An NBA player is known for his ball-handling skills on the court, defense, and how he contributes to the team, but what he wears on his feet can be just as significant and noteworthy. One brand of kicks dominates the feet of pro-ball players, but there are plenty of others that are represented in the NBA. Let’s dive in and take a look at the shoe brands basketball players wear, and how these brands break down by team and style.
It’s Gotta Be the Shoes
Nike brand shoes steal the show across the NBA, accounting for nearly 60 percent of players’ shoes. This comes as no surprise, though, as Nike is one of the most successful sneaker brands in the business, generating over $32 billion in revenue worldwide in 2016. They’ve sponsored many NBA athletes, and it’s unlikely that will change in the future.
The next most popular shoes worn by NBA players come from Adidas (nearly 17 percent) and Jordan (almost 14 percent). Under Armour footwear rounds out the top four at 4 percent, while a flurry of other brands makes up the rest, including Li-Ning, And1, Anta, Reebok, BrandBlack, and K1X.
Teams and Their Preferences
Check out the breakdown above to see the most popular shoe brands on each team, as of early March. Boston, for example, favors Adidas more than the other brands, even Nike. The rest of the Atlantic Division looks to prefer Nike, with other brands making an appearance. The Nets, in particular, are pretty rounded out with different shoe brands, while the Raptors heavily favor Nike.
The Bulls in the Central Division are also pretty rounded out, favoring Nike above all, but three players wearing Jordan make their mark. Cleveland is 11 Nike to one Adidas wearer, and the Pistons also enjoy Nike, with four players wearing Jordan and one wearing Peak.
In the Northwest Division, while Nike yet again makes the biggest impact on the home courts, other brands, such as And1, Under Armour, and Li-Ning show up, and while the Adidas number isn’t as strong across the board, they do show up in every Northwest Division team.
There are a few different brands that show up in the Pacific Division, such as Anta for Golden State and BrandBlack for the Clippers. Adidas, Jordan, and Nike remain the most consistent in the division.
In the Southeast Division, there are a few brands aside from the most popular among the five teams, including Li-Ning, Peak, and Under Armour. The Magic, in particular, wear two brands of shoes – Nike (9) and Jordan (3). The Wizards follow suit, with eight players wearing Nike and one Jordan.
These Brands Have it
Some shoe models are more popular than others among NBA players. Sixteen players wear the Adidas Crazy Explosive. Although the Air Jordan XXXI is the most popular among Jordan wearers, the brand is really well-represented by many players who wear other models.
As for Nike, there are a few that stand out. The Nike Kobe A.D. grabs the top spot and is worn by 38 NBA players, while the Nike Hyperdunk 2016 follows closely with 33 players. The Nike Kyrie 3 and the Nike LeBron Soldier 10 are next with 19 wearers each.
The other brands are pretty widely distributed, with many models being worn by one or two NBA players each.
Shoes of the Stars
While signature shoes are fairly common these days, they weren’t always. Walt Frazier was one of the first NBA players to be sponsored by a brand in the ’70s, but sponsorships and signature kicks are far more prevalent now. They really got a big push in the mid-1980s when Nike released their first Air Jordan shoe, and now there are more signature shoes out there for players and fans alike, which you can see evidence of here.
Today’s biggest NBA stars wear a variety of footgear. Isaiah Thomas, who plays for the Boston Celtics, rocks Nike Kobe A.D.s on his feet. As you may imagine, these are the signature shoes that were made for Kobe Bryant. Dwyane Wade, who now plays for the Chicago Bulls, rocks Li-Ning Wade All-City 5s.
King James has his own long line of Nikes, including the LeBron 14s that he currently wears when he plays for Cleveland. Stephen Curry, of the Golden State Warriors, also has his own line of shoes and wears Under Armour Curry 3s. James Harden, of the Rockets, wears Adidas Harden Vol. 1s, and Giannis Antetokounmpo, of the Milwaukee Bucks, dons Nike Kobe X Elites.
While the Nike brand dominates in the NBA, players wear quite a few other brands, including Adidas, Jordan, and Under Armour.
If you’re an NBA fan, make sure you check out Fanatics to grab some awesome basketball fan gear – from tees and replica jerseys to hats and beach towels, no matter which team is your favorite.
- http://news.nike.com/news/nike-inc-reports-fiscal-2016-fourth-quarter-and-full-year-results http://footwearnews.com/2016/focus/athletic-outdoor/walt-frazier-puma-clyde-wraith-sneakers-release-foot-locker-263184/