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The 90’s was a great time for Basketball shoes. Outside of Michael Jordan there were a lot of players getting signature shoes and competition between brands was hard. As an impressionable youth during this era I bought in to lots of hype. In order to give some other shoes/players some more shine I’m leaving Jordans off this list.
Converse Aero Jam, Converse Dr. J 2000, Reebok Kamikaze II, Adidas Mutombo, Ewing Athletics 33 HI, Nike Air Pippen 1, Nike Air Penny I, Nike Air Zoom GP, FILA Grant Hill, Nike Air Max2 CB34
10. Reebok Shaq Attaq
During the 90s if you put a pump on any Reebok shoe people would want to buy it. Rule of thumb is that big men do not sell sneakers. Shaq was a slight exception to that. Also like those Orlando color ways.
9. Nike Zoom Flight ’98 “The Glove”
A shoe that was ahead of it’s time. The cover on the laces made for a super clean look. This style was later redone by with the Nike Zoom Flight Club that Tony Parker would wear. Gary Payton was in his prime while wearing these.
8. Reebok Question
Allen Iverson was a player pretty much every kid on the playground wanted to play like. A lot of questions got answered in those shoes (and he wore them when he crossed up MJ).
7. FILA Ninety6 Grant Hill 2
Grant Hill helped put FILA on the Basketball Radar. In Grant Hills Detroit days he was a do it all player that seemed like he’d be the future of the NBA. FILAs imprint in the basketball world was small, but any mention of it always relates to Grant Hill.
6. Reebok Shaqnosis
As mentioned above, big men don’t sell sneakers. But the look on the Shaqnosis was so clean everybody wanted a pair. Also it is a super cool shoe to look at in Shaqs size 22s.
5. Adidas kb8
Kobe has always had a huge impact on the sneaker culture. Though his best sneakers would come later with Nike, this shoe still has lure today. A version of this was later retro-ed and worn by all the Adidas NCAA schools.
4. Nike Air Garnett III
After spending his early Nike days on the fun police, Kevin Garnett got his own signature line. Though he’d spend the later years with Adidas and then a big money deal with Anna, few remember this Nike gem. I had a pair myself and have a lot of good memories playing in these.
3. Nike Air Foamposite One
Penny still has an impact on the sneaker game today. Famously worn by the Championship winning Arizona Wildcats it was a shoe that always stood out. Also those Orlando Magic colors were always great.
2. Nike Penny II
The greatest of the Penny shoes! As Penny was one of my favorite players of the era, I had a pair growing up and have multiple pairs now. If they are re-releasing these shoes I will be there. This shoe did make my top 5 favorite shoes list.
1. Reebok Answer I
As a dedicated swoosh enthusiast, this shoe is really the only non-Nike retro basketball shoe I would consider purchasing. Featuring Reebok’s DMX technology and introducing us to the Allen Iverson I3 symbol these shoes stood out. I had the white/red color way (which at the time I believe was exclusive to Canada), but these looked good in any color.