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The 10 Most Memorable Non-Signature Basketball Shoes Ever

Because not everybody wants to wear the shoes of someone else!
by Arvin Ang | Sep 20, 2018
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There are three things that Filipinos love: food, music, and basketball.

It’s true. We all had a meeting. That’s right. All of us. It’s official.

Just kidding, but basketball is still an extremely loved sport in our country. It’s a form of bonding among friends and family. It's physical fitness, for some. And to the lucky hard workers, a chosen profession.

But one side topic in basketball remains as popular as the sport itself: the shoes. You probably own one of the many Brons, Kobes, Currys or Jordans, but some people would rather not have someone else's name on their kicks—and while signatures dominate the market today, we shouldn’t forget that those aren’t the only shoes for throwing the leather.

Chuck Taylor All-Star

Photo by Converse

Every basketball player wore these to play during the '50s and the '60s—by choice! Imagine that, now we can't even walk two hours in them without wrecking our feet. While we don’t encourage you to use these on the hardwood any time soon, we have to give credit as they were the most comfortable and versatile sneakers of their time. Technology was very different back then, so was sports science, so for now, let’s just call them OGs.

adidas Superstar

Photo by adidas

Like the true titan company they are, adidas was quick to capitalize on the declining popularity of the Chuck’s, by pushing the Superstars. Yup, it was more than a lifestyle pair when it came out and one can argue that it is the one true successor to the Converse All-Star’s during the '70s. The pair has garnered quite a few nicknames over the years such as “clamshoe” or “shelltoes” due to its design, which heavily influenced today's shoe game. 

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Nike Hyperdunk

Photo by Nike

These are actually a pair you often see but rarely take significant note of—it’s the pinky finger of the basketball shoe game, there but rarely given enough attention. But the Hyperdunks have seen a lot: they’ve been slapped with Air Max tech, Flyknits, and other crazy innovative stuff Nike usually does. They aren’t the most popular line, but they always get the cool stuff first.

adidas adiZero Crazy Light

Photo by adidas

Everyone wanted a piece of near weightless action when these came out. The selling point was that being almost weightless, it gave you better speed and a higher leap. The Crazy Lights probably kickstarted the “near weightless” standard for basketball shoes. Of course, bulky modern shoes are quite heavy these days but they’d probably be much heavier if adiZero never happened.

Under Armour HOVR Havoc

Photo by Under Armour

UA has been making strides with their new HOVR midsole tech. There’s been a rising number of UA fans too because even non-basketball players attest to HOVR as very competitive against adidas BOOST—it’s got the bounce and comfort. And with Steph Curry being the biggest name in UA endorsement, it makes sense that they’d take HOVR over to the court. In fact, we already saw NBA players last season don these.

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adidas Crazy Explosive

Photo by adidas

The sock shoe trend is very real. And it’s taken to the hardwood. Whether it’s here to stay or not, is entirely up to us consumers. But the Crazy Lights have the advantage of both BOOST tech midsole and sock shoe comfort.

adidas Pro Bounce

Photo by adidas

We speculate that they’re being called the Pro Bounce due to the entire midsole’s length being made of BOOST, the current cushion king for lifestyle and active footwear. Some say it feels similar to wearing Hardens but it would be completely unfair to call the Pro Bounce the poor man’s Harden. This pair is pushing in 2018 for good reasons.

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Reebok Kamikaze 2

Photo by Reebok

Made famous by Shawn Kemp during his Seattle Supersonic playing days, the Kamikaze 2 made its name both on and off the court. Rightfully so as these are some of the craziest silhouettes the court and streets have ever seen.

AND1 Tai Chi

Photo by And1

These were made famous by an NBA player even if they aren’t signatures, this time by half man, half amazing Vince Carter after coming out in 1999. We've already lost count of how many times the Tai Chi’s got retroed since coming out.

Nike Air Force 1 High

Photo by Nike

These came out in the '80s and were the first to feature Nike Air technology. Nike makes a lot of bank on signatures nowadays, but they used to come out with a lot of non-player specific heat, too. You may see less and less ballers wear AF-1’s for actual basketball but that’s what they were made of nonetheless, even if these days they’re usually worn casually.

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