Top Five Streetball Basketball Shoes Ever

Currently, few shoes are being expressly designed for streetball use. Now that retro is cool, we can only hope that some of these shoes will get re-released.

Nike-Air-Raids

5) Nike Air Raids
What’s more streetballish than a shoe that says “For Outdoor Use Only” on it? The Nike Air Raids were originally released in 1992 but were then re-released in 2008. The original Nike TV advertisement with Tim Hardaway in it, shooting his patented “knuckleball” three pointer on a black top basketball court, surrounded by vivid colors and designs always stuck in my memory. Released originally in the time when “Cross Colours” was hot, the original shoe came in two versions; the “Air Raid” black and white version with criss crossing straps and the “Peace Raid” white shoe with Tribal African print in addition to the criss crossing straps. A tough shoe made for outdoor play.
4) Adidas Men’s Streetball Version 1.0
I had never been a big Adidas basketball shoe fan untiI I owned this shoe. The extremely thick sole was perfect for blacktop use. Also incredibly durable, I wore this shoe for about three years exclusively for playing ball outdoors and another two for multi-purpose use. The design lent itself well to ankle support and the shoe was relatively inexpensive. The 2.0 version was a good basketball shoe, but was not created specifically for the outdoor game.
3) Air Jordan 1 Flight Mid
This was also a favorite of mine because of its straight forward design compared to a lot of other Nike basketball shoes. You can just look at this shoe and know it’s not screwing around, it can handle getting pounded all summer long, running up and down the court. If this shoe was a stock trader, it would’ve sold all of its Enron stocks months in advance and would’ve never got caught up by Bernie Madoff. It doesn’t screw around and gives you support when you need it. What you see is what you get.
2) Larry Johnson’s Converse “Grand Mama”
Remember “React Juice”? Oh come on man, I can tell by looking at you you’re over 30. Who you fooling? Of course you do, because you bought them after your L.A. Gear “Regulators” stopped inflating. Possibly the best advertising campaign nobody remembers, the “Grand Mama” campaign starred Larry Johnson in drag as a grandma, dunking all over fools in a dress. Kevin Johnson also released his own shoe during this time, but the “Grand Mama’s” were king. Even though they came out at least a decade before the rise of streetball culture to a wide audience, they were (somewhat) unintentionally the precursor to a lot of proceeding streetball shoes because of the almost bulky, yet stable feel.
1) Reebok Pumps
Speaking of killer marketing campaigns, Reebok should still be paying Dee Brown for pimping the Pumps during the 1991 Dunk Contest that he would ultimately win. Yes, the shoe is old school, but it is thankfully being reissued by Reebok. Perfect for concrete or asphalt courts, Reebok Pumps were so cool they made me almost consider buying the Michael Chang signature tennis version. But then, I got into girls.

 

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I’ve been a freelance journalist since 2000 and have had my work published via AskMen, Sports Illustrated, Bleacher Report, Busted Coverage, and Autotrader. I’ve done stand-up comedy. I'm a dad, youth soccer coach, and team statistician for the oldest indoor football team in the world, the Omaha Beef. I own a design agency in Omaha, NE called little guy design. I’ve married six couples in 10 years and my Marriage to Still Married ratio is 6:6. I always say, it isn’t so much about the “love,” as it is the tasteless jokes that became vows. I started the I-80 Sports Blog to have all the work I've published located in one place and to write about things I want to write about. I don't take anything too seriously and it is a real time saver.