Performance review: Jordan Fly Wade.
And with the Jordan Fly Wade, Dwyane Wade has a shoe to take him high.
SLEEK!!!! I know I have used that word a lot, but it’s the first word that came to mind when I opened that familiar silver and black box and viewed the Jordan Fly Wade up close for the first time. Since seeing the initial pictures of the four general release colors, I was struck by the absolute audacity of the neon highlights Jordan saw fit to issue for Mr. Wade. Having been struck by his seemingly understated personality throughout the years, it seemed slightly “out of the box” to make his shoe in fluorescent red, blue, and green, but I like the way those colorways pop. The black colorway to me was, well, no other way to say this, boring. However, when set to Wade’s “undercover agent” persona from the Air Jordan 2011 commercials, it fits quite perfectly.
The first thing I noticed on the shoe in person is what I thought was a Cobec toe. Upon further inspection, it is a layered TPU, made to feel like a rubberized patent. The TPU covers the entire toe and wraps through the midfoot and back around the heel counter, providing a one-piece feel, much like the adidas Sprint Frame (although not as focused on total support as the adidas implementation). The Wade logo, a basketball super-imposed with a number 3 and scope sights, set the tongue off and provide a further connection to the Agent D3 commercials. The midfoot is covered by perforated synthetic that feels like the same TPU used for the toe, but with a different finish. This might normally make the shoe look cheap, but Jordan did a very nice job of differing textures to break the monotony of the shoe. The two pieces are joined by a fused seam right behind the toes – no stitching anywhere on the shoe. This piece fades into yet another piece of TPU/synthetic leading to the ankle, where a synthetic leather wrap tops out.
Look ma, no stitches
The Fly Wade’s Phylon midsole houses a visible heel Air Max unit and a full forefoot Zoom Air unit, one of my favorite all-time cushioning combinations. In the past, the response Nike/Jordan has gotten from this combination makes me wonder why they ever put anything else in a shoe, but I guess variety is their spice. The sole is one of the thickest transparent soles I think I have ever seen, and is patterned with the same elephant-crackle print found on the Air Jordan 2011, with VERY deep grooves and a large TPU midfoot shank.