4 best Damian Lillard basketball shoes

Based on reviews from 88 experts and 1,165 users. Learn how our rankings work or see our guide to Damian Lillard basketball shoes. Updated Dec 2018.

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Dame Lillard

Damian Lamonte Ollie Lillard, or more known as Dame Lillard, is a California-born professional basketball athlete. He started his career in the National Basketball Association in 2012 and has played as the point guard of the Portland Trail Blazers since then.

Aside from being a basketball player, Dame is also successful as a hip-hop and rap artist. As a Christian, he has a noticeable tattoo of Psalms 37:1-3 that runs from his left shoulder down to his elbow. It talks about encouraging believers to pay no attention to evil doers and to trust in the Lord.

Let’s take a look at his life.

Dame was born on July 15, 1990 in Oakland, California. He has a sister and a brother named LaNae and Houston, respectively. In high school, he moved from St. Joseph Notre Dame High School to Oakland High School to gain more play time in basketball. In the last two years in high school, he was part of the all-league first team.

After graduating from high school, he accepted the scholarship offered by Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. During college, Dame had showed tremendous talent in basketball and had received different awards. His greatest achievements include becoming the number 2 scorer in the history of Weber State and the No. 5 scorer in the history of Big Sky. Big Sky is a collegiate athletic conference associated with the NCAA.

The Portland Trail Blazers chose Dame Lillard as the sixth overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. His jersey number 0 represents the letter O, which symbolizes his journey from Oakland, California to Ogden, Utah and Portland, Oregon. He was awarded the NBA Rookie of the Year title and the honor of being part of the NBA All-Rookie First Team at the end of the 2012-2013 season. At the end of the 2013-2014 season, Dame was honored with a spot in the All-NBA Third Team.

In the 2015-2016 season, Dame inked a $120-million five-year contract extension with the Portland Trail Blazers. He received the Magic Johnson Award at the end of the 2016-2017 season. This award is given to NBA players who not only excel on the court but also in their dealings with the media and the general public.

Lillard reached the 9000-point milestone on October 28, 2017, becoming the fastest Trail Blazer to reach such a score; he only needed 402 career games. In 2018, he was elected as an NBA All-Star for the third time. He was a reserve for the team led by Stephen Curry and coach Mark D’Antoni. He was teammates with James Harden and Klay Thompson. They faced LeBron James who led a team that has Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Paul George, and John Wall in it.

Damian Lillard Shoes and their Technologies

best Damian Lilard basketball shoes
 Best Damian Lillard basketball shoes - October 2018

If Nike has LeBron James and Kobe Bryant to keep the cash flowing, Adidas certainly has Derrick Rose and Damian Lillard to keep the competition going. As a rising star, Damian entered into a $100 million deal with Adidas in early 2014. The deal is reported to be the third largest in the history of NBA. Though never confirmed by his agent Aaron Goodwin, the said contract is for eight years, and it includes incentives and a possibility of extending up to a decade.

To date, Adidas has released four Damian Lillard basketball shoes and one sneaker. Similar to how Damian expresses himself through music, each shoe has a story to tell.

  • Adidas D Lillard 1. The first signature shoe of Dame Lillard was released on February 6, 2015 at $105. In as early as October 2014, Damian already took the liberty of announcing his first signature sneaker via Instagram. According to the shoe’s designer Robbie Fuller, "When it came time to design the D Lillard 1, we were able to deliver a shoe that really speaks to him as a player and person.”

With Dame spending a lot of time in the Adidas Portland office for the creation of his shoe, Fuller came to the conclusion that the basketball star is really invested in his shoe. He would ask them when he can visit to check on their progress. It took over 500 iterations to achieve the Dame logo that is seen on the heel counter.

The low-top silhouette of these Damian Lillard shoes provides freedom of movement. The midsole comes with the Adiprene+ technology, providing Lillard’s speedy footwork a smooth heel-to-toe transition. These Dame sneakers feature the Techfit technology in the upper for a superior fit. The outsole has a wavebone traction pattern that grips any court well. For stability, the heel counter is equipped with the SprintFrame technology. There is a “DAME” callout on the top of the tongue, while the logos of the signature athlete and Adidas are seen on the heel counters.

The D Lillard 1 is initially released in two colorways: Rip City and Weber State. Rip City is a black and white pair with red accents on the ankle collar. This colorway pays tribute to the three places that are important in Damian Lillard’s life and career: Oakland, Ogden, and Oregon. The Weber State colorway, an obvious reference to Damian’s college, is purple with black accents on the toe cap, eyelets, tongue, and heel branding.

  • Adidas D Lillard 2. Almost a year after the release of the first Damian Lillard shoes, the Adidas D Lillard 2 comes into the spotlight in a small scale and limited release on December 26, 2015 at only $105 per pair. It comes in the Rip City Home colorway, which is a white and cream pair with black and red accents and a gum outsole. The Away colorway is black and red with a continental rubber outsole. It is released in January 2016.

Both outsole types feature the classic herringbone with the word “Oakland” integrated in it, in the same style as it appears on Dame’s chest tattoo. The tight lines on the pattern deliver great traction on clean courts. The midsole has full-length Bounce cushioning for good responsiveness. The woven knit upper needs no breaking in; it provides support and comfort straight out of the box. For lockdown and support, these Damian Lillard basketball shoes have huge heel counters. They also have SprintFrame and a torsion shank for a smooth heel-to-toe transition.

  • Adidas D Lillard 3. The D Lillard 3 was released on December 14, 2016 at $115. The basketball star was particular on how the design of these Damian Lillard shoes interprets his life. According to Adidas Design Director Jesse Rademacher, “Every step of the way, he understands that process. He comes along with us. And he trusts us, that we’re gonna get to that next stage. Bring not just the product, but bring his stories to life. The story of the Dame 3 this year is about the man, the basketball player and the musician.” The inspiration of the design comes from the places and people who influenced and supported Dame from his humble beginnings to his current star status. He adds that it is his responsibility to be an inspiration to his community. He clarifies that he wants each of his shoe to look different. Because of his plantar fasciitis, he prefers that the Adidas Dame 3 is as flexible as possible without ever needing a long break-in period.

The outsoles of these Damian Lillard Shoes feature a multidirectional pattern  that provides a good court grip and works well with linear and lateral movements. The midsole features firm Bounce cushioning for a low-to-the-ground feel. For a better lockdown, the lace-up system is enhanced with a lace pegboard. Finally, the fused mesh upper provides breathability, flexibility, and durability.

  • Adidas D Lillard 4. For the D Lillard 4, Rademacher and Lillard agreed once again that Bounce should be in the midsole just like its predecessors. However, the cushion is made firmer for supreme court feel and enhanced comfort. The one-bootie construction and compression collar of these Dame basketball shoes provide a glove-like fit by encapsulating the foot. The rubber-coated lace loops deliver a more pronounced lockdown. The lightweight mesh upper provides a great deal of flexibility and comfort. Underneath the mesh are black wire threads that enhance the shoe’s stretch. Regardless of whether it is on a gum or solid rubber outsole, the traction pattern works well on a variety of court floors.

Prior to the official release of the D Lillard 4, Dame was already using and so pleased with it that he did not want to take them off. He wore the shoes wherever he went, accidentally unveiling it to the public through social media.

Damian Lillard wants people to express themselves and tell their own stories through their shoes, so the Dame 4 is put up on miadidas for customization. Rademacher said, “Colorways is just one way to do that. You, as a creator, you get to participate in the process.”

These Adidas Damian Lillard Basketball Shoes hit stores on October 6, 2017 for only $115. The colorways are Rip City and Legacy. The Rip City colorway is mainstay for every Lillard signature shoe for obvious reasons. This red, white, and black colorway is dedicated to his team the Portland Trail Blazers. The Legacy colorway is a white pair with gum outsole.

  • Adidas Dame D.O.L.L.A. Named after Damian Lillard’s rapper alter ego, the Adidas Dame D.O.L.L.A. is actually inspired by the D Lillard 4. It has the same outsole and midsole tooling, making it ready for some on-court action. The lightweight textile upper gives these Lillard Shoes an attractive look that can be rocked on the streets any day. For additional aesthetic appeal, the midfoot has a webbing lace system and a vertical “DAME D.O.L.L.A.” callout on the heel counter. The first release was on February 9, 2017 in subtle grey and tan colorways. The second release was on March 3, 2018 at $125 in black and night cargo colorways.

The Geniuses Behind the Dame Basketball Shoes

Damian Lillard garnered a signature shoe contract with Adidas after playing basketball professionally for two years. With his pleasing personality and awesome on-court performance, he is able to connect with his fans easily. Dame is known to be really involved in the design process of his signature shoes.  Designers work hard to make his imagination and ideas come to life. Listed below are the geniuses behind the performance and popularity of the Damian Lillard basketball shoes:

  • Robbie Fuller. During his early teens, Robbie Fuller already had a passion for design. He was sketching nonstop and dreamed of becoming a shoe designer one day. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University with a degree in Industrial Design. He worked with Adidas from 2001 to 2015. He started from being a footwear designer to being a Senior Design Director of Basketball Footwear. By February 2016, he switched companies to become the Creative Director of Footwear for Anta Sports Product Limited.
  • Brian Foresta. As the Vice President of Design since 2014, Brian Foresta helped design the first and second Damian Lillard Basketball Shoes. He is featured in several articles and is known for being consistent in delivering projects successfully. Some of his other projects are the Harden Vol 1 and the D Rose 7.  

Foresta said that it took a total of 16 months to design the D Lillard 2. He wanted to carry over the step-in comfort from the first Dame sneakers. He appreciates that Dame is not shy and shares his opinion quickly if there is something he does not like with the design.

  • Jesse Rademacher. Jesse Rademacher is the lead designer for the third and fourth Damian Lillard Shoes. Having over a decade of experience in design, he is the current Adidas Design Director for Basketball Footwear. He says of the third Dame basketball shoes, “Dame 3 honors the epicenter of Damian Lillard as baller/musician/man. A milk crate on a telephone pole started it all.”

Symbolisms and Logos

The point guard star makes it clear that the design of the Dame basketball shoes should talk about the journeys of his life, and the people and events that influenced them. Each of the Damian Lillard basketball shoes bear various symbols that hold deep meaning. Some of the most common symbolic elements are the following:  

  • The Damian Lillard logo. Damian Lillard’s logo is a basically a “D” and an “L” fused together, creating a winged “0.” The three-striped wing represents the “Fly Guys,” who are Dame’s close friends.
  • Oak and land. “Oak” and “land” are found on the outsoles of the second Lillard shoes. They represent the birth land of the star point guard.
  • DAME D.O.L.L.A. DAME D.O.L.L.A. is Lillard’s moniker as a rap artist. It means “Different on Levels the Lord Allows.” In his songs, he raps about triumphs and struggles to become who he is today. His lyrics include thanking his former Weber State University basketball coach Phil Beckner for helping him get into the league.

The Dame 3 is the signature model that pays homage to those who raised and supported Dame Lillard.

  • GCR. “GCR” are the initials of Dame’s mother and two grandmothers: Gina, Cecilia, and Ruth. These letters are molded on the toe cap of the right shoe.
  • HA. “H” and “A” are the initials of Dame’s father and grandfather, Houston and Albert. These letters are molded on the toe cap of the left shoe.
  • 37.737. Oakland’s Brookfield neighborhood has a longitude of 37.737, and this figure is molded on the outrigger of the left shoe.
  • 122.188. Oakland’s Brookfield neighborhood has a latitude of 122.188, and this figure is molded on the outrigger of the right shoe.
  • 56316. Dame learned basketball by shooting on a milk crate in front of his grandparents’ house. 56316 is the code attached to the telephone pole that the milk crate is attached to. This code is molded on the outsole of the third Dame sneakers.
  • WEARING THE LETTER O. The letter O represents Oakland, Ogden, and Oregon, places that are important to Damian Lillard’s life. “WEARING THE LETTER O” is found on the insole of Damian Lillard shoes.

The Dame 4 has a string of numbers running down its tongue - 35.12-25.6.4-6-0.9-0. These digits have significant values in Lillard’s basketball career.

  • 35.12. Prior to his final Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) game, Dame did not receive any scholarship offers for college. The numbers 35 and 12 gave him a ticket to a scholarship with Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. They are his stats of 35 points and 12 rebounds. These numbers are his favorites in the string.
  • 25.6.4. In his final season and senior year in Weber State, the numbers were Dame’s nation-leading stats. He averaged 25 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists per game.
  • 6.  In the 2012 NBA Draft, he was the sixth overall pick.
  • 0.9. The number 0.9 reminds Dame of one of the best moments in his NBA career. With only 0.9 second remaining, he threw a three-point shot that led the Portland Trail Blazers to the second round of the NBA Playoffs.
  • 0. 0 is Dame’s jersey number. It also references the letter “O.”
  • YKWTII. The letters YKWTII stand for “You Know What Time It Is.” It is Dame’s message to people who doubt him, reminding them of his capability to take over the game. It runs down the heel counter of the shoe.
  • DAME CERTIFIED Patience Persistence Purpose. Damian Lillard lives by the motto “Patience, Persistence, and Purpose.” These three words are found on the insole of the Dame 4.

Dame Lillard Basketball Shoes Release Dates to Look Out For

Damian Lillard is known to be a people person. In Portland and on social media, he talks genuinely about his sneakers, his love for the team, the people and events that have a great impact in his journey, and his faith. These create a marketable persona in him, making him an effective Adidas endorser.

The release dates of the Damian Lillard basketball shoes are as follows:

  • D Lillard 1 - February 2015
  • D Lillard 2 - December 2015 and January 2016
  • D Lillard 3 - December 2016
  • D Lillard 4 - October 2017
  • Dame D.O.L.L.A. - February and March 2018

It is clear that Adidas releases Dame sneakers either at the beginning or toward the end of year. Using the NBA lens, these months coincide with the All-Star weekend (February), the beginning of a season (October), and Christmas. One good way to really get updated with release dates is to follow Damian Lillard on social media. He usually gives information on upcoming shoes beforehand.

Dame Lillard Basketball Shoes on Sale

Signature shoes such as the Nike Kobe 9 Elite and the Air Jordan XXX sound expensive and high-class to most. True enough, many of them are priced $200 or more. Fortunately, this is not the case with Damian Lillard basketball shoes. Dame wants to make sure that his sneakers are affordable for everyone, especially for kids. He views his signature shoes as sources of inspiration for the community.

The Damian Lillard basketball shoes cost between $105 to $125 upon release. These rates are already affordable given that we are talking about signature shoes. However, there are still plenty of buyers who are more than willing to wait for much lower rates. Those who are patient enough can find discounted rates at least three months after the original release. They can even wait up to a year to get the lowest rate possible. For a cheapskate sneakerhead, the thrill of getting a new signature pair at just half the original price is just unbeatable.

Of course, there are those who cannot track and do not have the time to check on every new release. The best way to get deals would be to depend on the calendar. Christmas, New Year, and Thanksgiving are holidays to watch out for. People would spend their money mostly for family gatherings. Therefore, shoe outlets put old stocks on the discounted shelves--basically the most attractive area for business when the holidays make budgets tight.

Spring and summer seasons invite people to get fit. Buyers rush to stores for sports shoes and apparel to go outdoors and get physical. The lovable weather is a great time for shoe stores to take their stocks out, especially the Damian Lillard basketball shoes on sale, and take advantage of the fitness hype.

It seems weird but people who just came from failed relationships sometimes benefit stores. Many of them focus on their singleness by taking care of their bodies. They hold their head up high and scream, “Me time!” They tend to hit the gym, go hiking, try running, or pick any other exercise just to get rid of inexcusable heartaches through sweat. You know what time it is - Dame Time! Even without discounts, paying $125 to get rid of the pain is always worth it, isn’t it?

Extras (FAQ):

As a hip-hop and rap artist, what are the titles of Damian Lillard’s albums?

Aside from his passion for basketball, Dame also has talent in music, especially in the hip-hop and rap genre. He goes by the moniker “DAME D.O.L.L.A.” The D.O.L.L.A. means “Different on Levels the Lord Allows.” In an interview in the Sway in the Morning Show, he said, "I'm at the point where I'm not just doing music as an athlete, I want to be considered an artist." His fifth signature Damian Lillard Shoes is named DAME D.O.L.L.A. He has released two albums, and these are the following:

  • The Letter O. Dame’s first album was released under Front Page Music on October 21, 2016. It features eleven songs and a bonus track.
  • Confirmed. The second album was released on October 6, 2017 with thirteen tracks.

Aside from his albums, he also has three singles as a lead artist and one as a featured artist.

What does the tattoo in Dame’s left arm say?

Dame Lillard has several tattoos. The most noticeable are the prominent half-sleeve tattoos on both arms. The tattoo on his left arm is a verse from the Bible, which reads:

"Do not fret because

Of evil doers

Be not envious

Towards wrong doers

For they will wither

Quickly like the grass

And fade like the green herb

Trust in the Lord

And do good

Dwell in the land

And cultivate faithfulness

Delight yourself in the Lord

And He will give you

The desires of your heart

Commit your way

To the Lord

Trust also in Him

And He will do it

He will bring forth your

Righteousness

As the light as your

judgment in the noon day.

Psalms 37 1-3"

Why is Boost not used in Damian Lillard basketball shoes?

The Adidas Damian Lillard basketball shoes use Adiprene+ and Bounce technologies for performance cushioning. Other Adidas signature athletes, such as James Harden and Derrick Rose, choose Boost as cushioning because it supports their style of play. As for Dame, being a point guard needs a firm cushioning like Bounce to give him amazing court feel without sacrificing impact protection.

When a social media fan asked Dame, “Bruh I like what you're doing with your kicks but why haven't you added the Boost technology I am curious?” His answer was simple, “Make my shoe more expensive than I want it to be.”

In an interview with Jesse Rademacher, he said that Lillard is very involved with the development of his signature shoes and wants to make sure these Adidas Damian Lillard basketball shoes are affordable for kids. Rademacher added, "So, Damian is super connected to the culture and community. And he knows by the time we put Boost into a shoe, it's going to drive the price up. We try to keep it down. We have a minimum price point that we can actually bring it to market and still make a little bit of money off each shoe. But, Dame wants to make sure his shoes are accessible to everybody."

This shoe has recently been added to RunRepeat. There are still not enough reviews for us to assign it a CoreScore.
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