The start of the 2013-14 NBA regular season is right around the corner and we rank the 20 best new on-court kicks worn by your favorite players. A lot of these sneakers have already been officially unveiled, but there are a couple out there such as the Melo M10 and Kobe 9 which unfortunately you can’t get your hands on just yet no matter where you call home. From adidas to Nike to Jordan, to overseas brands such as Anta, PEAK and Li-Ning, take a look and let us know which silhouette you’re feeling the most in the comments section below.
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Anta KG 4
Notable player(s) wearing it: Kevin Garnett
The Big Ticket jumped from adidas to Chinese brand Anta in the summer of 2010, and they’re now debuting his fourth signature silhouette, the KG 4. Though it hit retail recently, they debuted with some white/green Celtics-inspired colors which needed to be swapped out to keep in line with KG’s switch to the Brooklyn Nets.
adidas D Howard 4
Notable player(s) wearing it: Dwight Howard
The biggest (literally) NBA off-season acquisition also came with a significant signature sneaker debut. Though he actually broke out his first pairs while suiting up with the Lakers in the playoffs last year (sorry for the reminder Lakers fans), D12’s latest silhouette has followed him to H-town. Now seen in a Rockets-friendly red/white colorway, Howard’s latest from the three stripes features a hybrid of adidas hoops tech like the Spiral Sprintweb for heel support and a PureMotion midsole.
Anta Rondo 1
Notable player(s) wearing it: Rajon Rondo
Another huge coup for Anta came this summer when they were able to sway Rajon Rondo away from Nike by giving him his own signature shoe. Though Anta’s impact in the US has been small relative to the splashy stateside brands, don’t sleep on this signing. There are plenty of players, like Rondo, occupying that space between the average NBA player, and those elite, signature-sneaker players. Rondo, like many others, was getting plenty of sick PEs from the Swoosh, but not his own signature. We see this type of move becoming more and more common.
Nike Zoom Hyperfuse 2013
Notable player(s) wearing it: Roy Hibbert, Chris Kaman, Marc Gasol
The “Team” shoe choice of big men all across the league, Nike’s Zoom Hyperfuse silhouette looks to build on the strong foundation of it’s predecessors, with it’s latest iteration for the 2013-14 season. Featuring an ideal blend of high-top support, a reactive Zoom midsole and a lightweight Hyperfuse upper, the Zoom Hyperfuse 2013 will surely be seen in countless team colorways throughout the year.
Notable player(s) wearing it: John Wall, Damian Lillard
The adidas CrazyQuick will be seen on the feet of backcourt players such as John Wall and Damian Lillard, and likely several others throughout the league this year. Sporting a flexible rubber outsole, a TechFit upper with SprintFrame chassis and a PureMotion midsole, the adidas CrazyQuick looks to facilitate speed by providing a lightweight and flexible silhouette.
Under Armour Anatomix
Notable player(s) wearing it: Steph Curry
Chalk one up for Under Armour. This off season, they were able to steal the dynamic Steph Curry away from his Nike Basketball deal (where he tended to rock the Hyperfuse models), and into their new flagship Anatomix silhouette. It’s a love-it or hate-it design, but one thing is certain, this wild shoe will be seen in an array of equally wild PE colorways this year.
adidas Crazy Ghost
Notable player(s) wearing it: Harrison Barnes, Jrue Holiday, Kenneth Faried, Josh Smith
Another new silhouette we’ll be seeing on the feet of adidas’s ever-expanding roster of sponsored NBA players is the Crazy Ghost. A superb combination of support and flexibility, while providing top-notch ventilation through it’s triple-layered Sprintweb tech, the Crazy Ghost is an awesome addition to adidas’s hoops arsenal. You can catch this on the feet of players like Harrison Barnes and Josh Smith.
adidas Crazy 8
Notable player(s) wearing it: Jimmy Butler, Iman Shumpert
A blast from the past has made it’s re-emergence over the last year or so, the legendary adidas “Crazy 8″. Originally debuting as the KB8 in 1997, most know this silo as Kobe Bryant’s first signature. However, since he left adidas for Nike in 2002, the three-stripes had to rename the silhouette. As of late though, it’s been seen on the likes of up-and-coming stars like Iman Shumpert and Jimmy Butler, in some absolutely blazing PE colorways. Keep an eye out for these.
Nike Zoom Soldier VII
Notable player(s) wearing it: LeBron James, Eric Bledsoe
With the release of the “Power Couple” iteration, plus the fact that LeBron has been spotted wearing these over the summer and in preseason games, the buzz for the Zoom Soldier VII has been strong. It definitely seems like Nike has a hit with these, both on and off the court, and we bet you’ll see these laced up by more than a few players throughout the season.
adidas D Rose 4
Notable player(s) wearing it: Derrick Rose
Despite not playing at all in 2012-13, Derrick Rose’s adidas signature had a great year. And, with so many eyes on Rose’s return to action, many are also hyped on his new signature. Though not a huge departure from last year’s design, from a silhouette perspective, technological improvements like a CrazyQuick outsole and dynamic GEOFIT ankle support have been added to focus on traction and comfort. Hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Nike Kobe IX (Not Officially Unveiled)
Notable player(s) wearing it: Kobe Bryant
Though the Kobe 9 hasn’t been officially announced yet, there have been some teasers and wear-test spy shots floating around the net for a few months now. Some rumors hint at a possible Flyknit version or incorporation. But, if the spy shots are any indication, the Kobe 9 appears to be a solid mid-top silhouette. And, with the Black Mamba at 35 years of age and coming off of a significant Achilles injury, he’ll need a bit more support in the heel than the Kobe 8 provided.
Wear test sample pictured
Jordan Melo M10
Notable player(s) wearing it: Carmelo Anthony
As many have pointed out, Melo is in the last year of his Jordan Brand contract, which many also point to as the possible reason why some of his silos are already getting the retro treatment. So whether or not he re-ups on that deal, you knew Jordan was going to come out swinging with this one. Though they won’t hit retail until after the new year (following the model set with the M9), the Melo M10 looks to set the bar high by building off of the Tinker Hatfield-designed Flight Plate technology contrasted with its use of premium materials.
Peak Team Lightning
Notable player(s) wearing it: Tony Parker
One of the highest-profile examples of a Chinese sportswear company making inroads into the NBA market, was last year’s acquisition by PEAK of Tony Parker. Parker dropped Nike for a deal allegedly 4x what he was getting from Nike. And, for their money, PEAK got prime product placement on one of the most underrated players in the league…taking his team all the way to the NBA Finals last season.
Jordan Super.Fly 2
Notable player(s) wearing it: Blake Griffin
The original Super.Fly was one of the best non-signature, non-retro Jordan Brand silhouettes in recent memory. So, for it’s sequel, JB has turned up the heat. Combining the energy-efficient Flight Plate base with the stabilizing Hyperfuse upper, all on top of a Zoom forefoot, and strapped to the dynamic Blake Griffin, JB can chalk this one up as another W.
Li-Ning Way of Wade 2
Notable player(s) wearing it: Dwyane Wade
We talked about the magnitude of Tony Parker’s deal with PEAK, but it falls short to only one, Dwyane Wade’s. Undoubtedly the biggest win for a Chinese sportswear brand, Li-Ning broke out the Way of Wade silhouette last year, sweet-talking D-Wade away from Jordan Brand. The silo’s first year had some crazy colorways and, from what we’ve seen just at this early stage, the WoW 2 (ha, we see you Li-Ning) looks to be no different.
Nike Hyperdunk 2013
Notable player(s) wearing it: Kyrie Irving, Pau Gasol, Kevin Love
Nike’s Hyperdunk has been an NBA staple since it’s debut in 2008. Even though its a high top, it’s been the favorite of backcourt players, like Kyrie Irving, just as much as the big men in the middle. For 2013, the silo keeps the cushy Lunarlon and Flywire technology of the 2012 model, and adds some Hyperfuse to the mix to facilitate “intuitive motion” with the foot. Sounds comfy.
Notable player(s) wearing it: Chris Paul
Just like the man himself, Chris Paul’s signature sneaker line has been dropping dimes the last few years, and his seventh silhouette is no different. Debuting along with the “Bel-Air” colorways Jordan Brand brought out recently, the CP3.VII will surely be a sneaker to look out for during the 2013-14 season.
Nike KD VI
Notable player(s) wearing it: Kevin Durant
Nike’s Kevin Durant signature line has really made huge strides over the last three years, as you can see from it’s current ranking. Going toe-to-toe with the King for the crown of “dopest Nike colorways” the KD VI has already come out swinging. Going back to the low-top design that was so popular with the IV, the KD VI has already shown a stunning amount of future colorways, leaving a lot of eyes on some of the other Nike silos to play catch up.
Jordan XX8 SE
Notable player(s) wearing it: Russell Westbrook
Though the Jordan XX8 made it’s debut late last year, an SE version appears to be the shoe Russell Westbrook will be making his injury comeback in. The eye-catching XX8 gets an update by swapping the “love-it-or-hate-it” zip-up shroud for a traditional lacing system and many pundits rave about the stability and support of the Flight Plate technology and just the overall value of these sneakers for the price.
Nike LeBron XI
Notable player(s) wearing it: LeBron James
The placement of the Nike LeBron XI atop this list is no surprise, as it’s ahead of it’s competition in terms of the combination of technology, colorways and, perhaps most importantly, marketing prowess. The LeBron XI certainly looks to extend the King’s reign over the basketball universe. Already shown in some impressive colorways, including the debut “King’s Pride” iteration and highly-anticipated “Terracotta Warrior” and “Forging Iron” colorways, we can’t wait to see what the Swoosh has in store for what is, undoubtedly, it’s flagship basketball sneaker of the 2013-14 season.