7 of the Nastiest Sneakers to Ever Set Foot in the NBA
There are truly no excuses for these seven sneakers. From Kobe’s adidas ‘Toaster’ to Sprewell’s Dada Spinner, Sneaker Freaker ranks the nastiest sneakers to ever hit the courts.
7. CONVERSE WADE 1
Before his move to Chinese sportswear label Li-Ning, Dwyane Wade was putting together some truly nasty builds with Converse. The Wade 1 was the most disturbing of the bunch, revealing more about Wade’s delicate psychological state than he’d probably care to admit; yes, there’s some strange sadomasochism involved with this one, and it had more than a few of us heading to our local doc to fill pharmaceutical scripts. The heat was sucked right out of Miami in ‘06, with Wade preferring to lodge it all between some thick, provocative, black leather straps. Wade's safe word? Li-Ning.
6. CHRIS WEBBER DADA C4
Dada’s rolled out some atrocious basketball sneakers in their time. The brand somehow still manages to rack up numbers in Japan, but it’s safe to say Dada is now extinct in the NBA. Chris Webber’s C4 was one of the sneakers to detonate the US market, the 2004 build incorporating so much metallic silver on its panels that it threatened permanent visual disturbances.
5. SHAQUILLE O'NEAL'S REEBOK PREACHER
Shaq should’ve gone straight to confession after revealing these diabolical sneakers. The Reebok Preacher is enough to send any secular man to God, the visible hexalite, bulky aesthetics, and bone white exteriors looking like the Preacher had a touch of scoliosis. Shaq wore the ‘Bok Preacher back in 1996 for the Atlanta Olympics, where the Dream Team still managed to take home gold despite what was happening below Shaq’s ankles.
4. AIR JORDAN XVI
The Air Jordan XVI looks like the kind of demonic shit your ex-housemate used to scribble out after ripping a few cones and trying to contact the dead. Peel back the tent-like leather flap and expect some gelatinous, fleshy goop exuding from the uppers (along with the muted cries of those sucked in to the $250 price tag). Finally, a sneaker the satanists can play ball with. Crack out the Ouija board and let them know.
3. LATRELL SPREWELL DADA SUPREME SPINNER
Installing 24-inch spinning rims on your car wheels was one way to stay single back in the 00s, but no one told Latrell Sprewell. Spree was so keen on the idea he decided to replicate the design on his sneakers. Linking up with Damani Dada, the Sprewell Spinners really needed to be backed over at the moment of conception. I’m not sure what planet Spree’s head is revolving around at the moment, but the man tweeted a fresh rollout of the sneakers in 2018. Why?
2. Air Jordan XV
There’s not a whole lot of trash as part of the Jordan cannon, but the Air Jordan XV is an exception; a truly nauseating exception. Inspired by a fighter jet, the 15 should’ve flown directly into the mountains. It was designed shortly after Jordan’s second retirement, and one thought it would’ve been enough to keep him off the courts for good. The tongue, designed to mimic MJ’s own, looks like some kind of deep-sea phallic instrument your creepy uncle’s been putting together in the basement. The most claustrophobic shoe of all time.
ADIDAS KOBE II
Yep, you guessed it, the adidas Kobe II is the nastiest basketball sneaker of all time. Nicknamed ‘The Toaster’, the sneaker put the knife in Kobe Bryant’s fledgling adidas deal and served up lingering wounds for adi’s legacy in the NBA. The sneaker was made in collaboration with Audi, who used their TT sports car as a blueprint for the design. Looking like the props Stanley Kubrick left on set back in the 1960s, the Kobe II ended up in adidas outlets just one month after their release, with Kobe himself ditching the shoe midway through the 2001-02 season. 'The Toaster' was good for one thing: taking a bath with.