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 Kobe A.D. NXT: Rethinking, Redefining, Reinventing

The Kobe A.D. NXT: Rethinking, Redefining, Reinventing

Kobe Bryant may have hung up his basketball shoes after last season, but that doesn’t mean he’s stopped obsessing about achieving greatness on the basketball court.

With his latest signature shoe, he’s rethought, redefined, and reinvented his shoe line to create an innovative new basketball sneaker that’s designed to give athletes an edge on the competition.

Bryant and the Nike design team worked tirelessly to develop a low-profile, highly responsive shoe that is unlike any other basketball shoe on the market. The Kobe A.D. NXT features an unconventional look, most notably because of its new lacing system.

The team integrated the lacing with the shoe’s upper. Pulling the laces up and out of the lace lock draws the structure together, creating a fluid system with the drop-in insole. This promotes optimal containment during the game by naturally adjusting to the athlete and providing a secure fit for each individual’s foot.

“The updates we’ve made to Kobe’s line demonstrate a new way of thinking about performance design,” said Eric Avar, a Nike footwear designer and longtime Kobe Bryant collaborator.

The Flyknit upper features a circular pattern that was inspired by a lotus flower and represents rebirth, while other design elements on the shoe feature secret Kobe codes that translate to “unhinge” and “end and begin.”

The shoe’s theme plays heavily off of Kobe’s retirement, as the previous Kobe A.D. shoes have done. The shoe’s innovative tech and creative design combine to represent a reawakening of the Kobe signature shoe line. Even in retirement, Kobe Bryant continues to grind for greatness by rethinking traditional conventions and redefining basketball innovation.

The Kobe A.D. NXT is available here.

RELEASE REPORT: RETRO 13, SHAQ ATTAQ, KOBE A.D.

RELEASE REPORT: RETRO 13, SHAQ ATTAQ, KOBE A.D.

Each week, we’ll break down the most popular upcoming shoe drops. We’ll give you the lowdown on the prices and sizes, break down the history of the shoe, and give you the scoop on the newest tech features. Check back every week for the hottest releases. If it’s hyped, it’s here. You can check out the full list of releases on Eastbay’s Release Calendar. Here’s what you have to look forward to this weekend:

JORDAN RETRO 13 ‘BLACK CAT’ – JANUARY 21 AT 10 AM ET

The Retro 13 ‘Black Cat’ takes the iconic silhouette of the AJ 13 and combines it with Black Panther inspiration for a sleek, stylish look that Jordan fans will go crazy for. The shoe features a full black upper with 3M reflective detailing. The ‘Black Cat’ look is completed with paw prints on the outsole and the hologram, as well as a black rubber outsole and a black cat logo on the insole. Men’s $189.99, Grade School $139.99.

NIKE KOBE A.D. – JANUARY 20 AT 10 AM ET

The Kobe A.D. lets you feel the court the way Kobe intended with low-profile, responsive cushioning and dynamic comfort. The Kobe A.D. marks the end of Kobe’s playing days, but his influence is still strong throughout the league. Kobe changed the game forever, and the Kobe A.D. is perfect for today’s players who have learned so much from the Black Mamba. Men’s $159.99.

REEBOK SHAQ ATTAQ – JANUARY 20 AT 10 AM ET

Reebok will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Shaq Attaq by re-releasing the classic sneaker. The iconic 1992 shoe was made famous by NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal during his rookie season in Orlando. The shoe stays true to its original look, which remains one of Reebok’s most beloved. Men’s $159.99.

ADIDAS ARTHUR ASHE TRIBUTE COLLECTION – JANUARY 23 AT 10 AM ET

adidas pays homage to a true pioneer and tennis icon with the Arthur Ashe Tribute Collection. The Harden Vol. 1 and Dame 3 are both included in the collection, featuring nods toward Ashe’s career and philanthropy. The sneakers will be worn on-court by Harden and Lillard for select games during Black History Month. Harden Vol. 1 $139.99, Dame 3 $114.99.

UNDER ARMOUR CURRY 3 – JANUARY 21 AT 10 AM ET

Stephen Curry has changed the game, and now his shoe is a gamechanger, too. His new shoe is as innovative as his game with dynamic Threadborne technology that delivers the ideal mix of support and breathability. Simply put, this shoe is made for MVPs. Men’s $139.99, Grade School $114.99.

Release Report: The Latest From Jordan, Kobe and Harden!

Release Report: The Latest From Jordan, Kobe and Harden!

Each week, we’ll break down the most popular upcoming shoe drops. We’ll give you the lowdown on the prices and sizes, break down the history of the shoe, and give you the scoop on the newest tech features. Check back every week for the hottest releases. If it’s hyped, it’s here. You can check out the full list of releases on Eastbay’s Release Calendar. Here’s what you have to look forward to this weekend:

JORDAN AJ 1 RARE AIR ‘MAX ORANGE’ – JANUARY 7 AT 10 AM ET

Jordan AJ 1 HI

The classic AJ 1 silhouette highlights this weekend’s releases with an orange, black, and white colorway. The shoe features the Rare Air branding on the tongue, and the words ‘Air Jordan’ appear in place of the wings logo on the ankle area. Men’s $139.99, Grade School $94.99.

JORDAN AJ XXXI ‘BLACK TOE’ – JANUARY 7 AT 10 AM ET

Jordan AJ XXX1

Inspired by the iconic Air Jordan 1 ‘Black Toe,’ the AJ XXXI will also release in a ‘Black Toe’ color scheme this weekend. Its Zoom Air cushioning and FlightSpeed Technology combine with the clean look to make this shoe perfect for on-court performance or off-court style. Men’s $184.99.

NIKE KOBE A.D. – JANUARY 7 AT 10 AM ET

Nike Kobe AD

Kobe Bryant’s newest sneaker gets outfitted with a triple-white color scheme, chrome accents, and an icy outsole. Kobe branding on the tongue and back heel add to the super clean, minimalist look. The Black Mamba may not be on the court anymore, but his signature shoes are as strong as ever. Men’s $159.99.

NIKE KYRIE 3 – JANUARY 7 AT 10 AM ET

Nike Kyrie 3

The second colorway of the new Kyrie 3 drops this weekend, featuring a red-and-crimson colorway. The shoe combines excellent traction, flexible support, and responsive cushioning, enabling Kyrie Irving’s razor-sharp cuts and his fast style of play. Simply put, the Kyrie 3 is a point guard’s dream. Men’s $119.99, Grade School $99.99.

NIKE METCON 3 – JANUARY 6 AT 10 AM ET

Nike Metcon 3

One of the most trusted shoes in fitness just got an upgrade. The Metcon 3 offers a similar look and feel as its predecessors, but offers even more flexibility with a lightweight mesh in the toebox. The shoe is made with training in mind, so the Metcon 3 has you covered for any workout, any style, and any intensity level. Men’s and women’s $129.99.

ADIDAS HARDEN VOL. 1 – JANUARY 7 AT 10 AM ET

AJ Harden 1

James Harden has already made history on the court this season with the league’s first ever 50+ points, 15+ rebounds, 15+ assists triple-double. His shoe is also making waves off the court. The Harden Vol. 1’s first few colorways have been a hit, and they keep bringing the heat. How do you think this colorway stacks up? Let us know in the comments below! Men’s $139.99.

NEW BALANCE 247 – JANUARY 7 AT 10 AM ET

New Balance 247

New Balance is stepping into 2017 with a new casual sneaker that is dressed to impress. The lightweight and breathable design delivers performance-level comfort with the cushiony REVlite midsole and a mesh upper. Take your look to the next level and experience life in the 247. Men’s $119.99.

How Basketball’s Biggest Stars Faired In Their Debut

How Basketball’s Biggest Stars Faired In Their Debut

The beginning of a new season brings another crop of rookies eager to prove they belong amongst the world’s best players. Brandon Ingram, Kris Dunn, Buddy Hield, and the rest of the 2016 rookie class will step onto the court and play against today’s biggest superstars.

Everybody starts somewhere. The biggest names in basketball were rookies once upon a time, too. Check out how LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, and the rest of basketball’s stars faired in their first career games. Who impressed, and who struggled?

LeBron James

LeBron James Eastbay Catalog Cover

Perhaps nobody faced greater expectations in their first game that LeBron James. He was just a few months out of high school, where he was dubbed ‘The Chosen One.’ James delivered in his first career game, scoring 25 points and adding nine assists and four steals, but it was a losing effort against Sacramento. James’ stat line is even more remarkable considering the media circus that was on hand for his highly anticipated debut.

Stephen Curry

Stephen Curry Eastbay Catalog Cover

Stephen Curry was solid in his opening game, scoring 14 points and dishing out seven assists, but his team ultimately suffered a one-point loss. Interestingly, the sharpshooter only took one 3-pointer in the game, and missed it. In fact, it wasn’t until his 10th game that he took more than three 3-pointers in a game. He finished the season with 17.5 points per game, while making an average of 2.1 3-pointers per game. Last season, he made over five per game while averaging a career-high 30.1 points per game.

Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant Eastbay Catalog Cover

After dominating the college ranks for a year at Texas, the 19-year-old Durant seamlessly transitioned to the league with an 18 point outing in his first game. He pulled in five rebounds, as well, but his team struggled and went on to lose by 17 points. In fact, wins were tough to come by for a while, as Durant’s team lost the first eight games of the season despite Durant reaching double-figures in each contest.

Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving Eastbay Catalog Cover

Despite being sidelined for most of his only collegiate season, Kyrie Irving was still taken with the No. 1 pick in the draft. Irving would go on to have a successful rookie season, but he struggled in his first game. He scored just six points on 2-of-12 shooting from the field, while adding seven assists. He went on to average 18.5 points and 5.4 assists per game for the season, proving that the first game isn’t always an indication of how a season will go.

Paul George

Paul George Eastbay Catalog Cover

Paul George also struggled in his debut, scoring only four points while missing four of his five shot attempts. George was largely a role player for most of the season, before being inserted into the starting lineup late in the year and into the playoffs. He finished the season with nearly eight points per game.

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant Eastbay Catalog Cover

It’s hard to imagine now, but Kobe Bryant’s spectacular career got off to a rough start. The 18-year-old only played six minutes in his debut and missed the only shot he took. He finished the game with zero points, one rebound, one block, and a turnover. He averaged just 7.6 points per game in his rookie season, a far cry from the Kobe we would see just a few years later.

Dwyane Wade

Dwayne Wade Eastbay Catalog Cover

The Flash burst onto the scene in his first career game with an impressive stat line that included 18 points, four rebounds, and four assists. He was also a workhorse, racking up 41 minutes of playing time in his debut. Like his future teammate LeBron James, Wade also failed to come away with the win in his introduction to the league.

Dwight Howard

Howard Eastbay Catalog Cover

As an 18-year-old, Dwight Howard gave everyone a preview of what was to come by posting a double-double in his first game. He scored 12 points and pulled down 10 rebounds while also recording four blocks in a winning effort. Interestingly, the big man also grabbed three steals and two assists to round out a solid debut.

Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose Eastbay Catalog Cover

A 20-year-old Derrick Rose showed his versatile skill set and ability to run an offense in his career debut, scoring 11 points and dropping nine assists to just miss out on a double-double. He struggled with his shooting percentage, but his command of the offense helped Chicago score a double-digit victory in the season opener.