Trust the Process: An Inside Look at Joel Embiid’s First Signature Shoe
Philadelphia superstar Joel Embiid has teamed up with Under Armour to launch his first signature shoe, the UA Embiid One.
Each year dozens of basketball shoes are released offering improved tech elements with new and impressive colorways. While it’s great to have options, sometimes it’s overwhelming when looking for the best ones to play in. To help guide you on your search we created a list of the top basketball shoes.
The PG 4 is one of the rare shoes that comes exclusively in a low-cut model, and it’s one of the reasons the shoe has become so popular. This year Nike made a significant change to the shoe by adding a shroud that covers the upper. Rarely used on shoes these days, the shroud serves a dual purpose — it provides containment and allows players to adjust the amount of breathability they want.
Nike designers also upped the cushioning this time around, expanding the Nike Air outside the forefoot and embedding it throughout the footbed. The result is full-foot comfort and lightning-quick responsiveness as you jump, cut, and slide.
The design team stuck with a circular traction pattern, which makes it one of only two signature shoes with this type of outsole. The design has been praised for delivering consistent traction for the entire foot and being reliable no matter how clean or dirty the court is.
It feels like I’m playing basketball on clouds, and the traction is perfect for both the court and street – John1738, Eastbay Customer Review
An addition to the shoe that isn’t visible is an internal webbing system that offers another layer of containment to keep your foot locked down during play while still allowing for easy on and off.
Nike has noted the PG 4 tends to run small, so we recommend you order a size up.
Even with over 1,200 games and 48,000 minutes under his belt, LeBron is still at the peak of his powers. The combination of speed, strength, and agility is unlike anything the game has ever seen. LeBron is now on his 17th shoe with Nike and, even though the design has changed throughout the years, the goal has always stayed the same: to make the shoe as comfortable, supportive, and efficient as possible.
The LeBron has become well-known for its cushioning system, with designers at Nike fitting Air Bags into basically every crevice of the shoe. In the 17 the biggest Zoom Air unit found in a signature basketball shoe is positioned under the heel, and multiple Air units sit under the balls of your feet to give you that “walking on a cloud” feeling. Nike also reworked the Air unit to provide a more consistent feel, so that, no matter how much force you jump or land with your feet will be cushioned, reducing strain and wear.
When too much emphasis is put on a shoe’s cushioning system, one issue that often springs up is a real lack of support. That’s where Nike’s development of Battleknit comes to play. An update on the Flyknit construction, Battleknit adds heat-twisted yarn to make it more supportive. It also gives each shoe a distinct look. The LeBron 17’s are like fingerprints, no two are the same.
As Kyrie Irving begins a new chapter of his career in Brooklyn, designers at Nike went to work on the new Kyrie shoe. Irving is a unique player, relying heavily on deception and shiftiness to create space to get off his shot or get into the lane. His extraordinary style of play requires an extraordinary shoe.
Nike’s team went to work last summer and implemented several key changes. A midfoot strap was added to create a more secure, locked-in feeling. The Zoom Air Turbo unit was adjusted to curve and sit under the ball of the foot to engage more often on drives to the basket. Unsurprisingly, the design team stuck with the lightweight foam midsole, guaranteeing a smooth heel-to-toe transition and limiting the impact on your knees and feet.
Probably the most important aspect of the Kyrie 6 is the traction. If Irving doesn’t have faith in the grip of his shoe, then he becomes a much less effective player. The Nike team stuck with a wrapped outsole so Irving can continue to attack regardless of the foot angle. In a change-up from the traditional herringbone pattern, the 6 features a multi-angle blade pattern made to grip the court in all directions. When asked about the outsole, Irving said, “The 360-degree traction on my foot, it tailors to my game. It gives me an advantage out there on the floor.”
Is there a more ferocious player in the entire league than Russell Westbrook? His limitless energy, jaw-dropping athleticism, and basketball IQ allow him to pull off the spectacular on the court. How, then, does one design a shoe that allows Russ to be Russ while giving him all the support and comfort he needs?
It starts with a midfoot strap to support the foot and keep it from slipping and sliding. However, when you lock the foot down that much it creates a lot of friction and heat. Jordan designers utilized a synthetic upper to maintain ventilation, so no matter how hard you’re playing, air will still flow through the shoe to keep your feet cool. With such a strong base of support, there was concern about whether the shoe would be too heavy. To counteract the weight, Jordan split the outsole and chose to use a multi-directional traction pattern for incredible grip.
The most vital component of any modern basketball shoe is the cushioning system. It’s crucial that any basketball shoe works to lessen the energy you expend throughout the game, so when the 4th quarter rolls around you still feel fresh. Following the pattern of many Nike and Jordan shoes, there’s a Zoom Air Bag located in the forefoot, and it’s curved to follow the natural shape of the foot.
One of the two major adidas signature sneakers, the Dame series has gotten better every season. For the first time the Dame will feature the Lightstrike cushioning system. The new system was designed to cut weight, making the Dame quicker, faster while maintaining the protection you need to stay on the court.
The Dame 6 sports a relatively wide base that’s perfect for lateral movements; it gives you more stability as you plant and push off, making it less likely to roll your ankle. The tried and true herringbone traction pattern graces the outsole giving you solid grip on the floor.
A bonus of the Dame 6 is that it features some of the best colorways of any signature shoe. The adidas team has already collaborated with Stone Cold Steve Austin and Pusha-T to create some amazing styles. Beyond those, Dame has a habit of keeping the colorways very clean and simple for a crisp on-court look.
In addition to these five, Eastbay has a ton of other signature shoes from the top brands and top players. We also carry many of these options in team colors, so when your season rolls around, you’re ready to go. Visit eastbay.com to find all the basketball gear you need.
The sequel has arrived. The D.O.N Issue #2 made a splashy debut in the bubble and is a worthy successor to the original.
Welcome to Dreamville. Make your hoop dreams come true in the Puma RS-Dreamer from J. Cole.
Nothing is more valuable in basketball than a little space. Our guys from 90/10 are here to show you one of the most effective ways to create seperation.
The Nike Freak 2 is launching just in time to help Giannis lead Milwaukee in the playoffs. Learn how the team at Nike was able to top last years successful Freak 1 launch.
The Nike BB NXT is the latest technological breakthrough in basketball shoes. Learn how the team at Nike built this shoe from the ground up.
An explainer of how, where, and when professional basketball will be returning. We dive into what the rest of the regular season will look like, which teams will be playing, and how the playoffs are going to work.
Ever realized that no matter where you play pick up basketball you'll end up hearing the same things over and over? Basketball slang is like a second language and I've put together a guide of key phrases you'll need to know if you want to thrive on the courts.
The Last Dance has captivated millions with glimpses of Chicago's dominance in the '90s. Eastbay dove a little deeper into each shoe MJ wore during each title.
For the third time in AAU’s history, the James E. Sullivan Award was presented to two cowinners: Sabrina Ionescu and Spencer Lee.
There's no better feeling than giving someone buckets in 2K with a player they don't expect. Check out Eastbay's guide to some of the most underrated 2K players.
Your guide to the top basketball shoes available, so you can take the court this season prepared to show out.