On the inner ankles of Steph Curry’s all-white “Chef” Under Armour Curry 2 Lows, there is a phrase written in his own handwriting: “I Can Do All Things.” It’s from the Bible, specifically Phillipians 4:13, where the entire verse is “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” It’s a phrase that has appeared somewhere on all of Curry’s shoes, and one that he probably needed to turn to last night, as the Chefs were given a #veryrare near-universal roasting on Twitter.
I say “near-universal” because, while something like this is usually in my Twitter wheelhouse, I declined to partake. It’s not just because I happen to like the “Chef” Curry 2s, which I do (I’m even wearing them right now), but because I’m not sure whether everyone so gleefully roasting them hated them. Can you bully a shoe? Is that possible? Because that’s what it felt like. It felt like high school, in the worst possible sense.
But that’s just some old-man grumpy shit. Flame on, youth. My real issue is that the shoes honestly aren’t that bad. What, they’re mostly white? So are all-white Nike Air Force 1 Lows, which have oft been heralded as one of the greatest sneakers ever made. All-white hasn’t been limited to classics, either, as Nike, Jordan, and adidas have all put out mostly white lowtops in recent years to both critical acclaim and retail success. Luxury brands have mined that territory as well. It’s summer. White sneakers are a must. People like them. So why did these get fried, yung?
Partially it’s Curry himself. He’s a squeaky-clean guy who became the first unanimous MVP and has—thus far, anyway—not lived up to his Vine King reputation in the NBA Finals. He wasn’t Finals MVP last year and likely won’t be this year, either. If it ends with him earning another ring, he probably won’t care. But the ravenous Jordan-über-alles masses will, as winning a Finals without winning Finals MVP is apparently just as bad as not winning a Finals at all.
Partially, yes, it’s the shoes. While I don’t think they’re bad at all—the overly busy build of the Curry 2 is actually helped by the monochrome palette—there is definitely a little New-Balance-dad-shoe vibe going on, not helped by the fact that Curry is, you know, a dad who wears polo shirts, endorses Express, and plays golf. Then there’s the Under Armour logo, designed for workout clothing and just plopped on the side of the otherwise swoopy Currys. Either keep that logo on the heel and tongue and work something else out for the sides (like, say, Steph’s own logo) or do away with the UA logo on the shoe entirely. Everyone knows what brand Steph wears. Let the shoe be its own statement.
Are there things about the shoe itself beyond the logo? Sure. The chunky sole is offset by a slim ankle collar that exaggerates the proportions, and the angle of the image everyone was roasting was...not the most flattering. But it’s funny, I’ve had them for a month, and when I put them on Instagram the first time, hardly anyone had anything bad to say about them. But that was just Instagram, not Twitter, where everyone is perpetually auditioning for a comedy job they will never, ever get hired for. Sometimes it’s best to leave it to the professionals.
Curry will get the last laugh, of course. He’s Under Armour’s premier athlete, the back-to-back MVP, and his line is just beginning. He also has equity in the brand. Remember, the original Air Jordan II wasn’t exactly a smash success when it first released either. The $100 faux-iguana shoes wound up on clearance and they didn’t even HAVE a logo on the side. Plus, Curry has another ace up his Express sleeve—don’t discount the purchasing power of the elderly. Those malls aren’t going to walk themselves.