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.