Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Shoes I Have Sported Over The Years

This blog has been inspired by a recent e-mail I received from a basketball junkie. He was asking me about some shoes I had worn so I thought why not write about the shoes that have influenced me over the years.

I have to start with the Dunlop Volley. Every Aussie kid needs to experience this shoe. They have such a range to choose from these days, but I rocked the traditional green/gold volley for all of my teenage years.

This shoe is a classic. And the versatility it provides is unmatched.

You can drop fifty in your local comp and go straight home and fix the tiling on your roof without changing footwear. You are not slipping off of any surface with the Volleys. To this day, tradies rock them (and Winny Blues) religiously.

I can remember kids at State championships discussing the price of their new kicks (mainly Jordans) and getting mad if they got scuffed.

The dirtier the Volleys, the better they were.

This shoe will always hold a special place in my heart and wardrobe.

When my feet decided an upgrade was required I dreamt of putting on the Converse Weapon and joining Magic and Larry in their commercial.

But those suckers were heavy, so if I was ever going to dunk in my teenage years I had to choose something that would enhance my athleticism, not hinder it.

Luckily for a me an American in Toowoomba had some influence on me at the time and he talked up the Adidas Top Ten. I had never heard of these shoes in my life before.

A little research (thanks Hoop magazine) and I was sold on these sweet looking low cuts.

I had to convince a sports store in my hometown to order me in a pair from overseas (pre Internet era). Months later they arrived and I was that kid trying not to get my shoes scuffed up.

After the Top Ten's had seen better days I got spoiled and have never had to purchase too many more pairs of playing shoes.

The best I have worn from then till now are the AND1 (my current sponsor) 24 Karat's.

Why? They are low cut (I only rock lows), light and just felt dawn good on my feet. I have tried to get And1 to get some more in from anywhere but it seems that dream is lost.

To be honest, they helped my game that much I have not dunked in a game since I've removed them from my feet.

Please bring them back so my children will stop asking me, "when will you dunk in a game Dad?"

Like most athletes, I have a "thing" for shoes but there are only a few that have a true impact on you, and these where mine.

Let me know what kicks you had/have a ball wearing.


D.C.E said...

The 24 Carats were the first AND 1 shoe I owned, as I tore my ankle up really bad playing in them and then began buying shoes with more ankle support. They were really light, but didn't fit the heel well, to me that's the hallmark of a well fitting shoe. They were easy to move around in and change direction though and looked pretty solid.

The top 5 shoes I have ever worn in terms of playability and comfort (in order) were:

1. Nike VC Shox IV. This shoe was like wearing a glove on your feet, great for a guard.
2. Answer IV (low cut) - the best of all the Iverson shoes and the reissue of this was TERRIBLE, they packed the shoe with some dodgy inferior material.
3. Nike Shox BB4 First issue of shox that Vince Carter wore when he dunked on Fred Weis.
4. Nike Zoom flight turbine - they had a dodgy entry system and I thought "Allo, what the %$^# is this" when I first saw them, but they stuck on the foot like glue. Main criticism is not much ankle support, but the foot felt free
5. Asics - I had these when I was balling in the late 80s and early 90s. Asics are not know for their basketball shoes but they actually made a really good one. Gel was a lot better than air (I generally don't like air soled shoes much) for impact and you could play in these things for hours.

Worst - Air Jordan III - The greatest looking shoe of all time but tore the hell out of the sole of my foot.
Marbury brand - I was playing pick up in Alabama last year and forgot my sneakers so I went to the local Steve and Barry's to get some $8.95 kicks for a one off session. These things are AWFUL. Don;t waste your money buying anything with Stephon Marbury's name on it, because it's bound to be garbage.

DJ Rod said...

wow -I have been rocking my Starbury's for about a year now and if you can get past the burning feeling under your feet, they are sweet! PLus nobody's got em ;)

I am a big fan of looks over feel!

My favourites (and I still have them) were from my U14 Qld classics... Nike Air Command Force (Pump ups). The Admiral wore them and I loved them. I actually dislocated my finger on the toe the first time i used them whilst going after a loose ball.

I always wanted a pair of Fab5 Huarache's and still want a pair! I bought a pair of Webber's DaDa's too - green & shiny.

There's also a size 18 shoe that has pride of place ;)

D.C.E said...

Yeah those things came with an air gun if I'm correct, right?
They were maaaaad.

Hey if you want Starbury's you should get them now, I was out at S&B's a couple of weeks ago and they are going broke, Starbury's for 4.95 dude, serious. That's like three years worth of shoes if you are used to paying Australian Nike prices.

ross said...

Just scored a pair of Hyperdunks, have to say, the most comfortable sneaks I've had the pleasure of wearing.

Fit like a glove, great support, and boy are they light.

Joel said...

First off, i'd rather pay for Nikes or Dunlop Volleys than wear AND1... sorry JR.

Here's how I saw November/December feet apparell of the NBL - http://www.asaspace.com/nbl/kicks-of-the-game/191-novdec.html My kicks, well i have recently been cured from a shoe buying addiction - thank the US Dollar for that.

I've got 99 Problems, but my Kicks ain't one.

From 1997 - 2005 i exclusively wore Air Jordan 13's - due to having a real job and sitting in front of a computer 10 hours a day i only managed one game a week so the shoes lasted quite well (see above flickr link).

In 2005 or 6, Asa was plying his trade in Oakland and tracked down some cheap Lebron 2 lows (like you JR, i like my lows). These were sweet for a year, until i managed to pop the sole on a scorching 60 degree day somewhere between Dubai and Oman riding a motorbike through the dunes of Arabia.

Coming out of retirement in mid 2006 I brought out the Retro Jordan V's, would have loved to used the IV's but they are 3 sizes too big when i have 3 pairs of socks on (hey, i lined up from 4am in the middle of winter in Sydney to get them... only size left)

The V's are nice but i needed some lows, so next on the list was Lebron Low ST (http://www.flickr.com/photos/kevy47/3069614159/in/set-72157610469857312/) ultra comfort for my 27 mins of court time a week..

Next was some white Jordan V lows - some say they are womens.. I say, at least they aren't AND1.

Due to my team going Green in 2007, a pair of Lebron Low ST's were acquired (http://www.flickr.com/photos/kevy47/3069610765/in/set-72157610469857312/) - I also picked up a couple pairs of these SavBrons for
Sav to rock in Beijing - here they are fading over Carmelo (http://www.flickr.com/photos/kevy47/2795430403/in/set-72157606943865269/)

With the Aussie dollar dominating for most of 2008 my collection expanded rapidly.

The Agassi's (http://www.flickr.com/photos/kevy47/3069610561/in/set-72157610469857312/) were obtained to to match the another new set of uniforms (thanks dunk.com.au) that have been described as a cross between a Gay Pride flag and Rainbow Bright, yeah they out there but who are the Back2Back Illawarra Div 2 champs?

Oh, the Agassi's.. They lasted half a game before causing all sorts of feet pain, they were retired until the Beijing Olympics and brought out as Aussie fan shoes (thats still Beijing smog on them)

They were replaced with perhaps the most comfortable shoes ever created - 08 Huaraches - http://www.flickr.com/photos/kevy47/3070451854/in/set-72157610469857312/ - to match our Rainbow Bright Gay Pride looking uniforms some rainbow laces were added, courtesy of a former King now Spirit captain via Sav.

Not quite the same affect as Sean Lampley got with the same laces - http://www.asaspace.com/nbl/kicks-of-the-game/71-sean-lampley-aj-viiis.html

Ahhhh, i thought i was cured... Who can write that much about shoes.

Krint said...

D.C.E , i hear what you are saying about the Asics. They were great bball shoes.You can only get new Asics bball shoes from Japan nowdays! Wish they would release them here! http://www.asics.co.jp/basketball/products

Nice shoes there Joel,keep collecting !
I had a pair of those Jordans in the Lampley pic also.
Got them new about 93 and wore em for a few a while.Last year i pulled them out the wardrobe to wear for a game.They fell apart on my feet 2 mins into the game,the foam started breaking up into millions of bits!!
Just shows even hot kicks dont last forever!!

DJ Rod said...

The Command Force didn't have a gun, the Reebok Pumps did - I had a pair of those and ripped my tendon off my ankle with them :)

They had a pump on the side and release at the back... so high too like half way up your leg high!

My Dad was telling me about his first bball shoes in the mid 60's. GREEN VOLLEYS! They played on bitumen back then and the sole wore out real fast so they got some glue and re-moulded the sole.

I'm pretty sure dad used to play against Jesus!

D.C.E said...

Hey Krint thanks for the heads up on the Asics I might give them another spin if I can get my hands on some.

D.C.E said...

Whoa at 14,800 yen thats like 160 US bucks. Pretty steep just to check them out. Will have to search around closer to home to see what I can find.

I now buy most of my kicks in factory outlets here in the US, you can get just about everything for a steal. I just copped some air zoom PE low for 20 bucks on the weekend http://www.eastbay.com/catalog/productdetail/model_nbr--94872/sku--18854011/
Been out of Australia for 2.5 years, have the shoe prices come down much with the dollar reaching near parity for a while?

Krint said...

D.C.E ,
Damn those Asics are very pricey,gel is a great cushioning system though.
The aussie dollar didnt help much,it was still cheaper to get shoes from eastbay.

Hey DJ Rod u think the Starburys are better than the Gaze shoes!?

DJ Rod said...

yeah by a long way - at least mine are still toghether after a year!

They are low, light, stylish and most importantly RARE over here.

they do burn the bottom of my feet a little but maybe because I run so fast :)

Kenneth said...

I like the way your are thinking.!! Well, I have a pair of Nike Air Jordan Basketball shoes.