Words by Leslie Nteta
Sneaker culture is heavily informed and influenced by the game of basketball. Some of the most iconic and sought-after sneakers were initially just made for basketball players but over the years they transcended and became an indelible part of people’s lifestyles. So many players have failed at creating a signature shoe or line that stands the test of time, let alone with a brand that has just entered the market. For Steph and Under Armour this is that drop that turns the corner for them, the game changing 3; this is the start of a 10 and 0 run late in the fourth quarter.
For their first three signatures Under Armor have been focused on making shoes to keep the two time MVP’s ankles in check. Three seasons injury free, two MVP nods and two championships later, I think UA have achieved their goal. Now UA and Steph have linked up and dropped the signature that finally reflects Steph’s style of play.
The first thing they had to perfect was a lightweight hightop sneaker and with just the right application of materials, the knit ankle sleeve design provides lightweight ankle support as opposed to the traditional leather which is heavier. You can’t play in a league where you have to guard Kyrie Irving and Chris Paul and not have your ankles strapped. The knit was the gem to achieving a shoe with great support but that feels light.
The SC4 is form fitting in all the right places, first shoe I laced up that required very little break in. It almost moulded to my feet immediately on my first live scrimmage playing in them (I was unguardable that day!). The form fit makes the feeling of quick and responsive movements feel secure in the shoe. You can’t buy this shoe a size up or down, it will all its value and delivery, it has to act as second skin. Again, the sock-like upper is breathable but is the basis for the support function of the shoe.
Some guards have natural pace off of any shoe, just based on style of play and what their game relies on. Imagine your John Wall and Tlhogi Tholo locally. I imagine for a player like Steph when he briefed on this shoe he emphasized a unique make up on the grip, for reactiveness and feel. The arch gives you less surface to lift off the ground and thus promotes the concept of staying on your toes. Picture Steph with fast footwork on his handle and quick leaps on his signature three ball – it’s a sight for sore eyes. The SC4 is gonna deliver highlight play after highlight play.
In the 2016 Game 1 of the NBA Finals Steph debuted the shoe in its cleanest colour way, the all white and metallic gold. The shoe comes in all his classic GSW colours, black and yellow, black and white and your yellow and blue. The shoe is either two tone or one solid colour with accents. Featuring nicknames like “More Buckets and More Rings”, I think the message is clear…Steph is coming for more of what matters.
In my opinion, the SC4 is a great step-up from the SC3 and will go a long way to keep critics quiet. Pressure either bursts pipes or creates diamonds and with the SC4, UA has a gem. It has been widely reported that this is the first signature shoe that Wardell himself actually got involved in at every single step of the way. Steph is well known for being a God-fearing family man so inscribed on the side of the shoe is the verse “I can do all things” and on the soles his wife and two daughters names. Everything about the shoe tells us that this is Stephs true signature, signed off by his game and values.
The SC4 is light as a feather but still worth the weight.