Basketball is a unique sport that combines pure athleticism with street style. There is no other sport in the world where you could wear the full uniform in public and not get stared at. Part of that uniform are, of course, the sneakers, and over the years there have been some great ones to grace the court. So be like Mike, and take a look at the most iconic basketball sneakers of all time.
Converse Chuck Taylor All Star
This is the original basketball sneaker. It says something about its timeless design that it is still one of the most popular brands of footwear in the world. Basketball sneaker technology might have moved with the times, which means you don’t see these in the NBA much anymore, but if you go outside you’re guaranteed to see someone wearing a pair.
The reason why the All Star has become such an iconic sneaker is its versatility, and you’ll see people from all walks of life wearing them. They are fine for the gym, you can wear them to dinner, and they won’t be out of place in a mosh pit either.
Allen Iverson wore these iconic sneakers and helped Reebok find a spot in the market. Nike and Adidas were always the dominant sneaker brands in the NBA, but once Iverson stepped onto the court in these, there was a third player in the game. The Reebok Question broke the mold, just like the player who wore them, and they put Reebok on the map for basketball fans. These sneakers were Reebok’s equivalent of Jordans in terms of making a name for themselves.
Air Jordan III
While the Jordan I changed the game, it wasn’t until the Jordan III that the sneaker brand really took off. They were the first of the Jordan range to be developed by legendary sneaker designer Tinker Hatfield and had several unique features. The IIIs were the first to feature the jumping man logo and had the air bubble that completely revolutionized sneakers in general, not just basketball shoes. Of course, the sneakers were worn by the legendary Michael Jordan, and anything his name was on during the ‘80s and ‘90s was gold.
Nike Air Penny
Great players help make great sneakers, and these were worn by the legendary Penny Hardaway during the ‘90s. He formed one half of the legendary Orlando Magic duo alongside Shaq, and it wasn’t just his play on the court that had fans following him. Hardaway sported some of the most iconic sneakers ever seen on the court, and this range was one of the most popular during his playing career. People couldn’t get enough of the sleek design, and the simplicity of these sneakers was a hit with consumers when they were released in 1995.
These sneakers all changed the game in their own ways. Some have stood the test of time while others have been examples of how aligning a star player with a sneaker is a commercial masterstroke. There is no better example of a signature sneaker then the Air Jordans and the impact they had on popular culture.