It was in 1907 that Spalding came out with the first basketball shoes, which set the standards for athletic footwear. These expressed the principles of technological development, team spirit and the need to win, to make it the best basketball shoes.
Since then many companies have entered the field to produce athletic shoes, by introducing their own brands that are designed for optimum performance. Now almost all of the major shoe companies entered the fray, with their own prestigious brands.
Basketball shoes are a type of sneakers and the manufacturers are constantly trying to improve their products to make them the best basketball shoes with the aid of the latest in technology.
Using materials such as specialized leather, mesh, and fly-wire technology the basket shoes of today have been considerably improved. These companies also give great emphasis on the right configuration of their shoes. Besides, these shoes combine performance on court and style.
Many prominent basketball players also have played a creative role in the improvement of their shoes by working closely with the manufacturers. This has resulted in shoes that are colorful, unique in designs, apart from performance.
Basketball champions of great repute such as Derrick Rose, LeBron James, Michael Jordan, and Kevin Durant collaborated with several leading manufacturers to bring out the best basketball shoes. This resulted in fresh, exciting, and top-quality shoes designed by incorporating the suggestions of these players to help to enhance performance at court.
Besides, they did it in such a way that the shoes are aesthetically appealing too so that you can flaunt them on the street too.
Here we have prepared the following list of the best basketball shoes for you to choose from:
10 Best Basketball Shoes in 2021:
|Adidas Harden Vol.2||4.8/5|
|Reebok Shaq Attaq||5/5|
|Adidas Cloudfoam Ilation Mid||4.7/5|
|Nike Zoom KDX||4.7/5|
|Under Armour's Anta KT3||4.5/5|
|Nike LeBron XVI||4.9/5|
|Adidas Crazy Boost||4.6/5|
|Adidas Dame 4||5/5|
|Adidas Crazy Explosive||4.8/5|
|Nike Kyrie 4||4.7/5|
1. Adidas Harden Vol.2
This is the second edition of Adidas’ Harden basketball shoes. It comes with cushioning and is a bit on the heavy side, and so ideal for bigger players as it offers a finer grip and enhanced traction. It is so versatile that it can be used as a casual sneaker also to go with jeans or other informal wear.
Due to an excellent traction pattern, this shoe is very good for fast stops and starts. Since it is made from a specially developed, responsive rubber, it makes the lateral movement extremely possible.
The upper of this shoe is made from textile fibers that are TPU covered; as a result, it is very supportive and flexible. Being breathable and light in weight, it is very comfortable to wear and the lace offers you a good fit to suit the size and shape of your feet.
This high-end basketball shoe is very expensive. High comfort and best performance don’t come cheap.
2. Reebok Shaq Attaq
Many consider this shoe to be one of the best basketball shoes. To produce this pair, the famed basketball player Shaquille O’Neal worked in tandem with Reebok to create the ideal shoes that symbolize his skills and abilities on the basketball court.
To provide a sufficient amount of breathability and support, the upper is made of both mesh and leather, thereby combining the features of both. The leather turns the shoes stable, comfortable, durable, supportive, and resistant to stress, while the breathable mesh keeps it dry and cool.
The evenly injected EVA midsole offers protection and comfort and its lightness allows faster response while at play. The ingeniously patterned novel rubber outsole resists abrasion.
At the same time pressure is evenly distributed within the whole shoe. This produces a pattern of speed traction on the forefoot and heel areas. The tips and sides of the outsole have dots for easy grip for both lateral movement and smooth pivoting.
The price of this shoe is reasonable, without compromising on performance and quality so it is a good alternative to the high-end ones, making it a sound investment. Besides, its novel retro design makes it look great not only on the streets but the track as well.
3. Adidas Cloudfoam Ilation Mid
This unique product from Adidas offers an unusual feel to the wearer making it the best basketball shoes. It is comparatively a lot cheaper but still awesome, efficient, and comfortable. It is made of leather and comes with a rubber that offers extra grip, thereby lessening any possibility of injuries caused by slipping.
The shoe comes in shades such as black, white, grey, and blue.
As the name implies it has a Cloudform midsole and sock line, rendering this lightweight shoe even more so. This provides extra bounce and cushioning to play well on the court. The tiny holes along the sides let your foot breathe, thus increasing playtime and getting rid of any possible sweat.
One of the many good features of this shoe is that it is available in various widths so that players can choose one that they are comfortable with. This enables them to perform at their best.
Besides, leather is a material that is highly adaptable and the mesh on the tongue and collar make the wearing of this shoe a pleasant experience.
This is a neat shoe and for its price very good and without equal. It doesn’t come in a wide variety of styles for you to show off, but the value-for-money price tag is sure to attract many players into buying it.
4. Nike Zoom KDX
A pro basketball athlete and a shoemaker of repute have come together to produce this remarkable shoe which some consider being the best basketball shoes. This collaboration has brought about a line of shoes christened the Kevin Durant series of which this is the 10th edition and it surpasses all the previous models.
This shoe has all the right features and an attractive design that is the cynosure of all eyes.
The shoe comes with responsive cushioning due to the Nike development of a technology termed Air Zoom. It has an ultra-flexible sole for the natural movement of your feet. Besides, thick heels cushion each hard landing of your foot, while the inner thin forefoot area lets you have better control of your game.
The upper offers you both support and comfort by closely hugging your feet for a close but comfy fit. The breathability of KDX imparts a feel-good factor even during extended periods of playing. The laces are large and thick, designed to offer lateral support as the laces cover the sides of the shoe too.
Players generally go for KDX because the Air Zoom cushion strikes a fine balance between control and shock absorption. The wearing experience of this shoe becomes better due to the excellent upper construction.
5. Under Armour’s Anta KT3
This shoe is inspired by the basketball great Klay Thompson, making it one of the best basketball shoes. It comes with a lightweight upper to boost speed in the face of stiff competition while playing. It is available in various versions including the one enthused by Harry Potter as also the standard low and high cuts.
Due to its novel design and lightweight features, it offers excellent stability and a lot of bounce.
The traction pattern found on the outsole of this shoe looks like a fingerprint and tested for good design by many leading companies. The Anta brings to you the necessary control and safety while playing on the court.
The upper comes with a breathable and soft knitted fabric that stays snug on your feet for an effective compressive fit. This has a nylon backing that brings you the stability and support you need, and the customizable lace helps you to achieve the perfect fit.
It also comes with an ankle strap to make the shoes aesthetically more attractive rather than for actual use.
If you are looking for a basketball shoe that is good on breathability, EVA cushioning and traction this is just for you. With the many colors to choose from to add to your style, you cannot go wrong on this one.
6. Nike LeBron XVI
This is the 16th release of Nike’s LeBron series. As far as performance in the basketball court is concerned, this is by far the company’s most successful design. The Flynit is suitably revamped, making this shoe extra comfortable and lighter.
By combining different cushioning elements, it imparts comfort to even seasoned players. When you play wearing these shoes, you can surmount the most challenging and dynamic moments of the game.
Since the Flynet material is considerably improved, the shoes have become flexible, stretchy and resistant than ever before. Its improved version, the BattleKnit, is specially engineered for superior performance as it packs your feet to its optimum point, to offer you a totally locked-in feeling all through a game whether you are performing your moves roughly or fast.
For the first time, Nike used Max Air in combination with the Zoom Air system of cushioning. This makes for softer hard landings while providing sufficient energy return to increased speed generation without reducing the weight of the shoe. Since the rubber outsole is multi-surfaced, it affords remarkable performance with no chance of slipping.
The LeBron is a favorite with the fans for its aesthetic design and excellent performance. It is essentially a shoe made for big men, but not at all heavy on the feet. It is priced average and this makes a fine option while choosing the best basketball shoes.
7. Adidas Crazy Boost
This is an excellent shoe with a low top, but without sacrificing comfort and performance. This is made principally for indoor hardwood courts and is full of many advanced features such as molded heel, light suppleness, and Continental rubber.
These features work in tandem for a nice fit for impressive performance on the court.
Like most Adidas shoes, this has energy-returning features as also extend performance in court. The rubber outsole is Continental that offers a remarkable floor grip in dry as well as wet conditions. In spite of being a low top, it provides outstanding lateral stability due to the carefully engineered upper.
Since it is made from breathable mesh, it is flexible and light in weight and its TPU overlays snugly hug the feet by imparting lateral stability, to avoid rolled ankles and sprains.
This is one of the best basketball shoes made for players who have their emphasis on extra mobility and speed. Since this is not a high-end shoe, dedicated basketball players find it a fine choice due to its high quality and reasonable price.
8. Adidas Dame 4
This shoe can very well be the best basketball shoe in the market as it is the product of a collaboration between Damien and Adidas. Damien has successfully created a performance shoe with his characteristic dedication and passion for the game.
Rather than building an upper solely of mesh as it is not sufficiently supportive, Damien has created an upper by combining mesh and neoprene to achieve the breathability of the mesh and the support and resistance provided by neoprene.
This blend of compounds wraps around the feet to provide the right fit for players, thereby letting their feet to swell the upper to gain a fully natural position.
The cushioning technology of the Bounce midsole is effective in absorbing as well as releasing. This shoe imparts maximum power on hardwood courts. This means that the greater the effect a player puts into his performance, the more you get from the midsole.
You can get this shoe at a much-reduced cost as compared to high-end shoes. This is a boon if you are on a budget and you can avail yourself of such great features as solid traction, outstanding cushioning and a fine upper.
9. Adidas Crazy Explosive
This is one of the best basketball shoes and combines Adidas technology with an extremely striking design. This amazing shoe is light as a feather making you think that you are playing with no shoes at all, it is that comfortable. The lacing system in this shoe departs from tradition in that it resembles the anatomical shape of your feet.
Thus the pressure of the laces is spread evenly all through the shoes. This enables all the materials that go into the making of your shoe to come together to offer you just the support you seek. Besides, the presence of double loops ensures durability that lasts a lifetime.
The Crazy Explosive employs Adida’s most famous BOOST technology. Actually, this novel technology was developed for running shoes to deliver sufficient energy returns.
Now it is used in the manufacture of basketball shoes to produce explosive effects from the midsole that is thrice cushioning and long-lasting as the usual EVA foam.
So if you are on the lookout for a basketball shoe that combines an excellent lacing system, breathable upper and the incomparable BOOST technology.
10. Nike Kyrie 4
These basketball shoes are the latest in the Nike Kyrie series. It is supportive and flexible and is designed for fast cuts and easy gameplay. It comes with a novel outsole and breathable upper made of mesh making it very comfortable for playing in the court.
The shoe comes with many other features that keep a player go on playing even when facing intense competition.
The outsole is very different as it has a zigzag cutout for optimum flexibility without relinquishing support or traction. The edges of the outsole are curved for smoother shifts while it exerts a steady grip on courts.
This shoe comes with a Zoom Air cushion within the heels to absorb shocks and reduce exhaustion and by managing effectively the movements of the forefoot. The upper is a combination of the softest suede and mesh to provide stability and support to the shoe, thereby guarding your ankles all through the game.
Being a durable and flexible shoe and the best among the Kyrie series, it is boon to serious basketball players.
So here are the best basketball shoes available in the market today. These are all awesome shoes and the products of the latest in technology as it evolves as days go by. After going through all these products you cannot go wrong in your choice as these come with features to suit your specific requirements.
We have found that many who are not interested in basketball also go for these shoes just for the comfort and style it provides.
Best Basketball Shoes – Buyer’s Guide
To judge how good a basketball shoe is to have a look at the soles. While the ideal basketball shoe can enhance your performance in the court with added speed, it can also check potential injuries.
If your shoe doesn’t have a good sole, it can result in slipping, falling, ankle sprains and so on that it can adversely affect your performance, not to mention your career as a pro basketball athlete.
So when you buy a pair of basketball shoes ensures that they come with high-quality rubber soles that can provide you with good traction and at the same time prevent fatal slips and effectively boost your every move.
Another thing to look for in a basketball shoe is multidirectional patterns for better traction, as they are specially designed to provide you an awesome grip on the floor of the court. This can help you expertly maneuver on the court to shake off the defenders pursuing you.
Any good outsole should have two features: one a firm and steady grip and the other smooth traction. These two factors should function together to generate the best possible results.
If these features are absent in an outsole, the shoes are not suitable to play basketball, as they are the most important parts of this highly popular game. A solid grip lets players stop at once when needed, whatever their speed or direction.
After a fast run, you pause to take a shot, and the outsole should grip the floor without the shoes moving any further.
If the outsole is cheap, and you want to make a shot, you can slip or go swinging sideways and fail to get that shot. An outsole made of vulcanized rubber can aid you in controlling strong and fast motions, as it has a sticky surface.
A midsole helps to absorb shocks when playing. This makes them the heaviest and thickest parts of a shoe. Since basketball is a game that requires a lot of jumping and running, it involves a lot of impacts often heavy and abrupt. Unless this shock is controlled, your muscles, bones, and joints can be adversely affected.
And this is true not only after the game but long afterward.
If during the next day of a basketball game, you suffer from sore heels, chances are that the midsole of your shoes was not absorbent enough. As the feet impact the floor, the shock travels up.
As it does so, the very first impediment it faces is the sole that absorbs it. However, with sufficient cushioning, the shock is neutralized to a large extent, thereby saving the heels.
Until recently, rubber was the standard material used to absorb shock, but since the advent of new compounds using synthetic materials, this has changed. Such compounds are very dense and so contain a lot of mass which absorbs shock very efficiently. However, mass alone is not enough to assure the absorption of shock.
If you are involved in any impact sport, your shoes need sufficient cushioning. In particular, basketball involves constant impact and considerable aerobic activity, so it is of the greatest importance that your feet are sufficiently protected by your shoes while performing these activities.
In fact cushioning has a great role to play in this as it ensures that all the lingering energy unabsorbed by your soles desists from harming the muscles and joints to an extent.
Besides, the sport involves innumerable movements that compress the foot against the materials that go into the making of the shoe. In fact, without cushioning, a basketball shoe will create increased degrees of fatigue because your bones, muscles, and joints are subject to more and more vibration and impact.
However, cushioning shouldn’t be overdone as it will reduce the supportive structure you require to play, as your shoes will lack the firmness and stability with each movement.
In order for the sole of feet to feel great, it is wise to check the midsole to see how it is made and how bouncy and thick it is. If it is deficient in bounce, your legs might feel stiff, thereby hindering mobility.
If it is too much, you will fail to feel the ground under your shoes and fail to gain maximum control of your movements.
Basketball tends to be a rough sport and your feet can get sweaty and hot quickly leading to blisters and the irritation of the skin. So it is necessary to choose shoes that can breathe and encourage the flow of air.
To achieve this, synthetic materials or mesh is a good choice as they have the property of moisture-wicking. So the best basketball shoes should have breathable panels where heat is concentrated the most, like the sides, toe box and top of your feet.
Design of the interior
Look for extras like sock liner to enhance the degree of comfort when you wear basketball shoes. The length and width of your shoe also are deciding factors. A too loose shoe will make your feet slip around within, while one which is too tight tends to cause irritation and friction, and also adversely affect your circulation.
If your shoes are heavy when you put them on, they are too heavy for play. The longer you play, the heavier they become. So before you choose your best basketball shoes, ensure that it is the right fit for your feet and light and easy to walk around with them.
Fit and Comfort
You need to feel comfortable in your basketball shoes, or else it might divert you from playing well. Comfortable means, the right fit as also those features that make you feel pleasant while playing your favorite sport.
Such features are present in the outside as well as inside of your shoes, so it is necessary for you to look over the shoes you prefer carefully before buying a pair. To aid you in this, here are some factors you ought to look for.
Between the end of the shoe and that of your toes, there should be a width of your thumb. Anything less can make the toes restricted and uncomfortable. On the contrary, if space is too much, the foot tends to slide resulting in discomfort or even injury.
Your feet should fit snugly on the heel part of your shoe, giving you the feeling that your heel remains in place in a close fit. This can reduce the incidence of injury to your ankles, feet, hips, and your back. It shouldn’t be too tight either. Also, see that your heel doesn’t lift or move around as you walk.
The closures let you compress your feet in a good fit while wearing your best basketball shoes. These can be in the forms of Velcro straps, laces or the conventional straps. As you tie your shoe, the laces or whatever pulls the various materials together to enclose your feet.
An ideal closure system evenly spreads the tension all through the upper of your shoe. You might be wearing high or mid-top shoes, so it is vital that the whole system remains firm, right from the top to the tongue.
Flexibility is an essential feature of a shoe and every element of your shoe should have this quality. Before buying a basketball shoe, you should ensure that the sole, upper build and the whole frame are sufficiently flexible to practice basketball.
If your shoes lack this essential quality it will result in undue tension and stress, particularly in the arch of your feet. The flexibility of the sole will let you move about naturally while jumping or running.
However, like most other features this should never be excessive. This means that if the shoe materials get more flexible than necessary, the entire structure becomes lose and so cannot hold your feet properly.
Protection of Ankles
While playing basketball your ankles are prone to injury to a large extent. A single wrong move, without sufficient protection, runs the risk of sprain that could limit your play while playing the game, or stop you from playing for a while. The best basketball shoes can shield you from these injuries.
However, the ankle support should not limit your movements but prevent unnatural positions resulting in injuries or discomfort. If there is too much support, you will find it difficult to rotate freely thereby considerably preventing your ability to dribble.
The best basketball shoes are available in options such as high, mid and low and the ankle support you get depends on what option you go for. High tops offer better ankle support due to the extra material covering the upper portion of the ankle and this can be fastened or tightened to provide the proper fit.
What position you play also can make a major difference while choosing the right style for you as the options come with their own special features.
Some positions require more support as they involve faster spinning around to block and so on, and for these high topped shoes allow movements with more stability and security. If your position calls for quick moves, or add height to your jumps, a low top option is a thing for you.
The best basketball shoes come with a default level support for the arch which is good for if you suffer from no arch problems. However, those who have arch conditions like high arches or flat feet can undergo considerable stress on their arches while engaged in sports.
The best thing to do under the circumstances is to go for customized insoles as you cannot find shoes that suit your particular arch condition in a shoe. Aerobic and flexion performances can affect it and this is worsened by the stress created by deficient arch support resulting in a hard time for you.
Best Basketball Shoes – FAQs
1. Can I wear basketball shoes regularly?
Yes, you can wear basketball shoes regularly. Since they are very comfortable, you can use them if you wear them for long periods at a time.
2. Can I jump higher by wearing basketball shoes?
As compared to various other sorts of shoes, basketball shoes let you jump higher. However, it also depends on the strength of your legs and calves.
3. Can I use a basketball shoe for running?
You cannot as the best basketball shoes are principally designed to provide excellent ankle support and utmost shock absorption. It also facilitates movements from side to side and also fast stop & go motions.
Since the soles of basketballs are large and thick, you won’t be able to gain effective strides that you can get with sleek running shoes.
4. When to replace a basketball shoe?
When you find that your feet begin to hurt during or after practice, it is time to discard your basketball shoes and go for a new one.
5. What kind of basketball shoe is good for outdoor courts?
If you want to play at outdoor basketball courts, go for a basketball with the best possible traction. If you play the game in outdoor courts, it places a lot of stress on the soles of your shoe.
So it is better to buy shoes with complex traction patterns and thick vulcanized rubber soles as these are extremely durable.
6. How to clean basketball shoes?
The real way to keep your basketball shoes clean is to put them on only while playing basketball. But, if you happen to use them for daily wear, avoid muddy areas and getting scuffed.
Don’t forget to clean the soles as they help to keep up traction. If your shoe is made of leather, it is better to use some good leather cleaner. For all other types of the best basketball shoes, soap and water are good.