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Matt Powell is right and James Harden and adidas ‘Wake the Game Up’ can’t fix it

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Source: adidas NEWS STREAM : James Harden and adidas Wake the Game up with Harden Vol. 1

Yesterday sneaker business guru Matt Powell ignited a back and forth on Twitter about how sneaker websites and sneaker heads are not the influencers they think they are. This was his quote:

It’s curious to me that the sneakerhead press continue to fawn over the latest basketball releases. people don’t care about BB shoes anymore

I wrote 10 Things Wrong With The Curry 3 a couple of days ago and now we have the Harden Vol. 1 and Matt Powell is proven right and I get to say, “Damn, not again.” Adidas doesn’t absolutely nail this shoe. It is basically the same shoe as the Crazylight 2.5 the only real difference is an asymmetrical lacing system and hidden Boost; which kind of kills the point and I personally think it hurts the shoe since Boost is the rage right now. Then again maybe a full translucent casing would have actually made the shoe better, but they didn’t do that…

Here is a pic of the Harden 1:

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Which looks kind of like this Converse Wade 1.3 minus the high cut and the toebox extends back further on the Harden. Like the Curry though we have the same empty toebox, which is really getting played out:

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I should be excited about basketball kicks, but as a retailer and an observer of sneaker culture, I have to admit that Matt Powell is right. While sneaker sites are constantly posting about basketball related kicks, the industry has taken a strong shift and is now only interested in “retro and running inspired kicks”, Matt’s words, not mine. When I look at my sales numbers he is definitely correct.

It’s not that this Harden Vol. 1 is a poor offering, it’s just a shoe that feels like we’ve seen it before. I do appreciate adidas for delivering a shoe with a story unlike what Under Armour has done with the Curry 3, but the delivery leaves me looking at the shoe in the same way everyone looked at the Crazylight 2.5; a shoe that wasn’t worth buying at 130 retail and is still sitting in a full size run on Footlocker, on sale with an additional 25% off at checkout. Note the little red strip at the top of this picture below. That 25% makes the shoe 89.99. The same price the shoe is being sold on Adidas.com:

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I hate to sound like a “hater” but facts are facts. Basketball is standing on the ledge and needs someone to talk it down and give it a new life. The James Harden Volume 1 isn’t the shoe to do that and honestly I don’t see a single guy in the NBA who can rescue the once dominant basketball shoe market. Damn, I’m depressed. At least the marketing is dope for the Harden, but like Jay-Z said, “We don’t believe you, you need more people.” Click the source link to see more about the Harden 1.