For the majority of us sports fans, who couldn’t care less about who or what is the fashion latest trends coming out of Milan and/or Paris, the National Basketball Association is our version seeing the latest trends from a very different type of runway—especially when it comes to basketball shoes.
Inspired by ESPN.com’s ranking of the top 74 sneakers in NBA history, we wanted to provide our own thoughts – and additional insight – on the top 25 selected by ESPN, in appreciation for all the hard work and research they put in to making this list a reality.
25. Nike Penny 1
Designed to match the uniform of his NBA team, Nike created the Nike Penny 1 as the signature shoe for Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway, selected by the Orlando Magic in the 1993 NBA Draft.
Though Nike would create an additional four permutations of the shoes, including the Air Penny V released as late as 2012, the original “Penny 1” is still considered to be the crown jewel of the series.
Released: 1995 | Worn by: Anfernee Hardaway
24. Air Jordan 12
It’s hard to see because of the black-and-white color scheme of the shoe, but the Air Jordan 12 had a “rising sun” theme — the areas stemming from the center of the shoe, where the arch of your foot would start, are supposed to mimic the rays of the sun.
Designer Tinker Hatfield reportedly drew inspiration from the Rising Sun flag of Japan when designing this shoe.
Released: 1996 | Worn by: Michael Jordan