January 24, 2021

American Ninja Warrior Host Akbar Gbajabiamila Is an Air Jordan Addict

When it comes to sneakers, “American Ninja Warrior” co-host Akbar Gbajabiamila knows his stuff.
Since joining the show in 2013, he’s watched people compete and has developed an eye for the footwear that works best on the course. And prior to the TV show, Gbajabiamila spent four seasons as a defensive end in the NFL, where he learned quickly what cleats and training shoes would help him perform at a high level.
Aside from performance footwear, Gbajabiamila is a fan of wearing kicks for style and is an admitted Air Jordan addict.
The football player-turned-TV personality spoke exclusively with Footwear News about his love for Air Jordans, how he chose the cleats he’d wear on the field and why competing in the right footwear is vital to winning “American Ninja Warrior.” (A new episode airs tonight at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.)
What training sneakers and cleats did you work out in and wear on the field during your NFL career?
“It was Nike, the Speed TDs — they had some midlevel ones. I tried wearing Reebok cleats my first year, and they were just so heavy and so clunky that I could never get with it. They offered more money upfront, but I was Nike all the

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