By: Kylan Watson
Stores like Foot Locker, Modell’s Champ’s, Sneaker Villa, and Flight Club are filled with different sneakers endorsed by numerous athletes and musicians. Shoe brands like Jordan’s Kobe’s LeBron’s, Yeezy’s, Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Puma, and Converse All Star’s. However, in all these stores one thing is missing, signature sneaker’s endorsed by female athletes.
All of these brands have sneakers that appeal and are marketed to both genders. Some of these brands have sneakers that are curated or produced by female athletes. For example, Nike has sneakers that are curated and produced by Serena William’s. Puma has sneakers that are created and produced by Rihanna. In both of these example’s a famous female star produces or creates the sneaker, but their name is not on it. It is a sneaker with Nike or Puma’s name on it.
Nike introduced the first sneaker for a female athlete in 1995; Nike introduced a signature shoe named after Houston Comets small Forward Sheryl Swoopes. The shoes were called Nike Air Swoope’s. Swoope’s was the second athlete to get a signature shoe after Michael Jordan in 1985. These shoes appealed to both men and women and were very popular during the time. The sneaker’s also inspired current and future female athletes; like Eleana Della Donne and Skylar Diggins.
Della Donne said, “To be honest I didn’t even care what they looked like. I just heard that her shoes were out and available and I knew I needed to have them. For me, it was just the fact that I was able to wear a pro woman basketball player’s shoes and not always have to wear the men’s, that’s what was so cool to me and why I wanted them so badly,” (http://www.rollingstone.com/sports/features/why-dont-more-female-athletes-have-signature-sneakers-w451689, 11-29-16).
It is important for female athletes to be represented and have their own sneakers that they can be excited about. So other young athletes can be expired like Della Donne was by the Air Swoopes. That feeling of wearing your favorite athlete’s gear and feeling like you can be just like them. It is a feeling that both genders deserve to have.
Sneaker companies need to tap this untapped market and release signature shoes for female athletes. Not only will they see profit from the market, but they can inspire aspiring athletes who may one day become a sponsored athlete for the company.