No time to read? My choice for the best Nike basketball shoes is the Nike KD 14.
Nike easily comes to my mind if I think of the best basketball shoes on the planet.
They have been the brand that has been making some of the best high-quality sportswear for decades, and the freight train is nowhere stopping.
From sneakers, running shoes, basketball shoes, you name it, they have it all. And if you’re looking for the best Nike basketball shoes on the market, then I’ve got you covered.
In this article, I will review the following best Nike basketball shoes in terms of performance, comfort, quality, and materials used:
- Nike KD 14
- Nike Cosmic Unity
- Nike Zoom Freak 2
- Nike Zoom Freak 3
- Nike Zoom GT Cut
- Nike Kyrie 6
- Nike Kyrie 8 Infinity
- Nike PG 6
The 8 Top Nike Basketball Shoes For Athletes
Here’s my list of the 8 best Nike basketball shoes. Read on as I review each pair of shoes in detail.
1. Nike KD 14 – Best Overall
- Multidirectional traction pattern for better grip on the court
- Full-length zoom Strobel unit for added bounce and cushioning
- Made of lightweight and comfortable materials
The Nike KD 14 is the 14th signature line of Kevin Durant. Like its predecessor, it is a great performing shoe designed for optimal basketball play.
It has a soft and comfortable foam midsole packed with cushioning to ensure it absorbs impact effectively.
The full-length Zoom Air Strobel unit almost feels like you have springs on your legs as it feels bouncier than most Nike basketball shoes created.
Regardless of what type of playing style you have, the Nike KD 15 is for everybody. This low-top shoe is also perfect for indoor and outdoor courts.
- Breathable materials
- Great traction
- Great ankle support
- Extra cushioning for flat-footed players
- Comfortable at the heel section
- Not for wide footers
- Not for dusty courts
2. Nike Cosmic Unity – Best Value
- Features full-length Nike Air Zoom Strobel for added comfort
- Effective herringbone traction pattern
- Zoom Max Air adds lockdown to the heel section
The Nike Cosmic Unity is a great basketball shoe and is by far one of the best-looking Nike basketball sneakers on the market today.
Its herringbone pattern is impressive and performs well on different types of court.
Textiles and thick knit make up the shoe’s structure, making it a fantastic choice for any position player.
The fit is true to its size, so you’ll have no worries if you’re ordering online. Stay true to your size when ordering.
While the full length cushlon midsole on the Nike Cosmic Unity is quite beefy, it offers exceptional impact protection making it a durable shoe.
The Nike Cosmic Unity is perfect for today’s game and should give you the best performance for any Nike shoes.
- Amazing on-court feel
- Stable base with good ankle support
- Impressive style
- Top-tier Nike Air cushioning
- Grippy Traction
- Heel slippage
- No so breathable
- Break-in period needed
3. Nike Zoom Freak 2 – Best Budget
- Multidirectional pattern for amazing indoor and outdoor use
- Uses lightweight materials for a better on-court feel
- Rubber outsole for squeaky grip
The second signature sneaker of Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Zoom Freak 2 allows players to achieve the same on-court performance as the Greek Freak himself.
The Zoom Freak 2’s main highlight is it stays true to size with amazing fit and traction.
It may not razzle and dazzle you with its looks as its predecessors, but it provides an amazing on-court feel and traction.
When I say true to size, I mean it has an amazing lockdown, and no slippage was encountered during my tests.
Overall, I love what this shoe brings to the table, amazing performance, lightweight synthetics, and a price that anyone can afford.
- Secure fit
- True to size
- Secure lockdown
- No slippage
- Minimal cushioning
- Lacks midfoot shank
- Poor ventilation
4. Nike Zoom Freak 3
- Dual zoom airbag for responsiveness
- Zoom Air units for amazing energy return
- Midfoot strap for lateral stability
Another signature sneaker from Giannis Antetokounmpo is the Nike Zoom Freak 3.
The Nike Zoom Freak 3 is not your average Nike shoe; one of its positive points is it’s true to its size and how your foot can snugly fit into the toe box.
Its upper, middle, and forefoot sections hold your foot nicely and don’t hold any unnecessary weight from each part.
In addition, the combination of textile and mesh materials makes it more breathable than most on the list.
Overall, it is one of the best Nike basketball shoes on my list when it comes to comfort, heel lockdown, and impact protection.
- Bouncy forefoot cushioning
- Amazing lockdown
- True to size
- Very comfortable
- Nice fit
- Midfoot stability problems
- Minimal heel cushioning
- Outsole durability issues
5. Nike Zoom GT Cut
- Very low to ground for improved responsiveness
- Additional Zoom Air Unit on the heel section for maximum comfort
- Zoom Air Strobel for added cushioning
If you have the budget, I would recommend going for the Nike Zoom GT Cut, as this is one of the best basketball shoes to be released recently.
The Zoom Air Strobel and drop-in react midsole offers a bouncier approach for players.
It has great traction, especially for indoor courts, and needs constant wiping if played outdoors.
The materials on the shoe are very comfortable and breathable for the foot and offer quite a pleasant experience even when played for longer periods.
If you want an excellent-performing, I strongly recommend opting for this one, especially if you have the budget.
- Bouncy cushioning
- Amazing traction
- Great for small players
- Fantastic lockdown
- Comfortable on the foot
- It needs more break-in period
- Very expensive
- Quite heavy
6. Nike Kyrie 6
- Zoom turbo for amazing cushioning
- Injected phylon for added comfort
- Midfoot strap for improved foot lockdown
The sixth signature sneaker of Kyrie Irving, the Kyrie 6, is great in terms of performance and comfort.
For this particular shoe, Nike’s Zoom Turbo is injected into the shoes, and it’s a cushion most basketball players seem to enjoy.
It has enough bounce right around the sweet spot, is not too bouncy, and retains responsiveness during sharp turns and quick stops.
The injected phylon on the foam midsole section feels great outside of the box. In combination with the Zoom turbo, everything feels great about the shoes.
While the materials can be slightly stiff on the forefoot section, everything will be good moving forward once you break the shoes in.
Overall, this product mimics the razzle and dazzle of how Kyrie Irving plays on the court. Great performance with a very affordable price tag.
- Amazing stability
- Stylish design
- Responsive and great on-court feel
- No heel slippage encountered
- Highly durable
- It needs more break-in time
- Stiff around the edges
- Not great for hard landings
7. Nike Kyrie 8 Infinity
- Large zoom Strobel in the forefoot section
- Injected phylon midsole for comfort
- U-shaped Nike Air Zoom Unit
Kyrie Irving may have his issues off the court, but his signature sneakers are gaining popularity daily.
For this model, Nike put forth a forefoot Zoom Strobel to add bounciness while keeping low to the ground.
The materials used for this particular model feel the same as its predecessor, the Kyrie 7. These are breathable and comfortable.
Its lacing system provides another convenience for most players that should pose no problem if untied.
Overall, the product is a pleasant surprise considering this model might be the last signature shoe of Kyrie Irving. Amazing performance and features.
- Aesthetically pleasing
- True-to-size fit
- Comfortable padding
- Impressive on-court traction
- Steady lockdown
- It needs more break-in time
- Lateral support issues
8. Nike PG 6
- Great omnidirectional traction pattern that bites regardless of court condition
- Infused with mesh materials for breathability and comfort
- It features a react foam for better responsiveness
One of the most popular shoes to be released this year, it is the sixth signature shoe of Paul George, the PG 6. He primarily plays the power forward position for the Los Angeles Clippers.
While most people believed it lacked the performance from the PG 5, it is still a great on-court performing shoe.
The PG Line has consistently met quality and performance at a more affordable price over the years.
Of all the PG shoes, the PG 6 is the first-ever shoe to feature a fully foam-based cushioning system Nike called a react foam.
The react foam feels plush on the inside, it didn’t lose its explosiveness, and it still feels low to the ground. It is also a good shoe for wide-footers.
What I really liked the most about this shoe were its great lockdown and breathable materials. The full-length zoom air cushioning can be felt from the inside too.
- Great for indoors and outdoors
- The soft and comfortable upper section
- Durable materials for effective impact protection
- It feels light on the foot
- Amazing ankle support
- It needs more break-in time
- Too bouncy for players
Why Choose Nike Over Other Brands?
Nike is Nike because they are simply the best. They are making premium quality sneakers.
From gorgeously engineered designs to unique aesthetics and shoes worn by some of the best athletes in the world, Nike is just transcendent.
Nike dominates other brands because they constantly innovate. They always have something new for their customers and shoe enthusiasts.
They have gained my admiration for its great advertisements, next-level marketing, and just a global presence that is unmatched.
If you watch it closely, many global brands are very timid in their advertising campaigns, and most of them prefer to rely on the history of their brand.
But that doesn’t happen with Nike; they always have something in store. They don’t compromise quality for quantity; they have different shoes for different price segments.
Lastly, other global brands aren’t able to keep up with the constant level of business Nike is showing. The Swoosh brand has been ingrained in my mind and heart for how great they are.
What’s Important In Picking The Best Shoe for You?
If you’re shopping for the best Nike basketball shoes on the market today, it is important to keep the following characteristics to ensure you get the best bang for your money.
Fortunately, almost all Nike shoes created are durable because they are made with premium materials.
While some use less-than-stellar materials for their budget-oriented shoes, they are still durable as long as they are used for the intended purpose.
In addition, whichever pair of Nike basketball sneakers you choose, you are bound to play with them for a couple of years.
So, be sure to find the best one for you and your budget, as you will be rocking with them for years to come!
Something else you want to look for in a Nike shoe is support features that can help propel your game to the next level.
Playing basketball is a strenuous sport; you want your feet to be as supported as possible and reduce the risk of injury.
Fortunately, Nike shoes have different support features to accommodate different price ranges.
Therefore, always try your sneakers first and check whether it provides the support you need from the forefoot down to the heel section.
Ensure it doesn’t have any slippage and provides that amazing on-court feel to boost your performance.
There are many ways in which a good shoe can support your feet; it comes in the form of padding, cushioning, and even staying true to size.
Comfort is one of the reasons why we wear quality basketball shoes. Who would want to play with hurting feet and blisters, right?
So, first and foremost, your basketball shoes should be as comfortable as they can be. They shouldn’t be too tight or too loose.
Discomfort can’t bring out the best in you; that’s why I don’t recommend buying basketball shoes online without thoroughly reading the reviews, as you don’t get the general feel of the shoes.
Go for breathable materials and soft construction shoes to avoid blisters and general pain.
You want a shoe with cushioning in all parts of your sole for added comfort and impact protection.
One of Nike’s innovations uses recycled materials for better renewability for the future to come.
Also, don’t sacrifice comfort for style. If you want a signature sneaker from your idol but doesn’t provide enough comfort, then it would be best to look for another shoe.
Nike’s Zoom Air Unit is a great feature that supports the feet in all areas and provides insane bounce due to its amazing energy return feature.
I really believe a pair of basketball shoes with this feature are the best to buy for the ultimate playing experience.
Nike shoes come in all shapes, sizes, styles, and prices. All Nike shoes come with a certain level of professionalism.
Some might be more premium than others, but that doesn’t say one is far superior to the other.
It’s all about you and how you rock them on the court. Signature shoes are the pricier ones, whereas standard ones are fairly affordable.
Never choose a basketball shoe that is far off of your budget. There will always be a Nike basketball shoe for a given price point.
Always stick to what you’re willing to pay, even if your favorite player’s signature shoes are well beyond your budget.
Starting from your budget is a good way to give you an idea of which shoe works best for you.
As with most shoes Nike releases, one of the biggest deals sneakerheads will look for is style.
Almost all Nike shoes come in a wide variety of colorways and styles. From a mid-top design to a low-top Nike basketball shoe, there’s plenty for everybody’s taste.
As such, I find nothing wrong if you buy some of the best Nike shoes because of their styles. I absolutely see nothing wrong with it.
However, I strongly recommend considering style as the last one. Always consider the first four ones I’ve listed before coming up with a conclusion.
If you want the best basketball shoes at your disposal, they should greatly impact your performance and comfort regardless of style.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
If you have further questions about Nike basketball shoes, you might find them further down below.
What Is Nike’s Best Selling Shoe?
If we’re talking about Nike’s best-selling shoe of all time, it has to be the Nike Air Jordan 1.
It is the shoe that started it all. It was the first signature shoe made by Nike, and it was worn by the greatest basketball player of all time, none other than the GOAT himself, Michael Jordan.
What Is Nike’s Most Expensive Shoe?
One of the most expensive shoes ever sold was in collaboration with United States’ famous rapper, Drake.
The shoe weighed around 100 pounds as it was made of solid gold. It was reported that the shoe was sold for a whopping $2 million, setting the world into a frenzy.
Why Are Some Nike’s So Expensive?
Nike’s one of the most expensive brands on the market but for a good reason.
We’ll break it down to give you a better idea of why some Nike’s are more expensive than others.
As the price goes up, so do the materials they are using. If you look closely and compare $300 with $120, you can see clearly why.
Materials used to construct a great shoe play an important role in why some Nike’s are so expensive.
Signs Big Name Players
In addition, if you compare them closely, signature sneakers are priced higher than your typical basketball shoe that a signature player doesn’t use.
Nike spends millions of dollars on athlete sponsorships. From Lebron James, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and many more. It pays to get your brand out there rocked by these basketball superstars.
Non-signature shoes are cheaper because no big-name players are attached to them.
Nike Invests In Technology
Nike doesn’t only inject premium materials into their basketball shoes, and they also put different technologies into them.
They have been renowned worldwide for putting their patented technologies onto their sneakers; one innovation that sparked a frenzy is the Nike Air Zoom and Lacing system, which has become a popular trend.
Nike Spends A Fortune in Advertising and Marketing
Being one of the most recognizable brands in the sport means you would go to such lengths to make your product raise its value.
While doing so is not cheap, they have been reaping the rewards of their labor.
They spend an estimated $3.59 billion in marketing and advertising to always have that edge over its competitors.
Nike is one of the biggest brands in the world of sports. They have been making premium quality products for decades.
The best shoes are the ones that provide superior performance, durable materials, insane lockdown, fantastic comfort, and amazing traction.
Have you found the right basketball shoe for you? I have extensively reviewed eight of the best Nike basketball shoes in this article. It will surely be a joy to choose from the above options I have listed.