Each year, Nike basketball usually rolls out a unique collection to commemorate special occasions such as the 4th of July (Independence Day) and Chinese New Year (Lunar New Year/Spring Festival). The collection typically includes red Nike basketball shoes to keep in line with the festive theme.
The Most Festive Red Nike Basketball Shoes
Nike Kyrie 4 ‘Chinese New Year.’ Nike basketball and Kyrie Irving celebrates the 2018 Lunar New Year with a special colorway of the Nike Kyrie 4. The Nike Kyrie 4 ‘CNY’ features a red suede upper with contrasting black accents. Blooming floral graphics land on the tongue, insole, and Swoosh to complete the celebratory theme.
Nike LeBron Ambassador 8 ‘Chinese New Year.’ An Asia-exclusive model, the Nike LeBron Ambassador 8 ‘Chinese New Year’ comes dressed in tonal red to greet the Year of the Monkey. These red Nike basketball shoes also come with metallic gold detailing throughout to complete the Chinese zodiac-inspired theme.
The Remade X K. YEE Chinese New Year Uptempo. In 2018, renowned sneaker customizer The Remade and Yeenjoy Studio’s co-founder K.Yee teamed up to create a unique pair of Nike Air More Uptempos to greet the Year of the Dog.
Limited to just 55 pairs, these red Nike basketball shoes are crafted with premium Italian leather, 3M reflective material, and Italian lambskin. Other details include five stars inspired by the Chinese flag, gold plated lace tips shaped like Chinese temple doorknobs, and a “CN¥” logo that changes colors when exposed to heat.
Nike Kobe VII ‘Year of the Dragon.’ The Nike Kobe VII ‘Year of the Dragon’ features a red-based upper paired with reptilian green. Hints of yellow on Kobe Bryant’s signature and the dragon emblem finish off the Chinese New Year-inspired theme.
Nike Kobe 10 ‘USA.’ Part of Nike basketball’s 2015 ‘USA’ pack, the Nike Kobe 10 ‘USA’ is dressed in the colors of the US flag to commemorate Independence Day. Stars throughout the upper complete the theme of these red, white, and blue basketball shoes from sports giant Nike.
Nike LeBron 12 ‘Independence Day’ aka ‘USA.’ Dressed in patriotic colors, these red, white, and blue Nike basketball shoes are part of the Swoosh’s 2015 ‘USA’ pack. The Nike LeBron 12 ‘Independence Day’ boasts a vibrant red Megafuse upper with stars and stripes detailing across its Hyperposite overlay. A blue inner lining and white Swoosh complete the USA flag-inspired theme.
Nike LeBron 13 ‘USA.’ Caught up in the festivities of the 2016 Summer Olympics, Nike basketball dressed up the LeBron 13 in a patriotic mix of red, white, and blue. These predominantly red Nike basketball shoes feature “USA” on the heel and the number “16” printed on the inner tongue.
Nike PG 2.5 ‘Fresno.’ The Nike PG 2.5 ‘Fresno’ pays homage to Paul George’s alma mater California State University or more commonly known as Fresno State. Obsidian accents and an icy blue translucent outsole complete the silhouette of these red and white Nike basketball shoes.
Nike KD 8 ‘Perseverance.’ Inspired by China’s national flower, the Nike KD 8 ‘Perseverance’ comes dressed in full red and features a plum blossom graphic throughout the tongue.
Released in 2016, these floral-themed all red basketball shoes represent Kevin Durant’s resilience and ability to bounce back despite an injury-plagued 2014-2015 season.
Red: The Color of Joy, Good Fortune, and Valor
Red is the official color of the Chinese New Year and is China’s good luck color. From decorations and clothing to even fireworks, the color red is seen everywhere during the Spring Festival. It symbolizes joy, truth, virtue, and sincerity. It also represents good fortune, wealth, happiness, and longevity.
Why is red the official color of the Chinese New Year?
Basketball shoes that are made for the Chinese New Year almost have some red on them. This is because since ancient times in China, red has been viewed as an auspicious color. The ancient Chinese believed that this particular color could ward off evil spirits. The tradition of wearing red all began with the fight against the mythical beast Nian.
According to Chinese folklore, a ferocious beast (who had a bull’s body and a lion’s head) called Nian came down from the mountains (in other versions, Nian dwelled in the sea) on the first day of each new year (towards the end of winter) and terrorize villagers; eating livestock, crops, and even the villagers (especially children).
To protect themselves, the villagers would leave food in front of their doors; believing that Nian would leave them alone after eating the food they prepared. After some time, the villagers learned that the great beast Nian was afraid of three things: noise, fire, and the color red. So, when another new year was about to start, the villagers hung red lanterns and scrolls on their doors and windows. They also set off firecrackers to frighten the great beast away.
Nian never returned to the village after what the villagers did. So, from then on, the color red was believed to bring good fortune to everyone.
Why do the Chinese give out red envelopes during the Lunar New Year?
In China, Chinese New Year is the season of goodwill (like Christmas in the West). Giving red envelopes (hong bao in Mandarin and lai see in Cantonese) containing “lucky money” during the Spring Festival is a way of extending one’s best wishes to family, friends, and colleagues.
The notes in the envelope should be crisp, and the packets must be received with both hands. A customary blessing or greeting such as gung hei fat choi (“wishing you great happiness and fortune” in English) should also be spoken while giving and receiving “lucky money.”
It is also customary to give red envelopes to children during the Lunar New Year. According to Chinese legend, a demon named Sui tormented children as they slept on New Year’s Eve. Because of this, parents would try to keep the children awake to protect them.
During one New Year’s Eve in an official’s home, the parents gave their child eight coins to play with to try to keep him busy all night. Unfortunately, the child grew tired of playing with the coins and fell asleep with the coins on his pillow. Then, the demon Sui appeared and tried to touch the child’s head. The coins (eight immortals in disguise) emitted a powerful light that drove Sui away.
The red envelope also called yasui qian or “suppressing Sui money” in China, is symbolic of those eight coins.
What do the red stripes on the American Flag represent?
The red stripes on the US Flag stand for hardiness and valor. Many red Nike basketball shoes, especially those that are made for the Olympics and other sporting events take inspiration from these stripes.
7 best red Nike basketball shoes
Nike Kyrie 5
Nike LeBron 16 Low
Nike KD Trey 5 VII
Nike Zoom Freak 1
Nike LeBron Soldier 13
Nike Zoom Rize
Dimitrije Curcic has been playing basketball for over 22 years. Like Manu Ginobili, he’s a left-hander whose moves led him to a better career-shooting percentage than the Argentine himself. After playing professionally for 10 years, Dimitrije moved to coaching for two seasons before he became a basketball statistician for StatScore, and FanSided contributor for the San Antonio Spurs. Dimitrije loves to tell hoop stories through numbers and graphics and has been featured on Fansided, FiveThirtyEight, Eurohoops, and TalkBasket among the others.