Originally posted on NBA 24/7 365  |  Last updated 12/4/12
Until yesterday, I probably would’ve argued that there is no consensus “ugliest basketball sneaker of all-time.”  Then I saw the Air Jordan XX8, which was unveiled at some sort of Monday afternoon convention.  As you can see, the Air Jordan XX8 is so unthinkably hideous that the natural subjectiveness of fashion does not even apply to it.  It is a scientific, mathematical, indisputable fact that this so-called “shoe” is the most appalling piece of garbage ever to be packaged and marketed as a consumer product.  Without a doubt, it is the ugliest basketball sneaker of all-time.  So ugly that it might save lives.  I mean, can you imagine anyone shooting at another human being over a pair of sneakers as preposterous as these?  As a person who loves and appreciates the culture of basketball, the Air Jordan XX8 actually offends me.  By comparison to the XX8, other ugly sneakers look like timeless works of art.  To help illustrate the unprecedented degree of repulsiveness that we’re dealing with in MJ’s latest signature model, here’s a photographic list of five sneakers that used to be in the running for ugliest of all-time… back when it was still an entertaining discussion.  But first, a couple bits of information… Somehow, the XX8 was designed by the same man who created an assortment of the most beautiful and iconic treasures in the history of footwear.  Looks like Tinker done lost his marbles. The XX8′s silhouette is based on a military combat boot.  The damn things are eight inches high when fully zipped.  Why? People who wear combat boots for casual purposes aren’t exactly a fashionable crowd.  Most of them shop at Hot Topic. February 15th.  That’s when you can start laughing at people who actually buy and wear a pair of these. Russell Westbrook will be the first athlete to put these on in public.  He’ll wear them tonight against the Brooklyn Nets.  Considering his history of suspect fashion decisions, I’m sure he’ll sport them happily. On to the list… Nike Kobe III Exactly what led the people at Nike to believe that a waffle iron would translate into a stylish piece of athletic equipment, I have no idea… but I can tell you this: I’d walk out the door with two actual waffle irons on my feet long before I’d be caught dead in a pair of XX8s.  As for the Kobe IIIs, Bryant’s dominance made them look somewhat decent on the court.  We’ll never know for sure, but I don’t believe prime Jordan himself could redeem the XX8. Dada C4 This abomination actually reminds me of the Air Jordan XX8 in the way that it appears to be suffering from an identity crisis.  While it obviously includes many elements of a basketball sneaker, the use of patent leather on the elongated toe box kind of gives it the shape of a dress shoe.  Not nearly to the extent that the XX8 looks like a scuba bootie, but still… it’s ugly and confused. Adidas Kobe II The difference between Kobe’s moon boots and Jordan’s galoshes is simple: the moon boots are so ugly that they’re almost kind of cool in a way, whereas the galoshes are just plain whack.  Seriously, I want to know how Air Jordan thought they were going to construct a stylish basketball shoe that so closely resembles a muck boot.  They’re called muck boots because they’re meant to be won in the muck.  For that reason, they don’t bother to make them cool looking. Any of Shaq’s Shoes Shaquille O’Neal’s Dunkman brand produced some of the cheapest-looking sneakers I’ve ever seen on an NBA floor.  Unfortunately, they’ll be rivaled by the silly, simplistic XX8.  With its lack of detail on the outside, the cheesy font on the inside, and those stupid squiggly lines on the outsole, Jordan’s newest model looks like it belongs right next to Shaq’s Dunkmans on the clearance rack at Payless.  The obvious difference here is that Shaq’s shoe actually is sold at Payless while the XX8 will go for $250 at Footlocker. Reebok Answer IV Slip-On For Reebok to take arguably their greatest sneaker ever and convert it into a low-top slip-on… it was probably the worst idea ever.  At least until Air Jordan decided to base the design of their latest project on Michael’s definition of “stealth.“  If it came down to it, I’d rather be the fat kid rocking my slip-on AIs than the hypebeast thinking I’m doing it in a pair of XX8s. ************************************************ Alright, it feels good to get that out of my system.  I just hope the XX8 isn’t overly indicative of the future of basketball sneakers.  I don’t think I could bear to watch an NBA game where everyone’s running around in booties, and I know I couldn’t stand to put them on my own feet, no matter how functional they may be.  These damn things could come equipped with miniature jet packs that provide me a 45-inch vertical — it still isn’t happening. Well, maybe one time.  But just to see how it feels.  Dunking, that is.  I have no interest in looking like a moron.
TEAMS: Brooklyn Nets
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