Despite sneaker cushioning advancements over the last 35 years like Air, ERS, Hexalite, Zoom Air and Lunarlon, the humble vulcanized sole has endured. Flourished, even. People like vulc soles because they’re usually lightweight, and their slender lines look good with shorts and jeans alike (all that really matters). Sneaker companies like vulc soles because they’re cheap to make… and you’ll buy them because they’ll look good with your shorts and jeans.
The adidas Hard Court Defender can be counted among this classic sneaker subset. Based off of the original Defender released in 1985, HCD whisks uncomplicated ’80s style into 2013 with softness everywhere. Suede, nubuck, aniline leather (I should do a Sneaker Ingredients on this one); everywhere you turn on this shoe you’ll find a soft, almost deconstructed feel. The white leather inserts are very pliable and forgiving, a nice touch in an age where many retro shoes opt for stiff synthetics that might very well be repurposed Toter trash can plastic. The forefoot strap tightens up a little with a Velcro catch but it’s really there to look good. As you move rearward, a rather large rubber spoiler arches the heel, giving you a pretty serious shoe entry aid for your foot a la Jordan VI. The White/Cobalt/Infrared color combo checks the box on the ’90s flair adidas makes a point of mentioning on the info card you’ll see in the photos ahead, combining a sort of low-key white and grey combo with the brighter, bolder blue and pinkish hues. Trefoil logos abound, letting you and passers-by know you’re in adidas Originals country, and generous cuts of herringbone underfoot should more than secure your strolls.
Check out some photos of the adidas Hard Court Defender ahead. Multiple colorways are available now at Foot Locker.