5 Swoosh-Free Basketball Sneakers You Have to Play in This Season
In need of a serious jumpstart, the performance basketball market has been brought back to life in the year 2019. Sneaker brands took the defibrillator to the game, electrifying the category with plenty of game-changing creations.
Team Swoosh remain the reigning champs, but the competition is no doubt heating up. The Big Cat keep flexin’ their claws, building a powerful playing roster after returning to the market following a lengthy hiatus. Meanwhile, New Balance have entered the game with the help of a Klaw of their own. And, not to be forgotten, there’s the ever-present threat from the Three Stripe.
While Nike and Jordan Brand continue to rule the performance basketball realm, other sneaker giants are looking to challenge the throne, pushing the boundaries of performance and panache, while also adding a little throwback flair to the mix for the good measure.
Trust us – you don’t have to don the Swoosh for a fire on-court fit. Here’s our top picks from the contenders.
Converse All Star Pro BB
It may have taken a while, but Converse finally re-entered the realm of performance basketball in 2019. Coming through with a brand new silhouette, they’re paying homage to their iconic heritage with the All Star Pro BB.
If you’re a fan of the classic Chuck Taylor All Star or Pro Leather, this could be your go-to gamer this season. Injected with a little Nike innovation, the high-top is constructed from a single layer of QuadFit mesh (as seen in the Adapt BB), as well as a React midsole.
It may be Swoosh-free, but there’s definitely a bit of Beaverton in there.
PUMA Clyde Hardwood
After roaring back into relevance before the start of the last NBA season, PUMA are looking to ball just as hard with the launch of the new Clyde Hardwood in season 2019/20.
Perfect for those who want that throwback look with modern tech, the sneaker is inspired by the OG PUMA Clyde worn by Frazier in the 70s. Opting for a lower profile compared to last year’s Clyde Court Disrupt (which we loved), the upper wears tumbled leather and hairy suede around the rear and heel to bring a classic vibe, while the introduction PROFOAM to the sole keeps things cutting edge.
Under Armour Curry 7
The Curry signature series has been a fan-favourite among pros and casual ballers alike thanks to its lower-cut design and sleek styling – and the 7 is no different. The upper dons a futuristic translucent layering of breathable mesh with leather overlays, with TPU reinforcements to offer additional support. A decoupled heel allows for a natural range of motion, while the midsole is infused with a flexible plate that acts as a stability-providing moderator between layers of HOVR foam and Micro G cushioning.
This could be Steph’s best recipe in years.
adidas D.O.N. Issue #1
Spearheading the Three Stripes assault on the hardwood alongside James Harden, Donovan Mitchell brings his personality to every colourway of his debut signature: the adidas D.O.N. Issue #1.
The comic book–inspired sneaker may look flashy as hell, but there’s some serious tech under the bonnet. A herringbone-pattern rubber outsole provides the traction, as a propulsion clip on the side delivers extra lateral support for those quick cuts and turns. Foregoing BOOST cushioning, the D.O.N. Issue #1 makes use of a flexible Bounce midsole instead for an extra responsive ride.
New Balance OMN1S
The New Balance OMN1S has been one of the most elusive basketball sneakers going around, releasing in uber-limited drops since its debut at the start of the year. However, to the delight of many, the Kawhi Leonard signature has finally got an official launch for the new season.
Just like ‘The Klaw’, NB’s debut basketball sneaker is made for the modern-day positionless player. A full-length FuelCell midsole unleashes the speed, while a 3D Ultra Heel construction and infused FitWeave upper team up for a long-lasting, locked-in fit.
If you’re after a versatile, all-round court shoe with a super clean aesthetic, look no further.