What the Hell Happened to Zion Williamson's Sneakers? Design Vet Explains

Former Nike developer Tiffany Beers speaks on what could have caused Zion Williamson's blown-out sneaker mishap.

Zion Williamson Sneaker Blow Out

Image via Getty/Lance King

Zion Williamson Sneaker Blow Out

Zion Williamson's blown-out Nike PG 2.5, and his unfortunate knee injury that occured as a result of it, have taken over the news cycle for the better part of the last 24 hours. Many individuals have gotten their jokes off on social media, while others have suggested Nike would financially suffer due to one of its signature performance basketball models imploding on a national stage. Complex Sneakers got a chance to speak with former Nike developer Tiffany Beers to discuss how such a rarity could have occured last night in the first place.

"From my experience, clearly there’s a material issue," said Beers. "Another factor is, was it a mass produced shoe, or was it a sample? Maybe the cure of the cement wasn't done properly. There has to be a manufacturing issue."

.@zionw32 ripped through his Nike PG 2.5s and went down with a knee injury 😱
🎥: @espn pic.twitter.com/CFg65ZvEau

— Complex Sneakers (@ComplexSneakers) February 21, 2019

Beers stated that Williamson's sneaker blowing out on him as he attempted to make a cut could be a result of heavy wear. It could also potentially have to do with the freshman forward's play style. After all, he is a freakish athlete who stands stands at 6' 7" and weighs over 280 pounds. 

"It's hard to tell without seeing the shoe. I don't even think I've seen a PG 2.5," Beers tells Complex. "I would say it's a little more of a freak accident than an inherent issue with the shoe. If it was an inherent issue, you probably wouldn't just see it on him. You would probably already see it happening in other areas. This is a very rare incident."

The engineer, who worked on high-profile shoes such as the HyperAdapt 1.0 and Mag, also noted the extensive amount of wear testing that goes on during the design process of these sneakers, saying that she has never seen anything happen similar to what occured last night at Cameron Indoor Stadium. "Honestly, it's very hard to believe that it tore that badly," she said. 

Nike has since issued a statement that they are "working to identify the issue." There still has yet to be an officual ruling on the extent of Williamson's knee injury at this time.