Starting a shoe company is hard, but evoking the “Wizard of Westwood” isn’t a bad way to break into the hyper-competitive world of basketball footwear. For Thor Roner, his new shoe company, Fabled Inc., is an opportunity to use his love of design to tell inspiring stories through footwear. And Fabled’s first project is a shoe honoring John Wooden, one of the greatest coaches in sports history.
The company’s first signature shoe, The Wooden, was released late last month and pays tribute to the late UCLA men’s basketball coaching legend who turned the Bruins into a powerhouse in the NCAA during the 1960s and 70s. Roner, a former Major League Soccer player for the San Jose Earthquake, started the company as a way to create footwear honoring inspiring people and stories from the sports world and beyond.
“I’m not a sneakerhead, but I played professional sports and then got into the design world, so it’s a combination of those two things,” Roner said. “I like the aspirational element of footwear companies. I think there’s something exciting and inspiriting about that.”