James Harden Breaks Down the Adidas Harden Vol 4 Sneaker

Video Credit: GQ - Duration: 10:02s - Published
James Harden Breaks Down the Adidas Harden Vol 4 Sneaker

James Harden Breaks Down the Adidas Harden Vol 4 Sneaker

Houston Rockets superstar James Harden and Senior Director of adidas Basketball Footwear Rashad Williams have worked together to develop the perfect sneaker for Harden to use in NBA games.

Learn about every aspect of the functional and artistic design of the adidas Harden Vol. 4.


Special thanks to Dynamo Films.

- How many guys do I thinkdeserve a signature shoe?Maybe...It's not that many man.Just five, six maybe.You know, we all know the top of the top.We all know who those players are.[upbeat music]- My name's Rashad Williams.I'm the senior director forAdidas Basketball Footwear,and this is the Harden Volume 4.The story this shoetells is a perfect blendbetween innovation and fashion,which equals James Harden.- [Announcer] Beat the buzzard!James Harden, put itin the popcorn machine!- [Announcer Two] Harden in the paint.- [Rashad] Creating thisshoe was a long process.- It's a two year process.- The reason why is,we need to get all theinsights from the athlete.We look at data from James' entire career.Some of the data shown Jamesis actually one of thefastest players in the NBA.So his top speed is around 19.2miles an hour on the floor.James I think this yearis second in the league in minutes played.He puts up over a 1,000 shotattempts throughout the season.So we look at allof those little nuances in James' game,and make sure that his footwearreally can enhance hisperformance on the court.- You would never think thisprocess takes that long.It's just like okay,this is what it looks like,this is the color I want.Boom, let's do it in two weeks.Nah, you have to sitback and make sure thatit's able to performin the way it needs to.- The new technologies on this shoe,we can start from the bottom up.It starts with the Lightstrike foam.James always says he wantsto lead with innovation,and Lightstrike foam is ournewest innovation within the brand.The unique thing about Lightstrike foam,is it's roughly over 40% lighterthan any traditional EVA.But, it still gives youthe right responsiveness,and cushioning as some of thetop EVA's in the industry.We've been working on thefoam for over five years.The Volume 4 is actuallythe lightest Harden to date,due to Lightstrike.In the past, James hasbeen mainly on Boost.Now switching him over to Lightstrike,the main insight around that wasJames is logging a lot of minutes.So he has a lot of wear and tear,and so we want to givehim the best advantageto be able to perform at a high level,throughout the entire season.So making him lighter naturally does that.There's a new lacing system.So, that's what you will see hereon the medial and lateral side.If you'll look at some of the designs,and some of the original sketches,that was one era we were playing at.So, from something that looks like this,to something maybe a littlebit more traditional,to looking at hey, wheredo we bring more support uparound the forefoot area?And not the vamp around lacing.James really wanted tohave a lacing systemthat can tailor kindof to everyone's game.Multiple holes, or eyeletsin order to lace the shoeyou know the way you wanted it.It gives you different supportdepending on your style of play.So, James is huge onstopping and starting,so lockdown is key.And so, that's wherewe really focused herein the midfoot area for James,to make sure that he doesn'thave a lot of toe jam,that his toes don't hurtwhen he stops quickly,and takes that pull up jumper.And then lastly, isthis kind of heel clip.So right on the heel,we have this TPU piece,which is a heel clip,that really snugs the back of your heel,and locks you down, and locks you in.And it also is a great kind of showpieceas well, for the shoe,and that gives the bestability that you need.Once your heel is locked in,you can make all the movesthat James loves to dothroughout the season.- The most important thing for meis making sure that theycan stay up with me.Make sure it's durable,making sure that whenI'm doing my step backs,and drill steps,and crossovers,and all that good stuff,that the shoe feels likeit's still on my feet,and it's basically going wherever I go.Other than probably last year,I've been playing in low topsbasically my entire career.I feel like high tops area little bit more bulkier.Unless we find otherways to limit the space,and limit the weight on them.But, the grip is one ofthe most important things.You know as I'm doing all my moves,and all that good stuff on the court,you got to be able to havea shoe that has grips,and able to hold upthe power that I have whenI'm making those moves.So, at the front of the shoe,we have this little cover on it,because your foot tends to creep overthe bottom of your foot.So, this is kinda to hold that forceup to when I'm making my moves,my toes and my foot stay balanced.- [Interviewer] Traveling,it's controversial.- You talking about on an airplane?- [Interviewer] No, no, no.Traveling is like taking three steps.- Like with the basketball?- [Interviewer] Yeah.- Oh.- [Interviewer] I'm saying so...You know, you've been redefiningwhat it means to travel,and step back.- That's not traveling.Like honestly, honestly, alright look.How many times over the course of,let's just say three or four years,have I got called for traveling?It's not many,like maybe two or three maybe,over the course of a few years.So, where did this traveling come from?I really want to know.Because it looks awkward,because it doesn't look normal?You know, traveling is when youtake three steps with the basketball.Well if you don't have thebasketball in your hands,you can take as many steps as you want,as long as the ball is just bouncing.We're talking aboutthe game of basketball,and me you know changing the game,and creating my own pathin my own way.This is a form of basketballthat works at a high level,and its a new generation,and a new wave.Like it should be taught that way.When it's time is up,and when I'm all said and done,it's like, "Yo, hereally changed the game."Like in the basketball world,"in the shoe world, like everything."He didn't just make abasketball shoe that all right,you go out there,play and do a couple drills,then play basketball,then alright next color.Every shoe is like alright well damn,that was creative as hell.Like, "Oh I remember thatshoe, I remember that shoe."Or, "You know that move on the court?"That was crazy, I remember."And that's just going to last forever.- The design alwaysstarts with the consumer,and then also just making surethat you're staying true towhat's going on in basketball.James is really close to that,and so we start with him,we start with the consumer,and we really try to makesomething that kids like,and that can be showcasedon the NBA floor.- I know there's a lot ofdudes in the NBA that got swag,or can dress,but they ain't got no game.So, what?You trying to sell fashion shoes,or are you trying tosell basketball shoes?You know?So you got to be able to have game,you gotta be able tohoop every single night,night in and night out,and then obviously the fashion,the other stuff comes.It can't be the other way around.There's a lot of guys that can dress nice,and got all the swag,you know whatever,but they can't hoop.So, these are the legitand actual writingsthat we have with James.The design process wego through with James,as we go through and wetake that main performance,and innovation insight,and then once the process starts,and the design team starts the design,what works well with him is if you cangive him some visuals.I think we did 60, 70 designs,and we literally laid them outon the table like we have now,and we had James gothrough and pick things.- I made it a point from my Volume 1,to be involved in every process.- James is involved heavily.- A lot of guys,a lot of other brands,a lot of players,they're just thrown onto a shoe,like here you go,take this shoe.This is your next shoe.They give me anopportunity to be involved,fully involved in it.- [Interviewer] What's your favorite thingabout the shoe?- Just the details,like the 106 Street is whereI was outside as a little kidplaying basketball in the street,and then Hassayampa was my dormroom when I was a freshman,when I was 17 years old going to college.- You know we like to bring storiesthat are really tell James' life,you know give the consumera sneak peek into it.So for example like this color way,we're calling it pink lemonade.It's one of James' favorite drinks,especially in the summer time.Candy paint, little nod to Houstonand their infinity forcandy paint on their cars.Cookies and cream is inspiredby his favorite ice cream.He continually wants to havegreat placement of his logo,so yeah we're going toput the logo on the back,so when he leaves you in the dust,that's what you see.You see James Harden whenhe's going to the rack.- I think every athletehas their own confidence,what drives them,what motivates them,what gets them going.A handful of guys that havetheir own signature shoefeels like a different confident.Like, "I got my shoe on,"like you don't haveno chance to guard me,"you don't have no chance to beat me."It's just a different confidence,a different swag you have on the court.- It was this shoe,we were going through andlooking at the designs,and James was like, "Yeah."And then we're all kind ofsitting there in silence,and he just screams.Like, "Hell yeah, we got this done."[laughing]- [James] Before we turned on Duke,you hear the kids,"Oh I want to get this shoe."Or, "Oh this shoe drops on Friday".I was one of those kids.- Every basketball player growing up,whether you're a little guy,you know just playing in your driveway,you always hope to make it to the NBA,and have your own sneaker.And this is definitely an elite class,once you get into the signature world.I used to sell candy in middle school.One of my best friends,we used to just go to Smart and Final,rack up a whole bunch of candy,and try to just flip it every single day,and that was our hustle.Every single day,that's how we had money toget the kicks that we wanted.These last few yearsI've been watching kids,and seeing them hoop in my shoes,and just walk around in my shoes.That right there,that's just a different feeling.I was that kid,and I was having theKobe's on and the T-Max on,and all those great playersthat paved the way for me.But, you know a youngkid wearing my shoes,that's a dope feeling.That's just inspired me to keep going,keep being the best basketball player,the best leader,the best person that I can be.I'll keep inspiring as long as these kids,these youth and kids keep inspiring me.

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