After Dion Waiters departed the arena after a typical home game in late January, left behind in his locker were a towel, a mesh laundry bag, some workout clothes … and 11 pairs of Nike sneakers.

C.J. Miles estimated he has owned more than 800 pairs of shoes in his life. Daniel Gibson owns a pair of pink Converse, shoes with spikes on them and Louis Vuitton gold shoes he refers to as “shoe jewelry.” Gibson owns so many shoes, he built a closet in his bedroom just to store them all. Of course his wife, R&B singer Keyshia Cole, has quite a few pairs in there, as well.

The combination of shoe deals and unlimited millions for playing in the NBA has created a sort of shoe fetish within the league. Players pay attention to what is on their feet both on and off the court, and for various reasons — some of which are fairly practical.

When it was time to sign his shoe deal, Kyrie Irving chose Nike over Under Armour and Adidas in part because of how the shoe giant molded special footwear to protect his toe when he was returning from surgery for the NCAA tournament at Duke.

– Reported by Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal