Basketball shoes

When I first started playing basketball I didn't think about my footwear. I turned up to my first session in a pair of generic running shoes and had a great time. Now when I play, I can't even think about playing in anything that aren't basketball shoes.

They became a necessity and a way to express individuality on the court - there were no rules over what colour your shoes had to be. Every player will have their own collection of shoes, but most of mine were thrown away when they got too small, or the shoe broke. With the help of digital receipts, reverse image searching, and my own memories, I've compiled a list of (I think) every pair of basketball shoes that I have played in from oldest to newest.

AND1 Open Run

These were the first basketball shoes that I can remember wearing. Identifying the model of these shoes was a lot harder than anticipated despite having a photograph of me playing in them.

Ankle high basketball shoes with a white mid-section, black toe, orange outsole, black tongue, and black laces. AND1 logos are located on the heel and tongue of the shoe.
AND1 Open Run.

Reebok (model unknown)

I wore these in a Basketball Sussex play-off final in 2008 so I have photographic evidence that these shoes existed. Unfortunately, reverse image searches can't identify the exact shoe so you'll have to take my word for it. They were white leather and had an arc on either side of the shoe that consisted of two different shades of blue. Pretty sure they also had a blue Reebok logo on the tongue of the shoe.

Reebok (model unknown)

These shoes had an elasticated Velcro strap rather than laces which were ideal for someone who used to be paranoid about their shoe laces coming undone mid-game. I remember my parents buying these shoes for me, but again there is no evidence online of these shoes ever existing. They shoes were white leather with a black outsole and had a black elasticated Velcro strap that zig-zagged across the tongue of the shoe.

AND1 (model unknown)

Another pair of shoes that I definitely wore, but don't appear to exist in any way online. I remember having to wear them to school one day as I'd lost my school shoes and these were the closest pair of shoes I had to my black school shoes. These shoes were black leather and had a white outsole with a red trim.

Nike Kobe 5

I remember being in awe that Nike ID was a real thing and I spent every minute I could tweaking the design of these shoes. I received them as a joint Christmas and birthday present. The colours were definitely different but these were the first pair where I had complete control over what they looked like.

Navy blue shoes with a orange outsole and tongue, a silver Nike swoosh, and a royal blue lining around the toe of the shoe. They have a Kobe Bryant logo on the tongue, the numbers 04 on the heel and 'Declan' printed on the inside of the tongue in orange letters.
My Nike ID Kobe 5s.

Air Jordan Team ISO

Annoyingly, my feet grew and the custom shoes got too small. These Air Jordans were a slightly more subtle on-court look but they were very comfy. I played in a tournament on Brighton beach in these during the summer of 2012.

Ankle high basketball shoes that are all white with a red lining around the ankle. A red jump man logo is on the side of the shoe.
Air Jordan Team ISO.

Air Jordan Aero mania

The subtle shoe colours didn't last long and I chose a bright orange pair. These got worn a lot, until one of the shoelace loops snapped while I was playing.

Orange ankle high basketball shoes with a white jump man logo on the back heel of the shoe.
Air Jordan Aero Mania.

Nike Overplay VIII

I needed another pair that would arrive relatively quickly and these were on sale at the time. I didn't have long to wear these shoes in as I wore these in an exhibition game against the Toronto Knights who were visiting the UK over the summer and then a week long basketball camp. Compared to some of the previous pairs I'd played in, these ones were just okay. I started looking for another pair not long after.

Ankle high basketball shoes that are black with an orange trim, and light blue outsole and laces. A white Nike swoosh is on the side of the shoe and the word 'NIKE' is printed in big letters on the heel of the shoe.
Nike Overplay VIII.

Nike Hyperdunk 2014

My parents bought these for me when we visited New York on holiday and I got to open them as a joint Christmas and birthday present some months later. These were by far the comfiest and best fitting basketball shoes that I've ever worn. I ran round so many screens in these that the front of the shoe split.

Forest green basketball shoes with a lime green trim and tongue, and a white outsole. A silver Nike swoosh is on the side of the shoe.
Nike Hyperdunk 2014.

Nike PG 2.5

I liked the Velcro strap across the front of this shoe that helped prevent your foot sliding around in the shoe while you were running. They also had some much appreciated padding around the top of the shoe that gave a bit of protection to your ankle.

Black basketball shoes with a white speckled pattern on the midsole of the shoe and a white Nike swoosh at the base of the heel.
Nike PG 2.5.

Nike Giannis Zoom Freak 3

These were another Christmas present. They have a similar feel to the Nike PG 2.5s but the Velcro strap at the front of the shoe is much shorter.

Black basketball shoes with a red outsole, white midsole, and a silver Nike swoosh around the ankle of the shoe.
Nike Giannis Zoom Freak 3.