The Young Bucks’ new basketball shoes, reviewed by 2 old and 2 youngsters


The world of sneakers and that of professional 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 no one in the world of pro wrestling is bigger than AEW’s Young Bucks.

Matt and Nick Jackson regularly recount their search for new kicks on their weekly YouTube show To be the elite and make it a point to wear the rarest Jordans they can find as part of their ring gear for the big games. Now they’re getting their own signature shoe. Diadora drops the ‘Basket Mid YB’ on Wednesday, complete in the Bucks’ favorite ’80s-inspired colourways, and while I think they’re awesome – I also know I’m absolutely not someone who can pull them off.

So instead of just relying on my dad’s (James) opinion, I asked some of the much cooler young people (and other old people like me) in the SB Nation office for their thoughts on the Bucks’ sneakers, and if they would wear them.

JP Acosta (young)

Have any of you seen Cobra Kai? Johnny Lawrence is the main character and he seems to be stuck in the 80s. All of his cultural references are from 80s movies and shows and he barely knows how to use a smartphone.

Johnny Lawrence would wear these shoes. 100% wouldn’t do it, there are way too many patterns and the black bar across the yellow zebra print is slowly turning me into a Joker. These shoes are very Young Bucks, which means only they can wear this and not get clowned around, and even then, it’s overkill.

Mark Schofield (former)

To JP’s point above…

As someone who lived through the 80s, I see them and immediately think I need to roll up my Guess jeans before I put them on. (Google that kids). Then I can throw on my satin Starter jacket — my gold San Francisco 49ers jacket was my favorite — over my oversized Champion sweatshirt, and head out to catch the school bus.

At the time? I would have worn them in a heartbeat. Today? Not really. Even if they talk about a part of my past with neon, multiple prints and reminders of a simpler time.

Colb Hart (young)

As someone who’s currently in the midst of a five-fight winning streak on the SNKRS app and buying as many retro J’s as my bank account allows, I feel like I can offer the proper perspective on these shoes.

I see why they are called the basket ENVIRONMENT Yb because that’s exactly what it is. All the different models go against each other and it looks like a mess in general. They would have done better to continue and customize literally any other pair of shoes and could have done better than that.

My personal advice would be to stick with the Js and leave the ones alone forever. Not only would I never put them on my feet, I wouldn’t even bring them home.

James Dator (former)

I am an ambitious sneakerhead. I wish it was part of my life so I could hang on to my hopeless teenage years playing basketball in a futile attempt to feel young again – but I accepted that it was no longer part of my life.

I used to worry about basketball shoes, but now I own precisely three pairs of sneakers:

  • The most boring and simple DC skate shoes I could find on Amazon that I wear because they are comfortable.
  • A pair of Adidas athletic shoes I found in 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 weird eye where Tan said every man should have a pair of “dressy” white sneakers to elevate a look with a pair of jeans. I have worn them twice in two years.

I want to to be the kind of person with the confidence to rock the Bucks’ shoes, but I absolutely can’t. I can not imagine anything in my wardrobe, it would go without looking like an undercover variation of Steve Buscemi.

I love shoes, they just aren’t for me.

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