Adidas Yung-96

With so many popular fashion trends from the 90's making a comeback, it was only a matter of time before old-school running shoes were next. Adidas jumped on the bandwagon when they released their Yung-1 model. Complete with a chunky sole unit and a mesh and nubuck upper in some eye-catching color options, it quickly became a best-seller. Adidas followed this up with the Yung-96, which features a more angular design and mostly neutral colorways. All materials used in the original version are still present, as is the same cushiony wear that buyers have enjoyed. Though some may label this model as a "dad shoe" due to its clunky design, many consumers find themselves drawn to its comfortable and versatile wear.

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Pros & Cons

-Ideal for those with wide feet

-Eye-catching design

-Affordable price tag

-Comfortable wear

-Highly durable


-Limited colorways available

-Does not fit true to size

Key Features
Adidas relied on a basic rubber compound when creating the Yung-96's outsole, which was all they needed for something so casual. And its angular, asymmetrical tread pattern is a definite throwback to 90's sneaker designs. For added comfort and stability, the brand's trademarked Torsion System is put in place. This TPU support unit is placed in the midfoot region to keep the arches from flexing improperly and serve as a bridge between the forefoot and heel. The result is a smoother gait cycle and greater control of movement. Considering how clunky this shoe's sole unit is, this could definitely be the reason why reviewers still find it relatively easy to move around in.
When buyers first look at the chunky design of the Yung-96's midsole, many assume that it would be heavy and difficult to wear. It's not surprising, considering that this feature is more streamlined on most modern running shoes. But thanks to its lightweight EVA foam material, reviewers are pleasantly surprised at how comfortable this shoe is when worn all day. This standard material is formulated to be lightweight yet responsive, providing the runner with the right amount of shock absorption and energy transfer for casual runs and everyday tasks. It should be pointed out, however, that this design is not for everyone. Those with smaller feet have said that this midsole makes the shoe feel clunky.
During the 90's, leather and mesh were staples when it came to designing running shoes. So it's no surprise to anyone that Adidas went this route when creating the Yung-96's upper. Breathable mesh serves as the base and inner lining, while nubuck leather is layered on top and attached with stitching. Each piece forms a protective toe bumper, a stabilizing heel clip, ankle supports, and reinforcements for the shoe's traditional lacing system. A few of these overlays contain reflective properties, making this an excellent option for runs through low-light conditions. Additional strands are also used to create Adidas' signature striped design on both sides. Though this look does serve as a stylish throwback, it makes this model unfit for those who are vegan-friendly.
There is no online information that specifies how much the Yung-96 weighs. Given its chunky design, many would assume that this model is quite hefty. Reviews, however, state otherwise. Despite its clunky look, and its tendency to fit larger than average, most consumers say that it's actually very easy to wear. The use of lightweight EVA for the midsole definitely made this possible.
One of the downsides of leather running shoes is that they aren't very breathable, hence why more modern versions are primarily made with fabric and a few synthetic overlays. While it doesn't provide as much ventilation as other shoes on the market, the Yung-96 still takes it into account. While nubuck provides structure and protection along the toes, heel, ankles, and base of the upper, the mesh material underneath is completely exposed along the forefoot, sides, and collar. The mesh lining inside the shoe is also breathable, allowing the runner to feel more comfortable.
Reviews across all online platforms indicate that Adidas really prioritized comfort when they designed the Young-96. Despite its clunky wear, this shoe's EVA midsole provides the runner with all-day cushiony comfort and responsiveness. The mesh inner lining feels soft against the foot as it permits added breathability. And the combination of mesh and nubuck give the runner the ideal combination of ventilated comfort and stabilizing support. Some who are living with chronic foot or leg pain have felt noticeable relief upon wearing this shoe frequently. The only downside is that this model tends to fit large, as reviewers recommend that buyers purchase this model at least half a size down.
Those who are fans are 90's fashion are all over the look of the Yung-96. Though its retro design borders on being a "dad shoe," most reviewers find it to be versatile and easy to pair with a number of different looks. Its chunky sole unit and mesh/nubuck upper are obvious throwbacks to once-popular styles, as are the flattened laces and logos placed on the tongue and heel. Though all of its color options are primarily neutral, some selections do include vibrant accents. These include beige/white/orange, carbon/grey/yellow, and grey/black/pink.
For the most part, the Yung-96 has proven itself to be sufficiently durable for everyday wear. High-quality cattle leather is used to create the upper's nubuck material, and the process of sanding and buffing it makes it incredibly resistant to wear and tear. The overlays along the base are given an extra set of stitching in order to prevent early degradation. Though the rubber outsole and EVA foam midsole do hold up well to frequent usage, some reviewers have noticed a bit of scuffing early on.
Most buyers don't really expect a casual or fashion-conscious shoe to have much when it comes to protective features. But reviewers have found themselves to be pleasantly surprised by what the Yung-96 has to offer. Its lightweight EVA midsole keeps the foot cushioned and supported all day, and its responsive nature absorbs the impact of each landing. This works to alleviate any chronic pain that the runner feels and prevents the likelihood of post-run fatigue. The thick platform also safeguards the foot against any potential road hazards that the wearer might encounter. Sections of the upper are made from reflective material, which keeps the runner safe during jogs through low-light conditions. And the upper's nubuck material comes equipped with a natural water repellency, which can shield the runner against splashes and mild rain.
Though many well-known shoe brands are now creating their own custom midsole materials, in an effort to make their shoes stand out more, there's a good reason why some keep going back to standard EVA foam. Aside from being lightweight and cushiony, it also provides the wearer with a great deal of shock absorption and energy transfer. Reviewers credit this feature's responsive nature for the reduced amount of pain and discomfort that they feel at the end of the day.
With a chunky sole unit and a lot of nubuck fixed to its upper, it's no real surprise that the Yung-96 provides such a supportive wear. The lightweight yet responsive cushioning of its EVA midsole its aided by its thick and clunky design, ensuring that the runner stays completely supported no matter how long they wear this shoe throughout the day. While the mesh of its upper does not provide any structure on its own, the use of nubuck overlays gives the shoe a lot of needed structure. They also work with the lacing system and padded collar to ensure that the foot gets the proper amount of support.
As with other casual running shoes, the Yung-96 performs best on all everyday surfaces. The design of its tread pattern keeps the runner going on concrete, cement, and hardwood floors. Though nubuck is naturally water resistant and could hold up against a run through light rain, there is no indication of how well this shoe can perform in wet conditions.
Another one of the Yung-96's biggest advantages is its relatively affordable price tag. While most running shoes are between $120 and $130, this model can be found for only $100 at most online retailers. These include Footlocker, Champs Sports, and even Adidas' own website. Considering that this shoe is meant purely for fashion and everyday use, rather than for athletics or corrective purposes, it makes perfect sense. And its high level of comfort, durable materials, and ability to fit into a number of casual settings make it even more of an incredible bargain.
The angular, asymmetric tread pattern featured on the Yung-96's outsole provides the runner with a decent amount of traction on everyday surfaces such as concrete and cement. Runners have also moved along grass and dirt without any major issue. The arrow-shaped lugs placed along the forefoot do most of the gripping as the runner moves along each of these surfaces. And the inclusion of the Torsion System ensures that the run is even smoother than it would be otherwise. It should be noted that there is no information that indicated how well this shoe performs on wet or slippery surfaces.
Reviews don't give much indication of how flexible the Yung-96's wear is. It doesn't seem very pliable based on looks alone, especially when considering how clunky its sole unit is. But when realizing that this shoe was intended for everyday use, it only makes sense that it be relatively easy to move around in. The lightweight EVA midsole is specially engineered to follow the wearer's movements as much as possible while still being supportive. Though the nubuck of its upper gives a great deal of structure, enough mesh is still exposed to permit a natural enough stride. All this said, those who are looking for a more pliable wear would be wise to look at other options.
Though the Yung-96 was created mainly for comfort and nostalgia, it surprised buyers with a built-in stability feature. A Torsion System is fixed into the midfoot region of the outsole, serving as a type of bridge between the midfoot and heel. Made from TPU, it supports the arch and prevents improper flexing as it encourages a smoother heel-to-toe transition. The cushioning and responsive nature of its EVA midsole ensure that the runner can move around comfortably yet securely. The decision to use nubuck for the upper's overlays gives this shoe a great deal of structure. And the padded collar and lacing system work together to ensure that the foot is kept in place. On the other hand, the fact that this shoe tends to fit larger than average does take away from its stabilizing features.
No online listings or reviews have any information on the Yung-96's heel-to-toe drop height. When it comes to most running shoes, the average drop height is 10mm. This gives a good amount of heel cushioning without disrupting the foot's natural movement too much. Since this particular feature looks similar to other models with a 10mm drop, it's safe to assume that it's also present on this shoe.
Key Features
-Rubber outsole with Torsion System
-Chunky yet lightweight EVA midsole
-Mesh and nubuck upper
-Traditional lace closure
-Mostly neutral colorways
-90's-inspired design
-$100 price tag
Bottom Line
Though many buyers would have wanted the Adidas Yung-96 no matter what, mainly for nostalgia, its comfortable wear and ample amount of toe-room are really what earn this model its positive reviews. The use of lightweight EVA foam to construct its chunky midsole ensures a great deal of cushioning and protection against hard impact or road hazards. And while leather is not used as often on running shoes that are made today, the combination of mesh and nubuck give the runner an ideal balance of breathability and structural support. Though its larger-than-average sizing could undermine any stability that it offers, buyers who find their perfect size are more than happy wearing it out as often as possible.
Where to Buy
By Jessica Pilla
Last updated:
Where to buy
Best offer on: Jul. 29. 2021

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