October 2nd, 2017 by John Kim
Basketball shoes simply aren’t selling like they once did as casual sneaker trends have geared toward slimmer, low-profile options as well as retro shoes. However, the sport continues its global popularity and as Nike infuses some unprecedented innovation into its jerseys (the NikeConnect feature is pretty incredible), there’s certainly room for basketball shoes to regain some of its lost market share. Kyrie Irving’s signature shoe, the Nike Kyrie 3, is the best-selling basketball shoe out in the market; priced at an easily digestable $120, this stylish basketball sneaker has been available in countless colorways and on the digital customization platform known as NIKEiD. As Kyrie begins a new chapter in Boston, sales of shoes are projected to rise since he is no longer in the shadow of brand-mate LeBron James.
But does Kyrie Irving have the most popular basketball shoe in the NBA? Not by a long shot. According to data pulled in by versusreviews,the most common shoe among NBA players is the Nike Kobe AD (available now; $150). The formula for Kobe Bryant’s low-cut, low-to-the-ground, Zoom-fortified basketball shoe has been one of the most popular on-court options since 2009, and with a whopping 59 NBA players wearing the Kobe AD, the Black Mamba has permeated the NBA deeper than anyone else. Designer Eric Avar, perhaps the most important designer in Nike Basketball history, penned the Nike Kobe signature shoe line since the Kobe IV.
It’s worth noting, however, that some NBA players may be averse to wearing a signature shoe of a rival/opponent. Iman Shumpert, previously signed to adidas, was once noted for saying he’d never wear a pair of Derrick Rose’s adidas shoes.
The most worn brand is, unsurprisingly, Nike. adidas comes in second and Jordan Brand is at third. Four of the top five most common shoes are Nike.