Monday, July 6, 2020

Dalton Nixon: BYU basketball’s sneakerhead

Dalton Nixon is an addict — an addict with a lace for an IV and a Nike swoosh as his fix. Nixon is a shoe addict.

The senior forward on the BYU men’s basketball team loves shoes. He is a basketball player who is not only obsessed with shoes but an athlete who expresses himself through them; a man who uses sneakers to achieve bigger things than basketball. “It’s a huge part of who I am, huge part of my personality,” Nixon said.

A small child is holding a stuffed animal

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Young Dalton Nixon alongside his mom, Stephanie Nixon, while dressed up as Barney and sporting a pair of Jordan 10’s. (Dalton Nixon)

Nixon is a sneakerhead. His interest in shoes started from the young age of five years old when his dad, Kevin, bought him his first pair.

“Ever since I was young, I was fascinated with shoes, especially Jordans,” Nixon said.

Nixon has had a special connection with the Jordan 11s. It’s his favorite shoe. Matter of fact, it’s his dad’s favorite too — like father, like son.

Nixon grew up in Orem and attended Orem High School, whose colors are blue and gold.

“I always wore gold shoes,” Nixon said, “I love flashy shoes.”

The more he played basketball, the more his passion for shoes grew.

Nixon eventually started buying his own shoes, but instead of going to Footlocker like most people, he turned to eBay and StockX for sneakers. A size 15 shoe can be challenging to find at local stores, so Nixon had to go online, but even still, it’s a challenge finding his size.

“The difference in price from size 13 to 15 is like 400 to 500 bucks.” Nixon said. “There just aren’t many consumers with feet that big, which drives the cost up. If they are buying those shoes, they are famous hoopers that are willing to pay any price for them.”

His love of the Jordan 11 sneaker did not fade away as Nixon became older and continued searching for variations of the shoe. Through the years, he has collected the Concord, Space Jam and Cool Grey 11s. Nixon also enjoys wearing the Jordan 3s, 4s and 9s. “I have collected about every Jordan there is,” he said.

The Nixon collection used to be over 100 pairs but he’s trimmed the collection to around 80. Years have passed, but he’s still an addict.

“When I think about myself and shoes, it’s something I truly love. I really do love collecting shoes. I love following sneaker news and keeping up with newest shoe releases,” Nixon said.

Dalton Nixon wears his Kobe 5 Protro Chaos sneakers at a game against San Francisco on Feb. 8. (Preston Crawley)

When Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant passed away unexpectedly on Jan. 26, Nixon, along with many others, were affected by this tragedy.

“Kobe’s shoes really got me to wearing kicks on the court,” Nixon said.

In 2010, Nixon started high school ball and wore the famous Kobe Vs. From then on, he was always on the hunt for Kobe shoes. A special memory Nixon remembers was when he received the Kobe 5 “Chaos” shoes and a few days later in a game, he recorded his first double-double — something he had never done before.

A group of people sitting around a living room

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Dalton Nixon in his apartment surrounded by 40 pairs of his shoes. (Emma Wiles)

When he arrived at BYU, the University’s agreement with Nike forced Nixon to only wear their brand on the court, but Nixon feels very fortunate to be connected to the well-known brand while playing for BYU. He receives six to eight pairs of shoes each season from BYU. Being sponsored by Nike comes with many perks.

A group of people posing for the camera

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Nixon and his best friend, Parker Overly. (Dalton Nixon)

The Nike platform gives a person the ability to customize their shoes online. Nixon has already made two Nike shoes this year. He made them in memory of his best friend from high school, Parker Overly, who passed away in a tragic car accident a couple of years ago.

To remember Parker, Nixon embroidered Parker’s initials on the outside of the shoe tongue, his name inside of the shoe and Nixon’s number, 33, on the back of the shoe.

“This is something bigger than the game,” Nixon said.

The first time he wore the shoe was a matchup at Houston in November 2019. Nixon told his team before the game about the significance behind making the shoes, as many players on the team knew Parker, as well. It ended up being a nail biter with a game-winning fadeaway jumper from TJ Haws. Nixon also played an important role as he hit a clutch three down the stretch. After the game, Nixon and his teammates concluded that Parker was a tremendous help in that win.

 “Creating a shoe to honor someone you love or use that to tell a story is something I really love,” he said.

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The Nike ID Zoom Freaks were made to tell a story about Nixon’s childhood friend, Parker Overly. (Emma Wiles)

With so many shoes, Nixon says he rotates them around regularly, some more than others. He has a pair of the Off-White x Zoom Fly Mercurial shoes — a Nike collaboration with the famous designer brand Off-White. The shoes cost him $400 and they’re in his regular rotation.

Storing his shoes can get complicated.   

In his locker at the Marriott Center, Nixon stores around 20 pairs of shoes that he rotates regularly through practices and games. This rotation includes Kyries, Kobes, KDs (Kevin Durant) and Zoom Freaks.

At his apartment, he has an additional 40 pairs of sneakers, which consist more of his streetwear, off-the-court shoes and Jordan Retros. At his parents’ house are another 20 pairs of shoes. But these are the “special ones” Nixon says. The ones that are a “piece of history,” like the original Jordan Bred 11s.

Nixon’s shoe obsession impacts his personal life. His wife, Taylen, who currently plays for the BYU women’s volleyball team, is not a big fan of his collection but over the years has become more interested in sneakers. She has developed some shoe game herself.  

Dalton Nixon shows his Jordan 11’s. Nixon said that the Jordan 11’s are a pair of his favorite sneakers. (Emma Wiles)

She’s amazed there are shoes that Nixon doesn’t wear much but spent hundreds of dollars to get. When Nixon decided to propose, he sold 20 pairs of his prized sneakers and used the money to help pay for the engagement ring.

“When I think back to it, I wish I still had all my pairs,” Nixon joked.

Now married, collecting sneakers is a strategy — he must sell a pair before buying a pair.

Even though Nixon lost some special collectibles, it’s been worth every pair being with the woman of his dreams.

Even with 20 to 25 pairs rotating in the Marriott Center, 30 to 40 pairs at Nixon’s apartment and another 20 to 30 pairs at his parent’s home that he considers his special kicks, the increasing number of shoes does not satisfy his sneaker addiction. The lover of flashy Kobes and Jordans can’t seem to suppress the addiction.

“I can’t say enough about shoes, it’s who I am,” Nixon said.

Nixon sits in the locker room at the Marriott Center surrounded by 20 of his basketball shoes. (Addie Blacker)
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