Are you ready to take the challenge?
We’ve found 32 of the greatest shoes of all time…but 1 has to stand at the top. Craft your bracket and let the game begin. Will your pick win #KicksMadness?
Vans Sk8-Hi vs. Nike Air Huarache Runner
The Nikes that originally hit the shelves in ’91 and were inspired by Native Americans and their sandals. Designed by Tinker Hatfield in his prime the original Huarache runner will have you walking on wind.
New Balance 576 vs Air Jordan 4
Nothing says quintesential New Balance Style like the 576s, dancing between the lines of functional sportswear and everyday footwear. One of the classic essentials, the New Balance 576 was born in UK and raised in the US.
The Air Jordan IV didn’t need any help in the popularity department as it was instantly praised when released in 1989. If you ever watched “Do the Right Thing,” you’re familiar with the Air Jordan IV, a retro and ultra classic pair of kicks.
Nike Air Max 90 vs Nike Air Tech Challenge 2
You can’t go wrong with the Air Max! The Air Max 90 has been running strong for over a decade, providing us with high-level comfort & style in more colorways than we can count!
Making an original debut original debut in 1988 as the first signature tennis shoe for American tennis champion, André Agassi, the Nike Air Tech Challenge II changed the game of tennis and the game of tennis sneakers. Bringing an array of color, aesthetic, and flash to tennis sneakers, this shoes set the foundation of many popular sneakers today.
Nike Air Max LeBron 8 vs. Adidas Stan Smith
Nothing screams “South Beach” like a teal-blue ocean…on a shoe. The eye-catching teal and pink scheme on the sneaker was inspired by the city’s vibrant scenery and Art Deco architecture. The “South Beach 8” has became arguably the single most iconic sneaker in Lebron’s line to date. Pina colada, please.
Calling 1973’s Stan Smith signature model from adidas a “classic” is an understatement, as this iconic low top sneaker has stood the test of time while simultaneously inspiring countless other silhouettes throughout the years. Sleek design, excellent grip, and untouchable simplicity.
Puma Suede/Clyde vs. Air Jordan 3
Endorsed by Walt Frazier, the Puma Clyde is a classic sneaker that has long maintained its presence not only on the basketball courts but in subcultures among the hip-hop community. Though now deeply rooted in street culture, this shoe’s history actually began in the world of professional sports.
In 1988, Nike released one of the most influenital sneakers of all times — the Air Jordan III. The first basketball shoe with a visible air unit on the heel, the Air Jordan IIIs left their mark in history and continue to impress even after 25 years.
Nike Air Max 95 via Asics Gel Lyte III
As one of the most iconic sneakers in the game, the Nike Air Max 95 really needs no introduction. Its construction takes cues from human anatomy: the midsole represents the spine, panels represent muscles, loopholes and straps represent the ribs and mesh represents the skin.
Debuting in 1990 as Asics’ premier running shoe, the Gel Lyte III has been a go-to model for retro treatment within the ASICS lineage for years now. Acclaimed over 25 years ago for its triple-density sole, effective gel cushioning and split tongue, this sneaker was a runner’s favorite.
Vans Slip-On vs. Adidas Ultra Boost
The Vans Classic Slip Ons are a must have for any sneaker collection if you like hopping fences, riding bowls, and doing stage dives. Normal is boring, Vans are better.
Boost technology is one of Adidas’s most innovative achievements of the past decade. Nowhere is this more prevalent than on the Adidas Ultra Boost, which delivers supreme comfort from the Primeknit upper to superior cushioning from the boost sole. While Kanye’s Yeezy Boost might be the big name, Ultraboost is the real crown jewel in Adidas’s arsenal.
Onitsuka Tiger Corsair vs. Nike Flyknit Racer
This was THE jogging shoe of the 70s and the name of this shoe game was comfort. Released for the 1969 Mexico Games, the brains behind the design was legendary Oregon track coach and jogging guru, Bill Bowerman. Finally, your feet don’t need to feel like they’re actually running on concrete.
Nike was on point when they came out with the Flyknit Racer. Built with Flyknit technology that makes it lightweight with a precision fit that feels like a second skin. These are the kind of running shoes that make an impact: performance-wise and aesthetically!
Nike Air Force 1 vs. Nike Air Yeezy II
Created by designer Bruce Kilgore, this was the first basketball shoe to use the Nike Air technology. Fun fact: the Nike Air Force One was discontinued the year after it was made. It wasn’t until 1986 that it was re-released with the modern Nike logo equipped with a “Swoosh” on the back of the shoe.
The second (and last) shoe made for Kanye West by Nike, the Air Yeezy II was released in two colorways in 2012 and a third in 2014 (with no prior notice from Nike). These kicks featured a more animalistic design than the original Yeezies, including a reptile-inspired heel counter and a snake skin-inspired design on the upper part of the shoe.
Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 vs. Nike KD 4
Yeezy Season is here and Kanye West and adidas have another sure-fire silhouette: the Yeezy Boost 350! This silhouette provides breathable comfort with a one piece primeknit upper and adidas’ Boost technology in the insole for impact protection on every step. The Yeezy Boost 350 is here to change the sneaker and fashion game forever, so if you’re a fan of sneakers, fashion or Mr. West himself, then the Yeezy Boost 350 is a must have.
It’s only appropriate that the Nike KD 4 was the name of Kevin Durant’s fourth signature shoe. The arrival of these kicks in 2015 proved that KD’s shoes are as versatile as his on-court performance. The KD 4 craze was supported by the crazy designs and colorways that Nike tossed together for the signature sneaker. Now those shoes stand out.
Reebok Pump vs. Air Max 1
The Reebok Pump first hit the shelves in 1989, ready to take basketball sneaker technology to the next level. The shoe was able to combine the importance of cushioning & support but address the protection of the athlete’s foot as a whole, instead of one or the other.
There’s no going wrong with the Air Max 1 from Nike. Featuring the iconic Air Max unit with a peek from the outside, you’ll find yourself running around on clouds whether you’re running on the track or showing off your new kicks around the city.
Nike Zoom Kobe 4 vs. Converse Jack Purcell
The Zoom Kobe 4 is famously known for being the sneaker that helped assist Kobe Bryant on his route to becoming a 4-time NBA Champion and a first time NBA Finals MVP. Adorned with Kobe’s signature on the heel and logo on the tongue, the Nike Zoom Kobe 4 proved that with great basketball playing comes with great basketball shoes.
With an expensive history dating back to 1935, the Converse Jack Pursell has withstood the test of time, remaining a classic staple in everyday men’s fashion. This all-around classic has since had an innovative refresh, while still maintaining true to its nostalgic aesthetic.
Adidas Superstar vs. Nike SB Dunk Hi
The Adidas Superstar is today considered a streetwear staple, but its origins owe themselves to sports. Originally designed and worn as a basketball shoe, basketball footwear eventually evolved and the Superstar made its way into a new subculture. The shoe became widely popularized off the courts in the ‘80s when it was embraced by B-boys and became a prominent fixture in both the street and hip-hop scene.
1986 was a pivotal year for basketball: The Nike Dunk was born. Conceived by a young design team, the Nike Dunk basketball shoe was driven by performance innovation that translated naturally to street style. The design really solidified Nike’s primary focus on basketball and reinforced its desire to create products to make athletes even better.
Air jordan 1 vs. converse chuck taylor
Labelled one of the most iconic sneakers of all times, the Air Jordan 1 has made several retro appearances but have even come close to the 1985 model. Designed by Peter Moore, the Jordan 1originally came in quite a few colorways, as well as a few different variations. Following its initial run, the Jordan 1 jumpstarted the retro era in 1994, following Jordan’s retirement from basketball.
Perhaps the first example of a company aiming to capture the basketball shoe market, Converse’s Chuck Taylor All Star is a true original. Sparking a plethora of imitators, these sneakers most definitely won’t be going out of style anytime soon. Any style that remains consistently cool for almost a century can clearly speak for itself.
Nike Air Foamposite One vs. Air Jordan V
These kicks were not the wave in the 1990’s. They were originally just under $200 before the style really started to take off. Once they became popular, they started flying off shelves. Did you know the upper of a Foamposite starts off as a liquid? It’s poured into a mold and Nike goes from there. More colorways started to emerge every so often.
Originally released in 1990, the Air Jordan V initially dropped in four colorways. Inspired by a World War 2 Mustang fighter jet, the Air Jordan V featured a reflective 3M tongue, mesh netting, and a unique set of lace locks.
Air Trainer 1 vs. Air Jordan 11
In the 1980’s, athletes were forced to either play court sports, run and lift weights in a shoe designed for just one of those tasks, or haul their entire closet of shoes to the locker room. That meant risking injury, compromising performance or carrying around a huge bag everywhere. In 1987, Nike introduced the Air Trainer, a shoe built cross-training — basically accomodating anything an athelete would do, including lighting, running, basketball, etc. Now that’s a little taste of performance.
The Air Jordan XI has become the most sought-after Air Jordans ever created. This popular model was first released in 1995 when Jordan led the Chicago Bulls to an all-time NBA best 72-win season. Released in an array of colorways, which are referred to as Bred, Concord, Columbia, Space Jam and Cool Grey models, the Air Jordan XI is forever a fan favorite.