Breanna Stewart Talks About the PUMA Stewie 2, NY Liberty, and More
Breanna Stewart’s resume speaks for itself. From being a McDonald’s All-American in Syracuse, NY, to Storrs, CT, leading the Lady Huskies to four straight NCAA titles, to the W, where she led the Seattle Storm to two WNBA titles with WNBA Finals MVP honours twice. Add in a Rookie of the Year, 4 WNBA All-Star and All-WNBA teams, an MVP in 2018 and two gold medals; Stewie has done it all in a short amount of time.
Now as she joined the NY Liberty this offseason and made them one of the favourites to win the WNBA title this season, she has rightfully gotten a second signature sneaker with PUMA in the PUMA Stewie 2. We were fortunate to chop it up with Breanna as we talked about the Stewie 2, the design and wear testing process, and what we can expect this upcoming WNBA season.
(Note: this interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.)
Congratulations on the PUMA Stewie 2. How has it been since the launch of the ‘Ruby’ colourway?
Thank you! It’s been exciting, the fact that we’re able to continue from the Stewie 1 to the Stewie 2. To also have the first launch colourway of the shoe to be able to represent my daughter but also motherhood has been really exciting.
Just the pictures I’ve seen through social media, the ones of Ruby and me from the photo shoot, it’s a shoe that I’m really proud of and a colourway that I’ve wanted since I knew I was going to have a signature. Can’t believe it’s here, and happy it’s here for the start of the season and ready to go.
Going back to the Stewie 1, that was pretty groundbreaking at the time because it’s been so long since the WNBA athlete had a signature sneaker. From that to now and seeing the reception that the Stewie 1 got, seeing guys in the NBA and playoffs right now wearing your shoe, what has that been like for you?
It’s been an honour. I think in the beginning when the Stewie 1 came out; it was such a bittersweet thing because it’s the first women’s signature sneaker in over a decade but had a lot of buzz and hype around it.
Now with the Stewie 2, people are expecting it. Now it’s like, ‘OK, what’s next?’ And that’s why we started with the ‘Ruby’ colourway.
I really appreciate anyone that’s been representing and rocking my shoe. DeAndre Ayton wears them a lot, and that obviously means they’re supporting me and women’s basketball. But also the shoe is doing its job and is able for you to perform at a high level.
When it comes to a signature sneaker, I’m sure you’re involved with the process. How was the design process? Was there any wear testing on your end? Are you particular about features in the shoe that you do want, and if so, what are those features when it comes to a performance basketball shoe?,
Definitely very involved in the design process. When it goes specifically to the ‘Ruby’ colourway, I had this vision for a while; I knew how I wanted the colours to be. I wanted it to be all Ruby coloured because it’s a bright enough colour that it speaks for itself, and I wanted to be able to find little ties that can connect to Ruby, like having her name and her birthday on the side of the shoe.
As we’re evolving from the Stewie 1 to the Stewie 2, the performance level is also evolving. The shoe has the latest iteration of the Nitro foam and gives me the ability to do all things on the court.
I’ve been wear-testing the shoe since the end of the last WNBA season. Just trying to make sure that everything is perfect and that everything feels right because this is different from the Stewie 1 design process. Everything with Covid made things super delayed; I didn’t have a sample in my hands for a while. Now this time with the Stewie 2, we’ve been able to be really proactive with everything.
Going to New York sent shockwaves across the basketball universe, so we can assume we’ll get some NY Liberty-themed colourways of the PUMA Stewie 2. But what else can we expect colourway-wise with the Stewie 2?
Yeah, there will be tons of storytelling with the Stewie 2 between general release and PEs, and many different flavours coming this year. I’m excited to have a rollout where it’s going along with the season.
Last year, I didn’t wear my shoe until July; it was a little bit late with the rest of the shoes. Now this year, I’ll be able to drop the majority of them throughout the WNBA season. Every one of them, you’ll be like, ‘All right, these are fire.’
As far as off the court, what is Breanna Stewart rocking? What are the go-to sneakers and the airport shoe for you?
The airport shoe, for me, is just the classic PUMA Suede. There are a few others that I try to add to the rotation, but the Suede goes with everything. I can wear it with jeans; I can wear it with sweats, I can wear it with shorts. I’m trying to get multiple outfits out of these shoes because I’m a size 12, so it takes up a lot of space.
Going back to the Stewie 2, is there a performance feature in the shoe that you’re very excited about? What is the most important thing to you in a basketball shoe?
The thing that I’m most excited about, or the most important part of the shoe, probably from the performance standpoint, is how the shoe just really flows together. When I put it on, it sounds cliche, but it does fit like a glove. Around the toe box, it’s pretty rounded just for change of direction and things like that. I think just having an updated sense of everything from the performance side, from materials to fit, is important as well.
How has preseason gone so far, and how has it been building chemistry with fellow WNBA All-Stars in Jonquel Jones and Sabrina Ionescu?
Preseason has been great. I just came back from Turkey probably two weeks ago, so I've been taking a slow and gradual incline, getting back into playing form. But the moment I walked into Barclays, it was like we had access to everything. Food, treatment facilities, this, that and the other, and this is where I want to be. I want to be where I can be my best and have access to all the right things. And then you look at the players and the staff; I'm really excited to be on the court with them. It's crazy.