The shoe launch coincides with the release of the new ad campaign, “This Is Flight”, which gets the job done. There’s nothing really groundbreaking there: the commercial’s flight theme, and its stylized emphasis on Wade’s ability to soar into the air, cements the comparisons between Wade and Jordan.
Otherwise, it’s a slick, professional piece of ad art with a bit of neat visual trickery; it’s kinetic and doesn’t overstay its welcome.
The shoes themselves are much more important. For sneakerheads, the launch means a lot of things.
First, it represents Wade’s new direction in branding, as the shoes will feature his new “W” logo on each of the four colorways, which will basically make the shoe indispensable for Wade completionists. The new “W” is a neat minimalist design, more of a suggestion of a W.
For tech lovers, the shoe also represents the height of footwear science, combining Nike’s Hyperfuse technology and Lunarlon cushioning, making for powerful performance and comfort.
That composite fabric, the Hyperfuse paneling, allows for a smoothness of design, with the benefits of good ventilation, and gives the shoe that unity of look. It makes for beautiful footwear.
The shoe’s designer, maestro Mark Smith intended for the shoe to be sleeker and lower than its predecessor, as Wade said he wanted the sequel to the Fly Wade 1 to have a shorter collar. In an interview with HotHotHoops, Smith said, “That’s going to allow us to keep things a little lower, a little closer to the floor and a little less material to work with. Obviously, I’m going to try to pull every possible gram out of that product without hindering the stability of it and the collar height was a big part of it.”
As for the design process itself, Wade was a big part of it: “There’s more to the conversation with Dwyane himself and making sure that we’re getting not just what I see but what he says,” Smith said. “It’s like a mix of those two. How do you blend those? I think we’re in a good cadence with that and I think we’ve got a good relationship. I’ll take his word over what I see because I may be seeing something differently than what he’s actually giving me. So it’s a good blend between the two.”
Thus, the Fly Wade 2 is the result of the collaboration between designer and player. Not a bad pedigree at all. You’ll be able to take home the Black/White-Varsity Red this Wednesday.