WearTesters captain Nightwing2303 is in Portland at adidas HQ for the unveiling of Damian Lillard’s third signature shoe, the Dame 3, but we’ve got all the information you need.
The Dame 3 is inspired by Lillard’s family and his journey to the NBA. According to adidas, he started shooting on milk crates in Oakland, California; his grandmother would collect leftover plastic boxes from Brookfield Elementary School, cut out the bottoms, and nail them up on a telephone pole in their front yard so Dame could play.
“Oakland taught him the good and the bad, toughness and determination,” explained his mother, Gina. “Raising Damian…our family did it as a team. He understands how to help others because that’s what he’s been nurtured in to. He’s going to make sure everybody knows there’s an opportunity out there for them to make it.”
“Damian inspires all of us with his path in life and his approach to the game, giving the design team plenty to work with. We set out to create a shoe that embraces who Dame is, from his debut album ‘The Letter O’ to his community efforts and all the unique ways he connects with fans,” said Jesse Rademacher, adidas Basketball Design Director. “Above all else, his commitment to kids and those around him show his true character.”
This third signature model, and the upcoming colorways, will do lots of storytelling.
“Working with adidas, every step of the way is about telling my story,” said Dame. It’s allowing kids and people to relate to what I’ve been through. Everything has a story behind it. Similar to how I express myself through my own music, adidas embraces who I am to the fullest. You see it in the colorways and stories being told. That means more to me than anything else.”
The first colorway of the Dame 3 to drop is ‘Roots’. It harkens back to Lillard’s time at AAU with the Oakland Rebels and a tough head coach, Raymond Young, who challenged players to hold bricks in each hand while practicing their defensive stances. The triple red design is a tribute to every brick Lillard had to carry, and immortalizes the moments that built his career early on.
“He [Raymond Young] was teaching us that you got to be on time, you got to be a hard worker,” Dame recalled. “If not, this is what you’re going to do until you figure it out. For me, those lessons carried on past the basketball court.”
The Dame 3 features many storytelling details like Lillard’s hometown coordinates and the initials of his family members:
- The initials of his mother and two grandmothers (Gina:Cecilia:Ruth) are molded onto the right toe while the initials of his father and grandfather (Houston:Albert) are showcased on the left
- The longitude (37.737 degrees north) and latitude (-122.188 degrees west) of Oakland’s Brookfield neighborhood are featured on the outrigger of the left and right foot, respectively
- 56316, the code displayed on the telephone pole in front his grandparents’ house where Dame learned to shoot on a milk crate, is featured on the center of the outsole
- “WEARING THE LETTER O” is printed on the left sockliner as tribute to both Dame’s pre-game introduction in Portland and his debut album titled “The Letter O,” signifying the three locations most important to his career – Oakland, Ogden and Oregon – printed on the right sockliner
Now for technology: the sharp-looking panels everyone was so worried about is a customizable lacing system that should provide unique lockdown. It is designed to compliment the TechFit bootie and hug the foot for a truly personalized fit. The Dame 3 utilizes a fused mesh upper that, according to adidas, will ensure season-long durability without compromising comfort and breathability.
Of course, the traction pattern on the Dame 3 ties back to Lillard’s milk crate origins and is constructed with geometric simplicity. An internal torsional plate and wrapped TPU at the center of the foot will offer stability while representing his family support system.
As for cushioning, dual-density BOUNCE is here! In this shoe BOUNCE is engineered for natural court feel that retains step-in comfort. It is implemented to suit Lillard’s style of play — sit low, play fast” — and should be quite balanced.
The Dame 3 ‘Roots’ will see a limited launch on December 14 for $115 on adidas.com. Additional colorways will be dropping throughout the season (and we’ll have images and details on those shortly).
So, now that the adidas Dame 3 is official, what do you think? Are you happy with the tech specs? I’m glad the model is staying in the sub-$120 price range, and with all the performance beasts adidas has dropped in 2016, we have high hopes for Lillard’s third signature — especially after the D Lillard 2 greatly improved upon the Lillard 1. As always, sound off in the comments below — we’d love to hear from you.