The Classic Basketball Shoes | The Shoe Pro
Classic basketball shoes are often as legendary as those who wear them. However, while you might not ever walk in your favorite player’s shoes, it doesn’t mean you can’t own your own pair. There’s never been a shortage of basketball players and sneakers, but some simply rise up above the rest. Here are just a few of the ultimate in classic basketball shoes.
Chuck Taylor Converse All-Star
When you get down to it, the Chuck Taylor Converse All-Stars are the shoes that started it all. Chuck Taylor played back in the early 1910s and worked as a player-manager for the Converse All-Stars (which was a basketball team at the time). The team also wore shoes he made, which would eventually become known as the Chuck Taylor Converse All-Stars.
Dr. J’s Pro Leather
The Chuck Taylors never truly took off until a true heavyweight in the basketball world started lacing up with the shoes. This is exactly what happened when Julius “Dr. J” Erving started wearing them. The shoes featured some gold “Pro Leather” lettering as well as red or blue logos on the high-top design. While the original Chuck Taylor is a classic, this is truly the Converse All Star that helped start the name brand basketball shoe craze.
Puma Clyde Frazier
This pair of basketball shoes fall into a similar category as Dr. J’s Pro Leather. The shoes weren’t all that flashy, but the shoes were new and specific to Clyde Frazier. In fact, these shoes came out a few years before the Dr. J offering (although these shoes are low top). The Puma Clyde became so popular that just about every single pair of Puma running, performance and basketball shoes are based specifically on the original Puma Clyde. As Puma still uses the design 50 years later it’s hard to argue with just how influential the originals were.
Before there was the Air Jordans there was the Nike Blazer. Nike released these in direct competition with the Dr. J pair of basketball shoes. The high tops were worn by George Gervin (better known as “Iceman”). Iceman helped push the high-top design of basketball shoes, which up until this point were mostly low-tops.
Air Jordan I
All of the other shoes mentioned so far share in the development of basketball shoes, both in design and in star branding. However, these shoes all fail to compare with the original Nike Air Jordan 1. These shoes, which came out in 1985, changed the world of basketball shoes. The shoes were worn by Michael Jordan, were high-top, and featured more color elements than most other shoes.
For collectors, these are some of the most desired shoes. Good quality Jordan 1s from 1985 will run you tens of thousands of dollars. But don’t worry. If you want to wear something that looks similar without dropping that kind of cash there are Air Jordan 1 retros available.
Air Jordan III
While the first Air Jordan I essentially kicked off the modern basketball shoe and started the line, it wasn’t until the Air Jordan III that the iconic Jumpman logo was placed on the shoe. Now Jumpman is its own brand at Nike and is worn by some of the most elite college programs around the country (while Nike represents a large number of college programs, only a select few are chosen to wear the Jumpman).
If you were a kid of the 90s you probably had a pair of these. Reebok pushed these shoes during the 1991 NBA Dunk Contest. The shoes featured a pump on the tongue of the shoe that allowed you to adjust the tightness of the shoe. Of course, if you were a kid of the 90s you also probably popped the pump from constantly pushing the pump tongue until the air valve popped. None the less, these are one of the more iconic pairs of shoes Reebok has ever made.
Nike Air Max Penny Orlando
Everyone loved the Orlando Magic back in the day. Not only was it the original landing place for Shaq but Penny Hardaway played there. While they took home zero NBA championships they both received unique shoe deals, and Penny even received a mascot of “Little Penny,” which was a small puppet that marketed the shoes.
There will always be the debate of Jordan vs. LeBron. It’s an almost impossible debate with how different the NBA is now, but one thing is for sure, the LeBron X shoes from Nike can hold their own against any Air Jordan sneaker. These come in all kinds of colors and, for any sneakerhead or LeBron fan, these are a must.
These are just a handful of the most famous basketball shoes around. There are dozens of others on top of this. It just shows how wide spreading the touch of classic basketball shoes is and how important shoe brands and endorsements have become.