Sneakers have been predominantly on the rise especially in Basketball, this started due to Michael Jordan when he created his own sneaker line and this showcased the rise in the domestic circuit for sneakers and the craze for them in the younger generations’, this has been followed by collaboration with Nike which created a new breakthrough for the shoe game.
Basketball players have themselves started their own sneaker lines with collaboration with various brands and have started their own sneaker collection featuring their names.
Ranking the Top 10 NBA sneaker lines:
1. Michael Jordan (Jordan Brand)
Debut year: 1984
Notable models: Air Jordan 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13
The first 14 models are as close to perfect as possible. The retro releases are as coveted as they were decades ago, if not more so with Instagram and the secondary sneaker market.
Jordan’s are one of the most coveted models and sought out pieces their shoes are also being sold in premium, and reselling has become a huge business.
2. Kobe Bryant (Nike)
Debut year: 2005
Notable models: Nike Kobe 1, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 High, 11 Elite
Other models: Nike Hyper dunk, Nike Zoom Huarache 2K4
Kobe Bryant’s shoes has had huge demand from the time they have been released and after Bryant’s untimed death there has been unsought demand among the fans and players themselves are finding it hard to get a pair of Kobe’s.
Debut year: 2003
Notable models: Nike Air Zoom Generation, Nike LeBron 2, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 15, Nike Zoom Soldier 10, 12
From the moment he stepped foot in the NBA, all eyes have been on LeBron James and, in turn, his sneakers. His line of sneakers is very unique and different in terms of colourways and other aspects.
4. Kyrie Irving (Nike)
Debut year: 2014
Notable models: Nike Kyrie 1, 2, 3, 4
Irving has been the breakout sneaker star of this decade, with a stellar debut and significant partnerships and collaborations, from SpongeBob to Lucky Charms, garnering buzz.
5. Kevin Durant (Nike)
Debut year: 2008
Notable models: Nike KD 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 10, 12
Durant marks the sixth Nike signature player on this list. His sneaker line has rotated between mids and lows, with some of the more notable models featuring a mid or upper-strap.
6. Allen Iverson (Reebok)
Debut year: 1996
Notable models: Reebok Question, Reebok Answer 1, 4, 5
When Iverson faked left and shook right, crossing up MJ, it cemented his status as the rising heir to Jordan’s sneaker throne and ensured the Questions would be Reebok’s most beloved shoe.
7. Scottie Pippen (Nike)
Debut year: 1997
Notable models: Nike Air Pippen 1, 2, 4
Other models: Nike Air More Up-tempo, Nike Air Max Up-tempo 1995, Nike Flight Huarache, Nike Air Swift
MJ wasn’t the only Bull with a cold sneaker game. His teammate, Pippen, wore some of the most notable Nike sneakers of the ’90s, including the Air More Up-tempo, which featured the classic A-I-R lettering along the sides of the sneaker, and his Air Pippen series.
8. Tracy McGrady (Adidas)
Debut year: 2002
Notable models: Adidas T-Mac 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
When Bryant left Adidas in the summer of 2002, McGrady stepped in as the brand’s next superstar. He became something of a sneaker trendsetter, introducing hits of silver, full-blown patent leather, and even wearing mismatching red and blue T-Mac 3 sneakers in the 2004 All-Star game.
9. Paul George (Nike)
Debut year: 2017
Notable models: Nike PG1, 2
It’s always difficult to launch a successful sneaker line, but it’s been even more challenging recently, as basketball sneakers sales have declined amid greater footwear competition. But Paul George made way for himself with a very unique shoe style of his and today has a lot of loyal customers which return after every release of his.
10. Stephen Curry (Under Armour)
Debut year: 2014
Notable models: Under Armour Curry 1, 2, 4, 7, Under Armour SC 3ZER0 II
One of the trends on this list is young stars turning lesser-known brands — at least in the basketball space — into powerhouses. Perhaps no one personifies that example more than Curry, whose incredible ascent during the 2014-15 season led to Under Armor’s historic growth as a basketball brand that season.