No. 10 - Wiggins Makes NBA Debut in adidas
Player: Andrew Wiggins
Sneaker: adidas Crazylight Boost
Date: October 7, 2014
Notable numbers: 18 points, 4 rebounds, 3 blocks
Number one draft pick Andrew Wiggins has been overshadowed by fellow rookie Jabari Parker, but it’s still too early to make a ROTY call at this point. One thing’s for sure—the buzz around Wiggins’ NBA debut eclipsed any other rookie in recent memory, and the kid definitely has the potential to become something truly special.
The next King? That remains to be seen, but for now, Wiggins is putting up solid numbers just like he did in his NBA preseason debut against the Pacers. Rocking the adidas Crazylight Boost, Wiggins had 18 points, 4 rebounds, and a handful of assists and blocks in just 32 minutes of action. Check back in a few months to see if he’s able to surpass Parker in Rookie of the Year discussions.
No. 9 - Wilson Kipsang Wins the NYC Marathon
Runner: Wilson Kipsang
Sneaker: adidas adizero Adios Boost 2.0
Date: November 2, 2014
Notable numbers: Finished in 2 hours, 10 minutes, 59 seconds
2014 was a big year for competitive running. In April, Meb Keflezighi became the first American male to win the Boston Marathon in over three decades, bringing triumph to an event that had been marred by tragedy just a year prior. Meb got it done in his signature Skechers, and while he deserves a nod, Meb’s been nice, and you already knew that.
Instead, we chose to shine some light on Kenya’s Wilson Kipsang, who won the New York City Marathon in his very first appearance at the event. He crossed the finish line at 2:10:59 in the adidas adizero Adios Boost 2.0, turning an already popular model into a must-have for runners.
No. 8 - Bumgarner Wins World Series MVP in New Balance
Player: Madison Bumgarner
Sneaker: New Balance 4040v2
Date: October 29, 2014
Notable numbers: 5 innings pitched, 2 hits, 0 runs
Madison Bumgarner was like a man possessed during the 2014 MLB postseason, sitting down batter after batter and leading the Giants to their third World Series title in four years. The 25 year old hurler also took home the World Series MVP honors, after a dominant run throughout the seven game run and a series-clinching save in the finale.
Like many players around the league, Bumgarner wore the New Balance 4040v2, a heavily supportive midcut model cushioned with full length REVlite. The only difference is that those other guys didn’t win World Series MVP in their 4040s.
No. 7 - Peyton Manning Makes History in the Zoom Code Elite
Player: Peyton Manning
Sneaker: Nike Zoom Code Elite
Date: October 19, 2014
Notable numbers: 4 touchdowns, 22/26 passing, 318 total passing yards
Exit Brett Favre, enter Peyton Manning. Denver’s been rolling through the competition all season long, and in mid-October they hosted the San Fransisco 49ers for a Week 7 match up that would prove to be historic. During the course of the 42-17 Broncos blowout win, Peyton connected on four touchdowns, the first of two tying Brett Favre’s record for career touchdown passes. Instead of holding back, Manning smashed the record, and has been adding to that total ever since.
He got it done in the Nike Zoom Code Elite, which has been his go-to model ever since jumping over from Reebok during the offseason.
No. 6 - Swaggy P Goes Supreme
Player: Nick Young
Sneaker: Nike Air Foamposite One “Supreme”
Date: April 6, 2014
Notable numbers: 18 points
The Lakers lost their late season showdown at the Staples Center against the Clippers, but Nick Young lived up to his Instagram promise and broke out one of the year’s most talked about sneakers.
When news first hit that New York’s much-hyped Supreme would be collaborating with Nike on one of their most polarizing models, the Air Foamposite One, heads weren’t quite sure what to think. All that changed by the time the release was set to go down, as hopeful buyers mobbed the store’s Lafayette Street location and caused the police to shut down the entire release. Of course, they ended up dropping online, and Swaggy P got his hands on a pair, which he promptly rocked for one of the biggest games of the year.
No. 5 - Shabazz Leads Huskies to Cinderella Finale
Player: Shabazz Napier
Sneaker: Nike Zoom Crusader
Date: April 7, 2014
Notable numbers: 22 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals
Number 7 seed be damned, the Connecticut Huskies refused to go down during this year’s NCAA men’s basketball tournament. After defeating St. Joseph’s, Villanova, Iowa State, Michigan State, and No. 1 seeded Florida, UConn met the Kentucky Wildcats in the finals. The two scrappy teams were neck and neck almost the whole way through, but the Huskies powered through to a 60-54 win, thanks in large part to senior guard Shabazz Napier.
Although he’s yet to clock any major playing time with the Miami Heat, Napier’s NCAA finals performance will live on forever. He won the Most Outstanding Player honors after a big night in the Nike Zoom Crusader, a model that was a huge hit with collegiate and pro players alike.
No. 4 - Malcolm Smith Wins Super Bowl XLVIII MVP
Player: Malcolm Smith
Sneaker: Nike Vapor Talon custom
Date: February 2, 2014
Notable numbers: 6 tackles, 4 assists, interception for 69 yard TD
As expected, the Seattle Seahawks’ defense was the deciding factor of Super Bowl XLVIII. Richard Sherman tried to let ‘em know, but sometimes actions just speak louder than words. The Seahawks got busy on game day, holding the Denver Broncos to just one touchdown as they marched to a triumphant 43-8 victory.
Linebacker Malcolm Smith won the MVP award, making him the first defensive player to win the honors since 2003. During the second quarter of the Super Bowl, Smith intercepted a Peyton Manning bomb to run it back for a 69-yard touchdown, lifting Seattle to a 22-0 lead. His cleats of choice for the big win were a customized pair of Nike Vapor Talons, which featured a special molded collar.
No. 3 - Mario Götze Leads Germany to World Cup Title
Player: Mario Götze
Sneaker: Nike Magista Obra
Date: July 13, 2014
Notable numbers: Game-winning goal at 113’
Germany’s road to the 2014 World Cup title was the stuff legends are made of. After handing Brazil a much-publicized 7-1 loss in the semifinals, they met Argentina and Lionel Messi in the World Cup Final from Rio de Janeiro. After going scoreless into extra time, Germany finally took the win with a brilliant goal from Mario Götze at the 113’ mark.
Götze got it done in the Nike Maista Obra, which was also one of the year’s best boots. Flyknit construction took the fit and feel of this boot to new heights, and it will go down in history as the golden boot of the 2014 World Cup.
No. 2 - Kawhi Leonard Leads Spurs to Third Title in 10 Years
Player: Kawhi Leonard
Sneaker: Air Jordan XX8 SE
Date: June 15, 2014
Notable numbers: 22 points, 10 rebounds
Just when it looked like the Miami Heat were on the road to a three-peat, the San Antonio Spurs quelled their hopes. The Spurs claimed their third title in the last decade, only this time around, it wasn’t Tim Duncan or Tony Parker winning the MVP honors. Those went to 22 year old Kawhi Leonard, who became the youngest player since Duncan himself to win the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
As one of the handful of players carrying on the Jordan Brand legacy, Leonard was in the brand’s latest signature shoe, the XX8 SE, for the big win. Since then, they’ve honored the rising superstar with special PE models of the Jordan XX9, as well as retros like the Air Jordan VI and Air Jordan XI.
No. 1 - Federer Plays in the Zoom Vapor AJ3 While Jordan Watches
Player: Roger Federer
Sneaker: Nike Zoom Vapor AJ3
Date: August 26, 2014
Notable numbers: 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4)
Until this year, basketball and tennis didn’t have much in common. That all changed when Roger Federer took the court to begin the 2014 US Open. Although Federer was eventually upset by Marin Čilić in the semifinals, his first match alone was enough to make history. Federer kicked things off with a three-set win over Marinko Matosevic, making quick work of his opponent as usual. Although the match itself wasn’t particularly noteworthy, it was Federer’s kicks and one of the attendees that makes this the #1 moment of the year.
Federer’s sneakers for opening night were the Nike Zoom Vapor AJ3, a collaboration that caught nearly everyone off guard as the tech and silhouette of Federer’s signature Zoom Vapor 9 Tour met the classic style of MJ’s Air Jordan 3. To make the moment even sweeter, Michael himself was in attendance, taking in his first ever live US Open match. How’s that for historic?