The NBA is back, which means we get another opportunity to see the world’s best basketball players facing off as they secure playoff spots or — if you’re a Pelicans fan — a flight home. As well as this, the NBA bubble is fertile ground for sneaker spotting, as players make the most of this world stage for flexing.
The hardwood court has long been a practical runway for the newest in sneaker design, be that performance basketball trainers or even lifestyle silhouettes. Lately, those two worlds seem to be merging more and more, with the Air Jordan dynasty reaching new heights of popularity after Netflix’s The Last Dance series.
Having waited eagerly for the NBA restart, we’ve been lapping up both the competition and the best sneakers to step onto the court, which is why we’re sharing the best silhouettes we’ve seen of the season’s recommencing thus far. From rookies like Rui Hachimura to all-stars like Paul George, everyone has been getting in on the action.
Paul George’s signature range for Nike stands as one of the more successful in the NBA thanks to its sleek, understated aesthetic. That said, they’re not always understated. PG recently teased the Nike PG4 “Gatorade” alongside a custom Gatorade bottle on his Insta before sporting them on-court. This model makes use of the NBA’s favorite energy drink’s electric colorway in volt green and total orange, but the best aspect is the transparent vamp cover that ensures you’re locked in from tip-off to final buzzer.
While the big names in NBA footwear like PJ Tucker and Russell Westbrook flaunt their exclusive wardrobes — which we’re not mad at, (we would too), Paul George quietly does his thing on-court by repping his own line. Securing another spot in our roundup, PG sports the ‘Flip The Switch’ colorway of his PG1 silhouette. This one really is understated. The black sneaker features a cool, contrasting blue-and-pink sole unit which is echoed by the pink strap to the vamp.
Japanese Rookie Rui Hachimura dons his very own Jordan XXXIV ‘Heritage’ style. We’re seeing the Jordan XXXIV gaining a lot of traction on the hardwood, and we’re backing it to be the silhouette of choice for forthcoming player collaborations thanks to its futuristic sole unit and easily customizable uppers. Hachimura uses his homeland of Japan as inspiration, adopting traditional Japanese motifs on the inner half of the trainer while Beninese patterns grace the outer half in a nod to his father’s West-African heritage.
Jimmy Butler wears the Jordan XXXI All-Star 2017 ‘Chameleon’ in harmonious tandem with his Miami Heat Vicewave socks. The baby blue and neon pink palette that honors Miami Vice’s famous color scheme works perfectly with the Jordan 11’s pearlescent heel design. The sheen of the print changes from turquoise to pink depending on the light and leads to the jet black upper of the shoe. A deep purple Nike tick reveals itself when light reflects from it to give this shoe a twinkling final touch.
Second-year player Gary Trent Jr. stepped onto the court for the Portland Trailblazers in a pair of Kyrie 1s that caught our attention. While many players look to have the most recent drops on their feet, sometimes it makes more of an impact to turn the clock back. Trent Jr. takes us back to 2015 with this super sleek pair that features an all-black upper with green glow accents to the tongue, collar, and pull tab.
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