Penny Hardaway has been known to wear special Nike sneakers while coaching his Memphis Tigers basketball team. Today he will continue that tradition with a custom Air Max Penny 1 created by Brand Aces.
Officially dubbed the “Penny Legacy Aces,” the 1-of-1 Penny 1 was made exclusively for Hardaway, who will wear the pair this afternoon when his Tigers squad faces off against the Houston Cougars. The shoes honor Hardaway’s impact on the game of basketball for the past three decades, his culture-shifting imprint on the 90s, and his transition from player to coach. It’s also representative of his reemerging sneaker brand.
Brand Aces is a storytelling platform that highlights those who defied and overcame the odds. In an exclusive interview with Complex, Hardaway said that he and Brand Aces landed on the shoe’s sail-based color scheme given the versatility of the hue. Aces’ “Heart & Hustle” slogan fills the Swoosh logo on the lateral side, while Aces branding appears on the pull tabs. Standout elements are the “God Got Us” text on the tongue and the graphic above the heel of the Max Air-cushioned midsole.
“The ‘God Got Us’ should be the piece that everybody understands,” said Hardaway about the special detail on his custom Penny 1. “We’re all in this together. We’re all pushing forward and trying to be positive and do great things. To be, that’s the biggest piece.”
The Air Max Penny 1 was designed by longtime footwear designer Eric Avar and was Hardaway’s first signature shoe with Nike. The silhouette, which was originally released in 1995, saw a huge revival last year with numerous drops along with a new Lester Middle School-themed Penny 1 pair launching this fall.