Of Course A'ja Wilson Is Getting Her Own Nike Shoe

Nike just confirmed the upcoming A'One.

A'ja Wilson
WNBA star A’ja Wilson has a Nike signature model coming out next year. Via Nike
A'ja Wilson

After months of rumors and speculation, Nike confirms today that Las Vegas Ace and two-time WNBA MVP A’ja Wilson is officially getting her own signature shoe. Wilson is one of the most accomplished and electrifying players in the league, so it’s no surprise that she’s adding a new notch to her resume with this accomplishment.

While many athletes dream of having their own signature shoe, for Wilson the focus was always on her on-court performance.

“My whole deal is just I just wanna perform,” says Wilson. “That was my biggest thing: executing when I need to execute, and then everything else will follow.” 

If there’s anything A’ja Wilson has done in her last six seasons in the league, it's perform. She’s a two-time WNBA MVP, WNBA Finals MVP, two-time WNBA Defensive Player of the Year, and led the Las Vegas Aces to back-to-back championships in 2022 and 2023. A’ja Wilson getting her own Nike signature shoe wasn’t a matter of if, but when. 

The announcement comes weeks after news broke of Caitlin Clark’s Nike endorsement deal and coming signature model, which left many fans questioning when Wilson would be getting her own. While an official release date has yet to be announced, Wilson’s shoe is expected to drop in 2025. Nike isn't ready to show off Wilson's shoe yet though, and there aren't any leaked images.

LeBron James will be receiving a pair from the Aces MVP. James has been openly supportive of Wilson throughout her career, and has spoken up about the two-time MVP deserving her own signature shoe. Wilson also played most of last season in a pair of Lebron 21 player exclusives that he gifted her, and she has full intentions of paying James back.

“I’ve got some good PEs lined up for him,” says Wilson. “The best I could do is kinda return the favor.”

Wilson is undoubtedly one of the most talented players impacting the WNBA on and off the court, and we spoke with the star on what it means to have a signature shoe that reflects that. The interview has been lightly edited for clarity.

A'ja Wilson signing Nike sneakers

What does this mean for you to have your own signature shoe with Nike?
Oh, man, this means a lot to me. Obviously, just how far I've come within the game but let alone within the partnership with Nike. We've come a long, long way.

So to be able to say that I'm now a signature athlete and having a collection that is coming out next year. It's gonna be epic. It's gonna be huge. And I'm so excited to share it with everyone. Because obviously a lot of people been asking about it. So it's like, now, one of those moments where I'm just like, no, this is my baby. This is the project that we've been working so hard on, and now everyone can enjoy it. So this is definitely a big deal for me.

How early on was a signature shoe with Nike something that you wanted or thought you wanted?
I really didn't. I feel like it was very lofty for me as a kid. I feel like everyone is like, oh I want my own shoe, I wanna be like MJ, so like that was always there. But it didn't really start to kick in with me that I could actually have something—this could actually be something that's real—until maybe my second MVP. Where I was just like, I don’t know, this could be something. 

My whole deal was like I just wanna perform well on court. That was my biggest thing: executing when I needed to on court, and then everything else would follow. So it wasn't really something that I really wanted too early. Just kinda something that I was like, in due time If it's for me, it's gonna be for me.  

Then that's when it all started working, and then that's when the real work began. And now we have the shoe. But it's like, OK, now this is just the beginning, like, this is now the real work begins. So it's been tons of fun just being in those spaces, in those rooms and just picking people's brains, but then doing the same for me, so we can get the best product that we can. And it's been a lot of fun to be a part of.

A'ja Wilson Ben Nethongkome

What were the conversations around designing your shoe like? What was the design process like? I know you had injuries. Were there also performance needs that you wanted?
For sure. Number one had to be the performance, and number two was probably making sure that they are cute. Because, I mean, that would really sell. But the biggest thing was just the performance. Like I've said before, I wanted my shoe to be light. I wanted it to be comfortable because being someone that plays a lot of minutes, you don't wanna worry about your feet. The last thing you wanna worry about is something like the shoelace untying, or the tongue shifting. So like, just narrowing it down to something that's very comfortable for the hooper, but for anyone that's working in the shoes, that's moving in the shoe, that's walking in the shoe.

Just making sure that it's fit and cool to that, and I am super excited about that. But then, at the same time, the conversations that we had, like when I went to Portland and I saw the first shoe were like, that doesn't even look like what it's gonna actually be. 

So it’s just, the process of it all was really cool to see. Because I looked at some [designs], and I'm like, oh my God, I love it. Then I looked at some, and I was like, this design isn’t it. But that’s all part of the process, is making sure that I could see things, to see what I don’t like and what I like. And my team kind of stuck it out with me.

I know I gave them the runaround probably a bunch of times, and I'm grateful that they hung in there with me, but it's definitely been a crazy process, but I wouldn't change it for anything.

A'ja Wilson Nike Cosmic Unity 2 Hattie Rakes

Was there any other signature shoe line that you looked for inspiration for your shoe?
No, not really. Probably when it came to just like, maybe not necessarily the outside of the shoe, moreso the inside. Like, what certain shoes I have worn that I felt like were comfortable, and how can I implement a pinch of that in my own shoe?

But I don't think we ever really had a vision board where like, this is where I want my shoe to be cause I wanted to kind of be authentically me. I wanted it to be just something that I can just think of and try it,  And Nike’s like yay, or nay. And then we're like, alright, we're gonna move from that or move forward. So I don't really know if there's a shoe that I really wanted to go after.

I know you guys have a very close relationship, is LeBron getting a shoe? Is he getting seeded a pair?
I mean, yeah. I feel like he's given me a lot of his shoes. So why not do a shoe swap? He's someone that's been obviously rooting for me for a minute now. And he's someone [who] obviously everyone listens to him. So it's kinda cool when you have someone that's one of the best players in the world speak so highly of you. That means you're doing something right. And all respect to him. But yeah, he's definitely gonna get a shoe.

I've got some good PEs lined up for him. I don't even know if I'm supposed to say that. But I got some good PEs lined up for him, so the best that I could do is kinda return the favor. But no, he's definitely gonna get it. All my dogs are going to get a shoe. We're gonna be good. 

How did you work with Nike on the A.I.R. prototype shoe that they showed off in Paris?
That was like a fun project that we did, because they really just kinda sat down and asked me some of the most random questions in the world.

But then, we saw the way the technology just brings it to life. And it was really cool, cause, I mean, I would see the image of it but just being able to actually see the silhouette of it, and being able to hold it it was pretty cool to see. It's kinda scary where technology is heading. But I'm actually very excited because I feel like no other company can honestly do it like Nike. Because they're always constantly thinking about the next thing like, how can we beat someone else to the punch. How can we be great? 

And so that's why I love this partnership because I'm the same way. Like, where can we be? What spaces can we be in that not a lot of people are in? And how can we grow from that?

So it was definitely cool to showcase that. And in Paris—kind of got my little fashion week on, and it was good.

That's awesome. Women's basketball is clearly dominating, and it only continues to grow. Outside of your own shoe of course, is there any women's signature basketball shoe that you'd like to see make a return?
Oh, give me the Sheryl Swoopes because I didn't get enough, and they have me. I have a pair that's in a glass case, cause they just don't make it in my size anymore. So I would love to rock that shoe just in general. And then obviously I have to say coach Staley because I've had to walk past that shoe for four years in her office. And I'm like, OK, let me see how this feels. So yeah, those two are probably my top two that I'm like, bring those back real quick. And you never know.

A lot of athletes do this, so I'm curious, is there a special element or a hidden message, or something like that we can expect on your shoe?
Oh you’re talking about Easter eggs. I learned that term in some of my meetings. Of course there are gonna be Easter eggs. I just can't tell you where, but there are gonna be some Easter eggs in the shoe, for sure.