Klay Thompson isn’t one known for hyperbole, so it doesn’t surprise when discussing his signature sneakers, the Golden State Warriors sharpshooter puts a focus on function over fashion.
“I like it,” he tells SI.com about getting involved in the aesthetics of his Anta signature shoe. “But it is not my No. 1 priority. Comfort and feel and (wearing something) I envision playing in for 40 minutes a night (has a higher priority).”
While Thompson signed with the Chinese brand Anta last season and debuted his signature shoes around the 2015 All-Star Game, he still wore blacked-out Nike Hyperdunks through the playoffs. That changed this year. He moved to the signature Anta model, pulling on the conservative-looking white, blue and yellow sneakers night in and night out.
He says the process of designing his signature shoes wasn’t necessarily what he was expecting.
“You learn doing a shoe that it is a lot harder than it looks,” he says. “I told them what I thought was comfortable, referencing shoes in the past. It was a harder process than I thought.”
Still, though, Thompson was involved in the design and plans to release another signature model next year.
“It is an exciting partnership for me,” he says. “As long as I’m with Anta I expect to have a signature (sneaker).”
Subdued style, sure. But still a signature sneaker for Klay Thompson.
Tim Newcomb covers stadiums, sneakers and technology for Sports Illustrated. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.