Thursday, March 20, 2014

Adidas Rod Laver Shoe Review - 2014 Blue Model vs. Recent Blue/White model

The Adidas Rod Laver shoe is a great tennis shoe, but it is the very greatest footbag freestyle shoe!  Footbaggers worldwide have enjoyed the flat level surfaces, light weight and durability of this shoe for decades.  The Adidas Rod Laver shoe has been around since 1970, and we footbag has been recognized as a contributor to its success in news articles like this.  Both tennis and footbag players have been searching the world over for the traditional shoe, only to find out they had been discontinued.  I created the Facebook group called "Save the Adidas Rod Laver Shoe" and we have 473 followers as of this writing.  We still have some concerns about the usability of the shoe focused mainly around the weight of the shoe, but I have some other concerns which I have outlined below.

I have just received my new 'Blue/Blue/White' Adidas Rod Laver shoe via UPS.

It started by ordering the pair online at, where I used a coupon code and got 20% off.  Very fast shipping time, way ahead of their estimate.    The big question still remains, are the soles made of rubber like the blue and red models released just days earlier?

Breaking news!  The Green/White Lavers have appeared on the US store as of March 19th, 2014!

Weight Comparison (Size 9.5 Mens US):
Old Green/White model Adidas Rod Laver: 336g
New Blue/Blue/White model Adidas Laver: 503g
Old worn Grey pair of Adidas Rod Lavers: 292g
This represents a 50% increase in weight, unacceptable for serious footbag freestyle players, as well as tennis players.

Size Comparison:
The new shoes look thicker from the bottom up.

Tongue Comparison:
The tongue of the blue/blue/white is a flexible mesh fabric.  Footbag players be careful modifying the tongue, if you remove the backing, it might not provide the padding protection from the laces pushing force onto the top of the foot.

Side Mesh Comparison:
It is hard to see in the photo below, but the new side mesh is a finer grain, it is more slippery than green/white mesh and less flexible when bent.  The 2nd photo below, shows the imperfection in the shoe on the right.  A crease present on one shoe, before ever wearing it.

Thickness of 'Walls' comparison:
The blue/blue/white model shoe is significantly thicker on all surfaces.  This makes it less flexible and more important to do major modifications to make them into footbag freestyle shoes.

General notes:
The green/white models were made in China.  The blue/blue/white model reviewed here was made in Indonesia, and came with a warning that the colors may 'transfer' or bleed onto your socks.  In other words, these are not made to get wet.  The blue/blue/white model has a warning against machine washing them so be forewarned if you do.  After wearing them for just a few minutes I'm going to have to loosen my lacing because they feel too tight.  Don't forget to peel out the insole and replace it with a Spenco insole without arch support.  I've been playing every day for the past 2647 days in a row, and 23 years before that, and I've worn my Spenco Insoles in EVERY pair of shoes and I'm still playing.

The new Blue/Blue/White Rod Laver model, and presumptively the Red/Red/White models recently released are too heavy and thick for serious tennis players and footbag freestylers alike!  These new Lavers should be considered a stylish version of the shoe for general use in walking around town. Perhaps Skateboarders will see the rubber sole as a plus, but we all see it as a deal killer.  The rubber soles and thick sidewalls add 167 grams of weight to the shoe which is a 50% net increase in weight!  These are not the Adidas Rod Lavers we were asking for.

Breaking news!  The Green/White Lavers have appeared on the US store as of March 19th, 2014!  They look promising, with painted green sole just like old times!

1 comment:

  1. Have the current lavers cut back on the weight since this post ?