The NBA Shoe Review

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Signature shoes are a staple in the NBA scene. With so many of our favourite NBA players moonlighting as basketball sneaker designers, there are shoe options galore on offer these days.

You’ll have to wait until Spring for some of these bad boys, but between the good, the bad and the ugly, let’s see who’s designed what for the 2012-2013 season.

Nike KD V by Kevin Durant

Set to retail at $110, this is one of the most wearable and versatile basketball sneakers of the season. Durant has tailored a truly unique design that’s customizable, meaning you can choose the colour and pattern for your sneaker. Durant’s line has been a heavy seller in the past, and with these light-weight, well-rounded beauties hitting the shelves soon, that tradition is sure to continue.

While the bold colour and aesthetic will probably keep these in the “gym shoes” category, they’re personalized and attractive in the right setting (which is, expectedly, a basketball court). Don’t pair them with jeans and or wear them on a date and you’ll be fine.

Air Jordan Melo M9 by Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony likes a snug shoe, and his 2013 model is no exception. It’s supposed to be a fit-the-wearer revolution, with lace and tongue technology that makes this shoe fit for just about anyone. Along with its Flywire technology – which anchors the midfoot – the overall structure of the shoe is built to support the player during quick breaks and pivots.

We like the shoe’s aesthetic in that is keeps with the Air Jordan tradition while moving into the new age of basketball sneaker design. Through innovative technology that displays itself on the outer shoe – like the lace support – Air Jordan impressed us with this lightweight, unique sneaker that retails at $140.

Adidas adiPower Howard 3 by Dwight Howard

This year, Dwight Howard’s signature sneaker focuses on midsole and arch support. The sneaker’s design is almost as smooth as it’s price, sitting at a relatively affordable $110.

Whether you’re a Magic or Laker’s fan, you’ll have your pick of colourways to support. The sneaker was released in both, to suit all Howard fans just fine. The shoes themselves are toted to support a fast, powerful, agile game.

Nike LeBron X+ by LeBron James

Slated to retail in the realm of $350, the LeBron X+ is an investment in your game. Don’t think about purchasing this sneaker unless you’re using it for what it’s made for: basketball. It totes the newly released Nike+ basketball stat tracking technology which measures things like your average jump height and the number of steps you take per second.

To be honest, the shoe’s aesthetic is missing the mark. Looking more like a model from the 2010-2011 season, it’s bulky and awkward looking. With so many other sleek options available this year, we’d be concerned for the shoe’s sales if not for the Nike+ basketball technology that will undoubtedly draw in customers (if they can afford it).

Adidas D Rose 3 by Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose’s third edition for Adidas is a light weight, flexible sneaker that’s built for speed and comfort. Features like the memory foam ankle collar are supposed to increase the shoe’s ability to move with you, comfortably.

In terms of style, this is our favourite shoe yet from Rose’s Adidas collection. The shoe’s clean lines and colour patterns look great on the court. It has a certain amount of sophistication about it, speaking to the brand’s ability to change with the players it represents. It’ll cost you a cool $160, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be a good seller. If his past sales are any indication of that to expect this year, both Rose and Adidas will be happy campers.

Li-Ning Way of Wade by Dwayne Wade

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This year marked Dwyane Wade’s departure from the Air Jordan franchise. (LINK http://theshoegame.com/articles/dwyane-wade-leaves-jordan-brand.html) It didn’t take long for Wade to unveil his new partnership and the signature shoes for the 2012-2013 season that came along with it.

The shoes have already hit shelves in China, but won’t be released for North Americans to purchase until 2013. Only time will tell if Wade’s performance and style this season will prompt massive shoe sales for Li-Ning, a company that’s been on the cusp of big things since they signed Shaquille O’Neal in 2006.

We like that this is a big change for Wade – totally different from what we saw from him over at Air Jordan. The style is sleek and wearable, something that can’t be said for many basketball sneakers. At a cost of $120USD (approximately), they might prove a good seller and a very smart business venture for Li-Ning and Wade both.

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