KEY POINTS

  • On many occassions, NBA players have worn non-basketball sneakers on the court
  • Rapper Kanye West's collaborations with Nike and Adidas have become a popular choice for NBA sneakerheads
  • Former Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas once wore a pair of Dolce & Gabbana sneakers in a game

The NBA’s sneaker culture is as much a part of the league as anything else, and it provides fans a bit of variety in the highlights that they look forward to in a regular basketball game. 

While the biggest stars, usually the ones with their own sneaker lines, will usually parade a smorgasbord of colorways for their signature shoe, there are a select handful of players who tend to go a little wilder in their choice of footwear. 

Here are some of the craziest and wildest sneakers ever worn in the NBA.


Nike Air Yeezy 

Screen Shot 2021-03-17 at 12 PJ Tucker showing off his Air Yeezy 1s Photo: @pjtucker on Instagram

PJ Tucker, the NBA’s resident sneakerhead, has laced up some of the rarest and most sought-after colorways and player exclusives of a multitude of Nike and Jordan Brand silhouettes.

Sometimes, those silhouettes aren’t necessarily designed for on-court action. In 2015, Tucker brought out a pair of “Zen Grey” Nike Air Yeezy 1s, Kanye West’s first signature sneaker during his time with Nike. 

Nike Air Yeezy 2

vfrlaebmdyfnth4pq6eh Nate Robinson wearing the Nike Air Yeezy 2 Photo: ESPN

Kanye’s second signature sneaker with Nike, the Air Yeezy 2, also made quite a number of appearances on the NBA court, courtesy of Tucker and Nate Robinson.

During the 2012-2013 NBA season, Robinson laced up a pair of “Solar Red” Air Yeezy 2s, while Tucker logged in minutes wearing the “Red October” and “Pure Platinum” Air Yeezy 2 colorways. 

Adidas Yeezy Boost 750

GettyImages-501144290 Nick Young wearing the adidas Yeezy Boost 750 Photo: Getty Images

Kanye West’s Adidas collaborations have also seen the NBA hardwood, courtesy of NBA sneakerhead Nick Young, who broke out a pair of “Light Brown” Yeezy Boost 750s in 2015.

Later that season, Young also put on a pair of 750s in the “Triple Black” colorway. This won’t be the last time that "Swaggy P" would hoop in some Adidas Yeezys.

Adidas Yeezy 500

https___hypebeast Nick Young wearing the adidas Yeezy 500 Photo: Getty Images

In 2018, Young took to the floor in a pair of "Desert Rat" Adidas Yeezy 500s.

While not meant to be a performance sneaker, the Yeezy 500s make use of soles that are similar to the “Feet You Wear” technology that Adidas used to use in their old basketball models. 


Dolce & Gabbana Velcro Strap Patent Hi-Top

gilbert-arenas-dolce-gabana-2 Gilbert Arenas wearing the Dolce & Gabbana Velcro Strap Patent Hi-Tops Photo: Getty Images

While the Yeezy line can be considered as top of the line, Gilbert Arenas took luxury sneakers to a whole new level in basketball.

During the 2010-2011 NBA season, Arenas was a sneaker free agent and played in a wide assortment of rare and coveted sneakers.

The wildest pair that he brought out that season was a pair of Dolce & Gabbana Velcro Strap Patent Hi-Tops. 

Nike Airmax 90

thabo-sefolosha-nike-air-max-90-pe-8-e1553504267514 Thabo Sefolosha wearing the Nike Airmax 90 Photo: Getty Images

The Nike Airmax 90 was originally designed to be a running shoe but has since become one of the brand’s most iconic lifestyle models.

For Thabo Sefolosha, the AM90 is the perfect on-court sneaker, much to the confusion and bewilderment of his peers.