At 4-foot-10-ish, basketball was never something I took to, but sneakers, including basketball sneakers, were. I basically live in sneakers, whether I’m putting together my ‘fit for the day or for the gym. Sneakers are a part of my everyday life, and as you could imagine, my fun-size stature comes with a wee foot size to match, making the youth sizes my go-to department for shoe shopping.
So when 9-year-old Riley Morrison wrote two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry a heartfelt letter about how she couldn’t find the Curry 5’s in the “Girls” section on the Under Armour website (they were under the “Boys” section), I heard her cry. Steph heard it too, thanks to the Twitter-verse, and responded with a letter of his own that assured Riley, who shares his daughter’s name, that he and UA were “correcting the issue.”
This news broke just as I was invited by Under Armour to visit the Golden State Warriors' training facility in Oakland for Steph’s unveiling of the Curry 6, and let’s just say the timing couldn’t be any sweeter. UA Basketball may not be at the top of the list when firing off your favorite basketball kicks, but now I could ask Steph Curry himself how the Curry 6 and his promise to Riley was going to change all that.
First things first: the Curry 6 is not just a basketball sneaker. Listening to Steph, who is laced in the Fox Theater colorway, the perfect combo of black, slate gray and neon greatness, it’s somewhat of a hybrid between a runner's shoe and a basketball sneaker. Why? The Golden State Warrior runs an average 2.4 miles per game, equivalent to 130 times the actual basketball court.
“My favorite compliment on the court is not really how much I shoot or how well I shoot. The biggest compliment I get is from a defender when you’re out there on the court and they’re like, ‘Yo, can you stop running so much? [Laughs]” he says.
“Obviously I have the ball in hands a lot, but most of the time I’m running without the ball. I’m always moving, so I’ve got to have a shoe that can run with me.”
Another first for the Curry 6 is that it has UA Hovr foam from toe to heel. Stability is key to Steph’s game, and the Hovr technology allows him stay grounded. “In terms of me getting that response so that I’m able to shift at a moment’s notice as well as the stability, that’s big for me,” he says about this feature of the shoe. And although the Fox Theater colorway is an ode to the iconic Oakland theater marking Steph’s “10 years in The Town” and decade since the Golden State Warriors' star touched ground in Oakland, he still brings a little bit of his hometown, Charlotte, NC, to the shoe.
“From a traction standpoint, it has a brush stucco pattern, which for me is very personal in terms of the house I grew up in Charlotte, where I pretty much learned how to play the game, was a house made of stucco.”
His presentation is filled with delightful little anecdotes like this: his W.O.E. tatt that adorns his right bicep reminds him to keep Working On Excellence; his 21st birthday shenanigans that resulted in two hours of sprints; and being a temporary greeter at a Japanese steakhouse (I’d share the full thrilling tale, but it might ruin the surprise of colorways to come!); and how he pulls from all these experiences when developing new concepts with Under Armour.
Although the Fox Theater ($130) drops for retail on Underarmour.com starting Jan. 4, Steph has already been sporting another colorway, his "Christmas in the Town" ($130) kicks, which are already available for sale. The special Christmas kicks were created with the help of youth from Oakland-based Fly Boys Couture Club (FBCC) Kids, a class dedicated to teaching children aspiring to join the world of sneaker fashion and design.
Of course Steph kept good on his promise to Riley, who resides in northern Cali in Napa, and sent her both pairs for Christmas. Her father documented the sweet moment on Christmas morning, when she unboxed her new kicks.
Just call him “Santa Curry”! Prior to Riley’s special delivery, Steph spoke to BET exclusively about why he decided to address her concern with full force.
“I woke up on a random Tuesday and got about 10 to 12 text messages from family and friends who had saw the letter on social media cause I hadn’t seen it on Twitter. And they were making sure that I was aware and read the letter about her experience trying to find he Curry 5’s. I wanted to respond immediately, because I felt a certain type of way and was disappointed and knew I had to address it, but what I didn’t want to do was over promise and under deliver in terms of what we could do about the issue, so I called my team that afternoon and was like, ‘What can we do about this?’”
He continued, “We called Under Armour and the team internally there to figure out what we could actually do to make a difference for the girls in Riley’s situation who were going onto the website and looking in the Girls section and can’t find the product. It took two days to really plan out how we could address it, and once we realized what we could do about it, since she put a lot of time in writing that letter to me, I wanted to write her one back. So I did it on the bus to Toronto when we played the Raptors to make sure she knew that we were taking this serious and that she should expect some kicks coming her way for making us better and helping us out with something we needed to address.”
He’s already taken over the game, but with the support of UA, he’s ready to take over the shoe game all while championing for women’s equality in sneaker culture. If you go to the “Girls” section now on Underamour’s website, you’ll find the Curry 6 "Christmas in the Town" colorway (already sold out!) and Curry 5 styles that weren’t there before, when Riley was searching, proof that Stephen Curry is a man of his word.