Adidas’s #1 BUDGET Choice: DON Issue 2 Review

For everyone that missed this shoe or the fact that Donovan Mitchell has two of his own shoes now, let’s knock two birds with one stone! In this DON Issue 2 review, I’ll break down what I think is the best budget basketball shoe to get in 2020 or early 2021.

So, for those who are looking to spend the least amount of $$$ to get the best possible shoe to wreck around – the D.O.N. Issue #2 is a great choice.

Not saying it’s the best shoe in the world but I thought I’d bring it up since I was recently playing in it a lot and this might help those who are on a less forgiving budget.

After 3+ months of outdoor play, we’ll be breaking down the shoe’s fit & comfort aspects, on-court performance, value for the price, and versatility.

SPEC SHEET

Don Issue 2 ReviewPin
image source: adidas.com

Model: adidas D.O.N. Issue #2

Build: Mid-Top

Weight: 15.89 oz / 450 g. (size 10.5 US)

Retail Price: $100

Cushion: full-length Bounce

Get the D.O.N. Issue #2:

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I. COMFORT & FIT

Don Issue 2 Review: TopPin
image source: adidas.com
SIZING ADVICE: WIDE FOOTERS PAY ATTENTION!

Let’s start with the need-to-know first.

Even though the shoe’s got a wide platform externally, things are much more compact inside. The shoe is pretty narrow width-wise and about average length-wise.

Regular/narrow footers will want to go true to their regular size but don’t get it twisted – you should still expect a snug & compact type of fit.

For those who prefer a bit more room for your foot inside the shoe and generally feel more comfortable with slightly looser fits – you can also go up 1/2 size.

Being a prominent wide footer, I of course went half a size up without second thoughts, and the fit’s pretty good.

They’re right on the limit for me length-wise, so guys with regular/narrow feet shouldn’t worry too much about length getting messed up if you’re going up from your usual size.

They’re still snug and feel condensed even after a few weeks – nothing terrible or deal-breaking though. I generally prefer just a bit more room for my feet but this was just fine.

So bottom line: most people will generally be cool with their regular size (unless you particularly require a bit more room) and wide footers should surely go up 1/2 size.

If you’ve gone up half from your size and feel like the shoe is just too small even after a while (3-4 weeks TOPS), the shoe might just be out of the picture for you, unfortunately.

I’d bet my money these would clearly fit too long with a full size up.

That’s why I’d generally, especially now dealing with the quarantine stuff, recommend ordering a few different options of the shoe online just to be sure if you’re not completely sure on the size to go with.

Don Issue 2 Review: FrontPin
image source: adidas.com
COMFORT: $100 CERTIFIED

In terms of comfort – nothing special, yet nothing straight-up bad either. There’s just about the same amount of internal padding you’d see on an average adidas sneaker.

The shoe doesn’t overly flex due to a midfoot shank being present, though they aren’t overly stiff either – step motions are pretty natural, and the ride is one you’d quickly forget about while playing.

Absolutely not a bad thing though – even though there’s no $200 experience here, there are no annoying distractions or things that might get into the way when your mind’s on the court.

A secure fit, solid containment, they’re light and offer a distraction-free experience to play and forget you’ve got a shoe on. This is pretty much enough to get a pass for a basketball shoe and lay a foundation for other areas to work well performance-wise.

And these are $100 – I’m satisfied.

II. TRACTION

Don Issue 2 Review: OutsolePin
image source: adidas.com

Now, I haven’t played in the first D.O.N. Issue and I was only able to test these outdoors, so for anyone who’s looking to know how these stack up indoors – I’d suggest checking out older reviews by other people before quarantine hit us all.

I wasn’t impressed by the shoe’s traction but I wasn’t super disappointed either.

The pattern isn’t your typical trusty herringbone and the use of multiple colors (meaning multiple paints) throughout the pattern can sometimes result in inconsistencies.

Luckily, I haven’t experienced anything along those lines with the D.O.N. Issue #2.

The traction, in general, was fine – no crazy bite or stopping power, I wasn’t sticking to the floor like glue either.

On paper – these won’t make the list of the best tractions. From a practical standpoint – the shoe grips the floor fine I felt like there’s nothing to really complain about here.

Shifty or not – these should supplement and provide sufficient grip at all times – there’s enough bite to keep your mind solely on the game and not on the shoe.

I’ve experienced only a handful of slips on a rubber surface throughout the course of a few months. I’d imagine things might be different indoors. Oh, if only…

The pattern is spaced out really well and the rubber compound isn’t the stickiest – what does this mean? This means that you can almost completely forget about wiping your outsoles.

I’m personally not a huge wiping person on the court and I love a shoe that doesn’t force me to think about the traction, as I’d need to halt and wipe it down to preserve 100% traction.

Not the case with the DON Issue 2 – even outdoors.

OUTDOOR DURABILITY

As for outdoor durability – this isn’t an outdoor model so don’t expect years of reliability with these on concrete. I’m over 3 months in with the shoe and despite having some slips here and there, the outsole is still looking good.

I did notice I was sliding out just a bit more often lately but still, not to a point where it’s deal-breaking.

I’ll also clean my outsole thoroughly soon which will likely restore a bit of that bite since there’s still some dust buildup that has stuck to the rubber. Happens all the time, regardless of the pattern.

III. CUSHION

Don Issue 2 Review: Side 1Pin
image source: adidas.com

Bounce cushion is used for the D.O.N. Issue #2 which is typical for a budget adidas shoe. I gotta say I felt similar about the cushion just as I did with the traction.

It’s nothing crazy but nothing terrible either. Bounce is usually a very well-balanced compound that doesn’t stick out due to its lack of FUN factor or crazy bounce.

It’s there to provide a little bit of everything to supplement just about every player properly from a performance standpoint.

But it’s a little more low-key in this shoe. Yes, there’s still a little bit of softness felt underfoot but you’d feel more cushion on something such as the Dame 5 or even the Dame 3.

From what I experienced, this setup felt closest to 2019’s Pro Bounce for me.

So, a little more focus towards responsiveness, court feel, and speed this time. Don’t get it twisted though – you won’t be blowing your knees out either, Bounce still provides a layer of impact protection so even though you might not feel like you’re jumping on clouds, it’ll get the job done safely and efficiently.

So bottom line – lighter, low to the ground type of guards or spot-up shooters will love this setup the most. For anyone else – I think this is still a solid setup, though it will depend on what you prefer.

If you absolutely require tons of cushion underfoot, I’d skip this one and look for an option in this list.

IV. SUPPORT

Don Issue 2 Review: HeelPin
image source: adidas.com

Support and overall foot security is something adidas so rarely fails on. I feel like I’m repeating myself each time an adidas shoe review comes up but I’m always impressed by it. I can’t help it.

These guys love to use modern materials on their shoes these days – textiles, lightweight synthetics, and various types of mesh.

With that comes the responsibility to make the shoe supportive since the upper won’t really do that for you due to the nature of the materials.

There’s an internal heel counter for heel & ankle lockdown, a midfoot shank for torsional support, there are upper overlays on key areas for more structure and better containment as well.

The foot also sits within the midsole which promotes stability and as mentioned earlier, the shoe’s platform is flat & wide.

All this makes up for a very secure package that never makes you worry about your foot sliding out of the footbed or lack of confident lateral coverage.

It’s all there, it works well and works for just about everybody. There are no apparent restrictions or things that might hinder your experience – the shoe is a safe haven to play in.

No complaints here, especially for a hundred bucks.

V. BUILD & MATERIALS

Don Issue 2 Review: ToeboxPin
image source: adidas.com

The shoe uses a few different textiles along with a few synthetic pieces of overlays for more structure. Once again, nothing spectacular that might give that premium feel but it ain’t bad either.

For those who are looking for pure performance and just need a shoe to play basketball in comfortably – I think you’ll appreciate the D.O.N. Issue #2’s upper just as I did.

For those who are looking for a luxury experience, raw materials, or extreme durability – you won’t find that stuff here.

So the main advantages of this upper are mobility, ventilation, a very short break-in period, and lesser weight. Durability will take a hit but it’s not horrible in this case.

I’m seeing some frayings around the toebox area but it’s mainly just cosmetic damage. This is one of those uppers where you’ll quickly see these are actively being played in.

I’m not saying these will break down on you a couple of months in but it might be a good idea to keep these as your “occasional” outdoor choice.

I’d imagine the outsole and the upper will start deteriorating a couple of seasons in. But then again, there’s no way to know that – only time will tell. For $100, this is a solid build though.

VI. OVERALL

Don Issue 2 Review: MidfootPin
image source: adidas.com

The adidas D.O.N. Issue #2 is the most cost-effective basketball shoe of 2020 in my book.

Sure, there are some other great picks if you’d throw an extra $15-$50 but if we’re talking about pure performance per every dollar, I think this is the one.

The shoe has solid traction and you won’t be needing to wipe these every two seconds, the cushion setup is low-key but still good enough for most people to play, support is just as awesome as you’d see on most adidas hoop shoes, and the upper’s nothing short of the modern material trend.

The outsole and the overall build aren’t the most durable in the world but enough to keep you going for a while. All we got is outdoor parks at the moment and the shoe did the trick for me for at least 3+ months.

Nothing revolutionary or that stood out but everything worked. Money well spent, job well done adidas!

The scores of the shoe are at the end!

 

🛒 GET THE D.O.N. ISSUE #2

AMAZON

STOCKX  GOAT


As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Also, if a user clicks on any other product links and purchases a product, I earn a small commission.


 

YOUR THOUGHTS?

Alright, that’s a wrap for the DON Issue 2 review! I hope you’ve found it informative as always!

2020 is FINALLY over so it’s now the time to check out the nominees for the best basketball shoes of this crazy year. Find them here!

The next model has been released and I’ve put it to the test. Check out the D.O.N. Issue #3 review right here!

And as always, I’m super curious to hear what you think about these. Will you be getting them? Perhaps you’ve got a different experience? Or you’ve got a burning question?

 

THE VERDICT

adidas D.O.N. Issue #2

$100
7.8

Fit & Comfort

8.0/10

On-Court Performance

8.0/10

Value for the Price

8.5/10

Outdoor-Ready

6.5/10

Main Takeaways

  • Wide footers: 1/2 size up
  • Expect the cushion to feel a little dead at first
  • The upper starts looking banged up rather quickly but should last for a while

Recommended For

  • Most guards
  • Lighter players
  • Spot-up shooters
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