With Steph coming off a 2012-13 season in which he had started 78 games - the highest number of his career - and the Warriors had made the Western Conference semis, Nike had the first shot at keeping Curry. It was its privilege as Curry's current sponsors, with an advantage that extended beyond vast resources.
Curry was a Nike athlete long before 2013 - he wore the shoes growing up, sported the swoosh at Davidson. In his career-high 54-point game at Madison Square Garden on Feb. 28, 2013, he was wearing Nike Zoom Hyperfuse, a pair of sneakers he still owns.
The pitch meeting began with one Nike official accidentally calling Steph as 'Steph-on'. It got worse from there. A PowerPoint slide featured Kevin Durant's name, presumably left on by accident, presumably residue from repurposed materials. Steph's dad Dell Curry, who was present at the meeting, plainly stopped paying attention after that point.
In the meeting, according to Dell, there was never a strong indication that Steph would become a signature athlete with Nike. "They have certain tiers of athletes," Dell says. "They have Kobe, LeBron and Durant, who were their three main guys. If he signed back with them, we're on that second tier."
Dell's message for his son was succinct: "Don't be afraid to try something new." Steph Curry had thrived on proving people wrong for the entirety of his career. He had delighted in it, even. And Nike was giving him fuel. Coaxed on by teammate Kent Bazemore, who was an aggressive Under Armour promoter at the time, Curry took the Under Armour brand on, and they have today become a big player in the sneaker market - having had better overall sales than any of Nike's sneaker lines except the Air Jordans.
Let's take a look at Curry's signature shoes, starting with the 2014-15 season:
#1 Curry 1
Having initially played for a season in UA's Clutchfit Drive shoes, Curry got his signature model early on in the 2014-15 season. The release of these shoes was perfectly timed, coinciding with Curry's maiden MVP season and championship run with the Warriors that put the rest of the sporting world on notice.
The Curry One introduced UA's newest technology in cushioning called Charged, which is basically another layer of foam added to the Micro G setup. The addition of Charged is described as an adaptive foam that stays soft while standing, and becomes firmer and responsive when you’re on the move.
Another new technology introduced here is what they call Anafoam - a lightweight synthetic material moulded with foam that is thicker in areas that need more support and thinner in stretch areas. All-in-all, these are great basketball shoes for a comparatively low USD price of $110.
#2 Curry 2
The Curry 2 features full-length Charged cushioning, a technology that was introduced on the Curry 1. The difference from the previous model is that Charged cushioning was added over the Micro G foam.
The Curry 2 uses Under Armour’s Speedform technology, which is a one-piece seamless construction on the upper down to the molded heel cup to eliminate distractions. The extra foam around the collar has been done away with, because everything is made up of a single piece of material.
The Curry 2s were unveiled early in the 2015-16 season, which has gone down in history as one of the 2 greatest regular season campaigns of all time by a point guard as Steph averaged 50/40/90 shooting splits while scoring 30+ points per game, led the league in steals and was voted as the unanimous MVP.
#3 Curry 3
Herringbone is utilized on this model, just like the Curry models that have come before the 3. Traction is really good for outdoor performance. Charged is used once again for cushioning, and it’s pretty firm. There is an Ortholite insole which aids in step-in comfort, but that comfort quickly dissipates once you start moving around on-court.
Under Armour introduced Threadborne into its material arsenal with the Curry 3s. High tensile threads are used throughout the lateral side of the shoe and provide wearers with a comfortable fit without sacrificing any support. Fuse and Anafoam materials are, once again, utilized on the Curry 3 and are strategically placed in high-wear areas.
The Curry 3s released at the start of the 2016-17 season.
#4 Curry 4
Herringbone is missing from the Curry line for the very first time. However, the spiral pattern put in place offers multi-directional coverage for any move performed at any time. The Curry 4 shoes are reminiscent more of the Curry 2s than the 3s or the 1s, and are a much more minimal version of the shoe than any edition worn by Steph in previous years.
Instead of the Threadbone materials used on the Curry 3s, the 4s feature a synthetic leather overlay that adds a little bit of reinforcement to the minimally structured shoes.
The Curry 4 shoes were unveiled at the start of the 2017-18 season, and Curry wore them for most of the season up until the release of the next shoes in the line, breaking the tradition of season-opening releases followed up until that point.
#5 Curry 5
The Curry 5 shoes were supposed to be unveiled during a game on Steph's 30th birthday, but injury concerns for the superstar point guard meant that this did not come off as expected - Curry was recovering from a strained MCL at the time of his 30th birthday celebrations - a period in which the rest of the Warriors' All-Stars also found themselves under the guidance of the ball club's medics.
The Curry 5s improved on the Curry 4s in terms of support, but a number of wearers found a problem with the fit, with prominent complaints of blisters at the back portion of their foot. The only upgrade in comfort was in terms of the extra cushioning, but despite retaining the minimal look and feel of the Curry 4s, the new shoe line is mostly a downgrade from the previous editions of the shoe.