Why the Panthers’ Thomas DeCoud owns hundreds of shoes

Thomas DeCoud’s shoe collection is like a flash mob: there are too many in the crowd to count.

We are talking about sports shoes. The Carolina Panthers Security has over 900 pairs, “100 or take,” he says, in a large collection (or hoarding problem) he’s been building since high school. “I’ve been a big shoemaker since I was a kid,” said DeCoud, who played for the Falcons before signing with Carolina earlier this year. “It’s bad enough.”

Take a tour of DeCoud’s Charlotte House (which he bought partly for storage, he says) and you’ll find most of his collection: basketball shoes, running shoes, football boots. , soccer cleats and even tennis shoes. The rest are in his Oakland home, near where he played college ball in Cal. “After I bought the house in California, I turned an entire bedroom into a shoe library,” says the 29-year-old Pro Bowler. “Once retired, this is where the entire collection will be on display. “

Instagram caption: “That ice cold stuff …”

What may be more surprising than the size of DeCoud’s collection (or that it warrants a bookshelf for the show) is its makeup: Most of the seven-year NFL veteran shoes are for basketball. ball. “I have a lot of Jordans, LeBrons, Kobes,” he says. “I grew up playing basketball, it was the first sport I ever played. And buying shoes was always an event because they sold out of my size.

DeCoud wears a 13 or 14, which isn’t unusual for a 6-2, 190-pound player, but the size of his foot did little to hamper his obsession. “In my prime, I was buying three or four pairs a week,” he admits. “But it definitely slowed down after I got married and had my daughter. Now I only buy one or two pairs every few weeks.

One pair every two weeks, to be generous, it’s still 26 pairs a year, but DeCoud swears he wears all the ones he’s bought, at least once. “There are a lot of people who buy shoes to store them, but I try to wear them as much as I can and as often as I can,” he insists. “I have a running joke with one of my locker mates in Charlotte who says if he sees me wearing the same shoes twice he has to tell me and then he can laugh at me.”

The extensive collection of DeCoud shoes.

The extensive collection of DeCoud shoes.

But DeCoud says he’s used to laughing. “Everyone knows what I’m doing. Everyone has their little kicks, the things that make them. I get laughed at, people will say, “I bet you don’t have one.” And then I got them, and they’ll say, ‘I knew that fool did it.’ “

But any fool who owns 900 pairs is also a fool for details – and DeCoud knows what goes into a good shoe. Here are his quick and quick tips for choosing the best kicks:

For basketball: “What makes a great basketball show is the cushioning and the way it adapts to your foot. You must feel connected to the field. And traction is important because you don’t want your foot to slip. “


For football: “It needs to be light and have good traction and a good fit. You don’t want to feel the foot slip through the shoe, with the cuts and the number of times you change.

For cross training: “Don’t buy what is trendy or what everyone is trying hard to achieve. Buy what you like. Design and color scheme are important, but functionality is where it is found with a performance shoe.

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