As a basketball player, you need to move fast, stop on a dime, and jump often. All of these things take a toll on your feet, therefore, wearing a good pair of basketball shoes is essential for optimal performance. If you don’t have the proper pair of basketball shoes you could risk sacrificing some of your performance or even worse, being injured.

It’s important to know what to look out for when purchasing a basketball shoe since they typically aren’t cheap. If you want to play your best and have the peace of mind that you’re wearing a shoe that suits your style and will help improve your game, you’ve come to the right place.

So if you’re a runner looking for the best basketball shoes you can buy, check out the list below to find the perfect shoe for you.

The type of basketball shoe you end up purchasing will depend on the type of basketball player you are. Are you a forward? A point guard? A center? Each player from these positions will typically (not always) wear a different basketball shoe to coincide with their playing style.

Best Basketball Shoes 2018

The following shoes were all good enough to make it to our list of the top 15 basketball shoes in 2018. The first 10 basketball shoes are for men while the final 5 shoes are for women. We’ve laid out this structure due to the fact that the vast majority of basketball shoes are geared towards male players. However, if you’re a woman that has wider feet and want to wear one of the men’s shoes listed below that’s perfectly okay. Just note that men’s shoes are typically wider than women’s. Sizing charts use D(M) to represent a men’s medium width and a B(M) to represent a women’s medium width.

Be sure to check out the basketball shoes buyer’s guide at the bottom of this post to learn more about which type of shoes you should be purchasing for the type of basketball player you are. We’ve also included plenty of additional important information you should consider checking out before making your final purchase so that you can make an informed decision about which shoe will be the best basketball shoe for you.

Shoe NameBest ForShoe CutIndoor or Outdoor 
Under Armour Curry 2.5 (Editor's Choice)Fast/all-around playersMid TopIndoor
Adidas Cross ‘Em 3All-around playersMid topBoth
Adidas D Rose 773 IV Fast/all-around playersMid topIndoor
Nike Kobe X (Editor's Choice)Fast PlayersLow TopIndoor
Adidas Crazy ExplosivePower playersHigh TopIndoor
Adidas Crazylight BoostFast playersLow TopBoth
Nike Lebron XIII (Editor's Choice)Power playersHigh TopBoth
Nike Hyperdunk 2014All-around/power playersHigh TopBoth
Adidas AmplifyPower playersHigh TopOutdoor
Nike Air Jordan XXXIPower playersMid topIndoor
Under Armour Clutchfit Drive 3
(Editor's Choice)
All-around/power playersHigh TopBoth
Under Armour JetAll-around/power playersHigh TopBoth
Nike Prime Hype DF IIPower playersHigh TopBoth
Under Armour Micro G TorchAll-around/power playersHigh TopBoth
Nike Hyperdunk 2016 TBPower playersHigh TopIndoor

Why aren’t the Adidas Cloudfoam Ilation Mid’s on this list?

 

The Adidas Cloudfoam Ilation Mid’s are one of the best selling “basketball” shoes on Amazon. However, although these look and may feel like a decent basketball shoe, they don’t perform very well on the court. The traction on the outsoles of these shoes are not very reliable and cause players to slide on the court when trying to make a quick change in direction.

 

If you’re looking to purchase the Cloudfoam Ilation Mid’s for normal wear purposes they have gotten some great reviews, however as a basketball shoe, they simply don’t make the cut. Don’t be lured in by the inexpensive price, if you want a good pair of basketball shoes, check out the list below.

Best Men’s Basketball Shoes

Under Armour Curry 2.5 – The Best Mid-Top Basketball Shoe

These lightweight basketball shoes are one of the best for fast, nimble players. These shoes have a strong focus on providing a snug fit around the foot to minimize any foot slippage as you’re making those quick directional changes.

The midsole uses a Charged Cushioning technology to help absorb impact and improve responsiveness. It also includes a heel counter, external shank, and burrito tongue construction all to help give you that snug fit to help deliver locked-in stability.

As for the uppers, these shoes use an Anti-friction top cloth to help reduce heat and keep the foot cool.

Overall, this is a great shoe for indoor use. The uppers themselves don’t have any perforation holes to let heat escape nor is the outsole of the shoe overly durable for rough terrain such as pavement. However, if you want a shoe that’s going to perform well on an indoor court, is lightweight, and emphasizes a snug fit, these shoes are for you.

Best For: Fast/all-around players

Shoe Cut: Mid Top

Indoor or Outdoor: Indoor

Pros

  • Focuses heavily on delivering a snug fit for fast movers
  • Lightweight
  • Traction patterns and rubber are great for indoor court use
  • Plenty of padding around the ankle area

Cons

  • Many players noticed that they fit on the smaller side

The actual review section of the Curry 2.5’s in the video below starts around 3:30.

Adidas Cross ‘Em 3 – A Good Shoe For the Money

The Adidas Cross ‘Em 3 are a great choice for players who need a decent amount of ankle support and comfort. The shoe comes with a torsion system to provide increased stability and midfoot integrity.

The uppers are crafted with a mixture of synthetic materials/leather and provide perforation points to allow for better airflow. The midsole of these shoes use an EVA foam to provide extra comfort during those long games while maintaining a high responsiveness. Lastly, the outsole is made of non-marking rubber making it suitable for indoor courts.

Overall, the Adidas Cross ‘Em 3 are a great choice for playing both indoor and outdoor basketball. They’re made of durable materials, provide a decent amount of breathability through multiple perforation points and come with a well-constructed outsole.

Best For: All-around players

Shoe Cut: Mid top

Indoor or Outdoor: Both

Pros

  • Non-marking outsole
  • Great price
  • Great for both indoor and outdoor basketball
  • Various perforation points for better breathability

Cons

  • Run on the narrow side

Adidas D Rose 773 IV – Great Style and Indoor Traction

The Adidas D Rose 773 IV’s are a great choice for fast as well as all-around players. They provide Bounce technology throughout the heel and midfoot of the shoe for added comfort, cushioning, and energy return.

The uppers come with plenty of breathability points thanks to their mesh sides and the perforated toe box. As for the materials used, the uppers are crafted from a combination of synthetic leather and textiles, although not the most durable of materials, they’ll certainly last a decent length of time if used strictly indoors.

Since the rubber on the outsole of these shoes is fairly pliable, it is not recommended to use them for outdoor basketball. Furthermore, the outsoles are non-marking and non-squeaking.

Best For: Fast/all-around players

Shoe Cut: Mid Top

Indoor or Outdoor: Indoor

Pros

  • Good traction for indoor use
  • Bounce technology for added comfort and energy return
  • Lots of breathability

Cons

  • Pliable rubber outsole, not recommended for outdoor use
  • Doesn’t squeak when making quick stops which may be seen as a downfall to some

Nike Kobe X – The Best Low Top Basketball Shoe

If you’re a fast basketball player, you’ll want a pair of shoes that won’t slow you down. The Nike Kobe X’s are designed to do just that. The open weave uppers offer a lightweight support, plenty of ventilation, and the heel counter provides extra stability.

As for the midsole of this shoe, it features Nike’s Lunarlon cushioning technology to provide a soft yet responsive ride. It also comes with a Zoom unit to provide even more protection and cushioning in the heel section of the shoe.

Moving to the outsoles, they perform well on clean indoor courts, however, the rubber is fairly pliable. Therefore, if you’re going to use them outdoors it will likely cut the lifetime of these shoes in half. To get the most out of these shoes, keep your use to indoor basketball courts for optimal traction and durability.

Best For: Fast Players

Shoe Cut: Low Top

Indoor or Outdoor: Indoor

Pros

  • Lightweight and flexible, while maintaining good support and stability
  • Very comfortable thanks to Zoom unit provided in the heel
  • Great traction thanks to multi-directional patterns – great for fast players who make a lot of directional changes

Cons

  • High price point
  • Not suitable for outdoor use

The actual review section of the Kobe X in the video below starts around 3:20.

Adidas Crazy Explosive – Flexible, Comfortable, and Supportive

The Adidas Crazy Explosive basketball shoe is a perfect shoe for larger players who need that extra ankle support. These high tops use Boost technology in the midsole to provide extra comfort and energy return. They also make use of primeknit technology in the uppers to provide some flexibility, and are relatively lightweight for a high top, coming in at 15.04 ounces.

The outsole of these shoes are extremely grippy thanks to their multi-directional traction patterns and translucent rubber. For courts with lots of dust, you may need to wipe down the outsoles periodically in order to maintain their effectiveness.

Overall, the Adidas Crazy Explosive’s are a fantastic basketball shoe. Not only do they provide great ankle support and cushioning features, they also fit true to their size and offer impressive lockdown.

Best For: Power players

Shoe Cut: High Top

Indoor or Outdoor: Indoor

Pros

  • Perfect for larger players or any player who wants more ankle support
  • Impressive traction from the outsole
  • Offers Boost cushioning for additional comfort
  • Good lockdown thanks to lace system and primeknit materials used

Cons

  • Will need to wipe down the outsoles on dusty courts as dust will build up in the treads
  • The materials used may impact the durability of these shoes for the worse

Adidas Crazylight Boost – Versatile and Great for Fast Players

The Adidas Crazylight Boost’s are another one of the best low top basketball shoes on the market. Most basketball players tend to wear mid top or high top shoes for the added ankle support however if your main focus is speed and agility, these will do the trick.

These shoes use the Adidas Boost technology for added comfort and energy return in the midsole. The uppers use a Jacquard synthetic and textile so they do provide some flexibility and stretch but not too much, which is what you want.

As for the outsoles, these shoes use continental rubber for ultimate grip in wet or dry conditions. The rubber itself is pretty dense making it great for either indoor or outdoor use.

Best For: Fast players

Shoe Cut: Low Top

Indoor or Outdoor: Both

Pros

  • Can be used indoor or outdoor
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Excellent traction – rubber is dense and patterns are well suited for quick directional changes

Cons

  • Some players have mentioned that the shoe slips
  • Doesn’t provide as much ankle support as mid or high tops

The actual review section of the Crazylight Boost in the video below starts around 1:50.

Nike Lebron XIII – The Best High Top Basketball Shoe

The Nike Lebron XIII’s focus on delivering explosiveness to your game. They’re a high top shoe with integrated Zoom L.E.A.P and Zoom Air systems to add propulsion and responsiveness.

As for the uppers of these shoes, they feature Flywire cables that extend from the midfoot and wrap around the heel of your foot for greater lockdown. There are also specific parts of the upper which use a mesh material to provide the needed flexibility while other areas use zero-stretch fuse panels to provide greater support and stability.

The midsole uses a full-length Phylon and has multi-density layers for added comfort and support. Regarding the outsoles, as previously mentioned, there are various Zoom Air units in place to add additional comfort and responsiveness.

Lastly, the traction pattern on the outsole is multi-directional and the rubber is fairly stiff making them a good shoe for both indoor and outdoor use.

Best For: Power players

Shoe Cut: High Top

Indoor or Outdoor: Both

Pros

  • Great traction and cushioning
  • Multiple Zoom Air units with 2 of them being 13mm thick for extra response
  • Uses a combination of mesh and stiff panels in the uppers to provide a good balance between flexibility and stability

Cons

  • Not ideal for those with high arched feet
  • Takes some time to break in
  • Minimal breathability, which is important to keep in mind for outdoor players

Nike Hyperdunk 2014 – Lightweight High Top

The Nike Hyperdunk 2014’s are a very lightweight shoe that offers superior cushioning. The midsole uses Nike’s Lunarlon cushioning system to provide additional comfort and responsiveness to your jumps.

The uppers use a Hyperfuse construction that is one-piece, breathable, durable, and lightweight. They also use Flywire technology to improve lockdown throughout the midfoot and heel area of the shoe, which is extremely important for basketball players. Some players, however, have noticed that the lockdown in the forefoot is not up to par.

These shoes also have an extended tongue to provide additional ankle support. It’s built to move with you and doesn’t interfere with your natural foot motion.

As for the outsole, it comes with a solid rubber outsole which is great for outdoor playing. The traction patterns are broken into various sections and certain areas of the outsole have better traction than others on dusty courts. This is however not a problem on pristine or outdoor courts.

Best For: All-around/power players

Shoe Cut: High Top

Indoor or Outdoor: Both

Pros

  • Great as an outdoor and indoor shoe on clean courts
  • Extended tongue construction to provide added ankle support
  • Very lightweight and comfortable

Cons

  • Not ideal on dusty courts
  • The lockdown in the forefoot is not up to par with the midfoot and heel areas
  • Runs large

Adidas Amplify – Durable Outdoor Basketball Shoe

The Adidas Amplify basketball shoes are a great choice as an outdoor basketball shoe for players who like high tops. The uppers of these shoes are constructed with a perforated leather and synthetic mesh for optimal breathability in outdoor conditions.

The footbed features a full-length Adidas adiPRENE+ cushioning system that provides comfort while maintaining its light weight. The three stripe webbing on the top of the shoe contributes to providing a more secure fit and lockdown.

Lastly, the outsole uses a durable, non-marking rubber that is great for outdoor basketball courts, however, can also be used indoors if required.

Best For: Power players

Shoe Cut: High Top

Indoor or Outdoor: Outdoor

Pros

  • Extremely perforated uppers, great for outdoor use to let heat escape
  • Very comfortable thanks to the adiPRENE+ midsole

Cons

  • Runs on the narrow side

Nike Air Jordan XXXI – Iconic, Flexible, and Responsive

The Nike Air Jordan XXXI are built for power players who need a little more flexibility in the uppers due to having wider feet or just personal preference.

The uppers themselves are made with a combination of synthetic leather in the heel portion of the shoe and a Flyweave material in the forefoot, making them flexible but not overly so.

Moving to the midsole, this shoe provides a full-length Nike Zoom Air unit which delivers additional comfort and responsiveness, all while being lightweight. The midsole also features Nike’s FlightSpeed technology to evenly distribute shock and provide explosive steps.

As for the outsole of these shoes, they’re made with a durable rubber and herringbone pattern. Many players, however, have commented on the traction of these shoes not being up to par with some of the other best basketball shoes on the market.

Best For: Power players

Shoe Cut: Mid top

Indoor or Outdoor: Indoor

Pros

  • Comfortable midsole and uppers thanks to Flyweave materials used
  • Fits true to size
  • Good support around the ankle
  • Works well for players with wide feet thanks for Flyweave uppers

Cons

  • Traction underperforms on dusty courts
  • High price may deter some buyers

The actual review section of the Nike Air Jordan XXXI’s in the video below starts around 2:20.

Women’s Best Basketball Shoes 2018

Under Armour Clutchfit Drive 3 – Best Women’s Basketball Shoe

The Under Armour Clutchfit Drive 3’s are the third generation in the Clutchfit line and have proven to be a big step up from the 2’s. These shoes feature a ClutchFit technology in the uppers that stretches while providing support and breathability.

Moving to the midsole, these shoes use a full-length Micro G foam layer to provide cushioned landings as well as Charged Cushioning placed under the heel to offer even more shock absorption and responsiveness.

As for the outsole, it uses a herringbone traction patterns with diamond-shaped insets in the forefoot for better traction and control. The treads on the outsole of these shoes, however, are rather thin making them susceptible to dust build up fairly quickly.

Best For: All-around/power players

Shoe Cut: High Top

Indoor or Outdoor: Both

Pros

  • Micro G foam and Charged Cushioning offer plenty of comfort and responsiveness
  • Nice materials in the upper that are stretchable while at the same time being supportive
  • Very comfortable Die-cut and anti-microbial sockliner which molds to the shape of the foot

Cons

  • Dust builds up fast on outsole

Under Armour Jet – Lightweight and Reasonably Priced

If you’re looking for a lightweight basketball shoe that provides snug support in the ankle area, these shoes are worth checking out. They weigh only 9.9 ounces making them great for all-around or power players who need to move fast.

The uppers are constructed of a synthetic leather with a few perforation holes in the forefoot area. As for the midsole, it contains a full-length EVA foam to provide cushioning and support.

Moving to the outsole, the traction pattern is a diamond shape throughout the heel and forefoot. The rubber is durable and provides great traction in the forefoot and heel areas for both indoor and outdoor courts.

Best For: All-around/power players

Shoe Cut: High Top

Indoor or Outdoor: Both

Pros

  • Lightweight, only 9.9 ounces
  • Soft collar foam that adds additional support around the ankle area
  • Reasonably priced

Cons

  • Not much breathability
  • Nothing fancy as far as basketball shoe technology goes

Nike Prime Hype DF II – Extremely Breathable Uppers

These high tops offer extremely breathable uppers with mesh sides, front, and back. They are also made with a synthetic, no-sew construction making them durable and less prone to irritating your skin. These shoes also use flywire cables for a better lock down and lateral support.

The midsole of these shoes are made with a dual-density foam providing great shock absorption.

As for the outsole, it is constructed with a high durability, anatomical outsole which provides greater traction in high-wear areas. Whether you’re playing basketball inside or out, these shoes should perform great in either environment.

Best For: Power players

Shoe Cut: High Top

Indoor or Outdoor: Both

Pros

  • Provides good ankle support
  • Extremely breathable and lightweight
  • Breaks in easy, comfortable, and offers good shock absoption

Cons

  • Outsoles are susceptible to dust buildup
  • Uppers may be too flexible for certain players who prefer additional support and lockdown

Under Armour Micro G Torch – Most Comfortable Women’s Basketball Shoe

The Under Armour Micro G Torch’s uppers are made of a synthetic material and provide multiple perforation points. These shoes fit true to size and provide a snug fit around the top of your foot as well as the ankle area to minimize as slippage and enhance stability

The midsole features a full-length Micro G foam which provides overall extremely comfortable cushioning as well as a responsive and explosive takeoff.

As for the outsole, they feature a durable diamond-shaped traction pattern which provides great traction and is durable both on indoor and outdoor courts.

Best For: All-around/power players

Shoe Cut: High Top

Indoor or Outdoor: Both

Pros

  • Great durability from outsole rubber
  • Extremely comfortable midsole thanks to Micro G foam
  • Fits true to size and provides a great lockdown

Cons

  • Upper is very flexible therefore not offering as much support as some might prefer or require

The actual review section of the Micro G Torch in the video below starts around 1:00.

Nike Hyperdunk 2016 TB – Lightweight and Supportive

The Nike Hyperdunk 2016’s are a lightweight, high-top shoe with textile mesh uppers. They use flywire cables which are integrated with the laces to provide a nice lockdown in the midfoot section.

The midsoles of these shoes use an injected Phylon to provide good shock absorption and cushioning. Although the midsole does provide good cushioning some players have experienced discomfort due to the fact that there is little arch support

As for the outsole of these shoes, they use a herringbone traction pattern which offers great traction on clean indoor courts. The rubber however, is not overly durable making them unsuitable for outdoor use. The Nike Hyperdunk 2016’s also come with Nike Zoom units both in the heel and forefoot of the shoe to deliver more responsiveness and explosion.

Best For: Power players

Shoe Cut: High Top

Indoor or Outdoor: Indoor

Pros

  • Zoom units in heel and forefoot for extra responsiveness
  • Good traction on clean, indoor courts
  • Good lockdown and support

Cons

  • Certain players experienced discomfort due to minimal arch support from these shoes
  • Runs long (may need to go down half a size)

The actual review section of the Nike Hyperdunk 2016 TB in the video below starts around 1:10.

Basketball Shoes Buyer’s Guide

Before making a basketball shoe purchase decision, it’s important to know a few key things about basketball shoes in general as well the type of player you are. All basketball shoes should provide a certain level of the following 5 characteristics:

  1. Traction
  2. Support
  3. Flexibility
  4. Durability
  5. Comfort / Shock Absorption

All basketball shoes are different, therefore the ones you end up purchasing should depend on which of the 5 characteristics mentioned above are most important. This basketball shoes buyer’s guide will tell you everything you need to know about how to confidently buy basketball shoes that’ll help you perform your best on the court.

What Type of Basketball Player are You?

Knowing what type of basketball player you are will greatly help in determining the type of shoe you should be wearing. Although rookies might think “a basketball shoe is a basketball shoe”, just keep in mind that if you’re a player that needs to move fast, for instance, you’ll want a lighter shoe. Whereas on the other hand, if you’re a big player that hangs down by the net and needs to post up, you’ll want a shoe that provides lots of support.

Take a read through the following section to determine what type of player you are and then check out the list of best basketball shoes above to see which ones correspond to your playing style.

1) Fast Player

fast playersFast players or speedsters are basketball players that need to go fast – for instance, point guards. These types of players should look for a lightweight shoe that won’t drag them down with additional weight.

Fast player shoes typically wear low tops, to cut down on weight while still providing a decent level of comfort and support.

2) All-Around Player

all around playersAs the name implies, all-around players do a bit of everything. From playing as a forward, center, or shooting guard, all-around players are the “jacks of a all trades” and need a basketball shoe that accomodates their playing style. Therefore, if you fit into this category, you should be looking for a shoe that offers moderate ankle support, cushioning, and flexbility. The shoe should not be too heavy nor too lightweight.

All-around players tend to go for mid tops as they provide a good balance of support, weight, and comfort.

3) Power Player

power playersAs a power player, you’ll be spending most of your time in the post or down by the net. Things tend to get a bit rough in this position and therefore it’s important to have a heavy-duty pair of basketball shoes that will help support you as you’re posting up. Power players should look for shoes that offer the maximum amount of cushioning, stability, and support. These additions will come at a cost in the weight department, however, as a center you won’t be moving as much, therefore, weight is less of a factor.

Power players typically choose high tops or occasionally mid tops depending on the level of support and comfort they desire in exchange for added weight.

The Anatomy of a Basketball Shoe

The basic anatomy of a basketball shoe is similar to what we’ve already covered in our best running shoes buyer’s guide. It is comprised of 3 main sections: the uppers, the midsole, and the outsole. However, each of these sections have aspects that you should be aware of when making a basketball shoe purchase.

Uppers

A basketball shoe’s uppers are the portion of the shoe that cover the top part of your foot. The following outlines a few important aspects of a basketball shoe’s uppers:

  • The Shoe Cut – A basketball shoe’s cut can either be low top, mid top, or high top. The main difference between each type of shoe lies within how much ankle support they provide. We’ll go more in-depth into the differences that exist between each cut in a further section below.
  • Materials Used – Basketball shoe uppers are created with various materials. Something you’ll want to look out for when purchasing a pair of baskeball shoes is how the material of the uppers feel in terms of breathability and durability. Many shoes these days are made of synthetic leather, synthetic mesh, or a combination of both to provide that cross between durability, flexibility, and breathability.
  • Laces, Straps, and Zippers – Compared to most shoes, the closure system on a basketball shoe varies. You’ll find that there are 3 possibilities when it comes to the closure system of a basketball shoe:
    • Laces – Laces are the most popular closure system and are found on almost all basketball shoes. They are a great way to provide solid stability and ensure your foot is locked into place. They can also be customized for those who want laces that stand out a little more. laces basketball shoe
    • Straps – Straps are quite commonly found in mid to high top shoes. Straps help further improve stability and offer additional protection by helping to prevent any rocking in the ankle. Straps are typically found in shoes that already have either a lace or zipper closure system. straps basketball shoe
    • Zippers – Zippers are somewhat of a newer (less common) technology seen in basketball shoes. They’re extremely convenient and you don’t need to retie your shoe laces if one becomes undone however they may not provide as good of a locked in feel as shoes with laces. If you’re looking at purchasing a pair of basketball shoes with zippers, ensure you get ones that also have a strap so that you can increase the stability around your foot.zippers basketball shoe

Midsole

Moving down to the next part of a basketball shoe is the midsole. The midsole is the section of the shoe that provides shock absorption, comfort, and stability. A breakdown of the most important functions of a basketball shoe’s midsole can be found below.

  • Cushioning / Shock Absoption – The cushioning and shock absoption aspects of the midsole comes thanks to a material called EVA or ethylene vinyl acetate. It is a lightweight foam material that promotes, stability, cushioning, and overall shock absoption. You may also find that some basketball shoes use a dual density EVA for added stiffness or a combination of gels / proprietary cushioning technologies.
  • Pronation Correction – The midsole is also responsible for correcting over or under pronation. Certain basketball shoes will account for this by adding additional cushioning in the heel and the inner or outter edge of the shoe.

Outsole

The outsole  is the last main part of a of a basketball shoe’s anatomy. In the case of fast sports where players do a lot of quick starting and stopping, such as basketball, outsoles are extremely important. When purchasing the best basketball shoe you should be looking at 2 main components pertaining to the outsole.

  • Traction – Good traction patterns and strong durability is vital when buying a basketball shoe. As you’ll be doing lots of fast starting and stopping, you’ll want a shoe that’s able to quickly adapt to that change in direction. Therefore, when purchasing a basketball shoe, check out the traction pattern (herringbone is one of the most popular) as well as the stiffness of the outsole’s rubber. A stiffer rubber is better for outdoor basketball shoes while a malleable rubber is more effective for indoor shoes
  • Durability – The overall durability of a basketball shoe’s outsole should also be examined before purchase. Ensure that the outsole comes with a combination of carbon rubber (for higher wear areas) and blown rubber (for lesser wear areas). Additionally, if you’re purchasing an outdoor basketball shoe you’ll want the outsole to be more durable as the shoe will be used on a rougher surface. In this case, look for a shoe will a higher percentage of carbon rubber on the outsole.

 

Indoor vs Outdoor Basketball Shoes

Whether you’re purchasing indoor or outdoor basketball shoes, they’re all relatively the same. However, there are a couple of key differences that exist between them. Although it’s not absolutely necessary to look for an “indoor” or “outdoor” specific shoe, you may want to take the following points into consideration when purchasing a basketball shoe.

Indoor Basketball Shoes

indoor basketball shoe

  • Less carbon rubber on the outsole
  • Uppers aren’t as breathable due to lower indoor temperatures
  • Traction patterns are more malleable which works more effectively on indoor courts

Outdoor Basketball Shoes

outdoor basketball shoe

  • Higher durability outsole, made with a higher percentage of carbon rubber
  • More breathable due to higher temperatures outdoors, helps prevent sweat and therefore foot slippage or blisters
  • Treads are very stiff, this helps to provide more traction on pavement

 

Low Tops vs Mid Tops vs High Tops

  1. Low Tops
    Low tops are the least commonly used shoe cut in basketball (although it’s growing). The main advantage of low tops however is that they’re lighter due to the fact that they use less material.
    This type of shoe cuts is typically used by point guards as they require the most speed and agility out of all basketball players. The downside to low tops is that they provide less ankle support, thus increasing the likelyhood that a player rolls his or her ankle during a quick turn, jump, etc.
  2. Mid Tops
    air jordan 31 reviewMid tops are quite similar to high tops. They provide more ankle support than low tops but slightly less than high tops. They are a good “middle ground” shoe if you’re looking for a cross between speed, and support.
    Mid tops are a popular choice amongst all-around basketball players as well as beginners. If you’re unsure which shoe cut to go with, go with mid tops or high tops as they’ll both provide good support.
  3. High Tops
    nike lebron 13 reviewHigh tops offer the highest level of ankle support. As the name implies, they come up higher around the ankle and are often equipped with laces that tie up higher or straps to help keep the ankle locked in.
    High tops are a great choice for large players such as centers (power players) or all-around players as they’ll require the greatest amount of ankle support when jumping for rebounds or posting up. The downside to high tops is that they tend to be heavier than both mid tops and low tops.

Basketball Shoe Style and Design

A good basketball shoe’s design and style won’t help you perform better, although might help you feel better when wearing them. Think of it like this, imagine you just bought a new jacket that you love and you want to show it off. So you put it on, and hit the town, being proud of what you’re wearing.

The same goes for basketball shoes, if you feel comfortable and proud in the shoes you’re wearing, then you’ll be more focussed on the game. There are tons of awesome basketball shoe designs available, and manufacturers keep switching things up every year.

nike lebron evolution

Although your basketball shoe’s design and style shouldn’t be at the top of your priority list, you should certainly keep it in mind whenever you’re making a purchase decision. Hopefully, you like the designs of the best basketball shoes outline above. if you do, you’re in luck because these are some of the best shoes currently on the market.

Sizing Tips

The process for finding the perfectly sized basketball shoe should be no different than any other shoe you purchase. Like our other best shoe review sizing tips, you should take these important recommendations into consideration:

  • Check Amazon’s Shoe Fit Responses – For Amazon basketball shoe purchasers, you have the ability to see what other purchasers thought about the fit of the shoe. This feature is not available for all basketball shoes however if it is, it will appear just above the Size selection box. The image below shows the “Fits as Expected” responses for the Nike The Air Overplay IX basketball shoeoverplay 9 fit
  • Try Shoes on While Wearing Your Basketball Socks – If you’re going to a shoe store to buy your basketball shoes, be sure to wear the socks that you normally would when playing basketball. This will help determine whether the shoes you’re looking at purchasing are too small or too big. If you’re ordering from Amazon, remember to put on your sports socks once you get the shoes and then try to them. If they aren’t the right fit, you’ll need to send them back.
  • Try Your Shoes on at the End of the Day – Your feet will slightly swell as the day goes on depending upon how many fluids you drink and how much activity you do. Therefore, it’s important to try your basketball shoes on at the end of the day so that you can make an accurate judgement on whether or not they are the right size for you.
  • Move Around in Your Shoes – Try hopping in place, ligthy running, and performing a few stops to see how the shoes feel. If your foot moves around in the shoe you’ll need a smaller size. On the other hand, if the shoe provides a comfortable and snug fit, then it could be the one.

Furthermore, be sure to leave about a thumbnail’s length of space in the toebox so that your foot has a bit of space to breath and expand if need be. Lastly, know the size of your foot and compare that to the manufacturer’s sizing chart. This makes it much easier to determine if you need to go up or down half of a size from what you regularly wear.

Final Words – Wrapping Up

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned basketball player, choosing the best basketball shoes for your playing style will help improve your overall performance as well as protect you from injury. Be sure to first determine what type of player you are and then find a shoe that coincides with that playing style. All the basketball shoes in this list are great choices and you really can’t go wrong with any one you choose.

Hopefully, you’ve found this list of best basketball shoes helpful. If you’ve skipped over the buyer’s guide above, be sure to take a read through it before making a final purchase decision. If you think we missed a great basketball shoe in this list, be sure to leave a comment below or contact us.

Categories: Sports

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