5 Best Cheap Basketball Shoes In 2021

No time to read? If you quickly want to know my recommendation for the best budget basketball shoes, then go for Li-Ning Wade All Day Series.

With inflation creeping up over the years, how do we find the best budget basketball shoes without compromising quality and performance? I keep getting this question from the basketball community especially in our current economic environment. Fortunately for us, the basketball shoe market is not lacking in supply. This is the reason why I have decided to carefully research this topic so you can get hold of good quality basketball shoes without spending a lot of money. Budget is very subjective and for the purpose of this review, I will be looking at basketball shoes that are priced at around $100.

In this article, I will be reviewing the following best budget basketball shoes:

Price-Quality Ratio

As a budget conscious consumer, I always compare the prices of different products against the listed features. This exercise provides me with detailed and comprehensive information to make an informed decision based on my cost-benefit analysis. I apply this method whenever I purchase a new pair of basketball shoes.

Branding is the first thing that we have to consider. Lesser known brands will likely have lower marketing and administrative costs. These savings will then get passed on to consumers like us. While it appears like an obvious decision, lesser known brands come with the risk of potentially having lower quality control measures. Thorough market research coupled with reviewing other buyers’ feedback will give us a sense of the quality of the basketball shoes that we are about to purchase.

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Different brands will have different patented technologies that will benefit your on court performance. This is something that budget conscious consumers like us have to always keep in mind. Advanced technology improves quality of material which in turn will give you enhanced comfort and improved stability. This is an important aspect as getting your shoes ripped easily will cost you more money down the road. Shoe stability and traction is another major factor to consider. With budget basketball shoes, the quality of the outsole could potentially be compromised so we have to diligently analyze the tread pattern and rubber components which could affect the grip and traction of your shoes.

I will review each of the basketball shoe components from the upper to the midsole and all the way down to the outsole and its tread pattern. This is to make sure that you are getting your money’s worth and, at the same time, have the peace of mind that your shoes will support you during intense moments of the game.

Durability And Longevity

Cost per wear is the ultimate indicator if you have indeed purchased the best cheap budget basketball shoes. A pair of basketball shoes that costs $100 which you wear for 100 times is cheaper than a pair of $50 basketball shoes that you can only use for 10 games. The cost per wear of the $100 shoes is $1 while you will end up paying five times more for the $50 pair. This calculation is a crucial deciding factor which is often neglected when you solely look at the price tag when buying online.

The overall basketball shoe construction affects durability. Mesh and synthetic uppers are generally more durable but I will examine each of the material in order to narrow down the best options for you. Midsole technologies that provide superior comfort and protection are available in the $100 price range. Thick and strong rubber outsoles are a must for durability. The outsole tread patterns will also affect how quickly your shoes wear out. The traditional herringbone pattern is generally what you have to look for. However, the different unique patterns that have emerged in recent years are a good substitute if not better in terms of traction and grip.

While durability is dependent on the quality of basketball shoes, longevity is largely influenced by how you take care of them. The first advice I can give is to separate your outdoor basketball shoes from the pair that you use for indoor court. This is to keep your indoor basketball shoes away from the elements and to retain its much needed outsole traction when you play on hardwood. You should regularly clean your shoes to prevent them from prematurely deteriorating. This will also prevent mold from developing and causing odor which may warrant you to replace them immediately. Sneaker balls are also very useful. You should toss some of these in your shoes when you are not wearing them to help reduce foot odor. When you are not using your shoes, always store them back in the original box to retain its shape and form.

Performance

I am a firm believer that basketball shoes should enhance your performance regardless of the amount of money that you paid for. With this in mind, I thoroughly scoured the available basketball shoes in the market to come up with a list of the best cheap basketball shoes that can enhance your performance. These basketball shoes have a combination of different characteristics: lightweight, comfortable, and have the right level of shock absorption.

Lightweight shoes are beneficial not only to speedy guards. Big men will appreciate these shoes as they will be able to quickly run down the court to cover the paint on the next ball possession. Comfort is paramount and midsoles that have cushioning which mold to the shape of your feet are what I will be looking for. Outsoles aid in shock absorption and together with the tread pattern, these will give you the stability to finish the game strong without being restricted by your shoes.

5 Best Budget Basketball Shoes

Now that we have discussed the thought process behind the selection criteria, let’s get to the fun part of buying the best cheap budget basketball shoes.

1. Li-Ning Wade All Day Series Basketball Shoes

The Li-Ning Dwyane Wade All Day 4 signature basketball shoes are made of mesh upper which are extremely breathable and comfortable. The mesh upper is composed of a mixture of textile and synthetic materials that makes it stretchable and pliable. The unique patterns on the vamp give the shoes added airflow.

The midsole is made of EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate) which cushions your feet from hard landings. The EVA material helps support your stability by dispersing weight and by absorbing your impact. The midsole has a high level of comfort from heel to toe which gives you a distraction-free fit. The midsole technology is called the Li-Ning Cloud. This new technology provides maximum shock absorption while giving your feet a bouncy comfortable ride. There is no break in period for this pair of Li-Ning basketball shoes as they are soft and comfortable out of the box.

A heel wrap is incorporated to enhance the stability around the sensitive heel area. This provides added support to injury-prone areas. The unique outsole tread patterns provide excellent traction on both indoor and outdoor surfaces. The grip is strengthened by the high amounts of rubber pattern that come in contact with the floor. In terms of aesthetics, the elaborate design exudes a very youthful vibe which will surely catch the attention of the crowd.

Pros

  • Mesh and textile upper is breathable and comfortable
  • Li-Ning cloud midsole for maximum shock absorption
  • Comfortable out of the box
  • Value for money

Cons

  • Wider on the toe box

2. Nike Precision III Basketball Shoes

The Nike Precision III basketball shoes are made of mesh and synthetic upper. These are soft and comfortable enough for long basketball games. This mid top pair is cut quite high and is close to a high top design. The collar is padded and provides solid support around the sensitive ankle area. Both big guys and speedy guards will appreciate the added support that these basketball shoes provide. The foot containment and Achilles support are decent enough to support high impact activities. You will be confident that these shoes will be able to handle your stepback jumpers and spin moves.

The midsole is made of two layers of foam for extra cushioning and shock absorption. It has a snug fit but is not restrictive to your moves. The outsoles are made of thick rubber with a wider base for enhanced stability. Big men who constantly bang bodies under the paint will benefit from the stability that these shoes provide. The multi-directional outsole tread pattern provides good traction. It works well on both hardwood and the blacktop. Although this is suitable for outdoor use, I wouldn’t mind using this pair on an indoor court. Just make sure you don’t mix your indoor basketball shoes with your outdoor ones. Overall, this is a pair of basic Nike basketball shoes that is not fancy but meets all the criteria for a good pair of basketball shoes.

Pros

  • Mesh upper is breathable
  • Double layer midsole
  • Mid to high top cut for added support

Cons

  • Basic design

3. Adidas Dame 6 Basketball Shoes

This pair of Damian Lillard signature shoes are made by Adidas with synthetic materials fused with textile. The softness of the upper is good enough for extended periods of wear. The shoes are lightweight and comfortable. The webbed lacing system will lock your foot to the base of the sole. This will give you the stability that your feet demand during hard landings.

Adidas used Litestrike EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate) for its midsole. This material is light and soft with superior cushioning. The outsoles of the shoes are wider and provide good support and balance. The outsole tread pattern is basically the traditional herringbone style. This pattern has been proven to enhance traction and support your grip on the court. You will notice that the edges of the outsole are rounded. This gives you added protection from increased traction. Quick moves and stop-on-pops will not be an issue with this pair.

Overall, the Adidas Dame 6 has solid features for its price. The outsole base is thick and sturdy. The fit is snug owing to the sock-like internal foam system. Despite its snug fit, your movement will not be constrained. For its price, this is definitely one of the best value for money basketball shoes in the market.

Pros

  • Locked in feel from the webbed lacing system
  • Midsole is made of Litestrike EVA
  • Value for money

Cons

  • Synthetic layered upper may not be as breathable

4. Under Armour SC 3ZER0 III

The Under Armour Stephen Curry signature shoes are made of synthetic leather uppers that are durable, soft, and comfortable. The perforated upper provides breathability and airflow. It comes with a half bootie construction which is a plus in terms of adjustability. This will allow you to achieve a secure fit depending on your comfort level.

The ankle collar is very supportive especially in the heel area. The stability is noticeable due to the enhanced cushioning around the ankle area. The midsole is made of Under Armour’s proprietary Micro G® foam. This technology provides you that extra comfort and responsiveness from hard landings. These basketball shoes have added support features like the internal midfoot shank that could support your foot and can prevent it from accidental rolling. Whether you are a shifty guard or a dominant center who protects the rim, the added support will benefit you during intense moments of the game.

The outsole is made of good quality rubber. Traction is excellent because of the herringbone tread pattern. These shoes can be used on both the hardwood and on outdoor courts. Overall, this is an excellent pair of budget basketball shoes that have checked all the criteria we’ve set out at the beginning.

Pros

  • Soft and durable upper
  • Half bootie construction for adjustability
  • Micro G® foam midsole for superior comfort
  • Value for money

Cons

  • Lacing system is a bit flimsy

5. Adidas D Rose 773 III

These Derrick Rose signature basketball shoes are made of textile and synthetic TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) upper. It is breathable and comfortable with good airflow from the textile material. The midsoles are lightweight with good cushioning. The shoes are lightweight with good cushioning. You will feel your feet mold onto the midsole when you wear it for a few times. It is also quite flexible and you will not feel constricted by the material around the ankle. The midsole exhibits that bouncy feel and you will notice that reduction of impact from hard landings.

The rubber outsoles are thick and wide which provide solid stability and balance. The outsole tread is of the traditional herringbone pattern. Traction is good and works well with both wooden and outdoor courts.

In terms of looks, Adidas has designed this pair to have a modern aesthetics yet retaining some of the classic Adidas appearance. The D Rose logo is prominently displayed on the tongue to showcase the influence of the youngest NBA MVP on this pair of shoes. Looking at all the features of this pair of basketball shoes, I can confidently say that this satisfies all the criteria as one of the best cheap basketball shoes.

Pros

  • Breathable upper
  • Comfortable midsole cushioning when broken in
  • Value for money

Cons

  • May take some to break in

The Awesome Choice

All the five pairs of basketball shoes that I have mentioned above meet the criteria that we have discussed at the start of this review. You will definitely get your money’s worth by buying any of the five pairs above. However, the one that really stands out as the best cheap budget basketball shoes for me is the Li-Ning Wade All Day Series Basketball Shoes.

The mesh and textile uppers are extremely comfortable and breathable. The Li-Ning cloud midsole has superior shock absorption capability. There is no break in period as they are comfortable out of the box. Traction is excellent with the unique multi-direction tread pattern in the outsole. All these great features combined with its price point make it the best value for money basketball shoes that you can buy online today.

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