The world of sneakers and pro wrestling have always been inexorably linked. John Cena wore Reebok Pumps during his “Doctor of Thuganomics” phase and Roman Reigns rocks Jordan 4s in the ring — but nobody in the pro wrestling world are bigger sneakerheads than The Young Bucks of AEW.
Matt and Nick Jackson routinely chronicle their search for new kicks on their weekly YouTube show Being the Elite, and make a point of wearing the rarest Jordans they can find as part of their ring gear for big matches. Now they’re getting their own signature shoe. Diadora are releasing the “Basket Mid YB” on Wednesday, complete in the Bucks’ favorite brash 80s-inspired colorways, and while I think these are awesome — I also know I am absolutely not someone who can pull these off.
So, instead of leaning on my (James’) dad opinion alone, I asked some of the much cooler youths (and other old folks like me) at the SB Nation office for their opinions on the Bucks’ sneakers, and whether they’d wear them.
JP Acosta (youth)
Have any of you seen Cobra Kai? Johnny Lawrence is the main character and he seems to be stuck in the 80’s. All of his cultural references are from movies and shows in the 80’s and he barely knows how to use a smartphone.
Johnny Lawrence would wear these shoes. I 100% would not, there are way too many patterns going on and the black bar going across the yellow zebra print is slowly turning me into the Joker. These shoes are very Young Bucks, which mean only they could wear this and not get clowned, and even then that’s a stretch.
Mark Schofield (old)
To JP’s point above …
As someone who lived through the 80s, I see these and immediately think I have to French roll my Guess jeans before putting them on. (Google it kids). Then I can throw on my satin Starter jacket — my gold San Francisco 49ers one was my personal favorite — over my over-sized Champion sweatshirt, and head off to catch the school bus.
Back in the day? I would have worn them in a heartbeat. Today? Not so much. Even though they speak to a part of my past with the neon, multiple prints and callbacks to a simpler time.
Colb Hart (youth)
As someone that is currently in the midst of a five game winning streak on the SNKRS app, and buys as many retro J’s as my bank account permits, I feel as though I can offer the appropriate perspective on these shoes.
I see why they’re called the Basket MID Yb because that’s exactly what these are. All the different patterns are clashing and it just looks like a mess in general. They would’ve been better off going on Nike.com and customizing literally any other pair of shoes and could have done better than this.
My personal advice would be to stick with the J’s and leave whatever those are alone forever. Not only would I never put those on my feet, I wouldn’t even bring them in my home.
James Dator (old)
I am an aspirational sneakerhead. I wish it was a part of my life so I could cling to my hopeless basketball-playing teenage years in a vain attempt to feel young again — but I’ve accepted it’s not a part of my life anymore.
I own used to care about basketball shoes, but now I own precisely three pairs of sneakers:
- The most boring, plain, DC skate shoes I could find on Amazon which I wear because they’re comfy.
- A pair of Adidas cross trainers I found at a “Ross: Dress for Less” to wear to the gym.
- A generic pair of white sneakers I bought at Target after watching an episode of Queer Eye where Tan said every man should have a pair of “dressy” white sneakers to upscale a look with a pair of jeans. I’ve worn them twice in two years.
I want to be the kind of person with the confidence to rock the Bucks’ shoes, but I absolutely cannot. I cannot fathom anything in my wardrobe these would go with without looking like some variant of Steve Buscemi going undercover.
I love the shoes, they’re just not for me.