Basketball players are regularly breaking out the latest performance sneakers, and the best of them are even be lucky enough to have their own signature shoe. In rare occurrences, the unwritten rule of the game is broken and players wear footwear that isn’t designed specifically for contemporary basketball. There are guys like Rasheed Wallace, who continues to wear the retro Nike Air Force 1, utilizing technology that is three decades old. Then there’s players who step away from basketball shoes altogether and go for something more interesting. The most popular non-basketball sneaker for college and pro courts is the crosstrainer, which is understandable since Tinker Hatfield first invented the style as a multipurpose shoe which would be suitable for basketball, running, and other gym activities.
Most recently, stars like Nate Robinson and Iman Shumpert have been spotted in limited and sought-after collabs, just to switch into more performance-driven footwear for the remainder of the game. Robinson showed off his Yeezys, while Shumpert flaunted the adidas x Jeremy Scott JS Bear, both obviously not made for the court. But these aren’t the only examples that will surprise you. What follows is a selection of some of the surprisingly productive examples of players in non-basketball sneakers throughout the years.
Riley Jones is a journalism student from Charlottesville, VA. With an unshakable affinity for basketball and all things ’90s, he can be found on Twitter @rchrstphr.