“He loved the step-in comfort of the 3. He loved the traction as well. [But] he felt like the shoe was too bulky,” Neumann said. “Although he was looking for something stable at the time, he wanted something streamlined and speedier for the 4.”
It took 18 months of conceptualizing and 20-plus iterations of the shoe before Neumann, the brand’s senior footwear designer, and his team were satisfied with the new look. Neumann admitted the biggest challenge in designing the shoe was getting people — Curry included — to believe in his vision.
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“The initial illustrations were a little provocative and looked very different from where we were,” Neumann said. “It was nerve-racking because you have to prove your theories out and prove that these things work.”
What helped the designer was how engaged Curry was when he showed him his sketches. “I gave him my sketchbook and said, ‘Go through this. If you see something you like, please circle it, and if you don’t like something, feel free to X it out,’ ” Neumann explained. “He had no problem X-ing out the stuff he didn’t like.” Curry also added his own ideas.
Included on some of the sketchbook pages were drawings of cars, specifically ones in Curry’s garage, which gave Neumann an idea of the designs the baller may be fond of. Neumann revealed that the images Curry paid the most attention to were styled around that aesthetic.
Aside from a minimalist approach, the sneaker is notable for its knit upper — a first in the Curry franchise — which offers stretch in some areas and strength in others.
The Under Armour Curry 4, priced at $130 for the midcut version, will make its retail debut on Oct. 7 in China with a limited-edition colorway. (Limited pairs will be sold at Under Armour’s Chicago and Boston Brand Houses.) A global release will follow on Oct. 27.