How Zion Williamson's Nike kicks fell apart

Credit: TomoNews US
Published on February 25, 2019 - Duration: 02:11s

How Zion Williamson's Nike kicks fell apart

DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA — Duke University basketball star Zion Williamson had a footwear malfunction on national TV, just 36 seconds into the Wednesday night game against rival North Carolina.

The footwear in question were Nike PG 2.5s from OKC Thunder player Paul George's signature collection.

According to SB Nation, the PG 2.5s were described on the Nike website as "light yet strong, with a supportive strap" and "designed for the game's most versatile players." So how exactly did it break down?

According to the Raleigh News & Observer, shoes have three major parts.

The upper consists of the tongue, toe box, and whatever material is used to engulf the foot.

A thin piece of cloth called the strobel connects the upper to the second part, the midsole, which is made up of plastic and foam to provide cushioning.

Third is the rubber bottom called the outsole, which provides grip and traction.

Basketball shoe designer Jesse Rademacher told the News & Observer that Zion Williamson's Nike shoe "appeared to come apart where the strobel is stitched to the upper." The shoe breakdown resulted in a knee sprain for Williamson.

A sneaker expert interviewed by Inside Edition claims the strobel and midsole of Nike's PG 2.5 shoe model are bound together only by glue.

He believes this adhesive came apart, causing Williamson's toe and eventually his entire foot to go through the shoe.

Rademacher says the footwear malfunction may be due to the PG 2.5 being built for Paul George, who, despite having a similar height, is a slimmer and lighter athlete than Williamson.

Williamson is currently projected to be the No.

1 overall pick for the NBA draft in June.

Thankfully, USA Today Sport reports that his knee injury was minor, and shouldn't impact his draft stock.

Nike, on the other hand, isn't so lucky.

According to CNN, the sports brand's image took a hit from the sneaker snafu, with stocks down more than 1% on Thursday.

Still, analysts predict the damage may not be long-term, especially as the brand is focusing less on basketball sneakers and more on athleisure footwear.

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