While high tops are collectibles today among enthusiasts of the athletic footwear, they have also engrained themselves into the terms that are associated with the game of basketball itself. In fact, it is hard to envision kids playing basketball without high top shoes on their feet.
High tops are often confused with mid-top athletic shoes that stop at just above the ankle. High tops go past the ankle and are classically defined by black and white colours. High top shoes are part of the sport of basketball as much as they are of everyday culture.
Shoes Designed for Athletic Performance
Today, when you are shopping for basketball shoes, you can find both canvas and leather styles. The popular sports shoes, mainly the high top variety, permit the player to execute fancy maneuvers as well as high leaps and jumps.
The general use of basketball shoes goes back to the 1920s when the shoes stylishly outfitted the feet of players involved in the hoop-hitting sport. For over four decades, the classic canvas Converse sneaker was the best-selling shoe of its kind in the world. Sales topped hundreds of millions of dollars. It was the rubber soles of the sneakers that made them so appealing to wear on the basketball court. Players kept from sliding and slipping with the shoes’ introduction on the court.
A Well-noted Shoe
Because of the innovation of the basketball shoe, the niche-specific footwear also made it possible for players to expand their skills and abilities while practicing and playing the sport. One brand seemed to become synonymous with the sport of basketball, and that brand was Converse. The brand made an early debut in 1907 and by 1917, most every player committed to the game of B-ball wore a pair of Converse’s canvas All Stars. Converse has been on the court for so long that it seems to be natural to acknowledge it simultaneously as a basketball shoe.
The element that made the Converse stand out was, again, it high top design, which, at the time, was less of a style consideration as it was an aid and support for the ankles. The ankles stood up under a lot of stress with respect to the amount of jumping initiated in the game.
High to Wearers
Many players have made their mark in these kinds of shoes, including Larry Bird and Magic Johnson—two of the major players to wear the footwear—in the 1970s. Michael Jordan added a further endorsement to high top style shoes in the mid-80s to early 90s.
Designs of high top basketball shoes continued to evolve during, what some sports critics refer to as, the “Golden Era” of the game, from 1994 to 1998. At that time, shoe manufacturers experimented with various tech designs and updated materials, all which gave many companies their opportunity to “shine.” Since that time, manufacturers have taken on a more retro, classic stance, all which makes the high top shoe even more distinctive today than it was when it was first introduced.