All of you know that I was a big fan of the shoe biz in the 1980's. I've written many times about my favorite basketball styles from back in the day. Many of those shoes set the tone for the modern sports industry and were responsible for the boom in sports products that still exists today. Most of them, you know very well.
Today I wanted to take a look at some styles that may not be as memorable as the Air Jordan or the Pony City Wing. Some of them you may not remember, or may have blotted out of your mind. The first shoe on my list is the Kinney Official NBA shoe from 1977. Obviously this style existed long before the Air Jordan revolution took place. The Kinney NBA shoe featured all of the modern shoe technologies of 1977, and a beautiful gold suede and mesh. Inside the shoe you see a great NBA logo pattern and the NBA logo on the tongue. Just so it doesn't get confused with an Adidas shoe of the time, there are four stripes instead of three. Where else can you get an official NBA endorsed shoe for $18.99? This is a great forgettable shoe from the 1970's.
Next on the list of forgotten shoes is the official NCAA basketball shoe from International Shoe Company circa 1984. Born in the pre-Jordan era, but during the Nike Air Force and Converse Fastbreak eras, the NCAA shoe is one I'm sure you don't remember. With style names like the Phi Slamma Jamma and the Alley-Opp, these shoes were deigned to capture the true spirit of NCAA basketball, all for a surprisingly low price, as the ad states. It is pretty obvious why this shoe design did not go down in history with its brothers from that era.
The last shoe on our list today is another player endorsed shoe that didn't come with the hoopla of the Jordan or the Converse Weapon. I've written before about Ralph Sampson's Pumas and Akeem Olajuwan's LA Gears. This shoe is another obscure player endorsed model. I remember the KangaRoo being endorsed by Walter Payton, but I forgot that "the shoe with a pocket" was also the footwear of choice for Clyde "the Glide" Drexler. The KangaRoos Slam Dunks were supposed to let you out-jump, out-spin, out-pivot and out-class your opponent. Clyde could get up in the air, so his KangaRoos may have helped. The KangaRoo logo is one of the most original from the time and is prominently featured on the side of the Glide.
So there you go, some basketball shoe treasures you may have forgotten about from the golden era of the basketball shoe business.