It takes a certain breed of human to be an all-star athlete. So what does it mean to be dominant in not one sport but two? While the likings of Michael Jordan, Deion Sanders and Bo Jackson are notable multi-sport athletes, there’s one who standouts above all others and that’s Jim Thorpe.
Thorpe won Olympic gold medals, starred in college and professional football, played Major League Baseball and had a career in basketball among other accolades. While an athlete like Thorpe will be impossible to come by, there’s a young emerging star from Arizona who is making heads turn.
Devon Allen, former University of Oregon wide receiver and current hurdler for USA Track and Field, has his eyes set on gold, a career in the NFL, and of course, sneakers.
We sat down with the two-time NCAA Track and Field champion and talked about his experience in the Rio Olympics, the transition from football to track and the current heat in his rotation.
Air Jordan 14 Oregon Ducks PE
Allen: The 14s are one of my favorites because of the embroidered Ducks across the upper. That silhouette is just really classic. It’s an easy one to wear. The wolf-grey suede was tough to keep clean in Eugene since it rained so much but now that I’m in Phoenix I can rock them more often.
Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4%
Devon Allen: It was an awesome experience running in Rio. I definitely felt the support from everyone. My high school, Brophy College Preparatory, made a t-shirt for me and sent me one so that was pretty cool. The whole football team at Oregon was showing me love all around campus. It was nerve racking being at the Olympics with it being the pinnacle of the sport and dreaming of it ever since I was a kid. I was a little freaked out, but I had a great time. It made me realize that this is something I want to do for a living.
With me running track, I always have a pair of trainers. The Vapor 4%, I like those a lot. Those are what I’ve been training in for the most part. They’re definitely comfortable to train in. They’re more structured and stiff than a say Nike Free or a Zoom Pegasus due to the carbon plate in the midsole. They also just look good. It’s the newest shoe, too, so Nike’s been sending me a couple of pairs. I pretty much wear them until I can’t anymore and slip on a new pair.
Air Jordan 1 Flyknit “Royal”
Allen: I’m a huge Jordan guy. I used to own a pair of the Air Jordan 1 “Barons” and I currently own the Air Jordan 1 Flyknit “Royal.” Those are the comfy ones that I’ve been wearing lately. They’re definitely a lot more different than the OGs. I love the leather but changing it up to an all-Flyknit upper was great. I love the look. The Jordan 1s in general are comfy but the Flyknit is a lot lighter and has a more relaxed feel to it. I just throw them on with a pair of jeans and it’s a fit. You can just wear them around all day which I like. The shoe world is super competitive so I think Nike is just trying different things in search of the next big thing, so I think that’s good.
Air Jordan 5 “Olympic” Oregon Ducks PE
Allen: As a former Duck, I always have a few Oregon Jordans in the mix. I pretty much have all of them but my favorites are the Air Jordan Oregon 5 PE and the Air Jordan Oregon 14 PE. I love the Olympic gold ones that we got. It’s kind of funny. I talked to my equipment manager, Kenny at Oregon, and he told me that they had them for me after I just got back from the Olympics in Rio as a shoutout with my number on them, too.
Doing the two sport thing at Oregon was cool and a lot of fun. I had a good time doing it. I always wanted to play in the NFL, so that’s still a goal of mine, so we’ll see in a couple of years. Transitioning into track has been different. Football was more ground and pound but track is more about maximizing your effort and your ability without getting injured.
atmos x Nike Air Max 1 “Elephant”
Allen: The Atmos Air Max 1 is by far one of my favorite shoes that Nike has sent me so far. Once I signed with Nike, I received this gold wooden box with clothes, an Apple Watch, a hat and in the bottom it had a pair of shoes. It was the Atmos Air Max 1. I dig the elephant print and Tiffany Blue swoosh. To be honest, I haven’t worn those yet because I’m trying to keep them pristine, but they’re my favorites for sure. The Air Max 1 is a classic shoe and the Tiffany Blue just takes it to the next level.
I’m getting more into shoes nowadays and being a Nike athlete helps with that. My collection is new with a lot of stuff from my Oregon days which is nice. It’s going to keep growing for sure.