Nike, originally known as Blue Ribbon Sports (BRS), was founded by University of Oregon track athlete Philip Knight and his coach Bill Bowerman in January 1964. In 1967, BRS opened its first retail store, located on Pico Boulevard in Santa Monica, California and four years later BRS prepared to launch its own line of footwear, which would bear the Swoosh newly designed by Carolyn Davidson. The first shoe sold to the public to carry this design was a soccer shoe named Nike, which was released in the summer of 1971. In February 1972, BRS introduced its first line of Nike shoes, with the name derived from the Greek goddess of victory and in 1978, BRS, Inc. officially renamed itself to Nike, Inc.
Beginning with Ilie Năstase, the first professional athlete to sign with BRS/Nike, the sponsorship of athletes became a key marketing tool for the rapidly growing company. Since Năstase, Nike continued to sponsor famous athletes like Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Charles Barkley, John Stockton or David Robinson (retired) and Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul, Amar’e Stoudemire, Steve Nash and Vince Carter, amongst others that still play professional basketball.
Throughout the 1980s, Nike expanded its product line to encompass many sports and regions throughout the world.
NIKE BASKETBALL SHOES
More than any other sport, basketball relies on sharp cuts, quick sprints and explosive movements. Taking into consideration playing surface type, outsole pattern, surface ratio and rubber composition, Nike basketball shoes provide the lightweight cushioning, trusted traction and crossover style required by the game’s best players.
Elements that Create the Best Basketball Shoe
Lighter Weight: By combining the best and latest footwear technologies, including Flyknit and Flywire, Nike basketball shoes continue to find ways to shed weight without sacrificing structure and support.
Traction: Nike basketball shoes feature cutting-edge traction patterns and technology designed to stand up to the rigors of the game. Modifications to the tried-and-true herringbone outsole pattern provide next-level traction for quick cuts and dynamic movements.
Support: Technologies like Flyknit, BattleKnit and Flywire (really strong cables) supply reinforced, lightweight security. Creative lacing systems also help provide stability, locked-in support and a custom-feel fit.
Which Basketball Shoes are Best for You?
Indoor Basketball Shoes vs. Outdoor Basketball Shoes
Designed for hardwood and rubber surfaces, indoor basketball shoes feature traction patterns, allowing players to confidently grip the court. Outdoor basketball shoes feature rugged outsoles for increased durability for all types of rough surfaces.
Best Basketball Shoes for Guards
Lighter weight low-top basketball shoes feature inner-sleeves that provide a secure, sock-like fit without sacrificing support. Explore the Kyrie Irving basketball shoes collection for signature models designed with state-of-the-art multidirectional traction patterns.
Best Basketball Shoes for Forwards
Forwards require a shoe that is as versatile as they are, providing premium cushioning and support without sacrificing lightweight construction. Shoes built with low-profile Nike Zoom Air cushioning provide light and responsive comfort while technologies like Flyknit and BattleKnit provide lightweight and targeted support in the upper.
Best Basketball Shoes for Centers
With so much force generated with each step, high-top basketball shoes with top-level cushioning helps to keep bigger players comfortable and injury-free.