8.11.17

Q&A: Nightwing2303 on Basketball, His Favorite Sneakers, and More

Nightwing Featured

If you take your basketball shoes seriously, then you’re probably familiar with Nightwing2303. He’s the founder of WearTesters.com and one of the internet’s most trusted sneaker reviewers. You can check out his latest reviews, performance tests, and more at WearTesters.com, on twitter @Nightwing2303, and on YouTube at Nightwing2303. You’ll also see his reviews on eastbay.com and in the Eastbay catalog, giving you the scoop on all of the hottest new basketball products.

We sat down with Nightwing to talk about how he got into basketball shoes, his style when creating videos, his all-time favorite shoes, and more.

Let’s start at the very beginning. How did you first get into basketball, performance, and sneakers?

I only got into sneakers because of basketball. I started playing actively around sixth grade and I was wearing Payless shoes. The people not wearing Payless shoes were making fun of me, and I started noticing that everyone was wearing Nike and Jordan, so I started seeing the popular trends. Since then, I’ve just been totally into basketball. When I got my first pair of Jordans, I was like ‘Yo, I can’t wear anything else’ and it took off from there. I got really into the tech involved with the shoes, really into the designs, and it’s just something that never left me. I’ve been in this world ever since.

When did you know you wanted to take that passion and make it into a career?

That was a complete accident. I don’t even know why I picked up a camera and made a review to be honest. At the time, I was just getting back into basketball. My kid had been born like three years before that so I had been really focused on work and providing. My old shoes were from high school, so when I tried to play in those at the park they were literally falling apart. I needed new sneakers and they were super expensive. I started looking for reviews, just to make sure that I didn’t get ripped off or anything, and there weren’t any, so I grabbed a camera, bought the most expensive shoe, and made a performance review – it’s been crazy ever since.

How do you go from that one video to WearTesters and thousands of subscribers?

Nightwing Featured 1

Social media opened up the window to sneakers. Before then it was a more select group of people to reference, but the way that the internet works, it just kind of opened the flood gates. People in Indonesia all of the sudden are being told that Jordans are cool so now they want some. So I think it’s just a weird phenomenon that I don’t think would have been possible without social media.

How would you describe your review videos?

My style is a little blander than other people. There’s not very much flash. But I try to make up for that with some substance. I try to teach people what their money is going toward, especially with the prices the way they are right now. You’re really trying to maximize your purchase, so you want to know everything there is to know about that product and that’s what I try to do.

How would you describe your relationship with Eastbay?

Eastbay is where I learned all of my tech. I would read all about the shoes. That’s what really drove me. You’d get the catalogs every month and circle the ones you want and hope you could save enough money to buy them. The Eastbay magazine was like the original sneaker blog, so it’s cool to be able to work with them now.

What are some of your go-to basketball shoe recommendations right now?

I just did a video with my top five picks right now. My top one is the Dame 3. That’s the shoe that I constantly grab if I’m not testing another shoe out. The Curry 3Zer0 is another one. I know the Kobe A.D. NXT and the Jordan Ultra.Fly 2 are some of the best shoes out right now, too.

Do you have a favorite signature shoe?

If I were to pick one shoe and take the style aspect into consideration, it would be the older shoes. The Penny line to me is one of the best. If you want style and performance, I think that those still translate well on-court.

We don’t get new signature athletes very often, so what do think about Nike PG 1 and adidas Harden Vol. 1?

They’re two different price points. You’re going to get the most bang for your buck with the PG 1, because it’s only $110 and you’re getting a signature shoe that looks great, has great materials, and performs well. On the other hand, $140 for the Harden for full-length boost, premium leather on the toe, and a knit upper – you can’t really go wrong with that.

What are some of the non-signature shoes that jump out to you?

The Hyperdunk is a no-brainer every year. There might be certain things that aren’t perfect, but it’s one of those shoes that’s really consistent.

What’s your all-time favorite shoe?

We could be here for a long time. The Reebok Question, Air Jordan 4, Penny 2, Air Uptempos, Scottie Pippen 1’s. All the old school stuff.

What’s the one pair of shoes you don’t have, but wish you could get your hands on?

The Nike Air Yeezy 2. The black and pink ones. Those ones were sick. I’m not a big Yeezy guy, but that shoe is fire.

If you could only wear one shoe for the rest of your life, what shoe would you pick?

White Cement Air Jordan 4.

What are you really looking forward to that’s coming out soon? Any teasers for us?

I’m always interested in pretty much anything coming out. So the Dame 4’s. Dame’s line has been very consistent, so I am really intrigued by those. I still haven’t played in the new Crazy Explosives, so I want to try those out. The Jordan 32’s – the flagship Jordans are something I’ve grown up with, so every year it’s a shoe that I’m excited for.

And lastly, how did you come up with the nickname Nightwing2303?

I’m a nerd, dude. That’s Batman’s sidekick. It’s the original Robin – Dick Grayson. He grows up, leaves Batman, and becomes Nightwing. So that’s where it came from.

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