The Top 10 Basketball Sneakers Since 2000

09.20.12 5 years ago
Zoom KD II

Zoom KD II (photo. Sole Collector)

In the new issue of Dime Magazine, we took a look at the best – and worst – the game has offered since the turn of the century. From the players to jerseys to sneakers to teams to even trends, you can relive the past 12 years by scooping up the new issue currently on newsstands nationwide. In those pages, you’ll find the following feature…

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Curating a list of the best sneakers since 2000 is a monumental task – trust us. There are just so many, some better performance-wise, others better for casual wear. If it’s a signature model, how well does it fit the athlete that inspires it? And then – perhaps foremost – you have to consider your own personal biases.

With basements filled with shoeboxes, we consider ourselves sneakerheads. We don’t have the largest collections, but tend to buy what we love. As such, the following is our best attempt at what we consider to be the finest 10 basketball sneakers in the past 12 years. There’s no way you’ll agree with some of these, while others will surprise you – one in particular, you’ll question our sanity – but it’s just one magazine’s list.

And that’s the beauty here: Your sneakers are as individual as you are. Some people love Air Force 1’s, others SB Dunks. Some collect Jordans, others Foamposites. And the experiences you’ve had in your sneakers mean as much as any cushioning system or limited production run.

When it comes down to it, you are what you wear on your feet. Here’s our list.

The 10 Best NBA Players Since 2000
The Next 10 Who Will Shape The Future Generation Of Basketball
The Top 10 Worst Basketball Trends Since 2000

(Ed. note: BIG shoutout to our friend Nick DePaula at Sole Collector for helping us with some of these photos)

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There’s no question there are obvious differences in perception between Kevin Durant and his peers. The distinction most make is between “The Decision” and Durant announcing his contract extension on Twitter. Durant plays in a small market, he likes video games and he’ll do stuff like showing up out of nowhere to play flag football with a bunch of college guys. Perhaps he really is too good to be true, perhaps not, but it’s impossible not to like him regardless.

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His signature line has its own quirks, as well, as evidenced by the superior KD II. (The KD IV is more attractive, but the fit isn’t nearly as comfortable.) The sneaker features an oversize strap specifically requested by Durant himself, and unlike in most sneakers – in which the strap is mostly superfluous – it helps provide a superb fit. The KD II looks like a running shoe, and the technology falls right in line: Most of the cushioning is focused on the forefoot, catering to the proper biomechanical way to run. Basically, it helps you stay light on your feet and equipped to react. The outsole featured numerous details personal to Durant while maintaining an outstanding amount of traction.

The KD line also distinguished itself with its low price point. Unable as a kid to afford the sneakers he wanted, Durant wanted to make sure today’s youth didn’t have that problem, so the KD II retailed for $88, a relative pittance compared to what else was on the market at the time. The price has steadily crept up for the past few releases, but the KD V will still be an affordable $115.

The KD II was great on court, much more attractive than the first KD sneaker and a rising star in its own right to fit a player who led the NBA in scoring for the first time. And perhaps best of all, Durant ensured it fit into your budget – or rather, allowance.

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