Starting in 2005, Nike has released special Black History Month sneakers each and every February to commemorate black excellence in sports and beyond. A lot has changed since the early days of BHM kicks (it's gone from one tribute shoe to a collection of tribute shoes to multiple collections of tribute shoes), but the message has remained consistent ... and the shoes are thoughtful and well-designed.
We've seen a lot of special BHM shoes from Nike Sportswear to Jordans to SB's over the past decade-plus, so we had to do what we do best and whittle them down to our ten favorites. It's a diverse list of heat with multiple types of kicks being represented, and we're stoked to bring it to you. Without further ado, here's Nike's top 10 BHM sneakers
Honorable Mention: Jordan I Nouveau Women's-2014
You already know we had to show some love to the ladies. Released as part of a 3-pack along with an Air Max 1 and an Air Revolution Sky High, these feature a simple, clean burgundy upper with minimal detailing and an icy sole.
10. SB Dunk Low-2013
The first pair of BHM Nike SB's, this 2013 release's colorway and details were inspired by the Pan-African flag. Simple (the red toe box gives these just enough pop), straight and to the point.
9. Kobe 7-2012
One of the best colorways of the best Kobes ever (yeah, we said it), the devil's in the details on the Kobe 7 BHM. All Kobe branding was replaced with BHM logos, the bright, colorful pattern on the upper is extremely intricate, and "Uplift" is stamped on each insole so you're reminded to bring others up every time you put them on.
8. Lebron 10-2013
The African-inspired patterns used in the 2014 Nike Basketball BHM pack were some of our favorites used through the history of Nike BHM collections, and the LeBron 10 was the best out of the bunch. The silver/orange colorway worked wonders with the shoe's futuristic look and full-length Air Max bubble.
7. KD 6-2014
Opinions on the KD 6's were initially somewhat mixed (they look a lot like soccer shoes) but a lot of sneakerheads appreciate their individuality, and the BHM colorway was one of the most unique of the bunch. Using a regal purple and African-style inlaid print, these would be royal enough for even the pickiest monarchs.
6. Air Force 1-2008
In the mid/late 2000's, there was no shoe hotter than the Air Force I, and these (the second BHM Air Force 1 to release) were a must-have for any Uptown collector. Premium leather and textiles with tribal inspired prints? Sign us up. We wish Forces were still this buttery.
5. Air Jordan I x Don C-2015
You already know that when Chicago's own Don C does a collab, he's going to use only the most premium materials available and the hype is going to be crazy. Following up his 2013 BHM Jordan I's (which you'll see later on this list), the Don kitted these Jordan I's out in a premium debossed white leather. They didn't see a widespread release, as they were auctioned off on eBay with all proceeds going to the Ever Higher Fund, an organization that provides mentorship to children in underserved communities.
There was a point in time when no shoe was more unique or cool than a Spizike (our younger readers probably can't believe it, but it's true), and the BHM edition may have been the most unique colorway of all with its crazy volt upper and combination of cement & elephant print. Loud, flashy, fun, and endlessly dope, even now, 4 years later.
3. Air Jordan I x Don C-2013
If this list was based on pure value alone, these Jordan I x Don C BHM jawns would be #1 on the list by a long shot. Only 37 pairs of the shoes were made (with a limited-edition snapback to match), and they were auctioned off on eBay in celebration of the 37th anniversary of Black History Month. If you're on the hunt for a pair, be prepared to shell out 4 figures ... if you can even find them.
2. Air Force 1-2005
Pay homage to the classics. Nike's BHM releases all started with this one simple and clean pair of Air Force 1's featuring a Pan-African flag way back in 2005. These are truly a collector's item, and when Nike re-released 2,000 more pairs to celebrate the shoe's 10th anniversary in 2015, they were gone before you could say "Give me two pair".
1. Jordan III-2011
Could anything else really have taken the #1 spot besides the BHM III's? A clean black color scheme with just enough gold stitching and African-inspired details to make them a head turner? Yeah, they're a winner in our book These are by far the most wearable BHM release ever ... and for our money the dopest too. Simplicity is key, and simplicity takes the win on our list.
What do you think of our BHM Top 10 list? Is everything in order in your eyes or would you switch a few pairs around? Hit us up and let us know on Twitter, check our Facebook page for updates, and, as always, be sure to follow us on Instagram for all the fire photos you can handle.
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