Honeymoon for Dwyane Wade and Jordan Brand: Air Jordan 2010 Review

Air Jordan 2010

One can only wonder what took so long for Dwyane Wade to join a marquee sneaker powerhouse such as Jordan Brand.  While Converse did have a great relationship with Wade, you never quite got the sense that the brand was capable of taking their only basketball superstar to the upper echelon of high performance kicks such as Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.  Even Flash had this realization last July when he cut ties with Converse and was finally brought on board the Jumpman battle cruiser.

A few months ago, it was announced that Wade would be the one to debut the Air Jordan 2010, the latest sneaker in the legendary line of MJ’s signature kicks.  This honor was bestowed upon Dwyane despite the fact that he was the new kid in school, which already had big time studs such as Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, and Joe Johnson.  Nonetheless, MJ pegged Wade as the one to rock the AJ 2010 sneakers for the first time in an NBA regulation game – first during All-Star weekend and then against the Warriors on March 2, 2010.

A glance into MJ's soul.

These sneakers seem to have a handful of naysayers whose main beef lies with the thermoplastic perforated window on both the medial and lateral side panels of the mostly leather upper.  The window serves the specific purpose of providing a high level of breathability and to maintain a durable form fit.  The thermoplastic material expands and contracts accordingly as your feet heat up and cool down to keep the fit consistent.  The deeper meaning behind the unique component is, as designer Tinker Hatfield says, “It is a metaphor to help describe his (Jordan) philosophy in playing basketball”, meaning it represents a slight view into the basketball soul of MJ, but not enough to sacrifice a competitive edge.

The rest of the upper is quite beautifully constructed.  For those of you who have not seen this shoe up close and personal, it’s understandable why it would turn you off at first glance online.  What’s pretty unique about the Air Jordan 2010 is that the collar height is different on the medial and lateral sides. It conforms to the variations in height of each side’s malleolus (bone protrusions on ankle) and provides an accommodating fit.  The forefoot is independent from the rest of the shoe as co-designer Mark Smith reasons that this trait is for “structure, stability, and a clean toe look”.  There are clear TPU reinforcements on the forefoot and heel (medial and lateral sides) for enhanced stability as well.

Get in my poster.

The full Phylon midsole has a special design pattern etched into it that contains a “special quote” of Michael’s that has particular significance, though not fully explained.  Another unique aspect of this shoe is the location of the full-length Zoom airbag.  Rather than being closer to the wearer’s foot, the Zoom bag was placed right above the outsole, closer to the ground.  As Hatfield explains, “It’s a great way to attenuate shock.  The shock from the floor is basically dispersed before it even reaches your foot”.  Lastly, the outsole has herringbone pattern pods spread throughout and the rubber of outsole also slightly wraps onto the heel to strengthen durability.

While I have not had a chance to play in these kicks yet, but even from just walking around in them, you really can’t ask for much more in terms of cushioning and comfort.  I was personally seduced by the Air Jordan 2010 the moment I saw early photos and had a gut feeling that these kicks would maintain the honor of Michael’s signature series.

Don’t forget to watch one of the sicker basketball sneaker commercials on the air right now as Wade terrorizes your hoop dreams.  I know many people might find this commercial pretty lame, but it’s nice to see D Wade finally getting some legit pub in the sneaker market.

[Original Release: 2010; Weight: 15.0 oz.; Players: Dwyane Wade / Joe Johnson / Gerald Wallace / Quentin Richardson]

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