First Impression: Li-Ning Way of Wade
This is how a sneaker should be made… period.
Traction – The ‘DW’ pattern looks iffy to me. The rubber itself is sticky as hell so for the first few wears, traction should be great. Will the sticky properties of the rubber last is something that would make or break the shoe. But I will remain optimistic as the pattern isn’t all bad…
The major strike zones located at the heel and forefoot are covered with the ‘DW’ pattern but all the rubber that would surround the pattern – as it does throughout the rest of the outsole – was removed and might end up being their saving grace should the rubber lose its stickiness… my spell check didn’t go off so I’m going to assume that stickiness is an actual word and not something a child-like brain such as mine would just make up as a failing attempt to describe an object.
Cushion – I’m no stranger to Li-Ning’s BounSe & CushioN foam system. It was mentioned in the Turningpoint and Villain Performance Review but I will say it again… I love this foam. It feels great and has an awesome bounce back feeling. Lunarlon and Micro G are tied for 1st while Li-Ning’s BounSe and CushioN are at a close 2nd.
Step in comfort is great as well with this weird insole they provide.
Material – Just as its stated in the beginning… THIS is how a sneaker should be made. Raw materials formed in a proper shape featuring a narrow/ modern last. It will require some break-in time but nothing compared to what you’d get from a cheap split grain with a PU coat. Even the patent leather is REAL patent leather… I haven’t seen REAL patent leather placed on a shoe since 1995 and we all know what shoe that was.
Fit – They fit true to size length wise but slightly narrow width wise. Wide footers may want to go up ½ size but keep in mind that real leather breaks in and stretches – because its skin – so how well the fit will hold up going a ½ up has yet to be determined.
Ventilation – There isn’t too much ventilation but there are some areas made with air flow in mind. The tongue is mesh while the side panels and toe are perforated… just like a lot of 90’s shoes. If you are an old school hooper/ sneaker enthusiast then I can tell you right now that you will like this shoe.
Support – Carbon Fiber is placed at the arch for torsional support while the eyestay and midsole feature a lightweight plastic for structural support which will come in handy once things begin to break-in. These features along with the awesome fit should provide the wearer with plenty of support.
They don’t make shoes like this anymore. They can but they don’t. Even Li-Ning’s previous models are made of synthetics so I feel that this premium look and feel may be because this is part of the Wade brand. If D Wade is truly hands on in this new venture of his then I applaud him for bringing back the 90’s with these right here.
Wade knows what up… he grew up in Chicago and remembers what Jordan Brand used be… maybe this is his way of paying homage.
All I know is this, I’ve never been this happy with the quality of materials and build of a sneaker since 2005 or 2006.