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Starting Five: The Sneakers You Need to Hoop in 2021-22

adidas Dame 7

The 2021–22 NBA season is finally upon us! While there were plenty of saucy storylines brewing during the off-season (Brooklyn, Philly - we’re looking at you!), here at Sneaker Freaker, our prime focus is: Heat on feet. As always, there are mountains of high performance sneakers to choose from, so we’ve called-up our All-Star starting five to chalk up some early Ws.

Game on, sneakerheads!

adidas Trae Young 1

The debut sneaker from Atlanta Hawks superstar and ice-cold heartbreaker Trae Young, the adidas Trae Young 1 is sure to get the blood pumping. Inking a deal with team Trefoil shortly after he stepped on the NBA hardwood, the signature sneaker arrived during Young's second NBA season, adi no doubt hyped by the Hawks' unexpected late playoff run last season.

Manufactured in an eye-catching low-cut build, the adidas Trae Young 1 features a laceless construction and eco-conscious ethos highlighted by an upper made with minimum 50% recycled content.

In the engine room, a multi-directional ridged outsole and ergonomic midsole loaded with adi’s patented BOOST tech is sure to get you up and down the court with ease.

Nike Kyrie 7

Look, if Kyrie Irving’s not lacing them on the hardwood, we might as well! While we’re still not sure when we’re likely to see Kyrie Irving on the court during the 2021-22 NBA season, that doesn’t change cold hard facts: Kyrie still has some of the best sneakers in the game. The Kyrie 7 is a ubiquitous sneaker in the NBA (pier-approval is a strong measure of success), and the line boasts some of the most creatively dynamic colourways since Kobe Bryant. Look for the next instalment (Kyrie 8) to land later this month.

Air Jordan 36

Jordan Brand’s newest line is back with a vengeance! NBA players have been quick to embrace recent models of the Air Jordan, the Air Jordan 36 originally teased by Isatou "Satou" Sabally before appearing via the feet of Jayson Tatum as he took on the Brooklyn Nets in Game 2 of the NBA playoffs 2020-21.

While we can always rely on retro MJ silhouettes, it’s nice to see the Jumpman put a strong foot forward on contemporary designs. Eye-catching in-line colourways and neck-cranking PEs certainly make this one of the better modern basketball sneakers we’ve seen hit the hardwood.

New Balance KAWHI

New Balance’s foray back onto the hardwood certainly didn’t go unnoticed. Performing a successful coup on one of the NBA’s most coveted talents, New Balance’s didn’t fail to deliver on their first signature shoes for Kawhi Leonard, the OMN1S and KAWHI both serving as a circuit breaker to the dominance of Nike and adi on the basketball court.

Bolstered by some auxiliary lifestyle heat in the tunnels (Kawhi routinely stunts pairs of NB2002Rs and NB327s), the KAWHI is infused with personality like braid-inspired stitching and eyelets paying homage to his classic whip.

Can the Clips take the chip in 2021-22?

adidas Dame 7

Damian Lillard’s signature sneakers are still regarded as some of the best adi performance shoes in the game. Not only that, but the scoring metronome also boasts the kind of colourways that get opponents hot under the collar, the Dame 6 ‘Dame Sauce’ and Dame 7 ‘Damenosis’ just some of the recent highlights from Dame’s eponymous line.

The Dame 7 won’t disappoint any hooper during the 2021-22 NBA season. Remember, there’s no delay on Dame Time: It’s buckets 24/7.

SOLED OUT, the new Sneaker Freaker book is coming soon! Find out more about our epic 720-page compendium here.

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