Ah, Christmas—a time to gather with loved ones and celebrate all that’s good in the world. And in sneaker terms, a time for footwear brands to show off their holiday spirit with custom, special edition shoes that even ol’ Saint Nicholas would be proud to wear on his 24-hour journey spreading joy across the world. From Nike to adidas to smaller brands like Li-Ning and PEAK, everyone is bringing their A-game on Christmas because they know there is no date more important all year in the NBA.
While Christmas will always be, first and foremost, about gift-giving and the celebration of life, there’s no denying that Christmas-inspired basketball shoes are now just as holiday-appropriate as stocking stuffers. Each year—naughty or nice—we sit patiently waiting to see what holiday magic the Nikes and adidas’ of the world have cooked up for us on December 25. In recent years, we’ve witnessed an array of Christmas-themed basketball shoes grace the hardwood (and retail shelves), some inspired by traditional holiday happenings, and others with a more contemporary approach to the season. While they haven’t all been hits, you have to hand it to the hoops footwear industry for getting into the proper holiday spirit and blessing us consumers with more to look forward to on Christmas than just candy canes or lumps of coal.
In anticipation of the forthcoming holiday season, we took a look back into the archives to see which holiday sneakers have shined the brightest. Join us as we Rank the NBA’s Greatest Christmas Day Sneakers.
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image via Nike