7. Nike Hyperdunk
When the term Hyper began as an overused pre-fix.
For decades, the traditional basketball sneaker was heavy, mainly built for big men, and used heavy materials that last quite some time. Tumbled leather, patent leather, heavy mesh, and other patterns/materials were used to keep the NBA athlete protected.
As the game evolved, so did the shoes. Nike Basketball single-handedly changed the game in time for the 2008 Summer Olympics. For the first time ever, Swoosh introduced Lunarfoam and Flywire. Two technologies that advanced the look and performance of your basketball shoe into something light, yet supportive. Bryant was at his prime level in ’08 following a tough loss to the Boston Celtics. He was on a mission and Nike chose Kobe to be the face of their newest flagship sneaker, the Nike Hyperdunk. Personally, the original Hyperdunk epitomizes basektball so perfectly, there is no other silhouette that comes close to being this good. I mean look at it, perfection.
Dressed in all black, this first colorway became an instant classic. A favorite and memorable model for hoopers all over the world. Each participating country in the 2008 Basketball tournament got a Team PE. Nike also dropped in classic team bank colors, and of course, the release of all releases, the Nike Hyperdunk McFly. Kobe and Swoosh opened up new doors and pushed limits on so many levels for this shoe. Kobe jumped over snakes, Ashton Martins, and did so much that Summer just for marketing purposes. It worked. Everything seemed to work that year for the Mamba. Changed the era, earned his first Olympic gold medal, and eventually an NBA championship.