words // Luis Sanchez
2007 was a year that provided sneaker collectors with plenty of classic, innovative and stylish footwear.
Nike Basketball continued to lead the basketball performance category with the introduction of the LeBron V, and the first-ever Considered Design basketball shoe in the Kobe II. 2007 also offered us a glimpse into the future with what would turn out to be the first of many Foamposite One retro releases, as well as an instant classic from Nike SB that pioneered a design concept still utilized today.
Enjoy our top 10 below as part of our Sole Decade celebration, and be sure to hit the comments to share your most memorable kicks of 2007.
10. Yo! MTV Raps x Puma Clyde - Big Daddy Kane
While 2007 was dominated by the big brands, Puma still made a name for themselves with several sneakers as part of the Yo! MTV Raps Collection. Most notably was the release of a Puma Clyde celebrating Big Daddy Kane, which featured a black upper draped in Kane's signature gold chains. Widely regarded as one of the original BBoy shoes, the Puma Clyde provided the perfect canvas to celebrate Big Daddy Kane's legendary status in hip-hop.
9. Jordan Melo M4
Looking back on the now ten year old Melo signature line by the Jordan Brand, its obvious few models were more appealing than the M4. Melo's fourth signature shoe with the Jordan Brand provided the canvas for some interesting colorways, including both metallic gold and eggplant accented looks reminiscent of the iconic Air Flightposite I.
8. Air Jordan XX2
Inspired by a Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor Stealth Fighter, the Air Jordan XX2 was one of the highest performing basketball shoes of 2007.The stealth-like Air Jordan featured a popular IPS cushioning set up with both double-stacked Zoom Air and encapsulated Air cushioning inserts to choose from.
7. Nike Zoom LeBron V
While their design might not have been as appealing, Nike Basketball did an amazing job following up the IV with the Zoom LeBron V. The strapped-up LeBron V went for a higher cut than the IV, and utilized full-length Zoom Air cushioning with double-stacked Zoom in the heel. First introduced in a China-inspired color scheme, the Zoom LeBron V ended up most notably known for their pinstripe-covered New York Yankees inspired colorway.
6. Air Jordan 3 Retro LS - Cool Grey
Continuing their successful 'LS' series, early 2007 saw the Jordan Brand introduce another sure classic in the 'Cool Grey' Air Jordan 3 Retro. Released in limited numbers across the country, the simple grey-covered Air Jordan 3 Retro quickly became one of the most coveted non-original colorways for the AJ III.
5. Nike SB Dunk High - MF DOOM
2007 also saw Nike Skateboarding introduce one of their most unique collabs in the MF DOOM SB Dunk High. The premium SB Dunk celebrated the NYC emcee's 'Mm Food' album and featured graphic-printed sockliners, DOOM lace dubreys, and DOOM's signature tag on the ankle.
4. Nike Air Foamposite One - Royal
Even when the Air Foamposite One was first reissued in 2007, it was still way ahead of its time. A perfect release to help kickoff 2007, the return of the royal blue Air Foamposite One was just the tip of the iceberg when looking back on the run the Air Foamposite One has had over the past few years. Their first retro release was quickly gobbled up by hardcore collectors and the cult following behind them, and still struggled to be accepted by the average person and kid into shoes. Just another sign of how times have changed in the world of sneaker collecting.
3. Nike Zoom Kobe II
Looking to build on the design of Bryant's favorite shoe in the Zoom Huarache 2K4 instead of the Zoom Kobe I, longtime Nike designer Ken Link brought to life the Zoom Kobe II. Inspired by the classic Huarache which was originally intended to be Kobe's first sig shoe by Nike, the Zoom Kobe II features a more flexible, lighter and lower to the ground design. A first in basketball, the Kobe II was constructed entirely of reduced waste, and without any toxic chemicals or bonds. Instead, the Kobe II was entirely stitched.
2. Nike Zoom Soldier - Sole Bar
July of 2007 saw Sole Collector celebrate the opening of Sole Bar in LA with the launch of a special edition Zoom Soldier by Nike. SC's lone LeBron collab, the Zoom Soldier was one of SC's most unexpected collabs, and almost actually never even happened. Ken Link and his team surprised SC with a fitting camo-covered Zoom Soldier, and topped them off with classic SC branding on the mid foot strap.
1. Nike SB Dunk Low 'What the Dunk'
Its hard to believe its been almost seven years since the What the Dunk was released. Borrowing design elements from all the most iconic SB Dunk styles to create one, 2007's best shoe introduced a concept that's still being utilized today by Nike Basketball, customizers, and even other footwear brands. Still to this day the What the Dunk is highly coveted, and will forever be seen as one of the most memorable footwear releases of 2007.