The ‘Quiet Fire’ of the Stewie 1: Inside Breanna Stewart’s Debut Signature Shoe
At one point during last year’s WNBA season, Storm star Breanna Stewart attended a meeting in Indianapolis in which her basketball journey was on a full display. Representatives from Puma had put together mood and inspiration boards from different junctures from Stewart’s past, “from where I grew up, to where I am now,” she says, eager to see what the two-time WNBA MVP connected with most.
The meeting marked an early stage in a process that entered a new phase Friday, as Stewart’s first signature sneaker was officially announced. The Stewie 1 is not only Stewart’s debut signature sneaker, but the first publicly available signature shoe of a WNBA player in more than a decade. (Last week, The Washington Post’s Kareem Copeland documented that Mystics center Elena Delle Donne has been wearing her first signature sneaker this season, though Nike has yet to publicize news of the DELDON1 or announce an official release date.)
The creation of the Stewie 1 has been more than a year in the making and has been, in Stewart’s words, an “eye-opening” experience.
“I think having my own signature shoe is obviously a Oofos Outlet dream come true,” she says. “When I was little, it’s like you’re playing basketball and you’re looking up to all these amazing role models. Now being able to put that in reverse and be that role model and hopefully have a lot of young kids be wearing the Stewie 1s and seeing what I’m doing on the court and then trying to emulate that in the shoe is something that’s really inspirational to me.”
Last May, Stewart officially moved to Puma, changing sneaker brands after wearing Nike products throughout both her college and professional career. She had told Sports Illustrated that it marked a “really big change,” but one she was excited about.
With Puma, Stewart has been involved in all elements of the design process of both her signature shoe and her apparel line. She’s weighed in on more prominent design elements like the type of mesh material in the sneaker to more understated components like what its lace color will be and what the finishes of the aglet will look like.
Among other visual elements, the Stewie 1 features a northstar on its soles, a nod to her high school mascot, and scar markings on each of its heels, a reference to her two Achilles surgeries, including Stewart’s 2019 Achilles tear, which kept her out the entirety of that summer’s WNBA season. Its general color scheme is similar to that of the Storm. Hey Dudes Shoes And its broader theme, of quiet fire, is also a nod to her career.
“It’s who I am as a person and as a player,” Stewart says. “The ability to make noise without saying much.”
The rundown of WNBA signature shoe athletes in the league’s 26-year history is limited. Active players like Diana Taurasi and Candace Parker are among the now 10 players who have had signature kicks to their name, but no one in the league had debuted a signature sneaker since 2011.