Being a sneaker head is an addiction, it is not for the faint of heart (or wallet). Luckily in this day and age with the internet and the craving for anything retro there has never been a better time to be in to sneakers. The difference between most of the sneakers I had and played basketball in as a kid and today are that I wear them in a bigger size. This is not a list of the most sought after or hardest to get sneakers, this is the list of the 5 sneakers that mean the most to me.
Number 5: Nike Air Penny II
Growing up when playing basketball in my driveway my brother Michael was Shaq and I was Anfernee Penny Hardaway. As a point guard myself it was an honor to watch Penny during his young years in Orlando. I’d wear my Jersey and go in to the driveway and try to emulate those moves. The classic Orlando Magic color ways, the reflective elements made the shoe a must have. I remember wearing these heavily in 4th and 5th grade. Luckily this is a popular shoe to be re-released and I have no shame in having a few pairs.
Number 4: Jordan III
The classic. This shoe evokes so many memories for every basketball historian as it worn during his free throw line dunk and his full ascension in to the upper echelon of the NBA. To wear a clean pair of Jordan III’s is always a confidence booster. Personal preference is the white cement and true blue color way. This is a shoe every sneaker head needs to have in the Rotation.
Number 3: Jordan VIII
Not the sleekest or highest technology of the Jordan series this shoe is what the 90s were all about. There was a lot going on, the straps the fluffy tongue, it was the shoe that guided Jordan to his third and what we thought at the time possible final championship. Growing up I was lucky to have both the Black and White color ways (Yes I was spoiled). Always like to have a pair available to take that great trip down memory lane.
Number 2: Nike Zoom Flight 95
This shoe was the beginning of my obsession with basketball. Not only did it feature a space age look and the new Zoom air technology. These shoes were a statement in the making. Worn by my favorite player Damon Stoudamire as well as Jason Kidd, this was the point guard shoe. As a young point guard this shoe made me feel just like them. I’ve had multiple pairs in many different colors but the original zebra black and white color way is always a staple of my collection.
Number 1: Jordan XI
The decadence, the excess this is the Jordan XI. When first release I remember my mother cringing “Patent Leather on a basketball shoe!?”. This was the prettiest show to ever be released, Tinker Hatfield wanted this to be the Tuxedo of basketball shoes. This was Michael Jordan at his best with the 72-10 Chicago Bulls, NBA on NBC and this amazing shoe front and center. The price tag is expensive, the releases are always around Christmas with crazy lines and insane fans. Often hard to get it is imperative to have at least one pair in the rotation. Through luck I’ve been lucky to get my hands on a few pairs. The Space Jam color way is the one I admire the most, watching that movie, wanting to be like MJ this is my number 1 must have sneaker.