Adidas has a new on-court sneaker mainstay, a third option for a brand primarily known for the established Barricade and Ubersonic lines. The Adizero Defiant Bounce offers fans of Adidas tennis a new style in both comfort and aesthetics and one that has even top-level pros, such as Simona Halep, choosing the sneaker for tournament matches, no matter the surface.
Using the brand’s Bounce cushioning, a knit upper designed to naturally expand with the foot’s movement and a single-layer net mesh across the upper for additional stability and cooling, the initial feel of the Defiant Bounce comes in at one word: comfortable.
With a seamless bootie construction, the knit and mesh combine to give an on-court feel that does offer free movement and softness. The shoe’s midsole padding isn’t at the same level as the Adidas Boost, but still provides above-average cushioning. A TPU reinforcement and engineered midfoot stabilizing elements help with the lightweight support. So, while heightened comfort is the Defiant Bounce’s most distinctive trait, it still delivers adequate stability.
When it comes to the outsole, the herringbone tread pattern was designed for grip on any court surface—and it does provide ample traction on a hard-court surface—but the AdiWear rubber comes with a six-month clay court guarantee. Those who play exclusively on hard courts and run through their tread quickly may not find the durability they want in the Defiant Bounce, but those who have a softer court option or don’t grind down their outsoles as forcefully can find comfort in the traction ability and durability of the Defiant Bounce.
While Adidas originally debuted the relatively new silhouette in navy for men and pink for women, the new version of the sneaker now comes in a much cleaner nearly all-white version. The women’s design includes a touch of mint and the men’s version mixes in light gray.
In a departure from the vast array of on-court tennis sneakers available, the Defiant Bounce also puts a premium on clean, minimalist lines that gives the sneaker a look akin to a lifestyle model. Void of the traditional three stripes across the side, Adidas has placed a focus on the comfort of the knit and mesh, a design that extends from performance to aesthetics, allowing it to play double-duty on and off the court.
Tim Newcomb covers sneakers for Tennis Magazine and tennis.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.