NBA Special Sneakers Calendar / by Alex Young

Sneaker heavyweights Nike, adidas, Under Armour, and even new comer Brandblack's catering to their athletes' desire for self-expression drives the sneakerhead culture as each colorway and signature sneaker presents a masterpiece coveted by many. Along with this, customization processes like NIKEiD or one-of-a-kind craftsmanship by Mache gives athletes a bevy of colorful options for each and every game that sometimes deviate from the color palette of their respective teams. In a world where uniformity is a necessity, but individuality and unique aesthetics lead to marketability and profits, the NBA is tasked with policing its players' numerous sneaker options to uphold the principle of a team uniform. Popular sneaker blog Sole Collector spoke with the NBA to discuss the sneaker guidelines that allowed for creativity and self-expression, but also maintained a "dress code". According to Christopher Arena, the NBA's Vice President of identity, outfitting, and equipment, in 2012 team managers and sneaker companies began requesting their athletes be allowed to wear bolder footwear. As a response, the Association created a calendar attentive to holidays, like Christmas, continual celebrations, such as Black History Month, and special events that authorized the striking footwear options a presence on the court. Above is an infographic by Brett Dalzell illustrating all the days when NBA players can wear special sneakers, and go to Sole Collector for the full read.