Dwyane Wade Gets His First Jordan Signature Shoe

Tuesday, 5 Apr 2011 | 11:18 AM ET

Yesterday, the Jordan Brand unveiled its newest shoe, the Jordan Fly Wade, the first Jordan signature shoe named after the Miami Heat guard.

Dwayne Wade Jordan Shoe
Source: Jordan
Dwayne Wade Jordan Shoe

The lightest Jordan shoe to date features the very recognizable elephant crackle print, a staple of one of the most famous Jordans, the Air Jordan III.

The shoes will hit stores on May 5 for $140 and unlike many Jordan releases, will actually be available for NIKEiD customization on May 29.

I talked to Dwyane Wade and Jordan creative director Mark Smith about the shoe, which is the first new Jordan I actually like.

Darren: What are you happy about with this shoe?

Wade: At 13 ounces, this is the lightest shoe I’ve ever worn. The key for me was being able to be quick, but also have a shoe that’s very comfortable.

Darren: You are now part of the Jordan brand. Do you feel more pressure?

Wade: Not more pressure. I actually had more pressure at Converse when I was the face of the brand and I was really the only one. Now I have a great opportunity to bring my marketability to the great Jordan brand. To be a kid from Chicago, who grew up with Jordans, it’s just so amazing to be a part of.

Darren: After about six years with Converse, you switched to the Jordan brand in July 2009. More than 3 out four of readers, who voted in a poll, thought this was a good move for you. Why did you do it?

Wade: I’m so happy and thankful for Converse. When I was drafted, even though I was picked fifth, no one was knocking down the door to sign me to a shoe deal. They gave me a chance and helped me accomplish a lifelong dream, which was to have a signature shoe. But after a while, I did feel like it was time for a change. And since Nike bought Converse, the decision to come over to Jordan was supported by Nike Inc. MJ wanted me too and that was obviously a big honor.

Darren: How close is the shoe you wear to the actual shoe someone can get off the shelf?

Wade: It’s close. It’s not like it looks the same, but it’s a totally different shoe. I make a couple adjustments during the season to make it fit to me.

Darren: Mark, why do this shoe now?

Smith: Originally, we were going to make the Air Jordan 2011 the lightest shoe to date, but Tinker (Hatfield, Nike’s chief designer) saw the opportunity to build a shoe with quick explosive midsoles and work with Dwyane to unveil it as a late season shoe.

Darren: You always hear that kids wear Jordans with their jeans, but not necessarily on the court.

Smith: Jordan has had the reputation of being more of a fashion shoe, a bit heavier, so this is an opportunity for us to fly in the face of that.

Darren: With lighter materials and upgraded technology, we still have a shoe that cost $140. Break it down for me.

Smith: Consumers might think that because it weighs less and we use less material, that it costs less. To be honest, the new materials cost more. Carbon fiber costs a lot of money. But we designers do care about prices and we want to make the best shoe for the best price.

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