Russell Westbrook’s shoe choices have always been distinctive. During his 2016-17 MVP run, he wore the singular custom-made Air Jordan 30.5s, which used the sole of the 30 and the upper portion of the 31. His Why Not Zer0 line launched from Jordan in 2018, but while they’re available to all, few other players use them, keeping his footwear choices as unique as his triple-double stats.
As a player, Westbrook is known both for his All Star on the court performance and his loud, distinctive personal style, and the Why Not Zer0 line embodies both these qualities. The Why Not Zer0.1 used internal laces with responsive Zoom Air cushioning and a lightweight mesh upper. Though its profile and heel detail were unique, it came out in a surprisingly subdued range of colors. That changed with the Why Not Zer0.2, whose deconstructed design featured a tapered heel similar to that of Nike Zoom Fly sneakers, available in an array of unique colorways. The Why Not Zer0.3 added an intricate midsole design and upgraded cushioning, with a mix of leather, mesh, and synthetic materials for the upper that are used again on the 2021 Why Not Zer0.4. Westbrook likes to tell his story through his sneakers, and that’s clear in the Why Not Zer0.4’s initial colorways, like the multi-colored “Upbringing” based on his LA childhood or “FACETASM”, a collaborative design born out of his 2019 visit to Tokyo. With the fifth edition of the shoe, the “Zer0” moniker was dropped for a (slightly) simpler “Why Not?” branding.