The G.O.A.T.S

What would a sneaker issue be without a list of the best sneakers of all time? Bias is inherent, but I tried to make it fairer by listing the top three sneakers for five categories – and the Best of the Best last. So let’s get ranking….

Basketball (Jordans are listed separately so there’s more luv to give)

Nike Foamposite/Flightposite
I know, it’s two shoes – so whut: the space-age materials, coupled with superior fit and excellent responsive cushioning, make this one the winner in a heated category (that even I’m upset about)

adidas Top Ten
like Bobbito said in his book, Where’d you get those?, this joint kicked off the technical shoe era – shoes court-ready right out the box

Reebok the Question
it still pains me that my favorite player ever (AI) signed with my least-favorite shoe brand; at least his first signature shoe was on-point

Air Jordans (a whole category for the Man is the least I could do)

Air Jordan IV
the all-time illest; peep the “Flight” script on the tongue, the mesh on the sides and the speckling on the white/grey colorway – game over!

Air Jordan III
this is the one that set off Air Jordan-mania – first with the Jumpman, and who could forget the elephant-print on the toe-cap and heel?

Air Jordan XI
this list is impossible, and restricting oneself to only three ain’t right, but this joint can’t lose – making patent leather cool is worth props alone

Running (even though most owners of these joints ain’t ran a day in they lives)

Air Max ‘87
there’s no way I would not rep the first “cool” running shoe ever; Tinker Hatfield designed it, and it was the first joint with visible air – nuff said!

Reebok Instapump Fury
this joint could have been included in “fashion”, but it is a running shoe; bright colors, no laces – likely the best Reebok of all time

Air Max ‘95
also no way I would leave this amazingly ill, amazingly-played joint off; one of the most re-issued joints ever; impressive, cuz it ain’t that old

Fashion (really, every sneaker is fashion these days, but you know….)

Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star
THE all-time classic, the default for sneakers; also one of the few joints that cross all stylistic boundries: punks, b-boys, indie kids and fashionistas are just a few of the crowds that get down with Chucks

adidas Stan Smith
“tennis shoes” used to be synonomous with “sneaker”, and this one is as smoove as it is simple; set a trend with perforated logo (the three stripes)

Nike Air Rift
unusual ideas don’t always fare well in the sneaker world; this “ninja-toe” joint is one of the few that did, inspired by Kenyan marathon runners and their shoeless steez

Retro (the joints that never go out of style – timeless classics that endure)

Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star
since cats have been rocking these since 1923 – with no let-up in sight – the Chuck Taylor is hands-down King of the Court

Nike Dunks
why are these ahead of AF1s? the two-tone color scheme just makes it more flavorful to me (performance being a different issue)

Nike Air Force 1
long before Nelly made ‘em go pop, these joints have repped the NYC look for 20+ years; the default b-boy/hip-hop sneaker of all-time – and the first sneaker that came strapped (with velcro, that is)

The Best of the Best of the Best (if you only had these three, you’d still win)

Air Jordan IV (white/speckled grey)
Nike Air Max ’95 (grey/neon green)
Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star (black, baby! – and not that black-on-black shit neithers…)

Bring your props, beefs and omissions to

Rick Kang

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