Adidas Sabalo Review

8.4 score
[Editors rating (8.4)] = (WalkJogRun) score (8.4)/10

Editor rating: 8.4 / 10
User's rating: based on 0 user ratings
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Have you heard about Diego Najera? You haven't'? Well, by all means. Let us introduce the young skateboarding talent and why he’s so important for this review.

Diego Najera is an American pro-skateboarding wizard. He’s been a member of Primitive Skateboarding. A skateboard company based in Los Angeles since his early 20’s. But, it was after he joined the Adidas Skateboarding team, that Diego Najera got the opportunity of a lifetime. To design his first ever signature skateboarding sneakers. The Sabalo sneakers were made in collaboration with the Adidas Skateboarding team, and highly anticipated sneakers were released just last month.

But what’s so special about the Adidas Sabalo sneakers? Are they good enough? Are they strong enough? Well, for starters they're gender neutral type of sneakers. They're suitable for both male and female skateboarders. The unisex nature of the Sabalo is truly one to behold.  And what about the specifications, details, and materials of the sneaker you might ask?

More on that later in this review. Hope you like this review of Adidas Sabalo sneaker, and that you’ll purchase it later.

Editor's Pros & Cons

Molded PU Sockliner

Geoflex Outsole


Mesh-Lined Tongue


No vegan option


Vulcanized rubber is the main character in the outsole’s story, while the Geoflex technology is the secondary character. The Geoflex Outsole is more present in the shoes that are specifically designed for skateboarding, as it’s more flexible and allows the foot to bend more easily with the skateboard itself. Geoflex is, in fact, an innovative tread pattern. It provides the shoes with a way superior grip and unmatched flex which results in greater control of the board and better feel while the person is on the board. The “Vulc” on the other hand makes shoes extremely lightweight and they break in quickly. Every single bit is important, but the lightweight feeling that you’ll get from the outsole and how easy you’ll be able to break it in (after a short period of time) play a huge part on the comfort portion of this review.


A PU sockliner graces the top of the midsole of the Sabalo sneaker. It allows the contours of the foot to mold the PU sockliner and to give you the best protection and comfort. When you’re jumping up and down on the skateboard everything helps, and the soft polyurethane insole helps a lot.


Just take a look at that upper. It’s beautiful, isn’t it?

Made with full grain suede, the upper has a snug, responsive fit. The embroidered branding on the side of the upper is quite interesting, because it’s done with distinct red thread, and it has the name Najera under the famous trefoil logo. Just so you know the name and the company that stands behind it. The upper has a nice and elegant one-piece toe giving you fewer seams to worry about when it comes to wear and tear.

Seams can sometimes mean more pitching and discomfort, and by removing the seams, the discomfort gets eliminated as well.

The Sabalo sneaker has a regular lacing system, and the laces blend easily with the color of the upper, and exactly in that area of the upper is the fantastic tongue. Why is so fantastic you might ask? Well, unlike the other areas of the upper, the tongue is the one that provides the most aeration. The aeration is present in this otherwise enclosed shoe thanks to the mesh lining that’s dominating the tongue’s entire surface. Air can penetrate in and out of the shoe, and your feet will be left with fantastic breathability and comfort.


The comfort in the Sabalo model is a product of a joint effort between all of the distinct parts of the shoe. Yes, every single part, material, and technology that’s been used in the making of the shoe is responsible for the maintenance of the comfort. The Geoflex Outsole and the vulcanized rubber in that area, the suede upper with one piece toe seam, the molded PU sock liner in the midsole and of course the mesh-lined tongue that allows the shoes to get a breather. No stone is left unturned here in the comfort department and every single inch of the shoe is responsible for delivering the comfort to you.


You can thank the Geoflex outsole for that. It’s an innovative special tread pattern that provides superior grip and fantastic flex. The result of that thread pattern is greater control, support while you’re on the board. The vulcanized rubber used in the making of the outsole doesn’t provide the foot with that much foot protection or support, but it will make your shoe a lot more lightweights and a lot less bulky. The use of the vulcanized rubber is not the best possible choice, but given the fact that this is a skating style shoe which requires a special set of skills, and activities, it will do the trick.


Again the use of vulcanized rubber is an odd choice here. Why? The skateboard sneakers like the Sabalo model have a higher risk of damage, especially to the outsole area, and the relatively soft, flexible outsole has predispositions of wear and tear. If a lot sturdier type of rubber was to be used in the making of the outsole (even with the use of Geoflex technology) the durability would have been higher. But the use of suede in the upper is a great choice, and the addition of mesh-lined tongue is always welcomed. But the Geotex special thread really strengthens the materials and keeps them together with strength and conviction. You’ll love the Geoflex technology in the Sabalo sneaker.


The vulcanized rubber used it the making of the outsole was a weakness for the support, but it’s a huge virtue in providing flexibility. As it should. Because this is a skateboard style of a sneaker, the flexibility is in high demand. A person that’s on that board need to bend, flex and jump on that piece of wood (or plastic) and the vulcanized rubber is the best option for that. The vulcanized rubber is much more lightweight and flexible than the regular rubber, and it’s the perfect choice for the outsole. You’ll be impressed with the flexibility of the outsole.


Unfortunately, the stability is not that great precisely because of the vulcanized rubber, but the Geoflex thread used in the outsole really helps matters much. The special thread used in the outsole provides superior grip and flex that’s unmatched and allows the stability to be expressed in every motion. This results in greater control and board feel, all essential features for the skateboarded in you.


There’s not much to be said about the upper’s ability to provide the airflow. Almost the entire surface of the upper is enclosed without any perforations, mesh on any other openings. However, one small ray of hope is the mesh-lined tongue that sits in the middle of the upper and which allows air to penetrate in and out of the sneaker, thus allowing you your feet to breathe easily. It’s a welcomed addition since this is a shoe that’s mostly used in high energy activities, and the feet sweat easily during all that jumping. So, yes, that mesh-lined tongue is the primal source of aeration, while the suede used in the upper is the secondary. Yes. The suede leather has natural moisture wicking properties, and it will also help with the temperature regulation.


Inspired by the modern fisheye cinematography style that dominates the skate culture, the upper’s color has a soft cream color, while cloud white strips are visible on the side of the upper. The famous trefoil logo sits on the back of the upper, and underneath it, the name of Diego Nájera is embroidered with powder read thread. It looks badass and stylish, but unfortunately, these are the only color options that are available for the Sabalo model. Because this is a specially designed shoe that’s made with collaboration with one of the best skateboarders in the world, you won’t be able to find any other variations in color and in print.


With a price tag of just 75 dollars, the Sabalo model by Nike is an affordable sneaker that anyone can enjoy. The best part about this shoe (besides the quality obviously) is that it’s unisex. So you can purchase this for yourself or as a gift for your loved ones. The affordability is always welcomed since this shoe comes from one of the most respected companies in the world, but Diego Nájera and Adidas made sure that everyone can afford this sneaker.


Instead of writing about Adidas, let’s focus for a moment about the man behind the Sabalo model. The young talent by the name of Diego Nájera. Born and raised in southern California, Diego knew from an early age that his passion lies in skateboarding. He’s currently ranked on place number 410 in the overall ranking, 242nd in the street competition and his specialty is street skating.


Minimalism graces every inch of this sneaker and the design exurbs stylish and very urban feel. Made with top-notch quality materials like leather, the sneaker is strengthened with Geoflex stitching in the outsole and a molded PU sockliner in the insole. It’s required that the skater sneakers remain lightweight and flexible, so Adidas and Diego Nájera followed the instruction to the T. The end result is a flexible, comfortable and very affordable sneaker that will look great on just about anybody. Literally, anybody because the Sabalo model is unisex in design. The gender-neutral approach is maintained with the simplistic design and the used of crème neutral color that It’s not specific to any type of consumer. The only requirements are just to love the sneaker and to love skateboarding too.

Bottom line

What do you get when you mix probably the best footwear company in the world and probably one of the best skateboarders in the world? The Sabalo sneaker. Designed by Diego Nájera in collaboration with Adidas, the unisex shoe is flexible, lightweight and very comfortable to the feet. The grip and the board feel come from the Geoflex outsole, and while the vulcanized rubber used in this part of the shoe won’t give you must comfort and protection, it will give you great insulation and airflow. The upper of the sneaker is entirely made from suede leather, with a small but very significant mesh lined tongue. Oh, and the one piece toe in the upper will prevent your toes from blistering and other types of shoe-related injuries, while the lack of seams will allow the upper to remain intact for a longer period of time. Not seams, in the toe area, means no tearing of the upper in the toe area, Amazing right? The Sabalo sneakers are affordable and durable, and you’ll fall in love with the minimalism of the design that’s used in the making of the sneakers.