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.