Top 10 Signature Shoes Of My Lifetime


I was asked recently, what are your favorite basketball shoes? And it really had me thinking hard as to what shoe's would I put above the rest. It's a tall order from someone who has been involved with the game since 9 years old, and has seen some absolute classic shoes come and go, yet I was honestly stuck.....for a while. Finally, I started using my criteria for picking shoes to decide which have been the best in lifetime. My criteria is simple, it has to look good that's a no brainer, I'm a artistic guy, graphic design major the whole nine so creativity and originality is a must. Second, the comfort has to be right. When I cut, jump, land, etc does it feel like I'm landing on something soft or does it feel like I am landing on concrete barefoot? Lastly, support, preferably around the ankles. Hey I have skinny ankles and growing up playing ball I rolled my ankle a lot, so I needed and still prefer a mid top support with my shoes. If I have those three things when I try them on in a store, they're as good as bought. So without further delay, I bring you my all time top ten basketball shoes.

#10. Reebok Kamikaze II

Player - Shawn Kemp

Year - 1996

Extremely comfortable shoe with great ankle support, this signature shoe of the Reign Man Shawn Kemp is in my opinion one of Reebok's best shoes all around. No coincidence that Kemp experienced his best season as a pro averaging 19.6 points and 11.4 rebounds a game.

#9. Adidas KB8

Player - Kobe Bryant

Year - 1997

First signature shoe for Mamba, Kobe Bryant. The design was unique especially for the time and the light weight enhanced the ability to stop on the dime, change direction at different speeds and get off the ground quickly. I know Mamba is Nike 100 percent now, however, this remains my favorite Kobe signature shoe.

#8. Nike Zoom Flight V

Player - Jason Kidd

Year - 1997

Jason Kidd's signature shoe following a two year run where he won rookie of the year (94-95), became a first time all star (95-96) and established himself as arguably's the NBA's top point guard. The design is flat out cold, the bubble on the side is genius and the extra traction on the front portion of the shoe was ideal for all guards at the time, including myself.

#7. Nike Zoom Payton IV

Player - Gary Payton

Year - 2002

The Glove Gary Payton continued his run of excellence as the best point guard on both ends of the floor in the NBA by averaging 20.4 points, 8.3 assist, 4.2 rebounds and 1.7 steals a game. The metallic silver color way set the tone as a must have for all basketball fans. The space inside the shoe maximizing total comfort the foot was right on time and the mid cut to support the ankle just solidified this shoe as one of my favorites.

#6. Nike Air Zoom Flight

Player - Jason Kidd

Year - 1995

The first classic Jason Kidd shoe by Nike. Showcasing three carbon fiber "zoom" circles which just blew our minds at the time. The ankle support was excellent, the traction legit and comfort one of a kind. It's hands down one of the better shoes Nike has created.

#5. Nike Air Flightposite III

Player - Kevin Garnett

Year - 2002

Flightposite shoe's design was a glimpse into the future of shoe design with the double straps, a fit sleeve inside the shoe and the air cushioning throughout the shoe to help with maximum comfort. The solid rubber outsole made the shoe a bit heavy however more durable than other basketball shoes. Worn by Kevin Garnett during the 02-03 season where he averaged 23 points, 13 rebounds and 6 assist a game while earning All NBA First Team honors and All Star game MVP.

#4. Reebok Answer I

Player - Allen Iverson

Year - 1997

The shoe that kick started, Iverson's "Answer" signature shoe run, the second longest run of a signature series (Air Jordan) in basketball history. What a debut it was. Answer I introduced the DMX cushioning system that made the shoe in my opinion second only to the Jordan XI's as the most comfortable basketball shoe in history. Support, on point, style is on point, I understand why some prefers the Answer over the Question's as Iverson's top shoe.

#3. Reebok Question's

Player - Allen Iverson

Year - 1996

One of the most influential shoes ever created, the Questions ushered in not only the beginning of Allen Iverson's hall of fame career, but a new fearless era of NBA talent with Iverson in the forefront. Had all the prerequisite qualities I look for in a shoe ( comfort, support, design) , it's no surprise that it's Reebok's top-selling shoe ever.

#2. Nike Air Garnett III

Player - Kevin Garnett

Year - 1999

I think the entire DMV had this shoe when it was released in 99 and it was for a great reason, it was Garnett's best signature shoe of his career. The colorways and design were amazing, by far the most comfortable shoe I ever put on and the support was great for all players. Add in the fact that it was the shoe soon to be hall of famer Kevin Garnett wore when he exploded on the scene once and for all as one of the best in the game, it's no surprise that it has stood the test of time as one of Nike's more popular shoes.

#1. Air Jordan XI (Patent Leather)

Player - Michael Jordan

Year - 1996

To me the BEST basketball shoe ever produced, the Jordan XI aka the Patent Leather's. The shoe Jordan wore during the 95-96 season when he returned to the NBA in his first FULL season from baseball, promptly re-establishing himself as the best in the game by leading the Bulls to 72 wins, winning regular season and all star game MVP awards and of course capturing the fourth championship of his career. The design was way before it's time, mid cut and insole made it the perfect support for basketball players and there was no equal on the market in the comfort department. Jordan is the standard for basketball excellence, the XI's are the standard for basketball shoe's.

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