February 28, 2008

A Tribute to Penny Hardaway's Feet

I think you can make a serious argument that Penny Hardaway's signature shoes were on par with Jordan's from the late 90s. That's when Nike really started experimenting with new materials, and the results are stunning.

Everyone already knows all about the Jordans, but I'd like to have a look at Penny's kicks.


1995
Nike Air Up High


These weren't technically Penny's shoes, but he wore them for a while. I don't love them, but they were definitely part of Nike's "squiggly" stage (see the first Pippen's). They look very 90s, and they're alright I suppose.



Nike Air Penny


The first Hardaway signature shoe is gorgeous. I'm a sucker for dark shoes with a white midsole. Plus these were the first shoes to have the 1 Cent logo, which was pretty brilliant.


1996
Nike Air Penny II

I love this shoe. These are easily in my top 10 basketball shoes of all time. I won an 8th grade fre-throw contest in these, and these might be the most comfortable shoe I ever played in. Thankfully, these are being re-released this year.



Nike Air Flight 96

Another of the squiggly Nikes. This was a pretty good-looking shoe, but I remember it being stiff to wear. Love the ice bottom though.



1997
Nike Foamposite



This was a revolutionary shoe made from the sharkskin. The sharkskin part probably isn't true, but this shoe was out of this world. There was a kid named Roy Alexander III (and, yes, he used "the third") who was on my freshman football team that used to wear these to practice. These retailed for $199.99; he wasn't the wisest kid.


Nike Air Penny III


I don't like these, but I suppose they play off the Foamposite + squiggly theme. A little too garish for my tastes. Which are impeccable.



1998
Nike Air Penny IV


That's better. Back to simplicity. As far as I can tell, these are Penny's last signature shoes. Maybe it's because he left the Magic after this season, or maybe it's because his legs started exploding, but I can't find any other Pennys. This is a really good way to go out though. Not too squiggly, not too over-designed. Just a nice looking shoe.



Timeline via The Shoe Game
Pictures via Pick Your Shoes

4 comments:

stopmikelupica said...

I still rock the Penny Foamposites from 1997 when it rains:

http://www.stopmikelupica.com/2007/09/saturday_afternoon_strolling.php

Anonymous said...

The Air Penny IV is thee best designed shoe ever. I mean just look at it, it is a thing of art. It is not to dramatic, its clean and it flows perfectly, it is basically the perfect shoe other than the Air Jordan XI.

I totally agree though, other than Jordan, Penny is probably second best with his catalog of shoes, with four of them being true classic with the I, II, Foamposite, and IV. There is no other player that has more than one classics let alone four.

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Suga Shane said...

the newest penny shoe is a combo. its called the 1/2 cent:

http://www.kicksonfire.com/2009/07/17/nike-air-12-cent-blackmetallic-silver-footaction/