Thirteen MLB players have their own iconic shoes
All eyes in the sports world are on Los Angeles, California this week for the MLB All-Star Game. When fans hear iconic sneakers, they often think of hoopers. However, there are a handful of baseball players who have enjoyed the level of popularity required to earn a signature sneaker line. Below are these transcendent players.
Bo Jackson is one of the greatest athletes of all time. He could do anything – football, baseball and sell shoes. That’s why Nike released the Nike Air Trainer SC in 1990. Jackson’s kicks still regularly get the retro treatment thanks to nostalgia and timeless appeal.
Sticking with the theme of the greatest athletes of all time, Deion Sanders has to be on this list. Like Bo Jackson, Sanders played in the NFL and MLB (sometimes on the same day). Beginning in 1993, Nike released the Nike Air Diamond Turf, Turf II, and eventually the Air DT Max 4. After his playing days ended, Sanders partnered with Under Armour.
Although his baseball career was short-lived, Michael Jordan played professionally during his hiatus from the NBA. When talking about sneakers, the conversation starts and ends with “MJ”. Just two weeks ago, the Air Jordan 37 was officially announced by Nike.
Ken Griffey Jr.
Few, if any, MLB players in the 1990s were more popular than Ken Griffey Jr. The only thing sweeter than his silky left-hand swing was his signature line of sneakers with Nike. Beginning in 1995, Nike released a litany of shoes in Griffey’s name. Over the past 27 years, fans have purchased the Nike Air Diamond Fury Mid, Air Griffey Max 1, 2, 3, Total Air Griffey Max, Air Griffey Max GD II, Shox Griffey, and Air Griffey Max 360.
Derek Jeter was one of the first “Brand Jordan” athletes in the 1990s. It’s no surprise that “The Captain” got the royal treatment. Jeter received his first signature sneaker, the Jordan Jeter DJ, in 2001. By our count, 13 different Jordan Brand sneakers were released in Jeter’s name.
Reebok was a major player in the sneaker world in the 1990s and early 2000s. That’s why they enlisted the help of Frank Thomas. The Reebok Big Hurt dropped in 1996. In 2014, Thomas sued Reebok for re-releasing the shoes without his approval, according to Yahoo! Sports.
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Kenny Lofton’s speed was legendary. Adding a Swoosh logo to his feet only made them seem to move faster. Nike partnered with Lofton on the Nike Air K-Low in 1996 and followed it up with the Air Zoom Diamond in 1997.
You weren’t a kid of the 90s if you didn’t emulate Hideo Nomo’s liquidation. The pitching sensation enjoyed worldwide popularity, which is why Nike released the Nike Air Nomo Max and Max 2 in 1996 and 1997 and re-released the sneakers over the years.
Fila also had a lot of credibility in the 1990s, thanks to Grant Hill, Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa. In 1999, fans were able to buy the Fila Sosa after the wild homerun-filled summer that made Sosa and Mark McGuire household names.
Barry Bonds, the king of the home run*, also had a signature sneaker with Fila. In 2003, the Fila Bonds XT was released to the public.
Baseball’s best player has a signature sneaker line. Mike Trout signed with Nike in 2014 and enjoyed several releases including the Nike Lunar Vapor Trout and Force Zoom Trout LTD Turf.
Starting in 2016, Under Armor bet it all on Bryce Harper. They released shoes and cleats under the Harper name thanks to her popularity and undoubted talent.
New Balance has made the wise decision to sign one of the most exciting players in the game. The New Balance ‘Lindor 1’ is available for purchase now. Like the shortstop’s game, his sneaker collection shows no signs of slowing down.
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