adidas is well-known for creation and innovation, so it makes sense that they would pay homage to one of the greatest pioneers in the sports world with the Arthur Ashe Tribute Collection. The first release of the collection includes limited-edition versions of the Harden Vol. 1 and Dame 3.
The shoes honor Ashe’s legendary career and personal accomplishments with scholastic legacy webbing, a multi-color pattern along the sockliner and collar, and additional silhouette details that are subtle nods to the honorary degrees he received from more than 20 universities.
An “AA” graphic printed on the left sockliner stands for Arthur Ashe’s initials, but also for AIDS Awareness and Anti-Apartheid, while the “1975” graphic pays tribute to Ashe’s Wimbledon victory and No. 1 ranking.
Arthur Ashe was a trailblazer in the tennis world, becoming the first African-American male to win a Grand Slam title. Aside from breaking barriers in the sports world, Ashe was also well known for using his popularity to bring attention to civil rights issues in the United States and human rights issues overseas.
His legacy lives on through the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, which is given out every year at the ESPYs. The award recognizes individuals who transcend sports through their courageous acts off the court. Past winners of the award include Jim Valvano, Muhammad Ali, Billie Jean King, and Nelson Mandela.
The Harden Vol. 1 ($139.99) and Dame 3 ($114.99) editions of the Arthur Ashe Tribute Collection drop on January 23. The shoes will be worn on-court by Harden and Lillard for select games throughout Black History Month.