Badass kicks and basketball. The greatest duo to ever exist since salt and pepper.
This revelation started from the early 1900s when believe it or not Chuck Taylor’s Converse were considered to be the topline for basketball players.
By 1920s every all-star in basketball had a pair of Converse high-tops making Chuck Taylor’s Converse the very first brand to dominate the league.
However with the discovery of leather sneakers in 1960s we saw the rise of the big swoosh, Nike, in the nation.
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Nike dominated with their groundbreaking designs like the air-sole, high-top laces, leather cushions.
Then came Michael Jordan, who elevated the game and the shoe market to another level with his highly sought after Air Jordans.
With the rise of Air Jordan and Adidas, the kicks market experienced an onset of trends and testing that left customers with competitive yet innovative sneakers; the Sneaker Frenzy had begun.
Today, collections from sneaker-heads boasts of hundreds of Air Jordans and other old-school kicks that are traded for hundreds of dollars.
Shoes are an important aspect of basketball with over a hundred models released every year by several companies. If NBA players were warriors then the shoes are their weapons.
It’s not even Footlocker’s Week of Greatness yet (which drops in November and entails the release of this year’s much awaited kicks).
But the releases until now are already causing buzz in the media with debut signature shoes in the NBA from superstars like Paul George and James Harden.
So here are the best kicks from 2016- 2017 (till date)
Nike Hyperdunk 2016 Flyknit
With their eighth edition of the best-selling Hyperdunk, Nike has released three versions of it; the flyknit, the low and the original.
All with Fuse Upper Technology. However, the flyknit has caught a lot of eyes in the 2016 Olympics with its sock-like upper ankle.
The sock however is very breathable and provides ankle support as well as flexibility.
With the full-length Zoom Air cushion, this Hyperdunk is already a best seller.
Nike Kobe A.D
Kobe may have retired but his kicks are still setting the standards for drive and cushioning.
His second shoe after retirement and many wear reviews tell us that this is his one of his best shoe for the last five years.
As a big fan of Kobe’s releases, this signature shoe distinguishes itself from the Kobe 11s with its better lockdown, lightness and stability.
The Mamba has really replied to the criticism he got from his past shoe.
Air Jordan XXX1
The AJXXX1 is a humble nod to its ancestor with its iconic resemblance to AJ1s but with a modern update.
The classic leather fuses with newer synthetic leather providing lightweight footing with great durability for in-court use.
The 31st edition of the AJ brings a retro look fused with today’s kick technology and has great traction.
The shoe is the go to staple for Westbrook and Kawhi Leonard, two of the quickest legs in the western conference.
Nike Zoom KD 9
Kevin Durant’s 9th signature shoe finally stays away from the fluorescent colors of the blue and orange but dons many different shades with the help of designer Leo Chang.
The Zoom offers great cushioning which is vital for a big man who spends his time in the air dealing blocks and serving dunks like KD.
The material and weave is also Nike’s top work proving the customer with a reliable pair of kicks to blaze on the court.
Adidas Harden Vol 1
James Harden’s first pair to debut in the NBA and the fresh look is killing it.
With its full length Adidas Boost cushion and low cut, the Vol 1 feels like Harden’s personalized shoe with its support cage and asymmetrical lacing.
The traction is a new technology and along with the support cage ensures that the Vol 1 provides total in-court control and agility.
Another debut kick from a popular all-star, we have Paul George’s PG1.
The upside to this shoe is that for its price you are loaded with its zoom air cushioning and flywire strap that doesn’t create a hassle for the footwork.
Performance-wise, it is an all-round shoe and the traction isn’t bad with its fish scale tracts that hints George’s hobby for fishing. Definitely a good debut shoe.
Under Armour Curry 3
The Champion point guard releases his 3rd edition of the UA sneaker with its classy color ways.
The Curry 3 is lightweight and heavily cushioned to provide a light touch into the heavy dribbling orientated game that Curry plays.
The traction is similar to Clutch Drive’s which was good for all directional movement for fast transitions.
Nike Kyrie 3
Another point-guard orientated design is the Kyrie 3. These kicks are 2017’s most stunning designs that are already a fan favorite.
As a direct alternative to the Curry 3s for its traction and similar ankle support, the shoe allows for great movement and all sorts of quick cuts and transitions.
Nike LeBron XIV
After the big flop that was LeBron 13, this year invited a very sleek looking LeBron with its gorgeous strap and ankle support.
The shoe is built for speed and the cushioning allows for quick motion from impacts. The strap ensures that your mid-foot is held in place.
The 3 hex zooms ensures cushioning and also brings traction down to 5 pivotal points. It’s the perfect all-rounder and wearing a pair will definitely give you the “King” impression.
Adidas Crazy Explosive Primeknit
Just like the name says, it’s meant for an explosive, quick paced and fast action gameplay.
Heavily regarded as the best sneaker of 2017 (I was clearly saving best for last), this shoe has crazy amounts of cushioning with Boost technology and although it looks tacky, its explosiveness has been tested by Kyle Lowry on the court.
A very recent release, the shoes have elite traction that can be tried and tested on any court.
With recent reviews that praise the kicks for its insane comfort and reliability in any court and any playing style, the shoe summarizes the three stripe’s perfect combination of tech, the boost and primeknit, to create a mon-star of a shoe.