November 22, 2010 @ 08:53 PM

Post: 25

Join Date: Nov 2010

Location: Philadelphia, PA

As we all know, the heyday of the basketball high top was in the early-to-mid 80's. What ones would you say were the best, most classic examples? Additionally, have they been retro'd and are they available now? I'm making this thread because I'd like to learn more about this era and style of shoe. While I was in my preteen / young adult years in the 80's, my memory is limited. However, I do remember some of the shoes I'd see on a regular basis in my Philadelphia public school recess yard. Here are the top 4 that I recall, with the original version on the left and the retro'd version on the right:

The Nike Air Jordan 1 was fairly plentiful. This colorway, along with the navy/white one, were the most common by far. You can see how they've changed it a bit, though. The retro'd ones have shorter tongues and sport an extra Jordan logo on the ankle. I think the originals were nicer.

The Run DMC shelltops were probably the most common Adidas I remember seeing, but when it came to high tops, the Top Ten edged out the Forum by a pretty good margin. I think the originals look so much better, though. I like the lighter navy color on them, and I think the originals look much better with the lighter padding in the ankle and tongue, not to mention (again) the longer tongue.

This one I wasn't sure on. When it came to Converse, I also remember seeing a lot of the ERX-### models being worn, but the Weapon was common enough to be listed here. Sorry about the backwards logos; I did an image flip to match the others. I don't know why Converse's Weapon '86 re-release is mid-top, though. The high top is where it's at. Aside from a flat-top on the original and a slope-top on the re-release, this is a fairly faithful repro.

I saved, in my opinion, the best for last. Other than using red thread on the sole on the 25th anniversary re-release, Reebok was dead-on here with the BB6600. I actually wanted to list the Reebok BB4600 in white/blue, but they were never re-released in that colorway. The colors Reebok used for the retro'd BB5600 models used classic colorways, too, but for some reason they over-modified the BB4600. Anyway, these Reebok models were more common than any other shoe that I remember in the mid-80's, and for good reason -- to this day, I still say these are the absolute best-looking, most comfortable, most classic basketball high-top ever released.

It seems that the biggest differences between the original basketball high tops of the 80's and the current retro'd versions are: more padding, shorter tongues, and darker versions of the original colors. I wonder why? Reebok BB6600 aside, I don't understand why shoe manufacturers insist on making modifications to classic models when they're retro'd. The people who buy these are typically the people who remember them, and I personally want THE originals, exactly, thread-by-thread. The modifications make no sense to me.

So, your turn. What are the classic 80's basketball high tops that you remember? Which ones do you wish would be retro'd? Which are your favorite? Do you own a pair? If so, can you post a pic?

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