Dwyane Wade is just one of few NBA legends to have the list of accolades he does. A veteran shooting guard for the Miami Heat, and future NBA Hall of Famer who has had an incredible sixteen year career, Wade’s seventh signature sneaker with Chinese brand, Li-Ning, has officially released. The good ‘ol folks over at Fast Pass absolutely tore this sneaker apart, and we’re here to report it.
The Li-Ning Way of Wade is up for purchase at Li-Ning.com, and also at a variety of trusted foreign retailers for $165. For the full deconstruction and detailed shots of the WOW 7, read below, and if you’re looking for other deconstructions, click here. Thanks for tuning in.
Taking a look at the cross section cut of the left sneaker, the Way of Wade 7 is definitely not what you’re going to expect in the usual performance basketball shoe. The sneaker looks to ride atop a semi decoupled midsole/outsole, while the midsole foam cushioning looks to feature more than just one foam. In addition, a detailed look at a quilted inner liner can be seen more vividly, while a nylon underlaying material supports the mesh upper.
Showcasing the sneaker’s multiple layers and definitive quality, the image below puts the multiple layered upper of the Way of Wade 7 on display. The sneaker itself comes equipped with a premium mesh upper, while some synthetics overlay it for added support and durability.
Something that was not seen though, was the actual material along the forefoot of the upper. A synthetic shroud covers up the whole entire forefoot area, while also riding along the eye-stay and high wear areas. The medial/lateral materials is a simple mesh, but has reinforced stitching and embroidery to add a “premium” feel to the shoes, while also giving the shoe a little bit more support.
Another thing, the actual underlaying material in the forefoot is just mesh, no added stitching, embroidery, or fuse was placed on the forefoot mesh. The reasoning as to why it’s most likely covered up with the synthetic shroud is because Li-Ning wanted to keep it as premium as possible, while also limiting the amount of weight, and quality issues that comes with fuse. Was this a bad idea by Li-Ning? No. Could they have thought of a better implementation to support the forefoot area for containment when playing basketball? Yes.
The actual material along the medial/lateral side is similar to that of the adidas Harden Vol. 2. A forged-fiber material made up the whole upper, while synthetics and neoprene finished off the rear. The Way of Wade 7 does the same exact thing with the forged fiber material. Forged-fiber is essentially, an average quality mesh, while additional stitching & embroidery is sewn into the upper to provide/allow for more durability, support, and a premium feeling for the shoe. If Li-Ning did that in the forefoot for the Way of Wade 7, this could not only have improved the aesthetics of the sneakers, but also reduce the weight and cheap quality of the forefoot synthetic shroud.
Yet another great aspect of the shoes, the semi decoupled midsole/outsole. Diving into things, the Way of Wade 7 features a mid-foot carbon fiber shank plate, adding support to be a primary focus of the sneakers. There is an additional rounded piece that makes up the heel, which in all honesty, seems pretty useless since it’s externally placed, and since there is already an internal heel counter.
So yeah, the carbon fiber at the heel was a cool aesthetic touch, and premium touch, but was unnecessary for performance as it just adds unnecessary weight since there’s already an internal heel counter.
A pad of cushion that boasts a totally similar look to adidas Boost can be seen in the forefoot. The actual midsole carrier foam (the foam you view on the outside of the shoes), is called BounSe, while CushioN foam makes up the interior heel foam, and some of the forefoot.
Nobody actually knows what the actual pad of cushion that makes up the forefoot area is called. In the Way of Wade 6 it was called Drive Foam, now it’s just a Jane Doe foam, waiting to be named. In addition to that, although it looks like boost, there was no confirmation from Fast Pass and Li-Ning that BASF Germany (the creators of Boost) worked on the the foam forefoot pad cushioning for the WOW 7.
Nonetheless, this foam pad is stated by Fast Pass to look and feel similar to the properties of Boost, so this should be a phenomenal sign of great cushioning and impact protection from these sneakers. Measurements of the forefoot cushion pad can be seen below, along with other detailed shots of the Way of Wade 7’s cushioning set up.
Nick Montesano, born and raised out of New Jersey. High school junior, sneaker fanatic, performance guru. Love to share my passion for sneakers of all kinds, and bring you all daily content. Favorite shoe ever: adidas Harden Vol. 3. Favorite player ever: LeBron James.