20. NIKE ZOOM GENERATION (2003)
The military-boot inspiration never took hold with me as a player who prefers the lighter, less restrictive offerings. There were clearly reasons to see this as a Humvee of a shoe for LeBron James, durable and agile, with protection around the ankle but not the kind that would take it into high-top territory. If you wanted to be secure in the shoe and needed to go as fast as possible as LeBron does, it was a natural place to look in ’03.
19. NIKE AIR SWOOPES (1996)
It was part of a run of sneakers that used switchable accesories like the Nike Air Modify Force, also in 1996. There wasn’t enough “there” there to see it as anything more than a solid, durable, beat-you-up-and-down-the-floor style of sneaker. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. It locked you in with the removable strap and the reinforced lace eyes symbolized the rigor the shoe was meant to be put through.