Depending on when and where you shop for kicks, the Under Armour Curry Two in any colorway is either readily available or tough to find. The same goes for the recently released Under Armour Curry Two Low Chef, which can be found in all sizes at UA-branded shops both in-store and online but are surprisingly scarce in most sizes in places like Finish Line. It seems like business as usual for UA – which didn’t have a basketball shoe business to speak of in any reverent tones as recently as a year and a half ago – but if you have a Twitter account, you would think the brand was going out of business considering how badly they were getting roasted.
If you haven’t been paying attention (good for you, by the way…), through a confluence of Under Armour hyping the shoe before its release and the right people on Twitter making jokes, the shoe trended for all the wrong reasons. After sneakerheads and the basketball fans got their jokes in – some good, some bad, most petty – it was clear the Curry Two Low Chef was going to blow up. Pretty soon memes were being made, Crying Jordan got involved and congratulatory messages to senior citizens who finally had a replacement for their Nike Air Monarchs went around. The noise was so deafening that Seth Curry had to chime in and Steph himself addressed the situation after the Warriors’ Game 4 NBA Finals win. You know it’s real when a two-time reigning MVP and potential two-time NBA champ takes time to respond to the haters about his shoes during the post-game conference.
But how “real” is it really? As we mentioned up top, the Curry Two Low Chefs seem to be doing as well as you might expect a Curry Two Low to perform at retail, which is to say they sell briskly at first then tail off until they hit clearance racks. Other than the rare Under Armour Curry One Low MVP PE, Curry Lows just tend to hang around at store shelves. Despite the brutality, the jokes didn’t help or hurt the shoe, it seems.
Leave it to Jalen Rose to make a salient point about the power of the internet and social media. When talking about the Curry Two Chefs, neither Jalen nor David Jacoby had complimentary things to say about the shoe, but they weren’t trashing it either. They have the same opinion about the shoe that most do, which is to say it’s just average. However, Rose says that just because something is getting killed online it doesn’t necessarily mean that the sky is falling for Under Armour. The reality is that UA is making the Currys to appeal to a broad swath of consumers, including kids, basketball players, nurses and senior citizens alike. And judging by the millions (possibly billions) that Curry might make the brand over the course of their lifetime deal, we may not all like the shoes, but ultimately UA doesn’t give a s**t.
The real conversation lies in the power of Sneaker Twitter and their ability to make or break a shoe. Ever since Curry signed with Under Armour in 2013, the jokes about the kicks he wears has been merciless and constant. That hasn’t stopped neither the player nor the brand from posting numbers on the court and in the boardroom that were unimaginable as recently as four years ago. On the other side of the argument, when Kanye West wore some nondescript adidas Energy Boosts, it became an instant hit and promptly sold out. And do we really need to talk about the “Damn, Daniel” craze and how that was a gift from the Sneaker Gods for Vans? It seems that regardless of whether or not Sneaker Social Media praises or trashes a shoe, what ultimately matters is that people took notice and sales were made.
Under Armour’s current marketing blitz on social media are these 3-second “Break The Game” Twitter videos that run every time Steph has hit a three during the Finals. If they really want to own this current craze, Steph needs to wear the Curry Two Low Chef during Game 5 of the Finals. Obviously there are concerns about Steph’s ankle that might prevent this from happening, but it seems like he’s up for the challenge. Too bad Under Armour and Kevin Plank might be too busy counting all the millions Steph’s made for them to care what we jokesters think though…