In a hurry? My current top recommendation for the best basketball shoes is the Air Jordan 36.
Having the right pair of basketball shoes can make a whole world difference.
With so many options available, choosing the best basketball shoes for your needs can be overwhelming and challenging.
Whether you’re just an amateur or a professional basketball player, having the right shoes can greatly impact your gameplay and overall performance in any given game.
I’ll list my top 15 best basketball shoes in this guide. I’ve also added some factors to consider when choosing the best basketball shoes. Check out my comprehensive review below.
- Air Jordan 36
- Nike Kyrie Infinity
- Nike Giannis Immortality 2
- Nike KD 15
- Nike LeBron 20
- Jordan Luka 1
- Nike PG 5
- Jordan Zion 2
- Nike LeBron 19
- Nike PG 6
- Nike Kyrie Low 5
- Adidas Harden Vol. 4
- Nike Air Zoom GT Cut
- Adidas Dame 8
- Nike Kyrie 7
What Are The 15 Best Basketball Shoes In The Market?
As I’ve mentioned, I was able to check these basketball shoes out and was overly impressed with how well they performed during my tests.
Choosing the best basketball shoe using my list may still be overwhelming for some of you. However, regardless of your choice, you will have a good game if you pick one of my top options below.
- Forefoot energy-returning forefoot zoom air unit
- Full-length Zoom Air Strobel unit
- Flexible tongue
The Air Jordan 36 remains the latest trend, and solid performer Jordan picks and brands where the last 2 models left off. The full-length zoom air was felt from the inside.
The traction pattern is undeniably phenomenal, reminding me of my other performance shoe that I used to play outdoors on clean or dusty courts.
Many would agree that the cushioning of this basketball shoe performs amazingly well. However, many would agree that this Air Jordan unit protruding from its outsole will not be necessary.
As one of the latest signature shoes in the lineup, the Air Jordan 36 offers high-quality, on-court performance basketball shoes.
- Great traction
- Good for any playing styles
- Durable materials
- Fit is narrow and snug
- Outsole is a bit unsteady
- Phylon Midsole
- U-shaped Zoom Unit
- Zoom Strobel Unit
Kyrie Irving’s line may have ended, but the Kyrie Infinity signature shoe comes with a loud bang.
The Nike Kyrie Infinity is one of the best basketball shoes that is a good pick for athletes with the same play style as Kyrie Irving – much more in do-or-die games.
However, this pair should not be mistaken for the Kyrie 8. Let us examine the difference between Kyrie 8 and Kyrie Infinity in the video below.
Kyrie Infinity is a great basketball shoe that makes my movements much faster and more precise, making scoring and winning my games much easier.
Indeed it’s one of the basketball shoes I wore that works well for me and never against me, especially since I always appreciate a good court feel.
But if you are one of the shooting guards who does not like break-in time, this basketball shoe may not be the one for you, as this basketball shoe is said to need a little bit of break-in period before hitting the basketball court.
- Best for outdoor play
- Zero break-in time
- Comfortable upper materials
- Materials are not the most premium
- The design is a bit narrow
- Phylon Midsole
- Multidirectional pattern
- Internal Midfoot Strap
The Nike Giannis Immortality 2 basketball shoes are a pleasant surprise for basketball players who are quite shifty and fast on the court.
Many would say that the entire design of this basketball shoe is all about control and speed. Many have experienced its shoe features that are perfect for explosive play styles.
It’s also one of the best-value basketball shoes that can also be worn as runners.
What I like the most about these basketball sneakers is that they will not break the bank. It’s a very affordable signature shoe best worn by basketball players on indoor and outdoor courts.
- Great traction pattern
- Structure is lightweight
- Best worn for outdoor play
- Impact protection isn’t enough
- Quite unstable
4. Nike KD 15
- Nike Strobel Unit
- Mesh Upper
- Nubuck Heel Counter
Since the KD line releases are always a hit, I tried this KD 15 signature sneaker.
This shoe is one of the best basketball shoes, in my opinion, as it energizes every step while protecting my feet from hard landings and big strikes.
Dusty courts will never be an issue, as this basketball sneaker’s grip is consistent, even on dirty floors of indoor courts. It can rival the traction of Nike Cosmic Unity in every way.
I also like that its collar is not that high, but its curved heel design easily locks in your foot.
Overall, the KD 15 Nike basketball shoes are designed with lots of careful thought that was put into their structure. It is one of my greatest picks that Nike offers.
- Comfortable and bouncy midsole
- The outsole is dust resistant
- It feels light and well-ventilated
- Not for wide feet
- Not recommended for outdoor courts
- Forefoot and Shank Zoom Air Units
- Carbon Fiber Midfoot Shank
- Larger Zoom Air Unit
The Nike LeBron 20 basketball shoes now look more toned down. That is why it’s quite different from the Nike Lebron basketball shoes.
Fortunately, basketball players note this performance basketball shoe to be as big as ever. It’s recommended for bigger players who prefer a lot of cushioning.
It’s one of the best basketball shoes that serves the needs of players who want their shoes to have a lot of impact protection. The same goes for athletes who want to improve their agility and playing style.
Overall, I am very impressed at how this basketball shoe has the looks and features for off-the-court actions.
- Great traction
- Looks stylish
- Comfortable upper materials
- Not ideal for the outdoors
- It needs some break-in time
- Formula 23 Cushioning System
- Translucent Outer Sole
- Upper FlightWire Wraps
This basketball shoe is from another Jordan brand and is known as Luka Dončić’s best shoes.
This pair of well-made white basketball shoes was extremely anticipated by fans globally, as this Jordan brand never disappoints when making the wearer more agile on the court.
I believe this shoe is fueling each step and every jump with its infused technologies. Basketball point guards like Luka always commend this basketball shoe.
I find these basketball shoes very useful when playing on indoor courts. Many also find basketball shoes like Jordan Luka 1 to be very affordable.
I can only advise you not to wear these good basketball shoes outdoors. The Nike Cosmic Unity is a way better option than outdoor playing basketball shoes.
- Very good impact protection
- Energy return is amazing
- Zero break-in time
- Materials may not be of the best quality
- Only ideal for indoor court
7. Nike PG 5
- Full-length Phylon Midsole
- Full-length Nike Air Dot Weld Strobel
- Multi-directional Tread Pattern
The Nike PG 5 is one of the best Nike basketball shoes, as it offers me a solid platform for jumping. It is also an excellent shoe for its price.
It’s a highly-cushioned performance basketball shoe that will remain excellent for power forwards who prefer to remain in the lane or on the block.
Indeed the Nike PG 5 comes off exactly as it’s being advertised. It’s a basketball shoe that sticks and gives a pleasant court feel while I move very well in transition.
Aside from its pleasing look, I find this basketball shoe a great value for my money because it does a nice job as it’s a solid performer, especially for those dealing with foot or ankle injuries.
- Superb traction pattern
- Price is reasonable
- They can be worn as casual basketball sneakers
- Not that flexible
- Brands fit differently
- Zoom Air Cushioning
- Nike Air-Sole Unit
- Leather Upper
This shoe is the second-best basketball shoe of Zion Williamson, and it’s a responsive shoe that is built for fast-action players like him.
Unlike any other shoe, the entire structure and design of the Nike Jordan Zion 2 come with so much force and high levels of court aggression.
These basketball kicks are about determined sprints, violent offenses, and power cuts. In other words, these good basketball shoes can be a good match for aggressive players.
However, wearers with wide feet will NOT find this ideal, as it’s only recommended for those narrow to normal-sized and will not have to size up.to half a size.
- Strong grip and no heel slippage
- Pronounced court feel
- It comes with a breathable mesh material
- Not ideal for dusty courts
- Lacks impact protection
- Dual-Chambered Air Max Unit
- Forefoot Zoom Unit
- Cushioned Midsole
Something is missing when the superstar gives up on these basketball shoes. LeBron James hasn’t been wearing the Nike LeBron 19s in his games lately, yet it must be for good measure.
Those who love cushioning are better off with these basketball shoes. The Nike LeBron 19 is better for heavier players who prefer to have a lot of impact protection.
And if you have the money for such luxury – why look for any other shoe? The Nike LeBron 19 is a premium shoe that will never disappoint you.
- Superior and dependable ankle support
- Nice fit and highly responsive shoes
- Good basketball shoe despite the price
- The amount of cushioning is great
- Quite heavy to wear
10. Nike PG 6
- Full-length Nike React Foam Midsole
- Forefoot straps
- Mesh upper
Another best basketball shoe that is versatile enough to deliver comfort and support is the Nike PG 6.
I consider this one of the best basketball shoes as it gives a lot of stability and support, especially in the court feel, because of its strong grip features to avoid heel slippage.
It even gives players their much-needed energy for jumping. Because this basketball shoe looks stylish, I can perform vertical movements and other playing styles I want to try on the court.
It’s also the best basketball shoe for wearers with wide feet, and since it’s a low-top shoe, it makes it a suitable best shoe for my everyday wear.
- Very good stability features
- Stylish and elegant
- It feels light to wear
- Amazing impact protection
- It needs break-in
- Breathability is compromised
11. Nike Kyrie Low 5
- Full-length Phylon Midsole
- Forefoot Zoom Air Units
- Nike Air Zoom Unit
If you prefer low-top basketball shoes that don’t break the bank, I’d highly recommend the Nike Kyrie 5 Low.
One of its best features is its traction and amazing lateral containment. This signature shoe almost felt like a running shoe when I tested these.
These are simply remarkable. It’s comfortable on my feet and doesn’t slide too often when I go for sudden stops and change directions. The shoes feel very premium as well.
Being a fan of low-top basketball shoes should give you plenty of optimism as there are still plenty of them on the market today overperforming their counterparts. Great shoes, indeed.
- Amazing traction
- Balanced cushioning
- Great lateral containment
- Lots of colorways
- Aesthetically-pleasing design
- Not for wide footers
- Not a lot of ankle support
- LightStrike cushioning system
- Unique Lacing System
- Mixed-Media Upper
The Adidas Harden Vol. 4 is one of the most popular basketball shoes of James Harden’s many signature sneakers.
Despite its odd appearance, I was surprised it performed well over my standards. It has great traction, and the fit is just right. I haven’t encountered any heel slippage or discomfort while wearing these.
Also, the shoe features Adidas Boost technology, which is missing out on this one, so I felt slightly stiff on the midfoot section. Still, traction is the selling point of this one.
I can safely say this is the best basketball shoe of James Harden in terms of traction and comfort. It also has a lot of colorways to choose from, which is a bonus already.
Overall, the Adidas Harden Vol. 4 was great in many ways. They are aesthetically pleasing and should last you longer than expected.
- Insane traction
- Great for guards
- Amazing all-around performance
- Lots of colorways available
- The toe box is slightly roomier
- It wasn’t infused with the Adidas Boost Technology
- Rubber Sole
- Full-length Air Zoom strobe
- Heel Zoom Air Unit
If you are all about speed, I want you to look at the Nike Air Zoom GT Cut and see how insanely lightweight and responsive this shoe is.
Like the Adidas harden Vol. 4, the Nike Air Zoom GT Cut has insane traction. The low-top design combined with lightweight materials almost feels like walking on air.
In addition, right from the moment I could take hold of these, I can safely say this basketball shoe is made of premium materials. It feels comfortable on the feet.
The cushioning is decent, and the impact protection is more than satisfying. It fits true-to-size and is quite a narrow fit. For wide-footers, I recommend sizing up if you want these bad boys.
- Incredibly lightweight
- Amazing performance
- Bites on any court
- Great for narrow-footers
- Not the best for wide-footers
14. Adidas Dame 8
- Thunderbolt Traction Pattern
- Bounce Pro Technology
- Achilles Bootie
The Adidas Dame 8 is Damian Lillard’s 8th signature sneaker from Adidas. As they say, it was one of the best-performing signature sneakers in 2022.
Upon testing these, I was greatly impressed with how quickly I could slide my foot into the shoes. During my quick runs, these felt comfortable and had an added bounciness to them.
This shoe also featured Adidas’ new cushioning technology, the Bounce Pro, which is why I can feel some bounciness.
The Adidas Dame 8 passed with flying colors for me. It’s great on the feet, performs more than average, and doesn’t cost that much to get an affordable signature sneaker.
One of the only drawbacks I experienced with this shoe is its traction. It attracts a lot of dust and needs constant wiping to ensure it won’t slide.
- Premium materials used
- Good cushioning and comfort
- Decent support around the ankle area
- Great design
- Infused with Bounce Pro technology
- Inconsistent traction
- Not great for the outdoors
15. Nike Kyrie 7
- Air Zoom Turbo Unit
- Mesh Upper
- Phylon Midsole
Kyrie’s signature lines have become one of the most popular ones because of how they look and how well they perform, regardless of the court you play in.
The Kyrie 7 is by no means a slouch. These feel close to the ground and feel very responsive. During my sudden tops and changes in directions, they were insane.
I have worn them during most games, and they have yet to falter. Kyrie Lines are the more affordable options than KDs and LeBrons but are still respectable despite the price difference.
These are great for guards who rely on quickness and agility to get by defenders.
- Decent impact protection
- Incredible traction
- Great for guards
- Extremely responsive
- Lots of colorways
- Subpar materials used
- It needs more break-in period
What Are The Materials That The Best Basketball Shoe Should Have?
A shoe’s upper material is often made from a lot of things. It can add to a basketball shoe’s overall durability, breathability, and performance.
To get to know more about these materials, I have listed five of the most used materials in basketball shoes.
Most performance shoes use genuine leather as their selling point. While they are known for their durability, this material is a little bit on the heavier end.
Uppers made of genuine leather also offer breathability, despite most people saying otherwise. Like rubber, they can stretch too, which is a good thing to reduce break-in time while still providing comfort.
For example, basketball shoes having genuine leather are the PG 5s and Air Jordan 5s, to name a few.
They may have similarities with genuine leather, but synthetic leathers are made from man-made materials.
What sets them apart from genuine leather is that they are more breathable but less durable. Still, they are durable by any means.
For runners and players who often experience sweating in their feet, you’d find a shoe made with synthetic leather materials to be more breathable and offer plenty of ventilation.
Patent leather may be less favorable than genuine and patent leather, but what they can do is offer durability at a more affordable price.
Mesh is another popular type of material used when making shoes. They are either constructed from polyester or nylon materials.
Mesh and knit uppers are often used interchangeably, but that is not the case, as they have different features. The only problem with mesh materials is they aren’t water-resistant.
Despite not being water-resistant, they are still machine-washable and offer breathability and performance at a more affordable price.
There’s no denying that textile materials are easily one of the most used materials when making basketball shoes. It’s their versatility that makes them a favorite among shoe designers.
It’s easy to spot a basketball shoe with textile materials, as they are often in combination with wool, cotton, and nylon materials.
What makes them popular is they can easily be integrated into different kinds of styles and designs. It’s not outperforming genuine leather by any means, but it has a good balance of durability and breathability.
Knitted materials are often used in shoes today because they offer added durability and lightweight to any shoe.
One of the first few ones to further utilize this feature is running shoes. It didn’t take long before they were incorporated into performance basketball shoes.
In addition, knitted materials offer breathability and comfort. It doesn’t put up too much strain on your feet when playing for long stretches.
The only problem with knitted materials is that they are not as durable as some used today.
What Are The Factors To Consider When Getting Good Basketball Shoes?
Choosing the best shoes is not all about the look or the glitz & glam.
If you want to elevate your performance to the next level, I suggest you consider these things when getting the best basketball shoes for you.
How can you afford to buy one if you don’t have the money? Cost is one of the major things you need to consider, as flexibility will play an important role in providing you with the best options.
I mean you don’t have to afford everything just to get the right pair of basketball shoes. This factor only tells you how vast the options are if your budget is limitless.
For people on a budget, there’s always that pair of shoes that will be right for you, and it’s just a matter of exhausting your resources to get the right one.
Setting a budget can be hard, but it will be more than enough if you are fortunate enough to work within your means.
There are plenty of brands available, but most of them won’t break the bank as much as expensive ones do.
One of the major factors to consider when choosing the right pair for you is the upper. It’s the height of the shoes. They are commonly known as high, mid, and low tops.
- High-top basketball shoes provide plenty of ankle support; the only downside is they’re much heavier. Power forwards and centers are often the primary benefactors of this type of upper to ease the strain on their ankles. The higher the shoe sits on your ankle, the better support.
- Mid-top basketball shoes offer somewhat better support around the ankle area than low tops but not to the extent of high tops. However, they are more flexible and are great for multi-positional players.
- Low-top basketball shoes offer little to no support around the ankle area. But they make up for it with lightweight features that are great if you play with speed and agility.
If you want a shoe designed for your game, you might want to consider these three options on which one to choose.
Consider Your Playing Style
While the looks of a basketball shoe can easily entice you, it is suggested to consider a few things. Your position, playing style, and any history of injury, you all have to take these into account.
- Guards – they are the primary ball handler for any team. Guards are also one of the fastest players on the team, so I recommend using low-top shoes for an added boost in speed and agility.
- Centers and Power Forwards – these players are often at the bottom of the rim, jockeying up for positions, getting rebounds, and jumping to block shots. I highly recommend high tops with plenty of cushioning for added shock absorption due to constant jumping up and down.
- Small Forwards and Versatile Players – these are the ones that do not only play a single position. They can be a mix of both, a speedy guard with a height of a center or anything in between.
These players are also one of the most athletic ones on the team. Mid-tops are best suited for these players as it hits the sweet spot of support, performance, and cushioning.
Choosing the Right Fit
Almost all basketball shoes can be ordered online, so heading out to your local sneaker shop and trying a pair of new basketball shoes is already a thing of the past.
The only problem is, if you aren’t trying a basketball shoe for yourself, then having the right fit can become a problem than you might think.
One of the reasons is that brands have different sizing schemes. The likes of Adidas, Nike, New Balance, Puma, and other basketball shoe brands, have their unique way of fitting their shoes.
So, whenever you plan on buying a basketball shoe, I suggest heading out to your local sneaker shop and trying it yourself.
And if the shoe fits according to your preference, then you can either buy it directly or order it online if you have vouchers that can save you a few bucks.
Having the right fit can do wonders for you and your gameplay. So, be sure to always try it out first before cashing them in.
Remember, your basketball shoes aren’t meant to be played in basketball games alone. They are also meant to be played during pickup games, practice games, shootarounds, and many more.
That being said, you’d want a basketball shoe that can last you for an extended period of time. At the very least, your basketball shoes will endure months, if not years, of constant back and forth on the court.
The material you choose can play an important role in your shoe’s longevity. Some of the most common shoe materials are canvas, synthetic leather, mesh, etc.
Perhaps, one of the best choices is to choose synthetic leather. These are notable for how crazy and durable they are and can last you for years, depending on your use.
In addition, they are lightweight, which is ideal for players who rely on their speed and athleticism to blow by their defenders.
Traction is all that matters. It is the name of the game. As you might already know, basketball involves a lot of sudden stops, changes in direction, and constant jumping.
You’d want a basketball shoe that bites on any surface. When your shoe has great traction, you also reduce the risk of slippage that may result in a freak accident.
One of the most popular traction patterns is herringbone traction. These are incredibly great, no matter where you play them. The only problem is it is not featured in most basketball shoes today.
However, don’t let your hopes down; there are still plenty of patterns to choose from. Like I have said, trying them out and getting a good feel of the shoes’ traction can do wonders for you in the long run.
Your shoes should be supportive enough to carry your weight while keeping your feet performing optimally.
A shoe offering plenty of support can prevent strain, sprains, and other injuries. A great quality shouldn’t give you a hard time when running up and down the floor.
Also, a shoe offering plenty of support should leave your worries behind.
Why? It is because the only time you should be conscious about the movement of your feet is on defense and not on whether it can support you during these game stretches.
Like traction, comfort is also the name of the game when it comes to the best basketball shoes.
Nobody likes to play wearing uncomfortable shoes, right? You’d want something that allows you to play your best without your feet hurting during an entire game.
Fortunately, various technologies are made by different brands to make a player’s life comfortable when playing the game.
If you’re on the hunt for some shoes with amazing comfort, look into shoes that say, “Adidas Boost,” “Nike React,” or “Nike Zoom Air Unit.”
These patented technologies made by these top two brands changed the game. They are great features as they are notable for providing amazing cushioning, responsiveness, and on-court feel.
There is a wide variety of materials used by different brands worldwide. These materials are known to be durable from traditional nubuck leather, synthetic mesh, Adidas PrimeKnit, or Nike FlyKnit.
Why are materials important to consider? This is because cheaper materials tend to start stiffer and require you to break the shoe for a few games to remove this stiffness.
High-tech materials and innovative technologies don’t need to be broken often as they are already accustomed to the player’s feet. These shoes are already comfortable and playable from the beginning.
The rubber compound is another factor you might want to consider, but it depends on the areas where you often play. For example, soft rubbers are often best used indoors but attract a lot of dust.
On the other hand, harder rubber tends to be stiff on hard courts but offers added durability, which is great if you play more often.
It is highly recommended to opt for a solid rubber outer sole, they might not look pleasing to you, but their performance and longevity will be the determining factors.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
If you have additional questions regarding basketball shoes, you might find some answers in the FAQs I’ve listed below.
What Shoes Do Most NBA Players Wear?
If you’re asking what type of basketball players these NBA players are, then there’s no conclusive answer. However, I have noticed that most sneakers’ designs today are built around low-tops.
I feel that NBA players invest more in lightweight sneakers to aid their speed and agility, as basketball involves much running and jumping down the court.
But if you’re asking for shoe brands, 66% of NBA players use Nike basketball shoes; Adidas comes in second, while Jordan, New Balance, and Puma follow.
New Balance, Under Armour, Anta, and Li-Ning are upcoming brands making a name for themselves in providing high-quality sneakers on the market today.
What Type of Sneakers Is Best for Basketball?
It’s just a matter of personal preference if you ask me. Some players like low-tops despite playing forward and center positions, whereas some point guards prefer high-tops.
It’s just a matter of personal preference and feelings for the shoes. If you feel the shoes can elevate your gameplay, go for it.
I often recommend my friends and family members not go for looks. Instead, I suggest they consider performance the overall deciding factor when choosing the best basketball shoes for them.
How Do Basketball Shoes Differ From Other Sports Shoes?
Basketball involves a lot of running, jumping, sudden directional changes, and many more. As a result, these shoes are particularly made for this matter.
Tennis shoes are built differently. For one, they are often made low-top versions because tennis players need that feature for lateral movements and containment.
Soccer shoes are built for grass, so they have spikes to provide a grip on the soil. Studs are often the difference between basketball and soccer shoes.
Essentially, each type of shoe depends on how they are used, and most designers take it from there to ensure they can provide the right shoe for the intended purpose.
How Much Space Should Be at the End of a Basketball Shoe?
Leave plenty of space wherein you are comfortable the most. Most players leave half an inch to allow their toes to wiggle in.
You’d want to leave an inch at most to ensure your toes won’t feel too restricted or cramped up, which can lead to discomfort and affect your overall gameplay.
The Awesome Choices
If you are still struggling to choose the best basketball shoes, I already have my top 3 picks to make your life easier. Check it out.
Going on a tight budget has never been this good. The Nike Giannis Immortality 2 has every hooper’s dream come to life, as this shoe is amazing.
It has great lateral lockdown, amazing traction, and performs extremely well even on dusty courts. Still, with a very affordable price, the Nike Giannis Immortality 2 wins in an incredible fashion.
The Nike Kyrie Infinity is one of the best performance basketball shoes on the planet at a more affordable price. It performs on par with some of the best basketball shoes today.
It has tremendous ankle support and impressive traction, and the price is slightly lower than the Air Jordan shoes, KDs, and LeBron lines. Overall, great price for its performance.
The best overall basketball shoe on my list is the Jordan 36. It’s one of the best high-top basketball shoes on the market today and its performance and stability rank highly on the upper echelon.
It has a great on-court feel, and the responsiveness from sudden stops can be felt inside. It’s well-ventilated, and I haven’t encountered any problems since I tested this amazing shoe.
Without a doubt, choosing the best basketball shoe for your needs can be a little bit challenging and overwhelming from the start.
However, with the list of the best basketball shoes, I can safely say you can perform at a high level regardless of which basketball shoe you choose.
At the end of the day, what type of shoes you pick depends on several factors. What’s important is to consider many things to get the best shoe for the job.