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Li-Ning Way of Wade 4 Performance Review

Fourth time’s a charm…

Li-Ning Way of Wade 4 Performance Review 1Traction – The D Wade 3’s had slightly better traction, but that’s not to take anything away from the D Wade 4. I would have loved to have seen solid rubber versus the translucent as dust eventually became a problem the more I’d wear them. Just keep up with wiping the outsoles and you’ll be covered.

One of the highlights from the traction was the solid rubber Wade logo at the pivot point. Even when dust was negatively affecting the translucent sections, the solid rubber pivot was able to hold onto the floor just long enough to where you could complete the play and then wipe once things were finished. Traction was just a bit more consistent on the 3 vs the 4, but they still performed well above average.

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Cushion – Li-Ning’s Bounse and Cushion foams are in place at the heel and forefoot – all of which is housed within the foam midsole carrier. It’s not the most responsive ride in terms of springback, but I find them to be pretty comfortable for the grounded player.

You’ll get enough cushion to aid you through the night of on-court activities even though it’s not the best foam cushion system currently on the market. I’d say it’s kind of an in between type of cushion. It gives you just enough without going above and beyond. Step-in comfort is great though. The insole they provide is really comfortable and if you’re a casual wearer then you’ll be more than satisfied.


Li-Ning Way of Wade 4 Performance Review 4Materials – Gone are the days when the Wade line used premium leathers…but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I’ve been saying this for a while now, but my favorite material to play in – next to leather — is a good mesh or woven/ knitted option. These offer just that with their mesh uppers — which means you’ll spend more time breaking in the midsole than you will the upper.

The down side to having such soft materials on the upper is that you’ll lose a bit of support, but Li-Ning has countered that by implementing a base layer of support comprised of Fuse and the synthetic leather strap lacing system.  love the setup and find it to be supportive without being restrictive.

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Fit – They fit true to size, wide footers might be fine since the materials are soft, but there are the lacing straps to consider so you may or may not need a 1/2 size up. For me, the shoe feels like it was made for my feet. Once I’m laced up I’m pretty much good to go.

I experienced zero issues with lockdown, and I never had any foot fatigue from being locked into the shoe too tightly either. This is probably the best fitting Wade signature to date. It’s also the best performing.

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Support – They don’t look like much, but they have everything you need…and then some. The base or platform of the shoe is nice and flat which promotes stability, while the shank provides torsional support. They don’t feature a traditional outrigger, but the midsole extends past the footbed just enough to consider it a built-in outrigger without looking like an actual outrigger.

Their TPU heel counter is my favorite feature as it’s 100% functional while also looking really freaking cool. It also extends up to the midfoot which helps keep your foot right where it belongs. Then there are the lacing straps. Let’s just say that you aren’t going to be slipping inside the shoe at all. Not even a little.

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Overall – I freaking love these shoes. I’ve always enjoyed the Wade’s for what they were, but these are a performance shoe through and through.

If you wanted to take a leap outside of your comfort zone to truly try something different then the Wade 4 wouldn’t be a bad place to start. They’re one of the top performing shoes this year (so far) which is a huge step up from where the line was last year.

Li-Ning Way of Wade 4 Performance Review 8

  1. Nightwing as always thanks for the review man.I would like to ask you base on their performance how would you compare the WOW4 to the WOW3 Lite? thanks!

  2. Love my pair. They are super comfortable. Unfortunately I did experience one of the worst ankle injuries I’ve gotten in years wearing them, but that’s at no fault of the shoe itself as I came down on an out of bounds ball.

  3. NW, your review gets me excited to try these out as I have not seen anyone wearing WOW or Li Nings on or off court. Besides sunlightstation, are there any stores that sell these?

  4. Nightwing, you must be killing D. Wade wearing his shoes and Lebron socks lol. Seriously though, great review, solid as always.

      1. But even though, you got Curry with a $135 sneaker and Rose with a $140 sneaker, Wade must have massive salary if Li-Ning is pricing his sneakers even more than Adidas and UA prices Rose’s and Curry’s

  5. I’ve played in the WoW 2 lows and 808 Lows and found that flexibility on the Midsole was much better on the 808 – the 2 lows felt much stiffer and I had a clunky overall ride as a result.

    Anyone know if the 4s play closer to the 2s or 808’s? Much appreciated.

  6. Question for you guys, well actually 2 questions.
    Why don’t they have size 12.5?
    And I’ve had the problem they where a little to big for me, size 13, and with Nike 13 fits perfect.
    Anybody have the same problem?

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