Nike Basketball’s Best Sneaker Colorways of the Past Year

  • Nike Hyperchase James Harden
    10. Nike Hyperchase

    James Harden‘s “signature” sneaker comes equipped with one of the illest tongues I’ve seen in a minute. Add in the cracking cement graphic on the Phylon midsole and you have a shoe that is both quiet and in your face. This sleek silhouette was inspired by modern fighter jets and officially dropped around All-Star Weekend.

    1 of 10
  • Nike Hyperdunk 2014 City Series
    9. Nike Hyperdunk 2014 City Series "LA"

    I’ve heard some criticism about this sneaker series during the last few years, especially after the Hyperdunk 2012 became one of my go-to kicks. But as far as this colorway goes, it doesn’t get much better. A purple-to-sunset gradient, perfectly capturing Los Angeles’ beautiful sunsets — along with a speckled midsole and loud yellow Swoosh branding — makes this one a highlight from the “City Series.”

    2 of 10
  • Nike Kyrie 1


    8. Kyrie 1 "Dream"

    Kyrie’s new signature has been the hottest sig shoe of the past few months. It’s helped that he’s tossing in monster performances seemingly every other week. This colorway, in particular, stood out immediately.

    3 of 10
  • Nike Kyrie 1


    7. Kyrie 1 "All-Star Game"

    However, the best Kyrie colorway so far came from All-Star Weekend. Inspired by the “Ghost-like” feel of the old school City Hall Subway Station in New York City, this shoe gets points for effectively pulling off the grey look.

    4 of 10
  • Nike KD7


    6. KD7 "All-Star Game"

    If you haven’t noticed, grey is popping right now. (Thanks, Kanye.) And nowhere was that better showcased this year than with the KD7 “All-Star” edition, a shoe that barely saw the floor thanks to Durant’s foot issues. Taking its cues from the Brooklyn Bridge, which was both visually arresting and futuristic when it was first constructed thanks to its steel-wire suspension system, I have to show love to any shoe that can make purple and pink work.

    5 of 10
  • Nike Zoom HyperRev 2015


    5. Zoom HyperRev 2015 "All-Star Game"

    Another All-Star shoe that embraced grey, this year’s HyperRev was a severely overlooked shoe. With Kyrie Irving moving beyond to grab his own signature, it flew under the radar despite this colorway, which features mint tones and a speckled midsole.

    6 of 10
  • Nike Kobe 9
    4. Kobe 9 "What The"

    The “What The” edition never looked so good as it did here. The shoe, which is famously a mashup of previous Kobe colorways, came correct with a spectacular multicolor Flyknit upper, as well as reflective tonal graphics. There was even a neon speckled midsole and a print mélange in the inner collar.

    7 of 10
  • Nike LeBron 12


    3. LeBron 12 "Easter"

    LeBron might not always be on point when it comes to his off-the-court attire, but somehow Nike made a shoe inspired by that exact aspect. With unique color blocking, the black Hyperposite wings look super hard, especially when contrasted with the subtle floral print and pastel sunset glow-colored upper. This was probably the highlight of an all-around amazing Easter collection from Nike.

    8 of 10
  • Nike KD7


    2. KD7 "35K Degrees"

    The initial launch colorway for the KD7 is already an underrated classic. Featuring a volt sole and that mango upper, you never could’ve predicted something like this for KD. Taking inspiration from the strike of lightning at 35,000 degrees, the shoe was a pick for many sneakerheads, whether they were on the court or off of it.

    9 of 10
  • Nike Kobe 9


    1. Kobe 9 "Knit Stocking"

    An all-red Christmas shoe designed to look like a stocking? It doesn’t get any better than this. Nike absolutely killed it, even if KB didn’t suit up to play in it.

    10 of 10
  • Nike Hyperchase James Harden
  • Nike Hyperdunk 2014 City Series "LA"
  • Nike Kyrie 1 "Dream"
  • Nike Kyrie 1 "Dream"
  • Nike KD7
  • Nike Zoom HyperRev 2015 "All-Star"
  • Nike Kobe 9 "What The"
  • Nike LeBron 12 "Easter"
  • Nike KD7 "35,000 Degrees"
  • Nike Kobe 9 "Knit Stocking"

There’s never been a better time to be a basketball fan. Not only was March Madness super lit this year — just on the first day, we had five one-point games and one of the coolest upsets of the past decade — but the NBA Playoffs are set to begin and it feels like we’re going to have one of the best postseason runs yet. The West is really at the center of that, as they sport eight teams that all have enough talent to do some serious damage in the Eastern Conference. Seriously, think about it. We’re probably going to get first round series between teams like San Antonio and Dallas, and Portland and the Rockets. Those should be second or third-round matchups.

Over in the East, we’re a little more top-heavy but the matchup storylines are just as interesting. LeBron returning to Boston? It could definitely happen. A team of 13 versus the Big Three? Oh, I think all of us are expecting to see that — Atlanta and Cleveland — in the Eastern Conference Finals. Like I said, it’s an exciting time.

But you know what? The sneakers play a big part in that as well, especially if you’re a ballplayer yourself. Remember All-Star Weekend? It was ridiculous how many dope shoes dropped and when you add in the fact that there are more colorways for each sneaker than ever before, it stands to reason that your wallet is struggling.

With yet another Nike collection dropping at Champs Sports this Friday — the “Elite” Collection — we feel for those of you who are running out of room in your closet. You can’t miss it though.

Hopefully you didn’t miss these kicks, either. Here are Nike Basketball’s Best Sneaker Colorways of the Past Year.


Follow Sean on Twitter at @seanesweeney

image via Nike