Remembering Dwyane Wade: His Sneaker Legacy
After last night, Dwyane Wade’s number was retired by the Miami Heat, making it so no other Heat player will ever wear the number 3 again. 14 season’s Wade played for the Miami Heat where he finished as their all time leader in games played, minutes played, points, assists and steals. He won 3 NBA Finals and was named to 13 All-Star Games during his run with his team. We take a look back at Wade’s incredible career by looking at his sneaker journey.
In the summer of 2003 Wade signed a 6 year, $2.4 million deal while other players in his draft class like LeBron James signed for $90 million with Nike and Carmelo Anthony signed a 6 year, $21 million deal. Leaving Wade with a chip on his shoulder and a lot to prove.
2003 - Converse Loaded Weapon
Wade was selected fifth in the NBA 2003 NBA Draft by the Miami Heat. In the Converse Loaded Weapon, Wade averaged 16.2 points, 4 rebounds and 4.5 assists but due to an outstadning rookie class, he finished 3rd in Rookie of the Year voting but earned an All Rookie Team selection.
2004 - Converse Warrior Mid
In 2004, the Heat added Shaquille O’Neal to their roster which improve their record by 15 games. He also hit first career buzzer beater against the Utah Jazz after putting up a career high 39 points in the Warrior Mid.
2005 - Converse ICON Warrior PE
Wade earned a reserve spot in his first All Star game as he rocked an all red ICON Warrior PE where he posted 14 points in his debut. Wade then led Miami to Game 7 of the Eastern conference where he put up 42 points in game 2 and 36 in game 3 though he was playing with the flu and a knee strain. He then suffered a strained rib muscle in game 5 that made him miss game 6 and most of game 7 leaving the Heat to fall to the Detriot Pistions.
2006 - Converse Wade 1
Converse releases Wade’s first signature model which was insipred by the functionality found in nature. The shoe was a major success as over 1 million pairs globally were sold. Wade made another All Star game, this time as a starter where he posted 20 points. He then led the Heat to the NBA Finals were after falling 0-2 in the series, Wade posted 42, 36 and 43 points in the next 3 games to bring the series back to 3-2. He then scored 36 in game 6 which won Wade his first NBA Championship and Finals MVP.
2007 - Converse Wade 2
Wade missed 31 games due injury, though he still was named an All Star and All NBA honors.
2008 - Converse Wade 3
Another season tarnished by injury, Wade missed the last 21 games of the season to undergo OssaTron treatment. He did though make his 4th All Star game.
2009 - Converse Wade 4
After a solid rehab stint, Wade returned to basketball for the 2008 Olympics where he helped the U.S. National Team win gold by leading the team in scoring. He returned ready for the NBA season where he became the Heat’s All Time leading scorer and won his first scoring title after averaging 30.2 points. He capped off his phenomenal season with a career high 55 points in the last game of the year. He also gave us one of the greatest posterizing dunks ever.
In 2009, Dwyane Wade said his goodbyes to Converse and signed with Jordan.
2010 - Air Jordan 2010
In the 3rd game of the NBA season, Wade recorded his 10,000 career point. He again made the All Star team but this time he finished with 28 points, 11 assists, 5 steals and 6 rebounds to earn All Star MVP.
Air Jordan 12 PE
2011 - Air Jordan 2011
Wade is joined by LeBron James and Chris Bosh during free agency to form the highly controversial “Big 3” On Christmas Day, Wade debuted the new Air Jordan 2011. The new look Heat reach the NBA Finals but fall to the Dallas Mavericks.
2011 - Jordan Fly Wade
Wade gets his first signature shoe named the Jordan Fly Wade, yet sales do not do as well as thought of as a company named Point 3 Basketball sues Jordan for copying their logo.
2012 - Jordan Fly Wade 2
A settlement with Point 3 is reach and the Fly Wade 2 releases with a new logo but again sales take a dive in Wade’s final contract year with Jordan. During the season Wade recorded the 3rd triple-double in the history of the All Star Game. The Heat then made it to the finals again but this time they defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder to give Wade his second championship.
In 2012, Dwade broke the internet with his unlikely signing of a 10 year, $60 million contract, plus equity in the business, deal with Chinese brand Li-Ning.
2013 - Way of Wade 1
In his first year with Li-Ning, Wade debuted the new Way of Wade 1 which was priced at $180 retail. The shoe featured a carbon fiber outsole and premium leather. The Heat again reached the NBA Finals and won back to back to give Wade his third NBA title. Most remember Ray Allen’s clutch shot or LeBron’s utter dominance but Wade played through knee injury. He even got his knee drained before game 7 and still put up 23 points and 10 rebounds. Many speculate that series took a toll on his body as he never really played the same after that, but that’s what he was willing to give to win.
2014 - Way of Wade 2
The Way of Wade 2 featured a dual density sole for ultimate traction. Wade missed 28 games in the 2013-2014 season. But, the Heat did manage to reach their fourth straight NBA Finals where the lost to the Spurs in 5 games.
2015 - Way of Wade 3
Compared to the Way of Wade 1 and 2, the Way of Wade 3 is more complex in design, has added cushion and more lightweight than before. The shoe featured a triangular pattern that represents the “Significance of 3” in Wade’s life. His third sneaker, his 3 children, his jersey number and his 3 NBA titles.
2016 - Way of Wade 4
The Way of Wade 4 was made with a 3 layer upper made up of a full-length bootie, a set of internal straps with a 3D printed surface layer and an outer mesh layer.
2017 - Way of Wade 5
The Way of Wade 5 had a fully ventilated upper with layered reflective materials and textiles. Wade left Miami for the first team in his career after he felt insulted by their contract offer of 2 years, $20 million. He joined his hometown team the Chicago Bulls for a 2 year, $47 million deal.
2018 - Way of Wade 6
The Way of Wade 6 debuted CloudFoam technology, plus a carbon fiber strap for stability and support. The Bulls had reached an agreement to buyout Wade. He was then signed by the Cleveland Cavaliers to rejoin teammate LeBron James. At the trade deadline he was traded back to the Miami Heat.
2019 - Way of Wade 7
The final shoe Wade played in was the Way of Wade 7. In the off season Wade announced he would be retiring after the season was over. His farewell tour, nicknamed #OneLastDance, was set as night after night opposing teams would pause and give him ovations as a proper goodbye. After every game, he would exchange his jersey with an opposing player. On January 6th, Wade became the third player in NBA history to record at least 20,000 points, 5,000 assists, 4,000 rebounds, 1,500 steals, 800 blocks and 500 three-pointers. Wade was named by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver as a special roster addition for the 2019 All-Star game, marking it his 13th All-Star game appearance. On February 27th, Wade hit an incredible game-winning one-legged buzzer-beater against the Golden State Warriors. In his last home game, Wade posted 30 points. Then in final career game, Wade posted a triple double with the 25 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.
Gone in a flash.