More than 100 years have passed since the first basketball shoe was produced. From the very basic canvas-and-rubber Converse All Star to the fashion-meets-performance Air Jordans of today, basketball shoes have significantly evolved to meet the ever-changing style of the game, players, and crowd.
Back then, basketball shoes were created to meet a specific need: performance. Nowadays, these sneakers not only need to boost an athlete's performance on the court, but they also need to look fly enough to be rocked on the streets.
Like fine gold and silver jewelry, basketball sneakers have become collectible fashion items that have both cultural and economic significance. In fact, the global athletic footwear market is expected to reach $84.4 billion by the end of 2018 and is forecasted to grow to $114.8 billion by 2022. Because of this, brands continue to push the boundaries of both performance and style.
The Most Eye-Catching Silver Basketball Shoes by Brand
Generations of sneakerphiles were born after the Converse All Star was introduced in 1917. Since then, shoe brands have been battling it out to reign supreme in the sneaker world. Gone are the days of rudimentary designs. Basketball shoes are now being crafted to stand out like precious metals.
Here we’ll provide a little history lesson and give you a rundown of some of the most game-changing and fashion-forward basketball sneakers in a shiny metallic silver colorway.
After the Converse All Star was introduced, a young basketball player named Charles “Chuck” H. Taylor was so impressed with the sneaker that he joined the Converse sales force in the 1920’s. Chuck traveled across the United States promoting the Converse All Star and even had a hand in making some key design improvements.
Because of his contribution to the All Star’s success, Converse added his name to the ankle patch in 1932 and the shoe became known as the Chuck Taylor All Star. For nearly four decades, the Converse All Star reigned supreme. It was the go-to high-top sneaker for basketball players and just about everyone else.
- Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Liquid Metallic Ox (Silver). The Chuck Taylor All Star combines comfort and style with its synthetic upper, fabric lining, and rubber outsole. Bathed in metallic silver, the Chuck Taylor All Star Liquid Metallic allows you to make an impact wherever you go. These all silver basketball shoes are available in both low- and high-top designs.
The Three Stripes entered the sneaker scene in 1924 and garnered global recognition when Olympian Jesse Owens won four gold medals while wearing Dassler spikes during the 1936 Olympics.
In 1969, the Superstar was born. Nicknamed the “shelltoe,” the original Adidas Superstar featured a leather upper and attracted NBA stars such as Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Jerry West, and “Pistol” Pete Maravich.
Two years later, Adidas launched the first player-endorsed basketball shoe. Aptly named the Adidas Jabbar, these basketball sneakers were adorned with Kareem's smiling face. The Jabbar marked the new era of athlete-brand collaboration and also set a precedent for today’s signature sneakers.
- Adidas D Rose 5 Boost ‘Broadway Express’. To celebrate the 2015 NBA All-Star festivities in New York City, Adidas launched the Broadway Express Collection. The collection takes inspiration from New York’s famed subway line. The Adidas D Rose 5 Boost ‘Broadway Express’ utilizes a metallic silver base as a nod to the transit system. It has navy blue overlays that mimic tunnel darkness. Hits of safety yellow on the laces, branding, and outsole complete the subway-inspired theme. Aside from the Adidas D Rose 5, the Broadway Express Collection also includes the Adidas Crazy 8 and Adidas Crazy 2.
- Adidas D Lillard 1 ‘Gauntlet’. The Adidas D Lillard 1 Gauntlet edition was designed specifically for the participants of the Adidas AAU Tournament called “Gauntlet”. Meant to provide exposure to the nation’s rising stars, this player exclusive colorway features a metallic silver upper finished off with black and gray accents. These all silver basketball shoes saw action in Dallas, Texas last 2015 where more than 150 athletes from the top 15, 16, and 17U teams battled it out for the chance to compete at the Gauntlet Finale.
- Adidas Crazy 1 (The Kobe) Metallic Silver/Black. Released in 2000, the Adidas Crazy 1 was originally Kobe Bryant's first signature sneaker. The Kobe’s polarizing design was inspired by the Audi TT Roadster and boasts a half-shell toe, a double foam collar, an injected EVA midsole, and the Torsion system. Bryant won his first NBA championship while wearing the Adidas Kobe 1; however, his stay with The Three Stripes ended after his reported dissatisfaction with the Kobe 2. In 2006, Adidas decided to retro these sneakers and renamed it the Crazy 1. Devoid of all Kobe-related shoe branding, these silver Adidas basketball shoes feature a metallic silver upper complemented with black accents and gray laces. During Bryant’s final year in the NBA, James Harden laced up a pair of these shiny silver basketball shoes to pay tribute to the departing Lakers legend.
- Adidas Harden B/E 2 White/Silver. In 2017, Adidas expanded James Harden’s signature line by launching an overseas exclusive silhouette called the Harden B/E. This 2018, The Three Stripes continues the line by releasing the Harden B/E 2. This budget-friendly model is inspired by James’s “Brothers Through Everything” motto and features a knit upper on top of a Bounce midsole. The Adidas Harden B/E 2 White/Silver is meant to spotlight James’s style on and off the hardwood.
The 70’s was the golden age of sneakers in the NBA. Several brands outfitted NBA stars with their latest and greatest basketball shoes. Adidas brought the Superstar, Pony launched the Topstar, Pro Ked released the Royal Master, and Nike debuted the Blazer.
Not to be outdone, Puma brought in two-time NBA Champion Clyde Frazier in 1973 and created the Puma Clyde. Frazier requested for a special pair of Suedes, so Puma reconfigured its design. The result was a lighter and wider basketball sneaker with his name stamped on the side. The Clyde would be regarded as the first signature shoe in basketball history.
After the Puma Clyde, the brand’s basketball division became non-existent. However, in 2018, Puma Basketball hopes to create some buzz and make a comeback by naming Jay-Z as their creative director and signing promising NBA rookies Marvin Bagley III, DeAndre Ayton, Zhaire Smith, and Michael Porter Jr.
"We've been trying to figure out for a while when and where to enter the market," Adam Petrick, Puma global director of brand and marketing, told ESPN. "As the basketball market softened up a bit, we saw that as an opportunity."
Puma looks to disrupt the basketball sneaker market with their latest silhouette. Taking cues from the original Puma Clyde, the Puma Clyde Court Disrupt fuses advanced performance technology with street-ready style.
- Puma Clyde Snakeskin Silver. These silver basketball shoes combine a classic silhouette with a unique and stylish textured snakeskin design. The Puma Clyde Snake features a leather upper covered with an exotic reptile-like skin pattern.
Up until the 70’s, basketball shoes were primarily multi-purpose high-tops. Nike then changed the landscape in the 80’s by implementing innovations that were designed to provide athletes with performance-enhancing tech.
In the mid-80’s, the Oregon-based company was also a pioneer in creating groundbreaking silhouettes. The infamous “Banned” storyline of the Air Jordan I gained for the then-small brand instant fame and some level of notoriety.
Nike would eventually have the sneaker game down to a science. The Swoosh surged past their competition and now dominates the shoe market.
- Nike Zoom Kobe Icon ‘Metallic Silver’. With his legendary career coming to a close in 2016, Kobe Bryant took a step back to recall some of his on-court influences. Bryant and Nike then crafted a polarizing silhouette to pay tribute to the athletes that helped shape his game and tireless work ethic. The result is the Nike Zoom Kobe Icon. These metallic silver basketball shoes are a mash-up of Charles Barkley’s Air Max CB34, Gary Payton’s Air Zoom Flight ‘The Glove’, Penny Hardaway’s Air Up, and Bryant’s Zoom Kobe VI. “It wasn’t just the fact that these three shoes were some of his favorite shoes while he was crafting his game and growing up in basketball, it was these three players who influenced his style of play, and they’re important to how he became the legendary player he is today.” Nike footwear designer Dylan Petrenka explained to Nike.com. Although lifestyle-driven, the Zoom Kobe Icon can hold its own on the hardwood. These silver Nike basketball shoes have an Injected Phylon (IP) midsole with heel and forefoot Nike Zoom Air units for increased on-court comfort. The shoe’s rubber outsole features a Black Mamba-inspired traction pattern for enhanced multidirectional grip.
- Nike Air Foamposite Pro ‘Silver Surfer’. The Nike Air Foamposite Pro debuted in 1997 and became an instant sensation on the hardwood. It was the perfect union of performance and science. With aerodynamics in mind, the upper was crafted by pouring a melted foam material into a specially designed mold. The result is a futuristic silhouette that allowed NBA legends to fly past their opponents. These shiny silver basketball shoes feature Nike Zoom Air that provides responsive cushioning while a translucent rubber outsole offers durable traction. The Silver Surfer-theme is perfectly captured by the shoe’s unique carbon fiber upper and clean chrome Swoosh on the side.
- Nike LeBron Soldier 11 ‘Silver Bullet’. The NBA Playoffs is a proving ground that sifts the good teams from the greats, and the great players from legends. With eight consecutive finals appearances under his belt, LeBron James continues to make history as he seeks to cement his legacy. The LeBron Soldier 11 is designed to deliver the support that he needs to break barriers in his unending pursuit of victory. These silver Nike basketball shoes feature Zoom Air cushioning for responsiveness and four elastic straps for locked-in comfort. The ‘Silver Bullet’ colorway pays tribute to James’s favorite sneaker, the Nike Air Max 97. These Nike basketball shoes boast a metallic silver upper with red and black accents. An oval Swoosh branding is also visible on the midfoot strap to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Air Max 97.
- Nike LeBron XIII ‘Lava’. LeBron James is a special talent. He has the ability to bulldoze his way and finish strong at the rim even with defenders desperately trying to block his path. Because of his powerful style, he needs a shoe that can withstand the high demands of his game. The LeBron XIII is up to the task with its Hyperposite material and one-piece sleeve that offers zoned support. The ‘Lava’ theme is inspired by the player’s ability to erupt like a volcano, so it is just fitting that Nike is revisiting this fiery theme with LeBron’s 13th signature model. The Nike LeBron XIII ‘Lava’ boasts a predominantly metallic silver upper with black trim and a red-speckled midsole.
- Nike Dunk Low ‘Silver Surfer’. Just a few months after the Air Jordan I took flight in 1985, Nike sought to energize the college basketball scene by providing color-coordinated footwear and apparel to both athletes and fans. Popular basketball programs such as Syracuse, Georgia, Iowa, Georgetown, Kentucky, Arizona, and UNLV were part of Nike’s College Colors campaign that featured a Peter Moore-sketched shoe 2as its centerpiece. Originally called the College Color High, the Nike Dunk was an artistic mishmash of different silhouettes. The shoe’s low-top version became a cultural phenomenon because of its performance and street style. It transcended sports and became a hit with skaters because of its excellent support, cushioning, and traction. Because of this, a skate-specific design was created, and the Nike Dunk SB was born. The Nike Dunk Low ‘Silver Surfer’ has metallic silver mesh panels and the Silver Surfer’s graphic featured on the insole.
In 1984, Nike signed a skinny young basketball player from North Carolina and created a new signature line that forever changed sneaker culture. Michael Jordan revolutionized the game and made history while wearing his Air Jordan basketball shoes.
Michael’s innovative basketball sneakers coupled with his legendary performances allowed him to extend his reach well beyond the hardwood. As a result, his Air Jordan line took a life of its own when Nike officially announced the inception of Jordan Brand in 1997.
Up to this day, Michael’s influence is strongly felt on and off the court. A sneakerhead's collection is never complete without a pair of his iconic Air Jordans. More than 30 years have passed since being drafted, and everyone still wants to “be like Mike.”
- Air Jordan I Retro High ‘25th Anniversary’. Arguably the most celebrated basketball shoe in sneaker history, the Air Jordan I defined a generation of collectors, athletes, hip-hop artists, and skateboarders. Because of its timeless appeal and versatility, these basketball sneakers have become the backbone of streetwear culture for over three decades. 2010 marked the silver anniversary of these classic sneakers and the Air Jordan line. To commemorate this milestone, Jordan Brand released a limited edition colorway. The Air Jordan 1 Retro High ‘25th Anniversary’ features metallic silver accents on the toe-box, ankle, heel, and Swoosh. The OG Wings logo is imprinted in black while a commemorative “23/25” logo is found on the tongue. These silver basketball shoes also come in a special aluminum briefcase that is reminiscent of the Air Jordan XVII.
- Air Jordan III ‘Chrome’. The Air Jordan 3 signaled the Tinker Hatfield era. It was rumored that Michael was quite unhappy with the Air Jordan I and II. He was ready to jump ship until Tinker arrived to save the day. "Michael really did want to leave us at the time," Tinker told ESPN in an interview. Fortunately, Michael embraced the Air Jordan 3. "When I picked the shoe up, Michael grabbed it from me and started looking at it," Tinker recalls. "He was in a bad mood, and then 20 minutes later, he had the shoe in his hands and his love of design and his love of the process that we had gone through, it all came back to him." The rest is, as they say, history. The Air Jordan III would become one of most well-loved silhouettes and a fan-favorite among sneakerheads. In 2017, Jordan Brand released a women’s exclusive colorway of the Air Jordan 3 as part of their Heiress Collection. Aptly called “Chrome,” these shiny silver basketball shoes feature a reflective monochromatic hue that makes a loud statement.
- Jordan Spiz’ike NIKEiD ‘Liquid Metal Elephant’. Spike Lee was the face of Michael Jordan’s sneaker campaign back in the 90’s. To commemorate their unique relationship, Jordan Brand launched a hybrid sneaker that is designed to show some love to Spike’s character Mars Blackmon from the movie She’s Gotta Have It. Making its debut in 2006, the Jordan Spiz’ike combines the DNA of the Air Jordan III, IV, V, VI, IX, and XX. These sneakers feature the sole and elephant print of the AJ 3, the lace loops of the AJ 4, the silhouette and side netting of the AJ 5, the tongue of the AJ 6, the heel tab of the AJ 9, and the graphic sockliner of the AJ 20. In 2014, the sneaker made its way to NIKEiD with a new feature dubbed “Liquid Metal Elephant.” A shiny ‘Metallic Silver” hue was made available so that buyers can customize the upper with a metallic elephant print. Although considered as a lifestyle sneaker, the Jordan Spiz’ike’s basketball heritage is undeniable.
In 1986, Reebok made its presence felt in the league by signing multiple endorsement deals with NBA stars. Then in 1989, the brand introduced the Pump technology in order to compete with Nike’s Air. Because of its customizability, the Pump became an instant hit. More than 100 players, including Shaquille O'Neal, were spotted wearing the Reebok Pump series.
The Pump became a part of NBA history when Dee Brown won the 1991 Slam Dunk Contest while wearing the Reebok Omni Lite. Before making an impressive dunk, the camera got a close-up of Brown while he was pumping up his Omni Lites.
In 1996, Reebok made their greatest athlete signing when they brought on-board Allen Iverson. The company reached new heights during Iverson’s heyday before eventually shifting their focus away from basketball after his retirement in 2013.
- Reebok Shaqnosis ‘Steel’. Originally released in 1995, the Reebok Shaqnosis made a flashy return in 2013. Designed for the “Man of Steel,” Reebok Classics unveiled the ‘Steel’ Shaqnosis to pay tribute to Shaq’s Superman persona. These shiny silver basketball shoes feature a metallic silver upper with a glow-in-the-dark outsole.
A relative newcomer in the footwear industry, Under Armour launched the Micro G basketball line in 2010. Three years later, UA was able to steal Stephen Curry from Nike just before his ascent to superstardom. Because of Stephen’s rise to fame, Under Armour briefly overtook Adidas in 2014 and become the second largest sports and apparel brand in the United States.
- Under Armour Curry 2 ‘Waves’. During the 2016 NBA Finals, Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors were up 3-1 against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Before a potential series-clinching game five win, Under Armour quietly dropped the ‘Waves’ colorway of the UA Curry 2. The ocean was Stephen’s vacation destination, so, it was speculated that this was a celebratory colorway for the Warriors perceived victory over the Cavaliers. Unfortunately for Stephen, LeBron and the Cavaliers would complete an epic comeback and take home the NBA Championship. The Under Armour Curry 2 ‘Waves’ features a metallic silver and white-based upper with blue accents.
- Under Armour Curry 4 Royal/Metallic Silver. A couple of weeks after the UA Curry 5 was launched, Under Armour dropped a new colorway of its predecessor. The latest addition to the UA Curry 4 boasts a striking metallic silver upper with a royal blue knit.
Anta Sports was established in 1994 and has become China’s biggest sportswear brand. Despite its domestic success, the Chinese brand is still trying to become a major player in the NBA. However, Anta is slowly gaining recognition with the help of three-time NBA Champion Klay Thompson.
Klay Thompson signed with Anta Sports in 2014. He admitted in an interview with ESPN’s NBA feature writer Nick DePaula that he was not familiar with the brand, but the promise of a signature sneaker and creative control attracted him to team up with Anta. A year later, the KT 1, his first signature shoe, rolled out.
- Anta KT2 ‘Pure’. The KT2 ‘Pure’ colorway is a nod to Klay’s efficiency on the court. These Anta basketball shoes have a predominantly white upper with metallic silver accents.
- Anta KT3 ‘All Star’. To celebrate Klay’s fourth All-Star selection, Anta released a limited edition colorway of his most recent signature sneaker. The Anta KT3 ‘All Star’ comes in a metallic silver theme with hits of white.
Silver: Value and Meaning
Goldpredictors.com paints a pretty clear picture of the importance of silver. As quoted from the site, “Because it is more abundant, silver is much less expensive than gold. Silver can be ground into powder, turned into paste, shaved into flakes, converted into salt, alloyed with other metals, flattened into printable sheets, drawn into wires, suspended as a colloid, or even employed as a catalyst. These qualities ensure that silver will continue to shine in the industrial arena, while its long history in coinage and jewelry will sustain its status as a symbol of wealth and prestige.”
The Chemical Element
Silver (atomic symbol Ag) is a lustrous metal that is valued because of its electrical conductivity and decorative beauty. It is a precious metal that has been historically used to create jewelry, ornaments, and coins because of its relative scarcity, malleability, resistance to oxidation, and high luster.
Economic Use and Value
Up until the turn of the 19th century, many countries used a silver standard. The presence of silver in the treasury backed up the value of currency or coinage in circulation.
Currently, no country in the world uses the silver standard; however, the precious metal still maintains its value as a commodity. As an investment metal, silver is second only to gold. It is viewed as a hedge against inflation, economic downturn, and fiat currencies. Individuals invest in silver by purchasing and keeping 99.9% pure silver coins and bullion bars or through financial instruments like mutual funds and stocks.
Silver is also widely used in the electronics industry because of its unrivaled electrical and thermal conductivity. As a result, this precious metal cannot be easily replaced by cheaper materials.
The Color Silver
A balance between white and black, silver is the color of illumination and reflection. It is associated with moon energy and is the color of the Roman goddess Diana (Greek goddess Artemis).
Silver is symbolic of feminine energy. It is sensitive, mysterious, fluid, and emotional. It corresponds to female intuition, inner knowledge, and higher spirituality.
Because of its connection with the moon and the flow and ebb of the tides, the color silver is also seen as purifying, calming, and soothing.
Color Psychology: Different Meanings of the Color Silver
- In the Bible, the color silver symbolizes, truth, repentance, mourning, destruction, and old age.
- In Islam, silver or chandi (Urdu term) is synonymous with argent and being fluent, eloquent, and soft-spoken.
- In Hinduism, the color silver (perceived to be white or gray) is believed to cleanse negativity. Traditionally, Hindu women are discouraged from wearing silver unless they want to invite widowhood. The color silver also signifies a deeper connection with the higher self.
- In North America (the United States and Canada), the color silver depicts things that are masculine, sleek, and modern. It is mostly used in tools, men’s products, and cars.
- Throughout Latin America, silver is associated with wealth, treasure, jewelry, and pirates.
- In Japan, silver represents everything that is high-tech, strong, precise, and masculine.
- In Western Europe, the color silver denotes craftsmanship and technology.
- In Germany, silver stands for sophistication.
- Silver is believed to bring back stability and restore equilibrium to both spiritual energy and feminine power. It reflects negative energy back from where it came from.
- In color psychology, silver perfectly relates to the corporate world and positions of responsibility. The color silver is seen as being organized, responsible, determined, patient, self-controlled, dignified, respectable, and courteous.
- Because it is a balance between white and black, silver is viewed as a good critic. It is compassionate and unbiased with a good sense of justice.
- Silver represents graceful aging and the celebration of the 25th anniversary.
- The color silver is similar to gray but is more playful, fun, and lively. Its energy is also more optimistic and light-hearted.
- Perceived as the mirror of the soul, silver helps us to see ourselves as others do.
- As a gemstone, silver symbolizes unconditional love, hope, tenderness, kindness, meditation, sensitivities, mystic visions, and psychic abilities.
- On the negative end, silver can be non-committal, indecisive, two-faced, and deceptive.
- Silver can also be dull, lifeless, neutral, cold, and insincere.
Keeping Your Silver Basketball Shoes in “Style”
When it comes to statement materials such as shiny metallic fabrics, denim, leather, suede, and neoprene, one of the things to keep in mind is matching textures. It is a good idea to try out different pieces of clothing and contrast them with the statement materials’ details and colors.
How to match your silver basketball shoes with your outfit
What’s nice about the color silver is that it highlights just about anything. It is one of the best shades to match with any color. Below are a few pointers when it comes to matching your silver basketball shoes with the rest of your attire.
- Neutral colors such as black and white are always a perfect match.
- If you want your silver basketball shoes to stand out, try matching it with yellow, lime green, forest green, dove blue, lavender, and blush.
- Try to avoid brown since it is a warm color. Metallic silver is normally cold, and the colors could clash in a wrong way.
- Darker denim provides a great contrast. It is edgy and softens up when paired with metallic silver.
- Find what works for you. Mix and match as you please, it is good to break some fashion rules in order for your style to come out.
Why do most people prefer silver jewelry?
Wearing silver jewelry suggests that you are in touch with your masculine side. It is more discreet than wearing gold jewelry and means that you do not seek the approval of other people nor are you trying to gain social status.
Why is silver a popular car color?
Silver is a popular car color because it is easy to see at night. Silver cars also tend to hold its value because of the color’s popularity.
How does the color silver affect you?
The color silver promotes professionalism and is believed to provide a calming effect. People who like silver are also said to be more logical and wise beyond their years.
5 best silver basketball shoes
- Adidas D Lillard 3
- Air Jordan 7 Retro
- Air Jordan 6
- Nike PG3
- Nike AlphaDunk
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