A shoe made to help you move better during training, but designed for off-field lounging, too?
That's the purpose behind the Under Armour Cam Highlight Trainer, the first signature sneaker from Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.
The sneaker is striking for its high-profile cut and sleek style. To breakdown what else makes this new training kick worthy of your attention, we went one-on-one with Under Armour footwear creative director Dave Dombrow.
What's the inspiration behind the shoe's style?
Dombrow: We went into [Cam’s] closet and saw how he was dressing day to day. There was a GQ sense about him. He had Prada sneakers and we saw how he hooked up his apparel with them.
With that in mind, we knew we had to create something that was high-performance and stylish. The shoe is super light and low to the ground, so it’s great for lateral movements, but also when you pair jeans with it, [the shoe] stands on it’s own.
What types of training is this shoe best suited for?
It really can be used for any activity — whether it’s lunges, box jumps, pushing a sled, doing ropes, even running to some degree.
What's the purpose of the sleeve?
It’s a compression sleeve that’s all about support and mobility. It’s going to let you move in any direction, but it’s still going to hug your ankle and give you lateral support.
How did you settle on the sleeve's height?
That was a back-and-forth discussion. We started out really high, actually. It would have hit probably another two inches higher, up around your calf. Now it hits below your calf.
There’s a style and performance end of it, and through both, where Cam wanted the shoe style-wise and functionally, we came back and lowered it. We ended in a great place. At the end of the day, we came to this height. It’s iconic and also really wearable.
The top of the toe is made of suede, which is an uncommon material on a training shoe. What's the benefit?
You’ll find it on really high-end motorsport shoes, but not so much in the athletic industry because it is pricey. The [material] is really strong. It breathes really nice and offers a lot of support and has a great hand touch.
The sockliner is fully integrated as opposed to being removable. Why might this be advantageous?
It feels very seamless inside. The advantage is to get you lower to the ground and give you move lateral stability.
The Cam Highlight Trainer ($150) releases Dec. 8 in two colors, red and blue.