The 2014-15 NBA season really kicks into full swing tonight and we take a look at some of the most anticipated sneakers we’ll see on court early in the new campaign. While some of these models may be familiar and a few already available at retail, it’s nothing like seeing them on court for the first time on the feet of your favorite player. While signatures from LeBron, Derrick Rose, Kobe, John Wall and Durant will no doubt see a bunch of ‘player exclusive’ colorways throughout the season to look forward to, the two main attractions will be when the ‘Remastered’ Jordan Retros finally hit the court, along with the two rumored Jordan 11 Retro holiday releases. Which Jordan Brand athlete is your guess to wear them on court first? Let us know in the comments section below!
23: PEAK TP9 II
One of our favorite Chinese brand hoops shoe is also one of the most underrated on this list. Since joining PEAK a few years back, Tony Parker has had some pretty solid – albeit under appreciated – kicks. While this year’s upcoming silo, the TP9 II, won’t blind you with a ton of crazy colorways like some other high-profile signatures, just like the Spurs unis, these PEAKs are clean.
22: Li-Ning Way of Wade 3
Arguably the highest-profile signature sneaker from any of the Chinese brands, the Li-Ning Way of Wade 3 is poised to build on the success of it’s predecessors, when it drops later this year. Though we don’t have any solid release info at the moment, what we’ve seen from Wade’s social media presence and other sources, the kicks are looking good. And you can bet we’ll see some more of those wild colorways too. We can’t wait.
21: Nike Chuck Posite
We’ve never been shy about our love for “The Round Mound of Rebound,” aka Charles Barkley, around these parts. And, while we’ve loved seeing some of his best Nike signatures hit the retro circuit in the past few seasons, we’re pumped about the latest development for Sir Charles: the Nike Chuck Posite. Hitting retail on November 1st, we’re excited to see how the addition of Foamposite helps the Barkley signature line.
20: Nike LeBron Zoom Soldier 8
While the latest edition of the Nike LeBron Zoom Soldier has already hit retail, we’re pumped to see what happens when other NBA players get down with their Nike iD game for this silo. The LeBron Soldier has already proven to be a warrior on the courts, so all that’s left is to see who rocks it the best, right?
19: Jordan Melo M11
We’ll be real, we don’t have much on the next iteration of Jordan Brand’s next Melo signature at this point, but that’s nothing new. Though Melo was caught at the Knicks Media Day rocking an as-yet-unidentified sneaker, we still don’t know what the M11 will actually look like. For whatever reason, seemingly every year, the Melo shoe is the last of the Nike/Jordan hoops signatures to debut. But, designed by the gawd Tinker Hatfield, the M10 was one of our favorite entries to-date in the the Melo signature line. So, we’re hyped to see what JB has been cooking up for number 11.
18: Jordan CP3.VIII
Dropping very shortly in early November, the looks we’ve gotten at the Jordan CP3.VIII have our interest piqued, to say the least. We’ve long been a fan of CP3’s Jordan silos, and their creative new colorways. So we’ll be watching this one closely, even though the actual look of the model hasn’t changed all that much.
17: Brand Black J. Crossover 2
We’re actually really excited to see what becomes of Jamal Crawford’s tenure with Brand Black. The up-and-coming athletics brand has some pretty dope kicks cooked up for Crawford’s second signature under their label. The initial J. Crossover signature was very well received, with the only major complaint being a lack of ventilation. Brand Black looks to solve this problem with the J. Crossover 2 by going the way of the Kobe IX. Yep, woven uppers. And, if trade show pics are any indication, they’ve also got some really dope new colorways coming at us in the near future. We always love to see a new(ish) brand come with the heat like this!
16: Jordan Super.Fly 3
The Super.Fly is likely the best non-Air Jordan JB sneaker the brand makes. So, whenever a new iteration of this performance beast drops, we’re definitely all in. This year’s Super Fly.3 sports the en-vogue new Flight Web system, borrowed from the AJ XX9, which is a trend we’re interested to see the future of. We’re curious to see how these perform on-court.
15: Nike Air Max Hyperposite 2014 (or Hyperposite 2)
At this point, depending on who you ask, the newest Air Max Hyperposite silo might be called the 2 or the 2014. But, even if we don’t know the exact name, we’re hyped on the potential of the latest entry in the Hyperposite line. The most popular hoops signatures always go to the swingmen, but the bigs need some love too. The Air Max Hyperposite 2(014) looks to deliver that support with this dope new silo. And, as usual, we’re very interested to see what the folks over at the swoosh cook up in terms of colorways for this dynamic sneaker.
14: Nike Kyrie 1
If you’ve been paying attention to Nike Basketball’s non-LeBron/KD/Kobe kicks, you know the writing has been on the wall for some time now: Kyrie Irving is a superstar in this league, and one deserving of his own signature. And, with LeBron coming back to Cleveland, all eyes are going to be looking at the ‘Land…and particularly on the feet of Cavs players. Keep in mind, none of this is official, but the image above depicts what has been rumored to be the new Kyrie signature. We like it…this should be interesting.
13: Under Armor SC30
They might not fly off retail shelves like the Nikes and Jordans of the sneaker world. But credit where credit is due; Under Armor makes some of the best performance basketball sneakers on the market today. While they don’t have signature athletes as big as the Kobes, LeBrons or D-Roses of the world, Steph Curry has been holding it down solidly for UA since he came on board. And up to this point, he’s been without a signature sneaker of his own. But that’s all about to change with the SC30. Sporting that luscious MicroG foam, the SC30 has a ton of potential.
12: adidas J Wall 1
After being a part of team Reebok since being drafted in 2010, John Wall was moved over to adidas hoops (who actually owns Reebok now) last year to be the face of the latest and greatest from the basketball minds at the Three Stripes. After a year of rocking the likes of the Crazy Quick and their wild Crazy 1 retros, Wall will get his first official adidas signature this year. We’re digging the colorways we’ve seen thus far, and we all know team adidas is on the rise this year. So, this should be a fun one to watch as well.
11: Nike Air Command Force
Alright, let’s be real. Most of us targeting the upcoming retro of the Nike Air Command Force aren’t doing so to lace ’em up on-court. But if you’re looking to get your Billy Hoyle on, the Command Forces are making their return this year in the OG, and several other colors. You just know the likes of Nate Robinson or Nick Young will likely bust these out on court for at least one game sometime this season! We’ll see…
10: adidas D-Lillard 1
Along the lines of the new adidas John Wall signature, we’re expecting to see adidas bolster their stable of signature basketball players beyond the Derrick Rose’s of the world. And it looks like the next in line for his own sneaker is none other than the Rose City’s own Damian Lillard. We’ve only seen some brief pics from Dame’s social media accounts, so we’re still waiting on official word from adidas. But, what we’ve seen thus far has us making that Dame-face (TM).
9: Air Jordan XX9
Debuting earlier this summer, the Air Jordan XX9 introduced the brand’s latest and greatest technology yet: Flight Weave. The woven upper and excellent debut colorways had our attention from the beginning. But the Air Jordan XX9 is more than just beauty; it’s an on-court monster. While we have seen several upcoming colorways slated to drop later in the year (and early next year), you just know JB has some crazy PE and limited-release stuff up their sleeve (i.e. Kawhi Leonard’s opening night PE pictured above (although injured at the moment)). So, we like where this is going.
8: adidas D Rose 5 Boost
We can’t wait to see how the adidas D Rose 5 Boost plays out on court. Yes, we know they’ve already dropped, but we just can’t decide which colorway to pick up! But, from our experience, the Boost tech that adidas has been pushing is some of the industry’s most-comfortable midsole foam. So, we’re excited to take the D Rose 5, the first adidas Basketball signature shoe to feature Boost, out for a test drive. Decisions, decisions.
7: Nike Air Max Penny 1 Retro Colorways
One of our favorite basketball retro runs in recent years has been the Nike Penny signature line. More than just Foamposites, there are just so many gems there that we get all nostalgic every time another one gets rumored for retro. But, it seems our wishes for more Penny 1s have been answered, because there are some fire colorways dropping in the near future. From the just-re-released “Game Royal” OGs, to the excellent new ‘University Red’ colorway that has been making the rounds on sneaker blogs, the future is bright for the Nike Penny line and you know you will see players rocking these on court as the season chugs along.
6: Nike KD7
Okay, #latepass on this one but…THEY BROUGHT THE STRAP BACK! It seems that the Nike Kevin Durant signature line didn’t fare particularly well with the strapless mid-to-high top that blessed the KD V, because Nike has brought them both back for the excellent KD7. And, while these KDs have been out for a minute now, we’re amped to see what Nike does with the colorways on this one now that the 2014-15 season has arrived. The KD line has long been where Nike is at it’s most playful in the colorway department. Not to mention we’ve still got those elite editions to look forward to.
5: Kobe IX
Sure, we’ve already seen (and hooped in) a number of very dope Kobe IXs these past several months. But, something tells us Nike hasn’t shown all their cards with respect to the Kobe IX. Of course we’re hyped to see some new colorways, and perhaps another turn at those multi-colored iD Elite Lows. But we really liked the Kobe IX Mid as well. Hopefully, we’ll get some on-court versions of that beauty. Keep the gum soles coming, please!
4: Air Jordan VIII "Doernbecher"
At the time of this post, not much is known about this year’s “Doernbecher” kicks. However, if internet rumors and spy shots that look like they were taken from across the street on an old flip phone camera are to be believed, this year’s Air Jordan DB will be a blue and orange AJ VIII. Knicks heads should get in line now.
3: Nike LeBron 12
Due to some ‘cosmetic’ issues, the LeBron 12 was delayed from its initial launch but it is now back on track to debut at retail on 10/30. But, via the magic of the internet, that didn’t halt the preview of seven upcoming colorways for the model during the unveiling event. And so far, we’re loving what we see. Sporting Nike’s next-greatest-tech, Hex Zoom, the LeBron 12 will no-doubt be the flagship basketball shoe for Nike hoops. We can’t wait to see all of LeBron’s special PE makeups, as well as any and all iD options that come along!
2: Air Jordan Remastered Editions
Come on, who isn’t pumped for Jordan Brand to launch their Remastered program? While we’re super excited to see what else Jordan Brand has in store to return under the Remastered program, what we’ve seen so far has us salivating. We’ve been beating the drum for a retro of both the “Columbia” and “Oreo” Air Jordan IV and, according to JB, those are two of the first colorways up for remastering. And, while the prospect of a Jumpman price hike has tempered our excitement a little bit, you just know we’re going to get some heat. The real question is though, who will be the first to rock one of the ‘remastered’ Jordans on court?!
1: Air Jordan XI Holiday Retros
While most of us who have been lucky enough to grab an Air Jordan XI retro in recent years aren’t going anywhere near a basketball court with them, it won’t deter the significant hype for this winter’s releases. As most of you already know, up for retro this winter are the “Legend Blue” XIs, a renamed version of the “Columbia,” as well as the mythical “Pantone” AJ XI. But you better stack your pennies and plot your strategies now. Not only will you have to deal with bots, back-door deals and crazy holiday shopping lines, but rumor has it, those “Pantone” XIs will actually release as part of a package dubbed the “Ultimate Gift of Flight” Pack, along with a similarly colored XX9.
None of that matters for who might break them out on court first though, but our money is on Russell Westbrook busting out those XX9s from the “Gift of Flight” Pack. Plus, Jordan Brand athlete Jared Sullinger already previewed the “Legend Blue” 11s not too long ago on Twitter, so it probably won’t be too long before they appear on court. The anticipation will be killing us all!