What Your Childhood Basketball Sneakers Said About You

by Julian Sonny

You really weren't sh*t in middle school without a ride to the movies, a Chingy song as your ringtone and a fresh new pair of Air Force Ones.

Chances are, you still ain't sh*t, but your love for sneakers definitely started back in the day when copping a new pair of kicks was an investment (for your parents mostly) that dictated the next six months of your existence.

And back in the day, there was a ton to choose from. For the most part, basketball sneakers were always the wave and if you didn't have a fresh pair, you might as well go back to the crib.

Showing up to school on the first day when everybody had new gear was always a flex off, but what did each of your middle school sneakers really say about you?

And 1 = You believe "Ball is Life."

In your mind, you were a playground legend and ball is still life.

You owned every And 1 mixtape and tried adopting a nickname like "The Professor" or "White Chocolate," but that sh*t never caught on.

Your hoop dreams would eventually die in high school when you finally realized you weren't an athlete and started smoking weed.

Also, "Space Jam" is still your favorite movie of all time.

Iversons = You go against the grain.


Throughout your entire middle school career, you never got picked first in pick-up basketball.

But you let that fuel you to go further and bust everyone else's ass. On top of that, you thrived as the dark horse and never needed anyone to help you.

Converse Chucks = You're an OG.


Not only did you never care about a hater, but you low-key had the most swag in the entire classroom.

You respected those who came before you and you'd always get those buckets regardless of any ankle support. Plus, Chucks look better with jeans anyway.

Kobes = You don't listen to the rules.

You're a born leader and you certainly don't need shoelaces to tell you how to live your life.

Sure, haters will say these look like space boots, but just like Kobe, you're too busy taking all of the shots.

You talk trash, bend the rules and do whatever it takes to win.

Shaqs = You're the kid who's big for no reason.


You were probably the biggest kid in the class; you wanted to play just like Shaq, but you didn't have any post moves. Plus, you get tired after running down the court three times.

It's clear your parents took you shopping at Payless, but if you actually came to school wearing these, you were prepared to get clowned on.

Penny Hardaways = You're cocky, but you've got game.

Sole Collector

OK, so you could actually ball and you came real correct with your kicks.

But for some reason, nobody f*cks with you, still! It could be because you thought you were too good or because you were that assh*le who wore those high socks.

LA Gear = You still watch Nickelodeon.

Rare Airs

You were a sheltered child your entire life and the one moment you had to step out and become an individual, you copped some light-up sneakers. Take 10 seats.

New Balance (Or any running shoe) = You're the opposite of athletic.


I'm not talking about the new New Balances with the crazy Colorways. I'm talking about the cooked ass joints you thought were OK to leave the crib with.

Just face it man, you're not an athlete. Chances are, you already lost before you stepped onto the court.

In addition to consistently being picked last in gym class, none of the girls in school were trying to mess with you.

Latrell Spinners = You had a child in high school.

If you really thought spinners on sneakers were fly, you probably have a kid by now. Maybe two!

T-Macs = You're injury prone.

Sole Collector

You just never knew when to call it quits and, by the time you realized it, your playing days were over.

It's OK, you can just tell everybody about how nice you used to be. Right?

Jordans = You're the spoiled kid.


You waited outside of Footlocker for new releases and your parents got you anything you wanted, but that never helped your game.

Nike Shox = You've been trying to dunk your entire life.


Whether or not this bounce technology actually works, you have been trying to get every edge to dunk since you were 8.

Nike Dunks = You're humble.


You were classy and smooth, but once the game was on the line, you actually laced them up and turned your game into another gear.

Air Force Ones = You go with the flow.

You could never really go wrong with Air Forces. It's safe choice, for sure, but Nelly definitely had something to do with its popularity in middle school. Chances are, you still keep a pair on deck.

Starburys = You're broke as hell.

It's OK, bro.