The James Harden Signature Shoe Has Arrived

Is anyone surprised the $200 million man has pushed the sneaker envelope both stylistically and technologically?

By Sarah Rufca Nielsen October 24, 2016

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For years Houston Rockets forward James Harden has been the basketball player who has people talking about his style nearly as much as his game. So when Harden signed with adidas just over a year ago, landing a jaw-dropping $200 million endorsement deal, you knew his signature shoe was going to push the envelope both aesthetically and technologically. And it looks like he delivered.

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The stunning fractal pattern in the sole is designed to increase grip.

The adidas James Harden Collection Vol. 1 debuted to much fanfare on Saturday in an East Houston warehouse with an event that was part fashion show, part concert and part coronation for Houston's king of basketball swag. Harden himself arrived in a black hoodie from his apparel line that he said he designed to keep his infamous beard incognito during trips to Target. His friend, rapper Travis Scott, treated fans to a performance while rocking Harden's Vol. 1 Cargo in a two-tone olive green (to match his camo).

"With adidas, we wanted to stand for something different, be true to who we are and that’s how we separate ourselves,” Harden said in a press release. “It’s built for how I play and you’ll see my style, different moods, the little details and stories that represent who I am.”

Look for Harden in his Vol. 1 Pioneer kicks in the Rockets' season opener this week—it's a two-tone color block shoe in black and white with red details. The asymmetric color looks fresh—the shoes literally look like they were dipped into white paint (actually a leather toe on a knit upper)—especially as it's paired with asymmetrical lacing to provide more lateral support for Harden's signature quick cuts.

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The awesome details don't stop there: fans will want to check out the mosaic-like fractal traction pattern on the sole, designed to increase the shoe's grip, not to mention the personalized notes like the date of Harden's high school basketball championship and other stats on the sockliners. 

The Harden Vol. 1 Pioneer goes on sale Dec. 3 for $140, or $160 with a premium knit option, with three additional colorways to follow throughout the season, and apparel hitting stores this fall.

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