words & images // Nick DePaula:
When James Harden signed his mammoth 13-year endorsement deal with adidas last fall, there was a pretty instant and constant reaction seen from consumers online: “Where’s his signature shoe?”
Rather than rush the process, adidas Basketball spent time getting to know James, spent time designing around his style of play and his game, and also looked to inject his sense of style and (admittedly flairful) tastes.
“This was my first time creating a shoe from the ground up,” says Harden. “With adidas, we wanted to stand for something different, be true to who we are and that’s how we separate ourselves. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity and all the work we put in together is what makes this genuine.”
With big picture insights around wearable versatility, a focus on forefoot traction for James’ on-court arsenal of jabs, step-backs and footwork, and an emphasis on pure cushioning and premium materials, the Harden Vol. 1 took shape over the course of a year and a half since he signed with the brand. It’s now set to launch this December.
Check out The Process below, with a detailed look through an exploration wall of adidas Harden Vol. 1 inspiration points, materials, panels and design sketches. Stay tuned for a feature interview with the adidas design and product team behind the shoe.