Most basketball shoes are a hit both on the field and out on the streets, and so leading manufacturers have their work cut out for them. Looking for the best basketball shoes? These are the must-haves.
Best Basketball Shoes – Quick Overview
What To Look For In The Best Performance Basketball Shoes
High or Low Top?
Basketballs shoes are simple, and so you have two basic silhouettes: high-top or low-top. The choice is largely yours, but they are distinct in this way. A high-top shoe will have an extra pad to provide more ankle support, and it is popular among the aggressive players. Low-top designs are simple and without the pad. While they will not have the extra cushion for ankle support, they are lighter than the high-top counterparts. Players who want speed will go for this pair.
This part is probably the most important, seeing that players are on their feet the entire period. Your average player will be moving in several directions during the game, and so the sole needs to be able to keep up. An ideal outsole will provide support, grip, and protection.
Traditional basketball shoes had a herringbone pattern, which as for the longest time provided ample multidirectional support. Lately, we see brands such as Nike opting for the hexagonal pattern, which has excellent traction on key zones of the sole. Both patterns work well.
Seeing that the sport requires a player to be on their feet for over an hour and to land on their feet throughout the many jumps, the ideal shoe should have shock absorbers. Most shoes come with responsive foam padding–EVA or polyurethane are the conventional materials.
Leading brands such as Nike will go a notch higher to include a built-in air pocket that absorbs the player’s impact, but this addition will come at a cost: the shoe will be slightly heavier.
Ventilation is as necessary for the shoe as is durability. In this regard, most manufacturers will combine canvas and synthetic leather to get those two desirable features. You may want to ensure that your preferred shoe has canvas or mesh to provide proper airflow and that the top will hold its own for a while.
To Lace or Strap?
Laces have been the traditional method of fastening basketball shoes, but manufacturers are always looking for ways to improve their releases. We have seen most of them opting for Velcro straps. Laces are still popular as they secure the shoe perfectly, but they are a nuisance to tie. Velcro straps hold well, and they are bliss to undo. Here, go for what works best for you.
Style… What’s Your Game?
Bold colors, vibrant, unique prints, and a pair oozing of confidence is what most players will go for. Admittedly, style is vain, especially when comfort comes fast, but let’s face the fact that we are a consumer-driven nation.
Most sportswear is all about making a statement, but basketball more than other sports. Your shoes will determine the way people look at you. They will send a message to potential sponsors, brand managers, your fellow teammates, and the competition. Why else do you think brands go out of their way to come up with works of art?
Top 10 Best Basketball Shoes in 2019 – Reviews
Adidas is always pushing the limits to stay ahead of the game. Shoe manufacturers cannot afford to slack in this industry as the competition is always watching.
In this edition, the brand has maintained the things it’s renowned for; elegance functionality, and style.
It has a Jacquard upper, backed by nylon. The upper is quite soft and breathable while nylon enhances the durability of the pair and boosts its water-resistant property. The mesh tongue allows a better flow of air while making it comfortable to lace up.
The shoe looks good from the outside, with a design meant to appeal to the fashionable yet reasonable sportsperson. It easily transforms from a shoe for the game to your regular street-wear. Colors? White and black.
The outsole is rubber, which makes it flexible for the multiple jumps and direction change the player is going to make. It features the herringbone pattern, which is known for gripping firmly and preventing slips even on tiled and wet floors. This sole is ideal for indoor play, and we know from experience with previous versions that it lasts a longer. When used outdoors, it holds its own pretty well still.
For shock absorption, the midsole is cushioned with foam, to work in and with the rear foot cage for an ideal fit. The inside material hugs the foot and cushions it from theimpact. It is top-low and light for those players with a need for speed.
- Comfortable fit with foam to absorb impact
- It is a bit narrow for wide-footed people.
Crazy Explosive – Neoprene
Adidas is not done with new releases, and Crazy Explosive is just one of those that they let out recently. This pair was already popular even before the company released it, thanks to the mention that it was going to feature the signature marks of the brand: Boost and Primeknit technologies.
This top-high silhouette holds up pretty well.
The pattern of the flexible rubber sole is thick and maze-like, with the lines being deep enough to maintain grip even when dust fills them up. The only downside to the sole is that it does not last very long, seeing that we tested it indoors and noticed that it wears off easily. The upside is that the traction is so good that you will stop in your tracks even on a slippery court.
The Boost midsole works in hand with the Stableframe underneath it to increase response and stability. The cushion compresses quite well, and it is not restricted by the cage, as you would expect. Adidas has also designed it so that you do not feel the cushion at all. It just hugs the foot and absorbs all shock.
The company has used Primeknit, the trademarked technology to ensure come up with a stretchy yet breathable and durable shoe. The Geofit bootie wraps comfortably around the shoe for increased softness and comfort.
It does not have the best ankle protection, but you can sort this by wearing an ankle brace. It is quite wide and accommodating at the toe area.
- Vibrant colors Great design, fit and lockdown Excellent traction
- The laces do not stay tight for long.
Under Armor Curry 2
Stephen Curry’s signature shoe got both players and casual wearers talking. The first release was received well, and the second even better with responses from various parts of the world.
The truth is, this shoe does not possess cutting-edge technology, but its simplicity got leading brands rethinking their strategies.
Curry 2 comes in both silhouettes, and we especially liked the low version. The outward design is neat and good-looking, a feature it has combined with a cushioned insole that absorbs all impact gracefully. It locks excellently and provides a good transition between the toe and the heel.
You may want to be keen when buying this pair online because it does not fit as you would expect. We went true to size as opposed to the half a size up, and this was a grave mistake. You will eventually break into them, but that could take a while. We would recommend choosing half a size or one size up.
Stretchy Yet Firm
Curry 2 has a Speedform upper, which is stretchy while retaining some resistance. You can attribute this to the double construction that keeps your shoe quite strong and flexible. It is ideal for on-court playing.
The upper is breathable and soft, while the overall shoe is quite light. It has a great grip with a flexible rubber sole.
- Well priced Excellent cushioning for support Neat design
- Tricky fit
D Rose 7
In their zeal to keep releasing some of the best basketball shoes, Adidas brings you D Rose 7. This is the 7th signature shoe released in honor of Derrick Rose signature, which explains the name. If you thought D Rose 6 was insanely good, you might want to read this review for what to expect in 7.
Traction is everything in this shoe, and Adidas has nailed it yet again. The herringbone traction pattern in this model is deep but close together to keep dust from sticking into to the tread. It sticks to the floor to stop you dead in your tracks and makes it possible to change direction without slipping. The rubber is flexible for easy movement, but it is also squeaky, ad so you may want to stick to indoor playing in this pair.
Adidas’ now famous Boost technology has been used here to stabilize this pair. The midsole is caged slightly at the rear, with plastic underneath it for response and support. The Boost midsole is not mushy this year as was the previous season’s and this feature has received mixed reactions. Overall, the shoe hugs your foot perfectly, while the upper mesh ventilates the inside.
It has excellent ankle support, and it locks well. The materials, synthetic leather, and a mesh upper work together to ensure longevity and as well as aeration. The fit is okay, and the laces do a great job securing the shoe in place, except for the mid-foot, which might shift if you take the wrong size.
- Ample ankle support Excellent cushioning
- Shifts in the middle
Nike KD 9
Kevin Durant’s ninth signature shoe with Nike was released in 2016, and it features some of their latest technology. A honeycomb-structured Flyknit upper and traction structured to boot only some of the features of this version of KDs.
Flyknit? Yes, the material on the upper is anatural fiber. The material is backed by nylon as opposed to glue, which makes it durable without taking from it the ability to stretch when in motion. This material, which is a trend we expect to see in more basketball shoes, is super light. The rear part of the KD is mesh fabric, foam, and Fuse.
They have used Zoom Air technology, as you would have guessed. The insole hugs the foot so well to absorb impact and allow you to change direction without the slightest move in the foot.
This is undoubtedly the best traction they have had on a KD. We tested several of them, actually, all for them for this segment, and we were out of words to describe what they did with this. It is super sticky to a point where it may stop you from moving when you want to. You can move directions and stop on impulse without slipping or applying any extra energy. On this note, the traction is so sticky that it will take you a little effort to get your foot off the floor.
- Excellent traction
- Flexible yet durable and strong material
- Good fit for wide feet
- You will need to pick a size up.
Jordan Melo M11
Here is the skinny on this pair.
The rubber sole is ideal for indoor play, as is with most sneakers. Too much outdoor rough play will wear the soft rubber out. That’s not t say that they will not hold their own outside. The grip is great, even when you give them a run in a dusty indoor arena as we did. Usually, you would need to wipe the dirty off to avoid slipping, but the traction on these holds well all through.
This will largely depend on your selected colorway, with the Christmas colorway being 100% leather. It is flexible albeit a little on the heavy side, but it lasts long and wears well. The other colorways utilize synthetic leather, which also ages well and flexes just the way most balers want. It is as close as you can get to leather. A quick note: this pair creases when you wear, but not in a bad way. Just fair warning to those who find creases unattractive.
This feature is always a struggle in all top rated basketball shoes, but this pair is an exception. It fits true to size, even for those with wide feet. The toe area is quite wide, but it does not alter the dimensions. You would not necessarily need to go a size up if you were wide-footed because the design has catered for that.
Unlocked Zoom completes the set up on this pair. The support and impact absorption that you get from the cushion makes thetransition an easy process. The support on this pair is unmatched.
- True fit
- Excellent traction
- Could use a little more heel support
Nike Lebron 13
Lebron 13 Does not introduce new technology in the shoe game but rather implements what was already in place. Nike used this release to test a few of their theories. How did they fare? Well, let’s look into that.
Lebron 13 features the Hyperposite collar overlay, which may look good on the shoe, but made Lebron 11 unnecessarily bulky. In this version, they have improved it to reduce the stiffness, and to make it supportive to the ankle without hindering motion. It may not be perfect, but Nike has improved it drastically. The collar is quite high, which is not necessarily a bad thing seeing that he thick foam offers ample ankle support, but the height ruins aesthetics.
In this model, Nike utilizes the hexagonal pattern, which they have been bringing out more recently, and it is a hit. It hits the ground and sticks to prevent slip-ups, abut at the same time allows you to move effortlessly when you land. The heel area has an extra pad to prevent any injuries for heel landing.
In this version, Nike segmented the airbags to improve the court-feel on the sole. The Hexagon Zoom is meant to allow a natural range of motion, and Nike achieved that with this pair. There are 13mm bags placed on this insole to support the heel and the ball of the foot. This shoe has perfected the Hexagonal Zoom.
- Excellent cushioning
- Unmatched traction
- The upper could be more breathable
Adidas D Rose 6
Looking at the oversized herringbone pattern, you might dismiss it for lack of support, thought that would be debunked the moment you wear these shoes. The synthetic sole holds well, and you will only need to wipe it a little if playing in an unkempt court. The material makes it ideal for outdoors courts, but they would last longer if used indoors.
They are good-looking, low silhouette with a selection of colors. The soft full-length boost cushion is reinforced by a stableframe to improve stability in the midsole. It is not as firm and responsive as some may like, but the softness of the frame makes it super supportive and shock absorbent.
It will depend on your selected colorway, but the main materials are mesh and synthetic leather. If you like a pair that needs no time to break in, the mesh fabric is your go-to. The synthetic leather feels a tad stiff the first days of wear, but you will break into them in a few days.
- Great cushioning
- True to size
- Lockdown is sloppy at first, but it gets better with wear.
Nike Hyperposite 2
This shoe looks unreal and impractical from outside, but the devil is in the details.
This shoe is made of Foamposite, which is not very popular. Essentially, it is recycled technology, having graced Mike Bibby’s feet in the 1996-97 Championships. Manufacturers then forgot about it, majorly for one reason. This material is heat forming, and so it contours your foot with heightened activity. It was labeled futuristic, and so it did not take off. Nike brings that tech back with a bang in this model.
Posite is stiff and excellent for performance. It takes the shape of the foot and locks it for speed and motion fluidity. It is also more durable than standard material.
There are cutouts in the midsole that enhance ventilation. The 360° Max Zoom in this pair is not only bouncy but also responsive and stable to a fault. With these on your feet, you will suffer no impact on your knees, however high you bounce. However, the midsole is extremely stiff, which can cause bouts of pain and discomfort every time you play in them.
- The best fit possible
- Durable material
- Stiff to enhance stability
- The midsole is stiff
Jordan XX9 is not only one of the best basketball shoes to play in, but the casual wearer has also embraced it as the ideal street shoe.
Fans of Jordans will tell you that the traction on XX8 is unmatched. This pair came close, but it didn’t match that This is not to say that it is bad, just that it could be better.
This pair does not have the Zoom unit in the XX8. They have recessed it further into the midsole, which lessens the bounce you used to get at the heel. Still, the Zoom in the Jordan series is undeniably the best of the range.
- Great support
- Fits well with incredible lockdown
- Ventilation could be better.
Got your perfect shoes? You may also want to check out basketball hoops!
Best Basketball Shoes 2019 – Bottom Line
|Name||Type||Lace Or Strap?|
|Crazy Explosive – Neoprene||High-Top||Lace|
|Under Armor Curry 2||High-Top||Lace|
|D Rose 7||High-Top||Lace|
|Nike KD 9||Low-Top||Lace|
|Jordan Melo M11||Low-Top||Lace|
|Nike Lebron 13||High-Top||Lace|
|Adidas D Rose 6||High-Top||Strap|
|Nike Hyperposite 2||High-Top||Lace|
Table above wraps up our buyer’s guide on best basketball shoes. Certainly, there are numerous products on the market delivering really good quality, and therefore in the end you must ask yourself what exactly you are looking for – hopefully our tips helped you make an informed decision.
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