ESPN+ is loaded with context that looks beyond the final scores of your favorite sports and into all of the details that bring the full product together. SneakerCenter focuses on all of those “sneakerheads” in and around the world of sports, as well as the history of sneakers in sports.
The second episode of the new series features WWE Champion Kofi Kingston discussing the customized footwear he’s worn in the ring, as well as a look at the sneaker history of former NBA all-star Penny Hardaway and much more.
As I said in my review of the preview episode of SneakerCenter, the series uses an interesting format consisting of various segments and those segments are very hit or miss. “1 of 1” and the segment featuring Kingston were very entertaining. The others, maybe not so much.
The interview with Hardaway is actually broken into two segments and probably didn’t need to take up so much time. Sure, It’s cool to see some of his old highlights but the conversation will mostly only be interesting to other sneakerheads (of course, that is really the target audience here).
In the end the interview pretty much boils down to something like this:
“Tell us about how you chose Nike.”
“Well, Converse was after me, but then I went with Nike.”
Throw in some looks at his many Nike shoes, and that’s pretty much the entire interview. Not exactly riveting
The Hardway segment is broken up by the “Live @ Da BBQ” segment which takes a look at the K54 event in Paris, a big streetball tournament. Basically, the event is a collaboration with the Jordan brand and the segment shows off a bunch of the merch that was made for the event. It’s essentially a long commercial.
We also hear from Andrea Perez, the VP of the women’s brand at Jordan, in a segment called “Insoles.” She essentially just talks about why she likes working at Jordan and what women’s basketball means to the brand. I’m not sure where the name of the segment comes in.
After wrapping with Hardaway, a segment called “You Must Learn” gives us a look at the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto. The segment doesn’t actually give us much of a lesson on shoes, but rather just looks briefly at a sneaker exhibit in the museum. So I guess what we learn is pretty much just that this museum exists.
After that, we get to “1 of 1” where shoe customizer Dan Gamache explains that he is working on special sneakers for Kofi Kingston. The brief segment shows off some of his other work as well as a peek at him working on Kingston’s Toronto Raptors-inspired sneakers.
Finally, we get back to Kingston and he explains his journey into becoming a sneakerhead and shows off some of the very unique gear he’s worn in the ring in the past. Gamache then surprises him with “1 of 1” sneakers, which, in my opinion, look pretty awesome. Kingston’s reaction is priceless and the episode is capped with a look at him wearing them in the ring at SummerSlam.
Overall, this second episode of SneakerCenter has some interesting aspects, but most of it will probably only appeal to those who are really into sneakers. Luckily, ESPN+ allows you to easily skip around in the episode, so you can jump ahead as you please.
SneakerCenter is available now on ESPN+. Fans can subscribe to ESPN+ for just $4.99 a month (or $49.99 per year) and can cancel at any time.
Mike is a writer that has covered comic cons, theme park events, video game showcases and other fun events. He is a fan of theme parks, sports, movies, Marvel Comics and is a self-proclaimed “nerd.”