Putting together this sneaker history has been my most difficult search to date. Jason Kidd shoes are hard to find on the interwebs, but I managed to do it with a little perseverance.
I can’t say whether Jason Kidd is underrated or not. It’s not because I don’t personally know if he was great or not, because he was AMAZING. I just don’t know if basketball fans realize what a monster he really was. Maybe JKidd the coach is getting in the way of JKidd the player.
For starters, Jason Kidd was a big point guard, and I mean a BIG point guard. He played at 6’4”, 205 lbs. Penny Hardaway was 6’7” but weighed in at just 195 lbs. And Magic Johnson, who is probably the biggest PG the game has ever seen, was 6’9” and just 10 lbs heavier than Kidd.
In addition to his size, he was as fast as anyone on the open court. He was a human cannonball. He had amazing court vision and passing ability and could barrel to the hoop through traffic, which made him one of the best transition players to ever lace up a pair of basketball sneakers.
I mentioned in our NBA City Edition jersey review my fondness for his New Jersey Nets team of the mid 2000’s. Kenyon Martin and Kidd remain one of my favorite sources of nostalgic highlights. KMart deserves his own sneaker history article, but that is for another time.
Jason Kidd retired as an NBA Champion, a 10-time All-Star, a 4-time NBA All-Defensive team selection and a 5-time All-NBA first-teamer. He also led the NBA in assists 5 times and in triple-doubles a whopping 11 times. Post-retirement, he was inducted to the Basketball Hall of Fame and was recently named to the NBA’s 75th-anniversary team.
Sneaker-wise, Jason Kidd had a career filled with highlights as well. And Jason Kidd shoes are what we’re here for. So let’s get into it!
Jason Kidd Shoes: A Full Timeline Show
- Jason Kidd Shoes: University of California
- Jason Kidd Shoes: First Stint with the Dallas Mavericks
- Jason Kidd Shoes: Phoenix Suns
- Jason Kidd Shoes: New Jersey Nets
- Jason Kidd Shoes: Second Stint With The Dallas Mavericks
- Jason Kidd Shoes: New York Knicks
Jason Kidd Shoes: University of California
Kidd grew up in San Francisco, California and excelled early as a hooper. He played for the St. Joseph Notre Dame Pilots and was one of the most highly recruited players in the country. He famously was tutored by another Bay Area great, Gary Payton.
If you have never see JKidd dunk, check it out:
JKidd played his college ball at the University of California. In college, he displayed the same brand of dominant, “do it all” basketball as he did as a pro.
He played for two years for the Bears and averaged 14.9 ppg, 5.9 rpg and 8.4 apg. In his second season, he was named the Pac-10 Player of the Year and to the All-American 1st team.
While in college, ” Jason Kidd shoes” were several Nike models and some Jordans as well. He primarily rocked the Nike Air Maestros Flight 1 and the Jordan 9, which makes sense for his style of play. The two are sturdy guard shoes built to withstand the type of beating a guy like Kidd could give them.
Nike Air Maestro Flight 1
Air Jordan 9
Jason Kidd Shoes: First Stint with the Dallas Mavericks
Kidd entered the 1994 draft as one of the most coveted players in a draft class that included the likes of Glen “Big Dog” Robinson, Grant Hill, Juwan Howard, Eddie Jones and Jalen Rose. Kidd ended up going 2nd overall to the Dallas Mavericks.
Kidd hit the ground running and quickly established himself as one of the most exciting young talents in the league. He would end up being named co-rookie of the year with Grant Hill and kept up the same all-around play he exhibited at Cal averaging 11.7 ppg, 7.7 apg, 5.4 rpg and 1.9 steals per game.
During his rookie season JKidd played in the then-popular Nike Air GO LWP.
Nike Air GO LWP
The team wasn’t very good, but the Mavs had an exciting young core of players that included Jim Jackson, Jamaal Mashburn and Jason Kidd, who were known as the 3 J’s.
Jason improved his numbers during his second year, averaging 16.6 ppg, 9.7 apg, 6.8 rpg and 2.2 stl, and was named to his first All-Star team.
The team started the year with an air of potential but had little success when it came to wins by the end of the season. To make matters worse, Kidd apparently feuded with his teammates and was extremely disappointed with the new head coach Dallas hired. At the end of the season, the feeling of optimism in Dallas had changed to dread as fans feared their young star being traded away.
In his second year, Kidd laced up several different models including the Nike Lambaste, the Nike Air Flight and his first non-signature sneaker, the Nike Air Zoom Flight 95.
The Nike Air Zoom Flight 95 wasn’t JKidd’s signature, but he was the main face of the marketing campaign. It’s a shoe commonly associated with him. Get ready for some 90’s nostalgia with some KRS One:
1995 is one of the best years in sneaker history and the Zoom Flight was one of the standout models of that year. The Zoom Flight 95 was equipped with carbon fiber support on the upper, the infamous “bug-eyes” on the sculpted midsole, and most importantly, the introduction of Zoom Air cushioning in the heel and forefoot.
Zoom Air had technically been used a year earlier in models like the Air Go LWP under the name “Tensile Air” but it wasn’t until 1995 with the debut of the Zoom Flight 95 that the name of the tech was changed to “Zoom Air”.
Nike Air Zoom Flight 95
Nike Air Flight
Nike Air Lambaste
Jason lasted just 22 games in Dallas before he was traded to Phoenix. The situation in the locker room had become unsustainable, and Coach Cleamons’ system clashed with Kidd’s playing style. Dallas got Sam Cassell, A. C. Green, and Michael Finley in return, and Kidd landed on one of the deepest rosters in the NBA (especially at the PG position).
The 1996-97 Suns had Jason Kidd, Kevin Johnson and Steve Nash competing for the starting PG position. Nash was a rookie at the time, but still, having a future two-time MVP as your back-up’s back-up is noteworthy.
Kidd had a good rest of the season with the Suns and finished the year averaging 11.6 ppg, 9.0 apg, 4.8 rpg, and 2.2 stl. The Suns didn’t make the playoffs but their fast-paced style suited JKidd’s playing style much better.
Kidd also got his first official signature shoe, the Nike Air Zoom Flight Five. The Flight Five drew inspiration from track shoes and featured a forefoot zoom unit, a torsional plate in the midfoot and an iridescent bug eye on the side. The 3/4 length Zoom unit was used because, in theory, faster players play on the balls of their feet and that’s where they need the most impact protection. To adapt this faux sprinter shoe to basketball, they had to accommodate the lateral movements that are also important in basketball, so the outsole was completed with 12 pivot points. A wacky concept, but a pretty awesome shoe.
During that year Kidd also laced up the Nike Air Hawk Flight and Nike Air Flight Max.
Nike Air Zoom Flight Five
Nike Air Hawk Flight
Nike Air Flight Max
Jason Kidd Shoes: Phoenix Suns
The 1997-98 season gave Kidd his first taste of team success. The Suns made it to the playoffs that year, and JKidd was one of the cornerstones of the team, if not their go-to star. The Suns also brought on Antonio McDyess who was a great running partner for Kidd. The Suns were booted in the first round of the playoffs, but it was an all-around good season.
Kidd put up similar stats to the year before, averaging 11.6 ppg, 9.1 apg, 6.2 rpg and 2 stl, and finished 13th in the MVP voting.
Kidd laced up some really cool, super 90’s models, but did not technically get a follow-up to his first signature shoe. Although he did get a couple models that seemed to share a common design language and felt like a Jason Kidd shoe. He wore the Nike Air 1.0 Flight, the Nike Air Max Uptempo 97, the Nike Air Afterburner and the Nike Zoom FP (Fun Police). The FPs get extra points for the awesome commercials.
Nike Air Zoom Flight 1.0
Nike Air Max Uptempo 97
Nike Zoom FP
The next three years in Kidd’s career were characterized by great individual achievements and underwhelming team performance. Kidd boosted his stats and established himself as one of the league’s elite guards and a premiere defender. He averaged 16 ppg, 10 apg, 6.8 rpg, and 2 stl, he was named to the All-Star team in 1998 and 2000, was named to the NBA All-Defense team twice and to the All-NBA team twice as well. He also brought home a gold medal from the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. But equally memorable, he won the league’s hair game when he bleached his hair and forever burned that image in the retinas of everyone who watched him play during that time.
But, the Suns were disappointing. Their roster wasn’t as star-studded as teams are nowadays, but they had a solid core of players and in 1999 they even added another sneaker legend, Penny Hardaway to the team. They got out of the first round of the playoffs only once and fell immediately afterward in the second round. By the end of this three-year period, the winds of change had begun to blow.
Basketball performance aside, during this stretch Kidd rocked some iconic shoes on-court. They weren’t all great performance shoes but, at the very least, they were flashy.
The Nike Air Afterburner was another one of these “non-signature signature” Jason Kidd Shoes. It looked and felt like another evolution of the Nike Zoom Flight Five. The Afterburner was a popular model around the league released during the shortened 1998-1999 season.
Nike Air Afterburner
Nike Air Flight Determination again could have been the 5th signature pair of Jason Kidd Shoes. The shoes featured a full-grain leather and synthetic-mesh upper, a Phylon midsole, and a visible heel Max Air unit along with an encapsulated forefoot Air sole unit. The outsole was a solid rubber outsole with what was called “Optimal Motion” forefoot flex grooves.
Nike Air Flight Determination
Nike Air Flightposite
Nike Shox BB4
This was also the time period in which Nike was testing their Alpha project, one of the wackiest periods of Nike’s history.
This campaign would give us the second pair of signature Jason Kidd Shoes, the Nike Air Zoom Kidd. This shoe was part of the Morph series, where you had a shoe within a shoe. The idea was that the shoes in the Morph series shared tech that you could pull out and place within the skin of the different shoes in the series. There was a Gary Payton version, a Scottie Pippen version, and a Jason Kidd version. Not great performers on court, but one of the weirdest and maybe coolest concepts Nike has ever thrown out there.
Nike Air Kidd
Jason Kidd Shoes: New Jersey Nets
Before the start of the 2001-02 season the Suns and the Nets brokered an unexpected deal that would send the budding superstar Stephon Marbury to Phoenix and Kidd to New Jersey. It was a somewhat unexpected move by both teams, but for Kidd it would prove to be a pivotal moment in his career.
Kidd flourished in New Jersey. He quickly became the best point guard in the league, dominating almost every aspect of the game. He was also surrounded by a collection of players that complimented his fast-paced style perfectly. Kerry Kittles, Richard Jefferson and Kenyon Martin provided shooting, defense and high flying exploits that allowed Kidd to concentrate on his strengths: pushing the pace, and passing the ball.
Kenyon Martin (aka K-Mart) in particular synced up perfectly with Kidd, and the two formed one of the most spectacular duos in the league. Also, he’s in my top 10 favorite players of all time.
That first year, Kidd hit the ground running and turned the underachieving Nets into a winner. The team finished the year with 53 wins and 1st in defensive rating. Kidd averaged 16.9 ppg, 6.4 rpg, and led the league in assists with 9.8 per game while chipping in 2.2 stl per game as well. He was an All-Star, he was 1st team All-NBA and All-Defense. More importantly, he took the team past the second round.
The Nets made it all the way to the NBA Finals that year, taking the Eastern Conference by storm. They ran through the Indiana Pacers, the Charlotte Hornets and the Boston Celtics on their way to the finals where they would face the LA Lakers. Unfortunately, for Kidd and K-Mart, the Lakers boasted their own powerful duo formed by Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant. Maybe you’ve heard of them? The Lakers made light work of the Nets and booted them in 4 games. But it was still an amazing start to the Jason Kidd era in New Jersey.
The go-to pair of Jason Kidd shoes for the season were the Nike Air Zoom Flight Turbine. I personally really liked this shoe. The Nike Air Zoom Turbine featured a synthetic leather and mesh upper, a very 2000’s shroud and full length Zoom Air cushioning.
Nike Air Zoom Fight Turbine
The Nets entered the following season on a mission. They were heavy favorites to come out on top in the East…and that’s what they did. They racked up 49 wins and added the important element of Dikembe Mutombo to try to counter Shaq’s dominance.
They had an even easier time when the playoffs rolled around. They smashed the Milwaukee Bucks, the Celtics and the Detroit Pistons, and lost only 2 games on their way to a second Finals appearance in 2 years.
Kidd was again dominant. He put up 14.7 ppg, 9.9 assists, 7.3 rebounds and 1.7 steals. He again was named to the All-Star Team, the All-NBA defensive team and the All-NBA first team, and finished 2nd in the MVP voting.
There were several pairs of Jason Kidd shoes that year, but most notably he wore one of the coolest shoes of the early 2000’s: the Nike Zoom 2K3. A lot of players wore these back in the day, but none as well as Kidd in the Finals.
The 2k3’s were marketed as a guard shoe and featured a synthetic suede upper, a phylon midsole with a Zoom Air unit in the sock liner and an outsole that featured herringbone traction. They started off stiff, but once you broke them in you got a ton of support and excellent cushioning.
Nike Zoom 2K3
The Nets arrived at the finals ready for their rematch with the Lakers. But instead, it was the San Antonio Spurs, led by Tim Duncan and David Robinson, that they would have to face. It was a tough defensive series and the Spurs would ultimately come out on top.
In the NBA, getting one shot at the title is tough, two is almost impossible and almost no one gets a third. The Nets were no different.
The rest of Kidd’s stint with the Nets was successful, but they weren’t able to get back to the finals. The team stayed above 40 wins each season and would consistently make the playoffs, but never got past the 2nd round again.
In 2005, they tried to inject new energy into the team and traded for Vince Carter. Carter added highlights to the team’s extensive reel, but he wasn’t able to get the team over the hump.
Over the next 4 seasons Kidd averaged 14 points, 8.8 assists and 7.3 rebounds. He was named to the All-Defensive team 3 times, the All-NBA first team once, and to the All-Star team twice. He was still one of the top guards in the league, but he had visibly begun to slow down on the court.
During this time, Jason Kidd shoes changed from Nike to Jordan. He rocked a couple PE’s and a bunch of different team Jordan models. He sported several Jordan 13 PEs, several Jordan XIX and XIX SE PEs, the Team Jordan Hustle, the Team Jordan Work’m and Jordan Team Hustle.
Jordan 13 PE
The 2007-08 season would be his last as a Net. He played 55 games with the Nets before being traded to the Mavericks. That season he made the All-Star team again and Jason Kiss shoes switched back to Nike.
He played in the Nike Zoom BB, an excellent on court performer, and in the Nike Zoom Brave II, which many consider another “non-signature signature”. It’s easy to see why, as it borrows many design features from the Nike Air Zoom Flight Five.
Nike Zoom BB
Nike Zoom Brave II
Kidd also added another piece of hardware that summer during the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. During the games he wore another iconic Nike model, the first Nike Hyperdunks. The original Hyperdunk featured the first version of Flywire on the upper, a large volume heel Zoom Air unit and a carbon fiber shank plate for support.
Nike Hyperdunk 2008
Jason Kidd Shoes: Second Stint With The Dallas Mavericks
Kidd would finish the 2007-08 season with the Mavs and spend 4 more seasons at the helm of the team.
At this point in his career, Kidd was no longer the dominant force he once was, but he was as crafty as ever. To his credit, Kidd was able to re-invent his game and remain a very effective player and a great leader for the Mavericks. Kidd had never been a great shooter, but he was able to become a credible threat from beyond the arc while still dishing out over 8 assists per game. He was even named to one last All-Star team in 2010.
The Mavs were stacked with players such as Shawn Marion, Caron Butler, Jason Terry and of course, the great Dirk Nowitzki. The team gelled immediately. Their first year, the team reached 50 victories. In 2011 they made it back to the finals. And this time, Kidd finally got his trophy.
The Mavs put together a 57-win season and cruised through the playoffs. In the Finals, they met the Miami Heat and their Big Three: LeBron James, D-Wade and Chris Bosh. The Heat looked like world-beaters, but the Mavs had the series of a lifetime. The Mavs handled the Heat in 6 games and Kidd got his ring.
During his time with the Mavs, Kidd wore several Nike Models including his trusty Air Zoom Flight Fives, and received 4 more signature pairs of Jason Kidd shoes, this time with PEAK. Get Ready for some cringe-y commercials:
Jason Kidd Peak 1
Jason Kidd Peak 2
Jason Kidd Peak 3
Jason Kidd Peak 4
Jason Kidd Shoes: New York Knicks
Kidd played one last, uneventful season with the New York Knicks. Kidd probably should have retired as a Maverick, but it gave him time to lace up some cool pairs of Jason Kidd shoes. He primarily wore Nike team models including the 2012 Hyperfuse Lows, the 2012 Low Hyperdunks, and the Lunar Hypergamer Lows.
2012 Hyperdunk Low
Nike Hyperfuse Low
Let us know what you think. Did we leave anything out? Is there another shoe that you’d put on the list? We look forward to hearing from you in the comments below, Twitter, Instagram, or our Discord community.