Last week, the internet had a full-on meltdown over Steph Curry's (the 2016 NBA MVP) new Under Armour sneaker release, mostly due to the fact that the kicks are reminiscent of the the all-white pairs our grandparents (or dads) rock — and they aren't wrong. The Curry Two Low "Chef's" do remind me of gramps or the shoes nurses wear around the hospital, but I'm going to be super-controversial here and just say it: I think they are genius (you're welcome, Steph). And not just for the amazing slew of tweets and memes they incited. Hear me out.
As an ex-baller myself, I know basketball shoes have certain requirements to meet (like ankle and arch support), which means they're typically less stylistically driven than your run-of-the-mill lifestyle sneakers. And while it's certainly viable to wear your sports kicks off the court, it's less probable that non-ballers will gravitate towards a pair like these over, say, Damn Daniel slip-ons or some Stan Smiths. But that's exactly why I think these sneakers are so brilliant: They're a departure from the standard, expected basketball shoe. The design is the first of its kind (whether intentional or not) to put fashion first. They appeal less to an ball-playing consumer and more to the fashionable sneaker-buyer whose first priority is style, not sports. (Though, to be honest, I'm sure dads really do love this sneaker.)
Let's look at the facts: The fashion industry has been pulling inspiration from our elders for a while now (see: normcore, grandma heels, and dad hats). To that point, the all-white, quasi-orthopedic sneaker has been — and continues to be — a trend. So, while it makes sense that The Curry Two Low "Chef" design has been rejected in the context of a "classic" basketball shoe, its unexpected silhouette is, dare I say, the first step towards what the future of basketball shoes should be. Because honestly, why can't your kicks be boundary-pushing when it comes to style, too? The one who spearheads the movement is often rejected at first — just look at Curry's career as an example. We recommend waiting for the dust to settle, for the jokes to be cracked, and for these "Chefs" to stir up something real good in the world of shoes.