For most of us, a great birthday present would be some new kicks. This past weekend, teenagers were doing whatever they could to get their hands on the Grapes. But for Chris Paul, a new pair of sneakers isn’t exactly a cause for celebration. You’ve seen his shoe closest, right? Absurd.
Today, the best point guard in the world (sorry Tony Parker) turns 28 years old. Most know him for his loud mouth, his crossovers and his status as one of the best leaders in the NBA. We’ve celebrated that stuff enough. His sneaker line ain’t too bad either, and between the Jordan CP3.VI and the Jordan CP3.VI AE this season, there were plenty of hot colorways. Here are the five best.
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5. JORDAN CP3.VI AE “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”
These — technically the “AE” version — were actually just revealed today to honor Paul’s birthday. The Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde theme has played out in the past within Paul’s sneaker line, an ode to his contrasting personalities.
“Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is really telling people who I am,” Paul once said. “I’m two totally different people on the court and off the court. On the court, you wouldn’t be one of my friends.”
The Jordan CP3.VI AE is the artisan edition of Paul’s signature line, the shoe that he wore during the Clippers’ brief playoff run. Along with the high-traction tooling of the original, JB also incorporated a new mesh window on the quarter panel for better ventilation, and a better look at the Dynamic Fit, shifting lightweight support with straps that wrap up the midsole. This particular colorway will be hitting stores this Saturday (May 11).
4. JORDAN CP3.VI “BHM”
Nike’s “Black History Month” collection for Kevin Durant, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant was loved by virtually everyone, and while those three sneakers featured a decidedly singular theme, Chris Paul’s “BHM” sneaker made waves on its own.
The shoe wasn’t initially shown as part of Jordan Brand’s collection paying homage to Black History Month, which is crazy considering I think it could be the best of all of them. This sneaker features a black upper with blue speckles throughout the upper and midsole, and blue branding on the outsole and Jumpman logo. Then there’s that neon “BHM” logo on the tongue.
While wearing these during the MLK Day game at Golden State this year, Paul laced them up with some neon laces for even more flavor.
3. JORDAN CP3.VI “Bright Citrus”
This colorway will probably remind you a lot of an orange/citrus-based design from Jordan’s “Nitro-inspired” CP3 collection earlier this year. Both are explosive and bright, perfect ingredients to add to the mix when you’re talking about Chris Paul. These released back in February, and while the nitro-based colorways came with more hype, I’d probably rather have these.
In the end, I wish there was slightly more orange here. Some splashes of citrus aren’t just necessary for a mixed drink — they work on sneakers too. Plus, I must admit, I’ve always been a sucker for Kansas City Chiefs colorways, or at least something resembling that. This red and orange base definitely works for me.
2. JORDAN CP3.VI “Olympics”
While the home edition of the CP3.VI was a little louder and more in-your-face, it wasn’t quite as solid as the Olympic colorway Chris Paul was rocking during last summer’s march to the gold medal.
This colorway is easily the most tame one on this list, but it just works. It’s hard to screw up the red, white and blue, and Jordan didn’t disappoint with these, the first of the line that Paul ever wore on the court. Add in the tech that was debuted here — a three-layer Hyperfuse upper, Podulon cushioning and a sick herringbone outsole — and there’s no question this was one of Paul’s standouts this year. Still, none of these four designs come close to my No. 1.
1. JORDAN CP3.VI “Stealth”
JB’s “Stealth” collection, which hit stores around All-Star Weekend in February, was a play off one of Michael Jordan‘s favorite characteristics. Jordan once told legendary sneaker designer Tinker Hatfield that “Stealth is like black cat. It’s an automatic aircraft. You can’t fâ€” with an automatic aircraft. It’s like my game. By the time you see it, it’s too fâ€”â€” late.” This collection, consisting of the CP3.VI, the Air Jordan XX8, the Air Jordan 1 and 3, and the Melo M9, came with distinct characteristics.
Each sneaker in the pack had its own unique stylistic approach. The CP3.VI sports a Podulon midsole and upper that light up under black light through UV ink. As an added benefit, this shoe colorway reminds me of the Joker. That’s never a bad thing, and is probably the main reason why this is my favorite colorway from the line this season.
What were your favorite colorways for CP3’s signature line this year?
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