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.
The Jordan Fly Wade 2s feel modern, edgy and technical, and are a full ounce lighter than last year’s version (these ones are 12 ounces).
As for the style, Doxey says one of the first things they ever talked about together were Aston Martins. Wade likes clean, sleek, smooth cars, and loves the finish and shape of Aston Martins, adding “Whatever you’re going through at that time in your life is kinda the look you want on your sneakers.”
If that’s the case then Wade must have a lot of cars with a Matte finish. The Matte is all over the Fly Wade 2, and helps to give it a unique look.
Then, there’s the new logo. The first Fly Wades didn’t have one. It’s on the tongue this year, at once both a W and the number 3. The Jumpman is on the side. “I think the Jordan logo may be a little bigger than my logo, but we’ll talk about that later.” Wade jokes.
Wade is hyped to finally be getting back to real ball after a summer of adventure. He went to Australia, China and even hit up fashion week in Milan just a week after they lost in the Finals last June, an experience that put him into a new world. “They had to drag me out of bed,” he laughs. He eventually grew to appreciate it.
While these new sneakers won’t win a title for him by themselves, Wade’s hoping to be rocking a pair of these next June while lifting up the Larry O’Brien, saying, “We put the past behind us but we never forget.”
Wade will wear the Christmas Matte Red with the green laces (see photos on page three) on opening day against Dallas, and the crew admitted they’ve actually already begun the design process for the Jordan Fly Wade 3.
After the Q&A session, we got to try out the new kicks for ourselves, and in what was definitely a first in my experience, they brought out a trampoline and a few halftime show experts to give us a hand with the “Fly” aspect of Wade’s new sneakers. A few of my fingers are still black and blue.
On his summer training:
“I just wanted to be leaner. Obviously in the summer, every year I’ve played at some kind of different weight from my first year to last year. Every year it’s been like that. Maybe two years it was almost the same but every year it’s been almost different. For me it was always about my body fat. How lean can I be? This year I want to play a different weight than I did last year. This is my own personal thing about feeling my body, feeling what happened late in games.”
On bond with LeBron:
“I think we’ve always been tight. After having a year together, after having a year of losing in the Finals together, going through that, we had different conversations this summer. We spent time together. He was busy doing his thing. I was busy doing mine. But our families came together. We came together at different times. Vacationing in many different places. Same city, meet up.
He’s grown. He’s grown from last year. He’s growing everyday. I can kinda see that in the way he talked yesterday (ESPN conversation where LeBron said he didn’t want to be the villain.). He’s listening a little bit.
I don’t play like him. I’m always straight-faced. I smile every now and then when I get on the court. But I said let me look like the mean one, and you play the way you play. But we did talk about that. As you can tell, two different things said but the same message. When we was on vacation, we talked about that. We didn’t run away from losing in the Finals. We looked at it and said ‘Why did we lose? How did we lose? What can we do different? How can we be better as leaders?’ And I kinda wanted for LeBron to get back to being LeBron and not trying to be somebody that everyone wanted him to be.”
What sneakers he wears off the court:
“Lately, I’ve been getting my Elite packs. Y’all know we get a lot of different stuff sent to us from Jordan. I tweeted a couple of them out. I’ve been wearing a lot, but I’ve been sticking to the 3s, the 11s, those are the two I’ve been sticking to… obviously, my shoes and then after that just the training shoes.
On Chris Bosh’s aggressiveness:
“Obviously, if you have more time with people you get a little bit more comfortable. Me and Chris spent time together this summer so I think Chris is already more comfortable. He sees things a little different.
We got the taste of ‘Oh we can possibly win this thing’ and you never know that until you get there. So he’s gonna be a different player. He’s gonna be more vocal. He’s going to talk to us more and let us know how we can help him out too. I think we all will see a different side of him in that aspect. It’s not when it comes to bullying guys in the post, that’s not Chris. (laughs) But in the games, I think you’ll see him get a little bit more vocal, more comfortable and confident in his game.
I thought he did great (last year). I don’t think he got enough credit. Obviously, we lost. But Chris played very consistent each round. Each round, I thought he got better. He hushed a lot of critics that are always talking about him. They couldn’t say nothing about him. I think he was the most consistent out of all of us if you wanna say from each round.”
On his game changing:
“Every year I’m always trying to add a piece to my game. You can look at every year I’ve been here, I did something different within that year that I probably didn’t do the year before. Me changing? That’s probably not gonna happen. But me adding some things and me understanding moments… I’ve changed since I first got here. I don’t drive every time now (laughs).
Yeah I’ve changed, but me totally changing from a penetrator to just a shooter? I’m not at that stage no time soon, just sit in the corner. That’ll come one day. I’ll be like Eddie Jones was when I got here (laughs).”
On Mario Chalmers’ free agency:
“I haven’t gotten involved in it with ‘Rio. I mean I worked out with ‘Rio a few times this summer, talked to him, actually I talked to him yesterday. You always want someone to do what’s best for them so you kinda stay out of it. Obviously, as a team, we would love to have ‘Rio back, but also you want ‘Rio to do what’s best for him.â€¨ So you kind of try to stay out of it but you also let him know, ‘Listen, you’re a Heat and until you put on another jersey you’re a Miami Heat and we want you here.’ We talked about the season a little bit but I stayed away from trying to say, ‘Listen, you need to sign back.'”
What do you think of his new kicks?
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