18 Best Basketball Shoes Reviews & Buyers Guide In 2022

What if you’re out there to buy the best basketball shoes …

And you do not know which brand and which pair of shoes to spend your money on …

And there you see you shop where you find all of them together and you can take a look at them, vet them, try them and see which of them would be a perfect fit for your shoes.

Same is the case with this review and guide…

I’ve gathered 18 best basketball shoes from 4 top basketball shoe brands.

These brands are Nike, Adidas, Under Armour and Reebok.

You might be able to find some other basketball shoe brands too, but these four have proven their quality, and they also have millions of satisfied players from all over the world. That is why we decided to pick the shoes of only these four premium brands.

In simple words, if there is a perfect pair of basketball boots for you, that cannot be outside of this review … this is perhaps the biggest list or review on the internet, so without wasting your time, I’d like to start the review.

Top Basketball Shoes For Men & Women

So you saw the comparison table and I am pretty sure you can select the shoes for your game easily but if you want to read deep analysis and reviews then keep reading.

1. Nike Air Force 1 – 

Best Low Top Basketball Shoes

Now:

If I told you that to the best of my knowledge, this Nike sneaker has got sales more than any other Nike basketball shoe or that from any other company, you won’t believe this.

However:

Amazing quality of Nike Air Force 1 got it 1,100+ customers, a 4.6/5-star rating and a “#1 Best Seller” tag too.

One of the many reasons why people love it is because it does not look like a sports only or urban life only sneaker – it is a multi-purpose shoe.

Why people love this pair of sneakers this much, let us find out in features’ detail.

Traction

To start with, this basketball shoe has got a tough rubber sole. This kind of soles are considered best for traction on all kind of surfaces. Then we talk about the pivot point circles in forefoot and heel area that facilitate fast, easy and multidirectional movements.

Cushioning

Nike used its Air Zoom cushioning technology. The Air cell is a small chamber made of tensile fibers and it is full of air. The air-pressurized unit compresses with the pressure and bounces back into its shape when wearer jumps. Result? Player gets a good bounce.

Material

So, the material of this shoe is synthetic fiber (FlyKnit) and faux leather – aka TPU. In terms of grip and durability, TPU is almost as good as leather. There are certain problems e.g. lack of breathability, associated with this material, but overall, TPU and synthetic fiber is a really good combination.

Lockdown 

Since this is the first review in this long list of product reviews, it is important to explain lockdown. Lockdown is a shoe’s quality that makes sure that shoe hugs your foot and have a sturdy grip on it. This means when you’re in the court, moving fast, in multiple directions, you enjoy a better grip on your foot – not only on the court. Most of the shoe only have lacing as a means of lockdown and same is the case with this one. Lacing that goes from mid of the toe to the tongue, provides an effective lockdown.

Perforations

I could have mentioned them in “Material” section, because apparently, a little bit of synthetic fiber and faux leather do not make this shoe look good, but I skipped, because I was going to mention it here. The toe box of this shoe is perforated; the perforations are made with a machine and you get equal amount of breathability, which is good although not as good as in case of a mesh upper material.

Here are the pros and cons:

Pros
  • Good Traction Because of Rubber Sole
  • Air Zoom Unit Provides Good Cushioning
  • Leather & Synthetic Material with Perforations
  • Lacing-Based Lockdown
Cons
  • Insufficient Breathability
  • Insufficient Padding

Bottom Line 

In terms of style statement and fusion of urban life style and sports qualities, this shoe seems to be delivering amazingly well. It has really good traction and cushioning – however, it could use better than standard (lacing) lockdown and it could definitely improve in terms of breathability.

2. Nike Hyperdunk – 

Best Basketball Shoes For Jumping

Just like Air Force 1, Nike Hyperdunk is also a stunning mix of sports and urban swag – you can wear it to a casual gathering as well as basketball court.

From high ankle support to internal wire or patented Flywire technology, there is so much that makes it a best overall basketball sneaker.

There are 300+ confirmed sales on the listing that you can see by clicking its name here, and it is not for any other reason, but because of its unique design features and usability that it got a 4.3/5-star rating.

Here are the most important features:

Good Traction

This shoe has a very famous outsole pattern called herringbone. Almost every basketball shoe with really good traction has this pattern and definitely it has got a tough rubber sole.

It is not important to have only a rubber sole – the translucent ones, that are overhyped these days, do not provide as good a traction as in case of tough rubber soles – the best thing is that corner of a tough rubber sole do not fray as in case of soft/translucent one.

Strong Ankle Support

This shoe has a high collar – the ergonomic design of the collar conforms to the shape and contour of your ankles and with the laces that go all the way up to the collar, you manage a tight grip on the ankle. In simple words, you enjoy the best ankle support if you decide to buy this pair of basketball sneakers.

Cushioning

Being a top of the list Nike basketball sneaker, this one also has a Nike Air Zoom unit in the midsole. As it has been mentioned above – this is an air-pressurized unit and its tensile fibers compress under pressure only to come back to the default shape and give the wearer good bouncing. This low-profile, but responsive cushioning provides the user a spring-life launching.

Material

These shoes have a Hyperfuse upper – like many different Nike technologies (e.g. Air Zoom), Hyperfuse is a patented Nike technology. What is Hyperfuse? Well, it is a breathable and sturdy material with 3 layers: one for stability, one for breathability and one for durability. While it remains breathable, it is not as fragile or easy to rip as mesh and other breathable fabrics.

Lockdown

Speaking of technologies, one cannot forget the Flywire technology – also introduced by Nike. What is Flywire? It is a under surface cable system that is connected with the laces. So when you fasten the laces, you also cinch down the cables underneath the upper material and so enjoy a 2x lockdown on your feet.

Not to mention, the lacing system is also enough lockdown on its own; it goes from toe box to all the way up to the high collar, and after fastening these laces one should feel a strong grip on one’s feet.

Pros
  • Herringbone Pattern Rubber Sole
  • Air Zoom Cushioning
  • Hyperfuse Upper Material
  • Flywire Lockdown
Cons
  • Insufficient Padding on Collar
  • Collar Digs Into Ankle Bone

Bottom Line 

Why I consider this best overall basketball sneaker? It is because of so many innovations that it comes with and because of a mixed bag of all the good things it is. I mean it has the best pattern for traction, a tough rubber sole, Nike’s best cushioning system and on top of that, best lockdown and upper material too.

Also Read: Shoes That Will Make You Jump Higher

3. NIKE KD 8 – 

Kevin Durant Basketball Shoes 

Nike KD 8 follows in the footsteps of Nike casual urban style + fully functional basketball tradition.

The sneaker is available in many different colors. The material used on this shoe is a perfect Nike breathable sneaker duo = synthetic breathable fabric + TPU.

The eyelets are very unique and their innovative design adds to the standard lockdown provided by a standard lacing system.

Here are the most prominent features:

Traction 

Traction is the most important gauge to check whether a sneaker is really good for all kind of courts or not. Traction mainly and mostly depends on the outsole material and the pattern made on it.

This sneaker features a modified Herringbone pattern on a tough rubber outsole. In simple words, you cannot get better traction that this

Cushioning 

This is yet another Nike Air Zoom sneaker – now, when Nike makes these sneakers, it either induces a small air unit in the heel area or a full length air unit that covers heel, center of the sole of the foot and the toe box area. As it has been explained above, tensile fiber compressed air unit is designed for spring-like bouncing effect.

Material

This shoe is also one of the lucky Nike sneakers to be blessed with Flyweave upper material. Flywire is a thin and lightweight material – basically it is a synthetic fabric with optimum breathability and yet it is more durable than mesh – but definitely, if durability is your key, synthetic leather is what you should seek in your sneaker. Tear and wear are the issues that you will eventually face with mesh or woven fabric uppers.

Lockdown 

KD 8 sneakers, just like the Hyperdunk ones, use Flywire lockdown system with standard lockdown provided by pretty standard lacing that goes from the rear end of toe box to the top where it gets hold of the tonue.

It is important to mention that standard lacing is for standard lockdown, but when you connect that lacing with Flywire cables, you get a 2x lockdown or snug fit on your feet. What could improve this lockdown is an external heel counter – the multidimensional movements are more secure and more targeted, when you get 3x lockdown on your feet.

Low Cut Shoes

Except for the decently padded tongue, there aren’t really any lockdown or snug fit features in the collar area. However, it depends on whether you like the freedom of movement provided by low cut shoes or you prefer strong ankle support. There are arguments in favor of both; as a matter of fact, there are people who found out that the high collar dug into their shin and restricted the 360 degrees’ movement of the ankles.

Pros
  • Herringbone Pattern Tough Rubber Sole
  • Full Length Air Zoom Unit
  • Flywire Lockdown
  • Flyweave Breathable Upper Material
Cons
  • Too Expensive
  • Narrow Construction

Bottom Line 

This shoe is a perfect shoe for someone who wants a top dollar Nike sports sneaker, but one who prefers breathability to durability. This is not for someone who wants a “bare essentials” type of sneakers, but for one who loves to use patented sports shoes technologies introduced by big brands like Nike and Adidas.

4. Nike Air Versitile II – 

Best Cushioned Basketball Shoes

How’d you like a Nike basketball sneaker with all the bells and whistles (read Flywire system, breathable upper, tough rubber outsole, modified Herringbone pattern and heel counter etc.) at an affordable rate?

If you want high quality basketball sneakers for men and those too at the cheapest possible rates, this is the sneaker to start with.

It is perfectly fit for beginners too – once you understand the nitty gritty of basketball shoes, you can buy a superior quality and expensive pair of sneakers.

Here are the features:

Traction 

It has got a smart modified herringbone patters on a tough rubber sole. As far as I know, to the best of my knowledge, this is perhaps the best shoe sole/traction duo that one needs to have a firm grip on clean courts as well as dirty ones. There is a small fidget spinner pattern on the sole and the purpose is to up the multidimensional movements – this pattern also decreases one’s chance of slipping.

Cushioning 

The word “Air” in the name of this product is for the very fact that Nike Air Versitile II uses a small air unit for better shock absorptions – right underneath a wearer’s heel.

However:

Do not let this make you think that a small air unit is all that this shoe has to offer in the name of traction. As a matter of fact, Nike Air Versitile II uses a Phylon midsole to boost the cushioning.

What is Phylon, you might wonder …

Well, it is just a mould made of Rubber or EVA and compressed ethylene vinyl acetate is injected into the mould that makes it puffy and soft. In short, you get a soft ball right underneath your foot and pressing on that leads to a bouncy effect.

Material

The best thing about Nike Versitile II material is the premium mesh on the top and woven fabric on other parts. Trekkers, athletes and sportsmen know that the biggest problem with wearing traditional sportswear is accumulation of sweat that is actually accumulation of bacteria and that leads to feet hygiene and health problems e.g. fungus and blisters etc.

Upper mesh is highly breathable and through that laces are connected to cables, but we will talk about that a bit later. The luxurious heel counter side is made from soft and well-padded textile. Because of that wearer enjoys extra comfort and that adds up to overall lockdown as well.

Lockdown

This shoe has a handful of lockdown features. Take the modest heel counter for example, or the extra padded part on the rear end of the shoe. However, it is mainly because of the lacing system that goes from the rear end of the toe box to all the way up to the tongue – there is an extra eyelet and using that your lacing system can control entire tongue as well as the collar.

And then there is this Flywire system – it is linked with the laces. As it has been explained previously, the thin, but strong cables (underneath the upper fabric) are connected with the sole as well as the laces; when you cinch up the laces, you get a very good lockdown right from the insole.

Pros
  • Nike Air Zoom &Phylon Cushioning
  • Tough Rubber Sole with Herringbone Pattern
  • Breathable Upper Material
  • Flywire Lockdown
Cons
  • Collar Digs into the Skin
  • Mesh Vulnerable to Wear & Tear

Bottom Line

Although Nike made a sports sneaker that is not only super light and super good with all these options that I’ve mentioned above, there are customer who complain about the overall look or feel of the shoe. Nonetheless, it has got all the bells and whistles, and then some, that one expects from a good Nike basketball sneaker. What really impressed me is the upper, the Flywire system and the sole.

Also Read: Top Rated Cushioned Basketball Sneakers

5. Nike LeBron Soldier XII – 

Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes

LeBron has been one the most famous and celebrated lines of male BB shoes made by Nike.

Only because of LeBron James a lot of people bought these sneakers, and this one is one of the best Nike LeBron sneakers that you can buy.

What I really like about this sneaker is that it looks more casual than most of Nike’s basketball sneakers in the disguise of urban style casual sneakers – and yet, it has all the features required from a professional basketball sneaker.

Let’s take a look at the features.

Traction 

Nike LeBron Soldier XII is a different and unique shoe when it comes to traction – depending on the color you choose, you may have a tough rubber sole or a translucent gum sole. In your casual urban life, both do not make much difference, but from a basketball player’s perspective, I would recommend tough rubber over gum.

As for the pattern, it could be better if was a modified form of herringbone, but the multidirectional pattern on the sole facilitates multidirectional movements at good pace. The deep and spacious grooves offer firm grip not only dirty courts, but on the clean ones too.

Cushioning

Nike LeBron Soldier XII is better than Nike Air Versitille II in terms of cushioning. It also uses the same set of cushioning devices e.g. a Phylon midsole and a small Air Zoom unit – however, it has two of those air units. One of them is underneath the heel, while the other one is at forefoot.

This means that Phylon midsole does not have to do the heavy lifting that it has to do in case of Nike’s budget sneaker that I’ve reviewed above. Two air capsules and one Phylon midsole definitely provide better cushioning and bounce to the wearer’s feet. How come? The air units are used for shocks absorption, and then with a subsequent movementPhylon midsole bounces the foot back into the air.

Material 

Nike – as used to introducing new innovations it is, chose a circular-knit textile for the upper of this sneaker. However, the design is complex and the material is not same on all parts of the upper.

So what is circular-knit textile? Well it is a fabric made by circular-knitting. In this method, yarn is used to create a fabric. With knitting the machine creates plenty of yarn loops – in a straight line. Why this is a big deal? Because knitted fabric is more flexible than the woven one.

The shoe also has neoprene on the toe and the sides; while the key characteristic of neoprene is that it is waterproof, it has a membrane and thus it is breathable to some extent.

Lockdown

This show has a unique lockdown feature – it does not have laces at all. All you have is a set of two criss-crossing hook and loop straps. Just like laces, they go all the way from bottom to top, where you cinch them tight and lock them. This is a perfect lockdown system for those who do not like laces (just like me), and those who want fast and easy Velcro system.

Apart from the Velcro straps, what provides a good lockdown is the one-bootie construction – from toe to the collar. Since it is one piece – one bootie, you get a better lock down.

Pros
  • Rubber & Gum Soles
  • Phylon Midsole & Two Air Units
  • Circular-Knit Textile Upper
  • Velcro Straps Lockdown
Cons
  • Sole Could Have a Better Pattern
  • Only Standard Lockdown Option 

6. Nike Air Jordan 8 Retro – 

Best Jordan Basketball Shoes
Apart from LeBron, if there is another line of Nike’s basketball sneakers that made it to the horizon of glory, it is Air Jordan Retro sneakers.

Figure 8 in this name represents the fact that this is Michael Jordan’s 8th signature sneaker and Retro refers to the design of the shoe – since this is the 8th similar looking sneaker after the release of first Michael Jordan, and it looks like the first release, because of that “old is gold” design, it is called Retro.

Let us take a look at its features.

Traction 

This is not your usual herringbone pattern, tough rubber sole sneaker that you’d mostly get from Nike. The sole is a tough rubber one, but the traction pattern is not herringbone or even close to it. There are different sized holes scattered all over the sole.

Customers are mostly happy with this kind of traction and it works almost as good as other traction patterns, but on a very clean court, I wonder how inward holes deliver as compared to outward, big and deep grooves that herringbone or similar patterns have.

Cushioning

As usual, this sneaker also features two small Air units (hence the word ‘Air’ in the name), and a Phylon unit as a midsole. As it has been explained above, the Air Zoom unites work like shock absorbers, while EVA made Phylon unit filled with ethylene vinyl, works like a spring to give the wearer a much need bounce.

There are some Nike sneakers that have only one, small and visible air unit in the heel and no other cushioning – I consider this combo of two Air units and one Phylon midsole way better than them – and I wonder how well they deliver against one big Air Zoom unit.

Material

Basically, the upper material of this shoe is same synthetic fabric and leather that is best known for durability, sturdiness and water resistance. The external layer is made of leather, suede and nubuck etc. – it depends on the colorway that you choose.

The good thing about these apparently non-breathable materials is that they made little perforations to make sure that the wearer enjoys somewhat breathability. All outer layers (upper material), irrespective of the color that you choose, have a combo of molded synthetic material and leather cross-straps. Definitely, this is the sneaker for those who need a durable and sturdy shoe for a long time.

Lockdown

This shoe has dual-lockdown features. One of them is traditional lacing system. The laces go all the way from rear-end of toe box to the tongue and collar. Cinch them down and from lace guard, to tongue to the high collar, you get a real snug fit.

On top of this standard lockdown, there is a leather cross-strap that is pretty different from Velcro straps in case of the sneaker that has been reviewed above. It goes from bottom of one side to the top of the other one where it can be Velcro hooked and this gives you a good lockdown on your ankles.

Pros
  • Solid Rubber Sole
  • Two Air Units & One Phylon
  • Water Resistant & Durable Material
  • 2 Lockdown Options
Cons
  • Very Minimal Breathability
  • Expensive

Bottom Line

If you’re someone who prefers breathability to durability, this shoe is not for you. Its top is not mesh and not even breathable fabric – it is one or another thick and water resistant material. What I loved is dual lockdown features that this shoe offers – this kind of lockdown is preferred by athletes. The cushioning is also really good with all the bells and whistles that a pro-cushioning shoe come with. However, traction could be much better.

7. Nike Kyrie 4 – 

Best Kyrie Basketball Shoes

Nike Kyrie is featured in our most comfortable shoes, it is because of the kind of cushioning you find in this shoe.

We will talk about that cushioning in a while, but let us first talk about the name of the shoe and overall look and feel to it.

It is named after Kyrie Irving: a professional basketball player, and since this one is 4th shoe in the line, it is Kyrie 4.

This shoe’s main strength lies in its bottom – it is there that you find a unique lockdown feature and best traction and cushioning combo.

Here’s my take on features:

Traction 

This shoe has a tough rubber sole with herringbone pattern – but this is not enough to explain the kind of traction that you can get if you put on these sneakers. The wearers and testers of these shoes declare that rounded outsole and spiral pattern help a lot in maintaining better control on the ground.

The rounded outsole sticks out and it can be seen without taking a look at the bottom of the shoe. The spikes of the spiral pattern provide a somewhat lockdown as well. The sole does not have a classic Herringbone pattern – but it is near classic, and multidirectional patterns on the sole helps with multidirectional movement as well.

Cushioning

This shoe does not have a sort of cushioning that can do heavy lifting. It has an Air Zoom unit in the heel and then it has Nike’s Cushlontechnology. It has got a Cushlon midsole.

What is Cushlon? Well, it is a sort of Phylon foam only lighter than traditional Phylon midsole and more responsive than that one as well. Cushlon’s effect is very similar to that of Adidas’s Bounce. So it is a pretty usual Nike cushioning combo –an Air unit to absorb the shock, an a bouncy Phylon to have a spring-like effect.

Material

This Nike sneaker features a diverse variety of materials. For example, the breathable upper is not a regular mesh, but engineered mesh. It is as been used on the forefoot of the shoe and since Mesh is a flexible material, it allows you to get used to the shoe without taking break-in time. The mesh is supported by nylon glued to it; this means that unlike other mesh upper sneakers, this one will not get ripped apart with the passage of time. Nylon makes it less breathable, but adds to the durability and strength of the shoe.

However, the collar and heel panel is made of suede. Suede is good choice because it adds to the lockdown and since that part is padded, you get a pretty comfortable snug fit there.

Lockdown 

In terms of lockdown, this shoe does not seem to be impressing the consumers. There is not Flywire technology or straps to make up for the standard and pretty basic lockdown. The eyelets are durable and laces go all the way from rear end of toe box to the ankle support collar. If you use the last eyelet too, you can definitely have a strong lockdown on tongue as well as the collar.

Pros
  • Solid Rubber Sole & Herringbone Pattern
  • Air Zoom Unit&Cushlon Technology
  • Engineered Mesh Upper
  • Standard Lacing Lockdown
Cons
  • Could Have a Secondary Lockdown
  • Narrow Construction

Bottom Line

If you want a shoe that checked all the boxes, I’d suggest Nike Kyrie. However, I cannot say the same about lockdown, because this shoe only has a standard lockdown feature. But, if you want best traction combo, best material for breathability and durability and best cushioning, this is the exact sneaker you need.

8. Adidas Pro Bounce – 

Best High Top Basketball Shoes

So:

This is the first Adidas sneaker on this list and it is the bestseller Adidas sneaker based on the number of sales when compared to other Adidas sneakers on my list.

However:

This is not the only reason for picking this sneaker – we’ll get to know more about those reasons in the detail of its prominent features.

Traction 

Adidas’s Pro Bounce is more like a good cushioning shoe and less a good traction shoe. Take the sole for example; it is made of some kind of Synthetic rubber or translucent rubber. The pattern on the sole is a Tetris-like pattern which provide good grip on almost all types of surfaces. The translucent sole is definitely not as effective as the tough one when it comes to clean surfaces.

Cushioning

If Adidas Pro Bounce beats other basketball sneakers 6 days to Sunday it is in respect of cushioning. To Adidas, Bounce is exactly what Air Zoom is to Nike. It is their chief cushioning technology – so to say. The full length of shoe has bounce cushioning.

What is bounce? Bounce is a midsole cushioning solution from Adidas. Adidas Bounce is also an alternative to Adidas Boost. How it works? Well, it works like a shock absorber – just like a Phylon unit do in the case of a Nike sneaker, it also gives the wearer a bounce needed for a subsequent movement – hence the name bounce.

Material

In terms of material and construction, this sneaker offers a very unique set of technologies and materials. It has a textile upper which I consider best because it is neither as fragile as mesh nor as unbreathable as leather, suede or similar materials.

However:

What really surprised me was not the upper material, but the construction technologies. It comes with GeoFit and Forgefiber. The GeoFit technology is all about the construction of the shoe; it induces pillow like pockets inside the shoe that lead to a better level of comfort and lockdown. The Forgefibertechnology makes heat processed thermo polyurethane-coated fibers that keep the upper stitched to the bottom and prevents ripping of the shoe.

Lockdown

This shoe does not have an advanced lockdown system – all you get are laces that go from rear-end of toe box to all the way to the collar. This way, laces establish good control over collar as well as tongue.

Pros
  • Rubber Sole with Tetris-like Patterns
  • Bounce Cushioning
  • GeoFit&Forgefiber Technologies
  • Standard Lockdown
Cons
  • Hard to Put On
  • Heavy Shoes

Bottom Line

This is a nice shoe, but in terms of cushioning you cannot compare it with those that have better options. Where it actually performs better is in terms of upper material and technologies related to the construction of the sneaker.

9. Adidas Harden Vol 2

Best Basketball Shoes For Guards

Adidas Harden is named after the famous basketball player: James Harden. It has been a successful branding tactic for Nike and Adidas, and other companies to name their shoes after famous athletes and basketball players.

This is the second sneaker in the line of Adidas Harden – it has some unique features. Let us take a look at all of them.

Traction 

This shoe features one of the most unique patterns. It has a thick and hard rubber sole which is considered the best among its specimen – for better control over all kinds of courts. Coming back to the traction pattern, it has nothing but random fractal shapes and the only sole that looks similar to this one is Harden 1’s.

However, as per the designer of this pattern, the pattern is not random, but based on keen observations of how James Harden puts pressure on his foot. So, the pattern is based on the data gathered about James Harden’s movements.

Cushioning

Unlike the abovementioned Adidas sneaker, this one has got Boost cushioning. This is where we stop and get to learn what Boost is. Boost is considered a comfort and running friendly cushion technology, because it does not make the shoe heavier as in case of Bounce.

What is Boost? Well, it is a cushion consisted of micro-TPU capsules that are chemically bonded with each other. The concept is pretty simple – the TPU micro capsules succumb to the temporary compression and they plunge back into their form to launch the wearer back into the air.

Material

The upper of this shoe has got a neoprene and mesh construction. We all know why mesh is used in a basketball shoe – it is definitely for the purpose of breathability. Neoprene is a chemically generated synthetic rubber that must have been used to protect the otherwise fragile layer of mesh. Also, it is important to note, that there is a membrane in a layer of neoprene through which a very minimal level of breathability is possible.

Adidas used Forgefiber in this sneaker as well – the mesh that hugs the bottom of the shoe is stitched to it with Forgefiber. This makes the shoe perfect for those who want breathable shoes minus the wear and tear risk that comes with them.

Lockdown

This shoe has a brilliant secondary lockdown option that does not only support the standard lockdown system: laces, but it also extends the grip of lacing. There are two TPU/Synthetic panels on both sides of the shoe that host the laces.

First of all, the laces can be anchored on any of the 4 holes found in a line and farther you anchor them, better is your lockdown on your shoe.

Secondly, those panels, when brought closer to the main construction of the show, provide excellent lockdown on ankles.

Pros
  • Rubber Sole
  • Boost Cushioning
  • Mesh and Neoprene Upper
  • Dual Lockdown
Cons
  • Inflexible Outsole
  • Uncomfortable Midsole

Bottom Line 

This shoe delivers best in almost all important areas – hence considered the best overall Adidas basketball shoe. However, if you go into details, it’s lockdown feature and upper are good, while improvements could be made in midsole and outsole areas.

Also Read: Top Basketball Sneakers for Guards

10. Adidas Cloudfoam Ilation Mid – 

Best Basketball Shoes For Flat Feet

Adidas Ilation is a pretty standard basketball shoe …

The kind that comes to mind whenever you think of buying a basketball shoe …

It is leaning a little to basketball and less to the whole urban/casual footwear statement that all these sports sneakers make.

In simple words, if you want a basketball shoe that looks and performs like one, this is the shoe to go for.

It is not the one with too many options or technologies, but it is a pretty standard basketball shoe and here are its most prominent features:

Traction 

This sports sneaker has got a tough rubber outsole which is considered best for strong grip on all sorts of surfaces and courts. Although it does not have the classic herringbone pattern, it has got a zig-zag pattern. The grooves are neither too big, nor as distanced as in case of some of the best outsoles that we have reviewed so far …

However, the triangular and wavy movements of them give the wearer sort of traction that comes next to herringbone.

Cushioning

This shoe features a relatively less know technology from Adidas – Cloudfoam midsole. It is not only a midsole, but a sock liner as well. We know that in terms of cushioning, plays a pivotal role.

So what is Cloudfoam? It is a midsole + sock liner. It means that part of it provides optimum comfort to user’s feet while the other part works like a midsole. The padding works like a shock absorption system, while the midsole part gives a springy bounce to the wearer.

Material

Well, the upper of this shoe is made of synthetic fabric and leather – the bridge of the shoe is covered by leather and this duo makes it more like a durable shoe than a breathable one. However, perforations are made on the top to make sure that the toe box gets a limited amount of air.

Yet, this is not a lost case of breathability. It is a medium cut basketball sneaker with really good padded in the tongue and the collar area. The material used in making them is Air mesh – so at least the ankles and upper part of feet enjoy optimum breathing.

Lockdown

In terms of lockdown this shoe does not seem to be impressing those who want secondary lockdown features such as internal cables and heel counters etc. However, its standard lockdown system: lacing, provides more than enough grip on the foot.

The eyelets go all the way from rear-end of toe box to all the way up to the collar – you can use all the eyelets to make sure that your laces have strong grip on lace cage as well as the tongue and the collar.

Pros
  • Tough Rubber Outsole
  • Adidas Cloudfoam Midsole
  • Semi-Breathable Material
  • Standard Lockdown
Cons
  • Insufficient Breathability
  • Substandard Sole

Bottom Line 

Adidas Ilation is definitely not one of Adidas’s top-end basketball sneakers – it is a very simple and basic sneaker that you might like to start with. Beginners would love it and then they would move to those that have best Adidas/Nike technologies and better control. Is there something to cheer about? Yes, the materials used in this shoe make it a combo of breathability and durability.

Also Check: Top Sneakers For Flat Fleet

11. Adidas Crazy Explosive –  

Best Basketball Shoes For Wide Feet

Adidas Crazy Explosive is so rightly referred to as “crazy” and “explosive” – if you ask me about one basketball shoe that is equally good for a chic urban/casual lifestyle and the court, I’d ask to go for Adidas Crazy Explosive.

On top of that – a little cherry on the top – this shoe is the most affordable Adidas shoe among all the Adidas shoes that we picked for this list.

From its high collar to its overall ones and style to the translucent rubber sole that it comes with, this shoe is all about style statement – but hey, isn’t that what basketball itself is?

Traction 

This shoe comes with a rubber sole – unfortunately, it is not a tough sole, but a translucent one. While this kind of soles are not considered the best one, the reason behind using such a sole might have had something to do with this shoe’s style statement.

There is nothing wrong with translucent rubber sole – except their grip is not as great as a tough sole would have. And there are reports of how the sides of such soles start fraying.

The pattern of this shoe does not have a clear design – it is a mixture of different shapes e.g. circles, straight lines and curved lines.

Cushioning

Adidas Crazy Explosive has a full-length Boost sole. Boost is Adidas’s premium outsole made to compete with other such technologies from other brands – mainly Nike. Boost is made of TPU – it is made of microcells of TPU. They compress under wearer’s foot pressure and thus provide a good shock absorption. As a reaction to this compression – then micro ball-like units spring back to their position and thus make it possible for the wearer to have a “boost” for next movement.

Material

This shoe is not a fully breathable shoe in terms of material – do not expect mesh or fabric. Its upper is made of neoprene. We have covered the details of neoprene above; this is mainly a material for strong lockdown and longevity of the shoe. However, it has got a membrane through which it makes the shoe breathable to limited extent.

Goes along the upper (neoprene), is a layer of TPU that goes from toe box to the back side of the shoe – it provides extra protection to the lower part.

Lockdown

By the looks of this shoe, you might think that it does not have a secondary lockdown feature – other than the primary one, which is lacing system. But you’re so wrong! This sneaker has Adidas Geofit Bootie; we have talked about that before, in short it is a foam construction that conforms to the contour of wearer’s foot. All in all it is a glove-like snug fit that every athlete would love.

Pros
  • Translucent Rubber Sole
  • Full-length Boost Midsole
  • GeoFit Bootie
  • Highly Durable and Sturdy Shoe
Cons
  • Poor Quality Eyelets
  • Insufficient Breathability

Bottom Line 

It depends on your type whether you’d love to buy this one or not. If you love the kind of basketball sneakers that you can wear to any urban setting, if you prefer durability and water resistant construction to breathability and if you are into translucent outsoles, this one is for you. If you prefer tough sole and breathable construction – and you love low cut sneakers, this is definitely not for you.

Read This: Shoes That Are Fit For Wide Feet

12. Adidas Dame 5 – 

Best Cheap Basketball Shoes

Adidas Dame 5 is a taste apart …

If you want to look different standing between a couple of basketball players, this is the shoe to go for …

It is a completely different style statement and when I talk about all these things – yes they matter – but don’t you think that a style statement is all what you get when you buy these shoes.

In a minute, in features, we will discover the reason why these shoes made it to this list in 2021.

Traction

Adidas Dame 5 has a tough rubber sole with very rich colors and design pattern digitally made on it. In terms of quality, it I just as good a solid rubber sole as you’d find in case of every good sneaker that has one.

Pattern of the sole is surprisingly herringbone pattern – by the overall look and feel of this sneaker, I thought of it as a more casual and less basketball like shoe, but so far so good. Herringbone pattern is considered one of the best outsole patterns because its awesome grip on all sort of surfaces and courts. Better yet, they improved herringbone pattern and introduced thick lines which are widely spaced – this prevents dust accumulation between the lines and the subsequent failure of the pattern.

Cushioning

This shoe features Adidas patented cushioning technology known as Bounce. We have already explained that. Bounce is an EVA foam midsole that does two things: support the foot when it faces the impact (shock absorption) and launch it back. In simple words, this system alone does what Nike Air unit and Phylon midsole would do together.

In this basketball sneaker, they decided to thicken the Boost sole as compared to Dame 4. This decision can be good because it will increase both: shock absorption and “bounce”, but it will deprive the shoe of Bounce system’s third biggest quality: a court feel.

Material

The best thing about Dame 5? You can enjoy the kind of material that you need. Depending on the colorway that you choose, you will have a different upper material to play with. People who prefer breathability to durability can go with the mesh upper variants and those who prefer water protection and durability to breathability can pick leather. Now isn’t this something? I think Adidas fans would love the freedom that they get with this shoe. The TPU panel on the lateral side, which although looks strange, helps players with their lateral movements.

Lockdown

In terms of lockdown, this shoe has failed to deliver. No, this does not mean that there is something wrong with this shoe’s standard lacing system, but considering how marvelously it checked all the boxes, I was hoping that it’d have a secondary lockdown option.

All we get is a lacing system – the laces go from rear-end of toe box to all the way to tongue and low cut collar. Yet, you can still get a good lockdown on that area if you use all the eyelets.

Pros
  • Rubber Sole
  • Bounce Cushioning
  • Ability to Choose Between Leather & Mesh
  • TPU Panel for Lateral Movements
Cons
  • Needs Breaking In
  • Problem with Clean Courts

Bottom Line

Adidas Dame 5 is made for those who want a little choice and perfection in life. Not only this shoe features two different materials for two different kinds of colorways, it also comes with an improved version of herringbone pattern. The attention to details seems to be behind making of this shoe. Take that lateral side TPU panel for example. The only complaint that I can think of is about complete lack of a secondary lockdown feature.

Check Also: List of The cheap BB Sneakers

13. Adidas Superstar – 

Best Youth Basketball Shoes

It wouldn’t be fair if I made a list and didn’t include a shoe for little basketball fans – little boys and girls.

Adidas Superstar is original Adidas sports sneaker for little ones. It does not have many fancy details to it, but since it is intended to train little basketball players, it has got all the bells and whistles that you’d love to see in a professionally conceived and made basketball sneaker.

Here is my outlook on its features.

Traction 

This shoe has the perfect kind of outsole that you need for a perfect traction. It is tough rubber outsole. The form of outsole is a cup sole (one that has a tall side wall) and the biggest advantage of a cup sole is maximum level of comfort and support.

A tough rubber sole, that is a cup sole by nature, is already a winner,but only if it has got a good traction pattern. Well, this one has a herringbone pattern on the outsole and it should go without saying that it never fails on any kind of court.

Cushioning

This shoe does not have a separate cushioning system – it’s inner construction is very well padded and with a thick and high cup sole, it provides more cushion and thickness to absorb the shocks and give a launching to the wearer. It would have been better if Adidas armed this shoe with its famous Boost or Bounce cushioning systems.

Material

Adidas Superstar’s upper is made of leather – yes, leather is the kind of style statement and durability that you’d love to see in your kid’s basketball sneaker. However, do not think that it is not breathable – there are perforations on each side of the sneaker to provide a limited breathability to the user.

Also, do not forget that it is a low cut shoe with plenty of air coming through the collar. Also, what your kids would love about this sneaker is Adidas signature shell toe that ups the protection and comfort.

Lockdown

In terms of lockdown, this sneaker has a pretty standard lacing system. Since the purpose of this shoe is only to train kids for youth basketball. It is not armed with fancy technologies and stuff, all you have are laces that provide decent grip on the foot.

Pros
  • Cup Sole
  • Rubber Sole with Herringbone Pattern
  • Highly Durable
  • Standard Lockdown
Cons
  • Very Basic Features
  • Insufficient Breathability

Bottom Line 

This is not a professional basketball shoe: not even close to that. However, it has been professionally made, making sure that it has got all the basic features that your little devils need for basketball training. It is for training purposes and thus it lack advanced basketball shoemaking technologies and options.

14. Under Armour Curry 3Zero

Best Basketball Shoes For Plantar Faciitis

You cannot complete a list of top basketball shoes without including one or two sneakers from Under Armour – while the company is not as famous as Adidas or Nike, among the basketball fans, enthusiasts and players, Under Armour shoes are pretty familiar and considered ideal for training and game.

This shoe is one of the bestselling Under Armour shoe on Amazon. It has got 180+ happy customers and overall 4.3/5-star ranking (while I’m writing this review).

Let us find out what’s so special about this shoe:

Traction 

In terms of traction this is shoe is just as good as any basketball sneaker can be. It has the best duo – a solid rubber outsole and a herringbone pattern on it. This the perfect duo that you need for a perfect traction – doesn’t matter what the surface or court’s condition is. It works equally good on dirty and clean courts. They didn’t play much with the pattern – apart from logo and name, there is only a small circle that doesn’t really break the pattern.

Cushioning

There are many different variants under the flag of Under Armour Curry. This shoe is not much different from rest of them, especially in terms of cushioning. It has UA’s famous Micro G technology for cushion.

What is Micro G? It gives your basketball shoe the power to absorb the shocks and relaunch you for next move. It is a foam that is 30% thinner than other foams and yet delivers just like them.

What you get is a court feel at no expense to shock absorption and that too at a light weight. Court feel always enable the player to take less time while absorbing shock and react faster.

Apart from all that, UA’s patented Charged Cushioning midsole compensates for the lack of shock absorption attributes (thickness) – and this duo works just as good as Nike Air unit + Phylon midsole.

Material

In terms of material as well, this shoe comes with a very successful duo. It has got a fuse overlay on mesh upper. Fuse is a sort of protective layer because mesh, while it is super cool (because of the breathability duh), is very fragile especially when used as an upper. So, fuse protects the upper, while upper (mesh), keeps the inside 100% breathable.

Lockdown

This shoe’s outsole sticks out on the rear-end of the shoe and there is an exceptionally padded collar. They lead to a good lockdown, but do not expect a proper secondary lockdown system with this sneaker; all you have got are laces that go from mid of the shoe to the collar. They do not fully control the tongue, but they control the collar and you get a very good lockdown.

Pros
  • Rubber Sole & Herringbone Pattern
  • Micro G + Charged Cushioning
  • Breathable
  • Durable
Cons
  • Secondary Lockdown Option Missing
  • Narrow Toe Box

Bottom Line

UA 3Zero is the best overall UA sneaker that we could find on Amazon – now we called it best overall for very clear reasons. This shoe has got the best traction combo that you need, it has UA’s patented cushioning technology, the material is highly durable and lockdown is decent. However, they could improve lockdown and make a wider toe box.

Also Read: List of Basketball Shoes For PF

15. Under Armour Drive 4

Best Basketball Shoes With Traction

Not only with 140+ customers and a very good rating, Under Armour 4 is the best overall shoe based on its unique features, but it checks a lot of boxes and this list cannot be deemed complete without it.

To start with, this is one of the few good basketball sneakers I know that feature a proper, hard heel counter. It is a considerably cheap shoe, but it has got all the bells and whistles that one loves to see in a proper basketball sneaker – and then some.

Take a look at its features:

Traction

When I said that this shoe is impressive and best overall, I said that after proper research and vetting. This shoe has got the best traction duo that you can expect from a professional basketball sneaker. Yes! It is a tough rubber sole and a herringbone pattern. Although later could be even better if the grooves had a little more distance between each other. What I love about how they did herringbone: deep and wide grooves – they have lesser chances of dust accumulation.

Cushioning 

This shoe also makes use of Micro G foam technology and an EVA midsole. This is exactly the kind of combo that you get in best basketball sneakers. As it has been explained again –it is a foam that works just like other foam technologies. Except it is 30% thinner and thus it provides not only cushioning but court feel that helps with fast multidirectional movements.

Material 

The best thing that happened to this shoe is the material that the manufacturers used in making it. It has high quality mesh on tongue, but most of the upper is made of breathable fabric: although not as breathable as mesh.

For the purpose of protection they added die cut EVA patches on the inside of the shoe. Also, for the purpose of comfort, the there is good padding on the inner end of shoes.

Lockdown

This shoe has a standard lockdown system which is laces and high cut (well padded) collar. Laces, if they occupy all the eyelets and if they’re cinched down properly, provide good enough standard lockdown.

While this shoe does not have a proper secondary lockdown, it has still got a heel counter that provides good grip on the foot which keeps you from slipping.

Pros
  • Rubber Sole
  • Micro G Cushioning
  • Mesh & Breathable Fabric
  • Good Grip Heel Counter
Cons
  • Ineffective Lacing
  • Poor Gluing on Toe Box

Bottom Line

UA’s Drive 4 is a pretty decent shoe and you now know why I considered it best overall. It has got the best kind of traction duo that a sneaker shoe could be gifted with. In terms of cushioning it has got best what a UA sneaker can have and the material of the shoe is so on spot – they gave the wearers the best combo for protection, comfort and breathability. The problems are mainly with lockdown and quality of gluing.

16. Under Armour Jet Mid – 

Best Women's Basketball Shoes

Under Armour Jet Mid is a nice basketball sneaker with almost all basic characteristics and features that you expect from a good UA shoe.

It is not decorated with the most advanced basketball shoemaking technologies, but it is something really good and effective to start with.

Let us know more about this shoe in features:

Traction 

This shoe is a budget sneaker, but the features do not exude that. Take the traction duo for example: the sole and the pattern. It is a thick and tough rubber sole with traditional herringbone pattern. Rest assured, you would enjoy the perfect grip on all sorts of courts.

Cushioning 

As it has been mentioned, UA’s Jet Mid does not have advanced basketball shoe technologies or gimmicks. The cushioning is provided by full-length EVA foam as midsole as well as insole. This and the thick padding in tongue as well as collar provides a good enough cushion for a beginner to intermediate level learner.

Material

In terms of material as well, this shoe does not seem to be disappointing UA’s loyal customers and fans. There is a mix of synthetic leather and engineered mesh, with mesh covering bigger part of the foot. Engineered mesh is not as fragile as simple mesh and it has a longer life.

Lockdown

In terms of lockdown, this shoe has only got a pretty basic lacing lockdown system. Since it is a mid-cut shoe, the user can cinch down the laces, using all eyelets, and have a good grip from facing of the shoe to the low-cut collar.

Pros
  • Rubber Sole
  • Eva Foam Cushioning
  • Engineered Mesh
  • Standard Lockdown
Cons
  • Missing Secondary Lockdown
  • Expensive

Bottom Line

Jet mid is really good – at least as far as sole and upper material are concerned – I agree that cushioning could be upped to make it a shoe for experienced player and learners. Another good thing is the choice of materials. There is nothing to complain about except, a secondary lockdown system could make it near perfect.

17. Reebok Shaq Attaq –  

Best Performance Basketball Shoes

This is the only Reebok shoe in this list – and it is not because Reebok does not make good basketball sneakers but because we could only pick 18 best basketball shoes from Amazon – and only one Reebok sneaker made it to the list.

This is no doubt one of the best Reebok basketball shoe available on Amazon and here are the features that compelled us to add this shoe to this list.

Traction

This shoe, as fancy as it looks, thanks God is not subject to a fancy experiment as far as outsole is concerned. There are many that we have noticed, but this one has got a tough rubber sole and a herringbone pattern.

Cushioning 

Reebok Shaq Attaq has got Reebok’s patented cushioning technology. This is mainly a foam technology, but the strong plastic fiber Graphlite unit makes your sneaker (and thus your feet) lightweight and provides ease of move.

Material

The upper material of Reebok Shaq Attaq is made of some breathable synthetic fabric material and it is very comfortable as well. But there are TPU patches on the shoe to provide strength and better lockdown.

Lockdown

Although this sneaker has only one lockdown option that is lacing, the eyelets are very sturdy and the patch is made from some sturdy material. If you consume all the eyelets, you can have strong grip on the tongue and collar.

Pros
  • Tough Rubber Sole
  • Graphlite Cushioning
  • Breathable
  • Strong Lacing Lockdown
Cons
  • Narrow Toe Box
  • Secondary Lockdown Option Missing

Bottom Line 

This is the only Reebok sneaker that we’ve featured in this review. The reasons are pretty obvious; it has got the best traction system, material is breathable and lacing system is also the best. The improvements could be made in respect of secondary lockdown option and cushioning.

18. Nike Kyrie 5 – 

Kyrie Basketball Shoes
Nike has always preferred providing comfort and ease and features to provide you with the right amount of cushioning. The latest addition in the Nike family is the Nike Kyrie 5 which is optimized to provide you with a premium feel, power protection and the Turbo Zoom Air cushioning which will make swerving around as easy as a child’s play.

After using the Nike Kyrie 5 for more than 15 games, I’m reviewing the performance and quality of Nike Kyrie 5. Read below to find out the honest performance review and pros and cons of the latest Nike Kyrie 5.

Performance Review

The Nike Kyrie 5 has been in the limelight for a while because of the awesome specifications and the economical design. Let’s throw light on each feature individually to know if it is the right choice for your sporting needs.

Ankle support

There is a great amount of padding near the ankle collar so that your ankle stays protected. The padding is stiff, but it doesn’t irritate you while playing. It also provides a strange kind of comfort due to the exclusive uppercut design.

It also provides an ample amount of support for the heel. An additional pad is adjusted to properly set your foot and avoid extra pressure in the middle of the foot. The middle padding is stiff but softens up with time.

Smart-Fit

If you are looking for a pair of shoes that can completely fit and position your feet without making them feel like they are stuffed, Nike Kyrie 5 has solved that problem for you. If you have a wide foot, Congratulations! So do I. Nike kyrie 5 provides a lot of space for wide foot individuals such as myself.

For people who have thin feet, Nike Kyrie 5 has laces that work quite well to even out or tighten up any space, while the padding provides sufficient support

Cushioning

The Nike Kyrie 5 comes with Zoom Turbo which provides more flexibility and easy mitigating from one place to another. Thanks to this feature, you can get a proper control on the speed and responsiveness of your cushioning. You’ll feel like you are walking on air.

Traction

Instead of the popular Herringbone pattern, Nike has advanced the level of quality by introducing different sole patterns that provide resistance against sliding in their own different ways. Even if you are playing on a watery pitch, the Nike Kyrie 5 will help you maintain the right posture and speed.

Pros
  • Provides the best ankle support by proper padding
  • Has an amazing cushioning power
  • Helps avoid sliding while transitioning
  • Locks the foot in the midsole to avoid foot injuries
  • Extremely affordable
Cons
  • Some people find that the features are repetitive and already available in other Nike shoes as well.

Bottom Line

The Nike Kyrie 5 truly provides a bang for your buck. If you are looking for an amazing shoe to provide effortless cushioning,  easy shifts and transitions during the game and ultimate support and ankle protection without paying through the nose, then I’d totally recommend Nike Kyrie 5.

Generally speaking, this is the only shoe that has provided me with the right balance of friction and resistance to make sure I can play and move around without any snags while also protecting my ankle during aggressive moves.

Checkout: Reviews of Best Support For Ankle Support

4 Tips To Choose Good BB Sneakers

Now:

Here comes the guide for all of you who keep asking across the internet as to what to look for when buying a pair of basketball sneakers.

Read this guide for once and you will never need to ask for any expert’s opinion.

Much easier way is to pick one of these 17 sneakers as per your unique requirements, choosing and budget – and I’m pretty sure that you’d love it.

However:

If you want to pick your sneaker on your own, you can always read the points mentioned in this guide and find a good one.

1. Traction

Yeah:

Now all of us know that in all outdoor and indoor sports (including mountaineering and trekking), solid grip on the ground/court matters a lot.

As a matter of fact, it is something between your winning or losing, and even life and death (in case of mountaineering), so shoes with solid grip on the ground matter a lot.

This brings us to a big question – what assures great traction.

Well:

Mainly there are two factors that determine whether a shoe has good traction or not.

First of them is outsole and the second of them is the pattern of that sole.

Rubber sole is considered best, but only the tough one. The translucent sole, as good as it is when compared to non-rubber sole, does not have as good a grip as tough rubber sole.

All other materials start losing the grip or fraying on the sides – which is very dangerous because you can slip.

The other big thing is the pattern on the outsole – the best of them is herringbone or any pattern that facilitates multidirectional movements.

However, all herringbone patterns are not the same – pick one with grooves that are deep and have enough distance between each other. Such kind of grooves will not get filled with dirt – and they will not fail you.

Major Takeaway

Go for tough rubber sole – at least a translucent one, and make sure that sole has a herringbone or equally good pattern with deep grooves – properly distanced from each other.

2. Cushioning

So what exactly is cushioning?

Well, cushioning is a broad term when it comes to basketball sneakers. How come?

Here is how …

The word “cushion” refers to support or protection against impact as well as comfort and coziness.

From traction to cushioning it is all about soles.

Outsole dictates traction, while insole and midsole define the kind of cushioning a shoe has got.

In most of the cases, an insole is used to provide comfort to your heel and remainder of the foot, and a midsole tackles the impact and launching.

Since we cannot judge the cushioning of a shoe by its looks, we have to trust trusted cushioning technologies …

Depending on the brand that you choose, it can be Boost, Bounce, Air, or Micro G etc.

Very often a combo of EVA mould midsole + a foam proves to be the best solutions.

Why? Well, it is so because while ethylene vinyl acetate filled midsole is good for the springy effect, foam works like a good shock absorber, and this “teamwork” provides the most ideal cushioning.

It can be even better, if your midsole is not so thick – in which case you’d get a court-feel, and your feet would be ready for the subsequent movement, right after landing on the ground.

Major Takeaway

Make sure that your insole provides really good padding, and you have a cushioning based on proven technology e.g. Bounce, Boost or Air Zoom etc. It is also recommended to get a shoe with a duo of EVA midsole and foam.

3. Material

I can tell you straight away that material is one big and crazy choice to make.

Why is it so?

Well, it is because basketball sneakers come in all kind of materials for all kind of reasons.

There are people who prefer breathability to durability and protection and vice versa.

Those who love breathability, would go for mesh, engineered mesh or at least a synthetic fabric with good breathability.

And those who prefer water resistance, protection and durability (coz mesh shoes do not last long enough), love TPU or Leather upper.

Now before you get all misty eyed and tell me that you always loved shoes with mesh uppers, let me clarify that most of the basketball shoes with mesh upper and zero protective features, do not last for a long time.

You need a neoprene or leather or TPU overlay or border to secure that mesh-upper shoe. Also, it is not all doom and gloom for TPU or Leather shoes; most of them have a little breathability – thanks to the perforations made in the upper.

In this situation, a better option is to have a shoe with synthetic fabric or engineered mesh.

Along with the reliability, these materials will also help you get the best possible comfort while playing. Any player would not want to compromise the comfort on the court because it can cause many problems if you have not opted for comfortable shoes. Other than that, it also depends on what material you like, so choose wisely!

Major Takeaway

Make sure that you do not buy a leather or TPU upper shoe without breathable collar/tongue and/or perforations made in it. If you buy mesh or even engineered mesh upper shoe, make sure that mesh is secured by TPU/leather panel or border. A safe bet always is to buy a shoe with durable synthetic fiber on its top.

4. Lockdown

What is a lockdown in basketball sneaker parlance?

Well, lockdown is a feature of a show that enables the user to have a strong grip on foot.

To start with, lacing is a perfect example of a lockdown, also one bootie construction or burrito construction or any such construction that leads to firm grip on the foot.

In most of the cases, lacing is enough lockdown, but you can seek for other options as well.

For example, Nike’s Flywire technology is actually a smart option. It is a set of cables that are underneath the upper of the shoe and connected to the sole.

The upper part of these wires are then connected with the laces – and when you cinch down the laces, you also pull the cables and get a very good grip on feet.

Other lockdown systems include, bootie construction, heel counter and Velcro straps etc.

Major Takeaway

A lockdown system ensures good grip on foot – even if you want to buy a shoe without secondary lockdown feature, make sure that the laces have strong eyelets and they go all the way up to the tongue and/or collar.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do I need bb shoes or will my trail runners/tennis shoes would be enough?

Ans. There is not simple and easy answer to this question. This depends a lot on the level of basketball thing you’ve got going for yourself. For example, if you just have a court at home or workplace or school where it is more about fun and less about performance.

Yes, you can use such shoes if you play basketball for fun. At your home you can dunk a hoop wearing trail runners or tennis shoes. You can do the same anywhere – but in case you’re into college or club level basketball or you take this game seriously, you must buy a proper pair.

2. What is the good basketball shoe?

Ans. This is also a complicated question. I can line up a list of boots made by big brands like Adidas, Nike and Under Armour etc. However, this does not answer the question. Perhaps you do not want to know about a particular shoe made by a particular brand, but the question is about characteristics.

The best basketball shoe must be one that checks all the boxes. What are those boxes? Most important of them are traction and cushioning. Then comes material – if it is leather it is sturdy and waterproof, but it will not let air in and thus you will end up with bacteria and sweat accumulation in your shoes. If it is made of mesh or a breathable fabric, is it a durable one? The best shoe is one that your feet will feel best inside.

3. Why cushioning is important?

Ans. There are many factors that dictate the buying decisions. Cushioning is one of the most important of those factors. Cushion is added to a shoe in various different forms. The purpose of cushioning is to enable the player to bounce higher while shooting the ball. This also launches you to the next movement when your feet land on the ground.

A few known forms of cushioning are Nike Air capsule, Nike react foam and Adidas boost etc.

4. Why traction is important?

Ans. Apart from being able to jump (something that cushioning provides), there is another very important factor that makes or breaks the game. That factor is traction. Traction or strong grip on the ground is what you achieve with the outsole of your shoe.

So, traction is very important and there are a few very famous traction pattern that are known for good grip on all kinds of courts.

The most famous of those patterns and the most successful one is herringbone pattern. Other patterns include fingerprint pattern and circular pattern etc.

5. What about insoles?

Ans. It is good to have a basketball sneaker that has everything that you need in one piece. It makes it a lot easier for you to clean the shoe, use it roughly and take care of it. However, you can use insoles in case you need some extra padding or cushion for your feet. Those of them that have shanks are good because they provide good arch support.

6. What kind of socks are best?

This again depends on how involved you are. I can tell you that you do not need basketball socks to dunk hoop with your son – at home – on a Sunday afternoon. You also do not need them if you have little court at your workplace.

But you need basketball socks if you play it at a professional level. Nike Elite socks, Under Armour Men’s Heat Gear and Stance NBA Socks are those that come to mind.

7. What is the difference between an average price basketball shoe and the expensive ones?

Ans. You might not want to believe me, but there can be a big difference or may be no real difference at all. Do know that most of the expensive basketball wear come from the brands have 6 figure advertising budgets and a massive brand awareness. They do not charge only for the shoe, but they include marketing, other costs and their brand’s good will when they decide the pricing.

You can compare a cheap (made in China?) shoe with an expensive one and have a side by side comparison of all features – traction, cushioning, material and lockdown system etc. You might find a cheap shoe with features same as a good one.

8. Are Kyrie 5 good for basketball?

Ans. Kyrie 5 is made by Nike. There is no reason why these shoes should not be considered good for basketball. Especially, those of you who play on outdoor courts would love to know that Kyrie 5 offers really good traction for dirty or semi-clean basketball courts. Kyrie 5 has a very prominent herringbone pattern with strong and big grooves- this means maximum grip on any kind of court.

And another strong suit of Kyrie 5 is its cushioning. It has Nike Air Zoom Turbo cushioning – it is advanced. You cannot compare it to the cushioning of other basketball sneakers, because even in the league of Air Zoom sneakers, this one has a more advanced cushioning technology. So, the answer is the Kyrie 5 is definitely good for basketball.

9. Do NBA players buy their own shoes?

Ans. This question is actually two-fold. First of all you want to know if NBA players can choose sneaker of their own choice and secondly you want to know if the sneakers they wear are free of cost or they have to pay for them.

Well, the answer to the first one is NBA players not only have a say in the sneaker that they want to wear, but Adam Silver, the NBA commissioner, has allowed them to wear them in any color they like.

The answer to the second part is that NBA players represent their teams and sponsors so they do not have to buy their own equipment. That is provided to them free of cost – even to those who are on the bench and not on the court.

Our Verdict

As per my personal opinion, based on the features and customer reviews of all these shoes, here are three best basketball sneakers of 2021.

You can either pick one of these three, or expand your vetting to all 17, or just go wild with our buying guide and get a basketball shoe that best serves your purposes.

  • Nike Air Force 1 – breathable material, highly effective Air Zoom cushioning and rubber sole
  • Adidas Pro Bounce – maximum breathability, Bounce cushioning technology, tough rubber sole
  • Under Armour Curry 3Zero – highly breathable and durable material, Micro G cushioning and tough rubber sole

Let me know of your feedback in the comment box below.

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