Steph Currys Signature Shoes Through The Years

Steph-curry-1-basketball-shoe

The date was February 27th, 2013.  At Madison Square Garden, dropping 54 points on 11-13 from 3, Curry made it undeniable: the man was destined for NBA superstardom.  Never had the League seen a player who could shoot from literally anywhere on the court.  

People seem to forget that Curry’s greatness was no sure thing.  In college, no Division I schools came calling Steph’s name.  No Duke or UCLA.  No Memphis.  No Florida.  Not even Oregon!   Undeterred, the man willed Davidson into the NCAA tournament, putting on a generational performance.

Curry was a slight player, but his sharpshooting cut him in the mold of a Reggie Miller who could dribble-drive far more effectively.  But his ankles were a real issue early in his career, only stabilizing after multiple surgeries.  The rest – MVPS and championship journeys – is history.

However, by 2013, the boyhood wonder Steph began showing serious glimpses of sustained greatness.

 All Stephen Curry shoes to this point had been generic Nike hyperdunks or hyperfusesBut making a long story short, Nike blew it, and let a multi-billion dollar superstar walk. Curry later signed with Under Armour for only $4 million a year which lead to a ten-year contract extension with UA worth $215M.  

Below, we’ll explore the illustrious career of Stephen Curry – as told through his shoes.

Curry 1: (Released: 2.13.15) – (won his first title with these)

under-armour-steph-curry-1

It’s hard to have a better shoe release than this: the inaugural Curry 1s dropped only a few months before the Warr333iors won their first championship since 1975.  The stars aligned, the commercial markets lined up, and Under Armour saw its footwear sales double in the year.  The Curry 1 became the world’s bestselling signature basketball sneaker, and set a standard of excellence for All Stephen Curry shoes that came after it!

At 11.85 ounces, these signature Under Armour sneakers Began the trend of low to the ground, hyper-responsive traits that define the all of Stephen Curry’s shoes

Notable Nights in the Curry Ones

  • Won 3 point contest at All-Star Weekend in Curry 1 candy reigns colorway 
  • Won Championship in black & yellow colorway Curry 1
  • Dropped 51 on the Mavericks the week before the Curry 1s launched

Curry 2 (Released: 10.24.2015) (lost title to LeBron)

UA-Curry-2

To put it lightly, the Curry 2 was, and still is, poppin’.  For many, the Curry 2s are still the best among all Stephen Curry shoes.  When we say this shoe popped, we mean sales popped over 350% for UA after the Curry 2 release – nearly $160 million cashed out in sales.  The Curry “Back 2 Back MVP Pack” of luxe back white and gold colorways sold out even with a $400 price tag!

Curry 2 Design Features

As far as performance, a charged midsole ups the cushioning on the Curry 2.  Yet, it sacrifices nothing in responsiveness, weighing only 12 oz.  Its traction (herringbone) is all-star caliber – certainly considered in the top 3 of all Stephen Curry’s shoes.  Overall, the Curry 2s nail the perfect balance between a slender, sleek look and great ankle stability.

  • The low-cut version is available for those who don’t like the feeling of a “sleeve” hugging the ankle for stability

Curry 3 (Released: 10.25.2016) (won title)

Under-Armour-Curry-3-Chinese-New-Year

Steph Curry’s warriors may have won the NBA title back from LeBron’s Cavs this year, but that didn’t stop the Curry 3 from being universally considered the worst of all Stephen Curry shoes.  UA really blew it on this one.  UA and Curry bounced back, but this one was an “L” on the chin.  Sales slowed, and the first dent was made in UA’s buzzy success with the Curry 1 and 2s.  They were so bad, in fact, that Curry got directly involved in the design thinking process of the Curry 4, debuting it at the NBA finals later this same year.

The Curry 3s were blocky, heavy, used cheap-looking material, had poorer traction than the Curry 2.  Reviewers would say the model, in comparison to the incredible launch of the Curry 2s, failed to improve upon the last iteration in any meaningful way.  We say go Curry 2 or 2.5s or 3Zeros over the 3.

Curry 3Zero II (Released: 1.5.2017)

Under-Armour-Curry-3Zero

We decided to throw in the 3Zero II’s because as an alternate to Curry’s main line, the 3Zero II made nice improvements over the original model.  In reality, they are the “budget model,” but some like the different materials better – worth checking out for real Curry fans!  Recommend for guards only.

Curry 3Zero II Design Features:

  • Interesting “Straight-line” traction, but there are better models – slightly above average
  • Micro-G and Charged cushioning feels like a sub-par Curry 3
  • Shoe fits snugly with adequate compression; be careful on hard landings!
  • Arguably missing a proper heel counter to give the lightweight shoe proper support
  • Good heel-to-toe turn

Curry 4: (Released: 10.7.2017) (won title)

Under-Armour-Curry-4

Curry and UA took a beating on the Curry 3 sales, but they bounced back with arguably the greatest iteration of all Stephen Curry’s shoes: the Curry 4. The 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, and 8 all get a nod to the “upper echelon,” but the Curry 4 has a special fondness in fan’s hearts for a simple reason: it was a comeback year for underdog, who over time had become a sharpshooting champion. Curry’s Warriors hung another banner in Oracle Arena, and Curry styled with his new signature model. Of All Stephen Curry’s shoes, the 4 could easily be ranked the best of the bunch.

Curry 4 Design Features:

The first thing that sticks out about the Curry 4 is its beautifully-knitted mesh with UA’s threadborne textile upper.  It does not add bulk, but form-fitting slenderness that mimics an athletic sleeve for your ankle.  

  • Waterripple traction wipes dust easily and has a mesmerizing design
  • Shank plate for stability in the midsole, lightening the load on your foot
  • 10.65 ounces makes it the lightest of all Stephen Curry’s shoes
  • The “SC” logo shows the evolution of Steph’s  identity – it is uniquely his trademark
  • Proprietary cushion blend – sounds sketchy but plays fine and provides excellent impact protection

Curry considers this model extraordinary.  He says, “Every time I look at this shoe, I can remember winning a winning […] It’s special.”  2017 saw the return of peak Commercial Curry.  Oh yes.  Many shoes sold.

Curry 5: (Released: 3.14.2018) (won another NBA title)

Under-Armour-Curry-5s

Another year, another championship for Steph Curry.  Half of all Stephen Curry’s shoes were released the year when he won a championship.  The Curry 5 is a sharp departure from the 4 in terms of silhouette but keeps the same lightweight, responsive, grippy features that characterize all Stephen Curry shoes in the Under Armour line.  However, while the Warriors won another championship that year, we would argue that the Curry 4 is a superior shoe to the Curry 5.  Regardless, each iteration of this line deserves some attention, because it has quickly become one of the best in the basketball world!  Still, it appears that many consider the Curry 5 the weakest of all Stephen Curry’s shoes – besides the Curry 3.

Curry 6: (Released: 1.4.2019)

under-armour-curry-6

Paying homage to the Bay Area, Curry’s first release of the Curry 6 shouted out the local Fox Theatre with its colorway.  These Curry 6s are a big departure from the styles of all Stephen Curry shoes and their previous iterations – especially the 4.  The Curry 4 leaned into a “high top” style, while the 6 is a low-to-the-ground shoe: a lean beast for guards.

Curry 6 Design Features:

  • Waffle traction indoors is excellent – THESE SHOES ARE NOT FOR OUTDOORS!
  • Lightest shoe at 10.83 oz alongside the Curry 8
  • Lightweight build contributes to rubber fraying and durability issues
  • HOVR cushioning is not terrible but leaves a bit to be desired

Curry 7: (Released: 11.1.2019)

under-armour-curry-7

In the lower echelon of Curry’s shoes, along with the 3 and 5, we would recommend going with the resurgent Curry Flow 8s over the 7s but these still delivers a solid performance – a step up from the Curry 6s. 

Curry 7 Design Features:

  • Deep grooves with herringbone/circle traction pattern
  • 11.8 oz – lightweight even when compared to all 
  • The curved heel gives a nice flexible “rocking” motion to provide smooth transitions
  • Micro-G cushioning…. Nope.  The achilles heel of this shoe.  Too stiff to justify the court feel

Curry 8: (Released: 12.11.2020)

under-armour-curry-8

Curry Flow 8 is the current iteration of the partnership between Under Armour and this generation’s greatest guard player.  It is considered the zenith of the latter half of Curry’s Under Armour career, with only the nostalgia of the Curry 2 matching the Curry 8s in terms of popularity.

Curry 8 Design Features:

  • Flow cushion midsole softest in entire line without compromising on court responsiveness 
  • Best materials in all of Stephen Curry’s shoes with Under Armour, meaning best impact protection
  • Very lightweight (10.8 oz) compared to other shoes, but some argue the upper to too stretchy and airy
  • Only con: DO NOT USE OUTDOORS. Indoor use only
  • Traction is other-worldly indoors

With the Curry 8s arguably the best shoe in the series, and Curry turning in another MVP-caliber performance this year, we can all look forward to Curry’s upcoming unveiling of the “Curry” brand under Under Armour.  Being a player with such a different playing style, personality, and playing position than Jordan, we can see The Curry brand being a strong peer to Nike’s Jordan brand.  Have you seen UA’s site – Curry is his own tab!!! There’s the men’s section, women’s section, kid’s section…

Then, there’s the Curry section.  

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