RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Nike is in the spotlight after Duke freshman Zion Williamson’s sneaker blew out against UNC.
While the company is trying to pinpoint the problem, CBS 17 wanted to know more about the issue of athletic sneakers that fail.
At Runologie in Raleigh, they specialize in running shoes.
But whether it’s for running, or basketball or some other use, today’s athletic shoes are designed for high performance using the latest advancements in technology.
But, even so, should you be worried about the shoes you buy?
Runologie co-owner Alex Warren believes what happened to Williamson isn’t all that common.
“It’s not too prominent in the industry,” he said.
Athletic shoes are the beneficiaries of lots of research and although they are designed to meet certain specs, Warren says where it’s produced could make all the difference.
“You can have one style of shoe, but it could from two or three factories,” he said. “One factory could be using a different kind of glue for the sole of one shoe—and another factory thousands of miles away could be using a completely different one.”
Nike is calling Williamson’s sneaker blowout an “isolated incident.”
Williamson was wearing the Paul George signature shoe, the PG 2.5.
Sbraccia went to online to check out reviews for the shoe.
Out of 19 reviews, he found one where a user reported that after about a month, the traction area on the sole broke through the bottom.
Nike says it is “working to identify the issue” with Williamson’s shoe.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if they haven’t already narrowed down the factory that shoe came from and talked to their quality control to see if there’s potential for other shoes to do that,” said Warren.
Other basketball players have also experienced shoe blowout during games.
In 2016, Aaron Gordon of the Orlando Magic had had one of his shoes come apart on the court.
In the 2014 season, Manu Ginobili, Andrew Bogut and Tony Wroten all experienced athletic shoe failure while playing during games.
Most of us have never experienced a shoe blow out and most of us aren’t high-performance athletes.
“The general high school athlete or youth athlete are going to be a lot lighter on their shoes compared to someone like Zion.’’ said Warren. “When you look at the general consumer, not a lot of them will be 6 foot 7 and 285 pounds.”
He said, “I think Zion’s shoe was a freak of nature thing. I can’t see it happening across the board.”
For Nike, this is going to be costly, at least in the short term with the video of Williamson’s blowout being replayed over and over again on TV and on social media.
There’s also a lot of negative talk about Nike online, and when the stock market opened hours after the blowout incident, Nike shares took a tumble.