By Chad D Ghiron
Earlier this week YRB had the honor of going with a select group of media outlets to Beaverton, Oregon, or better known as the Nike Campus, right outside of Portland, for Jordan Brand’s Holiday 2011 Flight Forum to premier and test the newest sneaker additions to the Jumpman line. Included in the unveiling was Chris Paul’s CP3.V, Carmelo Anthony’s M8 and Dwayne Wade’s Fly Wade 2, all ready to drop on Nov. 12, 2011.
As we arrived on the rainy midmorning to the Tiger Woods Center of the Nike Campus we were walked through an introduction of Jordan’s Jumpman line, which was summed up with a highlight video of Jordan, himself, during his heyday to give definition to the term “Fly,” then a seamless transition into the progressive next step the brand’s getting ready to take: Fly Through represented by Carmelo Anthony, Fly Over for Dwayne Wade, and Fly Through, Chris Paul, all represented in vivid imagery lining the hallways.
Pulling out of the hallway and into a dramatic lit room we were introduced, for the first time, to all three silos, one by one, through the eyes of Justin Taylor, the designer of the M8, Andre Doxey, Jordan Brand’s artistic director, and Mark Smith, Jordan Brand designer. After we were well versed in the different features each shoe had to offer it was time to take them for a literal test run via a warm-up, drills, and pickup five-on-five games in the campus gym.
The first shoe to be slipped on was Carmelo Anthony’s Melo M8, and right away you could tell the day wasn’t going to be a let down. The Max Air unit in the heel offered a solid bounce while the counter heel placed directly above made for a snug, no slip, fit. Visually it looked as though they were going for a classic Jordan with a few tweaks.
Second in line was Chris Paul’s CP3.V, which was a perfect fit for the dynamic player, who is quick to start and stop during play, due to the new dual-pull integrated lacing system, which pulled your foot against the footbed and kept you snug in the shoe with little to no movement. The lace system does take a little getting use to, but after you’ve acclimated it seems like the perfect cross training shoe at only 12.5 ounces, which would add no distraction, injury or otherwise to your workout or game.
Finally we were ready to move on to Dwayne Wade’s Fly Wade 2 and to play a little ball. With them on I had a moment of nostalgia. Do you remember as a kid, with the beginning of basketball season about to jump off, your mom taking you shopping for the perfect pair of sneakers for the year? You’d try on four or five, usually a new Jason Kidd, Jordan, or Iverson, lace ’em up and bounce around the store, putting the shoe through a half-test, but as you’d go through the process there’d be one that felt better, looked sicker and would make your friends more envious than the rest. Well, putting on the Fly Wade 2 was just that, it was a step back in time, where you wanted to beg your mom to buy them while she stood with her arms crossed in the middle of the store making you pitch the idea for 45 minutes before telling you, you’d have to pay for half of them. All that said there was still something that stuck out about the Fly Wade 2’s; they just felt right. It was a classic basketball shoe, lightweight, air pads in the perfect places and a height that wouldn’t leave you with blisters.