SLAM Kicks: Basketball Sneakers that Changed the Game

The definitive primer on the world’s most popular shoe: the basketball sneaker. Basketball shoes have a long and storied history both on and off the court. Back in the 1930s, a basketball sneaker was created for straight-up performance. Today, hoops footwear do double duty: they’re designed for and by elite players, but to sneakerheads, how they look is nearly as important as how they perform. SLAM Kicks breaks down the path of the basketball sneaker, from the birth of the very first iconic shoe, the Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star, to the white-hot best-selling cultural-phenomenon Nike Air Jordan sneaker line. This book showcases the hottest basketball kicks over time, throwbacks and new shoes alike, covering each legendary sneaker and its design, the technical advancements found in the shoe, the athletes who made the shoe famous, and the cultural waves the footwear has made off the basketball court. Featured sneakers also include the Adidas Jabbar, the Puma Clyde, the Nike Air Force One, the Reebok Question, the AND1 Tai Chi, the Nike Zoom Kobe IV, and many others. SLAM Kicks: Basketball Sneakers That Changed the Game is the perfect gift for basketball-sneaker fans and street-fashion enthusiasts alike.

About The Author

Ben Osborne is the editor in chief of SLAM Magazine. Scoop Jackson has been a sports writer and cultural critic for more than fifteen years and currently works for ESPN. Russ Bengtson is the sneaker editor for Lang Whitaker works for the NBA, writing for and appearing regularly on NBATV. John Brilliant is the editor and founder of

  • Publish Date: March 11, 2014
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Category: Sports & Recreation - Basketball
  • Publisher: Universe
  • Trim Size: 8-1/4 x 8-1/4
  • Pages: 208
  • US Price: $40.00
  • CDN Price: $55.00
  • ISBN: 978-0-7893-2700-0


"SLAM Kicks: Basketball Sneakers that Changed the Game is the new book by SLAM Magazine Editor-in-Chief Ben Osborne that sheds some light on the multi-billion dollar industry revolving around sneaker collecting. In particular, the book gives a thorough account of basketball sneaker history, featuring product photographs, alongside informative illustrations and amazing action shots of “kicks”...takes a closer look at 33 of the most coveted and “game changing” shoes and their designs, as well as their influence and appeal off the court. Definitely a must read for seasoned sneaker pros as well as aspiring collectors..."

"Slam Kicks is a serious book for people who really care to know the history, have a passion for the sport, and can appreciate the stories attached to great pairs of shoes."

"It’s always handy to have a physical compendium for sneakers at your disposal. The trusted minds at SLAM have just debuted another of those: Basketball Sneakers that Changed the Game from their Kicks division. The book was pieced together by notable sneaker writers like Scoop Jackson, Russ Bengtson, Lang Whitaker, and John Brilliant, and seeks to document the most important of hoops shoes from the Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star to the Air Jordan franchise to some more modern designs that have already made their mark in sneaker history."

"...a celebration of basketball shoe history both on and off the court, plus it features all of the sport’s most iconic shoes from the 1930s to today."

"SLAM Magazine's Editor in Chief, Ben Osborne, has joined forces with a handful of accomplished sneakerheads to present this 208-page visual breakdown of the most game-changing basketball shoes to step foot onto the hardwood floor. This informative masterpiece offers stunning imagery and action shots of 33 of the most sought-after kicks and is accompanied by articles and excerpts from collectors like Lang Whitaker, John Brilliant and Russ Bengtson. Gracing the cover is the coveted AJ1 Retro High “Bred,” which offers a glimpse at what the book holds in store...SLAM KICKS: Basketball Sneakers that Changed the Game..."

"If you want to know the history of basketball, start from the ground up. From Chuck Taylors to Air Jordans, the evolution of the rubber-soled shoe reveals the changing nature of the game and its place in athletic, cultural, and economic history. The sneaker industry is bigger today than ever before: By 2018, the global athletic footwear market is projected to reach $84.4 billion. In SLAM Kicks: Basketball Sneakers that Changed the Game, SLAM Magazine editor-in-chief Ben Osborne collects the iconic images that tell this story." -New Republic

"The basketball sneaker has come a long way from the utilitarian days of the Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star to the current performance-as-fashion Air Jordan. And it’s this journey, in all its ebbs and flows, that the new book SLAM Kicks: Basketball Sneakers That Changed The Game covers in thorough and entertaining detail...Basketball Sneakers examines the wide-ranging impact of hardwood kicks over decades of progression. The most iconic sneakers of all time, including the PUMA Clyde, AND1 Tai Chi and Reebok Question, are discussed in depth alongside footwear design, technology advancements, athlete endorsers, and a host of factors that have contributed to the high-passion sneaker scene as we know it today."

"Slam Kicks: Basketball Sneakers that Changed the Game
documents the history of basketball shoes and features images of iconic footwear and in motion shots of kicks on the feet of famed basketball players. Authored by sneakerhead Ben Osbourne, the book explores thirty-three of the most influential and "game changing" shoes and their impact on street culture. The book offers insight from collectors such as Lang Whitaker, John Brilliant, and Russ Bengtson, including pre dated internet stories of stock room finds. The pages of Slam Kicks pay tribute to shoes that have obtained cult status, high profile kicks and the designers such as Jeremy Scott who interpret them" -12OZProphet