Way of Wade 10
The Way of Wade 10 is one of the best basketball shoes of the year with its ultra-bouncy cushion, one-to-one fit, and grippy traction.
Release Date: 2022
There have only been a handful of NBA athletes to reach at least ten signature sneakers, and now Dwyane Wade is one of them. Congratulations to Li-Ning, the Way of Wade Brand, and the man himself on this accomplishment. The Way of Wade 10 also deserves praise because there’s so much to be hopeful for with its performance. They may have you feeling like you’re about to jump out of the gym.
Traction performance with the Way of Wade 10 was excellent. I ended up playing on 4 indoor and 2 outdoor courts. All the courts were of varying cleanliness, and yet the Way of Wade 10s performed well under all conditions. Even when the outsole collected loads of dust, the rubber compound still reacted surprisingly well. If you somehow end up having problems with the traction for these when you’re out playing, I’m willing to bet it’s more of a floor problem rather than a shoe problem.
The grooves don’t have much space between them, so small rocks and dust accumulate quickly. The pattern is primarily radial and extends up the medial side, so you have coverage when you drag your feet on hard crossovers and pivots. The only downside is durability on outdoor floors. While it still grips the concrete and blacktop well, the rubber is too pliable to last any significant amount of time.
These are the bounciest shoes I’ve tested this year. Imagine adidas Boost, but even a notch bouncier. It felt more natural to adapt to the bounciness for linear movements since I’ve had experience with somewhat similar cushion setups in running shoes. Basketball isn’t just filled with linear movements though. You’re constantly required to shift movements from linear to lateral repeatedly. It took up until my 3rd session playing with the shoes for me to really start to appreciate the bouncy cushion setup more for its comfort level.
There is a gradual offset for the cushion stack height, so the forefoot feels lower to the ground. You’re not going to get an extremely low-to-the-ground feel, but it’s a good enough mix of cushion and court feel.
The midsole is full-length BOOM. Although there is midsole caging, it’s made of a soft TPU, so the Pebax-based foam has breathing room. Comfort is A+, and your legs will thank you for using these. Once you get to adapt to it, you’ll enjoy these.
The upper is a textile mesh knit build. The textile used even has some slight elasticity, which helps it conform to your feet. The eyestays are a thick overlay, and they sometimes dug into my feet when I wasn’t wearing my ankle braces. The tongue is fairly padded, matches the height of the ankle collar, and wraps around my foot well. The laces remind me of the Nike GT Cut laces. They are round and soft so they had a tendency to loosen up when I didn’t tie my shoes securely during my first session. If you double-lace and tighten them correctly, it works well. Overall, it’s a comfortable feel.
Li-Ning used to recommend on their product listings to go up half a size. That’s probably because Way of Wade 10 fits snugly in the midfoot area. I wouldn’t say it’s as snug as Nike’s KD shoes though, like the KD 15. If you want a snug, one-to-one fit, going true to size works. Going up at least half a size is recommended if you wear ankle braces like I do or have wide feet. The toe box area also flares out and isn’t narrow, so if you’re someone like me who enjoys some breathing room for your toes, the toe box in these should accommodate you.
There’s a thin full-length carbon fiber shank plate that adds both stability and bounciness. The shoe can’t be bent or twisted easily. It’s so thin, in fact, that some users have complained about the plate cracking. Fortunately, I didn’t have that experience. Li-Ning also added lateral TPU stabilizers that help keep your feet on the footbed. They’re slightly soft like the cushion caging. That worked well for me since they didn’t hurt my feet when I made hard cuts or made sudden stops. If you’re not a fan of hard plastic pieces on the sides of your shoe, these may be a better alternative.
The circular carbon fiber piece is also supposedly there to help with ankle support. Part of me thinks it’s just there for design purposes, but hopefully, it does actually help. It reminded me of the Kobe 9 ankle and heel support piece. I loved those shoes, but the carbon fiber piece near the ankle in those shoes sometimes dug into my feet. The Way of Wade 10, on the other hand, did not, again thanks to the softer TPU material surrounding the carbon fiber piece. To round it all up, the adequately wide forefoot base helped with overall stability and traction for the shoes.
Way of Wade 10 Overall
The Way of Wade 10 is a great sneaker and one that many will enjoy. The traction is excellent in all court conditions. The cushion is one of the bounciest available today with full-length BOOM. The materials are not premium, but they do the job and make the shoe light for what it offers. Support isn’t terrible at all with the full-length carbon fiber plate and additional support features. It’s one of the best basketball shoes of the year.
What’s in the video?
In the video, Chris provides detailed information from all the usual categories, providing the in-depth information you need. He supplies expert-level opinions on the materials, cushioning, traction, support, and fit. Here’s some of what he discusses:
- 10th signature shoe milestone
- Slip-resistant outsole
- Full-length BOOM cushion
- Zoom Air on steroids feel
- Fully-wrapped midsole
- Carbon fiber torsional spring plate
- Lightest of the Wade line so far
- Slender look and fit
- Additional story-telling features
- Sizing recommendations
As an added bonus, Mrs. Wing makes Chris guess which shoe this reminds her of and you can guess right along with him.
How to Buy the Way of Wade 10
The Way of Wade 10 is available now in two colorways (including large sizes!) for $225 at Way of Wade.
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