words // Zac Dubasik

We all have those shoes that we, for one reason or another, have a special relationship with. Maybe it was the first shoe you bought with your own money, maybe your favorite cousin had them, or maybe you saw your favorite player wear them.

For those that actually play in their hoops kicks, there’re a whole other set of possibilities for why you may love a shoe. Maybe you wore them your senior season, dropped 40 one day in them, or possibly just loved how they felt.

And that’s what this issue is all about. If you play basketball, your shoes are pretty much your one and only piece of equipment. Picking the right pair can mean the difference between things like whether or not you’ve got sore feet. But it can also impact things like your confidence. For example, you may make cuts you otherwise wouldn’t when you know your traction is rock solid.

Another interesting thing about playing in your kicks is that design takes on a “different” significance. The aesthetics of a shoe can definitely impact the performance, but you can like playing in a shoe that you don’t think looks good, almost giving them a second chance.

In this special full Kicksology Issue, we’ve got in-depth performance reviews on the concluding season’s biggest shoes, as well as a breakdown of our favorites. We didn’t love every shoe, but on the bright side, there are a lot of great choices, at almost every price level. Unfortunately, the very best are the most expensive – which is more expensive than ever.

Check out the reviews in The Kicksology Issue, and let us know what you think in the comments. Did you develop a special relationship with any of this season’s kicks?


Performance Awards: Best Breakthrough / MVP / Most Improved / Sixth Man / Coach of the Year

Nike Performance Reviews: LeBron X / Kobe 8 / Zoom KD V / Zoom Hyperdisruptor / Zoom Soldier VI / Lunar Hyperdunk+

adidas Performance Reviews: Rose 3 / Rose 3.5 / Howard 3 / Crazyquick / Crazy Light 2 

Under Armour Performance Reviews: Spine Bionic / Charge BB

Li-Ning Performance Reviews: Way of Wade

Jordan Performance Reviews: Air Jordan XX8 / Melo M9 / CP3.VI 

To Download: Search "Sole Magazine" in the Apple iPad Newsstand, install and purchase "SOLE COLLECTOR : Issue 18"

Check out a snapshot of what's inside Issue 18.