Jordan Fly Wade 2 - Miami Heat Away

The Jordan Fly Wade 2

Introduction

Long overdue, Jordan Brand finally came to the table for star Dwayne Wade with a new signature line entitled the Fly Wade.  For the 2011-2012 season, the three main faces of the brand – Wade, Carmelo Anthony, and Chris Paul – all have their signature models in place, with a campaign centering around the theme of Flight.  Representing the “Fly Over” aspects of the campaign is the second Dwyane Wade signature shoe.  With only a couple of months separating the release of Fly Wade 2 from the initial model, one would have expected very little changes.  This however is not the case, as the shoe can be looked at as an overhaul, now fully built with a Hyperfuse upper with a Lunarlon cushioning base.  As one of the premier players in the league, the Dwyane Wade signature Jordan Fly Wade 2 storms to the court for this Performance Review.

Looking to improve on the first Dwyane Wade signature shoe, the Fly Wade 2 is a sleek, light weight performer.  The features include the following:

  • Hyperfuse upper for light weight performance and stability
  • Lunarlon cushioning set up
  • Rubber outsole with flex grooves and lateral outrigger
  • Midfoot stability plate
  • Internal sleeve and mesh tongue for close fit

Aesthetics and Styling

Continuing the straightforward aesthetics of the first model, the Fly Wade 2 takes a more simplistic approach utilizing sharp lines and curves for a sleek look.  Those who prefer a flashy look on the court might shy away from the Fly Wade 2, as the design seems limited in terms of color placement than the Fly Wade 1.  What has been preserved from the 1 is the asymmetric collar design, albeit a bit more discreet.  For performance, the designers have stuck to the light weight trend, but this time have opted for a seamless one-piece Hyperfuse upper.  Moving further away from the Fly Wade 1 in terms of performance aspects, a Lunarlon cushioning set up replaces the Max Air/Zoom combo in attempt to increase responsiveness.  All of this is wrapped up with a new Wade “W” logo which is placed right on the tongue.  Like most signature models, various color schemes are expected for special events, including the All-Star Game and Playoffs, but for our Performance Review, the Miami Heat black and red “Away” color scheme is the choice.

Jordan Fly Wade 2 - Miami Heat Away

For aesthetic purposes, the Fly Wade 2 is simple with sleek lines

From the side, the simple colors and look allow the sleek shape to take the focus.   The shoe slopes sharply downward to a flat toe box, with the outsole curving at the forefoot and heel.  All in all, the shoe does have a look prime for flight on the court.  On the underside, a minimal rubber outsole is observed, covering the forefoot and heel areas.  Curving towards the toe cap, the forefoot area is cut with a four horizontal flex grooves and a large vertical flex groove separating the Wade logo traction pattern.  On the medial side, the traction pattern is done in a thick style, while the lateral side is more fine.  Also on the lateral side is a large low profile outrigger, with a more smooth traction pattern.  At the midfoot, the large stability plate is cut with vertical grooves and the first jumpman logo.  The sculpted plate follows the medial curves and moves up towards the heel on the lateral side.  Done in the same fashion as the forefoot area, the heel sees a fine traction pattern on the lateral side, while the pattern on the medial side is more thick.  The minimal foundation is finished off with a thick double layered Lunarlon portion at the heel, where the “LUNARLON” logo is molded into the foam.

Just as the foundation is minimal, the one piece Hyperfuse upper keeps in line with the simplistic design.  At the toe box, a stiff, shiny, and thin plastic strip supports the toe cap.  Two layers of fuse material cover the area which ends diagonally at the forefoot on each side.  The toe box is completed with rows of perforation holes near the extended throat line.  More perforation holes appear on the sides, which are covered with a single layer of fuse.  This net like fuse layer is very thin, and supported by the dual layer of fuse which outlines the quarter panel on the lateral side.  For added support, the medial quarter panel has the fuse upper stitched together.

For the rear, the asymmetric collar design is evident.  The first use of the three layers of Hyperfuse material covers the entire heel area, moving up towards the collar.  Solidifying the heel and collar, an extra layer of fuse is used over the three layers, as the material has a raised look from the collar down to the midfoot.  A white jumpman logo is placed on the lateral heel, with a hang tag stitched over the heel counter.  On the inside, the collar is lined with a felt like material and padding is on the light side.  To help with lockdown and comfort, two padded lobes are placed on the sides, right around the ankles.

Lined straight up towards the collar, three reinforced layers of fuse, just like the collar, make up the eyestay.  Oval laces come standard, through the six eyelets.  An inner sleeve is formed with the mesh tongue, as it is connected on the sides and heel inside.  At the top of the tongue, a large smooth patch sits with a lace holder in the center.  Lined with a smooth synthetic, this patch is where the only Wade “W” logo is found.  The last aspect of the Fly Wade 2 is a sculpted OrthoLite® insole, with the final jumpman logo printed in red on the heel.

Comfort and Fit

With the use of the heel hang tag, the inner sleeve greets the foot comfortably.  The fit is true to size and is snug.  Up front, the toe box is on the flat side, with little wiggle room, but plenty of width.  The Hyperfuse upper sits very close to the foot, with the inner sleeve providing a comfortable barrier.  Although the fit is snug, lace pressure is even down the center, adding to the great comfort.  At the rear, heel lockdown is excellent.  The padded lobes on the sides hold well without being too thick and cumbersome.  For the ankles, support is light and comfortable as the tongue sits up close, and the sides of the collar not gripping down hard.  Like most basketball performers, the cushioning set up is paramount when evaluating comfort and fit.  In this case, the Lunarlon foam is comfortable, dense, and brings a very responsive feel.  From the forefoot to the heel, the foam has a very consistent feel.  The contoured sole, as well as the sculpted insole, keeps the foot from sitting flat, with great arch support.  Overall, the Fly Wade 2 brings comfort, a responsive feel, and a snug fit.

Jordan Fly Wade 2 - Miami Heat Away

A glove like fit is complimented with a responsive Lunarlon cushioning set up

Performance

The molded fit and tightly constructed foundation grips the surface naturally resulting in great, low profile, court feel.  Taking off to a full sprint, the shoe feels very comfortable and fluid, with heel to toe transitions rolling with the curvature of the sole.  Flexibility is excellent, as the thin layers of Hyperfuse material and nylon sides bend easily with the foot.  For forward movements, the design of the shoe comes into play, where at the throat line, the extended opening is placed in the perfect spot, following the natural bend of the foot.  The weight of the shoe is on the light side, but what stands out the most is the great balance felt, even with the thick heel area.  Up to speed, more so than the first Fly Wade, the shoe feels appropriate for a Dwyane Wade style of play – dynamic, versatile, and aggressive.  Active players who pattern their game around both offensive and defensive balance will get the most out of the Wade 2.  On defense, lateral movement is very comfortable and quick.  The lateral outrigger is perfect for sliding while guarding on the perimeter, while the thickness of the Lunlarlon and Phylon heel provides great support when bodying up an opponent.  On the other side of the coin, being aggressive on offense suits the player well.  Bending low while charging to the hole, the responsiveness, balance, and flexibility of the shoe is excellent.  At any point in time, the player can quickly switch directions, stop and step back, or even spin with great flow.  Furthermore, the great balance and responsiveness of the shoe helps in keeping the player prime for a next step or having to break into a sprint down the court.  The performance of the dense, yet comfortable Lunarlon foam is really the highlight of the shoe.  Jumps are quick and comfortable, pushing off the solid cushioning set up, while the OrthoLite® insole provides a comfortable base before the Lunalron foam effectively cushions the impact.  In the end, the Fly Wade 2 is simply a well balanced, comfortable, and all around performer.

The designers have done an excellent job in the stability department utilizing a Hyperfuse construction.  Instead of merely loading the shoe with three layers of fuse throughout, the shoe maintains the stability without sacrificing comfort and flexibility.  The result allows, the two layers of fuse material on the toe box as well as the light layers on the quarter panels to work perfectly with the inner sleeve to provide excellent hold around the foot.  There are few rough spots, which the Hyperfuse material is known for, making it a breeze for the player to make aggressive moves without worry.  And although ankle support is not tight, the use of the three layers for the collar does the job, along with the outrigger, in helping to prevent lateral roll.  Below, the large midfoot plate and solid foam cushioning not only keep the foot in place, but can take the up and down pounding.

Traction performance for the Fly Wade 2 is exceptional.  The construction of the outsole is segmented into only two sections, but on the court, the space created at the midfoot is not exaggerated.  Because the profile of the shoe is naturally low, it never feels as though there is any open space between the sole and court surface.  The result is very responsive traction.  Whether it is stopping base line, changing directions, or sliding laterally on defense, the outsole grips and holds up well.  As expected, ventilation is excellent.  By not utilizing the the maximum layers of fuse, the shoe does not trap air within.  Couple this with the large amount of perforations all around, and the player can play in comfort without worrying about a drenched foot.

Conclusion

Very much overlooked throughout his career by superstars such as Lebron James and Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade has accomplished what would amount to be a Hall of Fame career so far, including 2 NBA Finals appearances, an NBA Finals MVP, as well as 7 All-Star appearances.  And much like his career on the court, his footwear career so far has followed a similar path.  Reaching performance heights during the 2006 Finals run and the subsequent years leading to the switch to Jordan Brand, the Converse Wade line was highlighted by exceptional performance on the court.  In time for the 2011 Playoffs, the Fly Wade was introduced, and although it was a good performer, did not quiet capture Wade the player as well as the Converse signature line.  With a switch to a Lunarlon cushioning, and a more than complementary Hyperfuse upper, Jordan Brand has created a shoe that truly embodies the player and style of play of that player.  Guards and aggressive swingmen looking for a responsive, comfortable, and balanced performer can look no further than the second signature Jordan Brand Wade shoe.  Available now at the Official Nike Online Store, the exceptional Jordan Fly Wade 2 was released last month.

This shoe is comparable to:

Under Armour Micro G® Bloodline
Under Armour Micro G® Juke
Nike Zoom Hyperfuse
Under Armour Micro G® Black Ice