For quite a good number of years now I have had the pleasure of owning and seeing first hand how great a basketball shoe Li-Ning produces. So back in 2012 when news aired that D. Wade of the Miami Heat and proud Team Jordan member was about to leave his sneaker endorsement and hop on over to Asia for a new sneaker deal I was impressed, however the masses were in a uproar! literally. Questions started being asked and rumors began to hit the social media circuit "why in the world would a high praised JB member leave for a Asian based sneaker company that has barely any love in North America?" Sure Li-Ning is a monster in Asia and the billion dollar company supplies the massive population with their products. Not so the case in other parts of the world like in North America where Nike/Jordan/Adidas rule the sneaker markets. Wade had a special plan in the works for this big move of his, Li-Ning basically gave Wade his own brand/freedom with the company and created the 'Way of Wade by Li-Ning. Having limited time on his hands, Wade and his team went to work and within roughly six months a Wade signature sneaker was introduced. Soon after the hype on the WoW began to grow but the unfortunate part for most folks it was unattainable. Sneaker heads sat around waiting for updates on a possible North American releases, which didn't happen. Not many ventured into Asian online territory to try and find a reputable dealer to buy from. Few of those retailers do exist but with inconsistent size runs and cw's available finding a sz14 was mission impossible, never-mind the avg sized shopper couldn't get his hands on a pair either. With still no signs of any release other than Asia, those that really wanted to #makethechange found themselves in a state of anger. Eventually limited colorways popped up on American soil via on-line/boutique/NBA all star game releases, still that wasn't enough. Demand for the Wow was growing fans spoke out on this topic very loudly on the social networks. Why would Li-Ning bring Wade on board while only dropping very few releases which were Asia exclusives and not making it more available to the masses? Now spring forward to the end of 2013 and the beginning of this new year, brings us the WoW2 (way of wade 2) a some what new design, but same great quality. This years NBA all star game brought yet again another limited pack of WoW2's at SneakerCon, folks lined up to get their hands on a pair or two. The Overtown & Announcement colorways have come out on Wades site, and news of more are coming. The feedback of those that have purchased a pair is very positive especially since majority of new WoW owners have never dealt with the brand before. Seeing the materials used, quality of stitches and final product, the $150 retail on these is quite doable. We don't wear the box, nor do we walk with the dust bag on, however these small touches that Li-Ning brings to the consumer is easily on top compared to it's competitors. I was able to get a pair of the WoW2 'announcement not ever being lucky to purchase the wow1. That might be a blessing perhaps, because the second version of WoW is a very well detailed sequel to the prior silhouette. I do look forward to new variations of colors and for it to be more accessible to the North American & European consumer. Of course I understand the business aspect of this and that a company like this does not grow over night. Way of Wade by Li-Ning is headed in the right direction as I can see. Slowly but surely!
Creator \\ Lucas @e y e_p r o j e k t