If you quickly want to know what my pick is for the best basketball shoes for kids, then I’d recommend the Nike Kids KD Trey VII as the best one.
Engaging in team sports like basketball is not only a great and fun form of exercise, it also develops important values like teamwork and collaboration. Whether playing casually with other friends and family members, practicing drills in a basketball camp or playing competitively, the right pair of shoes helps children put their best foot forward.
In this article, I will review the following best basketball shoes for kids and youth:
- Nike Kids Team Hustle D 9
- Adidas Kids Own The Game
- Under Armour Kids Lockdown 5
- Nike Kids KD Trey VII
- Nike Lebron XVII
Why buy basketball shoes for kids?
You should provide your child with the right type of shoes created specifically for the sport that he or she plays. A shoe that is made for basketball will have the required features to support and protect for your child’s feet, ankles, and knees. At the very least, these shoes will help cushion the impact of running and jumping while playing and prevent accidents due to slippage. Some shoes have performance enhancing features such as responsive soles for an added spring to each step or use extremely light materials to prevent weighing the player down.
Aside from protection and support, having a good pair of shoes as part of their overall athletic wear helps with their motivation. This is even more true if the child has a favorite basketball player and is fortunate enough to wear the same pair of shoes that the player wears. This can be a source of inspiration for them.
When should my child start taking serious basketball training?
While a child can start playing basketball as soon as they can run and handle a ball, the recommended age to start training is from age seven. This ensures that the child has sufficiently developed to take on the rigorous training required to keep a positive and healthy basketball experience. This is a recommendation and not a hard and fast rule so feel free to start your child earlier if he or she shows readiness and interest.
Children outgrow shoes quickly so I would advise starting with more economical options if they are not yet participating in basketball training. You can slowly progress into higher priced ones when they start showing more dedication to training and have developed specific style preferences.
What to look for when choosing basketball shoes for kids
When you are shopping for basketball shoes for children, you need to keep in mind the following essential things in order to get the best value for your money:
An outsole with great grip will keep your child from slipping as he or she runs across the court. A shoe with a herringbone pattern is a classic choice for maximum traction. You can also consider similar looking patterns with deeply etched grooves.
The material used for the outsole is also important. Look for something durable to ensure that the shoe does not wear down quickly. It should also be flexible to avoid restricting the foot during heel to toe transition. Rubber is a reliable choice.
The part of the shoe which provides cushioning and support to the foot is the midsole. The midsole should be light but thick enough to cushion the blow on the feet after landing from a jump. Ethylene vinyl acetate or EVA is commonly used by most shoe manufacturers. EVA is lightweight and can absorb impact very well without cracking or breaking. Another material is thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) which provides the same benefits.
The upper is the most visible part of the shoe. Comfort and style are the two key things that you should pay attention to when choosing the upper. Look for an upper in a material that is breathable. Mesh fabric or leather are good choices. This will keep the feet comfortable and prevent moisture accumulation which could be distracting especially during intense games or training.
Style comes next. This is perhaps the subjective part of choosing a shoe and very much depends on taste. I suggest checking with your child if they have preferences in color or look. He or she will get a lot more wear out of the shoe if it comes in a particular style that is appealing to him/her.
- Fit and Closure Type
A well-fitting shoe will add further comfort and stability. The shoe should be secure to your child’s foot but not too tight. Shoes that are held in place by laces are common and are usually the best option for a customized fit. Some shoes would also have velcro straps in addition to shoe laces for further security. A padded heel collar will help keep the heel and ankle comfortably in place.
5 Best Basketball Shoes For Kids
Here are my top five recommendations for best kids’ basketball shoes. I have provided a separate link to the little kids version for those styles that have a different listing for smaller sizes.
This Nike Kids Team Hustle D 9 is a mid top shoe which has a versatile design that works for all basketball positions. This shoe has a rubber outsole with deep circular patterns for traction. The midsole is made of lightweight foam which is responsive and flexible. It will effectively cushion your child’s foot while adding bounce to their movements.
The upper is made from a combination of textile with touches of leather material. The design is both stylish and practical without compromising on breathability. There is substantial padding on the heel and footbed for added comfort.
The shoe is kept secure with full shoe laces for big kids (ages 8 and above) and a combination of elastic laces and velcro for little kids below 8 years old.
The link provided here is for the big kids version. This is the link to the little kids version – Nike Kids Team Hustle D 9 (Little Kids).
- Provides sufficient traction for safety
- Great cushioning and support
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Runs a little narrow so it may require a bit of stretching
- The velcro on the little kids version makes a really loud sound
This is another mid top basketball shoe which is great for any basketball position. The Adidas Kids Own the Game shoe is a small sized version of the adult sneaker with the same name. It is smaller in size but has all the same great features.
This kids version has a Cloudfoam midsole and OrthoLite sockliner. Cloudfoam is an EVA compound developed by Adidas which is soft, plush, lightweight yet sturdy. It gives excellent cushioning, comfort, and support. Ortholite is a great material to keep feet insulated and helps reduce moisture from sweat.
The outsole is made of Adiwear and comes with the traditional herringbone pattern. Adiwear is a non-marking and abrasion resistant rubber used by Adidas for many of its athletic shoes. The herringbone pattern gives superior grip on both outdoor and indoor courts.
The shoe features the signature Adidas three stripes at the sides. The upper is made of a mix of mesh textile and leather for added breathability. A padded collar and lace closure ensures a secure fit on your child’s feet.
This shoe is great value for money and is a good option if your child is just starting out in basketball.
- Superior grip and traction on both indoor and outdoor courts
- Well-padded to absorb impact
- Great support
- Affordable price point
- Sizing can be tricky and tends to run on the larger side due to the wide cut
A full-featured shoe with a great design. This Under Armour Kids Lockdown 5 shoe holds up well with a durable solid rubber outsole. It has deep circular pattern markings extending to the tip of the toes to prevent slippage during quick on-court moves.
EVA material on the midsole provides the cushioning and shock absorbing function while a non-removable anti-odor sockliner (insole) keeps feet dry and minimizes growth of odor-causing organisms. Additional padding on the heel collar and tongue adds to the comfort and keeps the ankle steady.
The use of breathable mesh fabric on the upper and tongue and strategically placed perforations keep the feet well-ventilated. Leather material on the sides of the shoe helps enhance structural integrity and keeps the shoe in shape. The shoe is secured to the foot with shoe laces for both the little kids and big kids version.
The link provided here is for the big kids version. This is the link to the little kids version – Under Armour Kids Lockdown 5 (Little Kids).
- Excellent shock absorption
- Very secure fit with the padded heel collar and tongue
- Great grip and traction
- Tends to run small
These Nike shoes were built for one of NBA’s great scorers and most versatile players, Kevin Durant. These shoes were inspired by his playing style of quick moves and skillful maneuvers.
It features the latest in Nike technology. The midsole is made of lightweight phylon foam offering excellent shock absorption. Zoom Air units in the forefoot provides further cushioning and bounce to add a spring in your child’s step. This shoe is very well-padded for ultimate comfort. It has breathable textile linings, cushioned tongue and collar, and soft-lined insole.
Apart from the use of phylon foam, the upper of the KD Trey VII is made of textile and foam to keep the shoe extremely light. Each shoe weighs less than ten ounces. The shoe is kept secure with a unique hook-and-loop closure lacing system for the big kids (ages 8 and above) and a combination of elastic laces and velcro for little kids below 8 years old.
The Nike Kids KD Trey VII has a durable full-length rubber outsole. It departs from the traditional herringbone pattern and instead features flex grooves which are stylish but doesn’t compromise on traction.
This is a great performance shoe which I would recommend if your child is starting to take basketball more seriously.
The link provided here is for the big kids version. This is the link to the little kids version – Nike Kids KD Trey VII (Little Kids).
- Extremely lightweight
- Very comfortable and padded all-around
- Outstanding cushioning and support
- A bit on the pricey side since this is a step up from the basic shoe
The Nike Lebron XVII was created for the ultimate basketball style and performance. The use of special materials all throughout the shoe make this a striking number, starting with the shoe upper which is made of Knitposite. This is a unique material that combines Nike Flyknit (high strength fibres) with plastic yarns for maximum flexibility and movement without compromising on structure and support. Every shoe has a unique swirl pattern and comes in a variety of colors to match most basketball jerseys.
A cushioned lightweight midsole is further enhanced by the large Max Air unit in the heel and the Zoom Air unit in the forefoot. This combination makes for a great shoe for jumping. It has the responsiveness and bounce to help propel you up and shock absorption to soften your landing when you come down. Do note that the little kids version does not come with the Zoom Air units but still has excellent cushioning from the lightweight foam material for your little baller’s feet. The durable rubber outsole comes with an intricate pattern for exceptional traction.
The link provided here is for the big kids version. This is the link to the little kids version – Nike Lebron XVII (Little Kids). Since the little kids version does not come with the Zoom Air units, I would recommend this more for kids above 8 years of age.
- Knitposite upper is lightweight, flexible, and durable
- Superior cushioning from the Max Air unit in the heel and Zoom Air in the forefoot on the big kids sizes
- Exceptional grip on court surfaces
- Little kids version does not come with Zoom Air units
- A bit on the pricey side since this is a step up from the basic shoe
The Awesome Choice
My choice for the best basketball shoes for kids is the Nike Kids KD Trey VII. This is a fantastic shoe that covers all areas. It provides reliable protection for the feet, thanks to the great cushioning and impact absorption from the lightweight phylon foam. It cocoons your child’s feet with soft padding all over the shoe for the ultimate comfort. The combination of lightness and responsiveness is great for overall performance and movement. The unique and durable outsole will keep the feet stable and prevent slippage. And finally, it comes in a great style that will be a standout in any basketball game. This is a fine shoe for a young baller keen to take their basketball skills to the next level.