Nike Under Fire After Zion Williamson’s Shoe Incident


PC: Streeter Lecka, Getty Images

Michael Markoch

Beaverton, OR- Nike has been known as a reliable sports brand since its beginning. This was not the case on Wednesday, February 20, however, when Duke hosted rival North Carolina.  

Duke’s freshman sensation Zion Williamson went down with a knee injury just 36 seconds into the game, not only getting hurt but busting through his shoes, the Nike PG 2.5s.  

Along with a busted pair of shoes, Williamson suffered a grade 1 knee sprain, and is currently day-to-day for the Blue Devils.

Immediately following the incident, Nike began facing serious backlash for the durability of their shoes.  This showed as the Nike stock value dropped 1.1 billion dollars, before returning to relatively normal the next day.

Paul George, the professional basketball player the shoes are named after, reportedly asked Nike, what happened?  George was facing negativity on social media with clamor about the quality of his shoes. He claims to never had an issue in what is going to be the fourth year of him having a signature shoe.

Still, a few days after the incident, nobody had answers to the question, why did the shoes bust?  According to a former Nike engineer Tiffany Beers, the problem must’ve originated in  the manufacturing process of the shoe.  Somehow, one of the biggest stars of the college game received a pair that was materially flawed.

She also blamed the freshman’s build and play style as a possible cause.  A 6’7, 280lb person is not meant to be wearing a shoe meant for quick guards, especially with Williamson’s bruising play style.

After some investigation, it was shown that Williamson was wearing the same shoes for most of the season, and for players at this level, they usually need new shoes every one to two games.  

Whatever the case may be, the shoes should not have broke in the way that they did. Nike seems to be recovering decently from their stock hit, but their shoes may have caused a generational talent to miss a few games and costed the company a future shoe deal with him, and we can only ask that he have a speedy and healthy recovery.


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