Stephen Curry’s ascension to league MVP and NBA champion resonates with the people because his path to stardom has been anything but traditional. He wasn’t an all-world recruit coming out of high school, having to ply his trade at Davidson rather than one of the NCAA’s traditional powers. Even after he went on an eye-popping run during March Madness, his pro prospects garnered more questions than answers. Was he a point guard or a shooting guard? Was he big enough to play the latter?
Curry overcame those hurdles–along with ankle issues that nearly derailed his career before it could begin–and transformed into one of the most devastating offensive forces the NBA has ever seen. He’s much more than just a three-point shooter these days, using a ridiculous handle, silky floaters, and nifty passing ability to rise to an elite level.
Under Armour’s rise is quite similar to Curry’s; the Maryland-based company started through the sale of merchandise from the trunk of founder Kevin Plank’s car. Today, the emerging sneaker force is making a dent in the market shares of giants, proving that through hard work and attention to detail, success can be had in the most competitive of industries.
Together, Curry and Under Armour are a force to be reckoned with in the sneaker market. Their latest offering is the UA Curry One “Birthday” PE, which is available now at Champs Sports.
The question is whether they can capitalize on recent success–see a 40 percent uptick in sales across the board for the brand–and deliver a captivating product in the form of Curry’s newest signature, the Curry Two.
It will certainly have the requisite tech to compete with any shoe on the marketplace. The Curry Two will be the first Under Armour sneaker in their basketball line to feature SpeedForm construction, which takes the place of a traditional sockliner.
Without the pullout insert that sneaker wearers have become used to in their kicks, Under Armour thinks they have a comfortable shoe to hoop in. Lead designer Rashad Williams revealed why the Curry Two moved in that direction.
“Steph was telling us he was looking at his game and seeing where he wanted to improve and he was looking for a shoe that fit better around his ankles and around his forefoot,” Williams said. “The seamless heel, all the way on the bottom of the foot to the forefoot creates a nice tight compression form-fitting upper.”
Under Armour’s dynamic cushioning is another star of the Curry Two. UA’s cushion tech is designed so that it becomes firmer as it’s being stressed to the limit; in other words, when Curry is on full-tilt, leading a fast break or darting between defenders, he’s getting more support from his shoe. The shoe relaxes with Curry when he’s at a more tepid pace, providing comfort in between bouts of stability.
This is especially important for a player with a history of ankle issues, but it’s great news for anyone that decides to lace up in Under Armour’s latest offering. Whether you need the Curry Two to stand up to the pressure in-game, or want something that’s going to be comfortable enough to wear casually, it should pass the test with flying colors.
All that substance wouldn’t mean a whole lot without style, of course; these are still sneakers we’re talking about here. Luckily, the design of the shoe lends itself to creativity with the colorways. A split upper combined with a unique outsole gives the team at Under Armour a ton of flexibility when creating looks for the sneaker.
The Curry Two is coming out of the gate with some colorway heat, thanks to heavy input from the man himself and the team of designers at Under Armour.
The debut pair is known as the “Iron Sharpens Iron” colorway, which is an allusion to Curry’s well known Christian faith. The Bible’s Proverbs 27:17 verse states, “iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another,” which gives the name for the eye-catching colorway relevance for Curry’s on-court and off-court life. His belief system and the strength of his Warriors team are reflected here.
Another staple of the Curry One franchise that has been confirmed as a Curry Two colorway is the “Like Father, Like Son” edition. Curry is one of the most well-known sons of a former NBA player, continuing on the sharpshooting tradition started by his father, Dell Curry. Having spent the bulk of his career with the Charlotte Hornets, the Dell-inspired colorway features the iconic colors of the franchise, sporting an eye-popping teal-and-purple mashup.
Colorways like these–and others on the horizon–showcase what the partnership between Curry and Under Armour is all about. This isn’t as simple as slapping some random colors together and hoping it looks cool, but a partnership in the truest sense of the word. Both the brand and the player can appreciate stories of what it took to get to the top.
Curry means a lot to Under Armour, and vice versa. Having a player with Curry’s stature means UA has to pay special attention to their main man, while Curry can be thankful to have designers that have his best interests at heart. The release of the Curry Two marks a pivotal moment for both Under Armour and the Warriors star. Both will be fighting questions about whether their team is a force to be reckoned with over the long term, or a flash in the pan that will fade among the titans they compete against.
If there’s anything that Curry and UA have proven so far, it’s that they’re up for a challenge. Expect big things from this pairing during the 2015-16 NBA season, and for many years to come.
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