Adidas have revealed the signature sneaker for Houston Rockets superstar James Harden, who joined the brand in 2015.
After seven seasons in the NBA, six of those wearing the finest sneakers that Nike had to offer, Harden’s switch to Adidas, worth $200million was bound to include a signature line.
“From the very beginning, there was a lot of pressure to already have that signature shoe for James and have something on the table to get to retail,” said Brian Foresta, Adidas VP of global design for basketball to Sole Collector.
“One thing that we wanted to focus on first was getting to know James and really understand how his style works, how his mind works, how he dresses himself, and really start co-creating.”
The line was in danger of being killed off after images of an early blacked-out product sample leaked, causing social media users to pan the sneaker. Foresta said the designers took this very personally.
“It’s tough because you know all the hard work that goes into it. It’s like asking someone to come in to see all the raw ingredients of a meal without knowing what you’re cooking,” Foresta said. “When you do something progressive, it’s great when people come pat you on the back. But it also hurts like hell when it comes the other way because it is a real personal thing as a brand. To do something new in such a big sport is not easy.”
Both Harden and the team at Adidas have constantly been in touch, discussing the details that would go with the sneaker. Such as colourways, comfort and the signature Harden logo, which the Rockets guard has opted for a minimal one in the shoe’s tongue.