By Cody Williams @TheSizzle20 on July 29, 2014
Shoe culture and the NBA are undoubtedly intertwined in the fabrics of each other. For decades, NBA players have been releasing their signature shoes and sneakerheads have been flocking to purchase them. In that light, what are the greatest 15 shoes designed or sponsored by NBA players?
Pippen brought the Uptempos to the forefront by rocking them in the 1996 Olympics and they’re one of the most iconic shoes ever. To be honest, I’d still love to get my hands on a pair.
Shaq is obviously one of the most memorable NBA players ever and his iconic shoe with Reebok is just as memorable. Fun fact, his pair of the Shaqnosis kicks were different than that of the public’s, made to help support his large frame and size 22 boot.
Obviously Air Jordan means that Michael Jordan was behind them and the XIIs were definitely his. They were influenced by the Japanese “Rising Sun” and offered a fantastic look on the feet of the world’s best player.
Kidd was one of the up-and-coming stars and the league and had a shoe that set him apart. The bubbles around the sole were groundbreaking and a look that stuck around for quite a while.
Gary Payton quietly had some of the best shoe looks in his day, the zip-up “The Gloves” being at the top of the list. You weren’t doing anything if you weren’t wearing these back in the day.
Converse looked to capitalize on a new generation of stars, branding Larry Johnson with their label. Not only were the shoes dope, but they also brought along the amazing “Grandmama” ads.
Other than Jordan, Penny Hardaway may have had the most iconic sneakers over the past few decades. The Air Max Penny’s weren’t his best, but they were certainly pretty fresh when they hit the market.
If you aren’t sure if FILA’s are still around, you aren’t alone. However, they had a pretty big moment by putting their signature on the feet of Grant Hill. Though you might not have expected it, these were quite nice.
Considering that these had the legend of being banned by the league originally and that they were the first Jordans, you might expect these to be higher. Really, though, that’s just a testament to the work of Jordan and others over the years.
These might be the most brilliantly named shoes that also offered a fantastic look for the times. Putting the Questions on “The Answer” Allen Iverson was a fantastic move by Reebok.
The Jordan IVs may be my favorite shoes to ever hit the market, but they weren’t quite the phenomenon that others were. Regardless, they were still a dope piece of work that has withstood the test of time.
If you want to know how important the Foamposites are, they’re still making new color-schemes for them to this day. Penny struck gold with these when they were released.
No one player was really responsible for the Reebok Pumps, but Dee Brown in the 1991 Dunk Contest really brought them to their highest point. The Pumps are still one of the biggest shoe releases ever.
Most people would have the Jordan XIs at the top of this list and I can’t fault others for thinking that. Based on personal preference, though, I have them just below that.
I know what I said about the Jordan IVs, but the IIIs are still absolute fire to this day. There’s no shoe that’s quite as iconic and lasting as the IIIs in my mind.
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