James Harden has undoubtedly become one of the biggest names in the NBA with absolutely no doubt that he is one of the most talented players ever. Not a year is going by where he isn’t breaking records and scoring or assisting in more points than anyone else.
But the Rockets guard is also becoming famous for his fashion statements, and I’m not just referring to the beard that started its life out of laziness more than anything else. From t-shirts to rap lyrics, there is no escaping the fact that his sneakers are making an impact on street styles.
Let’s start with the shape, especially of the upper. The only way I can really describe them is to say that they are kind of like a mix of high-top and low-cut sneakers. The front part, including the lace section, is slightly higher than a traditional low-cut sneaker, but the ankles are completely exposed.
There is also a very high section at the back which goes a long way up on the Achilles’ heel. It’s an absolute first as far as I can tell and is completely breaking with common designs in basketball shoes where it has been all about ankle protection for many decades.
As for the colours, you can get anything from almost pure white to multi-colour combinations that can be seen from miles away. And, of course, there are the iconic three stripes on the sides which are unmistakable.
The Practicality as a Basketball Sneaker
This is where a lot of people have criticised the sneakers as they completely expose the ankles. Unlike pretty much all other basketball shoes, they offer very little ankle protection.
However, if you play the game and have suffered an injury before, then this can actually be a feature rather than a negative design flaw.
James Harden seems to always play with an ankle brace, which is going to be so much more effective than any shoe design to protect from injuries. But trying to squeeze into a pair of sneakers with an ankle brace can be quite a challenge, and that’s exactly why the James Harden’s work so well.
The Endorsement Mega Deal
The 2017-18 MVP has struck a deal with Adidas for an endorsement contract reportedly worth $200 million dollars over 13 years. Not only is this a ton of money, but it also means that there are going to be countless new designs and colour schemes coming out in the next few years.
With an already close tie to hip hop and street styles, there is no doubt in my mind that these completely unique basketball sneakers will feature more and more on album covers and in music videos.
Watch this space for some more customised and outrageous looking designs and try and grab your own pair immediately. They aren’t quite mainstream yet, so there’s time to be the one setting the trends.