Correction appended Oct. 26, 2012:
When Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose returns to the court this season after last year’s season-ending knee injury, he’ll be wearing the newly-released D Rose 3, the Adidas-designed shoe that starts at $160 (customized versions run up to $200). Its flashy design is just part of the D Rose 3’s appeal, but the shoe combines style and substance:
The D Rose 3 uses technology called a sprint frame, which Adidas has made the basis for some of the world’s lightest athletic shoes. The frame locks the heel down to allow the player to push off securely. It also allows grams of weight to be shaved off the upper, with mesh replacing other material. Rose’s kicks come in at 25 oz. for a pair of size 9s.
But as Bill Saporito writes in the new issue of TIME (available to subscribers here), the German company is giving Rose more than a shoe, but granting him “the ultimate accolade”—his own brand and logo—through a campaign of five webisodes documenting his return.
The original version of this article said that Derrick Rose would play in the Chicago Bulls’ opening game on Oct. 31. Rose in fact may not play til later in the season.