Ever since Michael Jordan launched his famous brand with Nike, athletes and celebrities have all gotten into the sneaker game—and that means the modern man has infinite shoe choices. Whether you’re stepping it up on the court, field, pitch, or even out to at the bar, putting on some stylish footwear can give you all the confidence you need to come up clutch.
Here, we've narrowed down the list to the best of the best when it comes to signature shoes on the market. Here's a look at the top picks from athletes and celebrities.
Kevin Hart wants to get you moving. The Men’s Fitness cover star and remarkably ripped funnyman teamed up with Nike for the Hustle Hart shoes, which can be used in the gym, while you’re running, and in everyday life. Hart is selling out NFL stadiums with his comedy show and he’s putting an intense focus on his training and fitness, keeping himself in top shape by hitting the gym early and often. The comedian-actor is dominating the entertainment business and now he is working on putting his footprint—no pun intended—on the footwear game.
The shoes bear over 20 different quotes from Hart that center on motivation and finding meaning in what you do. The trainers were designed with the “Free Train Instinct warp knit upper,” which allows for foot stabilization and comfort while making explosive and lateral movements. The Nike Free midsole also expands to help with stabilization each time your foot hits the ground.
This is what a billion-dollar deal gets you. The King of the NBA is arguably the king of the basketball sneaker game. Nike first signed James when he was an 18-year-old fresh out of high school—and that deal has worked out pretty well. The company started off with the Air Zoom Generation sneaker back in 2003, and they've continued churning our stylish footwear for James ever since. Sure, the LeBron XIII Low is a stylish option for any fan—but's also not bad on the hardwood, with a durable shock-absorbing heel and responsive cushioning to be flexible with your cuts and movement.
It's not every day that a defensive lineman gets his own signature shoe—but J.J. Watt is no ordinary defensive lineman. In 2016, Watt became the first football player in Reebok history to get his own signature trainer. Watt himself spent a year perfecting the design of the JJI, insisting that the shoe be versatile enough to handle all his different workouts—including box jumps, weightlifting, sled pulls, sprinting, and agility drills. The trainer is made with “Liquid Foam” technology, which the company says gives the sneaker a “rapid reaction” to every impact, and it also uses a “FlexCage” to help with transition power through the shoe to add protection to the foot for jumping and pushing exercises.
The Rock is everywhere—he's starring in films like Baywatch and Fast 8, killing it on TV in Ballers, designing new gear for your workouts with Project Rock, waking your ass up to get to the gym with his "Rock Clock"—and now he's about to invade your sneaker collection. Johnson’s signature Under Armour training shoe isn’t out yet, but he offered a sneak peek at what the sneaker will look like when it drops in 2017. Johnson says he's been working his butt off in the gym with the shoe as he tries to “perfect” the design of what he’s calling the "#RocksFIYA" (presumably for "foot in your ass," but that's just a guess).
The New York Giants receiver has made a name for himself in the fashion world since breaking out in the NFL—he was named one of the most stylish athletes in Sports Illustrated—and now he’s extended that swagger to the footwear world. Cruz teamed up with Nike to design the Air Trainer Cruz, which comes in a variety of colorways, including grey, black, tan, and blue. The trainer has a velcro strap over the laces and another strap along the back heel of the shoe—a standout for playing sports or even just looking good during a night out.
The reigning back-to-back NBA MVP winner has vaulted into superstardom, and with that comes a signature shoe. The big surprise? It came from Under Armour, who scored a major coup by snagging Curry from Nike—Apparently, Nike did not handle their meeting with Curry well—a company rep referred to Curry as "Steph-on" in a meeting, an ESPN report said. And during a presentation to Curry, one of the slides had Kevin Durant's name instead of the Curry's.) Regardless, Curry took his talents to Under Armour—and the company has been loving it. The Internet’s collective opinion aside—fine, the Curry I was more popular, whatever—the reigning MVP has had great success with his Curry 2 Basketball Shoe, which comes in high and low versions. The shoe is designed with “UA SpeedForm” technology and “Charged Cushioning” to help with flexibility and absorbing impacts while you’re on the court.
Players from the Pacific Northwest usually stay under the radar in the NBA, but someone with the talent of Damian Lillard was bound to break out, no matter where he was on the map. Lillard signed a $100 million-plus deal with Adidas in 2014 and he's continued to get more and more popular ever since. One of the offspring of the mega-deal between the Portland Trail Blazers point guard and Adidas was the D Lillard Primeknit 2.0—which comes in three special colorways and offers a flexible and breathable design that allows you to move with quick cuts and explosiveness, much like Lillard does on the court.
The New York Knicks star has been a top Jordan Brand athlete for Nike for quite some time. Things started off with the Jordan Melo 1.5 when Anthony was still with the Denver Nuggets, and he's continued to be a big seller for the company after all these years. His newest signature shoe, the Jordan Melo 12, uses “FlightSpeed technology” to grant players a little explosiveness on the court. The shoe also has sculpted grooves for a lightweight design, as well as interior foam pads for comfort and flexibility.
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo battle on the pitch for the title of the best soccer player in the world—and when it comes to footwear they battle with Adidas and Nike. Messi is arguably the top player in the world and that is a boost for Adidas, who makes sure he has the proper footwear—in this case it’s the PureAgility Firm Ground cleats. Messi plays with an aggressive style on the pitch, and these cleats offer a special stud alignment so he—and, the theory goes, you—can press, cut, and explode with precision. The laces are secured on the cleat by the “PURECUT sock system” and the cleat is designed to mold to your foot size and shape.
The Cleveland Cavaliers point guard has turned himself into one of the best young stars in the NBA while helping LeBron James bring a championship back to Ohio. Irving played on the Team USA basketball team in Rio and his signature Kyrie 2 sneakers helped him dominate on the court in Brazil. The trainer has light cushioning for quick and explosive cuts, while the strap adds stability and security for your foot while driving to the hoop.
The former NBA MVP and newest Golden State Warriors star hits the court with his signature shoe, the KD Trey 5 IV from Nike. The trainers comes in four different colorways—white, black, total orange, multi-color—and is made with “Forefoot Zoom Air” for cushioning and foot comfort. The sides of the shoe are made with mesh materials to allow ventilation, as well as a "customizable upper” design for wearing on an indoor or outdoor court.
When Adidas signed Rose to a deal in 2012, it was the biggest endoresement contract ever—a whopping $185 million. At the time, it looked like a great move—Rose had helped bring the Chicago Bulls back to its Michael Jordan glory, and he was coming off of an MVP season at just 22. Since then, though, it hasn't all been smooth sailing for Rose—he dealt with numerous injuries and missed a ton of time for the Bulls. Now a member of the New York Knicks, Rose is ready for a comeback, and his newest sneakers may help him do just that: The D Rose 7 shoesaremade with lightweight fabric and breathable mesh for flexibility and durability, and if he can stay healthy, the Knicks could be back in the playoffs.
Kobe Bryant’s NBA career is over after 19 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, but his shoe game is still as strong as ever. The Kobe Mentality 2 comes in various colorways—game royal, pure platinum, university red—and is made with a “half-length, stretch mesh inner sleeve” that takes a personal fit on your foot. In what is fitting for a player nicknamed the “Black Mamba,” the sneaker also has “radiating herringbone traction pattern [that] mimics the belly of a snake” and a “durable rubber outsole” to help with flexibility on the court.
The Los Angeles Angels outfielder has started to build a Hall of Fame resume early in his career—he can hit home runs, rob home runs, steal bases, and catch everything that's hit to him—so it's no wonder he has his own signature shoe. The Zoom Trout 3 Turf baseball cleat comes in blue lagoon, dark grey, wolf grey, and white colorways, and was made to the “exact specifications” of the All-Star outfielder. The cleat is made with “Dynamic Flywire” for extra support to the foot and offers traction for synthetic and turf surfaces.
Fed zips around the tennis court with his NikeCourt Zoom Vapor 9.5 Flyknit shoe, which features Nike “Flywire technology” for foot support and has responsive stabilization to give extra responsiveness and natural movement on the court.
Russell Westbrook is one of the most fashion-conscious players in the NBA, so it’s no surprise he has his own signature shoe from the Nike Jordan brand with the Jordan Westbrook 0 Premium. The shoe comes in high and low top versions, with laces have the Westbrook logo across the bottom part of the shoe, and it also has a rubber outsole to help with traction. These shoes are good for the basketball court and the nightclub—just as Russ intended.
These sneakers have become the hottest item among shoe collectors and sneakerheads since they were released. The YEEZY Boost 350 model is so popular that Adidas has been sold out of them for ages—and no one is totally sure when they will be back in stock. The sneakers—which are low-tops with a super-soft cushioned sole and a knitted design—retail for $200, but you can get them on secondary sale sites for a jacked-up price. West is coming out with a new version of the sneaker—the Yeezy 350 Boost V2—which will have new colorways and are expected to retail for $220.
West isn’t just going for the sneakerheads either: He sent Denver Broncos linebacker and Super Bowl 50 MVP Von Miller a pair of Adidas Yeezy Boost Cleats. Miller debuted those sneakers in warmups before playing against the Carolina Panthers in the 2016 NFL season opener. West’s sneakers keep flying off the shelves as soon as they become available. As Kanye raps on his track “Facts” from his album Life of Pablo: “Yeezy, Yeezy just jumped over Jumpman.”