Jayson Tatum is one of the most electrifying basketball players in the NBA today, culminating in his being a starter in the 2023 NBA All-Star Game in Salt Lake City, Utah. The St.Louis native unveiled his first signature shoe as a member of the Jordan Brand slate of athletes, the Tatum 1, with a design with adults and younger folks in mind.
Jayson Tatum, 24, shared his excitement of getting his own sneaker under the revered Jordan Brand offering of sneakers in a statement. The motivation for the sneaker and its innovative design transported Tatum back to his younger days as he admired other basketball legends and their signature shoes.
“I want people to feel like they can connect to me,” Tatum said in a statement. “I remember being a kid, walking into the store, and looking for the signature shoes of my favorite players. The moment I saw the shoe or put the shoe on, I felt like I was in sync and closer to them in a way. So, I want this shoe to be a bridge between my fans and me to bring us closer together.”
As shared in a press release from Nike, the Tatum 1 was designed with Tatum’s comfort in mind as one of the most athletic players we’ve seen in the game in recent times. With a secure connection to the foot reinforced by a lightweight TPU frame, the shoe is surrounded by ground-contact foam that featured an integrated traction pattern. The shoe has very little rubber on the toe and ball of the foot, styled for how Tatum plays off his forefoot.
Via the trade-off in the design, the Tatum 1 is the lightest Jordan Brand shoe in its vast lineup and also houses an uncage Zoom Air bag in the forefoot that provides some bounce back but still fosters a connection to the court floor. The collar of the shoe is padded to support the ankles and the mesh knit upper of the shoe is well-made but light in weight.
The Tatum 1 “Zoo” colorway was inspired by Tatum’s young son, Deuce, and their trips to the zoo hence the animal prints on the outside of the sneaker.
The “St. Louis” colorway features the colors of his hometown baseball team and has “Archer Ave,” the street where he grew up, stitched inside the tongue of the shoe.
The “Barbershop” colorway, only available in adult sizes, gives a nod to Tatum’s always crisp lineup and fade and how he feels most confident after a cut.
Lastly, the “Pink Lemonade” colorway is a salute to Tatum’s favorite beverage.
Other flourishes to the shoe are the words “Living Proof” on the outer part of the rubber, which is a hat tip to fellow St. Louis native, Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards. The words “I Just Didn’t Quit” are located on the TPU portion of the outsole, and Tatum has that same phrase tatted on his calf. The TPU piece also features the coordinates of St. Louis.
Tatum has often expressed his deep respect for the late, great Kobe Bryant, who inspired his all-around All-Star game. Just as the Black Mamba inspired him, Tatum hopes to serve as a beacon for other up-and-coming players and all of those who are chasing dreams.
“Kobe inspired me to follow my dreams, dedicate myself to my craft, and ultimately become the person I am today. Today’s kids are our future, and one of my main responsibilities is to inspire the next up. Whether I get to meet them or they’re inspired by me from afar, my hope is that my journey and my story can impact people to go after whatever they want in life,” Tatum added.
The Tatum 1 will go to retail on April 7 with the “Zoo” colorway coming in both adult and kid sizes along with the additional aforementioned colorways coming as well.