EMPIRE OF THE SUNS
Devin Booker’s lifelong dream of Nike signature shoe reportedly on horizon
Mar 29, 2023, 1:39 PM | Updated: 2:34 pm
PHOENIX — Devin Booker’s completion rate on his bucket list puts just about all of us to shame.
He made it to the NBA as a member of the Phoenix Suns. He’s a three-time All-Star, has won an Olympic gold medal and appeared in the NBA Finals while setting the record for the most points by a player in their first postseason. He’s also seen the world, recently donned the cover of the latest installment of the NBA 2K series and routinely links up with people he grew up a fan of, including his newest teammate Kevin Durant.
Booker, 26, is just getting started. Er, reportedly.
His long-awaited signature shoe with Nike is set to arrive in spring of next year, per SneakerFiles.com. To be clear, this is a completely new shoe design with Booker’s name on it.
It’s not a player exclusive (PE) of a previously designed shoe. Booker has already had quite a few of those.
His DB logo appeared on a Nike Zoom Rev in 2017. An image of Booker filled out the Swoosh of a Kobe AD and an Air Force 1 low-top paid homage to his high school experience at Moss Point, Miss. All those came out before the turn of this 2020s decade.
The timeline speaks to how big of a deal these are and how long the process takes. Memphis Grizzlies superstar Ja Morant recently had the first version of his signature shoe launch earlier this year.
Sneaker culture has always been around the basketball scene but has really skyrocketed in the last decade thanks partially to the advancements in technology allowing more accessibility to shoes that previously would have been extremely difficult to locate. Complex’s YouTube series “Sneaker Shopping” generates millions of views weekly around the concept of a celebrity interview that features the guest buying expensive shoes.
Booker is a sneakerhead in his own right, telling Architectural Digest last summer he used to save money growing up to have enough for a shoe before its release date. He told that story standing in front of his own personal shoe portion of his closet, which includes dozens of pairs. He’s not as crazy about it now, because, as you can imagine, he gets “too many” and wants to avoid putting any in storage.
Beyond the cultural importance, a signature shoe stamps a player’s star status with full certification. And from Nike? Forget it.
Booker confirmed this has been a dream since he was old enough to walk in shoes themselves.
I asked Booker not to confirm or deny the report but just to speak on what a signature shoe would mean to him.
“It would mean a lot,” he said Tuesday. “In that partnership, that brand is something I’ve had the highest respect for, for the longest time. We’re cooking things up, so the future’s gonna be exciting.”
There are thousands of young Booker fans across the world next year who will be begging their parents for the first edition of the Suns guard’s shoes, upon release or on the Christmas list. I can attest from personal experience that I did this with Tracy McGrady’s whole Adidas collection, both succeeding and failing along the way.
What was Booker’s personal favorite of all the signature shoes when he was growing up?
“KD4,” he said, smiling.
Those came out when Booker was 15 years old, and now that Durant fella is his running mate in Phoenix. Pretty cool!
Booker has been a Nike athlete since 2015, and each pair he wears on gameday can be seen with his own personal inscription of “Be Legendary”, the same advice given to him by the late Kobe Bryant on a signed pair of Nike Kobes in 2016 that Booker also has tattooed on his arm.
All indications are he will be writing that on his own signature shoe in due time. Dare I say, legendary.