Three of the last four men’s Grand Slam singles finals have had two obvious things in common: Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray. Having split the last two hard-court majors, the ATP's Top 2 will undoubtedly be the favorites in a few weeks at the U.S. Open, where a year ago they played a five-set thriller of a final.
But besides the opponents, something else in all those matches also looked familiar: The shoes. Both Murray and Djokovic are Barricade men. And this summer they’ll be sporting the new Barricade 8.
The Barricade line has had a storied heritage (see above). The Adidas shoe has been a favorite of serious players looking for significant stability, cushioning, and support, and aren’t afraid of wearing something substantial to do so. The latest model has a redesigned upper that draws its inspiration from the same material as outdoor furniture. The goal is to increase ventilation and decrease break-in time while still maintaining the performance features fans of the shoe have come to expect.
Whenever a popular piece of gear is updated, it invariably draws comparisons to its ancestry. And invariably the loyal users of the gear will either embrace the change (“Love the new upper”) or pine for the past (“Why didn’t I buy more pairs before they were discontinued?”) I’m not a dedicated Barricade wearer, but I’ve enjoyed playing in many of them over the years. Of all the ones I’ve tried, the second incarnation remains my favorite; great support, not too cumbersome, and molded nicely to my foot. I haven’t had the chance yet, but I’ll be curious to see how this latest version stacks up.
Which Barricade has earned a special place in your tennis career?