Best Shoes for Basketball

Basketball is a sport that involves a lot of jumping, sprinting, as well as foot and leg power. Because of this, you, if you are a player, should only ever wear the right shoes for basketball. Otherwise, you might be compromising your game performance as well as your safety from potential injury. Fortunately, the market has a lot of footwear which are specially manufactured just for the sport. Aside from serving you the power needed for play, they also offer flashy and chic styles to power up the court.

shoes for basketball

However, with such a wide variety of options to choose from, how do you decide which shoes to get? Simple. Consider looking into the following: silhouette, traction, compound, and material. These properties will define your feet’s comfort and support throughout. Then, look into the following for specific references for the best shoes for basketball.

  • Nike LeBron 17
  • Air Jordan XXXIV
  • New Balance OMN1S
  • Adidas Performance Crazy Explosive
  • Jordan Why Not Zer0.2
  • Nike Kyrie 6
  • Adidas D.O.N. Issue Number 1 
  • Nike PG 3
  • Puma Clyde Hardwood
  • Adidas N3XT L3V3L
  • Under Armour Curry 3Zero 3
  • Nike Kobe A.D. NXT 360
  • Converse All Star Pro BB

You may think that it is not that relevant if you are a non-player, but shoes can make the difference between winning and losing. Therefore, basketball players need to examine what exactly their playing styles require footwear. Then, they are on for enhanced on-court performance.

How to choose the best shoes for basketball?

A good pair of basketball shoes is more than just a pair of sneakers that you play in. It is like your hero’s weapon for the best battles—for instance, a booster for your vertical jumps. Like an armor, it is a protective gear that should save you from accidents such as possible slips and falls. Thus, you should consider the following in choosing your game footwear.

Type of Silhouette

There are three different types of basketball silhouettes out there. These are low tops, mid-tops, and high tops. Traditionally, basketball players used to only play in high tops that cover the ankles. But nowadays, preference has made the shoes on the court more varied than before.

Low Top 

People pick low-top silhouetted footgear for their flexibility and typical lighter weight. They work well for the players with guard positions that do not have the unnecessary bulk of other forms. With a low-cut pair of shoes, you can feel the lightness and the quickness of your feet in the arena. However, players that are quite bigger and slower may not profit as much from this type of footwear. Thus, if you are one, you might have to look for the protection necessary from the higher cut footgear.

At present, players prefer low-tops more and more like their ordinary training shoes. Non-players may also enjoy them to strut some style in the streets daily.

High Top 

For a long time, basketball shoes used to only look like the high-cuts that you can call today. Typically, people opt for them as they provide so much ankle support and protection. Also, they are usually nicely cushioned, which makes them more comfortable to wear. They are ideal if you are one of the bigger guys that need optimum shield when combating below the rim. They might offer just a bit lesser flexibility compared to low-cuts, but they sure are better for security.

Mid Top 

If you want to enjoy the best of both worlds, low-cut and high-cut, then a mid-cut is for you. Shoes with mid-top profiles feature good flexibility and mobility. At the same time, they also provide a decent amount of ankle shield as well as more stability. These are perfect for the players with forwards or wings position. This is as they do not need all the flexibility from a low-cut and the bulkiness of a legit high-cut.


Traction is the grip that your footgear will grant you while in the arena. Good traction allows for speed and easy pivots; thus, powering up your performance for either defense or attack.

There is quite a distinction between an indoor and outdoor pair of shoes here as well. Indoor ones characteristically have a finer tread pattern compared to their outdoor counterparts. They will enable you to cope with smooth, polished floors well. On the other hand, outdoor footgear generally has a larger tread pattern. They also have deeper grooves so that you can cope with unlevel and more rough court floors outdoors.

Shoe Compound

Like the traction, the compound also addresses the necessary grip for when you are in the match. Rubber compound will aid you in your turns and those bursts of speed in situations that call for it. Alternately, synthetic soles may not be as pleasant as the rubber and are not as hard. However, they can tender you some bounce when you need them.

Moreover, the thickness of the compound that manufacturers utilize in the soles is different for every setting. For outdoor matches, the rough surfaces would require thicker soles. This is especially important in the midsole of your sports sneakers. Indoors, conversely, would thinner and softer rubber compounds. This should match the smooth and polished floors of the indoor tournament halls.


Before, the majority of the shoes for basketball have an all-leather material upon production. This allows the products to be very durable, but they were not exactly lightweight. Nowadays, the perfect footgear for the sport comprises a mix of materials. For one, they have leather for the areas with high abrasion. Then, they have mesh or synthetics that enable great airflow and ventilation. These materials are typically cheaper, although they tend to be rather stiff and need time to break-in. 

Additionally, sneaker manufacturers and users find stability as one of the most significant deciding factors. Having leather on the spots that need the most support like the heels and ankles is greatly efficient. But, having synthetics on the tongue and forefoot should give you the essential breathability.

Best Shoes for Basketball

Nike LeBron 17

This is the 17th edition of LeBron James’ signature shoes for basketball with the largest Air Max heel. This tells you how cushioned your landings will be while wearing it. Apart from that, the product comes equipped with two independent Air Zoom Pods to absorb any impact that you will encounter. Its former Battleknit material, moreover, is now replaced by Knitposit. It is a distinct blend of the Flyknit and heat-molded yarns that gives off a unique vibe to the gear.

Air Jordan XXXIV

The Air Jordan line has a reputation for one of the best of the best performances in shoes for basketball. For the XXXIV, they took quite a bit from their retros to put their focus on producing a lightweight model. With top-notch performance, the product’s materials are not super-premium, yet are flexible and breathable. And although it is quite lighter than the other Air Jordans, it still proves competent in support and balance. This is as it is constructed with a wide and stable base and an Eclipse plate by the midfoot region.

Plus, the cushioning of the model is not as plush as the others, though extra less clunky, providing a well-balanced stride.

New Balance OMN1S

The New Balance OMN1S is Kawhi Leonard’s first signature model following his departure from the Jordan Brand. And since its launch, it has only been gaining love from many sneaker critics. First, it proves promising with its FuelCell foam cushioning that provides great balance and ease. Then, it features a knit build with synthetic panels for paramount airflow. Its grip’s pattern is herringbone, and its compound, a translucent rubber. With these, you are sure to have a good play either on smooth or rough floor surfaces.

Adidas Performance Crazy Explosive

Among the several shoe models produced by Adidas, the Performance Crazy Explosive is one of the bests. It boasts of its Primeknit Xeno upper which is lightweight, convenient, and breathable all at the same time. With it, you can keep your feet cool and dry despite all the energy and power you burn during the contest. Aside from that, they also have a textile inner lining and a mesh tongue that aids for the same purpose.

Additionally, the shoe model boasts of a tinted translucent rubber just over the boost midsole. It functions by enhancing the grip, so you move around in a breeze.

Jordan Why Not Zer0.2

The Why Not Zer0.2 of the Jordan is a signature model of Russell Westbrook, almost as extravagant as his style. Its highlights include a traction pattern that says “0” that represents Westbrook’s jersey number. Aside from that, it has a special Phylon heel that provides perfect support, convenience, and lockdown. Its cushioning, on the one hand, is not the full-length Zoom anymore, but a better forefoot Zoom Air. With all that various properties in a pair of footwear, sneaker critics hail the Why Not Zer0.2 as a superior all-rounder.

Nike Kyrie 6

The Kyrie signature line has the first-rate standing when it comes to their products’ traction. Therefore, if you want an amazing stopping power for all directions, then the Kyrie 6 is one for you. Aside from a valuable grip, it also has a Phylon cushioning in the heel. It feels so much softer in comparison to the preceding models. Additionally, it has a Zoom Turbo in the forefoot that will grant you an adequate bounce when you need it. In the main, Kyrie 6 is a wonderful choice if you want soft, though adequately supportive shoes for basketball.

Adidas D.O.N. Issue Number 1 

This is the first signature sneaker model of the one and only Donavan Mitchell. It is more on the modestly priced basketball footwear, yet is packed with more tech than you would expect. For one, it has a herringbone-patterned outsole that provides a superior grip. Then, it has a Bounce midsole that will tender you ample steadiness and ease. It is mainly defined, though, by its propulsion clip on the side that presents you lateral support. Besides that, it also encourages you a dynamic play style for a powered amusement show.

Nike PG 3

If you are all about performance beyond looks, you should include the PG 3 in your considerations. Sneaker critics like almost everything about it except its aesthetics. Nevertheless, it is finely functional with its “moon crater” traction pattern that can cope with any surface. It might just take quite a while to break-in, but you can bring it in either outdoor or indoor game halls. Its cushioning in the forefoot is a Zoom Air, which is very responsive and bouncy. The heel foams, on the other hand, give you a decent amount of protection against shock.

Puma Clyde Hardwood

Since their return to the basketball fold in 2018, Puma has only been creating performance-focused footwear, including the Clyde Hardwood. The model lives under Puma’s iconic Clyde franchise, along with the Clyde Court and after Walt Clyde Frazier. 

Compared to the Clyde Court, the Clyde Hardwood sits lower but has a more structured upper. The latter is an improved innovation such that it assists in increased stability. In the main, the model is a cross of the brand’s best performance technologies. Besides that, it also has the appearance and feel of the classic Clyde sneakers. With a Clyde Hardwood on your feet, you can flare such a lifestyle look and a high-tech character in the game square.

Adidas N3XT L3V3L

Time has changed the notion that only allowed shoes for basketball are those with high-top shapes. Similarly, the time has changed the notion that sneakers, and basketball sneakers, for that matter, should have laces. And Adidas has been the one that pioneered that narrative by presenting their sock-like shoe model. 

The engineering of the N3XT L3V3L aims to prevent slippage despite the absence of laces to tighten it upon wear. It is extremely relaxing to the feet with that and its new foam midsole called Lightstrike and its Primeknit upper

Under Armour Curry 3Zero 3

The Curry 3Zero 3 by Under Armour is among the more economical shoe sneakers on the market. Still, it is bound to surprise you for the performance it offers beyond its cost. It has traction that is a total top-notch on polished courts. At the same time, it does not require any wiping on dusty outdoor surfaces. Besides that, it has synthetic leather that breaks in well, comfortable, and supportive with a 1:1 fit. It just has quite a firm Micro-G cushioning that works better with lighter players who prefer the responsiveness and court feel.

Nike Kobe A.D. NXT 360

The Kobe A.D. NXT 360 looks more like a running shoe than a basketball shoe. Yet, the appearance should not deceive you as it is seriously remarkable in the playfields. It features the latest Nike footwear technology, such as the next-gen Flyknit, React, and Lunarlon foams. Generally, its design is sure to keep you running rings during the game.

Converse All Star Pro BB

Converse has been lying dormant in the basketball arena since 2012 and came back with the All-Star Pro BB. It has been instrumentally designed to include the Nike React sole and Quadfit mesh upper enclosed in a low-slung cup sole. All integrated into one pair of footwear, these components aim for the premium lockdown. Aside from that, it offers nostalgia through the elements referencing the Converse Weapon and Chucks.

Related Questions

Can running shoes suffice as basketball shoes?

Yes, you can wear running shoes when playing basketball. Their tailoring allows you to move around and spring off hard floors. They are lightweight and are typically made of thin material. They also come in cushioned soles to protect your feet from the shock upon hitting hard surfaces.

However, expect that they might not have the same comfort, performance level, and safety as basketball shoes. It does not always have too much of a negative impact, although playing professionally should require your professional gear. Ultimately, if you desire footwear that would be enough for running and playing basketball, you can opt for a cross-trainer.

What are you risking when you are not using the proper footwear in playing basketball?

When you are wearing the inappropriate pair of footwear in playing basketball, you are risking your security. According to the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine, wrong shoes can cause problems in the lower extremities. These include the lower back, hip, leg, and ankle. The longer you keep playing with improper foot attire, the more serious the issues will become. Consider the situation when you are landing from a rebound in a pack of players, all wrestling for the ball. With just a flimsy pair of running shoes, you are signing yourself up for injury even before the end of the quarter.

Related Article

Best Shoes for Netball

Recent Posts