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Today in Cleveland, Paul George will debut his second signature shoe, the PG2. Fittingly, he’ll do it during a contest that will test the eight-year pro’s status as one of the league’s best two-way players and on a court surrounded by other athletes who share the distinction of owning a signature shoe of their own.
“Think about the heritage of Nike Basketball in general and all the signature athletes we've had along the way and how exciting a lot of those products have been and how they're so culturally relevant,” says Tony Hardman, designer of both the PG1 and PG2. “To be a part of that legacy is heavy; you just try to put your stamp on it along the way.”
The shoes features a host of PlayStation-specific nods, including a light-up tongue and more. “We worked directly with the PlayStation team on every aspect of this shoes. One thing that they provided, which was really cool, was the starry graphic from the dynamic theme that will be available for your PlayStation 4 with a code from the shoes. It's a beautiful graphic, so we made it the sock liner,” notes Hardman.
While the PG1 featured bootie construction and a prominent forefoot strap, the design of the PG2 favors a more traditional tongue construction. However, George still wanted a tight lockdown to be a hallmark of his line, so to solve for the switch, Hardman developed what he calls “dynamic wings” at the forefoot. While this offers the same level of lockdown as the prior system, the new aesthetic improves the overall fit. “It also eliminates some of the issues we had where the strap might be too long for narrow feet,” Hardman explains.