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 sponsor, with an advantage that extended beyond vast resources.
Curry was a Nike athlete long before 2013 - he wore the shoes growing up, and 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, which implied repurposed material. 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:
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.
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.
Herringbone is utilized on this model, just like the Curry models that have come before the 3. The 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 were released at the start of the 2016-17 season.
Herringbone is missing from the Curry line here 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 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.
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.
Arguably the best Curry sneaker at the time in the signature line, the Curry 6 was one of the most well-rounded sneakers as it catered to more players than before. It offered an incredible "court feel" and the added cushion and grip make this shoe one of the best for shifty guards. College players sported this sneaker at the NCAA tournament while Steph Curry wore it himself during the 2018 and 2019 NBA Finals.
The shoe was released in January 2019 so Steph wore the Curry 5 for the first few months of the new regular season. One of the most creative colorways in the Curry 6 line is the Curry 6 Thank You Oakland in which "Oakland" is written in gold on the side of the black shoe. Steph also wore Curry 6 golf shoes in the summer.
Steph Curry only played 5 games in the 2019-20 season and could display just a handful of colorways of the Curry 7. The Curry 7 has reduced cushioning as compared to the Curry 6 but was an excellent shoe in terms of grip and "court feel." They also had great traction and support and were quite breathable.
The Curry 7 "Bamazing" was a collaboration with American actress Storm Reid to help empower women all over the world. It’s a violet silhouette with words like "Humble" and "Amazing" printed on the insole.
The Curry 8 or Curry Flow 8 was the first sneaker in Steph Curry's "Curry" brand and his eighth signature shoe overall. It arguably has one of the best tractions in modern basketball sneakers and they're reportedly just as durable as rubber outsoles. The cushion, however, is a step forward. The Curry 8 featured Under Armour’s all-new Flow technology, getting the name Curry Flow 8.
The sneaker has all the impressive features of the previous versions such as grip, breathability, traction, and comfort. Steph Curry has arguably worn this sneaker the most. He wore a new colorway almost every game and he got custom ones made for several big events.
Steph Curry wore the Curry 9s a lot in the 2021-22 NBA season but also displayed some older versions. He wore Sesame Street collab colorways such as Elmo, Big Bird, The Count, the Cookie Monster, and Oscar the Grouch. The shoe is incredibly grippy and has a neutral fluid cushion feel.
Curry wore the gold colorway when he broke the NBA's all-time three-point record.
In October 2022, the Curry 10s were introduced, and he was the first to release ten signature shoes under the UA brand and also joined a select group of athletes who have achieved this feat in NBA history.
To celebrate Stephen Curry's 35th birthday, the Curry 10 shoes feature birthday-themed designs on the soles and tongue. The shoe is equipped with UA Flow cushioning technology, which enhances grip and provides better bounce. Additionally, the UA Warp 2.0 tech incorporated into the shoe is designed to offer a more comfortable and breathable on-foot feel while reducing weight.
The "More Magic" edition of the Curry Flow 10 shoes features a color scheme called "Black/Royal - 001." This scheme adds red, blue, and yellow hues to a black base to create a multi-colored overlay effect.
The "More Magic" edition of Stephen Curry's signature Curry 10 sneakers is available for purchase at the Curry Brand and Under Armour websites for a price of $160.