Sneakers Style

The 45 Best NBA Signature Sneaker Releases

This list has been a long time coming. We’ve broken down the best Jordans of all-time, and covered new signature releases from various NBA players over the years, so we figured now would be the perfect opportunity to highlight some of the best sneaker releases from past and present NBA players. This list was tougher to put together than expected. If we focused solely on the best signature shoes of all-time, that would have meant the majority of the article being Air Jordans. It’s hard to top the brand that really elevated basketball sneaker culture to the next level because you could argue that nobody does it better than the first.

That wouldn’t have been a fair approach, and we have been one of the biggest advocates in our sneaker pieces in going hard for shoes that aren’t/weren’t Jordans. So we decided to go the route of focusing on the best NBA signatures worn in general. There’s 45 of them. Buckle up.

1. Tim Duncan 1998 Foamposite
Tim Duncan 1998 Foamposite

Believe us when we say Tim Duncan’s 98 Foams still have an impact to this day. If you checked out our recent interview with eBay and SneakerCon, then you already know about the impact of this shoe. Garry Thaniel, eBay’s General Manager of Sneakers copped these bad boys via eBay in 2001, and still has them in his closet today. Timmy D’s foam remains instantly recognizable to true sneakerheads even in 2021.

BUY NOW, $957
2. Allen Iverson Reebok Question Low Red
Allen Iverson Reebok Question Low Red

We’re partial to the A5s, but if you’re talking about signature sneakers that had the most impact, the Question Low Red Reebok’s from A.I.’s rookie season holds the top spot. As we mentioned earlier, it’s hard to surpass the “first,” and when you think of iconic A.I. kicks, this is the shoe that comes to mind.

BUY NOW, $120
3. Paul Pierce Signature Sneaker
Sneaker News
Paul Pierce Signature Sneaker

This is somewhat forgotten about. In our opinion, Paul Pierce is underrated in the sneaker game, and a few nice pairs that he sported during his playing days. Released through Nike, the Paul Pierce signatures were dressed in a Celtics colorway obviously, with various shades of green and white. These are actually pretty hard to find nowadays, but occasionally the shoes will pop up on eBay. If you can manage to get your hands on one, you’ll actually have a collectors item.

BUY NOW, $0-$500
4. Nike SHOX BB4 Vince Carter Men’s Basketball Sneakers
Nike SHOX BB4 Vince Carter Men’s Basketball Sneakers

For the record, these are the shoes Vince Carter wore when he dunked over Frédéric Weis in the 2000 Olympics. For that reason alone we have to include. You can’t top that.

BUY NOW, $80
5. FILA Grant Hill 1
Finish Line
FILA Grant Hill 1

Again we’ll go back to the shoe that started it all. FILA and Grant Hill are still going strong in their partnership, launching a special-edition collaboration with a Sprite a couple of weeks ago. 

BUY NOW, $110
6. Dr. J Converse Pro Leather 1983
Heritage Auctions
Dr. J Converse Pro Leather 1983

Before Michael Jordan, there was Julius Erving. Dr. J’s contributions to the sneaker community are oftentimes underrated. Erving paved the way for future sneaker deals, changed the landscape and direction of the Converse brand, and showcased an iconic on the court look with his uniform, shoes, and afro. 

BUY NOW, $Varies
7. adidas T-Mac 1
adidas T-Mac 1

Tracy McGrady is another OG still going strong in the sneaker game with recent releases, and he’s starting to bring back some of the classics. We first saw the adidas T-Mac 1 in 2003, and the NBA legend brought back a new version earlier this year called the T-Mac 2 EVO ‘Black Royal.’

BUY NOW, $238
8. Air Jordan 1 “Chicago”
Air Jordan 1 “Chicago”

Again, it all starts at the beginning. While there have been varying iterations of the AJ1s released and frequent new drops, no AJ1 will have the impact of the original Jordan 1s. Just like with everything Jordan did in his career, they were the first of its kind.

BUY NOW, $Varies
9. Nike Giannis Immortality “Force Field”
Nike Giannis Immortality “Force Field”

Sure we could have gone with the ‘Zoom Freaks,’ but in our opinion the “Force Field” captures the essence best of the defending champion Milwaukee Buck, and Giannis’ reign as Finals MVP. The word “immortal” definitely sticks out when you think about the Bucks run from last season, and an incredible rise to Finals success that many didn’t predict at the start of the year.

BUY NOW, $100
10. Gary Payton Nike Air Zoom Flight “The Glove”
Gary Payton Nike Air Zoom Flight “The Glove”

Don’t sleep on Gary Payton now. The man had some of the most memorable sneakers of the 1990s, and some of his shoes were directly tied into the biggest moments of his basketball career. The “Zoom Flight” basketball sneakers remain our biggest favorites.

BUY NOW, $553
11. Chris Paul Jordan CP3.X
Chris Paul Jordan CP3.X

Let’s kick off the banana boat crew shall we? CP3 and the Phoenix Suns are looking for another trip to the Finals in the hopes of securing the coveted Larry O’ Brien trophy, but in the meantime we’ll stick to Paul’s style which is impeccable. CP3 has had many releases over the years, but we’re rocking with the “Jordan CP3.X.”

BUY NOW, $174
12. Carmelo Anthony Rag & Bone Air Jordan 20
Carmelo Anthony Rag & Bone Air Jordan 20

Next up in the banana boat crew is the one and only Melo. Similar to Allen Iverson (who we’ll get to later), Melo came into the league with his own unique style and swag. The Denver era Melo was a basketball style moment that he has only elevated in the years since. Similar to his buddy CP3, Melo has a lot to choose from, but we’re going to opt for the Rag & Bone Air Jordan 20 which was absolutely sick.

BUY NOW, $199
13. Lebron James Air Zoom Generation QS
Lebron James Air Zoom Generation QS

There’s definitely going to be more Lebron entries on this list, but we’ll throw it back to a shoe that references where it all started, the Air Zoom Generation SVSM. We don’t have to go into the whole spiel about James’ high school days where he was practically a human highlight reel, but the sneakers themselves capture the 2002/2003 excitement of watching a new player that you knew would go on to become of the GOATs.

BUY NOW, $180
14. D Rose 1.5 ‘Black Scarlet’
D Rose 1.5 ‘Black Scarlet’

Let’s jump on over to the youngest MVP to ever do it. Derrick Rose may be quiet off the court, but he’s a fierce assassin out for blood when locked into the game. His signature sneakers have always reflected that tenacity, and while he has a ton of great shoes, most agree that the “Black Scarlet” release has a case for being number one.

BUY NOW, $177
15. Trae Young 1 ‘Ice Trae’
Trae Young 1 ‘Ice Trae’

Trae Young is literally still in the midst of his first sneaker collection with adidas, but we figured we’d throw the young killa on here for his creativity. Modeled after ICEE drinks, each release in this collection was modeled after a specific theme that either referenced Trae’s childhood, or iconic ATL staples. We’re definitely putting Trae on the watchlist when it comes to future releases. 

BUY NOW, $134
16. Scottie Pippen “Nike Air Pippen”
Scottie Pippen “Nike Air Pippen”

Ladies and gentlemen, we present to you the “Nike Air Pippen,” and boy there’s lots of them. For this one we’ll go with the Nike Air Pippen II. You can never go wrong with a white, red, and black colorway, and we’d argue that there have been a ton of sneaker releases that have been somewhat modeled after this shoe.

BUY NOW, $160
17. Nike Air Garnett 3
Nike Air Garnett 3

Kevin Garnett’s sneaker journey is another fascinating story. The 1999 Nike Air Garnett 3 remains KG’s most impactful releases to date.

BUY NOW, $199.99
18. Allen Iverson A5
Allen Iverson A5

Did you catch our TikTok that chronicled the importance of the A5s? We highlight everything in the video, but in case you guys forgot—A.I. linked up with Jadakiss in the commercial for these.

BUY NOW, $149
19. Harden Vol. 5 Futurenatural ‘Magnolia’
Harden Vol. 5 Futurenatural ‘Magnolia’

Alright let’s bring it back to the present for a little bit. James Harden has some very unique sneakers in his lineup ranging from classic styles to more futuristic themes. Consider checking out the Futurenatural “Magnolia” for your next NBA sneaker pickup.

BUY NOW, $123
20. Shaq Attack
Shaq Attack

Ah! The 1992 Shaq Attacks. Certain shoes just scream “vintage,” and this is definitely one of them. We’re talking about the early 1990s Orlando Magic Shaq years, where some would go as far as to argue where his best in terms of his physical dominance and prime. That’s a debate for a different day, but for now just enjoy the throwback.

BUY NOW, $167
21. Kawhi Leonard New Balance Two Wxy
Kawhi Leonard New Balance Two Wxy

Guess who had one of the best selling sneakers on the eBay app? Kawhi Leonard. As quiet as it’s kept sometimes, Kawhi is pulling massive numbers on the sneaker resell market, which means somebody is snatching up his shoes in the first place. There’s a demand for Kawhi’s releases and it’s present in the numbers.

BUY NOW, $99–_-PLA-_-DPA-_–_-P-_-Prospecting-_–_-14833253416-_–_-127126874119-_-PLA-_-BB2WXYCB-10.0-_–_–_-%26gclid%3DCj0KCQiAsqOMBhDFARIsAFBTN3cb4q971IvVzdPcasA4ILyVroRL1cMQRqBOO6vWWknsIZSCHFHCWUoaAhq1EALw_wcB%26gclsrc%3Daw.ds
22. Curry Flow 8 Basketball Shoes
Curry Flow 8 Basketball Shoes

You know who else is pulling major numbers on eBay? Steph Curry. The same sentiment applies here. The demand is there for Curry sneakers, and he has some great designs with awesome support if you are an athlete.

BUY NOW, $145
23. Jordan 4 Black Cement
Jordan 4 Black Cement

We couldn’t just put one Air Jordan colorway on this last. In terms of 4s—we’re not sure if there’s anything topping the ‘Black Cement.’ One may very well have a legit point that more time is needed to determine how it stacks against not just older releases, but newer ones. However, we are going bold today and putting it as an all-timer.

BUY NOW, $2,000
24. Dee Brown Pump Omni Lite
Dee Brown Pump Omni Lite

If basketball sneakers could be ranked as cult classics, the Dee Brown Pump Omni Lite would be high up on every list. Every basketball shoe head needs to know about the Dee Browns (and if you don’t you need to learn expeditiously). Reebok teamed up with Brown once again to release a new version earlier this year, and clearly the demand was higher than ever with the shoes selling out almost immediately.

BUY NOW, $200
25. Kyrie 2 ‘Cavs’
Kyrie 2 ‘Cavs’

Kyrie’s going to have a couple more entries on this list as well. The cool thing about Kyrie’s sneakers is the fact that they represent specific moments of his career. Obviously these were from his time with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and represented the Cavs’ team colors.

BUY NOW, $185
26. Kobe adidas Crazy 97 EQT Elevation Retro
Kobe adidas Crazy 97 EQT Elevation Retro

Before Kobe signed his Nike deal, he was previously with adidas. While many of his signature Nike releases such as the “Grinch” sneakers are automatic all-timers, many still hold his early adidas drops near to their heart. The EQT’s made their debut along with Kobe during his rookie campaign.

BUY NOW, $277
27. Patrick Ewing 33 HI White OG PE
Ewing Athletics
Patrick Ewing 33 HI White OG PE

Patrick Ewing is still very much in the sneaker game, with plenty of signature shoes available via his Ewing Athletics website, the concept of which started all the way back in the 1980s. Ewing has very much kept the vintage 1980s/1990s spirit alive with his designs, which is a cool thing to see.

BUY NOW, $150
28. Damian Lillard ‘Dame 7’
Damian Lillard ‘Dame 7’

We know Dame hits killer shots, but he also makes killer shoes as well. The ‘Dame 7s’ remain among his best with various different colorways in the collection.

BUY NOW, $120
29. Steve Nash Signature Sneaker
Steve Nash Signature Sneaker

Yes Steve Nash had a signature sneaker. It was called the Nike Zoom MVP, which obviously pays homage to his 2005-2006 MVP. Like Paul Pierce, this is an incredibly rare shoe that you can only currently find on eBay in a size 15. Be sure to thank us if you’ve been looking for these.

BUY NOW, $250
30. Stephon Marbury “Starbury”
Stephon Marbury “Starbury”

New York legend Stephon Marbury always came with the drip. The Starbury Basketball V3 was among his best with a simple red and white design that still captured attention.

BUY NOW, $Varies
31. Dwyane Wade Nike Air Jordan 2010
Flight Club
Dwyane Wade Nike Air Jordan 2010

Dwyane Wade’s sneaker story is actually quite unique. Despite being one of the top young players in the league with a championship and Finals MVP to back it up, he actually didn’t get his first Jordan brand release until 2010. Wade was previously signed to Converse, and went on to sign a lifetime contract with Li-Ning in 2012.

BUY NOW, $211
32. Lebron 8 “South Beach”
Lebron 8 “South Beach”

The Big 3 Miami Heat era will always be one of our favorites because it was one of the most fun times in the history of the NBA. Whether you loved or hated the Heat, there was never a dull moment with them. The Nike Lebron 8 “South Beach” reflects that much simpler time in our lives. Plus the design remains one of Bron’s best.

BUY NOW, $450
33. Charles Barkley Air Max CB 94
Flight Club
Charles Barkley Air Max CB 94

Charles Barkley has a full history of sneaker releases that he was pretty committed to through the course of the 90s. The Air Max CB 94s are actually still available today via Finish Line.

BUY NOW, $129
34. Amare Stoudemire Nike Air Max Hyperposite
Amare Stoudemire Nike Air Max Hyperposite

You want to talk about coveted? The asking price for these Amare Stoudemire exclusives is $1,699. While we know most won’t be able to afford that, it’s still a testament to Stoudemire’s signature shoe game, which is oftentimes underrated.

BUY NOW, $1,699
35. Nike Kyrie 6 90s
Nike Kyrie 6 90s

While maybe not the first shoe that comes to mind when you think about Kyrie’s releases thus far, it’s impact is a bit understated. Referencing the 1990s era that he was born in, the Kyrie 6 90s takes note of early 90s graffiti, while paying tribute to popular shows such as The Fresh Prince of Bel Air in terms of its overall design.

BUY NOW, $60
36. Air Max Penny ‘1996 Olympics’
Air Max Penny ‘1996 Olympics’

The legend that is Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway. Penny released some pretty cool shoes, but the ‘1996 Olympics’ stands out for obvious reasons. We know the history of the 96 Olympics, and how that team is considered the best Men’s Olympic Basketball Team of all-time thus far, and this shoe takes you all the way back to 96.

BUY NOW, $250
37. Allen Iverson Reebok Question
Allen Iverson Question

You know we had to throw the A.I. Reebok Question on here. While we are partial to the A5s and A6s, the original Question Lows from his rookie campaign will always be a classic.

BUY NOW, $Varies
38. Donovan Mitchell adidas D.O.N

Dononvan Mitchell is another young buck doing big things in the signature release game. Creative and consistent, it wouldn’t surprise down the line if Mitchell gets talked about as one of the best sneakerheads in this current NBA landscape.

BUY NOW, $120
39. Kevin Durant Nike KD 12
Kevin Durant Nike KD 12

Are you a KD fan if you don’t own a pair of 12s? The Nike KD 12 “Blue Gaze” gets an honorable mention on our end.

BUY NOW, $125
40. Nike Zoom KD 1
Sole Collector
Nike Zoom KD 1

Back to where it all started. The Nike Zoom KD 1. Seattle Supersonics KD. Fresh out of college KD. Baby-faced KD. So many memories tied to this one.

BUY NOW, $Varies
41. Jordan 11 “Concord”
Jordan 11 “Concord”

One more Jordan entry. We all know that if you give people a choice of which Jordans they prefer, there are a good percentage of them that will automatically choose 1s. Don’t sleep on the 11s though! The “Concords” have a rightful place in Air Jordan history, and for good reason. Look at them!

BUY NOW, $385
42. Dennis Rodman Air Shake Ndestrukt ‘OG’
Dennis Rodman Air Shake Ndestrukt ‘OG’

A lil tame for a Dennis Rodman shoe if you ask us, but still a fire sneaker. The technology on this was actually pretty insane for the 1990s, and there are a lot of current sneakers that have followed this model. 

BUY NOW, $175
43. Paul George Nike PG 5
Paul George Nike PG 5

Not sure if we can really decide on which Paul George signature is the best, as they have been quite good. Our favorite is the Nike PG 2.5 Playstation.

BUY NOW, $99
44. Jamal Crawford BrandBlack J Crossover II
Jamal Crawford BrandBlack J Crossover II

Let’s not forget Jamal Crawford when it comes to 2000s NBA sneakerheads. Crawford’s shoe game was impeccable, and so were his releases which you can still find on secondary markets such as eBay. The name “Crossover” was also very appropriate.

BUY NOW, $134.99
45. Nike Kobe 6 Protro Grinch Mens
Nike Kobe 6 Protro Grinch Mens

We’ll end it with Kobe. The Grinch 6s have always been considered a beloved classic, and they were brought back earlier this year right around the holiday season keeping the original design and spirit. Kobe always.

BUY NOW, $299

Well that’s going to do it! We hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as we enjoyed putting it together.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *