Dwyane Wade comes strolling into the back-alley gym that sits in the shadows of I-95 with that familiar Jordan gait â€“ pigeon-toed, swagged-out – looking like an oversized red and black hospital patient with all of the mics and wires hanging off him. “We’re going to add four more,” someone immediately says as they start outfitting Wade again. One here. One there. The All-Star smiles. It’s all he can do with his arms outstretched, foreign hands fidgeting to add more technology all over his body.
Wade and the Jordan designers infiltrated Jose Marti Park Gymnasium along the Miami River in Little Havana yesterday for the launch of the newest edition to his signature sneaker line, the Jordan Fly Wade 2, and while Wade’s entrance made for a funny sight, the real technology everyone wanted a taste of was in the new sneaker. Or sneakers. All four of the expected colorway releases for the Fly Wade 2s â€“ sprawled out in between the lead designer Andre Doxey and Wade were the red/back, Christmas Day red, white/red/black, and all black editions â€“ were in the house. Some journalists wanted to know: Would these make us play like you, Dwyane?
But they will function. They will hold up. They will be comfortable. And they will look nice. Wade promises. Doxey and Wade spoke on the design process of the sneaker, something that began 18 months ago and never really stopped. Wade was all over this one in a way he never was with the original last year. The design team knew him better, and Wade had expectations. He says above all else, he needed comfort because the way he throws his body around on the court (name someone in the NBA who’s more reckless than this dude?), a normal shoe couldn’t handle it.
“Also, I sweat a lot,” Wade joked. He wasn’t entirely poking fun though. At times in the past, he’s gone through three pairs of sneakers in one night, and found that many of his past shoes â€“ usually constructed with some type of leather â€“ couldn’t withstand all that perspiration. By the end of the night, they often became “flimsy,” as he described it.
So Doxey went about catering something that would appeal to Wade. First order of business was the collar and padding around the ankle. It’s asymmetrical to mirror the foot, and the emphasis was in keeping the right range of motion in Wade’s ankle.
“We changed this thing, what?” Doxey asks. “Probably five or six times to get it right.” Wade nods, and shows off the stability in the heel, the traction on the sole and the micro on the side. Digging in and exploding is what he needs most of all. As Doxey says, “He’s super hard on his shoes.”
The designers also concentrated on the comfort, lining the upper with Hyperfuse â€“ Wade says he’s not into Flywire at this point â€“ and the bottom of the tongue is breathable lightweight mesh.