One year ago today, the Atlanta Hawks faced the New York Knicks in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Playoffs. Trae Young led the Hawks to victory with 32 points, 10 assists, 7 rebounds, and a buzzer-beating floater to seal the 107-105 victory.
The raucous game served as Young's first postseason game as well as the debut of his new signature sneaker - the Adidas Trae Young 1. Over the past 365 days, Young has made an overwhelming case for best point guard in the league. This regular season, the 23-year-old became the second player in history to lead the NBA in total points and assists.
Adidas has met Young's mind-blowing performances each step of the way with fire colorways for what many consider the best performance basketball shoes on the market. Thanks to Young and Adidas being in their bag, the shoe has become a best-seller and has a claim at best signature line debut since 'His Airness' took flight back in the 1980s. Time is running out before the second installment of Young's signature line is here, so let's recap the top 25 colorways of the Adidas Trae Young 1.
25. Hawks PE (Black, Yellow, White)
Let's get started with a low-key PE (player exclusive) that didn't see much action this season. Young dropped 56 points against the Portland Trail Blazers on January 3, and we hardly saw this colorway again.
Huge shoutout to Normi and Lanta for inspiring this PE. Young's two dogs are so cool that they even have their own Instagram account. The left shoe looks like Normi, and the right shoe looks like Lanta. At this point in the season, neither Young nor Adidas was playing fair.
23. Icy White
This all-white PE was worn a lot throughout the season. While it wasn't one of my favorite colorways, Young clearly liked it. So, we'll place it right here in the overall rankings.
22. Hawks PE (Red, Volt, White)
Young actually wore this PE on Opening Night against the Dallas Mavericks. It was in his rotation for the first few months of the season before Adidas started flooding the streets on some Pusha T levels of production.
21. Hawks PE (Red)
Clean, straightforward, and fierce. Young wore this all-red PE multiple times, most notably in his first game back from NBA Health & Safety Protocols in a game against the Chicago Bulls. The colorway also gave birth to this awesome moment:
20. Chinese New Year
Young is loved in China, so naturally, Adidas had to reciprocate that support on the Lunar New Year. Fun fact, there was a 'Lamb' colorway that was an overseas exclusive. I never even saw Young wear it.
As the season progressed, Adidas moved away from color-blocking and began using more digital patterns. Thanks to the material used on the shoe's upper, Adidas was able to incorporate more designs and colors into the mix.
Young wore this sleek colorway in almost every game against the Charlotte Hornets. I would love to know why. Regardless, this pair is a general release - well, it was a general release before selling out.
17. Team USA
We all remember when Young was snubbed by Team USA for *checks notes* Keldon Johnson. I won't speculate as to why Young was omitted from the roster, but it was definitely nasty of the organization. Anyways, Adidas had ready a fire colorway ready to go - and I'm sure the Nike-sponsored team would have loved for these bad boys to be on full display for the world to see.
Young can't be held down, that's why he was back in the All-Star Game as a starter this season. Even better, he let his little brother Tim design a special PE. That young man is talented!
15. SO SO DEF ATL
One of the launch colorways, Young’s Inspiration: “This colorway is a shoutout and reference to a famous billboard in Atlanta that lets every passerby know who ran the town. On this one, the SO SO DEF logo is printed on the heel and in the sockliner with the exact phrase written on the billboard. Crazy ‘pop’ colors with the yellow and red throughout.”
Way back on Media Day in September of 2021, I asked Young if he and Adidas had any Oklahoma-inspired colorways planned. Young smiled and said, "We have a lot of exciting stuff coming up." He wasn't lying. See his tweet from last week below:
13. Hawks GR
I fully expected this Hawks colorway to be a PE that would never reach shelves. I was wrong, Adidas released it on April 24. The colors used lend themselves to every one of the Hawks uniforms, so you can't go wrong if you decide to buy a pair.
Another colorway that has not yet been released. Trae Young was a McDonald's High School All-American, and this year is the 45th anniversary for the prestigious team (hence the 45 on the shrowd). Let's hope these see the light of day.
11. SO SO DEF
One of the launch colorways, Trae’s Inspiration: “A part of my official collaboration with SO SO DEF, this colorway celebrates one of the most iconic record labels to ever come out of Atlanta. SO SO DEF runs deep in the culture of southern hip-hop and we wanted to pay our respects to Jermaine Dupri for the groundwork he laid in the city to be what it is in the music scene today."
Young wore camouflage against the Brooklyn Nets on April 2. The Hawks won 122-115, thanks to Young's 36 points and 10 assists. He also wore them again in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Playoffs against the Miami Heat.
This colorway is bitter-sweet. Young wasn't able to play against New York Knicks on Christmas Day in Madison Square Garden because of Covid. However, his brate Bogdan Bogdanovic wore the PE for him. Fun fact, there's another version of this colorway out there (Adidas holler at your boy).
Young debuted the bright colorway in Los Angeles on January 7. The Hawks lost 134-118 to the Lakers, but Young dropped 25 points, 14 assists, and 9 rebounds. Unfortunately, we didn't see this PE much after.
I'm calling this colorway fire because that's the best I can come up with. Despite his nickname being 'Ice Trae', these shoes are absolute flames. Again, they haven't been released which is too bad because they would be perfect for summer.
6. ICEE Cotton Candy
One of the launch colorways, Trae’s Inspiration: “Another colorway drop from the ICEE collab is Cotton Candy. One of my favorite sweets growing up was cotton candy. I stayed with the cotton candy ICEE in my cup. The color fade from blue to pink on the upper is so hard and the insoles themselves come with the opposite color fades as well.”
The first colorway to drop, Trae’s Inspiration: “The first colorway in the collection is my official collaboration with ICEE, one of my favorite drinks growing up. I remember as a kid every day after school we would pick one up on the way home or after practice.”
4. Black History Month
Let us not forget, that Young was named one of the 50 Most Influential Black Figures in Sports. It should come as no surprise that Young and Adidas created a special colorway celebrating Black History Month. The 'Three Stripes' and their signature athlete used the colors; 'Black, College Purple, and Solar Orange' to make a shoe as bold as Young's persona. Without a doubt, my favorite part of the design is what's printed on the insole - 'Honoring Black Excellence.
3. Black Olympics PE
Adidas came out of the gates strong with the earliest colorways of this shoe. This PE featured a black upper, with a multi-color outsole that paid tribute to the 1996 Summer Olympics held in Atlanta.
Without a doubt, the prettiest colorway of the shoe. The all-white outsole with the tie-dye upper and teal laces *chef's kiss*. I need three pairs for casual, formal, and business events. Young wore this colorway three times by my count.
1 (Tied). Olympics
In my best Lee Corso voice, "Not so fast my friend". We actually have a tie for the top spot. Adidas went nuts with this colorway inspired by the 1996 Summer Olympics held in Atlanta.
This is easily the most popular colorway among fans located in Atlanta. I don't know why Adidas never released it - perhaps it was a copyright issue? I hear the Olympics are rather litigious. Regardless, we all knew the Adidas Trae Young 1 was going to be special when we saw this literally perfect colorway.
1 (Tied). Peach
Let's end where it all began. On May 23, 2021, Young debuts the very first colorway of his signature sneaker line. Everything from the storytelling to the colors used was perfect. Young also wore the 'Peach' colorway during Game 5 in 'The Big Apple' where he bowed to the crowd after eliminating the Knicks. It doesn't get any more #TrueToAtlanta than that.
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