Let's set the stage. It's early March of 2018, and Tariq Wilson qualifies for the NCAA Tournament. He's one of those guys who you know is more talented than his record, but hasn't been able to remain consistent throughout the year. Cleveland Ohio, there's something different about Tariq. Is it because he's a native of Stubenville Ohio, so he's close to home? No. That's not it. Is it because he is peaking at the right time? Possible, but I don't think that's accurate either. Did he just learn a single leg the night before, and decided to unleash it's fury on the world of D1 College Wrestling? Also, not likely. The big difference was, Tariq had new shoes. You may be saying to yourself, "Kevin, you can't possibly be saying that the only reason Tariq Wilson went from possibly 1-2, to placing 3rd in one of the more difficult weights in the country, is due to the change in shoes can you?" Yes. That's the only tangible evidence I have come up with that would directly relate to the increase in performance.
Similar to the last rendition of the Mat Wizards (the David Taylor shoes), these have the same single sole bottom with emphasis on grip. One of my favorite things about these shoes so far is the laces. They lace up very easily, and the lace holes are more open, making it simple to tie the shoes as tight or as loose as you prefer. The shoes themselves sit more shallow on the ankle than the Varners, or the Impacts, but it doesn't affect the ability for them to provide ankle support if you so choose to tie them to the top. These shoes are also more bulky than the Impacts or the Varners, but it helps them to be more comfortable on your feet for longer stretches as well. They grip your foot like a sock, but you don't lose any bit of traction along the way, and because Adidas has stuck with the same general plan for the soles of the shoes, you know what you are getting.
Outside of the performance of the shoe itself, they just look straight up awesome! I am a big fan of both the solid color combinations, and the black and white along with the yellow and black. Overall, the shoes fit excellent, are extremely comfortable, they provide tremendous support around the foot and ankle without giving up any comfort, and they remained consistent with their single sole design for maximum grip for the entire foot. Lastly, as it relates to the grip and sole, I really like how the back heel has the extra channel that comes up. I didn't realize how often I push off of that on sweep singles, and digging my foot in on stand ups. Any time you can give yourself the extra edge, you should do that. That's what Tariq Wilson did, so you know it's a good idea.