10.22.19

Best Basketball Shoe Colorways: A Power Ranking

The best basketball shoes are the ones that deliver a high level of performance and also have a range of interesting, flashy colorways. What’s even the point of having the best performing shoes if they are boring to look at? For your convenience we have assembled a power ranking of the dopest colorways Eastbay has to offer. 

10. Nike KD 12

Shoe Colorway Power Rankings University Red

Red and black was a classic color combination for basketball shoes ever since Michael Jordan first stepped onto the court in the Air Jordan 1. The “University Red” colorway for the KD 12 changes up the classic just a bit, choosing to use multiple tones of red including almost a maroon color on the heel. It also minimizes the black, limiting it to the tongue and laces while making the midsole a speckled white. The use of multiple reds is really what makes the shoe so visually appealing because each is distinctive but doesn’t contrast too much with the others.

9. adidas D.O.N Issue #1

Shoe Colorway Power Rankings Stealth Spiderman

The DON Issue #1 has been crushing the colorway game so far. The “Stealth Spider-man” is no exception. Lime green is a tricky color to pull off, because if used wrong it can look atrocious. The adidas design team did a good job using it sparingly as more of a highlight element. The largest chunk is found on the outsole where it’s mixed with black to give off a nice lava lamp vibe that wraps around a little. The green is also used a little on the trim of the shoe, the propulsion plate, and the logo on the tongue. Set against a black upper the green really pops, bringing this seldom-used color scheme to life.

8. Nike PG 3

Nike PG 3 Mamba Mentality Colrway

Paul George grew up idolizing Kobe Bryant and he honors him here with the “Mamba Mentality” colorway. It resembles a Picasso painting in a lot of ways, with a heavy use of geometric shapes coming together in a cohesive manner. The mix of yellow, gray, black, and bronze is interesting and ultimately ends up working. There is enough yellow to brighten up the shoe, but it isn’t overpowering. There are storytelling elements such as his hometown zip code on the front of the shoe which is a nice touch.

7. Under Armour Curry 6

Under Armour Curry 6 International Boulevard Colorway

Stephen Curry made waves when he signed with Under Armour and both parties have been rewarded with one of the best-selling shoes on the market. The Curry 6 colorways are simple and clean, but the one that stands out is the “Thunder” model. The shoe’s primary color is a deep, rich blue that pairs well with any outfit. The use of lime green accent marks really gives the shoe some pop as well. It may not be the craziest color scheme around, but sometimes simplicity is best.

6. Nike Zoom Freak 1

Shoe Colorway Power Rankings Roses

Giannis Antetokounmpo’s success on the court has landed him his own signature shoe and they haven’t disappointed. Recently released was the “Roses” colorway. It is predominantly white, which gives it a cleaner, classier look. What really makes the shoe stand out, though, are the colors the designers picked to complement the white. The backwards swoosh is a metallic gold that brings a muted, calming presence to the shoe. The outsole is a bright red and there are several red accent marks on the tongue to really bring the shoe to life.

5. Nike Kyrie 5

Nike Kyrie 5 Friends Colorway

Lots of people love “Friends,” but Kyrie loves it so much he got a tattoo celebrating the show on his arm. So, it isn’t surprising he would also dedicate a colorway of the Kyrie 5 to the show. The shoe uses colors from the opening credits on the outsole and lacing system to contrast the black upper. Kyrie’s name is spelled out below the swoosh in the “Friends” font, and there is a third eye on the back of the heel (because of course there is).

4. adidas Harden 4

Shoe Colorway Power Ranking Barbershop

New season, new moves, new shoes, same Harden. The Harden 4 was recently released and one of the initial colorways that stands out is the “Barbershop.” While there isn’t a ton of color thanks to the all-black upper, the outsole-which wraps up around the base of the shoe-features a red, white, and blue pattern designed to look like a barber pole. Enough of the colorful outsole wraps up that it catches your eye without being the main focus of the shoe. There are also three diagonal stripes with the same color pattern on the tongue, which is a nice touch.

3. adidas Dame 5

adidas Dame 5 Black Panther Colorway

The purple and black color combination is criminally underrated. Look no further than Baltimore for an example of how cool this combo looks when done right. This colorway is part of adidas’s Marvel Pack and is easily the big winner. The textured elements that serve as a shout-out to Wakanda are visible without being overwhelming, and though the purple feels underserved the use of a matte finish keeps the shoe understated but powerful.

2. adidas Harden 3

adidas Harden 3 Team History Colorway

James Harden is the face of Houston’s franchise and his Harden 3 “Team History” colorway pays homage to the all teams he’s played for. There are callouts to his high school team, a Sun Devil for Arizona State, and a wonderful use of old-school Houston logos. It is reminiscent of graffiti on a wall, but because many of these smaller callouts feature the same color pattern (gold, orange, maroon red) it blends together well. The all-black midfoot strap helps break up the callouts and is a nice visual reprieve.

1. Nike Kyrie 5

Nike Kyrie 5 Have A Nike Day Colorway

Kyrie has one of the more impressive collections of colorways and one of the top ones is the “Have a Nike Day.” The denim color and texture pairs well with the white to give a clean, fresh look. It also has some nice subtle color elements such as the paint splatter on the tongue and the rainbow of colors on the outsole that wraps up the side of the shoe. The element that ties everything together is the 3D “Nike” on the heel of the shoe that really pops against the denim.

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