Adidas Berm

written by: J.A. Caldwell

Introduction:

Adidas has been making performance footwear for some time now. Many of us are familiar with Adidas running and soccer products and their prestigious history. Adidas is always on the cutting edge of footwear technology and have applied this knowledge to their line of cycling shoes. They brought in North Shore ripper Ritchey Schley to help develop a shoe for mountain bikers that like to run flat pedals. Incorporating many needs of an active rider Adidas have developed a nice product that should work well for riders of many genres.

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Features:

  • Lace and Velcro strap closure – the strap helps keep laces tucked out of harms way
  • Full grain leather upper
  • EVA sockliner with arch support – sockliner is removable/replaceable if needed
  • High abrasion toe cover – protects against objects causing harm to your feet as well as offering added durability
  • ClimaCool ventilation – moisture-wicking fabrics and vented materials help keep feet cooler
  • Agion treatment – environmentally-friendly, silver-based antimicrobial lining cuts down on bacteria and foot odor
  • Asymmetric construction with TPU interior ankle protection – the inside of the ankle is protected from coming in contact with cranks and offers additional support

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Riding Results:

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The Adidas Berm is a great looking shoe that fits nicely. Initially the shoe needed a little extra time to break in but once they were worn for a few rides everything fit right. The Berm doesn’t fit as slim as some shoes but is also not as bulky as others. The sizing ran true as expected so no guessing if they’ll be too small or too large for your size. They should fit a wide range of feet types and have arch support built into the sockliner. The shoes are cushioned well and were very easy to wear even as casual shoes.

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The tongue is heavily padded, which works well for comfort and support as well as defending against objects that you may come in contact with. The TPU inside ankle protection helps give the shoe more support for the ankle and deflects contact with your crank arms while riding. The strap closure works well for not only protecting your laces from getting loose and causing issues but also helps dial in the fit of the shoe to as snug or as loose as you’d like.

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While the fit and finish of the Berm is very admirable, the traction isn’t at the same level as other shoes we’ve tested. The sole pattern of the Berm is simple but Adidas didn’t give it much depth. While riding your feet feel initially connected to the pedals but can come loose relatively easily. The sole of the shoe has the correct amount of stiffness to put power down but while riding over rougher areas the grip can be lacking. Having sharper pedal pins help with this issue and seem to dig into the sole better for more grip. Flatter pins don’t work as well.

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The leather that the Berm is made of is nice and durable. As mentioned before it took a bit longer to break these shoes in than other shoes made of synthetic materials. The leather so far has held up nice and looks well. The toe cap is equipped with specialized abrasive resistant material that works well at keeping the toe looking good in an area that is most likely to come in contact with objects. Along the lines of durability Adidas also included an extra set of laces should your’s become worn.

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The shoes breathed well while testing. I didn’t have any time when my feet felt overly hot or sweaty. Adidas has applied their ClimaCool technologies to these shoes to help wick moisture away from your feet. They also treated the inside of the shoes with Agion which helps keep bacteria and foot odor to a minimum. My shoes after many rides have no offending odor to speak of. The toe area and tongue both have multiple holes in them as well as a large hole in the bottom of the sole to help with ventilation. The problem with these holes is while they let heat and moisture out they also let water in very easily should you ride through any wet areas.

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Areas of Improvement:

  • While the strap closure system works well for keeping the laces out of the way, it would have been nice to have seen a full lace enclosure like other shoe models on the market. These closures help keep water and mud from getting in the shoe as well as protect the laces.
  • The grip pattern on the sole of the shoe is simple and the rubber has decent grip but the pattern should be much deeper. With a deeper pattern these shoes would grip more securely and offer better traction performance.
  • The hole in the bottom of the shoe is also a cause of concern. While it works well for ventilation purposes, it is also a prime area to allow water to get into the shoe. Ventilation methods higher up on the shoe itself would seem more appropriate for keeping water out while keeping the foot cool.
  • Adidas could have also offered these shoes in optional colorways. Can’t go wrong with an all black version.

Pricing:

MSRP $79.95

Conclusion:

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Adidas set out to create a great performing shoe for those that run flat pedals. They incorporated a lot of great features and technologies into the Berm to make it a decent performing shoe. They fit well and looked great on and off the bike. I had no problems with durability and my feet stayed nice and cool. The materials are very durable and the bike specific protective features work well.

Like all products where there are areas that work well there are also areas of improvement. I felt that the sole could have offered up more traction to allow me to feel more secure while riding. I also would have liked to have seen some other measures taken to shed mud and water.

At the end of the day these shoes function well and offer protection when riding but might not be the best shoes for downhill and freeride. We feel they’d be much better for casual riding and dirt jumping where they should perform quite well.

[Adidas Berm Shoe Gallery] [Adidas Cycling]