“Sneaker Culture” Photo: Lisa Werner (Getty).
The game of basketball is unique in that it developed an entirely separate culture from the game itself. In sneaker culture, one rocks a pair of Jordans and may have never in their life stepped onto a basketball court. To some, it’s all about style above skill.
But if you hooped all your life — like yours truly — you may have worn sneakers through several games, from blacktops on playgrounds to hardwood in gyms, and found that some helped you perform better than others. And if they didn’t perform well, at least you got a dope pair to casually wear around school.
One of the greatest eras in sneaker-culture history was during the 1990s. Inspiring designs led to a fashion boom, giving birth to “sneaker heads” who have entrenched themselves in the culture for decades. While Michael Jordan’s lucrative deal with Nike in the ’80s started it all, the ’90s was truly a celebration of shoes for hoops.
What follows is the definitive list ranking the top basketball shoes of the ’90s. Enjoy the nostalgia in remembering or frustration from disagreement. Either way, consume the history.