NBA
March 18, 2022

50 Best Basketball Shoes of All-Time, Ranked

Just like there are some iconic players in the NBA, there are iconic shoes that were worn by them. To figure out the best basketball shoes of all time, we looked at things like how they performed, whose signature shoes they were, and how well they sold. Fans loved all of these shoes and we hope you'll love our list too. With that said, let's dive right in.

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Just like there are some iconic players in the NBA, there are iconic shoes that were worn by them. 

But what’s the greatest shoe ever?

There are plenty of candidates — from Michael Jordan’s iconic Air Jordans to Kobe Bryant’s signature shoes — but there can be only one best shoe of all-time. 

To figure out the top shoe, we looked at several factors — such as how they performed, whose signature shoes they were, and how well they sold. 

With that said, let's dive right in.

50. Adidas adiZero Rose 2

Release Year: 2010

Whose Signature Shoe?: Derrick Rose

One of the main reasons why these sold so much was because of the commercial, where Rose goes against bullfighters and goes right over them before finishing his moves with a slam dunk.

49. Nike Air Zoom Generation

Release Year: 2003

Whose Signature Shoe?: LeBron James

This shoe was designed by Eric Avar, Aaron Cooper, and Tinker Hatfield. They took on the challenge and did a great job. They were actually a quickstrike release and only 500 pairs of shoes were sold worldwide. 

48. Nike LeBron VIII

Release Year: 2010

Whose Signature Shoe?: LeBron James

The South Beach colorway didn't always look good on other shoes, but it looked fantastic on this one. They also came in other colors, as well as both low-top and high-top.

47. Adidas Harden 2

Release Year: 2018

Whose Signature Shoe?: James Harden

These are great both on and off the court! They have the durability to play the game and the style for wearing them out. 

46. Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars

Release Year: 1920

Whose Signature Shoe?: Almost every basketball player in the ‘20s and early ‘80’s

These were super popular in the 1960s because Converse owned 80% of the shoe market during that time. Eventually they were bought by Nike, but we'll never forget these OG sneakers.

45. Nike Shox BB4

Release Year: 2000

Whose Signature Shoe?: Vince Carter

These were one of the first shoes that Nike produced that had the Shox technology in the heels. Not only were they stylish, but they gave you a little spring to your step.

44. Adidas Crazy 8 University Red

Release Year: 2013

Whose Signature Shoe?: Damian Lillard, Jimmy Butler

When they first came out, the stores around Portland where Lillard plays had trouble keeping them in stock. In fact, some outlets were completely sold out in a matter of a few hours.

43. Adidas J Wall

Release Year: 2014

Whose Signature Shoe?: John Wall

One reason why these shoes sold so quickly was because of the commercial. In it, Wall's friend says his contract will lead to bigger things but there would be a big downfall.

42. Nike Air Zoom Flight V

Release Year: 1997

Whose Signature Shoe?: Jason Kidd

This is another commercial that made fans laugh and, while it didn't focus much on the shoe itself, it was enough to get them to the store.

41. Adidas T-Mac 2

Release Year: 2002

Whose Signature Shoe?: Tracy McGrady

At the end of the commercial for these shoes, McGrady goes against three opponents and beats them. He finishes with a one-handed slam dunk and the commercial closes out on a close-up of the sneakers.

40. Nike Flight Huarache

Release Year: 1992

Whose Signature Shoe?: Scottie Pippen

This design is an adaptation on Hatfield's classic running shoe called the Air Huarache. It was also Eric Avar's breakout design while being part of the company.

39. Reebok Question

Release Year: 1996

Whose Signature Shoe?: Allen Iverson

There haven't been many rookies that have had their own signature shoe, but Iverson is one of them. 

38. Nike Air Penny II

Release Year: 1996

Whose Signature Shoe?: Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway

Not only did this sneaker have a wavy foam midsole, but they also had Air Max in the heels and Zoom Air in the forefoot. These things together made it super comfortable and highly sought after.

37. Reebok Shaq Attaq

Release Year: 1993

Whose Signature Shoe?: Shaquille O’Neal

O’Neal's commercial for these shoes had some of the greatest players questioning whether or not he was ready to start playing with the legends. We can easily say that he is now one of them.

36. Nike Air Penny I

Release Year: 1995

Whose Signature Shoe?: Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway

We talked about the second signature shoe of Afernee Hardaway, but these are the first installment. They were made to last and did great both on and off the court.

Lil’ Penny, voiced by Chris Rock, really helped put these shoes in the spotlight

35. Under Armour Curry 2.5

Release Year: 2016

Whose Signature Shoe?: Stephen Curry

After only one pair of shoes, Nike and Curry couldn't come to a reasonable agreement. The greatest shooter of all time then partnered with Under Armour.

34. Nike Air Pippen I

Release Year: 1997

Whose Signature Shoe?: Scottie Pippen

Pippen teamed up with Nike to release these shoes not long after Jordan released his and they held their own. 

33. Ewing Athletics 33 HI

Release Year: 1993

Whose Signature Shoe?: Patrick Ewing

These shoes made nearly $1 million in sales and was named after Ewing’s jersey number.

32. Starbury

Release Year: 2006

Whose Signature Shoe?: Stephon Marbury

Starbury's company only charged $15 for a pair of these shoes, which means those from low-income families could have a chance to follow their basketball dreams.

31. Converse Aero Jam

Release Year: 1993

Whose Signature Shoe?: Larry Johnson

Remember the Grandmama commercials in the ‘90s? These commercials were a huge motivator in the sale of these shoes.

The campaign for these shoes was super successful and they had an easy transition from the past commercials that had Magic Johnson and Larry Bird.

30. Adidas Mutombo

Release Year: 1992

Whose Signature Shoe?: Dikembe Mutombo

This shoe is referred to as one of the most unique shoes of all time, and adidas helped incorporate Mutombo's beliefs and heritage into it.

These commercials basically reminded you that while you didn't have any of Mutombo's stuff, you could get a pair of his shoes.

29. Puma Clyde

Release Year: 1973

Whose Signature Shoe?: Walt "Clyde" Frazier

Frazier was one of the first to get his own shoe an, while they were pretty basic, they were a huge hit during that time. 

28. Converse Weapon

Release Year: 1986

Whose Signature Shoe?: Larry Bird, Magic Johnson

The Choose Your Own Weapon campaign was a huge hit and boosted sales. It also helped that Magic Johnson and Larry Bird appeared in the commercial, which was in French Lick, Indiana.

27. Nike Air Max Uptempo

Release Year: 1995

Whose Signature Shoe?: Scottie Pippen, David Robinson

Many members  of the Chicago Bulls team wore these during the 1995-1996 season and the team went on to win 73 games and the NBA title.

26. Jordan Melo M10

Release Year: 2014

Whose Signature Shoe?: Carmelo Anthony

Tinker Hatfield played a large role in the design and creation of these shoes, and he pulled it off effortlessly.

25. Nike Air More Uptempo

Release Year: 1996

Whose Signature Shoe?: Scottie Pippen

A big reason why these shoes were so popular is because Pippen wore them in the Bulls’ 1996 NBA title run, as well as when he won an Olympic Gold Medal. 

Not only were these loved by the fans of Pippen, but they were worn by Brendan Fraser in the movie George of the Jungle.

24. Fila Grant Hill

Release Year: 1995

Whose Signature Shoe?: Grant Hill

Before Hill teamed up with Fila, they weren't really known for releasing basketball shoes. His first shoe brought in more than $100 million every year until he got injured.

23. Nike Zoom Flight The Glove

Release Year: 1998

Whose Signature Shoe?: Gary Payton

These sneakers had a glove-like enclosure on the outside and a normal sneaker on the inside. 

22. Nike Kobe IV

Release Year: 2009

Whose Signature Shoe?: Kobe Bryant

These have been dubbed the best shoes in the Kobe line. 

21. Adidas KB8

Release Year: 1997

Whose Signature Shoe?: Kobe Bryant

These were one of the first sneakers to have the Feet You Wear technology, which mimics the natural curves and shape of the human foot. These were later renamed, but are still iconic.

20. Nike Air Max LeBron VII

Release Year: 2009

Whose Signature Shoe?: Lebron James

Not only did these shoes have Air Max cushioning, but they also had Flywire technology. These things together made these a great shoe and it helped that they were comfortable and lightweight on the court.

19. Reebok Pump

Release Year: 1989

Whose Signature Shoe?: Dee Brown

After selling out quickly, these shoes kind of fell off. With that said, though, it's important to remember that these were one of the first shoes that had the pump technology. You could pump the shoes to fit your feet and create a snug fit.

18. Nike Air Alonzo

Release Year: 1997

Whose Signature Shoe?: Alonzo Mourning

Mourning's signature shoe was made with a boot cut and had the number 33 on the tongue. 

17. Nike Zoom KD 4

Release Year: 2011

Whose Signature Shoe?: Kevin Durant

One of the greatest things about these shoes is that you could get a pair for under $100. Durant also included imagery that represents important times and items in his life.

16. Nike Durant V

Release Year: 2012

Whose Signature Shoe?: Kevin Durant

These shoes had three awesome technologies, which are Hyperfuse, Max Air, and Zoom Air. These things made the shoes comfortable and durable.

15. Nike Zoom Kobe V

Release Year: 2010

Whose Signature Shoe?: Kobe Bryant

Why They Were Great: Not only did this low-top shoe do better than many high-top options on the market, but they were worn by the Black Mamba. 

One of these shoes only weighs around 10.6 ounces, which means you can fly on the court. Add in the fact that they're super comfortable and you can see why they made our list.

14. Li-Ning Way of Wade

Release Year: 2014

Whose Signature Shoe?: Dwayne Wade

Wade was one of the first players to crossover and collab with Asian markets. As a result, people all over the world wanted these shoes.

13. Air Jordan V

Release Year: 1990

Whose Signature Shoe?: Michael Jordan

These were considered the best Jordans ever and was a huge improvement over the previous versions. They also had the long tongue, which may have helped showcase Jordan's signature look.

They quickly became one of the best-selling shoes during that time.

12. Reebok Kamikaze II

Release Year: 1996

Whose Signature Shoe?: Shawn Kemp

The commercial put Kemp in the spotlight and were released during the Seattle SuperSonics run to the 1996 NBA Finals.

11. Nike LeBron Soldier XII

Release Year: 2018

Whose Signature Shoe?: LeBron James

Not only do the shoes have Zoom Air technology, but they have a whopping four straps to ensure you stay in your shoes during those intense plays.

10. Air Jordan IV

Release Year: 1989

Whose Signature Shoe?: Michael Jordan

Of course, Jordan is one of the most iconic athletes ever, but did you know that Spike Lee had some of his actors wear these in the movie Do the Right Thing?

These were available for $100 and you had four different colorways to choose from. 

9. Air Jordan VI

Release Year: 1991

Whose Signature Shoe?: Michael Jordan, Carmelo Anthony, and many more

The design of these sneakers was rumored to be based off of Jordan's sportscar.

8. Reebok Shaqnosis

Release Year: 1995

Whose Signature Shoe?: Shaquille O’Neal

The commercial was a team of Shaqs going against another team of Shaqs. People absolutely loved this and flocked to the store to get a pair.

7. Reebok Answer 1

Release Year: 1997

Whose Signature Shoe?: Allen Iverson

These were the second-longest running shoe right after the Air Jordans. Not only unique, but they were lightweight and comfortable, which made it easier for legends to do their skills on the court.

6. Nike Kyrie 4

Release Year: 2018

Whose Signature Shoe?: Kyrie Irving

These shoes helped Irving with his stellar skills during games while also showing his personal style when he wasn't on the court.

5. Air Jordan XI

Release Year: 1995

Whose Signature Shoe?: Michael Jordan, Lebron James

Jordan wore these shoes in his 1995 return and went on to have a fantastic season. He was the second player to ever win MVP during the normal season, as well as the All-Star Game and the NBA Finals.

4. Nike Kobe VIII

Release Year: 2013

Whose Signature Shoe?: Kobe Bryant, DeMar DeRozan

The inspiration for these came from the Chinese Year of the Snake, which explains the Black Mamba. They were unique and different from anything else on the court during that time.

3. Nike Air Foamposite I

Release Year: 1997

Whose Signature Shoe?: Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway

When these shoes were being created, they were intended to be worn by Scottie Pippen. After a meeting with Nike, though, they caught the attention of Hardaway. After talking for a bit, Hardaway wanted them and that's all it took.

2. Air Jordan I

Release Year: 1985

Whose Signature Shoe?: Michael Jordan

This was the very first sneaker in the Air Jordan series

When Jordan wore these shoes, he had some of his most memorable moments. Interestingly enough, the NBA deemed them illegal and actually fined him every time he wore them.

1. Air Jordan III

Release Year: 1988

Whose Signature Shoe?: Michael Jordan

Jordan had planned on leaving Nike but actually changed his mind once he saw these sneakers. These were also the shoes that had the jumping man logo, which is one of the most iconic symbols to date.

In the 1988 Slam Dunk Contest was iconic because Jordan dunked the ball from the free-throw line. Once fans saw this, they wanted a pair of these sneakers too.

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