Throughout the past couple of years, the influx of NBA players wearing custom shoes has been well documented. Players, such as LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Nate Robinson and Nick Young, have all worn custom-made, hand-painted sneakers during games or at Media Day sessions. Most of the shoes have been customized using vibrant colors and/or gaudy design cues, but don’t expect those aspects on Bonner’s upcoming custom. Assume something different from the red-haired, sandwich-loving power forward who wonders why the country named Turkey doesn’t have any turkeys.
“If I could create it – knowing my brother – it would definitely have to incorporate his two favorite materials: corduroy and flannel,” said Luke. “I think it would be fitting to include those fabrics on the shoe in as subtle a way as possible. If it’s done right, I think he’ll be secretly, very excited.”
Danklefs, who has created a number of custom shoes for celebrities and athletes, such as LeBron James, Washington D.C. artist Wale, Spurs guard Danny Green and more, has already begun brainstorming even without the adidas model being chosen.
“Just knowing Matt’s personality, it’s going to be something subtle yet quirky,” Danklefs said. “We’ve discussed the Griswold Family Vacation as a possible inspiration with maybe a Christmas sweater tie-in featuring corduroy.”
Danklefs spends hours at a time customizing sneakers, and the process is second nature to him now seeing that he’s created over 100 shoes in his lifetime; however, this project could pose as a challenge.
“This might be one of the most difficult shoes I’ve had to do,” said Danklefs. “I might have to add materials or airbrush some type of corduroy on the shoe to make it work, but the last thing I want to do is alter material on a game-ready shoe for him. I want to maintain the integrity of the shoe as much as possible.”
It will undoubtedly be a tall task for the Danklefs, but he can easily find joy throughout the upcoming journey.
“I’ve done shoes for all kinds of celebrities and athletes, but getting to meet my favorite player in the NBA and on top of that do a custom for him will be something to surely cherish,” said Danklefs. “I like him because he’s not you’re typical NBA player. He just seems like the average person you meet at the local sandwich shop.”
**Note** A video will air, documenting everything related to this project, in December after Christmas Day. Stay tuned.