extent. If you can live with a slightly roomier fit, you’re good.

But for those who are aiming for that sweet one-to-one ultra-secure fit with minimal dead space, going down half a size is recommended.

This will really come down to what you like more. If you can, I’d recommend ordering a few different size pairs and keeping the one that fits you best. If you’re able to d that though, sticking with the above recommendations will be your best bet!

Now, for wide footers such as myself, the situation’s a bit different. I went with my regular size 10 and they fit me pretty well after a short break in phase. I do feel just a tad bit more space length-wise than I usually would but honestly, that doesn’t bother me.

Width-wise, they’re a little tight but definitely acceptable. Not a top 5-level shoe for wide footers but something I can live with. The shoe looks wide from the outside due to the outsole protruding laterally but it’s really not that wide fit-wise. If you’ve got an extreme case of wide feet, be aware of this.

So the only real option for wide footers will be true to size since going down will result in over tightness, while 1/2 size up will add unneeded dead space to a point where it might compromise containment.

COMFORT: SECURE AND SEAMLESS!

Dame 7 Review: Top 2

Alright, let’s touch on comfort. Once again, if you’ve had experience with a Dame shoe before – you’ll feel right at home here. Nothing stood out in terms of the Dame 7’s comfort but I don’t mean that in a bad way.

After first putting them on, the shoe felt a bit heavy and the midsole started off a little stiff but things normalized and molded into the usual Dame experience we’re now so accustomed to.

The Dame 7 prioritizes performance and security over fancy materials or “groundbreaking” tech and what you get is a package that plays seamlessly, to a point where I’d forget I’ve got a shoe on.

It’s secure, containment is excellent, the upper isn’t super stiff nor too flimsy and feels just right, there’s a TON of soft padding inside your achilles area which is always awesome, and step transitions are fantastic, thanks to the cushion setup we’ll touch on later.

The shoe is heavier than its predecessor though it doesn’t really feel that way. After you break in the upper (which doesn’t take long at all) and soften up that foam underfoot, you should be ready for anything with these.

Nothing outer-worldly, yet an awesome job so far!

II. TRACTION

Dame 7 Review: Outsole

A brand new pattern has been slapped on the Dame 7 with what looks like a bunch of Z’s all over the outsole. Z’s or not, the traction is awesome.

You can cry a whole river on adidas’s rare use of classic herringbone but you’ve gotta give some credit to them – most of their patterns and rubber used works REALLY damn well, including outdoors.

The Dame 7 gripped the surface well at all times, multi-directional traction is on point as always, you can fully stop with these anytime you’d like and the outsole will handle it. Probably not Dame 3 level traction but let’s be real. Do you really need that kind of grip to effectively play? 

As far as dust/debris goes, I really didn’t have major issues here either. The pattern isn’t too dense nor super spaced out – kind of an in-between case here.

This means that dust can pile up but it can also escape on its own rather quickly. I’m not a huge wipe guy myself and the shoe didn’t irritate me – an occasional wipe here and there did wonders for the outsole. Nothing more needed.

I did have a few slips but I highly doubt it was purely due to the outsole. Especially when I remember a couple of slips happening right after I wiped my outsoles down. Likely just a pile up of nasty stuff on a few spots in the park. Pretty normal stuff when you’re hooping outside.

OUTDOOR-CAPABLE: THANKS AS ALWAYS DAME!

Now, if you’ve seen my 2020 best shoe list – you already know this. I’m happy to say that a Dame shoe is once again a great option for regular outdoor play. The rubber on these isn’t the stickiest I’ve seen but it feels very tacky and sturdy to the touch, and I haven’t yet seen any visible damage to the outsole.

I’m talking not even small frays. At least not where it matters – the pattern outside the foot-shaped outline seems to be seeing some wear but that’s not affecting my traction at all.

A great job once again!

III. CUSHION

Dame 7 Review: Side Panel

Lightstrike is back and it’s more apparent than ever. The Dame 5 had a very well-balanced Bounce setup that felt just right for just about any player out there. The Dame 6 was still very good though more on the softer/bouncier side of things.

Well, looks like the Dame 7 went all-in with a hybrid setup that attempts to deliver the best of both worlds. What do I mean by this?

The heel area of the midsole is almost ridiculously soft and compresses a lot, while the forefoot area is much firmer and lower to the ground.

I feel like not everyone will enjoy this type of ride. I personally loved it and feel like it’s a pretty good fit for outdoor games that introduce stiffer and higher impact when it comes to movements such as jumps, landings, cuts, etc.

But speaking as subjectively as possible, I do see things that could be tweaked to appeal to more players.

For those bounce and “clouds under your feet” feel lovers – this is your dream shoe. It might not feel that way at first but give ’em a few days and a simple jog will be enough to show you just how crazy soft this heel is.

Tons of impact protection in the back, moderate spring back, and just pure comfort. For fans of heel-dominant cushion setups, this is the way to go.

Dame 7 Review: Back

Step transitions are also very smooth even though it might not seem that away due to the crazy contrast of heel and forefoot areas. And if you like to keep things super quick, responsive, and low to the ground up at the front – the Dame 7 has got you as well.

Now, is it an ideal setup in my eyes? No. If we’re talking versatility and pure performance for outdoors, I would’ve added just a tad bit more cushion to the front and subdued the heel slightly.

Most aggressive movements happen with the use of the forefoot and a concrete park can be very unforgiving at that. Sure, heel cushion is nice but we require forefoot protection as well.

Things still need to be speedier and lower to the ground there but a slightly better balance between the two areas would’ve been perfect in my eyes. Hell, you can leave the heel cushion as it is but just make the forefoot a bit softer. Just my two cents.

So, is it a bad setup? Hell no. It’s great. Feels comfy, there’s bounce at the back, there’s response at the front, it’s stable all throughout and definitely doesn’t feel like a cheap setup.

I’m not saying the forefoot area feels dead. But if we’re speaking about a perfect outdoor shoe – just a tad bit more forefoot cushion could’ve made things even better than they are right now.

IV. SUPPORT

Dame 7 Review: Side 2

I feel like I’ve been repeating this on all my adidas shoe reviews but adidas pretty much never fails in the support department. There, I said it again.

The Dame 7 features an internal heel counter, the midsole comes up to the upper laterally and medially to cage your foot and provide protection, the upper is reinforced with Fuse and stitching to hold your foot in (a.k.a. better containment) and the outsole extends on the sides, acting as outriggers.

That is not it though. The shoe features a standard lacing system though with a twist. It’s highly customizable – there are extra cable loops provided at the back in case you’d want even more lockdown and pulling the laces also pulls the internal cables they’re connected to, promoting killer lockdown.

Everything you’d need is here and works well. There are no apparent restrictions that slow you down or make you uncomfortable and if you got the fit right, this is a serious setup in terms of security for just about any player.

One thing I’ve seen people report is the laces loosening up almost right after you lace these up. I’ve also seen people complain about this regarding the Dame 6 as well.

While I never experienced that issue with the Dame 6, I am now aware of it with the 7 and it’s a little annoying.

Nothing deal-breaking but if you’re looking to keep your lockdown and desired fit precisely how you laced them up, you’ll have to lean down and redo the laces pretty damn often.

Something I’ve last experienced on the Crazy Explosive 2017. Thanks for reminding us of your quirks adidas.

V. BUILD & MATERIALS

Dame 7 Review: Forefoot

The Dame 7 features a mesh upper with small Fuse overlays and stitching on top of it for more structure. Nothing fancy but once again – gets the job done, a recurring theme for Dame’s kicks. The back area and the tongue feature synthetic nubuck.

The main advantages to this type of upper are usually a short break-in period, solid ventilation, pretty good comfort, and durability, as long as it’s properly reinforced and has some structure to it.

This is kind of an “in-between” option of all things. Nothing crazy soft or stiff, nothing super light or super heavy.

This version of mesh doesn’t feel cheap. No real stiffness while playing, everything molds to your foot moderately well. Sure, we won’t achieve that sock-like feel a knit would offer but this is definitely a good option for $110.

The toecap area is what feels the cheapest as it doesn’t really mold or conform to your foot there. It feels the most plasticy there – granted, that helps prevent damage during toe drags or when someone steps on your feet but if the fit’s not perfect up at the front for you, chances are it will stay that way.

That would be my only real nitpick about the build of the shoe. The rest is solid. It’s performance-friendly, doesn’t take long to break in, and looks like it will last for a while outdoors.

VI. OVERALL

Dame 7 Review: Side 1

The adidas Dame 7 is a fantastic shoe in my book and I’m SO happy and I get to say these words about a Dame shoe after a somewhat disappointing Dame 6.

What can I say, adidas doesn’t seem to have forgotten the values we truly appreciate about a consumer-friendly basketball shoe. In the dark times we’re currently in, the shoe should get the job done and then some.

The Dame 7 has fantastic outdoor-ready traction, a solid cushion setup for most players, killer all-around support without apparent restrictions, the upper isn’t anything special but surely gets the job done and the shoe’s just $110.

Show me another signature shoe that offers this much value at this price. I’ll wait.

The scores of the shoe are below!

CHECK ON AMAZON CHECK ON FINISH LINE CHECK ON ADIDAS

Why buy on these stores? Click to find out!

WHY AMAZON?

I’ve been ordering a solid 70%-80% of my hoop shoes from Amazon and can confidently say it’s almost always the most trustworthy and convenient option to buy your shoes.

Why Amazon?

Yes, it’s great to find the shoe you’re looking for on an original retailer such as Nike or Adidas but the reality is a bit different – a lot of times, especially for shoes older than 1-2 years, it’s a very small chance you’ll find the shoe or better yet find it in your size & color.

You’ll mostly find the latest releases directly from the brand’s store but the period is usually pretty short until they’re out of stock.

This is where Amazon comes in.

Amazon is not strictly one retailer giving you the products, it’s a whole chain of thousands of different sellers, all supplying different products, including basketball shoes. You will mostly find more color and size options on Amazon for your desired shoe than on an original retailer or even a general sporting goods store.

Sure, there will be exceptions where Amazon won’t have a particular shoe but that’s on the rare side.

And the best part is the pricing – you can find older shoes and at times new shoes priced under retail, sometimes at crazy low prices, which is something you’ll never see on Nike.com, adidas.com, and other retailers (except during discounts/sales of course).

To sum things up and give you a generalized idea of why Amazon beats other stores more often than not, I’ve compiled a shortlist of the most notable advantages the massive store chain has over its competitors.

  • Usually, higher stock, size & color/edition availability compared to other stores
  • Blazing fast shipping times (sometimes delivered the SAME DAY if you’re close to the seller’s stock)
  • A good chance to find shoes priced under retail
  • Extremely convenient return/refund policies

Affiliate link (if only one store)

WHY ADIDAS?

Despite Amazon usually being the best and most convenient place to get your shoes from, there are times where getting the shoe directly from the manufacturer is a better idea.Why Adidas?

One, there will be times where the shoe is not available on Amazon. If the shoe is relatively new (not older than 1+ years), it’s almost guaranteed you’ll be able to find it on the original manufacturer’s website.

In this case, both options are available, so if you’ve never bought from Adidas.com before and you’re considering it, let me give you a bit of insight.

The main strong point of getting your shoes straight from the retailer is the fixed pricing. You’ll never spend more than you should’ve, as the price of the shoe will always be the manufacturer’s set retail price, which does not change at any point (except during a discount/sale).

So, if you’re seeing the shoe priced at $135 on Amazon and $120 on Adidas for example, this means $120 is the retail price and you should, of course, be getting them from Adidas to save some cash. This doesn’t happen too often but always make sure to check just in case it does.

You’ll also find more frequent and usually larger discounts/sales on the brand’s site. Shoes that aren’t the latest and greatest anymore are often times discounted to clear out the stock and that’s always a gem for us customers.

Once again, I’ve made a quick list of the main advantages original retailers’ stores have over other options.

  • You’ll never find a shoe priced higher than retail
  • More frequent discounts and sales that are usually pretty big
  • Buying straight from the manufacturer means no hiccups 99% of the time
  • You can find more detailed and relevant reviews left by buyers

WHY FINISH LINE?

Finish Line is my usual #3 option to get my basketball shoes from if Amazon currently doesn’t have it and the brand’s retail store (Nike.com, adidas.com, etc.) might be out of stock or doesn’t have my size.

I find them, along with a handful of other sports stores, to bring in new major and also lesser-known releases just as quickly as the main brand retailers, most of the time.

Very similar advantages to manufacturer’s stores here: very quick shipping times (and it’s free), convenient return & refund policies and you’ll never find any shoe priced over retail.

For some reason, Finish Line seems to be good at keeping a healthy stock of products, as there’s always a wide variety of sizing for most mainstream models. Something you can’t say about Nikey, Adidas, AJ, or Under Armour stores.

Of course, there will be exceptions and rare shoes that are hard to find globally won’t magically be available in large quantities here either.

Buying from the store will only be applicable for U.S. residents, so not an option for international users (unless you’re using a third-party service to ship internationally from US stores as I do).

Overall, I consider Finish Line to be the top pick out of the US’s popular sports retailers. Or perhaps I’m a little biased but regardless, I think I’ll be sticking to it for quite some time.

    • All shoes priced at retail
    • Good stock most of the time
    • Fast & free shipping for the U.S
    • Convenient refund & return policies
    • You can find quite detailed and relevant reviews left by buyers

Still not sure? I’ve made a comprehensive guide and compiled some general tips on where to buy basketball shoes online. Check it HERE!


 

That’s a wrap for the Dame 7 review! I hope you’ve found it informative as always! 2020 is coming to an end but make no mistake – the year has brought us some awesome kicks to fool around in the park during this annoying quarantine.

Be sure to check out the best shoes of 2020 to find out my favorite picks for different categories!

And of course, if you got any questions, suggestions, or would like to share your own experience,

 

THE VERDICT

adidas Dame 7

$110
8.8

Fit & Comfort

8.0/10

On-Court Performance

9.0/10

Value for the Price

9.5/10

Outdoor-Ready

8.5/10

Main Takeaways

  • Go true to size for a snug fit & down 1/2 for a roomer fit
  • Wide footers: stick with your regular size
  • Occassional wiping recommended
  • Laces loosen up quickly

Recommended For

  • All positions
  • Most playstyles
  • Heel-dominant players
  • Heavier/explosive players

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