After every wear test, Taylor is responsible for relaying Westbrook’s thoughts back to the Jordan team. “After each test, he’d share some feedback. He’d tell me ‘see if they can do this. See if they can extend the padding here.’ It was a good process,” he says.
That part of the process, the dialing of the fit and feel, is elementary for Westbrook. He wants things comfortable. He wants supreme confidence in his tools, even if it requires getting into the weeds. “The biggest part is the amount of comfort and security the shoe provides,” he says. “It allows me to move and jump at a fast pace, something that I think is very, very important.”
Of course, looking good is important too. That’s where the second element of footwear design, adding personal style, comes into play.
“My favorite part of the design process is storytelling,” says Westbrook. “Being able to tell my story through colorways and at different times during the season is a lot of funWestbrook will debut a PE version of the Mirror Image colorway on court. This colorway exhibits the pleasure Westbrook derives from sharing a narrative. Its upper is plastered with images referencing a heavily postered room, and shows how sporting icons are celebrated over generations. “Allowing me to have my own shoe is a great opportunity to tell my story, extend my Why Not? motto and explain the whole background behind it,” Westbrook says.
The official global launch colorway, 2-Way, perfectly captures both Westbrook’s game-changing presence on both sides of the court and the design’s eye-catching contrast from smooth vamp to jagged heel. Like Westbrook’s playing and off-court looks, this colorway masterfully balances a “Why Not?” approach to style and performance.
Westbrook expects to get a lot of reactions out of his shoe. “This shoe is futuristic and something that people will take a double look at,” he says.For athletes playing on the court or greens, a lot of features matter in a shoe: traction, cushioning, overall feel underfoot. But regardless of a player’s personal preferences, there is one deal-breaking detail — fit. For peak performance a shoe has to fit well immediately, and keep that secure, locked-in feeling.
What's more, even a perfect fit while stationary can loosen during play; that's because feet naturally expand as an athlete moves and strikes the ground. Look at basketball players during a game — they’re regularly re-tying shoes, tugging laces tighter and adjusting fit on the bench. To find a solution for better fit and sustained containment, Nike asked how it could simplify the process. Previous work done on HyperAdapt, an innovation developed for Nike’s self-lacing shoes, informed the team as they looked to create a universal, accessible model. The answer is FastFit, a manual system that instantly secures the entire foot. How it works