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Li-Ning Way of Wade 6 Performance Review

li-ning way of wade 6 performance review featured

WoW…the Way of Wade 6 is dope — really dope.


li-ning way of wade 6 performance review traction
Traction – Good but not great. Traction on the Way of Wade 6 is the one drawback to the model. It isn’t bad by any means, but it could have been a little better. Dust is a sneaker’s arch nemesis and the pattern used on Way of Wade 6 didn’t do much to combat its greatest foe.

Luckily, a quick wipe is all you’ll need and you’ll be on your way, but it was the one area of the shoe that was a little lackluster compared to the rest. As it stands now, the Wade 6 is one of the best performers for 2017, but the traction could have made the shoe an elite level performer.

I hold traction as my top attribute for a shoe, and while the Wade 6 did not prove to be on the same level as something like the Curry 4, it’s still a shoe I’d put in my gym bag because I was able to maintain traction as long as I monitored dust accumulation.

li-ning way of wade 6 performance review cushion
Cushion – Fantastic. Simply fantastic. I’ve liked the cushion on most Wade models, and loved the cushion on the Wade 4, but the Way of Wade 6 is the best of the bunch.

CushioN is used in the heel and works well. However, CloudFoam is used for the rest of the midsole. CloudFoam was one of the worst foams I’ve tried in recent years other than Nike’s REACT, but this new version of CloudFoam is awesome. It’s light, slightly springy, durable, and absorbent.

While those two foams might have been solid on their own, a third cushion is used in the forefoot : Li-Ning’s new DriveFoam. DriveFoam is legit. It’s a PU blend and reminds me of a thicker version of those awesome PU insoles that used to be standard in most high-end basketball shoes.

DriveFoam is absorbent while still stable and close to the floor for court feel. There is no bounce back to the foam like Boost, but it’s absorbent as hell like Boost. DriveFoam alone is worth trying out, but pairing it with the rest of the shoe is something that has had me telling people to definitely give the Wade 6 a try.

A few of the greatest foam cushions I’ve ever tried include Boost, Bounce (adidas’ Bounce), Cushlon, and Jetlon. I’d place the DriveFoam right in between Boost and Bounce. It’s awesome stuff, and made by the same company responsible for Boost (BASF).

li-ning way of wade 6 performance review materials

Materials – The Way of Wade 6 offers an entirely knit upper and like the cushion, it’s awesome. There is some glue in key areas to strengthen the material but it doesn’t feel like it’s been glued. Instead, you feel like you have a thick knit material with actual ventilation holes at the forefoot and side panel — and these ventilation areas actually work, which is a huge plus.

High wear areas and stress zones are thickened up while the area that would typically feature a traditional tongue is super stretchy. This upper is truly ready to go fresh out the box, no break-in required.

li-ning way of wade 6 performance review fit
Fit – Wide footers should be good going true to size. However, I went 1/2 size down and the Way of Wade 6 fit perfectly one-to-one. I have another pair of the Wade 6 in my true size that I wear casually, and going true to size for casual use is just fine.

However, when I lace that pair up there is some slight bubbling in the toe that created volume in the area — something I don’t enjoy at all. If you plan on playing in the shoe then I highly recommend going down 1/2 size (unless you’re a wide footer).

Lockdown was very solid. (I want to say “incredible” but I don’t want to have anyone thinking incredible is any better than great, awesome, etc. — sometimes when I use words to describe my excitement for something they end up being misinterpreted as me overselling the attribute.) All I know is that I had no issues. I was locked into the shoe from the heel to the forefoot.

The midfoot strap worked well, but my favorite part about it was that it’s built into the midsole to ensure you’re staying on the footbed of the shoe at all times no matter the movement. Containment on the Wade 6 is very much on point.

li-ning way of wade 6 performance review support
Support – Everything that the Way of Wade 6 offers in terms of fit plays into its support. The shoe ensures that you remain on the footbed at all times with the midsole cradling you at the midfoot while the medial rear provide support that should be standard in shoes today.

An internal heel counter is in place along with a carbon fiber shank for torsional support. Some of the previous Wade models had a bit too much in terms of support but the Wade 6 is a perfect blend of what’s needed while allowing you mobility (you can learn more by checking out the Way of Wade 6 deconstructed).

li-ning way of wade 6 performance review overall
Overall – The Way of Wade 6 is the best Wade model to date. Not only is it the best that the Wade line has to offer, but the shoe competes with most of the top-tier shoes offered from other brands that many U.S. consumers hold in high regard for no real reason other than really effective marketing.

If you’ve never tried a Wade shoe before then don’t worry because you haven’t really missed anything. However, if you decide not to try out the Way of Wade 6 then you’re missing something special.

li-ning way of wade 6 performance review score

  1. Would you say these are better than the Rare Metal, especially in cushioning? Just got 2 pair and love them…

    Thanks for all you do

      1. Since Clinton Russell brought up Brandblack, I was just curious, where do you rank Jetlon these days? I feel like that is one of the best foams around, but you hardly ever mention it anymore.

        Do you not mention it because of your affiliation with Brandblack, or do you think all the other foams you mentioned in the video are a little better?

        1. Darn, I just saw you mention it in the write-up ;). I didn’t read that until after I posted. I don’t recall hearing you mention it in the video.

  2. This is awesome! Drive foam can be made full length and doesnt need a carrier! Full length drive foam in wow7 please

    1. Without seeing the dissection I originally thought I was walking on some kind of full-length foam. It really is that good. Hope for the black/white or some other colorway to my liking to try half size down. Full indeed feels a bit short of ideal at the forefoot in terms of fit, which for me creates the perception that the shoes can start to feel big at times.

  3. it’s too bad I already spent my mad money on the Air Jordan 32 MVP. these look sick from an aesthetic standpoint.

  4. Nightwing I am loving these. I have only played about 2 hours and did an insanity work out in them but man I really like this shoe, both from a performance and casual stand point. The cushioning feels great. I am thinking this is my favorite foam, just above the jetlon and boost. Not sure if it is because of the three foams or just the fact the entire shoe is so comfortable. I would like a 12 1/2 instead of a 13 but so far they haven’t had that size anywhere. I will actually pick up another pair as soon as another good colorway releases. I may go ahead and get the Christmas but those look so good I don’t want to hoop in them. This may be my shoe of the year and I am a zoom air guy. Great job by Li Ning and D Wade on this sneaker.

  5. Hi!
    Could you help me out, about, if I have a 44.5 Nike size, then what size should I get from wow6?
    Im a narrow footer I think, dont like that super tight fit, I’d wear them casually.
    Really appreciate in advance!

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