Every year around this time, the sports world focuses on college basketball and rightly so. The NCAA Tournament and the conference tournaments leading up to “The Big Dance” are filled with competitive games and unpredictable finishes. For sneaker enthusiasts, college basketball season also brings an array of sneakers that ultimately become a part of history. Based on what happens on the court, the styles the players wear can become collectible overnight. Scroll down to see 5 College Basketball Sneakers Every Collector Should Own.
1. Nike Air Force Max
Michigan’s Fab Five changed the way basketball players dressed by wearing baggy shorts and black socks. When Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King and Ray Jackson took the court for the first time in black Nike Air Force Max and matching black Nike socks, it was a shock to the world. Because they had kept it a secret until they pulled their warm-ups off and walked on court, but also because before that moment, black socks were for dress shoes.
2. Nike Dunk High “Be True To Your School”
The Kentucky Wildcats version of the Nike Dunk (pictured above) is just one of a handful of colorways designed for college teams back in the 1980s. Of course, retro versions of schools like the Michigan Wolverines, UNLV Runnin’ Rebels, and many others have released a number of times over the years, so finding a pair for your collection will just require choosing a team.
3. Nike Air Foamposite One “Royal”
The Nike Air Foamposite One is one of Penny Hardaway’s most famous signature sneakers but it was the Arizona Wildcats who stole the show back in 1997. Before Penny could wear the Foams in a game, Mike Bibby and others from Arizona laced up the “Royal” Air Foamposite One for the NCAA Tournament. Don’t worry though, Hardaway laced them up for the Orlando Magic a few days later.
4. Air Jordan 11 “Concord”
In 1996 Allen Iverson led the Georgetown Hoyas into the NCAA Tournament with some of the greatest scoring performances in Georgetown history. Although the Hoyas didn’t end up with a championship, Allen Iverson won the hearts of sneaker enthusiasts everywhere by wearing one of the most iconic sneakers of all time, the Air Jordan 11 Concord colorway.
5. Reebok Question “Green Toe”
Led by Mateen Cleaves, Michigan State rolled through the 2000 NCAA Tournament to win the school’s 2nd basketball title in their history. The legendary performance of Mateen Cleaves, who severely injured his ankle just a few minutes into the second half only to return later limping through the pain, made the green toe version of the Reebok Question and instant classic even in retro form.