When he was voted the 2012-13 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year, no one could have predicted how superstar Damian Lillard would impact the game.
Since then, he's been the only player in the Portland Trail Blazers' history to receive six NBA All-Star and All-NBA Team selections. He was also named to the league's 75th Anniversary Team and he even won a gold medal at the 2020 U.S. Olympics in Tokyo.
Now, he can add sneaker designer to his long list of achievements.
The Adidas Dame is Lillard's contribution to the footwear industry, and like everything else with his name on it, the shoes have been nothing but a success.
What makes it so special and why should you add a pair to your own collection? Today, we're taking a closer look at this shoe and diving into some of its best features.
Early Years: D Lillard 1 and 2
The first time Lillard teamed up with Adidas was in early 2015. It was his third season in the NBA, and his first signature basketball shoe with the brand was called the Adidas D Lillard 1.
The low-cut shoes were strategically designed to help point guards like Lillard achieve the flexible support necessary for a powerful performance on the court.
These first models showcased Adidas' Techfit material and innovative Sprintframe, used to enhance the stability and responsiveness of the shoe. They also featured perforated toe boxes and side panels for extra movement and breathability.
In the latter part of 2015, the D Lillard 2 debuted. This version featured the same basic features, with the addition of a new Techfit bootie and Bounce midsole cushioning, which made the shoes even more lightweight and comfortable.
The D Lillard 2 also added aesthetic details to pay homage to the player's childhood and upbringing. One example is the outsole, which prominently displayed the words "Oak" and "Land" for Lillard's Oakland, CA roots.
Adidas Dames: 2016 to 2021 and Beyond
The first Adidas Dame sneakers (Dame 3) debuted in 2016. The latest release was the Adidas Dame 8, which debuted in December 2021. Let's take a look at some of the most prominent features that have made the rounds throughout the year.
With the Dame 3s, Lillard worked with the brand's Basketball Design Director Jesse Rademacher (now head of Madeium) to create a shoe that would accommodate different foot shapes and appeal to a greater number of people.
The pair also worked intently to strike the right price point in an effort to ensure as many people as possible could have access to the premium footwear.
Like the D Lillard 1 and 2, the Dame 4s featured breathable mesh on the upper, along with a distinctively elevated traction pattern. The grooves on the shoes were designed to support stability on the court, which was also made possible by other features, including a lateral banking barrier.
Bounce and Bounce Pro Midsole Cushioning
When you slip on a pair of Adidas Dame sneakers, you know you'll be comfortable. The Adidas Bounce cushioning was a mainstay in the shoe's earliest releases, and is still prominent on many Dame sneakers, including the Dame 5 and Dame 8.
Also available on many other Adidas sneakers, Bounce cushioning is made with EVA foam. It's specially engineered to provide a responsive and elastic wearing experience. While it's excellent for basketball players, it's also used in Adidas running shoes for enhanced comfort.
While the Bounce cushioning was a solid addition, Lillard didn't stop there. Some designs, including the Dame 5, also included extra features, like an internal pod system and padded collar, to make the shoes even plusher. The Dame 8s feature a "Bounce Pro" midsole, which features extra cushioning, as well as a rubber outsole to maintain traction.
LIGHTSTRIKE Midsole Technology
Released in January 2020, the Adidas Dame 6s introduced a new type of midsole that featured the brand's LIGHTSTRIKE technology. This midsole is both well-cushioned and responsible and struck the perfect balance between everyday wear and on-the-court action.
Lightweight in nature, the midsole is ideal for the lateral quickness that the game of basketball requires. In addition to the Adidas Dame sneakers, you can also find it on other signature athlete shoes from the brand, including its collab with James Harden. It's also prominent on the Adidas Zero Pro running shoe.
New Dame Certified Sneakers
True to his aim of making high-quality basketball sneakers as affordable and accessible as possible, Lillard announced a new line of Dame sneakers in October 2022.
Called Dame Certified, the line is intentionally designed to be budget-friendly. According to the player himself, who shared the news on Twitter, the signature shoe will retail for $95. He plans to wear them on the court this year, along with his Dame 8 sneakers.
The shoes are available in three initial colorways, including Cloud White, Dash Grey, and Vivid Red. One of the coolest features about these sneakers is they're specially designed to minimize the environmental impact that often accompanies new sneaker releases. The materials are generated from production waste (such as cutting scraps) as well as post-consumer household waste.
Yet, that doesn't mean they'll perform any differently or feel any less comfortable. In fact, the Dame Certified sneakers feature everything you already know and love about the shoes, including:
- Adidas Bounce cushioning
- Unique, elevated traction for excellent grip
- Breathable upper for enhanced airflow
Shop Our Collection of Adidas Dame Sneakers Today
Whether you want new basketball sneakers to help you elevate your pick-up game, or you need a great workout shoe to rock at the gym, you can't go wrong by wearing Adidas Dames.
These shoes have evolved over the years, but they've never lost their unique style, long-wearing durability, or supreme comfort. Available in a variety of colorways and styles, it's easy to find a look you love.
Ready to add a pair to your closet? Feel free to shop all of our Adidas sneaker collections today, and let us know if you have any questions!