Andre Iguodala stays pretty quiet about his sneaker collection, so much so that the incoming rookies signing with the Warriors don’t know enough to not try competing with him, the NBA Finals MVP tells SI.com.
“The young guys coming in, they are not as humble as they used to be,” Igoudala says with a laugh. “I take them to the house (to see his sneaker room). They are surprised. I have a lot of fun with those guys.”
Iguodala has long been into shoes, from his time as a youngster in Illinois right into his collegiate days at the University of Arizona, where he first played in low tops. And as any true sneaker aficionado would do, his first foray into the low top world was with the Jordan 11 AE lows. “In college, those were pretty comfortable,” he says. “I knew I could play in almost anything. Kobe started the low top trend and I started wearing (Kobes).”
Iguodala still mixes up the on-the-court wear. A Nike man by contract, the Oregon-based company gives him two shoe options each season with three colorways for each shoe, allowing him to switch it up as often has he chooses. Last season, Iguodala opted for the low top HyperRev most often, which he calls comfortable, but still wore the HyperDunk too. “This year they put the HyperChase in my locker, so I gotta feel those out,” he says about plans for the remainder of the season.
With a variety of in-game options, he doesn’t stick to one shoe too long. “When I first got into the league, I was just so happy to have a shoe contract that I was wearing a new shoe every game,” he says. “I can still break a shoe in in 20 minutes, so I can wear a new shoe if I like, but I break them down and go about five games (per shoe) now.”
While on-court fashion may shift between a few different Nike performance shoes, that impressive collection delves quite a bit deeper than the various Hyper lines of Nikes. “It is still growing,” he says. “I have a pretty big Jordan collection. Foamposites (too). And fashion is getting into (the collection) to dress up or dress down. What you have on your feet is one of the most important things when you step on the basketball court. I’m a Jordan guy and shoes have always been a priority.”
He organizes his collection in three main categories. The Jordans and Foamposites take up three-quarters of his closet, with the Air Jordan 1s lined up in rows and the Air Jordan 3s in their own line up, his main choices if he needs a “NBA business look.” And while he has started giving away some of his Jordan collection, he still has about 60 pairs. The Foamposites take up their own spot alongside the Jordans and then Iguodala creates space for the hard-bottom dress shoes and casual shoes too, so the closet “splits up pretty well.”
Recently, Iguodala has spent time personalizing his collection, bringing in some new Nikes a “little more business-like to reflect my fashion.” Iguodala may need business-like shoes a little more often now that he has turned his attention beyond sneakers and fashion and into the tech world. His Bay Area location helps him plug into the latest in sports-related technologies, allowing him access to new companies and fresh ideas.
“I think it is something I can relate to on the personal level,” he says. “It is a little better way to get input from people who are directly in that area.”
For Iguodala he wants to see results from the latest in the wave of sports-related technology. Knowing that ultimately “at the end of the day, if it works, if it helps the game grow, helps make the game successful there will be space for the technology to be disruptive and help people.”
Personally, Iguodala wants to search for technology that will create longevity in his career. “You want to be healthy every single year,” he says. “Anything that can extend your career, I’m definitely willing to give it a try.”
He uses wearables to track his heart rate and sleep to better understand his recovery. “I had a sleeping problem,” he says. “I was using this to track my sleep and make sure I was getting rest.” That kickstarted a healthy movement in other areas of his life, saying that living well in one area moves into another. As he started making changes to eating, training and sleeping, they all carried over.
“You start with something small and it can help in other areas of your life,” he says.
Iguodala always remains on the hunt for an edge, whether technology to keep him healthy or that next sneaker design to wow the uninformed in the sneaker world.
Tim Newcomb covers stadiums, sneakers and training for Sports Illustrated. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.