by Shannon Booher
Saturday afternoon Dwight Howard made an appearance at the Foot Locker located on the Santa Monica Promenade in support of the second edition of his signature adidas shoe line — the Dwight Howard SuperBeast. The shoe, which features both the Sprintskin and Z-Torsion technologies, as well as the over-sized traditional adidas three-stripe logo, was prominently displayed in both its black and white (I was really feeling the white) colorways. In addition to flat-screens playing the dope ad for the SuperBeast, a DJ kept the crowd rocking while they waited anxiously in the uncharacteristic So-Cal rains.
Ever the friendly giant, Howard rewarded fans that had been waiting in line since 5 a.m. by signing autographs, taking pictures and joking around. He even got into full character, donning a Foot Locker ref-style employee uniform shirt for the occasion. Fans were definitely leaving with a smile on their face.
I had a chance to ask Howard about his involvement in the design of the SuperBeast, as well his favorite aspects of the shoe. After grabbing one of the shoes for demonstration, here’s what he had to say:
“I had a lot to do with the design of the shoe. The one thing that we talked about with adidas was we wanted to have a shoe to where you could wear it off the court and on the court. If you look at the shoe, you can wear it with jeans, sweatpants, whatever it may be — shorts — and it looks good. It’s a very light shoe. When I play I want my shoes to be very light. You don’t want to be running and jumping with heavy shoes on. And also if you move and cut a lot for guards and people who are very fast. The bottom of the shoe has this new design, Z-Motion [demonstrates with his hands]– twist, twist [to each side], move, and traction. I can show you better on the court [laughs]. I like the shoe a lot. It’s very comfortable. I just started wearing this shoe about a month and a half ago, and my feet feel great. It’s a beautiful shoe, looks good, you should get one.”
Then, asked if he’d be wearing those Sunday for the game, Howard said: “That’s the one I’m wearing so hopefully these will help me get the MVP.”
Could adidas have the found the right shoe and the right spokesman to dis-spell the “big men can’t sell shoes” myth? Time will tell, but if Howard’s 2011 All-Star Game aspiration comes to fruition, it will be a solid step in the right direction.