The internet is not kind when it sniffs out someone trying to be cool—and failing. This week, Under Armour released a new hospital-white version of its Curry 2 sneaker, part of its signature line for NBA star Stephen Curry. Jokes quickly began circulating about the dad-friendly design, and snowballed yesterday (June 9) into an epic roast.
”Air Brunch,” one person called them. “Middle-aged white dad shoes,” another commented on Reddit. The sarcasm covered everything from the sneakers’ dad appeal to its nursing-home style.
The low-top Curry 2 “Chef” sneaker is probably the most reviled shoe on the internet right now.
Many took the liberty of renaming the shoe altogether.
Basketball sneakers are an integral part of hip-hop style in the US, and in the eyes of many, are intertwined with black cultural identity. Some commenters related the shoe’s blandness back to that relationship, and not favorably.
There were references to Republican politics, too.
We’ve reached out to Under Armour for comment and will update this post with any reply.
While Curry’s signature sneaker helped give Under Armour its first foothold in the sneaker market, the company has struggled to position its shoes as desirable lifestyle products rather than just performance footwear. That’s a problem, as performance shoes don’t sell nearly as well as casual sneakers.
Publicity from a massive roast could arguably boost sales, but it isn’t helping to convince anyone that Under Armour’s shoes are cool. Many people compared the Curry sneakers to Nike’s notoriously uncool Air Monarch IV, which is a cross-training sneaker. “Most have never heard of the shoe but when I post a picture of it, the response is always, ‘Oh yeah—my Uncle has a pair of those…'” wrote NPD analyst Matt Powell last year.
The Air Monarch IV is a massive seller, though, as Powell pointed out. Maybe the Curry 2 “Chef” can find a happy audience of dads to embrace it.