Top 10 Basketball Sneakers Of All-Time

Sneaker
Release Year
Worn By
Current Retail Price
Air Jordan 11
1995
Michael Jordan
$220
Air Jordan 1
1985
Michael Jordan
$170
Nike Air Force 1
1982
Moses Malone
$90
Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star
1917
Multiple
$55
Air Jordan 3
1988
Michael Jordan
$190
Nike Foamposite One
1997
Penny Hardaway
$250
Nike Kobe 4
2009
Kobe Bryant
$180
Reebok Question
1996
Allen Iverson
$150
Adidas Superstar
1969
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
$85
Air Jordan 4
1989
Michael Jordan
$200

1. Air Jordan 11 (1995)

The Jordan 11 has turned into one of the most successful shoes from Jordan to date. They are known to be the best designed shoe and are currently retro rereleased every holiday season for the brand. The 11 was also the shoe that was worn by Michael Jordan when he decided to return to the Bulls after a year off. The brand sells about one million pairs of the 11s every holiday season and it has proven that this is one of the most timeless designs ever for a basketball sneaker.

2. Air Jordan 1 (1985)

When the Air Jordan 1 launched in 1985 it changed the basketball sneaker game forever. The interesting part of this was release was they were ruled illegal by David Stern and MJ was fined $5,000 for each game that he had them on. This only made the shoes more popular among the public and now are one of the most recognizable sneakers in the world. When people think signature shoes this is the one they will mention and for good reason.

3. Nike Air Force 1 (1982)

Before Jordan’s we had the Nike Air Force 1 that was first worn by Moses Malone and released in 1982. The Air Force 1 is now one of the most popular casual shoes worn today but people forget they were originally a basketball sneaker. Nike sells 10 million pairs of these annually, and they come in hundreds of colorways, but given their bulk and weight they aren’t used for playing purposes by most people and more used as a fashion statement.

4. Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star (1917)

The all-star Chuck Taylor has been around for over 100 years and even though it’s a basic design that hasn’t changed much it is still a staple in the sneak market. Like the Air Force 1 they aren’t used much for basketball but are a major part of the fashion industry. Converse has sold over 1 billion pairs in their history and sell over 100 million per year for the brand. When you think of old school basketball, you should think of most players wearing high top Chuck Taylor’s.

5. Air Jordan 3 (1988)

My personal favorite Jordan is the Jordan 3 that was released in 1988. They are most known for being the shoe that changed MJ’s stance after he was originally going to make the move to Adidas. These are also the shoes that MJ wore when he performed his dunk from the free throw line in the 1988 slam dunk contest in Chicago. The 3s were the first of 13 shoes designed by legendary designer Tinker Hatfield and will continue to top lists like these for years to come.

6. Nike Foamposite One (1997)

One of the most unique shoes on our list is the Nike Foamposite One that was worn by Penny Hardaway with the Orlando Magic. There have been ups and downs in the sale of this sneaker but that doesn’t mean it isn’t iconic in the sneaker landscape. The foams formed a shell around the exterior of the sneaker and were made in partnership with Daewoo, a now-defunct car maker. The Foamposite One is a shoe you will always remember after you lay eyes on it.

7. Nike Kobe 4 (2009)

It could be argued that the Kobe 4 started the trend of shoes going to the low cut design as opposed to the many high cut models on the market at the time. The 4s also contained the most technology than any of the previous models featuring Zoom Air, Flywire, and other techs. The shoe was obviously worn by Kobe Bryant but it also became popular among many Lakers players and players around the league. The 4 is consistently ranked as the top Kobe shoes in his signature line which features over 10 models.

8. Reebok Question (1996)

The only Reebok shoe to make our list is the Reebok Question that was released in 1996 and worn by Allen Iverson. Iverson was only the 5th rookie to have a signature shoe but Reebok gave it to him and it is now one of the classics. Reebok hasn’t had a lot of success in the basketball space other than this shoe but it sure is a good one. Iverson was an electric player and wearing this shoe elevated the brand and prestige of the sneaker.

9. Adidas Superstar (1969)

The Adidas Superstar was originally released in 1969 and most notably worn by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. However, this shoe is now one of the most popular casual shoes in the world and is probably the most recognizable Adidas shoe. The 80s rap group Run DMC always had Superstars on which also made this shoe into a cultural phenomenon. Like a lot of older basketball sneakers they don’t hold up to today’s standards but that doesn’t mean they can’t be worn off the court.

10. Air Jordan 4 (1989)

It can be argued that the Air Jordan 4 is one of the most visually pleasing of all Jordan’s released in the 80s or 90s. The 4s were featured in a series of Spike Lee commercials which pushed this model into even more popularity. The most iconic colorway is the “Bred” and it is the one that receives the most fanfare. When a Jordan 4 is re-released today everyone pays attention and it remains one of the most popular retros in the Jordan catalog.

 

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Tyler currently runs the lineups.com twitter handle, posting various content including betting trends, player trends, and game previews. Tyler is the Lineups.com Swiss army knife, managing our social media as well as research and writing.

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