Delle Donne will join Breanna Stewart as the first WNBA players to debut signature models since Candace Parker in 2011. The self-described sneakerheads are just the 10th and 11th women to have their own shoes. Howard has those same aspirations.
For Delle Donne, everything changed when Sheryl Swoopes became the first women’s player with her own shoe, the Nike Air Swoopes in 1995.
“The moment I got the Swoopes was like one of the greatest moments of my basketball career,” Delle Donne said. “Being able to play in the Swoopes, being out in my backyard with the shoes on, thinking I was Sheryl. So that memory really is like a big moment of why I fell so in love with basketball….
More than two decades later, Delle Donne is a two-time MVP wearing the Nike Air Deldon 1, which is expected to release in October. Stewart owns her own MVP trophy, and her Stewie 1 is due out in September. By comparison, 22 NBA players had a signature shoe at the start of last season, according to sports business website Boardroom. WNBA players have sneaker deals, and some have player editions, but the signature shoe is the mountaintop. Those are models specifically designed for a player and marketed as her own. Player editions, which Delle Donne has had before, are unique tweaks on other models….
images….Elena Delle Donne will be the second active WNBA player to have a signature shoe this season. At the start of the 2021-22 season, there were 22 NBA players with signature shoes. (Getty Images)