Shaquille O’Neal suffered some permanent damage to his feet because he wore Air Jordan 1 sneakers 2 sizes too small for himself.
The popularity of the Air Jordan 1 shoes can be spoken about in raw numbers. Michael Jordan was paid a lump sum of $4 million and a royalty – first of its kind – for every shoe sold, making it by far the biggest shoe deal of its time.
Nike sold over $100 million worth of Airs in the first year itself. That, by itself, justified their decision to invest in the Bulls superstar from the get-go. Sonny Vaccaro is the man credited with getting the Jordan family on board.
Priced at $65, it was a shoe that every kid wanted to buy. The Air Jordan 1, especially the Breds, have people forking out thousands of dollars for retros even today. It was a shoe worthy of the hype it produced in streetwear – a landmark.
Shaquille O’Neal reveals why he doesn’t wear Air Jordan shoes anymore
The Big Aristotle was invited by Complex.com for a round of sneaker shopping. He was accompanied by host Joe La Pluma to the A Ma Maniere store in Atlanta.
The first question asked by Joe was regarding the corn cob problem Shaq has had throughout his adult life. The big man has some truly gross-looking feet, which we’ll spare our readers the pain of viewing.
Shaq told the story of how he wore size 13 Air Jordan 1 shoes for an entire season thus:
“Everybody was coppin em, and it was the first time that shoes like that ever came out. I was wearing Converse something – Buddies, they call it, you remember Buddies? Buddies were the cheap shoes that had their own theme song.”
“So when those came out, everybody had them. I had to cut grass, walk dogs, babysit. And then when I went to the store, they were like ‘We don’t have size 15s, we have some 13s.'”
“I tried them on when I was walking to school and they were just hurting. That was the last time I had a pair of Jordans. I have corns now because of those shoes.”
Shaq went on to describe how he tried an old ‘tried-and-tested’ method of using hot water to expand leather. Obviously, the mantra didn’t work, and it ended up with him signing with Reebok later on.