The 25 Best Logos In Sneaker History


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Image via Complex Original
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Brand recognition is everything. We all freak over labels, whether it's the laptop we compute on or the sodas we have with our slice at lunch — we know what we want when we see that trusted symbol. It's no different with kicks, you were dead-ass mad at your mom when she wouldn't let you get those Nikes as a kid and made you rock the generic kicks instead. It's just different. We decided to break down The 25 Best Logos In Sneaker History — let us know your favorite design whether it's something from the present or past. Enjoy.

RELATED: Green Label - 10 Best Sports Team Logos

Le Coq Sportif

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25. Le Coq Sportif 

Year created: Unknown

Le Coq Sportif is French for a Whale's The Athletic Rooster, the company's logo speaks for itself. Now with Joakim Noah bringing the brand to the States, it's cool once again to rock out with your...nevermind. 

Fila F

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24. Fila "F"

Year created: 1980's

Italian sportswear at its finest, Fila has been a staple in Europe for years and in the 80's they started a second push at dominance in the sports market by redesigning its culture and backing some of the greatest athletes in the world. It started in the '80s with Bjorn Borg. Then, in the mid-90s the Fila "F" reached iconic status after they signed Grant Hill to an $80 million deal in 1997 (only $10 mil less than LeBron's Nike deal.) The logo reached a whole new status after Tupac donned Hill's kicks in a photo shoot at the height of his fame. 

Onitsuka Tiger

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23. Onitsuka Tiger  

Year created: 1966

Even Yeezy has been down with the crossed-lines on the Onitsuka Tigers before ASICS took over the helm. The simple design has branded some classic sneakers, including the Nike Cortez before Phil Knight took the design with him to Nike. 

Reebok Vector

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22. Reebok Vector

Year created: 1986

Reebok gets its name from an African gazelle called a rhebok. Simple, right? The logo isn't any more complex. The vector emblem was designed to ring in Reebok's new performance movement and draws inspiration from product designs — side stripe and cross check. 

Under Armour "UA"

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21. Under Armour "UA"

Year created: 1996

Under Armour has always had a different approach with everything they do and the ingenious move to blend the "U" and the "A" together made for one of the best designs in the game. Once the apparel was plastered all over Willie Beamen and company in Any Given Sunday it quickly became a must for anyone who messed around with a football. Recently, Brandon Jennings took his game from Compton, to Rome, and then to Milwaukee and along the way he penned a deal with the brand to help build its popularity on the hardwood as well — good move. 

Converse Chuck Taylor Logo

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20. Converse "Chuck Taylor" 

Year created: 1932 


The Chuck Taylor shoe is creeping up on 100 years in the game and is the highest selling sneaker of all time. The logo isn't exactly intricate but if it isn't broke, why fix it? The emblem that you see on your Chucks today wasn't completed until 1932 when the official Chuck Taylor signature was added to the mix. 

New Balance "NB"

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19. New Balance "NB"

Year created: Unknown

New Balance represents the epitome of athletic footwear with timeless sneakers that should be a staple in everyone's closet. Their trademark didn't stray far from the companies roots, simply taking the "N" and "B" from the name and blending it together — simple, effective...iconic. 

Nike Flight Script

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18. Nike Flight "Script" 

Year created: 1980's

You might remember Jordan taking his foes to Flight School early in his career and Nike used the term to push some fly basketball sneakers in the 80's and early 90's. Salute to Nike from bringing' back the classic look with the Flight 89's all year long. 


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17. Saucony/Spot-Bilt 

Year created: Unknown

Saucony, founded in the late 1800's, the brand has been built on comfort and reliability. The logo has been around longer than we knew how to pronounce it, sock-a-knee. Rumor has it that it was inspired by the Saucony Creek that ran alongside the first factory in Kutztown, Pennsylvania.

adidas EQT

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16. adidas Equipment 

Year created: 1997

In 1997, the man behind the Jordan I (Peter Moore) helped resurrect the brand by remixing Adi Dassler's vision. The logo would become synonymous with young guns like Kobe Bryant and Keyshawn Johnson when they entered their respective leagues. Wonder where there three stripes came from? It is rumored that they represented each of Dassler's three sons. Good thing Travis Henry wasn't designing kicks. 

Puma Leaping Cat

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15. Puma "Leaping Cat" 

Year created: 1948

The company was created due to brothers beefing during war, real war, not the 50 Cent and *insert name here* type problems. In '48 Puma was born and the leaping cat was the symbol of athleticism at its finest and has stuck around 60+ years. Nothing like a little brotherly competitiveness, right?

Reebok Pump

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14. Reebok Pump

Year created: 1989 

In the late 80s Reebok spent a butt-load of cash (in comparison to other shoes) to create one of the most iconic basketball sneakers to date. The logo was a simple use of the technology that made the shoe famous, the same orange basketball that Dee Brown famously pumped-up before earning all tens with his no-look dunk. The Pump quickly became a status symbol on the streets and even had Nike playing catch-up for once. 

Jordan Wings

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13. Air Jordan "Wings" 

Year created: 1985 

Before the Jumpman logo surfaced on the Jordan IIIs, the I and IIs featured the Jordan "Wings" logo to pay homage to Mike's freakishly-long wingspan and ability to fly across the floor. With people always butt-hurt over the replacement of the Jumpman instead of Nike Air on retro releases, we're glad the Is still being incorporated and it doesn't look like it's going anywhere soon. 

Vans Off The Wall

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12. Vans "Off The Wall"

Year created: Unknown

You know the term, your grandmother has been saying it about you since the days when you were wearing your underwear outside your clothes, before even Quailman. Vans have been the poster sneaker for kids rebelling on their skate boards for decades and the "Off The Wall" concept is a perfect representation of the culture. 

Nike Ken Griffey Swingman

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11. Nike Ken Griffey "Swingman" 

Year created: 1996

The sweetest swing baseball has ever seen, nobody had the smooth swing of Griffey Jr's during his prime. The Kid's stroke was immortalized in his signature line with Nike. Not to mention, chicks dig the long ball, and when you are collecting checks from your own line of sneakers. 

Shaq Logo

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10. "Shaq Dunkman" 

Year created: 1992

No one attacked the rim like Shaq, no one. Much like Mike, Shaquille O'Neal used his  "Dunkman" logo, featuring two legs up at the rim, as a Batman-like calling card for the majority of his products, from Reebok to his own company. Not that you wouldn't be able to figure it out from the size 22+ kicks. 

Converse Star Chevron

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9. Converse Star Chevron 

Year created: 1970's

Jim Labadini helped cook up the Converse 2.0 logo during a time when sneaker brands where getting extremely competitive. The Converse Chevron logo marked the move forward into what would become an exciting time for the brand, thanks to some guys with nicknames like Dr.J, Magic and Legend.

Nike Sheedman

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8. Nike Rasheed Wallace "Sheedman" 

Year created: 2000 

What do Jerry West, Michael Jordan, Shaquille O'Neal, and Rasheed Wallace all have in common? Their signature move has spawned into an iconic logo — well, some more than others. Rasheed's smooth slight fall-away jumper has become just as memorable to the game as his short temper with officials. See the AF1s? The logo don't lie. 

LeBron Lion

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7. Nike LeBron "Lion"

Year created: 2005

When you have been coined the King before you could even legally drive, it doesn't take too much thought to tie LeBron with the leader of the jungle. His combination of swift moves and over-powering strength make him the perfect specimen for the alias. Pay attention, you are witnessing greatness. 


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5. AND1 

Year created: 1993 

Even after AND1 signed Coney Island's king and the brand exploded, it was still a faceless company thanks to the trash talking tees and the fact that they incorporated the logo on all its basketball sneakers, even the ones designed for top-tier players like the dynamic due in Minnesota — Da Kid and Starbury. Now can we get a retro release on the Marbury releases and a pair of shorts along with? 

Nike Kobe "Sheath"

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5. Nike Kobe "Sheath"

Year created: 2007

KB isn't Mike, we can agree on that, but we aren't sure that Jordan even had Bryant's raw talent for the game. The "Sheath" Design was used to pay homage to ancient samuri swords, warriors at battle doing what they do best — killing their opponents gracefully. Kobe.

Nike Penny Cent Logo

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4. Nike Penny Hardaway "Cent" 

Year created: 1995 

Anfernee's grandmother had a strong southern drawl and when she called him "Pretty" as a kid all his boys thought they were saying Penny — the name stuck ever since. Thanks to Nick Anderson already rocking number 25 in honor of Benji Watson, Hardaway had to switch it up from 25 to 1. Never has a marketing plan worked out so perfectly, between the Cent logo and the Chris Rock voice overs as Lil' Penny, few campaigns have been as dope as Penny's. 

adidas Trefoil

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3. adidas Trefoil

Year created: 1971

The three leaves symbolize Olympic spirit, not Red and Meth's favorite past time. It debuted in '72 to correspond with the summer games and was the primary symbol of the brand until 1997. It is still used today on classic sneakers and apparel to pay homage to where it all began. 

Nike Swoosh

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2. Nike Swoosh 

Year created: 1971

Before they were Nike they were Blue Ribbon Sports and in '71 they contracted Carolyn Davidson, a Portland State University graphic design student to designed the Nike Swoosh. They originally paid a fee of $35 but in '83 Nike gave her shares of its stock and a diamond ring featuring the Swoosh — she retired in 2000. Class act organization from the jump and The Swoosh still holds up as one of the most iconic symbols of all time. 

Jordan Jumpman

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1. Air Jordan "Jumpman" 

Year created: 1988

You could free-hand this design in your sleep. The silhouette of Mike taking flight ended up on all Jordan branded products and in '88 when it appeared on the Jordan IIIs for the first time, it may have been what kept Michael with Nike. Eventually MJ took The Swoosh completely out of his line of sneakers. Yeezy may have claimed he jumped over the Jumpman but even Kanye's pop culture status can't trump the Jumpman logo.