Kawhi Leonard's New Balance KAWHI II Revealed in 'New Money' ColourwayRelease: 19 March 2022
Kawhi Leonard and New Balance kicked their partnership off at NBA All-Star Weekend 2019, and now it's entering a new chapter just ahead of 2022's All-Star Game with the debut of the KAWHI II. Introducing new technology like FitWeave Lite and beginning its run with a 'New Money' colourway, the KAWHI II is a lighter, more explosive version of the original KAWHI, with all the deeply personal details Leonard's fans have come to expect from his signature line.
From a performance standpoint, the KAWHI II's above mentioned FitWeave Lite upper is made of a light-yet-durable woven textile meant to provide adaptive stretch and support in equal measures. This new-jack upper sits atop a wavy FuelCell midsole that houses a new performance plate for cushioning and energy return. 'Kawhi wanted to honour his gameplay and deliver a shoe that spoke to him as an individual', said New Balance design director Jonathan Grondin. 'Together with our Sports Research Lab, we developed innovative technologies for today’s basketball athlete in the new KAWHI II'.
From a looks standpoint, the KAWHI II is debuting in a 'New Money' colourway, a continuation of a theme established on his first signature model that features currency-centric details and a bold gold heel shank. Its genesis came in a design meeting, where Leonard remarked that certain design elements displayed on his first shoe reminded him of stacks of money. 'To release a second version of a signature shoe together with New Balance is an honour and a privilege,' Leonard said. 'My goal was to be fully immersed in every aspect of the design process to create a shoe that truly reflects me as a person and as an athlete.'
Though it's looking like Leonard will be sitting out the remainder of the 2021-22 NBA season as he recovers from ACL surgery last summer, his KAWHI II will be debuted by recent New Balance signee Jack Harlow at the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game in Cleveland. It'll then see a full retail release on March 19, priced at $160 and accompanied by a set of special apparel.