- When it comes to sneakers, it’s safe to say that the Steelers’ cornerback, Jordan Brand athlete and owner of 1,100 pairs is an expert.
On this episode of the Shoot Your Shot Podcast With Jonathan Jones on The MMQB NFL Podcast feed, Jones sits down with Steelers cornerback and shoe expert Joe Haden, who explains how he stores his approximately 1,100 pairs of shoes, what his most expensive pair is, what he loves most about being a Jordan Brand athlete and more.
(Listen and subscribe to the latest episode of The MMQB NFL Podcast here. The following transcript has been edited and condensed for clarity.)
Jonathan Jones: So the reason I wanted to have you on, kind of more than anything, is that you're you're a jump man, a Jordan brand athlete. You're probably the foremost sneaker head in the NFL. Would you say you are the foremost sneaker head in the NFL?
Joe Haden: I would put myself up there for sure. I would definitely say I'm top three, and I couldn't name the other two guys, but I know my sneaker collection's up there.
Jones: OK. So tell me about the sneaker collection. When did it start? Well, how many sneakers right now would you say you have?
Haden: Right now, I would probably say I probably have about ... 1,100. Eleven hundred pairs of shoes. It was a time where I had about 1,500-1,600 pairs of shoes and then it just started getting crazy just having storage facilities with shoes not knowing what's what, what's where. Now more of a quality over quantity kind of guy. So I'm kind of just trying to get the most exclusive ones the ones that I've the grills, the shoes that I've always wanted to have. Have a couple pairs of those and I'm good.
Jones: OK. So 1,100 pairs of shoes, but back when you had 15 or 16 you mentioned storage facilities... Like how many would you keep in your home, and then how many would you keep elsewhere?
Haden: I would probably have about 300 at the house and the rest, like, 1,200 in a facility.
Jones: In one storage unit or would you have multiple units?
Haden: I had a normal-sized storage unit but I just kept having to get a bigger storage unit but it was one of them.
Jones: Did you come into the league as a Nike athlete?
Jones: OK. And then you signed with Jordan brand in 2015 right? What was it like getting that call. Take me back to like when you learned that that you would sign with Jordan Brand.
Haden: It was it was crazy because I always wanted to be a team Jordan Brand member. Coming out of the leagu, it just was super exclusive and very hard to get to even in touch with the Jordan people because literally, Jordan has to pick you himself. Right. So when I was just with Nike It was amazing. But I just wanted that exclusivity. I would see like Dez Bryant, [Michael] Crabtree getting all retro Jays, all the shipments of boxes. And I just I don't care about the money. I just want to be a Jordan Brand member.
So I end up talking to my agent, and I would talk to my PR people, and I was like, Listen, I don't need any other sponsorships any other anything I just need y'all to give me a touch of Jordan. So I started reaching out different PR people trying to see what they could do. And Usain Bolt's lady ended up getting getting me in touch with them, and we took a trip out to Mexico, they say you have to meet him first before he thinks about signing you. So took a trip out there, one of the Jordan trips in Mexico, had a blast, met Michael Jordan for the first time. Had my wife with me, and we just kicked it with all the guys. [Car]Melo [Anthony], Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, you know. It was just a great time, and then they accepted me, and Jordan's like you're going to be a part of the family so it was it was crazy.
Jones: What was it like meeting Jordan for the first time?
Haden: I was that was that was one of the biggest... I was the most star-struck. It was him and then LeBron. Those are my two idols, and Michael Vick also, those three dudes when I met him was just stuck me in my tracks I really didn't know what to say. I just was smiling at him like a kid.
Jones: You try to not sound stupid!
Haden: Yeah, but I'm like this is really Michael Jordan like let us do. So I mean it was definitely a star striking moment.
Jones: How often are you going back and forth to the storage facility? How much of your time in your life, like you're in a rocking chair, you're an old man, you're gonna add it all up, how much time are you spending?
Haden: I got an assistant. Honestly she goes there, and I'm like bring one of those boxes back to us by go through it you know. But I've been blessed to have had some help. I'm not really doing the heavy lifting.
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