Adidas Harden Stepback 3 Review 2023

Here is the summary of the Adidas Harden Stepback 3 review. For a detailed review, continue reading!

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Fit & Lock


Outdoor & Durability




User Reviews


Expert Reviews


Our Verdict:

Best for Wide feet, Guards & Small Forward

Adidas Stepback 3 is no doubt the best, and the newest basketball shoe in budget out there. The traction, support, and lockdown are all excellent. Just remember to wipe off the dust for consistent traction. However, the cushion is not bouncy, but it gives top-tier impact protection. Overall, it’s one of the decent budget basketball shoes.

Shoe Details

Release Date: Jan, 2022 | Signature: James Harden | Weight: 440g | Top: Low Top | Lockdown: Lace up | Midsole: Zoom Air Unit | Material: Synthetic Mesh


  • Great traction
  • Perfect for big guys
  • Lovely fit and lock down
  • Outstanding Lockdown and Lateral stability
  • Lateral containment
  • Torsional rigidity
  • Excellent court feel


  • Low Breathability
  • Not lightweight

Unboxing Adidas 3rd Budget Harden’s Signature Sneaker

Its always been an absolute pleasure for me to buy a basketball signature sneaker that falls into budget range. Adidas Stepback 3 is one of those awesome hoops. 

I received my Harden Stepback 3 in a white box with James Harden’s logo on the top. The sneaker’s silhouette is a simple mesh with synthetic leather for durability.

Since Adidas released this entire sneaker line after the offensive play in the paint, he is famous for drawing fouls and is known to be a tough 1 on 1 player. Hard rubber on the outsoles looks durable. 

Check our top 10 recommendation of Best Basketball Shoes for Ankle Support here

What Exciting About 

I would say it’s effortless to slip the feet inside the shoe with the pull tab in the back. 2ndly, it takes no break in time. So hoopers, you will not have any step in discomfort, the sides don’t rub, and the lace does not over squeeze.

The most exciting part is Adidas Harden Stepback has an excellent lockdown where lace loops go to the ankles. It passes through the materials to get a customised fit. Aint is a lot to offer. Read the full review to know more about every feature of Adidas Harden Stepback 3.

Detailed Adidas Harden Stepback 3 review

1. Traction:

Harden stepback 3 has a linear traction pattern on the sides, while the centre patch has rather softer rubber with a circular pattern. A pattern that we see after throwing a stone in water. 

It grips very well on clean indoor and outdoor basketball courts. And the dist pickup is minimal, so you don’t have to fear sliding on the basketball court if you forget to clean the outsole after two quarters. 

It will give you a crazy grip on sudden stops. So, I believe the budget model signature sneaker has great traction.

2. Cushion: 

As I mentioned earlier, the step in comfort is otherworldly. It used a full-length Adidas Bounce cushioning. Which is known for being balanced and protective for the foot joints. 

Hence it does the job very well because, in my first shoot-around, It felt super soft in the forefoot and heel. The cushion does not bottom out soon because it’s a thick cushioning. However, it gives a decent court feel. 

The cushion is responsive, soft, and gives good impact protection where you don’t sit high above the ground yet gives a good bounce and spring back.

I like the cushioning because it has every element that counts on the basketball court.

3. Material:

Adidas Harden Stepback 3 uses textile material to construct the upper using synthetic leather around lace loops. The rest of the shoe has simplistic material. Just a foam wall coming up o the sides complete the shoe silhouette. 

It’s all around, padded from top to bottom from the inside area. On the comforting ground, It’s a solid 10/10. I would not only say that I had no pinching and no weird fit problem that usually Adidas sneaker has. 

It’s a cosy, comfortable material. 

4. Support: 

The Harden Stepback 3 has a wide base that contains the foot on the footbed. It protects you from Being unstable on hard lateral cuts. The side Bounce cushioning wraps the sides and makes the shoe laterally stable. 

The ankle collar wraps the ankle area with extra lace loops. So when you tie the laces, the comfortable material hugs the ankle area, keeping it in place and preventing excessive bending. The back side is stiff, containing an internal TPU heel counter.

The only downside is it does not have any torsional plate. So I would not recommend the shoe to anyone having tendinitis. 

Overall, the support is good.

5. Fit:

Adidas Harden Stepback 3 fits true to size. It’s a snug-fit sneaker. The tight inner feel of the shoe does not reduce comfort. However, it keeps the heels locked in, and the feet do not move in any direction.

However, if you are wide footer, you should definitely buy a full size up than the actual size.

Moreover, it laces with extra loops going through the materials and up to the ankle part, allowing you to adjust the lockdown as you want. 

6. Looks / Appearance/ Colorways:

Adidas Harden Stepback 3 looks like Harden 4 and 6. It is available in Black/Carbon, Orange/off-white, Pink, Amber colour and Magic lime. 

It’s a budget-performance shoe. Which has nothing breathtaking and attention-grabbing to its design and construction. Overall, it’s better than many hyped sneakers out there.

7. Outdoor/Durability: 

If you mostly play outdoor basketball and can’t find a reliable basketball shoe for outdoors. Then stop right here. Because Adidas Harden Stepback 3 is your ultimate choice for the best outdoor basketball shoe. 

The rubber outsole is very durable. It grips perfectly on the outdoor basketball courts. Moreover, the outsole and upper material are durable for rough surfaces. It’s 100% a perfect outdoor basketball shoe.

8. Breathability/Ventilation: 

The Harden Stepback 3 has average breathability. Its mesh upper is padded from the inner side to increase comfort. But it significantly reduced the breathability.

So if you don’t mind low breathability, the only downside of the performance basketball shoe, it will be the perfect bang for the buck.

9. User Review

Adidas Harden Stepback 3 are solid basketball sneakers fulfilling all 3 requirements a customer’s three requirements: performance, association with a star basketball player, and low pricing. It has received excellent user reviews. Which are 4.6/5.

10. Expert Review

1-Kicks Contest World

“Adidas Harden Stepback 3 has shown great results in our tests. These will be good for point guards. I loved its inner comfort and traction. It lacks torsional support. But i loved wearing them.”

2-Tommy Liu

“ for the good traction and court feel that you get, I personally feel they have great value for its price. There is nothing crazy about them, but Harden Stepback is not like flat bottom budget shoe. So it must be your top choice in that category.”


“ I gave them an 8.3 overall rating. The stability was where it needs to be in my spin moves. Comfort is not as i like specially at ankle area.Traction is consistent.”

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