What size shoe does Kareem Abdul Jabbar wear? | Experts Guide

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Kareem Abdul Jabbar is a legendary American basketball player who stands tall at 7 ft 2 inch (2.18 meters) and was born on April 16, 1947, in New York, US. He dominated the game throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, winning six NBA Most Valuable Player awards and being named an NBA All-Star 19 times. 

Despite his impressive accomplishments on the court, fans are curious about various aspects of his life, including his birth name (Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor), his basketball jersey number (#33), and why he wore goggles while playing. However, one question that intrigues fans and sneaker enthusiasts is: “What size shoe does Kareem Abdul Jabbar wear?” 

In this article, we’ll explore this topic in-depth and shed some light on the footwear of this iconic athlete.

Key Takeaways:

A legend with Biggest feet! Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, a towering 7’2″ center for the Lakers, wore a colossal size 17 shoe throughout his career. That’s a US size 17 for men’s footwear!

The journey of greatness


Kareem Abdul Jabbar is undoubtedly considered the greatest player who has ever graced the history of basketball, with a winning reputation at every level of the sport. He became famous after an incredible  71 consecutive High School basketball game wins After that, he moved to UCLA  and won three championship titles. 

Kareem was offered $1 million to play for Harlem Globetrotters but he preferred to start his professional career with Bucks in 1969. He was renowned for his signature move, “skyhook,” throughout his 20-year career span and still holds the all-time NBA records for points (38,387), minutes played (57,446), and all-star game selection.

Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s shoe collection


Kareem is not only renowned for his signature shot but also for his signature Adidas Jabbar shoe, which hit the market in 1971 and was the first ever NBA-endorsed basketball shoe. The iconic three-strip silhouette on shoes became a trademark of Kareem’s style for over three decades. Adidas Kareem remained the first must-have signature shoe in the NBA long before “Airness” in 1985. 

The Adidas Abdul Jabbar shoe is an iconic product that reflects Abdul Jabbar’s influence on basketball. This collaboration is a significant part of basketball and sneaker culture. It’s highly sought by collectors and enthusiasts, even after his retirement.

What size shoe does Kareem Abdul Jabbar wear?


With such a towering presence, you might be curious to know what size shoe Kareem Abdul Jabbar wears. The answer is 17, which is quite large, but not as large as some other tall basketball players.

Kareem Abdul Jabbar wore Adidas shoes throughout his career and even had his signature model, the Adidas Jabbar, which was released in 1971. The Adidas Jabbar was a high-top shoe with a rubber toe cap and a skyhook logo on the side, inspired by Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s signature shot.

Finding shoes that fit his size was not always easy for Kareem Abdul Jabbar, especially when he was growing up. He once said, when I was in high school, I wore a size 13 shoe. Then, when I went to college, I wore a 14. Then, when I went to the DANNY MANNING: Clippers, 6-10″, I wore size 15 shoes. Then, I went to BENOIT BENJAMIN: Clippers, 7 feet, shoe size 16 US. When, I retired from the Lakers, standing at 7-2″, my footwear size was US 17.

So, I had a hard time finding shoes.” He also said that he had to order his shoes from a special catalog and that he often wore the same pair for a whole season.

Kareem Abdul Jabbar is not the only tall athlete who faces challenges when it comes to finding shoes. Many tall athletes have to deal with limited options, high prices, and poor quality when it comes to footwear. Some even have to resort to custom-made shoes, which can be very expensive and time-consuming.

Finding shoes that fit well is not only a matter of comfort but also of performance and health. Shoes that are too big or too small can cause blisters, injuries, and pain.

Table of Kareem Abdul Jabbar Shoe Size

Japan31 cm
Australia (AU)18

Specialized footwear

Adidas superstars were specific game-worn shoes and duels signed by Kareem Abdul Jabbar by ballpoint pen at the lateral side of each shoe during his championship-winning 1779–1980 season with the Los Angeles Lakers. He was the first basketball player to be contracted by Adidas and the collection was “Kareem’s SkyHook Shoes’’ due to his impressive trademark shot. 

For those who are interested in what shoes Kareem Abdul Jabbar wore?, Kareem preferred a low-cut silhouette of shoes to keep his ankles strong and reduce shock absorption to his knees because of the rubber cap design; this style is referred to as “Shell Toes“.

Impact on sneaker culture

Adidas launched the “Evolution of Excellence” collection to honor Kareem’s basketball career on February 7, 2023. The collection comprised three pairs of Adidas Forum sneakers, each commemorating a significant moment in his career. For each design, only 33 pairs of shoes were produced as a nod to his jersey number 33.

Fun Fact: Shoe Sizes of Other Tall Basketball Players

Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s shoe size of 16 is large, but not the largest in basketball history. There have been many other tall basketball players who have worn bigger shoes than him. Here are some examples:

1. Shaquille O’Neal:

The 7’1″ center, who played for six teams in the NBA, including the Lakers and the Heat, wears a size 22 shoe. He once said, “I can never find shoes, but I’ve been blessed with my foot size. It’s helped me to have a great career.

2. Yao Ming:

The 7’6″ center, who played for the Houston Rockets and the Chinese national team, wears a size 18 shoe. One time he said, “When I was young, I had a hard time finding shoes. I had to wear sandals made out of tires


Kareem Abdul Jabbar is famous for his signature basketball shot, and the Adidas Jabbar shoe collection was released in 1971 and ranked as the NBA’s first endorsed basketball shoe. As for the query, what shoe size does Kareem himself wear? Because of his tall height, he usually wears 17 US-size shoes, but it varies according to model and brand.


Did Kareem Adidas?

The specific game-worn and dual-signed Adidas Superstars were worn by Kareem Abdul Jabbar during his 1979-1980 season with the Los Angeles Lakers, in which Kareem Abdul Jabbar secured his sixth MVP win alongside with NBA championship title.

What basketball shoes did Kareem wear?

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s Adidas Jabbar shoe, released in 1971, was the first basketball shoe endorsed by the NBA. The iconic three-stripe silhouette has remained a staple in Kareem’s legacy, alongside his signature skyhook shot.

Is Kareem Abdul Jabbar sponsored by Adidas?

He was the first basketball player contracted by Adidas.

Why did Kareem wear goggles?

He started wearing goggles to prevent any potential damage to his corneas.

What age did Kareem Abdul Jabbar retire?

Kareem Abdul Jabbar retired on April 22, 1989, at the age of 42 after playing his regular season game.

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