Breanna Stewart is primed to make history yet again. Except this time, it won’t be on the basketball court. It’ll be in the shoe game.
On Wednesday, the former UConn superstar announced she’s joining the Puma Family after five years as a Nike athlete.
As part of the deal, Stewart will receive a signature shoe. She will be the 10th WNBA player ever to get a signature shoe and the first in over 10 years. She will have complete control over the design, colors and messaging, according to The Ringer. The most recent WNBA player to have a signature sneaker was Candace Parker with her Adidas TS Ace Commanders in 2010.
Diana Taurasi had her own shoe back in 2006 — the Nike Shox DT — but she only played in them for one season. Other former UConn players have gotten “player exclusives”, like Maya Moore and Air Jordan XI’s, Taurasi’s Lebron 16’s from Nike and Sue Bird’s “Keep Sue Fresh” Kyrie Irving Low 4’s from Nike, but no other signature shoes.
“Hopefully we can make a really dope shoe that a lot of people will like — male, female, young, old, basketball, non-basketball type of thing,” Stewart told Boardroom.
As the first WNBA to get her own shoe in more than a decade, Stewart hopes the success of “The Stewie” — or whatever she decides to call her signature — will help drive further investment in women’s athletes from apparel companies.
“Where others saw a risk, Puma took advantage of it,” she said in The Ringer. “Women’s basketball players deserve to have signature shoes.”