A Look Back: The Best Basketball Sneakers From October 2006

A Look Back: The Best Basketball Sneakers From October 2006

It seems difficult to fathom, but some pretty well-known sneakers that dropped in 2006 are already 15 years old. This fall, shoes like the LeBron IV, Kobe 1, and Air Max 360 are just five years away from turning 20. Back in ‘06, future legends like LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Tracey McGrady, and Dwyane Wade were making names for themselves. Some of the shoes they were wearing became legendary as well. Here are some of the memorable basketball sneakers from that October 2006 Eastbay catalog.

Nike

Look Back Eastbay Catalog Basketball Sneakers October 2006 Nike LeBron
Look Back Eastbay Catalog Basketball Sneakers October 2006 Nike Kobe

This was back when LeBron James was really taking off in popularity. Entering his fourth season with the Cleveland Cavs, LeBron also had a new sneaker: the Zoom LeBron IV. Featuring a full-length Zoom Air unit, this model has definitely been a fan favorite over the years. Most people also say this sneaker was built like a tank, weighing a whopping 27.8 ounces. You could also still cop the LeBron III in the low-cut model as well.

The Zoom Kobe 1 was also available that month in the all-black colorway. There were also four colorways still available in the Eastbay Outlet section for $99.99. This was Kobe Bryant’s first official model with Nike after he left adidas and entered one of the most amazing sneaker free agency periods of all time.

Look Back Eastbay Catalog Basketball Sneakers October 2006 Nike Air
Look Back Eastbay Catlaog Basketball Sneakers October 2006 Nike

Other popular models that season were the Air Max 360 and Air Max 180. As described in the name, the Air Max 360 featured a completely full-length, Air-Sole unit for the most Air cushioning ever. The Air Max 180 had a massive Air Max heel unit along with Zoom Air in the forefoot. Those who hooped in these always have fond memories of them.

Team Basketball sneakers were incredibly popular back then, with the Air Zoom Huarache Elite TB, Air Max Elite TB, and Shox Elite TB being the top choices for high school and college players. The Huarache Elite was designed for smaller, quicker guards, and the Air Max Elite and Shox Elite were built for bigger players. Each model came in just about every colorway imaginable for team matching.

As for retro models, there were a few familiar sneakers available as well, including the Air More Tempo, Air Max Penny IV, and Air Max 2 CB ‘94 Low. Nike was trying to bring back some popular models from 10 years earlier by adding in some new colorways. Unfortunately, the colorways were a bit too off and never really caught on with sneakerheads.

Jordan Brand

Look Back Eastbay Catalog Basketball Sneakers October 2006 Jordan Brand Carmelo Anthony

Denver Nuggets star Carmelo Anthony was entering his fourth season in the NBA as well, and his signature Jordan Brand sneaker was grabbing everyone’s attention. The October 2006 Eastbay featured the Jordan Melo M3 along with a matching apparel collection. The Jordan XXI PE and Low models were also available that month.

Look Back Eastbay Catalog Basketball Sneakers October 2006 Jordan Brand

Retro Jordans were continuing to grow in popularity, with the Air Jordan IV ‘Military Blue’ available for kids. There were also four new colorways of the Air Jordan V, including the ‘Green Bean’ colorway, which is rumored to return in 2022.

There was also a ton of Jordan apparel, including authentic on-court UNC, Georgetown and California warmups.

adidas

Look Back Eastbay Catalog Basketball Sneakers October 2006 adidas

With Kobe Bryant leaving for Nike in 2003, the new star for adidas was Rockets star Tracy McGrady. His T-Mac sneaker line was packed with high-performance models, including the T-MAC 6, T-MAC Trainer, and T-MAC III. There was also the adidas Courtshark, which was inspired by the T-MAC 5. Retro-wise, the Crazy 8 retro was very popular. This model was originally worn by Kobe Bryant, but was marketed for Wizards star Gilbert Arenas in 2006.

Converse

Look Back Eastbay Catalog Basketball Sneakers October 2006 Converse Dwyane Wade

Coming off the Heat’s 2006 championship season, Dwyane Wade’s sneaker stock was soaring. In the summer of 2003, Wade left Jordan Brand and signed a deal with Converse, somewhat surprising the sneaker world. Wade’s 1.3 Mid and Signature LE were both available in the October 2006 catalog.

Reebok

Look Back Eastbay Catalog Basketball Sneakers October 2006 Reebok

2006 would be a challenging year for Sixers star Allen Iverson, as he was traded in December to the Denver Nuggets. Iverson was still Reebok’s #1 athlete though, and still had a loyal following. That fall, the Answer X released, featuring Pump Adjustable technology for a custom fit. Also worth mentioning is the fact that Iverson’s Question Mid was still incredibly popular 10 years later, and still was available in many different sleek colorways.

Drew Hammell A Look Back

Drew is the creator of @nikestories on Instagram. Growing up in the ’90s, Drew loved playing soccer, basketball, tennis, and even dabbled in cross country running. He ended up focusing on tennis in high school and helped lead his team to multiple state titles. His favorite athletes growing up include Michael Jordan, Allen Iverson, Andre Agassi, and Ken Griffey, Jr. He was smart enough to save all his old Eastbay catalogs from the ’90s and loves sharing them with the sneaker community. Follow him at @nikestories or read more of his work here.

The Sequel Is Here: The D.O.N Issue #2 Makes Its Debut.

The Sequel Is Here: The D.O.N Issue #2 Makes Its Debut.

Donovan Mitchell has quickly ascended to become one of the faces of the league despite playing for a small market in Utah. His highlight-reel dunks, saucy crossovers, and filthy step-backs have made him one of the most exciting players in the league. It’s why adidas gave him his own signature shoe after just one season and why there was a lot of anticipation around how this year’s version would look and feel. Mitchell debuted the adidas D.O.N Issue #2 in his first game down in the bubble, and just like his game, it made a statement.

You rarely find a sequel that’s better than the original (I still can’t believe they made 3 more Hangover movies), but the Issue #2 has a case. It was one of the rare exclusive low-top signature shoes when it debuted, and it stays true to form for the second issue. It’s back with the lightweight mesh upper, which helps Donovan soar through the lane and fly around the court. The shoe is still able to maintain a snug feel that allows your foot to breathe, so you’re in a comfort zone all game long.

Like most adidas signature shoes, the D.O.N Issue #2 features the standard Bounce cushioning. The design team worked to add some flexibility in the midsole with the cushioning, so the shoe feels less rigid, but still maintains that efficient energy return.

To keep you locked in when you’re on the ground the Issue #2 sits atop a rubber outsole and features a cord lacing system. The rubber outsole provides excellent grip so you can ping around the court in full control without slipping or sliding. The cord lacing system keeps your foot steady and stable within the shoe.

Make sure to hit up eastbay.com to find the D.O.N Issue #2 beginning on August 28.

Rapper Shoes: Which Artists Need Their Own Signature Shoe

Rapper Shoes: Which Artists Need Their Own Signature Shoe

Perhaps no form of music associates itself with the fashion industry, specifically shoes, more than hip-hop/rap. As a result, there is a history of rappers collaborating with sneaker companies to design their own unique shoes. However, there are plenty of artists out there who have yet to tackle such a project, so we created a list of the top ten rappers, who we think would create something interesting, and paired them with a shoe, we think they could really do incredible work with. 

Waka Flocka Flame

Waka Flocka Flame x Nike Phantom Venom Elite (10)

Waka is the elder statesman of the list having been in the public conscious for the longest amount of time, and he is still one of the most recognizable artists. He has strong connection to sports, frequently showing up to his hometown of Atlanta’s professional soccer team and is regularly seen balling with other rappers. I’d personally like to request that every time someone takes a step, the shoe screams “WAKA”, “FLEX”, or “BRICK SQUAD.” Let’s take his love of soccer and pair him with a soccer cleat. The Nike Venom Phantom Elite is one of the premier cleats available, and letting Waka bring the taste of Atlanta, home of one of the premier soccer teams, to the cleat seems guaranteed to be fire.

6LACK

6LACK x Vans Slip On (9)

One of Rolling Stones “Ten New Artists You Need To Know” in 2016, 6LACK is one of the newest up and coming artists. He’s already made an impression having been nominated for several Grammy’s. He was most recently nominated for Best Rap/Sung Performance for his song “Pretty Little Fears” which featured J. Cole. His style isn’t the flashiest. You’ll never read anything about an extravagant outfit he wore, and his music often focuses on serious emotional issues. Though he brings a completely different vibe I think it would be interesting to see what he would do with a pair of shoes-specifically the Slip On’s-which can feature a simple monotone color or extravagant patterns. Would 6LACK go in a direction that resembles his music, or might he change it up and give us something loud and boisterous.

 

French Montana

French Montana x Timberland (8)

We’re getting a little foreign flavor up in here with French Montana. The Moroccan-born artist has carved out a successful rap career since immigrating to New York City with his family when he was 13. A lover of oversized fur coats and brash beats, French has displayed some interesting fashion choices in several of his music videos. He also has adopted several exotic pets including two tigers and a monkey. Since French hails from NYC, we thought it would be best to pair him with the classic Timberland boots. The hope being that with his background, he could bring a little foreign flavor to the project while remaining true to some of the elements that make Timberlands iconic.

Migos

Migos x adidas Originals Stan Smith (7)

Is there a bigger act in music right now than Migos? I’d accept Drake and possibly Travis Scott, other than that I’m not sure anyone has a stronger hold on pop culture at the moment. It’s probably more likely that one of either Quavo or Offset gets a deal to do some collaboration, but I would love to see the entire group work together with a brand. They embody the south better than anybody else on this list, and there is no doubt they would bring a flair to any project they work on. I mean have you seen the “T-Shirt” music video? What more do you need? Let’s give these guys a pair of Stan Smith’s from the adidas Originals collection. This is the perfect group to bring some southern flavor to one of the most popular shoes around. There is sure to be plenty of odes to Atlanta’s long and storied rap history, and some nods to the well-known southern football culture.

Logic

Logic x adidas Originals NMD R1 (6)

Logic has been churning out a ton of new music over the past year releasing, the mixtape Bobby Tarantino II and his fourth studio YSIV. His albums and mixtapes are always an interesting experience and often feature snippets of conversation dealing with popular culture or philosophical elements. He’s featured Neil Degrasse Tyson, characters from Adult Swim’s Rick and Morty, and worked with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to create his hit song 1-800-273-8255. Even his album covers are unique with their hand-colored feel. Logic’s interests go beyond music, though, as he has been featured in Netflix’s Rapture, Rick and Morty, and has his own YouTube channel dedicated to discussing his favorite video games. Logic’s eclectic tastes in certain pop culture elements would serve him well with a pair of the adidas Originals NMD R1. He could experiment with different types of prints on the upper as well as a mixture of colorways along the outsole. If he could find a way to imprint his playful personality onto the shoes, they could be a real hit.

Chance The Rapper

Chance The Rapper x Vans Old Skool (5)

Chance hasn’t really been heard from in a minute, but he is well deserving of being here. One of the most respected and influential artists, Chance is synonymous with his hometown of Chicago. His penchant for mixing jazz and gospel elements into his songs helps give his music an uplifting tone. He has been active in the fashion industry working with several major brands including Nike and adidas originals. He also has gained experience in design although that is mostly with hats. Despite his work with top brands, his style has been consistently unique and has clashed with what is considered traditional hip-hop fashion. We thought pairing Chance with the Vans Old Skool was the best match. While they are very popular, they are still a relatively uncommon shoe among mainstream rappers. We could possibly see Chance bring a nostalgic vibe featuring plenty of bright, vibrant colors. He could also try and tie some of those jazz and gospel flavors into the shoe.

Young Thug

Young Thug x adidas Originals Superstar (4)

There is perhaps no rapper with a more eccentric fashion taste than Young Thug. Known for his unique music style that breaks from any sense of traditional rap, Thug might be the most interesting rapper around. He is frequently seen with his fingernails painted, has stated most of his wardrobe consists of women’s clothing, and rocked a dress on an album cover. If you can find another rapper with a more unique than him, more power to you. Thugger’s varied fashion interests and past work with adidas inspired us to give him the Superstar. Seemingly any design he imagines is likely to be loud and over-the-top, and adidas, as evidenced by their partnership with Kanye, are a good bet to give him a long runway to be as creative as he wants.

Rae Sremmurd

Rae Sremmurd x Reebok Classic Leather Ripple (3)

Our second rap group makes the list. Maybe unsurprisingly, the two brothers from Mississippi have developed staying power since coming onto the scene in 2015 with No Flex Zone and their debut album Sremmlife. They have an endearing sound that appeals to a large swath of people, a willingness to experiment (Swae Lee dropped a Christmas song), and perhaps most importantly, an interesting fashion sense. Slim Jxmmi is out here rocking a pink fur coat and ski goggles like he’s prepared to hit the slopes at any moment, and Swae Lee looks like a mix of Romeo and a matador on the cover of SR3MM. Imagine if they brought that energy to a pair of the Reebok Classic Leather. The brothers signed with Reebok back in 2017 but haven’t turned out a signature shoe yet. Allow them to bring a new, different vibe to a classic sneaker to create a cultural hit.

21 Savage

21 Savage x Dame 5 (2)

The Saint Laurent Don gets the number three spot. The nickname kind of spells out why he’s up here. Saint Laurent was a famous French fashion designer, and his line of high-end fashion is quite popular. (If you have a couple grand lying around, I would suggest checking it out. If not, there is this place called Eastbay where you can find a lot of great stuff for much less.) It would be interesting if Savage tried to bring his love for top-class fashion and blend it with a more athletic or casual shoe. I will say, if he were to do a shoe and he didn’t put a dagger on the tongue of the shoe, I might shed a tear. How about pairing 21 with someone who can be an absolute savage on the court, and musically talented off it? Someone like Damian Lillard and the Dame 5. The Dame’s are designed first and foremost for performance on the basketball court. However, if 21 could incorporate some high-end fashion elements it could really take the shoe to the next level.

Childish Gambino

Childish Gambino x adidas Ultraboost (1)

This is your friendly neighborhood reminder that pretty much anything Gambino does turns out pretty well. Acting? Yep, pretty good at that. Directing? Gives us one of the best shows on television. Comedy? Pretty funny. Rapping? Easy money for him. He is not only one of the most creative artists around, but one of the most creative people around. Watch the This is America music video and tell me different. However, he almost didn’t make the list though since he signed a deal to partner with adidas Originals back in September. Since he has yet to release his own signature shoe, we decided it would be acceptable for him to be on the list.

Gambino is a revolutionary creator, so he gets a revolutionary sneaker, the adidas Ultraboost. The Boost was born out of a desire by shoe designers to break boundaries and outdo themselves. It would be in excellent hands with Gambino who pushes every project he works on to the next level. Another positive aspect of this hypothetical partnership is that given the Boost is still a relatively young shoe, there won’t really be any traditional design elements that he will have to adhere to. Leaving him free to get radical.

Eastbay Brought The Heat To adidas Stars & Stripes Showcase!

Eastbay Brought The Heat To adidas Stars & Stripes Showcase!

Eastbay and adidas teamed up to bring the heat to Houston last weekend at the adidas Stars & Stripes Showcase. The 2-day event featured some of the best basketball in the nation with top teams and players going head to head. Off the court, Eastbay and adidas created a ‘90s themed player’s lounge with bean bag chairs, arcade games, a dunk gif both, custom jerseys, and a recovery station.

The event’s ‘90s theme took inspiration from the new adidas Marquee Boost, which is designed with ‘90s vibes and outfitted to be the most comfortable shoe in the game. Players had the opportunity to test out the shoe in the player’s lounge while working out with NBA trainer DJ Sackmann and popular basketball influencers Filayyyy and Jay Jones.

You can check out all of the action from this weekend below, and stay locked to Eastbay’s social channels for more on the new adidas Marquee Boost.

Stars&Stripes Dribbling

Stars&Stripes NBA Jam

Stars&Stripes Marquee Boost

adidas Crazy 8 – Collegiate Royal/Red-White

adidas Crazy 8 – Collegiate Royal/Red-White

words // Luis Sanchez

Made classic by Kobe Bryant back in the mid ’90s, the adidas Crazy 8 is now back at Eastbay in an eye catching red, white and blue color scheme.

Maintaining it’s unique look, the adidas Crazy 8 features a combination of premium nubuck and patent leather building the upper. Collegiate royal builds most of the colorway on this latest release of the Crazy 8, while white patent leather takes care of the toe. Hits of red top these off, taking care of the outsole, liner and adidas branding throughout.

One of the most iconic adidas basketball shoes of all time, this latest colorway of the adidas Crazy 8 is now available for purchase from Eastbay.

Available: adidas Crazy 8 – Collegiate Royal/Red-White