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.
There may be no bigger holiday in the world than the Chinese New Year, and Steph pays homage to that with this colorway of the Curry 7. Though most of the shoe is a dyke blue gray it can be forgiven thanks to the watercolor style pink lilies that cover the heel and wrap around the sides. Absolutely exquisite.
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 Kyrie 5
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).
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.
6. Nike KD 12
Many of the KD 12 colorways are monotone, so this ‘Youtube’ colorway is a nice surprise even if white is one of the primary colors. However, there is an excellent balance of both the white and the red to keep the shoe bright but not overbearing. The small black elements on the heel and tongue are a nice point of contrast. This is most likely the best colorway of the 12 so far.
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.
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.
Dame and adidas have had some interesting collaborations on the Dame 6. First was “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and now we have one with Pusha-T. A soft blue pairs well with the orange and white to give off a springtime vibe. Dame’s initials and birth year grace the side of each shoe while Pusha’s are located on the heel. There is a blank place near the toe for you to sign your own name making the shoe your own.
2. Nike Kyrie 5
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.
There is a lot of retro happening in the league right now. Throwback jerseys and courts are everywhere, but the best so far is the ‘Mailman’ colorway of the D.O.N Issue #1. A soft purple exquisitely blankets most of the shoe with small touches of orange and powder blue. The mountain range on the side of the shoe is perfect, full stop. To fully tie the shoe together, a postage stamp sits prominently on the back half of the shoe. This colorway fully deserves the top spot.