Below is an article originally written for Esquire by Dan Nosowitz

For decades, basketball sneakers weren’t like other sneakers. Take Reebok’s “The Question,” Allen Iverson’s signature shoe: truly ridiculous, enormous moon-boot type high-tops with a whopping four visible bubbles of Reebok’s “Hexalite” shock absorption technology in each shoe. That look—elaborate, bulky high-tops—has quietly begun its exit from the upper echelons of the basketball world, and the reason why reveals a lot not just about sneaker culture but about the changing way professional basketball is played, and how the dramatic move away from the late ’90s, early ’00s culture of maximalism affects even the bombastic world of professional sports.

For the first time, a generation of players is playing in low-tops. The signature shoes of many of the NBA’s superstars—James Harden, Damian Lillard, Kevin Durant—are minimalist low-tops …

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