February 1, 2017 BY Patrick Johnson
The New York Times Magazine recently profiled Russell Westbrook and the specifics of some of his stranger routines. See, Russ is a precise individual with a grueling work ethic and doesn’t have time to deviate from his time-honored traditions and patterns that helped him get to his MVP-form. That thought process goes right down to his footwear, too, as writer Sam Anderson detailed the rampant perfectionism through a story about how Westbrook no longer wears the Air Jordan 31. As some of you may have noticed, Russell Westbrook has been wearing a hybrid model known as the Air Jordan 30.5 (even though it won’t release at retailers anytime soon) that features the woven construction of the XXX1, but with the sole of the XXX. Here’s why according to Oklahoma City Thunder equipment manager Wilson Taylor:
Westbrook is unbelievably attuned to the tiniest details of his shoes. He has his own personal rack at the practice facility. “Most guys, I can just bring a pair of shoes,” the Thunder’s equipment manager, Wilson Taylor, told me. “Russell wants a certain pair. He knows which are for games, which are for practice. He determines which shoes are coming on a road trip.” When Nike sent Westbrook its latest model, the Jordan 31, he wasn’t happy with the sole flexibility, so he asked the company to build him a special hybrid using the previous model’s sole. Even in that custom shoe, however, the insoles aren’t thick enough for Westbrook, so Taylor replaces each of them by hand.
So there you have it. Russell Westbrook is not normal. You can tell by his insane athletic ability, his pre-game dance routines, his sartorial taste in regards to off-court wardrobe, and now you have proof in the form of a nice little excerpt about how truly specific he is in regards to his Jumpman footwear.