Every professional athlete dreams of having their own sneaker—seeing other people in their sport on the opposing sidelines, across the line of scrimmage, or in the other dugout wearing a shoe that has their own name on it. In 2021 that dream is coming true for New York Mets’ shortstop, Francisco Lindor.
Signed to New Balance, Lindor is one of the top players in all of baseball, and having just been traded to a big market team with World Series aspirations the likes of the Mets, there was no better time to roll out the Lindor 1.
A native of Puerto Rico, Lindor was the starting shortstop for the Puerto Rican national team during the 2017 World Baseball Classic, where he was named MVP of his group in the first round. Using his home country as inspiration, this collection comes anchored by a pattern of the island country’s national flower, the Flor de Maga. Lindor’s two mantras can be found on the left and right tongues of the footwear, reading “Be Consistent” and “Stay Positive.”
Finally, the four-time All-Star requested that his debut collection come with a state-of-the-art removable strap that gives the user the opportunity to wear it as a mid-top or a low-top, a first for New Balance performance footwear. Accompanied by a matching headband and hoodie, the Lindor 1 collection includes two versions of an on-field cleat as well as three lifestyle colorways, and will be available in its entirety on March 1.
How does it feel to have a collection like this with New Balance that includes all of footwear, apparel, and cleats?
It feels great, man. I’m humbled by it. I’m excited. I can’t wait until it hits the ground and starts going. It’s a blessing to have a Lindor 1, and I can’t wait. I can’t wait to start seeing people wearing the shoe, matching them with the jersey, or matching them with the collection of apparel, the entire collection. I think it’s going to be great … I know it’s going to be great.
What’s the inspiration behind the collection, the whole design of it?
I wanted to be able to cross bridges, to say I’m not going to stay just in baseball. Baseball players have the cleats and the shirt. And people are only limited to wearing those on the field or in the batting cages. I wanted something that was going to be … that could transcend to the next level with it. I wanted people to wear it to the mall. I wanted people to wear it to the clubs. I want people to wear it to a family event, to different things, to school, everywhere, not just the cages and the field. And also to be able to … I have a lot of girls in my family. And for the girls to be able to wear as well. Create a unisex shoe that was going to be a huge hit in my family. And every girl can wear it too. That was also a big thing. And I wanted it to look more fashion related, not just baseball. I didn’t want it to be just a blocky shoe of baseball. I wanted swag. I wanted fashion. But that’s what I’m all about.
What is the meaning behind all of the different colorways of the shoes?
I’m not scared to wear different colors, and match the crazy color with the color that you never thought you were going to wear. So, just adding that to a shoe and there’s, inside the straps, it’s got like, [inspiration from] the collection I did a few years ago that Puerto Rico represents my family. There’s their favorite colors for my family. There’s the water from Puerto Rico and different things that always made me think of my roots and where I come from to where I am today. And colors, man. Colors is a way of expressing yourself to me. When you wear colors, you’re expressing yourself. Whether it’s black, white, red, green, yellow, like crazy colors, you know, you’re expressing yourself. That’s how you feel that day, and that’s what you wear.
What’s your favorite piece of the collection?
I like the white shoes. I think those are really, really cool. And there’s a hoodie that’s in the collection that’s really cool. It’s got the colors and down the sleeve. I like that. That’s really cool. And to be able to wear hoodies. For some reason, I’ve been finding myself in the past year and a half, two years wearing a lot of hoodies. I’m like, “How can I not make a hoodie in my collection when that’s all I wear lately?”
Yeah, I feel like the hoodie does a perfect job of doing what you described earlier of being able to be worn anywhere, but still looking like it’s a part of your collection. What are some of the steps that went into the design process and working with New Balance?
A lot, a lot, man. New Balance was great throughout the whole process. They gave me a white canvas. And it’s like, “All right, let’s start drawing ideas. Let’s start putting ideas together, and come up with this shoe, this great cleat and shoe.” And then collab with the apparel side to be able to create the hoodie. Pretty much, we started from scratch. That was really, really cool to be able to start from scratch. But it was the print on the shoe, looking at the strap, the bottom strap, the top strap, the bottom, the sole, like, create something that was going to be long-lasting, but at the same time was going to be soft. That was huge.
Do you think you’re going to get some of the Mets who are signed with New Balance to also be wearing your cleats on the field?
I can see a lot of players wearing the shoe on the field this year. It’s a comfortable cleat, you know? It’s comfortable and it’s light. And it protects you from high ankle sprains, and it’s light enough for people to steal bases. So, it’s a good shoe, man. I hope the guys like it, and they wear it, for sure.
Obviously, it’s no secret you have one of the best personalities in baseball. Your nickname is Mr. Smile. On the field you’re always smiling, all that. What’s with the blue hair. Why blue?
I get bored, man. I actually might change it tomorrow.
What colors are you thinking?
I think green is off-season. So, I don’t know if I’ll … There’s always a color I go back to, it’s like that grayish, gunmetal gray. That’s usually what I go back to when I don’t feel too crazy. But I don’t know. I really don’t know what I’m going to do. I might change it tonight or tomorrow. I might be at this point where I’m like, “All right, I’m bored. I’m bored with my hair.” Every time I look at myself in the mirror, I’m like, “My hair is boring. I got to change it.”
Maybe some blue and orange for the start of spring training?
Now that’s like Dennis Rodman type stuff.
You were one of the biggest pieces to move this offseason, what are you most looking forward to this season? There are a lot of lofty expectations for the Mets this year. What’s your outlook on what’s to come?
What I’m looking forward to the most is the day we have fans. Having fans on the field, that helps a lot and makes the game 10 times better. And besides that, just to be with my teammates, you know? And get to know them and grind together and hopefully come [out] on top at the end of the year.
Article written by Ben Felderstein #SoleCollector