Carlos Correa has an opportunity to accomplish what only a few baseball players ever have— success in sneaker culture.
He had one of the best rookie seasons in Major League Baseball history last year, hitting for a .279 average, with 22 home runs, 68 RBI, and amassing 108 hits—a feat that hasn’t happened since 1999 with players age 22 or younger.
His arrival to the big league helped the Houston Astros reach the postseason for the first time since 2005. Despite not advancing to the American League Championship Series, the Puerto Rican native’s impressive first season landed him an AL Rookie of the Year award and opened the eyes of sportswear brands looking to bolster their baseball roster.
Enter, adidas. The player locked is locked in to wear the Three Stripes for the foreseeable future on and off the field, the latter being what really caught Correa’s interest.
“We want to be able to expand and not only focus on the baseball cleat, but on shoes as well. That’s why I’m wearing NMDs, Yeezys, and stuff like that when I take batting practice, because we want to expand,” Correa said. “We don’t want to just sell baseball cleats. We want to be able to sell lifestyle shoes that I wear for batting practice and people can identify with them.”
Here, Correa details his partnership with adidas, and possibly hitting the field in a Yeezy baseball cleat.
You had a breakout season last year. There were probably a number of brands reaching out to you for your endorsement. Why'd you go with adidas?
Carlos Correa: Adidas has a great style on and off the field (and) obviously I’m a baseball player that wants to be able to look good on the field. I want the fans to be able to notice my cleats from the right field upper-deck when I’m playing shortstop. Every time I walk in the clubhouse I want the guys to look at my shoes and be like, “Whoa, what are those?”
What does adidas do differently in baseball that other brands don’t, and how do you contribute to that?
CC: They have the blend of sports and culture. I felt like I could be a part of that and represent adidas the right way. The way to do it is to perform at a high level every time I step on the field, but also involve the fans with what I’m wearing. I want them to be able to involve them on Twitter and Instagram because I have some flashy cleats. It’ll be a fun season for the Astros and the adidas family as well.
You have these “Cleathead” custom cleats. What is a “cleathead” exactly?
CC: “Cleathead” for me is when you go out of the tunnel at Yankee Stadium for Opening Day, go on the field, and everybody stares at your feet. I want to stretch and have Yankees’ players look at my shoes and see how nice they are.
I know you’re big on sneakers too. You share a lot of your shoes, especially Yeezys, on Instagram. Would you like to see a Yeezy Boost cleat for on the field?
CC: Of course. I feel like that’s something we can work out for the All-Star game, Home Run Derby, or something like that. I definitely would love to wear some Yeezy Boosts on field this year. But, eventually I want to have a “Carlos Correa Boost” on the field and be able to have my own my cleat with my name on the field at some point.
There have been a handful of MLB players in the past like Ken Griffey Jr., Bo Jackson, Hideo Nomo, Deion Sanders, just to name a few, that had their own signature cleat and off-field sneaker. Do you think you can replicate that?
CC: It sounds really good. With the adidas family it’ll be a lot easier because of the blend of sports and culture and the heritage they have. They’ve got so many nice shoes and we will eventually do something really nice that the fans will love.
Speaking of Yeezys, have you met Kanye since joining adidas and did he play a part in your decision to join adidas?
CC: I haven’t met him yet. Hopefully I will one day. The first shoes I wanted from adidas were the 750s. I talked to one of the guys from adidas I met and I was able to get those. Everybody loves Kanye shoes, so it played a big part of me signing to adidas. But the relationship we’re building as a family and what we’re doing on and off the field, and the style on and off the field is what got me to go with adidas family.
You know Kanye has been open about having “Yeezy Athletes.” Can you see yourself being one of those guys?
CC: Yea. If it’s something that comes up, I would love to talk with him and negotiate doing stuff like that. Like I said before, I want to be able to have my own shoe. But with Kanye, his shoes are a big deal and obviously there would be a lot of interest in working with him.
Would you want Kanye to design your own cleat or shoe?
CC: Yea. He’s got great style and that would be really awesome. I would love that. I would give him the key because he’s got the best shoe right now in the market. So, why not?
There are a lot of people who get hyped up about sneakers. They’re lining up for hours to get the next best shoe. Do you think there’ll be a day where people line up for cleats? What would it take for that to happen?
CC: In baseball there’s not going to be such a thing as the “Next big thing,” because there’s not a big thing right now. We want to be able to break that. We want to be able to be the “big thing” in baseball when it comes to cleats and stuff like that. Obviously, people cannot wear cleats to go to the mall or to go watch a movie.
We want to be able to expand and not only focus on the baseball cleat, but on shoes as well. That’s why I’m wearing NMDs, Yeezys, and stuff like that when I take batting practice because we want to expand. We don’t want to just sell baseball cleats. We want to be able to sell lifestyle shoes that I wear for batting practice and people can identify with them.
Is there a sneaker out right now on the market that you would love to see turn into a baseball cleat?
CC: Obviously the Yeezys would be a good one. The Ultra Boost—I feel like they’re one of the best shoes out there—the NMDs, and the Tubulars. But the jumping off point for our work with adidas is to eventually make our own cleat instead of just remaking one of the shoes adidas has already.