Adidas has officially unveiled Houston Rocket point guard James Harden’s long-awaited debut sneaker with the brand. Dubbed the Harden Vol. 1., the model is said to be an extension of not only the player he is but who he is off the court.
“This was my first time creating a shoe from the ground up. With adidas, we wanted to stand for something different, be true to who we are and that’s how we separate ourselves,” Harden said. “This was a once in a lifetime opportunity and all the work we put in together is what makes this genuine. We’re open to each other’s opinions and we weren’t going to just put shoes on the shelves and say ‘This is James Harden.’ 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.”
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Not your typical endorsement, Harden and Adidas have more in store like a full collaboration, which will include a plethora of kicks. The first colorway of the Harden Vol. 1, also known as “Pioneer,” is nostalgic of the four-time All-Star’s rise as a basketball star with the black, red and white colorway nodding to his Artesia High School team colors. “We begin to think about chapters of our journey with James and this is only Vol. 1,” explained Brian Foresta, Vice President of Design, Adidas Basketball. “If you have the confidence to wear Harden Vol. 1, step out from the norm and decide to be something new in the game of basketball, then you don’t rely on the old recipes. Nor does James and nor do we. I love that he pushed us in that direction.”
The kicks also offer a personalized touch, as the birthday of his grandmother is molded onto the heel of the left shoe and his mother’s on the right. Harden’s own signature is emblazoned on the medial sides of the shoes near the toe.
The “Pioneer” Harden Vol. 1 releases on Dec. 3 for $140 on adidas.com, with additional colorways to follow throughout the season. Harden is also set to drop an apparel collection this fall that will pair performance-built gear with his sense of style.