When news broke last month that newly-minted WNBA rookie Caitlin Clark had signed a multi-year, ten-figure signature shoe deal with Nike, many eyebrows raised on behalf of current WNBA star A’ja Wilson.

Wilson has been on Nike’s roster for around seven years, and has won everything there is to win. Her trophy shelf includes two WNBA titles, two league MVPs, five All-Star jerseys, and a Defensive Player of the Year. Many fans asked, what more does she need to do to get her own damn shoe?

But when Wilson walked into South Carolina Gamecocks Arena ahead of the Las Vegas Aces exhibition game against Puerto Rico today, she was wearing a hoodie that featured a web address, ofcourseihaveashoe.com. Turns out, Wilson has been working with Nike on her own shoe and signature collection for the past year.

[Photo: Nike]

Wilson says it’s a huge honor, and a long time coming.

“We’ve been working really, really hard to get to this point to make sure that every detail is just right, every T is crossed and every I is dotted, and that’s what I love about it,” Wilson tells Fast Company.

There are no details yet on what Wilson’s new shoe looks like. But Nike says the new signature collection is set to launch in 2025, and will include pieces in women, men and kids’ sizing. Wilson joins a growing team of women who have partnered with Nike to develop signature collections, including Serena WilliamsMegan RapinoeNaomi Osaka and Sabrina Ionescu.

Making it her own

Over the past year, Wilson has been working with Nike, making trips up to the Portland, OR headquarters to make sure all the details are right.

“It’s been a lot of great meetings, conversations, just making sure that, the laces are the way I want them, and there are Easter eggs for fans on the shoe,” says Wilson. “We wanted to make sure that the shoe had my personality to it, my vibe to it.”

While the design process took time, there were two things Wilson knew she wanted from the start. “The number one thing was it had to be a low top,” she says. “And then two, it has to be light. Everything else I kind of left to the pros, and we just bounced off ideas to get where we are today in the process.”

The perfect moment for A’ja Wilson

We just witnessed one of the most popular women’s NCAA Final Four tournaments ever, and according to Stubhub, WNBA sales are up 93% compared to last year. It’s safe to say, women’s basketball is having a moment.

[Photo: Nike]

In fact, in some cases, fan demand has far outpaced supply. A pre-season game on May 3 between the Minnesota Lynx and Chicago Sky wasn’t available on the league app or broadcast TV, but a fan at the game livestreamed it on X (formerly Twitter) that attracted 2 million views.

Wilson sees how the culture around women’s basketball has significantly changed, which is reflected in the demand for a broader variety of sneakers and sportswear. “We’re seeing this shift in women’s basketball, and I feel like this is the perfect moment to be a signature athlete, particularly for Nike,” she says. “I’ve got mentions and DMs flooded with people that are like, ‘You need your own shoe! We want your shoe!’ That’s great to have, because the demand is there.”

Wilson is also quick to give credit, noting that this moment in women’s basketball wouldn’t be possible without a lot of hard work over many years. “There are plenty of people that laid the foundation down for us to get to where we are today, and I’m so grateful,” she says. “Without that hard work, there would be no A’ja Wilson shoe. And this is just the beginning.”

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