Jason Mayden wants to bring kids back to the basics.
The former Jordan Brand design director has launched a new children’s footwear brand, Super Heroic, whose mission is to celebrate and promote the power of play. The brand just rolled out its first style, the TMBLR v1, a sleek sneaker specially designed for the playground. The $99 shoe is available to preorder now on the brand’s website, with an expected ship date of Aug. 31.
“So many times we go out and encourage kids to dream big, but then we don’t give them the tools to do it. I want Super Heroic to be a tool kit that empowers children to become whatever they want to be,” said Mayden, who also helped steer Nike’s digital sport innovation efforts. “The core [mission] of Super Heroic is pretty simple: to encourage, enable and enhance pure physical play for every child in the world.”
Offered in a bold blue and yellow color combo, Super Heroic’s TMBLR v1 shoe features a seamless interior lining that comfortably molds to the shape of a child’s foot. An adjustable utility strap across the vamp helps keep the foot secure without being restrictive. The sneaker also features extra traction on the sides of the sole for better grip while climbing. A dual-density midsole promotes multidirectional movement, while an offset rubber outsole provides stability on uneven surfaces. Each pair of shoes is packaged in a shuttle-inspired tube and comes with a superhero cape.
“It’s high-quality, high-performing, well-designed product,” Mayden noted. “And it’s fun — everything we do has to be fun, from our logo to our colors to our packaging.”
Basketball legend Magic Johnson, who is an investor in the business, said Super Heroic’s kid-centric approach sets it apart from other brands. “These shoes are made for kids, understanding how they play, how they run, how they jump. Super Heroic is not like any other shoe company,” he said in a video promoting the brand. “I wish I had sneakers like Super Heroic when I was a kid. I might have been really something else.”
Alongside the footwear, Super Heroic also plans to roll out a digital app that includes playground activities and challenges designed to help kids discover new ways to play, a neural-networks feature that allows parents to search for play spaces and meet-ups in their area and a digital foot-measuring tool.
Mayden said he hopes Super Heroic can spark a grassroots movement that reminds parents and kids of the importance of play in everything from fostering imagination and creative expression to building social, emotional and cognitive skills. “I want to radically change the outcome for creative youth,” he said. “Creativity, to me, is the connective tissue between where we want to go and where we are now.”