Courtesy of Chicago Tribune:
If you happen to catch the Chicago Sky‘s playoff game against the Atlanta Dream on Sunday, check out Elena Delle Donne‘s feet. She’ll be wearing her first signature shoe, the Nike Hyperdunk PE, during the nationally televised game at Allstate Arena.
The star forward has been recovering from thumb surgery, which she had Sept. 13, so she’ll likely show off the shoes at the game but not play.
Delle Donne joins a select group of female athletes who endorse shoes available on the market. Many align themselves with brands and wear customized kicks, but most shoes aren’t made for retail. Nike hasn’t settled on a launch date for Delle Donne’s PEs but plans to have the $140 shoes for sale online and at select stores by the end of the year.
As someone who begged her parents to buy her a pair of Sheryl Swoopes’ 1996 Air Swoopes, a first for WNBA players, the debut of her own shoe holds added meaning for Delle Donne.
“I remember just freaking out to my mom and my dad saying I had to get a pair of those shoes. That was the first time I could wear a female’s shoes and that really meant something special to me,” Delle Donne told the Tribune. “And hopefully it will be the same for young girls out there who are out there playing, and even young boys.”
Nike approached Delle Donne last fall, and she worked with a Nike designer on the look. The tongue of the sea-green-like “Hyper Jade” and gray shoe contains raised features, such as the outline of her home state of Delaware, the words “no excuses” and “path less traveled,” and a replica of her tattoo with older sister Lizzie’s name inside angel wings.
“Lizzie can’t see or hear, so all of our communication has always been through touch,” Delle Donne said. “So a lot of the important parts of the design is something where you can just feel it, almost like Braille.”