Alternate colorways, new textures and limited editions highlight some of the mid-season basketball sneakers you'll be noticing on courts this winter. STACK reviewed the best offerings from each major brand for its compilation of look-atme kicks for hoops fans.
|Nike LeBron 9 China
This shoe was released overseas late last year, but Nike eventually made it available stateside. In honor of the world's most populous country, the shoe displays the image of a dragon on the tongue, the Chinese character for fire on the heel, and an ice blue colorway instead of the more traditional red.
|1. adiZero Rose 2.5 Price: $110
2. adiPower Howard 2 Price: $100
3. adiZero Shadow
At the NBA All-Star Game, adidas athletes showcased bright orange colorways on their signature shoes to represent the game's location (Orlando) and Florida's chief crop. Starting on Feb. 23, you can pick up your own bright orange adiZero Shadow, adiPower Howard or adiZero Rose 2.5 All-Stars (pictured)—at the NBA Jam Session in Orlando, shopadidas.com, Eastbay.com or Foot Locker stores. Shopadidas.com
|Nike Hyperdunk SPRM
This shoe is light and breathable, featuring a seam-free design for comfort, Flywire technology for support, rubber soles for durability and traction, and a padded ankle lining. Plus, the high ankle profile looks pretty cool, as does the mix of materials on the shoe's exterior.
|Jordan Fly Wade 2
Hyperfuse construction in the upper helps make this shoe lightweight and breathable, as does Lunarlon technology in the midsole. The cushioning assists any player slashing from the wing to the basket. (Of course, it helps to be Dwyane Wade, since the shoe is actually molded to fit his foot.) Jumpman23.com
The 61 triangles on the upper are a memorial to Chris Paul's grandfather, who was murdered at age 61. (Soon after his death, Paul scored 61 points in a high school game, then missed a free throw on purpose and took himself out in a gesture of respect.) Inconspicuous dots along the heel reference important dates in Paul's life—his wedding day and the day his son was born. Jumpman23.com
|Converse Pro Leather 2K11
This is a modern version of the classic kick worn by Julius Erving (Dr. J), one of the NBA's all-time greats. Chucks are great, but you need more than canvas in your basketball sneakers. The 2K11 reflects an up-to-date design, with a mesh upper, which makes the shoe lighter, and a new cushioning system, which reduces stress when exploding up for a rebound or a windmill dunk. Converse.com
In his sophomore season, Philadelphia 76ers shooting guard Evan Turner gets his first signature shoe, courtesy of the Chinese brand Li-Ning. We like the cutouts on the super-high ankles and the understated presentation of Turner's logo and jersey number. Turner is Li-Ning's fifth NBA athlete, following in the footsteps of Shaquille O'Neal and Baron Davis. Li-ning.com
STACK cover boy and Washington Wizards point guard John Wall is one of the most exciting young players in the league, and his signature sneaker will get a touch of the Irish this St. Patrick's Day with a limited colorway—on sale starting Feb. 20. Reebok.com
|Under Armour Micro G
Supersonic Derrick Williams PE
The Minnesota Timberwolves are a young team that is exciting to watch. This season, T'Wolves rookie Derrick Williams will be wearing the Micro G Supersonic, made to represent the team's colors (cool). But the PE (player's exclusive) colorway is strictly for Williams, so you won't find it in stores (less cool). UA.com
|Nike Kobe VII System Supreme
A true system, this shoe comes with interchangeable inserts that provide different levels of cushioning and support: "Attack Strong," with a high ankle cuff for players banging down low; and "Attack Fast" for cutting and slashing. Nike uses the term "predator instinct" and incorporates a graphic of a cheetah, a great white shark and a black mamba. Nike.com
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