On May 29th of this year, Miami Heat basketball star Dwayne Wade and his wife Siohvaughn gave birth to their second child, a little boy named Zion Malachi Airamis Wade. Little Zion's dad, Dwayne, was also among eight men honored on June 7th by the National Father's Day Committee at the 66th Annual National Father of the Year Luncheon.
In this day and age, when the sports industry suffers so much from recent scandals, like the blood doping allegations shadowing the cyclists in the Tour De France at this very moment, or the truly sickening dog fighting ring with connections to football player Michael Vick, the fact that basketball players like Dwayne Wade have their priorities right, valuing family first, renews my hope as a Mom of two boys that there are sports figures out there that can serve as positive role models.
Dwayne Wade has gone further in his role as a father to two boys as well, by sponsoring, in conjunction with Converse shoes, a line of kids basketball sneakers known as the Converse Kids Wade 2.0 signature shoe.
Let me say, first of all, that this shoe is available in toddler and grade school children's sizes, so it is designed for younger kids just beginning to get interested in the game. These shoes are, honestly, cute as a button. I received a sample size of tiny 10.5 Toddler shoes, and the black leather shoe has white stitching with red accenting that gives it a really sharp look.
There's no doubt that a lot of thought went into the design of the shoe, which includes a padded tongue, built-in stabilizers and a rose-printed insole with cushioning. There's an internal bootie which allows "flexible movement and ankle support", and the "Rose and Thorn" motif "reflects the fierceness of [Wade's] play on the court meeting the beauty of his game."
So, obviously, it was intended to be a quality shoe, and it performs like one. I have no complaints about the way the shoes held up during the time I tested them, or about the beauty of the design. If your budget allows for the $49.99 retail price, all you have to do is head down to Champs, Footaction, Eastbay, Finish Line, Dick's Sporting Goods, TAS, Modells or Hibbetts and pick a pair up.
And that's where my one complaint lies, really. The price. The shoes are quality, they are readily accessible, but they aren't cheap. Any kid would love these shoes, but could any parent afford them for a growing child whose shoe size is going to change rapidly during those formative grade-school years? For me, the 49.99 price tag is a bit of a deal breaker. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the shoes aren't worth the price, only that the price is prohibitive for most of the parents I know.
My advice would be to check out the back-to-school sales at your local stores (as you can see, the shoe is widely available) and look for a great deal on these shoes. Your kids will want them, and you will want to fit them into your budget.
So, in the end, my review for the WADE 2.0 Signature Shoe from Converse is: Quality = A
Affordability = C.