Women Basketball Shoes-No Single W.N.B.A. Star Has A Shoe Line

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W.N.B.A. Stars  Shoe Lines Have Gone M.I.A.

Do a google search for girls’ or women basketball shoes on Footlocker.com, the Jordan Brand site or go to  the WNBA website store  itself. A slew of Jordans,Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, and of course LeBron James basketball shoes models will populate the screen.

Even worse is that Kobe Bryant and Michael are both  former players who have retired for some years now.

As digital the age is  already upon us has thrust sneakers into the future with self-tying laces and 3-D-printed soles,  yet gender footwear equity remains mired in quick sand or moreso is on a never ending treadmill.

Sheryl Swoopes ,who in 1995 played for the then perennial favorites Houston Comets became the first female athlete to have her own  basketball shoe. The W.N.B.A.’s infancy  seasons, had brands like Fila,Adidas,Nike and Reebok unveiled shoes with stars of the era such as Chamique Holdsclaw,Lisa Leslie, Dawn Staley, Rebecca Lobo,Nicki McCray, and Cynthia Cooper .

Now its  2018 the 21st season of the W.N.B.A. professional league , and there is not a solitary player who has a shoe line of her own. Reason for  the regression ?  .Sales and the W.N.B.A.  pro league was  fairly new at the time .

Lack Of Promotion

During  1990s, the sneaker business was not the huge money maker like it is  today.The real question is why didn’t it take off , and the real answer is they didn’t sell enough shoes to make it worth their while,” said Matt Powell, a sports industry analyst at NPD Group. When a brand figures this conundrum  out and starts to make a lot of money, everyone else is going to jump on board.

There are athletic shoes on the market designed solely  for women, many female players still sport sneakers made for men, and not just in basketball. Adidas released  its first soccer cleats designed specifically for women just recently .

“It’s long overdue,” said Robyne Carrasquillo, 52, a Liberty fan. Twenty years ago, Carrasquillo bought a Teresa Weatherspoon jersey. She has since passed it on to her 13-year-old daughter, Savanah, who wore it for Sunday’s game against the Lynx.

 

Women’s athletic or lifestyle shoes are more likely to be named for entertainers, designers and models such as Kylie Jenner  and Rihanna have deals with Puma,Stella McCartney has a line with Adidas. Under Armour sponsors both model Gisele Bündchen and her  super star N.F.L. quarterback  husband, Tom Brady

WNBA Championship Title winning coach  Liberty Coach Bill Laimbeer said. “If it was a big seller, you’d still see it. Sorry to say that, but it’s just reality.For the women, it’s still about marketing and sales, and it’s not there yet

Liberty point guard Epiphanny Prince sees both sides as the W.N.B.A.’s foremost sneaker head, with a carefully curated collection of more than 400 pairs.

“It’s still a business; you want shoes to sell,” Prince said. “You don’t want them sitting on the shelves. You want it to sell out. Everything is about the dollar.”

For the moment, Prince has stopped adding to her collection.

“The way the sneaker culture is now is that a shoe comes out, someone buys all of them and then resells a pair for $800 because that’s their hustle,” she said. “Resellers have ruined the fun.”

 

Still, her face lights up when she discusses her collection.

“Let me show you a picture,” she said.

In the photo, Prince is in her shoe room, surrounded by hundreds of clear plastic containers, each showcasing a pair. As for those on her feet?

“I wear Kobes,” she said, “because it’s Kobe.”

 

History Of WNBA Shoe Lines 

 

Nike Air Swoopes

Athlete: Sheryl Swoopes
Year: 1996
Sponsor: Nike

Image result for Nike Air Swoopes Athlete: Sheryl Swoopes Year: 1996 Sponsor: NikeDubbed  the female version Michael Jordan .Swoopes was the first player signed with the WNBA. She has earned three Olympic Gold medals and is a 3 time WNBA MVP  under her belt, Swoopes made prominence  in 1993 by by leading Texas Tech Lady Raiders to win the NCAA women’s basketball championship.  She was the first female player to get her own signature the Air Swoopes shoe in 1995.

Designed by Marni Gerber, thhe shoe merged traction with agility with a Durabuck outsole and a stability strap midfoot to blend performance,support, and style.

Nike Air Swoopes II

Athlete: Sheryl Swoopes
Year: 1996
Sponsor: Nike

Image result for Nike Air Swoopes II

 

Considered least popular Swoopes signature shoe made it’s release during  the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games in an Olympic colorway. Still, the innovative look was a sign of exciting things to come from the Swoopes signature series.

Nike Air Max Highup

Image result for Nike Air Max Highup

Athlete: Lisa Leslie
Year:
Sponsor: Nike

The 3 time  WNBA MVP and 4 time Olympic gold winner Lisa Leslie was the face of women’s basketball at the inception of the WNBA in 1997.  Her focus as a role model for young women that struggled with the balance of being an athlete and being feminine, Leslie is known for wearing ribbons and lipstick on the court  in unison with her Nikes.

Nike Air Swoopes Zoom

Athlete: Sheryl Swoopes
Year: 1997
Sponsor: Nike

Image result for Nike Air Swoopes Zoom Athlete: Sheryl Swoopes Year: 1997 Sponsor: Nike

 

Nike’s Zoom technology is introduced to the Swoopes signature.

Nike Air Total 9

Athlete: Lisa Leslie
Year: 1998
Sponsor: Nike

Image result for Nike Air Total 9

 

Making its debut at the end of the below Nike “Little Rascals” ad, the Total Air 9 is equipped with a synthetic leather upper, a full-length Total Air unit, and rubber outsole. The quilted upper holds the Total Air 9’s iconic look today.

Nike Air Flight Deny

Athlete: Dawn Staley
Year: 1998
Sponsor: Nike

Image result for Nike Air Flight Deny

 

Three years before leading the Charlotte Sting to the WNBA playoffs, Staley was the face of the Nike Air Flight Deny. A sturdy shoe on a herringbone outsole with a synthetic leather upper, the Deny was inspired by Staley’s three-time gold medal play on the court.

Nike Air Max Shake ‘Em Up

Athlete: Cynthia Cooper
Year: 1998
Sponsor: Nike

Image result for Nike Air Max Shake ‘Em Up

 

The Shake ‘Em Up was designed for all-around players like Cynthia Cooper. Boasting a full gran and synthetic leather upper, forefoot Zoom Air and a slimmed down Max Air Bag, the rubber outsole held strong with the herringbone tread.

Nike Air C14

Athlete: Cynthia Cooper
Year: 1999
Sponsor: Nike

Image result for Nike Air C14

 

The C14 is a shoe worthy of the two-time MVP, three-time Olympic gold medalist, and Basketball Hall of Fame Chicago native. Cooper worked the hardwood with Houston Comet teammates Tina Thompson and Sheryl Swoopes for four consecutive WNBA championship titles.

Reebok “The Lobo”

Athlete: Rebecca Lobo
Year: 1998
Sponsor: Reebok

Image result for Reebok “The Lobo”Image result for Reebok “The Lobo”

 

 

Using Reebok’s Hexalite technology, Rebecca Lobo’s only signature shoe made a debut in June  2008 at the Lady Footlocker when the first 5,000 pairs were sold with along with free tickets to a New York Liberty game, a photo  with the athlete an autographed product, or a team shirt.

Nike Air Swoopes IV

Athlete: Sheryl Swoopes
Year: 1998
Sponsor: Nike

 

Image result for Nike Air Swoopes IV

 

Swoopes continued to rule the WNBA in 1998, sealing the deal with the second of four consecutive WNBA championship titles for the Houston Comets and also releasing the fourth signature Swoopes.

FILA Nikki Delta Basketball

Athlete: Nikki McCray
Year: 1999
Sponsor: FILA

Image result for Athlete: Nikki McCray Year: 1999 Sponsor: FILA

 

After signing deal with FILA in 1999, McCray rolled out the Nikki Delta for men and women ballers.

Nike Air Zoom S5

Athlete: Dawn Staley
Year: 1999
Sponsor: Nike

Image result for Nike Air Zoom S5

 

Released in 1999, the same year Dawn Staley joined the WNBA, with the Nike Air Zoom S5.

Air Tuned Swoopes

 

Image result for Air Tuned Swoopes

 

Athlete: Sheryl Swoopes
Year: 1999
Sponsor: Nike

This eye candy that was the Air Tuned Swoopes featured an Air Zoom heel crashpad and a diverse outsole for great on court traction.

Nike Air Swoopes VI

Athlete: Sheryl Swoopes
Year: 2001
Sponsor: Nike

Image result for Athlete: Sheryl Swoopes Year: 2001 Sponsor: Nike

 

 

A different design  compared to the previous Swoopes eye catching upper design, the sixth signature embraced a minimal upper to shift focus to the dynamic midfoot support, Nike Zoom forefoot, and herringbone outsole.

Nike Shox Mique

Athlete: Chamique Holdsclaw
Year: 2001
Sponsor: Nike

Image result for Athlete: Chamique Holdsclaw Year: 2001 Sponsor: Nike

 

 

 

Chamique had a deal with  Nike in 1999 for a 5 year deal said to exceed $1 million, she was the wealthiest female basketball player at the time. The BBMique Shox reinvented the concept of a quilted upper, featuring the technology of the moment, Nike Shox.

 

Air Swoopes Premier

Athlete: Sheryl Swoopes
Year: 2002
Sponsor: Nike

 

 

 

This  final Swoopes signature was released in the middle of Sheryl’s gold medal accomplishments in Sydney and Athens to celebrate this trailblazing athlete’s amazing feats on the court. Made with an Air Max outsole and Nike Zoom forefoot, the Premier was released to inspire to be the best .

 

 

 

Adidas TS Ace Commander

Athlete: Candace Parker
Year: 2008
Sponsor: Adidas

Candace Parker

Image result for adidas TS Ace Commander

 

Candace Parker hook up with the Adidas Hoops team in 2008 after she became the second woman to dunk in the WNBA. Equipped with Adiprene technology, Parker has revived the women’s signature for today’s female athlete.

Adidas Ace Versatility

Athlete: Candace Parker
Year: 2011
Sponsor: Adidas

Image result for Candace Parker Year: 2011 Sponsor: adidas

 

 

Parker’s second shoe unveiled in  the summer of 2011, boosted with  Adiprene technology and a Climacool upper portion with a functional mid foot strap.

Adidas Ace 3

Athlete: Candace Parker
Year: 2012
Sponsor: Adidas

Parker’s third shoe version  of her Adidas Ace signature series features

Image result for Candace Parker adidas Ace3

 

 

 

Maya Moore Signs with Jordan Brand

Athlete: Maya Moore
Year: 2013
Sponsor: Air Jordan

 

B01IOA39E6Nike AIR Jordan 10 Retro MM GG ‘Maya Moore’ – AA2900-159 – Size 8Y by AIR JORDAN CDN$581.00

 

 

The first female sponsored by the Jordan Brand, Maya Moore signed with the brand May 2013, but has yet to have a signature shoe for this dynamic player.

Moore, a three-time W.N.B.A. champion with the Minnesota Lynx, said she would never forget her first pair of Air Swoopes.

Both  I and  my mom  had them,said  Moore. It was exciting. I didn’t know how unique that was as an 8-year-old. I just saw Sheryl Swoopes and Cynthia Cooper and Tina Thompson winning W.N.B.A. championships and playing amazing basketball, and I just wanted the shoe.

 

She added: “Those things matter, especially when you’re young. There’s value there. Her work and talent were being rewarded. The investment was worthwhile because it inspired the next generation of women’s basketball players.”

Nate’ Burley walked through the corridors of Madison Square Garden wearing a Moore jersey. Burley, 13, of Middletown, N.Y., cheers for the Liberty but is a huge fan of  Moore, a former Connecticut star.

“When I wear my jersey at school, boys will ask me, ‘Who is Moore, and what is the Mayo Clinic?’” she said. (Like other teams in the league, the Lynx feature their marquee sponsor — in their case, the Mayo Clinic — on their jerseys instead of the team name.)

As a child, Moore did not know that it was unusual to have a sneaker named after a female player. Burley, however, never considered the possibility; she just assumed that only N.B.A. players had signature basketball shoes.

In 2011, Moore became the first female basketball player to sign an endorsement deal with Nike’s Jordan brand. In 2015, Nike produced its first retail shoe with Moore. The Jordan brand released a two-shoe special collection on Sept. 30 2015  billed as a tribute to Moore. But it was not  called Air Maya. The Moore-inspired Air Jordan 1 Retro High  and Air Jordan 10 Retro  sold in children’s extended sizes from 3.5 to 9.5. The shoes feature pops of fuchsia, one of Moore’s favorite colors, and personal touches such as “3:23” on the pull tab, for her favorite Bible verse, Colossians 3:23.

So what’s in a name? To sneaker heads and athletes, everything. A signature shoe signals that a player has arrived. It is a multi million dollar investment in a player’s success and marketability. It is less of a gamble to have a female player endorse an already established product line, and even less of a risk to roll out a player-edition shoe.

 

“They’re getting more sales power with Moore under the Jordan brand,” said Bob Dorfman, a sports marketing expert at Baker Street Advertising. “It makes more sense to put female players under the parachute of their other brand.

Moore said she hopes that her shoes inspire children, can appeal to various groups of customers and maybe even have sustained success similar to that of Swoopes’s footwear, which came in seven models.

There’s no question, the sneaker culture is a big part of the excitement, respect and legitimacy in the basketball world,Moore said.  Sneaker culture is extremely  influential for men. That’s why it’s an interesting dynamic, with me being a female, to see how guys in the sneaker culture feel about a female signature shoe line .

 

 

 

If you consider yourself as a passionate online shopper like myself,Ebay has amazing  deals on the best products.I hoped you enjoyed the Women Basketball Shoes-No Single W.N.B.A. Star Has A Shoe Line  article and if you have any  questions and  want to leave a comment or want to leave your own personal review,please leave a comment below .

Thank you.

Erick Darke

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6 thoughts on “Women Basketball Shoes-No Single W.N.B.A. Star Has A Shoe Line”

  1. I never really thought about this. I, like many people, are so used to only male basketball superstar having famous shoe lines, that this never crossed my mind. It’s probably because WNBA is not very popular compared to NBA, that’s why the earlier shoe lines did not take off. It’s all about popularity these days. Very interesting read!

    1. Good point Zoey.Unfortunately yes the WNBA is not there yet with the men and may never be on that financial level but that is okay.The NFL is a beast no other pro league cannot touch the NFL money wise including the NBA.The WNBA has allowed female ballers a avenue to continue playing ball after college and the league is coming along at its own pace .When you think about it In comparison to other men and women sports pro leagues(XFL) that have come and gone over the years the WNBA has been pretty resilient

    1. Thank you Priya plz share with other sneakerheads who may want to access the latest sneaker trends and all things related to girls basketball .It is a major force in the sports world now and will be stronger in the years to come for sure

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