10 Best Basketball Shoes Rated & Reviewed in 2019

Along with running shoes, basketball shoes are among the most popular types of footwear in the sports market today.  As such, it can be incredibly hard to narrow it down to just a few to pick from.  There are so many choices to be made and things to consider that a lot of times people either get stressed out or just end up giving up entirely and do no research, instead resorting to how cool the shoes look.  This should play a role, at least a little bit, but it shouldn’t be everything.  Today, we are going to help you put an end to these troubles by taking a look at the things you need in a good basketball shoe and by answering your questions about them.  Hopefully by the end, we have answered just about any question you could possibly have on the subject.  After that, we’ll take a look at the best pairs out there currently.

Top Basketball Shoes Comparison Chart

NameEditionPrice
1. Adidas Men’s Pro Spark 2018Adidas$$$$
2. Nike Men’s Air Versitile Li NBK
Nike$$$$
3. Under Armour Men’s Jet MidUnder Armour$$$
4. Adidas Men’s Explosive Bounce 2018Adidas$$$
5. Nike Men’s KD Trey 5 VNike$$$
6. Adidas Originals Men’s Pro Bounce 2018Adidas$$
7. Under Armour Men’s Drive 4 LowUnder Armour$$$$
8. AND1 Kids Show Out
Black Mamba$$$
9. Nike Men’s LeBron Witness III
Nike$$$
10. Under Armour Men's GS Curry 3ZEROUnder Armour$$$$

Basketball Shoes Buying Guide

A Brief History

You might be interested in taking a walking down memory lane, so here’s a look at the history of basketball shoes.  It all began 26 years or so after the game’s invention in Kansas when Converse made the first basketball shoes.  Now, today we don’t consider the true boom of shoes to have started until Michael Jordan came around in the 1980s, but in reality the first boom took place in the 1920s when Chuck Taylor, a big star at the time endorsed the “Chucks” from Converse.  The “All-Stars” as they were known, thus had one of the first, if not the first, endorsement deals in place, paving the way for Jordan later on.

Almost everyone has had a pair of Converses at some point, and this is why!  The 80s is where it truly peaked, however, with Nike becoming more and more popular.  Jordan helped spur this on, and it was only a matter of time before everyone else wanted in and were seeking to catch up to them.  This saw the rise of the sneaker wars, so to speak, and really we are benefiting even to this day because they just keep getting better and better due to the competition and the drive between all of the companies.

 

Importance of Basketball-Specific Shoes 

So, why does it matter that I get a shoe that is just for basketball?  Well, for one basketball shoes are made to reduce the number of injuries that you will have on court.  Because of that, you see a lot of things in common from one to another in general terms.  For example, you see the use of high tops being very common.  The Converse above was made as a high top to stop people not just from rolling their ankles over as they crossed people over (think of this as the reason why we say “he broke his ankles”) but also in order to make sure that they wouldn’t get injured when you came down from a jump.  We’ll talk more later about high tops and go over the pros and cons of them, but this is just one such reason that you’d want a basketball shoe.

How They’re Different From Running Shoes

If you asking this question, you might also wonder about why a running shoe would be good.  Those are light and supportive and protective of the feet, too, right?  While all of that is true, if they are a top-notch shoe, they just don’t have as much to them as basketball shoes.  Some people might find basketball shoes to be too ‘clunky’ and heavy at times, but it’s for a good reason.  The lightweight nature of running shoes is one thing that makes them a bad choice for basketball.  I’ve experienced this first hand playing with kids at camp, rolling over my ankle.  It hurts, let me tell you.  On top of that, running shoes are made with one goal in mind: moving forward as quickly as possible.  When you see a jogger going down the road, does she run side to side, ducking under arms and then exploding and jumping?  Of course not.  Instead, they do in one motion, which is forward.

Support & Performance

Basketball shoes are made in order to support you laterally and backwards in addition to allowing you to be able to run forward and then to jump as well.  So, even if you did find a bulky, high top running shoe, it would still lack when compared to a basketball shoe.  The same goes for tennis shoes.  Tennis shoes, regular sneakers, and casual shoes are the same way.  They may have some good features to them, but very rarely do they stand up to basketball shoes, or even come close for that matter.

 

Basketball Shoes As Style and Streetwear 

If you don’t play basketball, it doesn’t mean that you can’t wear basketball shoes, or that you shouldn’t want them.  Because of the explosion of popularity in shoes thanks to Air Jordan and co, it has become a huge hobby for people to collect shoes.  If you are a shoe collector, getting a hold of the newest pair of LeBrons or Kevin Durants would be huge for you, especially if they have a new or rare design to them.

Fit & Style

Or maybe you just like to have shoes that fit well, and comfortable, and support you a bit better than a lot of shoes.  Many basketball shoes have become great at doing all three, allowing you to wear them comfortably straight out of the box for hours.  I probably would not recommend that you go to work and wear them if you are going to be standing or walking all day with them, but you can safely assume that most basketball shoes- unless they are poorly made or defective- are going to be comfortable for you… That is if you get the correct size.

 

Shoe Sizing

The sizing and the fit of basketball shoes is essential in getting you to be as happy and as efficient as possible on and off the court.  If a shoe doesn’t fit well, it is going to have a lot of bad effects on you.  You could become angry, for one.  Or much worse, you could pick up injuries that are totally preventable.  One of the reasons people have persistent pain is because they have not been fitted correctly for footwear, or they don’t know how to fit themselves properly.  First of all, taking time to go in store is very important in my estimation.  Even for those that love online shopping, of which we should all be thankful for, this is a good idea.  There are exceptions, and we will get there, but what this does is allow you to get a grasp for what you do and do not like.

Sizing By Brand

It also helps you build a game plan of sorts in your mind.  You’ll start to understand how one brand runs in relation to another.  Maybe ‘Brand X’ is always larger than your usual size, while ‘Brand Y’ is always smaller.  This information can be invaluable when shopping online.  But before all of that, you’ve got to make sure you are not going into the store ‘cold.’  What is meant by this is that you walk in having done nothing all day.  If you want the best size possible and feel for you, then going either at the end of your day or after you have done some sort of activity is the best thing to do.  This will closely mirror the way they will feel on you as the intensity of the game ramps up in the later periods.

Measure Twice, Buy Once

When doing the actual fitting itself, you need to either measure yourself with some sort of device, or have someone else help you with it, or know what your normal size is.  Taking your most favorite pair of shoes that you wear will help you determine this.  Compare the sizes to them if you must.  Once you have that ready, then you can try on pairs.  The most obvious thing to do is to check if you have enough space in the toe bed.  This part of the shoes is the area in which the most people complain about.  The one everyone knows is to check the ends of the toes.  You probably know this info already, but just check to make sure you’ve got a thumb that can go between the toes and the end of the shoes.  If not, don’t assume breaking them in will make them better.  It just won’t.  Breaking in your shoes won’t make them stretch out like it’s gumby all of a sudden.

Avoiding Pain

This can cause blisters and all sorts of problems with the toes and they will be in really rough shape if you allow it to take place over long stretches of time.  Note that having too much space is also bad.  For one, it means you are more prone to sliding out of them.  This is dangerous when you are playing a game of basketball, for obvious reasons.  Losing your shoes means you lose grip.  Even if you don’t come out of them, though, you could be setting yourself up for back or knee problems down the line because of the way it changes your gait.  Also, check the width.  Some people are just bigger than others, and chances are, you are one of those bigger people if you are playing basketball as you get older.  If you have wide feet, make sure they are to your satisfaction.  If they are too narrow, they will not magically expand.  You could have the comfiest insert in the world and plenty of length, but without this you’ll be an unhappy camper.

Consider Your Experience

Before we move on, here is a tip I will give to you.  If you find a brand that you like, you should really stick to it.  This has got nothing to do with the looks or what you prefer, it’s just about what you are used to.  If you are used to wearing Nikes, they will feel one way on you.  Switching to a different brand might seem wise, but it can have long lasting issues in relation to it.  There are many athletes that have experienced this, and it can take time to transition.  And those are for the best players out there.  In most cases, you are not going to be one of the best!  Just the facts of life there.  So, sticking with a brand is wise.  Not just because of that, but also because of the fit. You might be an 11 here and a 10 over there, so making the switch can backfire and create problems you just did not expect to have happen.

 

Basketball Shoe Height

High Top Basketball Shoes

Originally, the basketball shoe was made to be a high top.  This is clearly the case, as it was the thing that players most sought after at the time.  To this day, we still see this being the prevailing trend.  However, it has changed some, and there are new options to look at.  The reason why high tops aren’t what they once were is down to freedom.  Quicker players like to fee like they have less weight upon them, and one way to cut down on that is by wearing something a little bit shorter in that area.  It doesn’t seem like a lot of weight, and on paper it is not, but it does add up to be quite a bit.

 

These shoes just don’t give you as much support, but it also gives you more than less weight to drag you down.  It gives you more freedom of movement, too, because of you being lighter.  One player that has gone to do this recently has been Kevin Durant.  If you’ve ever seen him slip out of his shoes, this has something to do with it.  He wants to be as restricted as least as he can possibly be out on the court.  So, we have seen him transition toward a mid top and sometimes a low top.

Low Top Basketball Shoes

The low top look is a new one in basketball as it just flies against tradition and common sense.  Yes, it is much quicker, and some would argue that it is more responsive.  But you just give up that ankle protection & support in order to trade off for it.  In my mind, it’s akin to being a running back and giving up your leg pads- all of them.  It sounds like a great idea to make you faster, but at some point you’ll get hit.  If you are going to go with a low top, then I suggest that you had better be a fast player, preferably a guard.  Or just a freak of nature like K.D. or LeBron.  If you are bigger and slower, you need and will want the extra protection as your going to be up under the basket more and jumping for rebounds.  It’s quite likely you’ll come down on someone’s foot at some point.  When that happens, you’ll be happy to have some added protection.

Mid Top Basketball Shoes

If you want to split the difference between the two, and many, many players are going in this direction these days, then a mid top is the way to go.  The midtop really just combines the best of both worlds by giving you flexibility and also allowing you to get support at the same time for the ankles without locking you down like you’re in some kind of asylum.  This type is best for quicker forwards and some guards as well.  But you can try your hand at them if you’d like in other positions as well.  It shouldn’t harm you all that much!

 

Comfort and Support 

Alright, let’s get to something that is confusing and related to each other but is not the same.  You’d all agree that you want to feel good in any shoe.  Comfort is a major commodity, and many a shoe have been sold based on that solitary promise alone.  However, comfort is not the end-all.  There, I said it.  Slipping on a pair of shoes that ascends you straight to the heavens is not going to magically fix all of your problems.  You could very realistically have the absolute best feeling in the world wearing them only to end up hurting when you are done playing.  How could this be, you ask?  Support.  Support and cushioning.

Heel & Ankle Support

Support is what basketball players need most in a shoe.  Without support, they put the player at risk for serious foot and ankle injuries.   Seriously.  Support makes the shoes bearable to wear for a long time.  Comfort allows you to wear them once, support allows you to wear them until they have been worn down for good.  Support today is much different than it used to be.  In the old days, the high top WAS support.  Being bulky was just its way to protect you.  Protection and support sound the same but they aren’t.  Protection is a bodyguard, support is your phone, to put those into perspective.

Support Technology

In today’s basketball shoes, support is brought to you by using a system called “outriggers.”  Over time,  and this is why it is possible to wear low and mid tops today without getting nearly as many injuries as you used to, they have moved to this in order to keep players in the game.  The outrigger is placed on the outsides of the shoes and adds to the outsole that is already there.  It gives you more room, and yes it helps if someone were to land on you or kick you, but this area also cushions you from the shocks of jumping, too!

Midfoot Shanks

Midfoot shanks also help do this very same thing, though they do so up under the foot and in the inside of the shoe.  These shanks help to give your torsion support and also lock your heel into place with a cup like designs, in some cases.  Other forms of support include how the shoes “lockdown.”  It has been said for a long time that there is no perfect lockdown shoe.  And that is true.  But you have to have some lockdown, because without it, you can’t go from side to side on a cut without slipping.  And even if you didn’t slip, you would feel it, because you’d basically be reduced to a running shoe, which we know does not translate well to basketball.

Braces & Additional Support Options

Also, if you need added support, then there are options there for you, too, at least in a lot of shoes.  If you’ve had ankle problems before, then you can add an ankle brace to the mix.  Some shoes do not go well with any additions, while others are great.  If this is of interest to you, you need to do research and be careful to pick a pair that will work for you.  We will mention it if a shoe doesn’t do a good job at this in our reviews later on.  If you’ve had foot problems in the past, then an insert could be a good shout for you.  Inserts are usually able to be removed so that you can put yours in.  If you find that a shoe has a very strong insert that is glued in well, yours most likely will not do well as it is not advisable to lay one on top of the other.  You could probably get away with that if you were just using them for causal use, but for basketball, this could breed all sorts of eventual health problems to your feet, knees, and back.  Gait, the way in which you walk, can change and when you change that your body adjusts and will make up for it some way.  Oftentimes, this adjustment period is not the best thing for your body.  The body just like to keep the status quo for as long as it can, but eventually you will pay the piper and be punished, if you will, for the things you have done to it.

 

Other Factors to Consider

There are a number of things that you have to think about when looking at a basketball shoe, and in addition to the things mentioned above, you always have to look at these factors before making a decision to purchase a pair or not.

 

Traction

Traction is a major part of basketball, and all sports really.  It is especially important for basketball, because it will determine how well you stay on your feet.  Add to the mix the fact that so many gyms you go to are poorly swept, and you need it to come through for you in a big way.  Two things should be looking at to examine traction.  The first is the pattern used on the bottom of the shoes.  If you see lots of zigs and zags in differing directions, this is a good sign.  This means that dust won’t get caught in them, which lessens the grip that you have to the floor.  “Herringbone” traction is the best way to make sure you stay up that’s out on the market.  The other thing to look at is the rubber that is used.

Is it quality rubber, or is it not?  This is tough to judge, and you have to go by reviews oftentimes.  Depending on what you want, you might want softer rubber or harder.  Softer rubber is going to do great inside but collects dust a lot easier.  Harder rubber is more durable but isn’t great on hardwood.  So it all depends on what kind of surface you find yourself playing on.  If you are looking for better performance, then if the color of the shoes is a choice between solid colors and translucent (one that allows light) ones, the solid is going to give you more grip.  The translucent ones might look better and if you are looking for fashion, it won’t be a big deal, but if you want the best in performance you want the more solid colors.

 

Materials 

Materials are harder to evaluate than they once were because they have changed so much.  In olden days, the use of mesh would have meant the shoes would definitely tear quicker than other materials.  But today, so many shoes use mesh and do a good job of it.  Mesh is a material that is super breathable.  If you’ve ever played basketball and you are on the court for a while, your feet will sweat.  If you don’t have shoes with breathability in them, it’s due to a lack of mesh or similar products.  Mesh airs them out, keeping the feet dry and making you much less heavy in the process.

Leather is another option, though it is starting to fade away.  Leather offers a premium feel and touch, but it isn’t as durable.  A lot of people are finding it better to pay less for synthetics and have something that lasts longer.  Synthetics mirror and mimic the positives of leathers but tend to last longer.  They can be stiffer and harder to break in, and they used to be horrible to get used to, but they have improved markedly over the years and are a very viable option for you to wear.  Today, any of the three, or a combination of them, are good choices, as long as you see that people generally like them and don’t leave poor reviews on them.

 

Cushioning

We mentioned it briefly earlier, but cushioning is also very important.  Much like support that we talked about, cushioning does a similar job but does it on the bottom of the shoe.  In basketball, it is very common to be up and down, jumping off the floor.  Your feet need something to literally cushion the blow from these impacts.  Going back to the original Converses, and you can probably guess that those had none of that in them.

As time has gone on, each company has developed their own methods and technologies to cushion these repeated blows in an attempt to keep stress-related injuries from happening as regularly.  Like with the high top vs low top debate, this all depends on what kind of player you are.  Faster and lighter players will want cushioning to be firm.  If it is too soft, you’ll lose some of that responsive nature you crave.  But if you are someone that is bigger, or if you have had injuries in the past, you need all of the protection you can get and should get full strength support.

 

Best Basketball Shoe Reviews

 

Adidas Men’s Pro Spark 2018

Coming in five traditional yet awesome looking colors, the Pro Spark 2018 is one of many shoes in history that Adidas have made look stylish and classy at the same time. But this shoe is much more than just about looks. It packs quite the punch with quality all the way around. For starters, this is a shoe that is a mid top.  Some might even go to call it a high top, given today’s preference for less bulk.  Furthermore, the shoes have a lot of other features that are sure to make you happy.  Starting with the Cloudfoam midsole.  Adidas has changed the game with this material used to make you more comfortable inside the shoe itself, and it has made quite a few people switch over as a result.

The upper of the shoe is composed of both mesh and synthetics, helping to keep the cost down while giving you a lot of breathability and durability as well, all of which are things that you will crave in a pair of shoes when you get on court and don’t have them.  The bottoms are effective because of the use of the Herringbone pattern that we talked about for traction, making the soles great on the court.  In addition to the aforementioned Cloudfoam, they have an insole that is called “Ortholite” to make them even more comfortable.  To go along with the comfort, they are made to be more responsive because of that, making them great for making quick moves to the basket.  One problem that you could find with these shoes is the fact that they do not take water very well.  I’m not sure how this would could into play unless you spilled a lot on you, but it is worth pointing out.  This pair is also a little lacking with arch support, so if you have either flat feet or high arches, you might need to look elsewhere.

 

Pros

  • Range of colors, all of which look great
  • Cloudfoam tech combines with Ortholite to make you comfy
  • Lots of ankle protection

 

Cons

  • Lets in water easily
  • Lacks arch support you might require

 

 

Nike Men’s Air Versitile Li NBK

A pair of shoes that are very comparable to the Pro Spark, the Nike ‘version’ is the Air Versitile. This pair of shoes has a wider range of colors, giving you many choices to pick from in your quest to look the best that you can. Like the previous product, these shoes have a mid top design to them in the back.  One thing that stands out, though is back there toward the heel.

Up top, they are made to be very comfortable with a design that uses textile materials to make them very soft around the ankles and heels.  On the bottom of the heel is an interesting look that would leave many to conclude that it is just for looks.  However, the little slit beneath is the ‘Air-Sole’ unit, which brings you a light option at cushioning the blows from all of those jumps and quick explosions of speed you have on court.  Another thing that some Nikes have been moving toward is the fly wire cables.  Instead of using ordinary strings for them, they use these wires to lock you in more comfortably and to make you more stable by dispersing the weight across more of the foot.

You still have laces, but this helps you feel more secure and down into the court, which is a huge thing to have that will bring confidence to your game.  On the sole, these Nikes use the Herringbone pattern to give you the proper amount of traction that any basketball player could ask for.  One of the things that some wearers don’t like is that these mid tops rub up against the Achilles area and that they have too little padding.  Another problem is with durability, with some complaining that they don’t last as long as you’d hope for them to.  The Air unit discussed also can pop, prompting the fun to end rather quickly.

 

Pros

  • Lots of great colors and designs
  • Fly wire cables lock you in
  • Air sole good for lighter players

 

Cons

  • Ankle area has lack of padding
  • Air unit can pop
  • Not as durable as some desire

 

 

Under Armour Men’s Jet Mid

Considering that they started so far behind Nike and co, it’s a testament to Under Armour that they are in the discussion, but they have gotten themselves into third on this list with the Jet Mid shoe. The Jet Mid, as you could guess, is a mid top that looks to give you the best of both worlds: flexibility and protection. One way that UA has looked to decrease the weight and comfort of the shoe is by using EVA inside and on the midsole.  This foam substance cuts down on the weight and is very soft, allowing you to no longer have to worry about abrasions and the like.  There are plenty of colors to be had, with all of them being stylish yet pretty simple overall.

Another thing that will gets thumbs ups from wearers is the fact that they don’t take a long time to break in.  This fact is a big relief if you just have to have a pair to play in right away and don’t want to wait.  One thing that you can see just by looking at them is the huge amount of mesh that is used.  It is all over theses shoes, on the tongue, the upper, and on the sides, so you should have more than enough breathability built in to keep you ticking.  The soles are made using the Herringbone pattern and are one piece, so they have not tried to get fancy and thus messed up the traction as a result, unlike some others in the past have done.  The problems with these shoes start with the size.  These tend to run both narrow and also are smaller than normal sizes, so you are going to have to try them on or guess in order to get the best size possible.  Some people have also expressed concerns over the inside causing blisters, so if you are very prone to that, you might look elsewhere.

 

Pros

  • Simple but still sophisticated looks
  • Lots of EVA helps them stay light
  • Major amounts of mesh used to make them breathable

 

Cons

  • Runs small and narrow at the same time
  • Insides of the shoes can cause blistering to form

 

 

Adidas Men’s Explosive Bounce 2018

Coming in at you with some of the flashiest designs and colors so far, the Explosive Bounce has more than one thing that makes the name an apt description of them. Along with the very much vibrant coloring of them, these shoes stand out due to having a midfoot strap running across it. While many would assume this is just there for looks and increase the style, it is actually there for another reason.  The reason being that it gives you more lockdown and stability than shoes without this feature.  This means you won’t have to worry about slipping or anything like it while out on the court.  Up top, the shoes uses mesh and synthetics together to make the upper breathable and light at the same time.

There are no seams used in this area, which is proven to make shoes more durable because there’s simply less things that can go wrong with them.  In the inner part of the shoes, you have a ‘geofit’ system.  Unlike the sound, which doesn’t really make much sense, it anatomically molds to your foot, thus increasing comfort and also helping lock you in just a little bit more.  As if this wasn’t enough, the Bounce cushioning system contributes to give the wearer more comfort and protection, while adding more flexibility to the mix.  This is a mid top shoe, that is fairly close to a high top, so it offers more or less the same amount of support as most shoes in the modern basketball shoe market.  One worry about them is that the Bounce doesn’t have as much give as it would suggest.  Another is that the price is a little higher than the others featured so far, so that could be downside to them.

 

Pros

  • Vibrant colors pop out at you
  • Expectedly good traction
  • Cross strap for more lockdown

 

Cons

  • Little more expensive than others on the list
  • Not as ‘bouncy’ as the name might suggest

 

 

Nike Men’s KD Trey 5 V

One of the more influential shoes in the market is the KD Trey 5, and it is for a number of reasons both on and off the court itself. Off the court, the shoes come in a lot of very cool colors and designs. On court, the first thing you’ll notice is the lockdown system that is used. Instead of using normal old laces, these have a ‘dynamic’ lacing system that runs down toward the outsoles of the shoes.  This makes them very flexible and freeing, a big part of the reason this secondary KD line was made that way.  The midsole does a tremendous job through its use of both Phylon and the Zoom technologies that Nike has, and the Zoom Air does a job at cushioning in the back.  Coming with a heel counter inside, it aids you in making sure that you don’t slip with them on. One of the complaints with these shoes is that they run long, much like Durant’s arms.  Durability is another concern, with constant use taking its toll.  Lastly, the shoe does take some time to break in, so be prepared for that.

 

Pros

  • Dynamic laces are very freeing
  • Zoom Air cushioning
  • Heel counters prevents slippage

 

Cons

  • Runs long
  • Takes some time to break in
  • Constant use erodes them

 

 

Adidas Originals Men’s Pro Bounce 2018

As the name would suggest, this is a throwback to an older time. These shoes, thus, are classy looking and also feature the high top look and feel to give you more protection or that style you’ve been craving that you have a hard time finding nowadays. However, some people have shown to not like the collar that they use, claiming that it is flimsy and doesn’t give as much support to the ankle as they look like they would. With a cable lacing system used and the geofit construction mentioned, these mold to your specific body better than most and help increase your overall comfort.  The soles use the Herringbone pattern to give you a great feel on court, while the Bounce compound makes its way in to give you cushioning.  The one thing you might not like is the lack of responsiveness.  If you are used to a lighter shoe with less ankle support, these will feel alien to you.

 

Pros

  • Old school looks
  • High top should protect ankles
  • Molds to your foot

 

Cons

  • Hard to transition from low or mid tops
  • Padding in collar is lacking and can bother ankles

 

 

Under Armour Men’s Drive 4 Low

If you are a player that just can’t stand to have themselves being weighed down one single bit, this is the shoe for you. A low top that is also light, these shoes will help you zoom all over the court. However, you should not expect them to give you nearly as much protection as mids and high tops would.  The looks of these are seriously great, among the best out there, in my opinion, and that deserves a mention.  Elsewhere, the shoes have a counter in the heel to stop your slipping, while the soles are a little different but still good with traction than the Herringbone pattern.  One of the things you will appreciate is the attention to detail, which has seen them reinforce the lace loops to make them stay in place and has seen UA add a toe wrap to the forefoot in order to make them more durable.  No one wants their stuff wearing out quickly, and they have sought to fix that and stop it from happening through those couple of things.  They do take a bit of time to break in, unfortunately, and they also have a lack of breathability as well, so look out for those things.

 

Pros

  • Top of the line looks
  • More durable than previous Drives
  • Excellent for quick players

 

Cons

  • Takes time to break in
  • Lacks ankle support
  • Breathability is disappointing

 

 

AND1 Kids Show Out

From out on nowhere, AND1, a brand from my childhood had burst back on the scene with this offering. Meant for kids and sized accordingly, these shoes have a number of cool colors to pick from to help you ball on the court and on the street. These are a cross between a mid and a high top and they feature the new look that has the laces above the back of the heel, making them very easy to put on if you are an adult, which isn’t so great for parents out there.  This also helps lock players in better and helps you keep from worrying about them getting injured from slipping. Complete with a heel strap and laces, these are lightweight thanks to EVA used in the midsole but don’t sacrifice the performance factor.  The negative to them is that the shoes don’t stay laced all that well and they also run narrow, so that can be a downer for you.

 

Pros

  • Lots of flashy colors to pick from
  • Locks you in to them
  • Combines high and low top

 

Cons

  • Kids will have trouble getting them on
  • Laces come untied frequently
  • Runs narrow

 

 

Nike Men’s LeBron Witness III

The most expensive shoe on the list, the LeBron Witness III is for the sneakerhead or player that just can’t turn down being like the King. These shoes have four distinctive colors and designs to choose from, with none of them being similar at all to give you options. The shoe also has a bit of a changeup to it, looking almost like a rocker bottom in the back as it curves up a little like a boat.  This helps take some pressure off the heels.  The use of mesh is prevalent in them, allowing you to breathe much easier, while the Herringbone pattern takes effect well to keep you on the floor.  Incredibly good with wear, they are a good choice even if you are playing outside, which is a surprise given the price tag.  The problem with these is that they run long and narrow at the same time, with the midfoot pinching some.  The color outsoles are also more slippery, so keep that in mind.

 

Pros

  • Awesome and very contrasting styles
  • Heels have less pressure put on them when running
  • Good for outdoor use

 

Cons

  • Colored ones are more prone to slippage
  • Runs long and narrow
  • Fairly expensive

 

 

Under Armour Men’s GS Curry 3ZERO

If LeBron was going to make the list, then Steph had to, too, right? Also like the King’s, Curry’s shoes run a little expensive. One thing that has to be said about these shoes right off the bat is that they are good on clean courts when it comes to traction. However, they are not so good when the floor is dusty or dirty, leading to a lot of wiping.  The upper, contrary to some other UA products, breaks in pretty easily, so that is not a worry for you.  The cushioning in them is a little bit more firm than in previous models, so this could be a negative for you. The laces are also short, making them hard to tie.

 

Pros

  • Very good looks
  • Great traction when clean
  • Break in time is minimal

 

Cons

  • A little pricey
  • Cushioning is firmer and not as responsive for guards
  • Laces short for some

 

Conclusion & Final Basketball Shoe Recommendations


Finding the right pair of basketball shoes can be very tough on you.  Whether you are looking to buy them for yourself or a loved one, it can be extremely hard to wade through the hundreds and hundreds of shoes that are on the market, all claiming to be the best.  Today, we looked to help you get through that mess and zero in on a few things to look for a few different options.  For the most part, all of the shoes reviewed are inexpensive, and even those that are higher are not well in the stratosphere, meaning everyone should be left happy with any of the products here.

 

FAQ’s About Basketball Shoes

 

How Long Does It Take to Break In Basketball Shoes?

The length of time it takes to break in your shoes is just going to depend on the shoes that you have.  Some pairs will feel great right away.  Usually these are the ones that are made with better materials, but that is not always the case.  If you get a pair of shoes that are stiff to begin with, you shouldn’t panic.  They can break in.  Just take it slowly.  Wear them for a bit at a time, around the house preferably, and then put them to use in practice for a while.  Then you can try a game.  You will have the itch to throw them into the fire straight away, but I even recommend that you wait it out with a great feeling pair for just a little bit to make sure you get used to them and that they get used to you.

 

Why Are There A Lack of Girls Basketball Shoes?

For whatever reason, there is still a big time lack of girls and womens basketball shoes at the moment, and for now, there is no end in sight.  As for why, that’s a good question that can’t be answered.  It could be down to the fact that they are super supportive no matter the gender and can crossover.  However, it is rather annoying if you are a lady because you have to worry about converting your size and stuff like that.  They’ll also be heavier on you, so that is another thing that could literally weigh you down.

 

Does Money Make a Difference In Quality?

Money can certainly have an effect on the quality of the shoes that you buy, but you should not automatically believe a product is better than another simply because of the price.  With that said, you do get what you pay for.  So if you are spending just a few bucks or getting something for free, you had better believe that it will have some downsides to it.  A lot of the more well known brands come out for more money than the lesser known ones.  If you want a player’s name attached to it, it’s just gonna cost more.  That is what you have got to be prepared for in order to make the decision ultimately.

 

What About Socks?

Socks are always important, too, when you are discussing footwear, so it would be wise to have a discussion about them quickly.  Socks are interesting.  Some are good from the store, some are not so good. It really just depends on what you want to get out of them.  The best idea is to get some compression socks.  These will help you tire less and run longer and jump higher, while also giving your arches even more support, which will never, ever hurt in basketball.  Oh, and they help control the level of moisture, too.  Normal socks won’t wick away sweat and may well make you heavier, a poor combination of things for any athlete in any sport.

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