Throwback Thursday: A Breakdown of History’s Most Stylish Basketball Sneakers

It’s playoffs time! As Cleveland and Oakland get ready to ball it out for the trophy, we’re getting ourselves mentally prepared for all the adrenaline, sweat, and tears ahead — our own, not the players’ (haha). Needless to say, every hardcore fan knows he can’t properly gear up for a game without sporting his freshest kicks. In case your man hasn’t picked the perfect pair yet, this crash course on basketball’s most legendary shoes will help you get him thinking like a total Sneakerhead.



1917 — The Rise of an All-Star
Back in the days when player style was super simple, the Chuck Taylor All-Stars got the ball rolling in terms of introducing fashion-forward sneaks into the sport’s uniforms. Almost a century later, these classics can still score major points in the streets, only pass on the short shorts and go for distressed denim instead.

Converse Chuck Taylor casual sneakers.


1969 — Time for an Upgrade
With the introduction of the adidas Superstars in 1969, the entire shoe game was transformed by way of redesigned uppers for added support and improved soles that offered better grip. But more than just about performance benefits, they took things to a new level of cool. This modern Nightflash blue pair will add a slammin’ burst of color to his wardrobe this season.

adidas Superstar City Shanghai casual sneakers.


1982 — Just Do It (with Style)
When we talk about the ‘80s, we can’t help but think Nike. The brand dominated the sneaker scene, starting with the classic Air Force 1’s — the first-ever shoe with air in the soles — followed by the Nike Dunks and then the iconic Air Jordans. Along with a ton of color combos, it was the perfect way for players and fans to rep their team. Today, add Nike’s matching graphic tees and shorts, and you’ve got a certified MVP look. Swoosh.


1991 — Pump, Pump, Pump It Up
By the time the ‘90s came around, players were flying higher and dunking harder than ever before — and the cushioning system was born. One of the key players? Reebok.  Just think back to that glorious moment when Dee Brown bent over, pumped his sneaks and nailed a blind lefty jam during the 1991 Slam Dunk Contest! Now, their ZPump Fusions boast that same game-changing technology for a fit that’ll have him feeling as boss as he looks.

Reebok ZPump Fusion sneakers.


2015 — A New Era
Fast forward to this millennium and there’s no doubt that a player’s kicks go far beyond mere functionality. From fresh hi-tops to premium J’s, they’re as much a fashion statement on the court as they are off. Have him keep his eyes open for the flyest of details, like bold colors, paint speckle patterns, and rockin’ camo-embellished soles.

adidas D Rose 5 Boost basketball sneakers.

For more ways to take his shoe game to all-star ranks, head over to for the latest sneakers and gear around

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