Does Caitlin Clark Deserve a Nike Signature Shoe? She Thinks So, and So Do Her 2024 WNBA Draft Peers

Update: April 17, 2024

Caitlin Clark was only drafted into the WNBA two days ago and she has reportedly already landed herself a major deal with Nike.

More from Footwear News

Shams Charania, senior lead NBA insider for The Athletic and Stadium, reported via X (Twitter) on Wednesday night that Clark — the No. 1 pick by the Indiana Fever in the 2024 WNBA Draft — is nearing a “lucrative, eight-figure endorsement deal with Nike.” That deal, according to Charania, will also include her own signature shoe.

FN has reached out to Nike for comment.

Clark has long been aligned with Nike, signing a name, image and likeness (NIL) deal with the brand in October 2022. The hooper laced up several different models from Nike during her Iowa Hawkeyes playing days, including looks from the Nike Kobe franchise.

What We Originally Reported on April 16, 2024

It’s a basketball player’s dream to one day have a signature shoe. However, Monday night at the WNBA Draft, several of the league’s newcomers revealed who they believe is most deserving of one from the 2024 draft class right now. That player is Nike-backed Caitlin Clark.

“Obviously she is an amazing player, but she has a great persona and she makes people want to follow her. It’s her emotion and her integrity. I really admire her,” Cameron Brink, who was selected No. 2 overall by the Los Angeles Sparks, told FN shortly after being drafted. Brink is a bit of a trailblazer in sneakers herself, signing with New Balance in August 2023, becoming the brand’s first-ever woman basketball athlete.

She continued, “[Clark] deserves a shoe pretty soon, and I think a lot of people would buy it.”

That opinion was also shared by Clark’s rivals.

“It’s hard to not say Caitlin with everything she’s done. It’s hard for me to say that, too, because we’re competitors, we’re enemies coming out of college,” Jacy Sheldon, who was drafted No. 5 overall by the Dallas Wings, said with a laugh. “She’s grown the game at an immense rate. What she’s doing can’t be ignored, so it has to be her.”

Clark’s college basketball career was nothing short of spectacular. In her final season with the Iowa Hawkeyes, set the record for the most points scored by a NCAA Division I basketball player, men’s or women’s.

What’s more, her presence in women’s college basketball’s biggest moments helped provide a ratings boost. Nielsen reported the championship game between the South Carolina Gamecocks and the Iowa Hawkeyes — which aired on ESPN and ABC — had an estimated 18.9 million viewers. Nielsen stated it was the most watched women’s college basketball game ever.

“She should have got a shoe in college,” said Rickea Jackson, who was selected No. 4 overall by the Los Angeles Sparks.

Kamilla Cardoso, the No. 3 overall pick by the Chicago Sky, added, “She broke a lot of records, she did great things for women’s basketball. She deserves [a shoe]. She deserves the flowers. She’s a great player, and I’m happy for her and proud of her.”

Caitlin Clark, Nike Kobe 5 Protro Bruce Lee
Caitlin Clark in the Nike Kobe 5 Protro “Bruce Lee.”Getty Images

Clark has long been aligned with Nike, signing a name, image and likeness (NIL) deal with the brand in October 2022. The hooper laced up several different models from Nike during her Iowa playing days, including looks from the Nike Kobe franchise.

Shortly after walking off the stage at New York’s Brooklyn Academy of Music as the No. 1 overall pick, the newest member of the Indiana Fever told FN she would like to one day have her own shoe. “It was a dream growing up. You want your own shoe, you want kids to wear your shoes, your merch, whatever it is,” she said.

The hooper also offered details about what she would want in a signature shoe.

“It probably would be a low cut, that’s what I love to play in,” Clark said. “Something super comfortable, something with a lot of good ankle support. There would be some fun colors, I’d have a lot of fun colorways. It would be simple, but very sleek and elegant.”

As for current WNBA stars, Clark said she would like to see two-time WNBA champion A’ja Wilson of the Las Vegas Aces get her own signature shoe, and applauded what Nike has been able to accomplish with Sabrina Ionescu and her Sabrina 1 model.

About the Author

Peter Verry is the Senior News and Features Editor for Athletic and Outdoor at Footwear News. He oversees coverage of the two fast-paced and ultracompetitive markets, which includes conducting in-depth interviews with industry leaders and writing stories on sneakers and outdoor shoes. He is a lifelong sneaker addict (and shares his newest purchases via @peterverry on Instagram) and spends most of his free time on a trail. He holds an M.A. in journalism from Hofstra University and can be reached at

Best of Footwear News

Sign up for FN's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.