The story behind Steph Curry's latest Under Armour signature sneaker release, the Curry Two.
You could say Stephen Curry had a successful season last year—MVPs and NBA championships will do that. That success spread through his life, including right down to Curry’s first-ever signature shoe, the Curry One, which debuted in January. To embrace that success, Under Armour turned around the Curry Two quickly, getting the company’s only signature basketball sneaker in line for a Fall release moving forward.
With a zippy turnaround from Curry One to Curry Two, which launches on Oct. 24, the shoe looks to improve the fit. “Steph was telling us he was looking at his game and seeing where he wanted to improve and he was looking for a shoe that fit better around his ankles and around his forefoot,” Curry Two designer Rashad Williams tells SI.com. “That was first and foremost to him.”
Williams introduced the company’s Speedform construction—a seamless heel with no traditional sockliner pullout that creates flowing construction—to basketball for the first time. “The seamless heel, all the way on the bottom of the foot to the forefoot creates a nice tight compression form-fitting upper,” Williams says. The style also allows for a mixture of textiles and traditional synthetics for designers to play with fit, stability and design.
With a new structure, Curry has improved cushioning, with the company’s “charged foam” moving from just the heel in the first shoe through the midsole and into the forefoot on the second iteration.
With the technology settled, Williams says using the Speedform mixture of materials really allows the design to breathe. “You can tell great color stories,” he says. “You can have two-tone effects. Really playing up the textile colors was one of the best parts for me.”
The Curry Two debuts in the “Iron Sharpens Iron” colorway, a play on Curry’s Christian faith and the Bible’s Proverbs 27:17 verse that says as “iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” Williams says the yellows and oranges seen on the debut colorway represent iron getting molded and offer an example of how color will play prominent on upcoming Curry Two colorways. An "Iron Sharpens Iron" logo appears on the inside of the tongue, while the Curry logo still shows on the outside of the tongue and smaller on the inside of the forefoot.
But expect plenty more in the way of color than the iron-inspired debut. Last season, when the Warriors traveled to Portland to the play the Blazers, Curry spent a couple of hours with Williams and his team—Under Armour is based in Baltimore, Maryland, but the basketball team is housed in the company’s Portland office—before the game “diving into stories and colors and things he would like to see.”
Williams says the “vibe session” has helped shape the Curry Two’s stories, from the upcoming Halloween colorway to Veterans Day in November, Christmas, All-Star and plenty more. “All those key moments in the game, those are times Steph can express himself,” Williams says. “We have a few tools planned.”
But as Williams plays with the color, don’t think we’ll miss the basics either, as Curry loves white-based shoes, Williams says.
Whether white, orange-to-yellow iron or whatever else in store, expect plenty of differing colorways for the Curry Two since we won’t see the Curry Three until fall 2016. A full year of Curry Two. A full year of potential Curry success.
Tim Newcomb covers stadiums, sneakers and training for Sports Illustrated. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.