16. Diadora Borg Elite
Year Released: 1981
If you want a quick snapshot understanding of how important tennis used to be, look no further than the lifestyle impact of the game and the athletes. If you were to ask a lot of people what the late 1970's "looked" like, then flashed a picture of Bjorn Borg, they would probably say "yeah, that." Borg's overall "look" caught-on in a primordially Bieberish way. There were as many Borg's walking around, as there were Freeway's walking around Philly in 2006. Mostly, Borg was known for his apparel. If you flip around the interwebs a little bit, you are likely to see some of most incredible Fila gear ever produced, as well as Borg's own Fila range featuring his signature "BJ" logo. If you want to take it a step further and really feel the power of Bjorn Borg during this era, part your shit in the middle and wear a very tight headband. There, feel that? The Borg Elite was probably the premier tennis shoe of the very early 1980s. Diadora produced a handful of colorways, but the Gold Elite was different. It was made of supple kangaroo. It also came in a nylon drawstring bag with Borg's portrait on the side, had a numbered certificate, and had a very dope metallic gold logo (I think they called the logo the flash in the UK. . . this shoe probably meant more in the UK than anywhere else, where it was picked up by casuals in multiples). Once in a while the shoe gets re-issued, but since Borg no longer collects Diadora checks, the signature is missing and they are called the B. Elite. Whatever you say, b. Interestingly, Borg's contract with Diadora did not allow him to wear Diadora footwear on court in the US and Canada, so he wore Tretorn in those countries.