Bagley’s Top Five Signature Kicks in the NBA


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By Cole Bagley, Sports Editor


As the NBA has finally returned to the hardwood, fans everywhere have been dazzled with flashy passes, highlight dunks, clutch buckets and several games going down to the wire. In addition to the refreshing return of NBA play, several players have introduced new shoes to wear on the courts of the NBA bubble.

Players like Donovan Mitchell and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander have debuted their new sneakers in the NBA restart, and seeing these new releases has inspired me to rank my favorite signature shoes being worn in the game today.

Now, basketball shoes are like fine art. Design and appearance seem to be just as important as the actual performance of the shoe, so I will be ranking my favorites based on both design and performance.


Honorable Mentions

Paul George – PG 4

With so many signature shoes out there it’s difficult to narrow it down to just 5 favorites so I’ve added a few honorable mentions. The PG 4 makes this list mostly because of its sleek design and the collaboration editions they did with Gatorade. The shoes are very unique, but as far as performance goes, they are mediocre. It’s an incredibly low cut shoe, lacks ankle support, includes a zipper and they feel more like a running shoe than a basketball shoe.


LeBron James – Lebron 17 Low

Despite not being a LeBron fan myself, I can’t make this list without including his name. With 17 signature shoes, it’s clear they are a crowd favorite and that Nike is doing something right. For me, it’s mostly the design that makes his sneakers so special, especially the new Bugs Bunny edition in response to LeBron’s upcoming appearance in Space Jam 2. But beyond the design, unless you have gigantic feet, are over 6-foot-4 and play power forward or center, these shoes do not offer great performance.

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Nike Lebron 17 Low “Tune Squad” Available tomorrow 9:30 in store, 10:00 online on 🐰

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5. Donovan Mitchell – D.O.N. Issue 1

Am I biased because I am a born and raised Utah Jazz fan whose favorite player happens to be Donovan Mitchell — yes I am. I understand that this is only Mitchell’s first shoe but besides my complete favoritism, these shoes are actually quite fantastic. The original shoe released by Adidas included a Spider-Man design and colorway to fit Donovan’s nickname, “Spida”. But my favorite design has got to be the “Mailman” edition which pays tribute to Karl Malone and the classic Utah Jazz mountain uniforms. On top of the impressive designs, the shoe is actually very impressive performance wise. Despite being low cut, the ankle support is sufficient, the cushion is incredibly comfortable and they fit perfectly snug. It will be interesting to see what improvements Adidas has made as the D.O.N. Issue 2 is set to release in a few weeks.

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@spidadmitchell has got some heat with the Don. Issue 1s! Agree?👇🏻 – -Follow @mr_sneakerhead_ig for more!!

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4. Damian Lillard – Dame 6

When it comes to basketball shoes, most people would probably turn to Jordan or Nike before any other brand. But I continue to be impressed with Adidas and the signature shoes they release. What Lillard and his shoes have in common is that they are both under the radar superstars who are incredibly consistent but not over the top flashy. Just like Mitchell’s signature shoe, the Dame 6 shoes offer incredible comfort and support. As far as appearance goes, I like that they stand out but aren’t too bold. In addition, Adidas has done a great job of releasing colorways and designs that have personal meaning in Lillard’s life, adding that personal touch to the collection.

3. Stephen Curry Curry 6

Under Armour is probably one of the last brands people consider when looking to buy basketball shoes, but luckily for them, Curry has been a Godsend. Not only is Curry one of the biggest names in the game, but his shoe finally hit its stride with the Curry 6. In my opinion, this is by far the best looking Curry, especially with the “Oakland Sideshow” and “Underrated” colorways that bring that personal touch to the shoe. On top of the impressive designs, the performance of the shoe has come a long way as its involved in lower cut yet still providing a high level of support without sacrificing any fit or cushion.

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2. Kyrie Irving Kyrie 5

When it comes to Irving’s signature shoes, they are just as flashy and interesting as he is — both on and off the court. With collections that include cereal brands, SpongeBob Squarepants and a ton of crazy colorways, it’s no secret as to why Irving’s shoe is so popular. For instance, my personal favorite has to be the SpongeBob Squarepants Pineapple House that looks just like SpongeBob’s Pineapple house, includes a water themed Nike logo, and even has Gary the Snail inside of the tongue. As far as performance goes, the shoe provides higher ankle support, a snug fit, the famous Nike Air Zoom turbo for support and unrestricted mobility.

1. Kobe Bryant – Kobe 5 Protro

Kobe Bryant has to be one of the most recognizable names in the world of sports and basketball. It seems that everyone at one point or another has owned a pair of Kobe’s and had nothing bad to say about them. Since his Nike debut in 2006, he has had so many shoes that were absolutely phenomenal. Kobe set the new standard for basketball shoes as he pushed the boundaries of both style and performance. My favorite Kobe has to be the Kobe 5 Protro which outperforms in every single category of design and performance. With its unique tread, Nike Zoom unit on the heel, snug fit and the iconic look that every Kobe possesses, this is by far my favorite shoe and collection out on the hardwood today.


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