The popularity of sneakers is undeniable. Sneakers are ubiquitous globally, and their influence in various industries with the likes of sports, music, and fashion has always been evident. This type of footwear stays relevant primarily because the demand of the market shows no sign of stopping and continues to increase. In fact, the sneaker culture is so diverse that it knows no gender, age, or socio-economic status. They are a worldwide obsession worth billions of dollars in the international market.
Sneakers are a kind of shoe with rubber soles designed for sports or casual use. They can be classified based on different categories such as construction or profile (low-top, mid-top, and high-top), while others are made as men’s sneakers, women’s sneakers, or unisex models. They are also categorized based on the sports that their design, structure, and construction took inspiration. One sneaker type in this category is basketball-inspired sneakers or simply basketball sneakers.
What are lifestyle basketball shoes?
Basketball sneakers are the type of sneakers that have the structure and aesthetics of basketball shoes, but designed for lifestyle or casual use and not necessarily for indoor or outdoor on-court activities. Discussed below are the typical characteristics of basketball sneakers.
Upper Construction and Materials
Typically, the upper of basketball sneakers have sufficient reinforcements for optimum support and stability.
Like in any other sneakers, basketball sneakers utilize different materials on the upper. Some casual consumers think that materials should be the least of their concern when picking out a shoe, but that is a common misconception that needs to be corrected. They are, in fact, a crucial part as different materials have varying effects not just on the shoe’s aesthetics, but also on how it fits and performs. Upper materials can be leather, knit, woven, mesh, or a combination of such.
- Leather. Before all the technologically-advanced hoop kicks that are ubiquitous today, an all-leather upper was a top choice for basketball shoes. That is because leather is durable or long-lasting and, at the same time, provides the much-needed stability when playing the sport. It also easily molds to the shape of the feet. One disadvantage, though, is that basketball sneakers with a leather upper are more substantial than those utilizing a different material like mesh or knit.
Some basketball sneakers with leather upper: Adidas Superstar, Adidas Raleigh 9tis Mid, Adidas Pro Model, Nike Air Force 1 07 Mid, Reebok Pump Omni Lite, Asics Aaron, Puma Basket Classic, and Nike Air More Uptempo Supreme.
- Mesh. Mesh is also a popular material of choice for basketball sneakers because of durability and sufficient foot stability that it offers. Unlike leather basketball sneakers, those with mesh uppers are lightweight, flexible, and more breathable.
- Knitted or Woven. Knitted or woven upper is frequent on modern and technologically-advanced basketball sneakers today. With the rise of technologies on footwear, even basketball-inspired kicks are infused with top-of-the-line advancements, upper materials included, that further enhance the shoe's overall performance and aesthetic value. Some of these are Nike’s Flyknit and Flyweave, Adidas’ Primeknit, and Puma’s evoKNIT.
Basketball sneakers with this type of upper material are lightweight and breathable but often come with an expensive price tag.
Some basketball sneakers with knitted or woven upper: Adidas Tubular Radial Primeknit, Nike Air Force 1 Ultra Flyknit, Adidas Superstar Bounce Primeknit, Adidas Superstar 80s Primeknit ASG, Nike Flight Bonafide, and Puma Basket Classic EvoKNIT.
- Neoprene. Although neoprene material was first utilized in a running shoe (Nike Air Huarache) in 1991, it eventually reached the basketball category just a few years after - thanks to Tinker Hatfield. First seen in Nike Air Flight Huarache in the basketball shoe category, neoprene uppers generally allow a lockdown fit and superb comfort that can be comparable to a glove. Shoes with this material have a sock-like inner sleeve construction.
- Suede. Suede is one of the traditional materials usually used in sneakers but not a common choice for performance basketball shoes. However, suede has been visible a lot lately in basketball-inspired sneakers because of its premium look, added durability, and style. However, they tend to get dirty easily than other kicks with different upper materials.
Some basketball sneakers with suede upper: Adidas Superstar Suede, Puma Suede, Puma Suede Classic Mono Iced, Adidas Suciu ADV, Puma Suede Classic Citi, Nike Hoodland Suede, Puma Fenty Suede Cleated Creeper, and Puma x Careaux Basket Strap.
- Canvas. Nothing can get more classic than canvas basketball sneakers, all thanks to the iconic Converse Chuck Taylor All Star shoes. This type of hoop-inspired kicks is preferred for being lightweight, flexible, and breathable. However, because of the characteristics of the canvas, these shoes typically have a thin collar, and the ankle support is not much.
Another critical thing to note when choosing basketball sneakers is the way they fit your feet. Often, sneaker buyers focus on the shoe's technical aspect that they least consider the importance of a closure system. Aside from the upper material, the shoe’s closure system determines the way that a particular shoe would fit one's feet. The right closure system gives a comfortable fit, secures the shoe, and adds protection to the feet. Below are the most commonly used closure in sneakers in general, including basketball sneakers.
- Traditional Lace-Up. Traditional lace-up closure dominates basketball sneakers the same way as it has always been in other sneaker categories primarily because it is a safe choice, both aesthetically and functionally. Basketball sneakers utilizing this type of closure allow the wearers to have a snug fit that can be adjusted depending on the wearer’s preference. Also, lace-up closure makes wearing on and off the shoe an easy-peasy task.
The majority of basketball sneakers in the market feature a traditional lace-up closure system.
- Strap. Probably one word that best describes strap closure in basketball sneakers is convenience. That is, of course, if we are talking about shoes that utilize Velcro straps alone. In cases in which a particular basketball sneaker uses strap along with another closure type like laces or zipper, then that is not the case.
In performance basketball shoes, midfoot or ankle straps are placed for their extra functions – a lockdown fit and additional stability and support. This feature is adapted in basketball sneakers as well mainly for the added aesthetics and sense of style.
Some basketball sneakers that feature strap/s are the following: Nike Kwazi, Nike Air Force 1 07 Mid, Nike Air Force 1 High, Adidas Tubular Invader Strap, Adidas Forum Low, Nike Air Penny IV, Nike Air Unlimited, Puma x Careaux Basket Strap, Puma Basket Classic Strap, and Puma Sky II Hi Winterised Sneakerboots.
- Zipper. Basketball sneakers with zipper type of closure are not as common as lace-ups. Typically, zippers go hand-in-hand with other closure systems such as laces or straps for supplemental convenience and aesthetic value. Function-wise when utilized on bootie-constructed basketball kicks, the zip-up closure allows easy on and off wear.
- Slip-On or Sock-Like Bootie Construction. This closure system is often found in basketball sneakers that utilize knitted or woven upper like Flyknit, Primeknit, evoKNIT, and more. Those that use neoprene as an upper material have this kind of closure as well.
Some basketball sneakers with this type of closure system are the Reebok Pump Supreme Engine, Air Jordan Future Low, Adidas Superstar Slip-On, Adidas Tubular Dawn, Puma Clyde Sock NYC, and Adidas Tubular Radial Primeknit.
Profile or Cut
Sneakers, including basketball sneakers, vary depending on profile or cut. They can either be low-tops, mid-tops, or high-tops.
There have been several discussions and studies as to how a specific profile of a shoe can affect one’s performance in basketball. For years, a basketball shoe's cut is often a crucial deciding factor on which particular shoe model casual basketball players should get.
This is not the case for basketball sneakers, though. Since they are primarily intended for lifestyle or casual use and not for playing the sport, the shoe’s profile or cut is generally looked at as style aspect more than its function. Discussed in details below are basketball sneakers’ different profiles or cuts.
In a world where high-tops reign supreme, low-top basketball sneakers still have their fair share of the market. These shoes have collars that do not cover the ankle and, in general, lighter in weight compared to sneakers with a mid-cut or high-cut profile. Because of the collar construction, they permit greater freedom in movement as the ankle is not restricted in any way. However, because of the same reason, they tend to provide lesser ankle support and stability. They are also typically less cushioned.
Style-wise, low-top basketball sneakers are versatile and easy to wear compared to mid-top and high-top basketball sneakers. Most basketball sneakers in this category typically look minimal and modern.
Mid-top basketball sneakers are the best of both worlds of the lows and highs. They have collars that fall just around the ankle level, thus giving ample ankle support and stability without the restriction of high-tops.
In many instances, basketball sneakers with high or low collars have mid-top variations as well, which gives consumer options in styling the kicks. Generally, this type of sneakers are tricky to wear with a wide array of outfits, but style and design still vary depending on the shoe brand or model.
High-top basketball shoes, traditionally, have always been the top choice over low-tops or mid-tops because of the added ankle support and protection they provide to the wearers since they have collars that cover the ankle.
One downside is that they tend to be heavier. With the rise of sneaker technologies and advancements, shoe brands today are capable of producing lightweight high-top basketball sneakers without sacrificing the much-needed support and protection.
Although high-top basketball sneakers provide better protection from dust and dirt, the high-cut collar somehow restricts foot movement which can be a disadvantage for those who use them casually. Style-wise, high-top basketball sneakers are bulkier and often retro-looking.
Midsole and Outsole
The upper material and construction of a shoe matters, but its midsole and outsole are essential components as well that can either make or break it. Since basketball sneakers are inspired by performance basketball shoes, they follow midsole and outsole technologies of such shoes including cushioning and traction.
The midsole is designed to provide shock absorption, impact protection, and cushioning. It is typically made of EVA (Ethyl Vinyl Acetate), PU (Polyurethane) foam, or TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane). Most standard midsole in basketball sneakers is EVA, which is lightweight and easy forming but wears out quickly. PU may be heavier than EVA, but it is highly resilient. Adidas’ Boost technology, on the other hand, uses TPU in pellets that are molded together.
Basketball sneakers typically have excellent traction with varying patterns. The most common traction pattern on basketball shoes is herringbone, but some of them feature either multidirectional, honeycomb, power coral or squares. Traction pattern and the type of rubber sole material varies depending on surface type (indoor, outdoor, or both).
Performance Basketball Shoes VS Casual Basketball Kicks
Back in the day, basketball shoes are produced solely for playing the sport. Then came Jordan’s popularity in the ‘80s that basketball shoes made its way outside the courts and into the streets. The Converse Chuck Taylor All Star, which first produced in 1917, also became a popular footwear of choice outside the court.
It is hard to differentiate how a particular basketball shoe can be qualified as either a performance shoe or exclusively for lifestyle/casual use since the fusion of sports and fashion in sneakers is a common occurrence nowadays. Basketball shoes that are in the market today are often designed with performance-meets-style approach primarily for these reasons:
- Shoe brands answer to what the market demands.
- Incorporating style to a performance shoe increases its saleability. When basketball shoes are designed with style in mind, they have a greater chance to reach a much wider range of consumers.
- Aesthetics increase the value of basketball shoes, with or without fusion of technological advancements.
- One designing factor for most consumers is how the shoe looks.
Gone are the days when basketball shoes are only worn by athletes or people who casually play the sport. Performance basketball shoes today are infused with technologies and materials that enhance the shoe's overall function, and often equate to expensive price tags. With the strong presence of such hoop shoes, consumers, in many instances, wear them as a fashion statement more than for their functionality.
Basketball-inspired sneakers, on the other hand, may or may have such technologies but are made for lifestyle or casual use. They exhibit a hoop-approved aesthetics and structure but not necessarily the level of functionality that comes with those that are made to perform on the hardwoods or outdoor courts.
Some Examples of Classic Basketball-Inspired Sneakers
Looking at the history of basketball kicks, several classic shoe models that were originally produced for basketball eventually became so popular and turned into a lifestyle footwear of choice for many consumers across generations. Below are some of these shoes.
Converse Chuck Taylor All Star High Tops (1917)
Background and Facts
- The Converse Chuck Taylor All Star was first introduced in 1917 as the Non Skid, a high-performance basketball shoe. The brand renamed it to All Star in 1920 and further renamed as Converse Chuck Taylor All Star in 1932 because of the involvement of basketball player Charles “Chuck” Taylor in boosting its sale and incorporating functional changes to the shoe’s original design for improved performance and functionality.
- The shoe is popularly known as “Chucks,” ”All Star,” “Chuck Taylors,” “Cons,” or simply “Converse.” It was the official shoe worn by the US Basketball Team for the 1936 Olympics or the first ever Olympic Basketball Game.
- It was the first mass-produced basketball shoe and also the first one to bear a player’s name.
- In 1957, the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star received a low-top version called the All Star Ox or All Star Oxford Cut as a casual alternative to the high-top model.
- The Converse Chuck Taylor All Star High Tops are best known for their minimal design with a canvas upper, rubber sole, and iconic ankle patch.
Some Recent Versions of the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star High Tops
- Chuck II High Top
- Chuck Taylor All Star Core Hi
- Chuck Taylor All Star Leather High Top
- Chuck Taylor All Star Seasonal High Top
- Chuck Taylor All Star DC Comics Justice League High Top
- Chuck Taylor All Star Seasonal Color Hi
Adidas Superstar (1969)
Background and Facts
- This classic basketball sneaker was popularized by basketball superstar Kareem Abdul-Jabbar during the ‘70s.
- In the ‘80s, its popularity went beyond the athletic side and reached the music industry and street fashion because of the American hip-hop trio Run-D.M.C. They used to wear their Superstars lace-less and with the tongue pushed out, the same way shoes are being worn in prisons.
They asked the audience of about 40,000 to raise their Adidas up in the air during one of their concerts in Madison Square Garden. This historic moment helped the trio land an endorsement deal with the Three Stripes.
- Only a year after the Adidas Superstar relaunched under the Adidas Originals line, it proved why it still is one of the best classic sneakers ever created as it gained the first place in the Top 10 Best Shoes in the United States concerning sales in dollars.
- The Adidas Superstar is the first ever low-top basketball shoe with an all-leather upper. This low-top kick was made even more iconic with its rubber shell toe, hence the names "shell toes," "shell shoes," or "shell tops."
Some Recent Versions of the Adidas Superstar
- Adidas Superstar 80s
- Adidas Superstar Xeno
- Adidas Superstar 2
- Adidas Superstar RT
- Adidas Superstar Boost
- Adidas Superstar Animal
- Adidas Superstar Bounce
- Adidas Superstar Vulc ADV
- Adidas Superstar Adicolor
- Adidas Superstar Primeknit
- Adidas Superstar 80s Rita Ora
- Pharell Williams x Superstar Supercolor Pack
- Adidas Primeknit Superstar Boost
Nike Blazer (1972)
Background and Facts
- The Nike Blazer was popularized by basketball icon George “The Iceman” Gervin.
- Although initially designed for basketball, the shoe became a popular choice for skateboarders as well because of its mid-cut construction and flat, grippy sole during the ‘80s. It remained as one of the most popular skate shoes up to this day and currently being marketed under the Nike Skateboarding sub-brand.
- The Nike Blazer’s simple silhouette and upper design boast a large Swoosh branding on the sides that make it easily recognizable.
Some Recent Versions of the Nike Blazer
- OFF WHITE x Nike Blazer
- Nike SB Blazer Mid XT
- Nike SB Blazer Vapor
- Nike SB Blazer Low
- Nike Blazer Advanced
- Nike SB Blazer Premium SE
- Nike Blazer High Suede Vintage
Puma Clyde (1973)
Background and Facts
- The Puma Clyde was popularized by basketball legend Walter “Clyde” Frazier. Based on another Puma classic, the Suede, this low-top also features a suede upper but designed with a wider toe box and lighter weight following Frazier’s idea.
- The Clyde Puma’s first ever signature basketball shoe, which debuted in 1973
- The hip-hop culture, through the early New York City b-boys, adopted the Clyde as off-the-court kicks during the late ‘70s. It’s popularity extended to the skate community as well.
- The Puma Clyde is known best for its suede upper with perforation detailing on midfoot. The signature Puma Formstrip is seen at lateral and medial sides, while the Puma Clyde in foil branding is seen on the sides as well.
Some Recent Versions of the Puma Clyde
- Puma Clyde OG
- Puma Clyde GCC
- Puma Clyde Pride
- Puma Clyde Snake
- Puma Clyde Winter
- Puma x Coogi Clyde
- Puma Clyde Sock NYC
- Puma Clyde Core Foil
- Puma x Stampd Clyde
Nike Air Force 1 (1892)
Background and Facts
- Initially released in 1982, the Nike Air Force One was named after the US Presidential plane and inspired by the Nike Approach hiking boot. Designed by Nike designer Bruce Kilgore, it was the first basketball shoe to utilize the Nike Air technology. It was also Nike’s first ever basketball shoe.
- Other popular names of the Air Force 1 basketball sneakers include Uptowns, White-on-Whites, AF1s, Forces, and Flavs.
- The Nike Air Force 1 was also the first shoe to get a retro release, which happened in 1986 because the market’s demand on it was still high despite being discontinued.
- In commemoration of the classic shoe’s 25th anniversary in 2007, Nike released a modern version of the shoe called the Nike Air Force 1 07.
- What made the Nike Air Force 1 truly an icon is the Nike Air technology it debuted. Its neat upper features a perforated toe box, a midfoot strap, and a large Swoosh branding on the lateral sides.
Some Recent Versions of the Nike Air Force 1
- Nike Air Force 1 Low
- Nike Air Force 1 Ultra Flyknit
- Nike Air Force 1 07
- Nike Air Force 1 Mid
- Nike Air Force 1 Flax
- Nike Air Force 1 Low Flyknit
- Travis Scott x Nike Air Force 1 Low
Nike Air Foamposite One (1997)
Background and Facts
- The Nike Air Foamposite One was inspired by a beetle’s exoskeleton. The design was led by Nike designer Eric Avar and featured a seamless liquid foam mold, a Zoom Air unit, and a carbon-fiber midfoot plate. When it first released, the Nike Air Foamposite One retailed at $180.
- It was one of Penny Hardaway’s signature shoes. It was one of the two shoe models that debuted Nike’s Foamposite technology. The other one was the Nike Air Foamposite Pro.
Some Recent Versions and Colorways of the Nike Air Foamposite One
- Nike Air Foamposite One “Elemental Rose”
- Nike Air Foamposite One “Particle Beige”
- Nike Air Foamposite One “Habanero Red”
- Better Supreme x Nike Air Foamposite One
- Nike Air Foamposite One “Big Bang”
- Nike Air Foamposite One “Rust Pink”
- Nike Air Foamposite One “Chinese New Year”
Air Jordan Series (1985 – 2008)
Air Jordans have always been a pivotal part of the chronicles of basketball sneakers since the first ever model, the Air Jordan 1, released in 1985. It made history not just in basketball but in other subcultures as well including hip-hop, street fashion, and sneaker culture as a whole.
Background and Facts
Air Jordan I (1985)
- The very first Air Jordan, the Air Jordan I, was introduced in 1985 and retailed at $65. It was designed by Peter Moore and first retroed in 1994. Back in the day, its black/red colorway caused controversies as it violated the NBA's uniform code. The NBA fined Michael Jordan $5,000 for every game he wore the shoe.
Air Jordan II (1986)
- The second Air Jordan was the first Nike shoe not to feature the signature Swoosh branding. It was also designed by Peter Moore and the only pair of AJs that were made in Italy, adding a luxurious touch to the kicks.
Air Jordan III (1988)
- Designed by Tinker Hatfield, the AJ III debuted the now-iconic Jumpman logo and the signature elephant print overlays on the upper. Such feature has resurfaced in reissued AJ IIIs and some of the succeeding Air Jordan models up to this day.
- It was also the first Air Jordan to feature a visible Air-Sole unit under the heel.
- Part of the marketing strategy for the Air Jordan III was a TV commercial featuring Michael Jordan and actor/director Spike Lee as his 1986 film “She’s Gotta Have It” character Mars Blackmon.
Air Jordan IV (1989)
- The Air Jordan IV was also designed by Tinker Hatfield. It was the first AJ shoe to feature mesh for added breathability.
- It appeared in Spike Lee’s film Do the Right Thing, proving basketball shoes’ remarkable impact on pop culture.
- The AJ IV first retroed in 1999 to commemorate the shoe’s 10th anniversary, and it sold out immediately.
Air Jordan V (1990)
- The Air Jordan V initially released in February 1990 for $125. One of its most distinguishable features was the shark-tooth design detailing on the midsoles. It also featured an offset ankle collar, which offered extra support while ensuring flexibility. Compared to its predecessors, the AJ V had a higher overall cut.
- The Air Jordan V was also the first ever basketball sneakers to feature 3M reflective material.
Air Jordan VI (1991)
- The Air Jordan VI was the shoe that Michael Jordan wore during his first NBA Championship title. Inspired by Michael Jordan’s German sports car, this particular AJ featured a translucent rubber sole, leather overlays, inner booty sleeve, lace locks, a molded heel tab, and a rubber tongue.
Air Jordan VII (1992)
- Tinker Hatfield took inspiration from the West African tribal art for the Air Jordan VII. It featured Nike Huarache technology - an inner booty construction for a snug fit. However, unlike its predecessors, this shoe got away with the visible Air-Sole unit in the heel and visible Nike branding on the exterior.
- Part of this shoe’s marketing was a TV commercial featuring Michael Jordan and famous cartoon character Bugs Bunny.
Air Jordan VIII (1993)
- When Michael Jordan made history by winning his 3rd MVP title in 3 consecutive seasons, he was wearing the Air Jordan VIII. The shoe can easily be distinguished by its circular Jumpman logo displayed on the tongue and anti-inversion crossing straps for a lockdown fit.
Air Jordan IX (1993)
- The Air Jordan IX was released the same year when Michael Jordan retired from basketball to play baseball. It features a leather, nubuck, and mesh upper and a one-pull lacing system.
Air Jordan X (1994)
- The Air Jordan X featured a much simpler design compared to the other Air Jordans. It was designed when the legendary basketball star was away from basketball, but he wore its “Chicago” colorway when he returned into the spotlight in 1995.
- It featured a clean toe, padded collar, a heel pull tab, and elastic band lacing system.
Air Jordan XI (1995)
- The Air Jordan XI was the first basketball shoe to utilize patent leather and the first one in the series to use a carbon fiber shank. It also featured a full-length Air-Sole unit and a translucent “icy” outsole.
Air Jordan XII (1996)
- The design of the Air Jordan XII was inspired by the Japanese flag with a leather upper resembling a rising sun. It was the first shoe in the series to feature a Zoom Air unit and lateral and medial panels for support.
Air Jordan XIII (1997)
- Released in November 1997, the Air Jordan XIII’s most notable features are the holographic eye and an outsole that resembles a panther paw.
Air Jordan XIV (1998)
- The Air Jordan XIV released in 1998 at $150 retail price. It was the last shoe that Michael Jordan wore as part of the Chicago Bulls Team in the NBA. It featured an asymmetrical collar, seven Jumpman logos on each shoe, dual Zoom Air units, and low profile heel and forefoot.
Air Jordan XV (1999)
- Inspired by the X-15 fighter plane, the Air Jordan XV featured an extraordinary silhouette. The upper was made of a woven Kevlar material, while the mesh tongue was exaggerated and stuck out. It also featured a hidden speed-lacing system and a full Zoom Air cushioning.
Air Jordan XVI (2001)
- After several years with the Air Jordan line, Tinker Hatfield passed the ball to Wilson Smith III in designing the Air Jordan XVI. The shoe was inspired by marching boots, architecture, and automobiles. One of its most notable features was the magnetic fastening cover for an added lockdown fit.
- This shoe marked the return of visible Air-Sole unit and translucent sole, which was featured in other Air Jordan models before it. At the same time, this shoe debuted the use of blow-molded heel and forefoot Zoom Air unit.
Air Jordan XVII (2002)
- The Air Jordan XVIII was the most expensive Air Jordan at that time, which retailed at $200. It featured a TPU heel stabilizer, a full-length shank plate, a hidden quick-lace system, lace locks, and a removable midfoot cover.
Air Jordan XVIII (2003)
- The year the Air Jordan XVIII released was also the same year of MJ's final NBA game. Designed by Tate Kuerbis, this shoe's design inspiration was drawn from F1 race cars, racing lines, race driving shoes, as well as Italian dress shoes.
Air Jordan XIX (2004)
- To date, the Air Jordan XIX is the lightest and most breathable basketball shoe from the line. Inspired by a poisonous African snake, its design boasts striking aesthetics highlighted by veiled laces. It also featured a Tech-Flex upper and a Zoom Air cushioning.
Air Jordan XX (2005)
- The Air Jordan XX released just in time to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Air Jordan and, of course, Tinker Hatfield retook the spot and designed this particular model. It also featured a midfoot strap for lockdown fit and support while covering the lacing system. This feature made it the last in the five-model run of shoes in the AJ series that covered the laces.
- Also, this shoe debuted the Independent Podular Suspension cushioning technology.
Air Jordan XXI (2006)
- Designed by D’Wayne Edwards, the Air Jordan XXI drew inspiration from the Bentley Continental GT Coupe. It had a luxurious look and featured a diamond-quilted seamless bootie construction, carbon shank, a Phylon midsole, and Independent Podular Suspension technology that allow the wearers to choose between Zoom Air cushioning or Encapsulated Air.
Air Jordan XX2 (2007)
- The AJ XX2’s translucent outsole, sharp lines throughout the upper, and zigzag stitching pattern were all inspired by the F-22 Fighter jet. D'Wayne Edwards designed it and released during the 2007 All-Weekend, which was also Michael Jordan's 44th birthday.
- The shoe also featured an extended heel counter, a collar with a triangular quilted pattern, a titanium-coated shank plate, and titanium lace loops.
Air Jordan XX3 (2008)
- The 23rd shoe in the Air Jordan line was again designed by Tinker Hatfield together with Mark Smith. It featured an outsole patterned after MJ’s thumbprint (which was also visible on the inner part of the tongue), DNA-inspired stitching, and the basketball icon’s initial on the upper and his signature on the toe box.
Some Recent Versions of Air Jordans
- Kaws x Air Jordan IV
- OFF WHITE x Air Jordan I
- Levis x Nike Air Jordan IV
- Nike Air Jordan 1 “Bred Toe”
- Nike Air Jordan III “Black Cement”
- Virgil Abloh c/o OFF-WHITE x Nike Air Jordan 1
- Air Jordan 1 Retro High Premium
- Air Jordan 11 Retro Low
Commonly Asked Questions about Basketball Sneakers
Where can I buy lifestyle basketball shoes online?
Several athletic shoe brands include basketball sneakers in their product line which are available on their official websites. There are also a handful of retail sites that offer basketball sneakers. Below is the list of some of the shoe brands that offer basketball sneakers:
How much are basketball-inspired sneakers?
Pricing of basketball sneakers varies depending on several factors such as brand, collaborations, and technologies and materials. Generally, basketball sneakers infused with top-of-the-line sneaker technologies and collabs bear more expensive price tags. To give you an idea, below are approximate price ranges of basketball sneakers per brand.
- Adidas: $60 to $290
- Asics: $70 to $120
- Converse: $50 to $120
- Jordan: $105 to $225
- Nike: $65 to $230
- Puma:$55 to $225
- Reebok: $60 to $180
I plan on playing basketball using casual basketball kicks. What factors should I consider when buying a pair?
Like when buying a pair of any sneakers, there are a few factors that you should look into when choosing the right basketball sneakers for you.
- Comfort. Basketball sneakers should be comfortable. A shoe’s comfort can be attributed to its overall structure, materials, cushioning, and technologies. These characteristics are discussed in details above.
- Style. When choosing a pair of basketball sneakers, buyers often look at the style more than any other shoe features. It is, of course, personal preference and would make the wearer more confident in wearing the shoe. It is important to note that a shoe's style does not equate to its performance and comfort. Keep in mind that not because a particular model of basketball sneakers looks nice, it would automatically feel nice when worn.
- Fit and Sizing. Finding the correct size and fit for your basketball sneakers is the key to attain optimum comfort that your feet will thank you for. Reading a particular shoe brand’s sizing and fit guide is a great help in this area. You can also relay on honest user reviews.
- Durability. Another vital factor to consider when looking for the perfect pair of basketball sneakers for you is durability. Consider the shoe’s materials, upper construction, and outsole.
- Traction. When playing basketball, great traction is essential. Consider the outsole of your basketball sneakers, particularly its traction pattern. Different patterns are designed for specific surfaces (indoor, outdoor, or both).
- Price. Basketball sneakers are everywhere; some are affordable while a hefty price tag accompanies others. Set a budget and stick to it.
Can women wear men’s basketball shoes?
Yes, but men’s basketball sneakers are designed to be wider than women’s shoes. Hence, the degree of stability that they have will not be the same when a woman wears them. However, some athletic shoe brands such as Converse, Puma, Adidas, and Nike release basketball-inspired sneakers that are women-exclusive, in unisex sizing, or in women’s sizing.
How do you style basketball-based sneakers?
Styling basketball sneakers vary on the shoe's style or design and structure. Here are some styling tips:
- High-top basketball sneakers can be best worn with tapered jeans or slim-fitting jeans to highlight its profile.
- Basketball sneakers that are vibrant and colorful should be paired with a toned-down, simple outfit to keep a subtle look. By doing so, your shoes will be the highlight of your outfit.
- Similarly, basketball sneakers with intricate design should also be paired with a simple set of wardrobe to make your shoes the focal point of your entire outfit.
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