Top 50 Basketball Sneakers of All Time

Throughout the 2009-2010 NBA season, we have shown you a slew of nice basketball sneakers on the hardwood through our daily Kicks On Court column. Players such as Ray Allen, Rasheed Wallace, Joe Johnson, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant have all worn some eye-catching sneaker multiple times this season. However, Complex’s latest list proves to us that nice basketball kicks developed way before this past season.

Complex recently constructed a Top 50 Basketball Sneakers of All Time list that includes sneakers you probably fell in love with years ago. In this feature, you will find recently-released basketball sneakers, multiple signature shoes and basketball-turned-lifestyle kicks. That said, click here to view the? Top 50 Basketball Sneaker of All Time brought to you by Complex.

Associate Editor. Houston, Texas native. Fan of basketball and basketball shoes.


  1. Kobe’s don’t make this list?! Yet Chucky Taylors are at number TWO! While the retro XI are at number FOUR?!?! What kinda list is this lol. When it’s all set an done give Kobe some respect because his shoe game came up this year, Lebrons I can deal with, but Jordans should rule the top 5 spots on this list.

  2. Owned #32 on the list, but forgot whatever happened to them.
    Sort of surprised not to see Robinson’s other sneaker, the Nike Air Unlimited.
    The ones with the fancy criss-cross straps. I used to have those too, and they
    were probably the most unique shoe I ever owned.
    Wanted #22 on the list, so bad, the 1st Penny’s.
    All the rich kids had them in school. They were the sickest.
    Good thing they’re re-issuing them soon.
    Still, to this day, have not gotten a pair of AJ3’s. #1 on the list.
    Gotta get those next year when they drop again.

    • how do you not own a pair of 3's. they hafve release a heap of different colourways. i have 4 pairs. rocking the true blues i got for chritmas at the moment, they look great when you're in shorts!!!!

  3. wow, another top 50 sneaker list. how original. at least the XI wasn't #1 for once. oh and the old shape of the IVs is dearly missed….

  4. who made that list? really its a basketball shoe list, the air joran 1s are horrible for basketball and so are the 12s! wtf puma clydes on the list? low top shell toe adidas? who ever made that list obviously dosent plat basketball. AND NO KOBE V????WTFFFF

  5. Actually not enough jordans on this list, I can’t believe no AJ5! No kobe v! More iversons should b on this list, The AJ6 shoulda been higher up, I would take off the 23’s and put the 9’s, maybe the kobe 1’s

  6. Great, great list guys. Although there are some things I don't quite get… my top 3 would look like this:

    3. Air Jordan XI: The BEST Jordan's ever made.
    2. Air Jordan I: The shoe that spawned a lot of things in the industry. Some call it the most important shoe in sneaker history.
    1. Converse All-Stars: The single most important shoe EVER.

    and also, where are the Dunks?

    Other than that, fine list and wise choices. Good job!

    • Would it be reasonable to suggest that PF flyers, be it cousy classics with the gullwing flaps or center hi reissue could be somewhere close or maybe even tied with the converse all-stars?
      I mean, one of the greatest players in basketball history rocked them and they still sell strong to this day.

  7. Why does it have to be about basketball shoes. The chucks are up at the top due to being the mastermind of sports shoes in general. Its down to how they have stood the test of time and how we as buyers and desginers still look at these for inspiaration etc etc

  8. i mostly agreed with numbers 2-50. switch some of their positions and it's alright. but the IIIs at number one?? no way! they're trippin over there at complex magazine! It's a GREAT GREAT shoe and all but not number one all time for basketball!

    i see my number one as probably the hyperdunks, which they at least put on the list. I know the hyperdunks are pretty recent and we haven't really had time to take it in, but just look at it now! EVERYONE, from every position was wearing them! guards, forwards, and centers. and flywire is revolutionary!

  9. i think they rank them on how well they performed at the time. the jordan 1 and 12 were probably one of the best basketball sneakers at the time performance wise.

  10. yeah, 32 and 45. I remember back when every basketball players wore the air max uptempo. Kobe wore it in his HS days before signing for adidas midway thru the season. (Its the white/black/teal colorways) And the Air Shake Ndestrukt will forever be known as Rodman helped the Bulls to grab their fouth championship. I still got these shoes and will be keeping em til they make some lousy as retro in their stupid ass colorways.

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