Little known fact: Gary Payton is a shoe designer

Gary Payton, A.C. GreenMany things are known about former Seattle Supersonics point guard Gary Payton.  He's a future hall of famer, one of the best all around point guards to play the game and he can talk for days.  Payton is also known by sneakerheads for having one of the most popular basketball shoes ever. 

What you may not know is that Gary Payton played a huge part in the creation of the the "Air Zoom Flight The Glove." Payton sat down with Nice for an in depth interview on his involvement of the shoe he still wears when hooping.

After one of my follow-up meetings with them, they already had a shoe model built, and it threw me off guard. I really liked it a lot, but I wanted something more glove-like – something that reminded me of a glove. That’s when I mentioned the zipper element and how I wanted it to be like the Hallmark glove I mentioned earlier. I remember them looking at me funny and kind of confused. They were like, ‘Oh, okay. That sounds…good.’ I explained to them that I wanted a shoe you could zip up that would lock your foot in and fit like a glove.

Payton also told Nice Kicks that the original reason for wanting the more secure shoe was because he never liked wearing ankle braces or taping up his ankles.  He also said that he has literally hundreds of colorways (different color schemes) from all the different shoes and prototypes Nike sent him and that his gararge is filled with them.  Payton briefly signed with Team Jordan towards the end of his career, but will always be remembered for the nickname and the shoe "The Glove."

There is so much that is awesome about this interview.  Knowing that Gary Payton is enough of a sneaker head to help design as unique a shoe that Nike has ever come up with.  It's also great that his garage is more or less a basketball shoe museum.  I'd spend all day in there if GP let me.  Hopefully Nice Kicks or some other intrepid blogger, reporter, etc. can find out how involved other athletes are in the design of their shoes.