Breanna Stewart cemented her legacy at UConn as a four-time champion. The latest and final iteration of her signature Puma shoe pays homage to her collegiate career.
The groundbreaking release was much discussed, as she became just the 10th player in league history to receive her own shoe.
It was a lofty goal, but one she saw as realistic.
“As I was growing up wearing other signature shoes, having aspirations of being in the WNBA, being a professional basketball player and someone who is a sneakerhead, it was easy for me to be like, ‘Yeah, this will be my own signature shoe,’” Stewart said.
Her launch moved those goals to reality, not just for herself, but for a future generation of young female hoopers to come as well.
The rollout continued throughout the last year, with eight editions of the Stewie 1 hitting retail. With themes tying back to everything from her quiet fire demeanor on the court, to her push for utilizing eco-friendly and recycled materials, the sneaker celebrated Stewart’s persona and play style along the way.
“I wanted to make sure that it was specific to my journey and specific to me,” she said of the approach to colorways and themes.
As March Madness kicks off this week, the final drop of her debut model is set to release on March 17 with a white, navy, and red edition of the Stewies rounding out the last launch, inspired by her amateur days in Storrs.
She won four consecutive national championships, while also being named the NCAA Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player in each of the team’s four title-touting runs. The commemorative kicks are styled in a clean Huskies-inspired home colorway, with the program’s signature light grey accents also found along the top lacing eyestay.
Along the underside of the left tongue, each of the title years is listed, while “4X” can be seen along the right tongue’s inner label.
It’s those level of details and layered storytelling that Stewart realized early on made a signature sneaker more personal than the player-exclusive colorways she had often worn throughout her career.
“The process of a signature shoe is WAY different than PEs. PEs, you just focus around one specific thing,” she said. “Creating a signature shoe, you’re starting from the ground up.”
With a focus on fit and performance, as well as incorporating nods to her basketball roots in upstate New York into the outsole pattern, the Puma Stewie 1 became an elevated signature sneaker for the entire 2022-23 runway of its releases.
“I wanted it to be perfect and as good as it can be because I know that the standard is going to be really high,” added Stewart.
With the Puma Stewie 2 on deck for this season, the industry’s radar up as more female-headlined signature sneakers enter the marketplace, and a closing colorway highlighting her collegiate dominance at Connecticut, the aspirations of one day having her own sneaker eventually came to be.
“I know my younger self would be proud,” she smiled.
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