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Ranking the best basketball shoes of all time

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Detroit Pistons v Brooklyn Nets
Trent Bixby
ANALYST
Modified 19 Dec 2020, 20:48 IST
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A basketball player's shoe selection has become more than just a choice of comfort in the NBA today.

Some players wear the shoes their sponsor gives them, while some wear their team's colors. Some even pay tribute to former basketball legends with their choice in footwear.

We have seen some flashy sneakers come and go through the years. In this article, we break down the best of the best - the top fifteen basketball shoes of all time.


15. Nike basketball shoes - LeBron 7

This clean Nike design from LeBron James has such subtle features, and so many nice-looking touches, that it would be a crime not to include it on the list. The LeBron 7's come in many color combos, and my personal favorite is the recently released Lakers version, which has hints of purple and gold across a white base.


14. Air Jordan 13 - Retro Cap & Gown

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There is something very visually pleasing about the black-on-black design of these Air Jordan 13 Retro Cap and Gown sneakers. Released in 2018, this pair of Jordan 13's has been widely used across the NBA for its comfort and versatility.


13. Nike basketball shoes - Penny 2

This clean Nike design from Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway was released in 1996, and has been modified for many color schemes. The wavy white sole mixes with the lining seamlessly, making for a very appealing sneaker.


12. Nike basketball shoes - Kobe 11

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These low-top Kobe's are a personal favorite, with a clean two-tone design that blends beautifully at the middle of the Nike swoosh. The snakeskin-like texture is perfect for these Black Mamba designed sneakers.


11. Nike basketball shoes - Air More Uptempo

These unique Nike Air More Uptempo's are a very creative twist on the original AirMax design. This design has it all - the color scheme, the shape, the lace-less tongue. These 1996 Nike Air More's barely missed out on our top 10.


10. Reebok Question

Teyana Taylor Launches Her Reebok Question Mid
Teyana Taylor Launches Her Reebok Question Mid

The Reebok Question's, originally designed by Allen Iverson, have been held in high regard since their 1996 release. The clean, comfortable design gives these shoes life and wearability, which shows why there have been so many color patterns released since their original drop.


9. Nike basketball shoes - Foamposite One

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Another clean Nike basketball shoe design, these blacked-out Foamposite One's are a classic look with a bulky body. Released in 1997, these sneakers were yet another Nike design originally worn by Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway.


8. Adidas Superstar

Originally released in 1969, these classic Adidas basketball shoes were made famous by LA Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in the 1970's. These low-tops epitomized 70's basketball shoes, and will live on forever.


7. Nike basketball shoes - Kobe 4

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The Kobe 4 Nike basketball shoe design is one of the most famous and sought-after sneakers in all of basketball. These specific designs, as worn by Isaiah Thomas of the Boston Celtics, showcase the sleek look of the shoes nicely.


6. Nike basketball shoes - Hyperdunk

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NBL Rd 12 - New Zealand v Perth

The 2008 release of these slick-looking Hyperdunks "launched Nike Basketball's new Flywire and Lunar Foam technologies in 2008", per ESPN. This technology revolutionized comfort in basketball shoes and has changed the way Nike makes shoes ever since.


5. Air Jordan 3

This was a nice change of pace for Air Jordan basketball shoes, as they created a very unique design that gave endless opportunities for remakes and color swaps. This Air Jordan 3 is definitely worthy of a top 5 spot on our list.


4. Air Jordan 11

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This Air Jordan design is one of the cleanest looking basketball shoes of all time. The matte black toe blending with the suede material creates a glowing effect, and makes the shoe pop with any jersey combination.


3. Converse: Chuck Taylor All-Stars

The most classic and iconic basketball shoe design ever made, the Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars were released in 1917, and have been one of the most famous shoes in America ever since. Basketball stars wore them in the 1900's, and they have since become a Hollywood fashion statement.


2. Nike basketball shoes - Air Force 1

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The classic design of the original 1982 release Nike Air Force 1's is incredibly iconic in the basketball community. The Air Force shoe design has lived on and been remade in to just about every color imaginable.


1. Air Jordan 1

The original Air Jordans, released in 1985, have taken the top spot as the best basketball shoes of all time. The classic high top, tri-color design is seen everywhere, and has continued to be one of the most desirable shoes in the world since their release. The Air Jordan 1's are the greatest shoes to ever step on a court.


Published 19 Dec 2020, 20:48 IST
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