STORM RYDER'S **T-Mac 5 In-Depth Review**

Discussion in 'Review Archive' started by storm ryder, Nov 27, 2005.

  1. storm ryder

    storm ryder

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    T-Mac 5 review
    Colorway Tested: White / black-varsity red
    Tester's specs: 6'2, 205, sz 13.
    Positions played: 3-5

    Ever since the breakthrough of the first T-Mac that combined the old school soul of the adidas "shell toe" with the new school game and inspiration of Tracy McGrady, the T-Mac has arguably been always one of the most anticipated releases for the fall/winter season. For the T-Mac's 1-3 adidas played a safe evolutionary approach, but stepped way out of the box with the T-Mac 4. Although a commendable move by adidas, the T-Mac 4 disappointed on court, although providing good comfort, decent fit, and great traction, the T-Mac 4 was heavy, bulky and just not a "T-Mac" type shoe. But with the new T-Mac 5, adidas has stepped out of the box again this year giving ball players around the world something new, something fresh, and again something to be anticipated not just looks wise, but performance wise too.

    Lets start with my favourite part of the shoe, the upper and inner. The T-Mac 5 features what adidas calls "Geo-Fit pods". The pods are nicely padded and placed in key fit areas, such as:

    - 2 pods around the top of the heel, they almost hug the Achilles, to enhance heel fit and reduce heel slippage.
    - 2 pods at each side of the ankle around the malleoli (the ankle bones that stick out on the sides), to provide nice secure fit and comfortable feel around the ankle.
    - 2 pods over top of the foot under the strap. Contrary to what many believe, i feel that the strap with the geo-fit pods do give additional support and comfort over the top of the foot, think Reebok pump.
    - Found one more pod under the lateral support wing, where the "1" is, after playing in the shoe, I realized that the pod is essential to reduce any movement at the forefoot which may cause rubbing at the small toe.

    The combination of these pods, along with asymmetrical lacing and a half inner bootie created a nice lockdown fit also a comfortable feel. Although the inner bootie is on the thin side, the texture used is very unique and keeps pressure from the laces at a minimum. My one beef with the inner lining is the fact that there are loose strings and frayed edges inside the shoe, although undetectable by feel, its not something you want to see in a $189.99 (Canadian dollar) shoe. The upper is very nicely constructed with the use of synthetic leather, mesh panels over the top of the foot, and the TPU lateral wing that is integrated with the first 2 lace rows. It would have been nice to see a different material or different texture for the strap and lace cover. Something non-stretch would have been ideal.

    The midsole of the shoe is hidden, but the shoe still feels incredibly stable mostly due to the lateral wing. The Torsion System is injected around the wood in the shoe and does a great job in keeping the shoe rigid and supportive, yet flexes and responds without any restriction. There are nice touches such as the wood in the heel, and the leather in the rear quarters of the shoe to coincide with the shoe's strap. The insole is actually made of a polyurethane and is much denser than the good ol' ortholite liners. With the PU sockliner, the T-Mac 5 has amazing court feel with firm cushioning. The T-Mac 5 uses Adiprene + in the forefoot which did its job in soaking up shock and providing some feedback. My feet felt constantly connected to the court. I tried the shoe with a thicker Jordan XIX high performance sockliner, but preferred the feel of the original adidas sockliner which felt slightly more responsive. Under the sockliner, the upper is lasted similarly to the Air Jordan XX, with softer materials. The rear portion is lasted directly to a layer of Adiprene foam while the front half is lasted to a very soft fabric, probably polyester. I believe that the unique lasting of the shoe helped both in the cushioning and court feel. The cushioning did start off feeling a bit stiff but it woke up after a few good wearings.

    Seems like the perfect shoe so far doesn't it? But now is when the T-Mac 5 falls short. The outsole of the T-Mac 5 looks so amazing and unique with a wavy traction pattern that runs up and down. The traction pattern matches the texture on the mesh portion of the upper and even on the sockliner. But the uniqueness of the traction pattern falls flat in terms of gripping the court. I found myself constantly wiping the bottom of my shoes to get more grip. It actually seems like adidas went away from the rubber compound they had been using in the T-Mac line for so long, which really disappointed me, because I felt that a strong point in all the T-Mac's had been its traction. Don't get me wrong here, the grip wasn't TERRIBLE, but it could have been much better especially on dusty courts. I think the traction was just a bit better than that of the white/ varsity red-black Air Jordan XX. Hopefully the blk / red colorway will provide better traction.

    But all in all, the T-Mac 5's were a pleasure to play in despite it's sub par traction, the court feel was unmatched by any adidas product including the T-Mac 2's (which was my favourite of the T-Mac line). The feel underfoot was so unique and surprising to see in an adidas product and support and comfort is top of the line. In my opinion the T-Mac 5 is a great shoe for players at almost any position. Even heavier guards will love the court feel, but very large centers may find that the cushioning is not enough for the banging in the paint.

    One last note, because of my flat feet, most shoes made my feet extremely tired, sore, and even painful under the arch. Combat the soreness and pain I have been using supportive insoles such as Superfeet Green, and SofSole arch plus. But I was pleasantly surprised when I found that this is one of the only shoes that didn't hurt my feet. You couldn't feel the arch support in the T-Mac 5, but it did it was there. The T-Mac 5 was supportive and under the arch although it looked flat on the medial side but the support didn't give me blisters on my arch that I have experienced in such shoes as the T-Mac 4 and Shox VC2.

    Overall Ratings:
    Cushioning = 8 / 10
    Support = 10 / 10
    Stability = 10 / 10
    Traction = 6.5 / 10
    Fit = 10 / 10

    Overall = 44.5 / 50

    Feel free to make some comments and ask some questions.
    I plan to review the Melo V.5 and Zoom Lebron 3 soon.
    Mods, feel free to move this review into an already existing post.
     
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  2. mjreborn

    mjreborn

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    Is there an issue with the weight of the shoe?
    I've checked them out at my local store, held them up, seems on the heavy side to me.
    What's your take on the issue?
    College Station, Texas
     
  3. storm ryder

    storm ryder

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    They didn't feel heavy to me. No where near the T-Mac 4's. They're not the lightest shoes out there but they're definately not "heavy".

    I think weight is very subjective. Like they may seem heavy for a quick point guard, but for a power forward they might not feel heavy you know?
     
  4. mjreborn

    mjreborn

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    ^^ I totally understand...but thanks for the review.
    Black/red looks very good.
    College Station, Texas
     
  5. theadimac

    theadimac

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    good review, I want to pick up the tmac 5s but I have gotten quite a few shoes lately so I probably wont get these til they go on sale
     
  6. drainer15

    drainer15

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    Great review, thanks
     
  7. memphisboi55

    memphisboi55

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    will be copping the blk/red
     
  8. vincepoy

    vincepoy

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    Got a quick question, how does Adidas's cushioning like the Adiprene, Adiprene+ and A3 compare to Nike's Shox and Air technologies in terms of comfort, etc? Also, I noticed the T-MAC's have always used Adiprene and Adiprene+ and not the A3, is the A3 supposed to be any different?
     
  9. weknowdrama

    weknowdrama

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    I'v cut my old bromium 4's sole off and literally rip them to shreds just to see what is adiprene. It was a small, 1\3 inch wide circular blue tab surrouded by a lot of EVA. In fact, it felt alot like EVA, just a liiiiiil springier, so it was quite a useless, at least in bromiums. It's an overstatement to call this small piece of EVA-like material the "cushionong technology". Adiprene+ on the other hand is solid thing, it's like a molded rubber ribs lying across the forefoot, providing cushy ride, closer to zoom air in feel than anything. It's no wonder that adidas using only adiprene+ now.
    No, t-macs never used an adiprene, only adiprene+, as far as i remember. Why no A3?? Jordans also never using a shox :smile: [​IMG]

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  10. vincepoy

    vincepoy

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    I'm not that familiar with Adidas and their technologies since I had only wore Nike/Reebok for the last 20+ years. I didn't know what the differences between Adiprene and Adiprene+ was. I didn't think there was another way to do the air type of technology without using the Nike air, glad to hear that Adiprene+ is good though. What exactly is the Torsion System that Adidas keeps advertising though? I meant T-MAC's used Adiprene+, I just didn't know what the + meant and when I asked Adidas USA customer service, they told me that Adiprene+ is just regular foam and not as good as the A3. It just seems like all the other shoes Adidas has for other players and the top of the line crosstraining/tennis shoes all uses A3 instead of adiprene+. I know the Adidas 1 1.1's uses adiprene+ but I wonder what kind of cushioning does it use if you're not running with those shoes since the system is off unless you're running. As for the Jordan's, I thought the original Jordan's were called Air Jordan's or something but the Vince Carter's are Shox so I thought it was Nike's newer technology that is higher performance than the air or something. heh.
     
  11. creativit

    creativit

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    Adiprene is used more often in the heel. Adiprene + is usually in the forefoot, because it feels softer and closer to the ground. Torsion is a rigid piece that is set under the midfoot to prevent flexing in that area, kind of like Nike's carbon fiber plate or And1 metalic like structure under some of their shoes.
    -CreativiT

    Wanted (10-10.5): The Kobe (playoffs), Nike Zoom 2k3 (any white based colorway)
     
  12. airjaw

    airjaw

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    What cushioning is in the tmac2?
    that shoe is soooo comfy...
     
  13. gregoriosanchez

    gregoriosanchez

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    white/gold is tight (on eastbay)
     
  14. storm ryder

    storm ryder

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    adidas TORSION System is a rigid structure found under the midfoot that helps with the torsional rigidity and midfoot support of the shoe. Torsion keeps the midfoot from flexing in unwanted places. Midfoot support is so important in shoes to keep the heel and forefoot working in tandem or else strain and pain will take place in the arch (see iverson I3 playoff). Sometimes adidas uses what they call "3D Torsion", 3D Torsion basically wraps up around the sides of the feet to not only keep the shoe rigid, but to almost cradle the foot as well. Torsion System is adidas's version of a midfoot support structure or a "shank plate" and i guess 3D torsion would be similar to an "external heel counter".

    adiprene and adiprene+ are very different compounds of foam. Anyone who doubts foam cushioning should think again. Air based cushioning is somewhat unstable. It helps somewhat to have regionalized pressure but regardless, the "air" is always moving.

    adiprene is a slightly firmer compound and more dense. adiprene is found in the heel of shoes, in most running shoes usually in the lateral 1/4 of the heel where most of the impact takes place. adiprene is more durable than EVA and is made to absorb shock and guide the foot through the gait cycle. adiprene is important because it not only cushions, it also protects the heel of your foot from shock forces.

    adiprene+ is usually found in the forefoot of adidas shoes. adiprene+ is a special polymer that is more durable than EVA. adiprene+ is placed in key areas of the forefoot to provide a small amount of responsiveness, and also makes sure that you dont lose the energy you put in at the heel strike. adiprene+ is usually inserted into the midsole in the same way as adiprene. Some adidas running shoes use a full-forefoot adiprene+, why it hasn't appeared in the basketball shoes, i have no idea.

    To try to understand the difference in adiprene and adiprene+, imagine having two balls (yea i know), one made of adiprene and one made of adiprene+. If you were to drop them, the ball of adiprene would just fall and kind of stick to the ground not bouncing at all. But if u dropped the ball of adiprene+ it would bounce back.

    The adiprene+ used in the adidas1 and 1.1 is in the forefoot. The "1" computerized cushioning tech is only used in the heel.

    As for a3, represnts 3 stages of energy managment. a3 helps to cushion, guide, and drive the foot through the gait cycle. There are 2 different types of a3. regular a3 and a3 structure.
    a3 is made of a mixture of polyurethane and foam to not only be more responsive but also more durable than eva foam. a3 , much like shox, uses a transition plate to distribute impact evenly across the length of the plate. Because of the geometry, the a3 system is able to give an amazing ride while also providing energy return.

    a3 structure uses round or honeycomb TPU structures to do the same thing regular a3 does. since TPU is not foam based, it will not break down or lose its responsiveness.

    The TMac 2 used a ortholite sockliner with adiprene+ at the forefoot. The implementation of cushioning in the Tmac2 was one of my favorite in an adidas shoe.
     
  15. vincepoy

    vincepoy

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    STORM RYDER,

    Thanks for the explanation. With the T-MAC 5's, is that the regular torsion system they are using or the 3D torsion? Do we actually know for sure the T-MAC 5's even use Adiprene for the heel since it seems like they only mention Adiprene+ in the forefoot and the torsion system.

    Also, on the Adidas 1 and 1.1's, I know the computerized cushioning is only in the heel but if the system is off as it only works when you're running, will it act just like the Adiprene after the system turns off?

    Is the A3/Shox superior to Air/Adiprene/Adiprene+ though since it seems like it's a newer technology but the T-MAC's and Jordan's still isn't adopting it.
     
  16. 3canada

    3canada

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    Good job on the explaination Storm Ryder,

    just some correction:

    Incorrect. adidas still uses adiprene in their shoes.

    It is more responsive that adiprene.

    Correction. The Ortholite sockliner was only used in T-MAC 3 and 3.5.

    The Torsion system in T-MAC 5 is 3D Torsion.

    3D Torsion is the integeration of the Torsion midfoot system along with heel counter system all into one piece.

    When the adidas 1 is turned off, the heel cushioning system still acts as a cushioning system, only that the cushioning is not automatically tuned. It still provides cushioning and the feeling firm that is somewhat comparable to the adidas a3 Megaride running shoe.

    Newer technologies does not necessarily mean they are better than the older ones. Each one technology has its own advantages.

    As of now, Air Jordan's will not use Nike Shox in their shoes because Nike wants to keep the two separate.

    adidas, as well, do not want the T-MAC shoes to have a3 because they want to market these as two shoe lines.

    Hope it helps.
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  17. weknowdrama

    weknowdrama

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    Example of adiprene+, adiprene and Torsion

    Adiprene (blue thing), adiprene+(yellow), torsion plate(grey)
    (adiprene originally imbedded in a lot of eva, i just cut off all the eva):
    [​IMG]
    <<<<WANTED:XVIII (sz 11-11.5) >>>>
     
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  18. 3canada

    3canada

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    Yes, adidas Basketball still uses adiprene in their shoes.

    adidas Supercush and the Forum cushion, for example both have adiprene in them


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  19. weknowdrama

    weknowdrama

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    My bad
    <<<<WANTED:XVIII (sz 11-11.5) >>>>
     
  20. storm ryder

    storm ryder

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    Hey 3Canada, are you sure they didnt use the ortholite in the T-Mac 2? I have 2 pairs and they're both the same blue color as the ortholite and they seem a bit spongier and more open-celled than a EVA sockliner.


    Yes, the T-Mac5 uses both adiprene and adiprene+
     
  21. ussjme

    ussjme

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    adiprene+ looks like the cushioning will break down in a matter of months from that pic. 3canada or storm ryder, how long do you think a shoe like the tmac 5 would last(cushioning wise) compared to a shoe like the 2k5 which uses zoom air?
    ______
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  22. 3canada

    3canada

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    Yes.

    Looks like to you, but that's not a fact.

    As for comparing the life of cushioning between the Huarache 2k5 and the TMAC 5, I'd say both last just as long. Both use CMEVA (Nike calls it Phylon) and the main difference is adiprene+ versus Zoom Air (separate heel and forefoot unit). I've gone through 3 pairs of Huarache 2k5 (2 of which had the heel torn off), the cushioning of my 3rd Huarache 2k5 have broken down quite a bit after many wearings but still provides downright cushioning. In comparison, my two pairs of T-MAC 5's have also gone through way more haul of wearings and they still provide great cushioning.

    Hope it helps.
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  23. storm ryder

    storm ryder

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    yea phylon is ligher than CMEVA, but at the same time, its not quite as durable and it breaks down faster.

    I have the the 2K5's as well, I'd the T-Mac's any day.
     
  24. drainer15

    drainer15

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    Awesome job on the technology specs

    Here are some more descriptions I found, including Prof K's on a3 structure
    adiPRENE: Specially produced, compressed, injected EVA foam insert; also a visco-elastic polymer insert which performs the same function. Now think where you need absorption the most in your heel. This cushioning material under the heel protects the foot. Its technology to reduce the harmful effects of repetitive impact.
    adiPRENE +: Specially produced, compressed, injected EVA foam insert layer, or full forefoot formulation used for forefoot cushioning. This elastic material under the forefoot has one purpose: to create greater momentum at toe-off. Its technology that screams energy and efficiency.
    Torsion: Device which causes the shoe to return to a stable base after allowing the foot to twist in its natural movement during the gait cycle. The heel and forefoot are different. They move and rotate independently. The TORSION SYSTEM controls this natural motion to create stability and support.
    3D Torsion: Device which causes the shoe to return to a stable base after allowing the foot to twist in its natural movement during the gait cycle. Differs from Torsion by extending upwards into the arch.

    a3 structure - "This latest variation on the a3 theme addresses the issue of PUs eventual degradation, while also seeking to maximize the amount of energy return extractable from a mechanical cushioning system. It does so through a combination of the aforementioned geometry of the a3 elements and through the substitution of thermoplastic urethane (or TPU, which is essentially a form of plastic), for the PU foam.
    You might not think of plastic as being a very good cushioning material, but, in certain formulations, it can exhibit a high degree of elasticity and, in certain geometries, it can be a very effective shock attenuator. For a3 Structure, adidas applied NASA levels of computing power towards finding just the right elasticity and just the right geometry to maximize both impact protection and energy return on a sport-by-sport basis. And, as a completely foam-free solution, the a3 Structure system does not succumb to the ravages of wear or time it will effectively last forever (or at least a lot longer than anyone would want to keep a given pair of shoes).
    Mechanical cushioning energy management system offers superior stability at the heel, with energy return more a nice notion than a tangible reality. But, in the case of the a3 Garnett 05, I really did feel a bit of a bounce in my step at least once the midsole was broken in."
     
  25. baller mayo

    baller mayo

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    nice review. i think ima pick up a pair of these after xmas
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