Basketball shoes have come a long way since the original Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star.
(No shade to Chucks – they’re the OGs, and we still love ’em!)
But these days, there are so many important things to look for when shopping for a new pair of basketball shoes.
Sure, maybe you’re loyal to a specific brand or player (dozens of basketball players have signature shoes with top brands).
But you also have to consider fit, support, traction, low-tops vs high, whether you’re playing on hardwood or asphalt, and of course, budget.
With so many details to consider, finding the right basketball shoes for your specific playing style and needs can be like the 2020 NBA season in the bubble:
Simple in theory, but ultimately overwhelming, confusing, and potentially a huge failure.
Luckily for you, we’ve got your back. (Or your feet, as it were.)
To help you make the best choice and find the kicks that are right for you (yes, even for big men with wider feet) we’ve compiled a list of the best basketball shoes for every type of player.
Step Up Your Shoe Game:
The (Absolute) Best Shoes for Basketball
- Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes ↓
- Best Basketball Shoes for Wide Feet ↓
- Best Low Top Basketball Shoes ↓
- Best Cheap Basketball Shoes ↓
- Best Basketball Shoes for Ankle Support ↓
- Best Basketball Shoes for Guards ↓
- Overall Best Nike Basketball Shoes ↓
- Overall Best Adidas Basketball Shoes ↓
- Best High Top Basketball Shoes ↓
- Best Basketball Shoes for Jumping ↓
- Best Basketball Shoes for Flat Feet ↓
Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes ↓
Ankle support and traction are key to any good pair of basketball shoes, but they’re especially important when making a hard stop on a dusty court.
The Nike Fly By Mid 3 offers a snug-fitting cushioned collar for extra support, while the sole is uniquely designed to grip the court during those quick pivots.
Plus, at $50, they’re a steal.
After about 2 months, these shoes are holding up. I mostly play outdoor pickup games 2-3x a week for about 4hrs and the shoes are comfortable.
They were a bit tight and felt narrow at first, but gave it 2 days to break in and now I’m glad I didn’t return them. Good shoes for half the price of AF1s, which I’ve been playing in for the past 10 years.
The Nike Air Max Impact 3 is one of our favorite options for shooting outdoor hoops.
The cushioning setup under the heel reduces force and softens the landing of your jump shot (or that fade away you’ve been working on… you’ll nail it one of these days).
And with rubber sides for extra stability and durability, plus a traditional herringbone pattern on the outsole for traction control, these sneaks can take a beating without sacrificing performance.
These are the perfect outdoor basketball shoe. They are incredibly comfortable, and I love the padding around the tongue and heel.
The cushioning is amazing, especially for people that tend to do lots of layups and jumpshots.
With responsive cushioning and a snug fit, the Nike Renew Elevate 2 is sure to perform on the uneven and unpredictable terrain of outdoor courts.
The structured mesh design feels lightweight yet still supportive, while the new TPU lace component keeps your foot in place inside the shoe.
You’re also getting great traction control thanks to the geometric pattern on the sole.
I tip my hat to the creators of these shoes. The traction is great on cement, hardwood, and asphalt. The cushion feels a lot like the 2016 adidas crazylight boost.
Best Basketball Shoes for Wide Feet ↓
In 2021, Nike dropped the highly anticipated LeBron 19 in tandem with the release of Space Jam: A New Legacy, starring Lebron James himself (fun fact: the sneaks even made a cameo in the film).
Perfect for wide feet, the LeBron 19 is specifically designed to absorb impact and help generate speed and force while providing comfortable cushioning that’s both lightweight and durable.
So don’t let the space-age-inspired design fool you—this shoe is serious about performance.
Love the design of the shoe. Great for people with wide feet and the durability is fantastic.
For feet that require a little extra room, you can’t go wrong with the support and comfort of Adidas’ latest signature shoe with James Harden, the Harden Vol. 6.
Design features like elastic bands around the heel and forefront and a rubber outsole for high traction are key to making you feel secure and stable for all four quarters.
As for style, they come in five bold, attention-grabbing color schemes (likely a nod to The Beard’s style on and off the basketball court).
A quick note: These are unisex so you might want to double-check the size guide when ordering online to help you find the right size.
I tried out many basketball shoes for my wide feet (14 EE). I purchased this one (size 14.5) and it fits perfectly.
One of the most popular lines of basketball shoes on the market (if not one of the best basketball shoes of all time), Air Jordan’s latest model is touted as the lightest and smoothest to date thanks to a few upgrades.
Key features include a more durable herringbone pattern outsole for improved traction and a full-length Zoom Air unit for optimal cushioning and responsiveness.
Like its predecessors, the Air Jordan 36 performs well on any surface, from hardwood to dusty asphalt.
I love the last 3 Jordan models but these are the lightest and most comfortable shoes yet….and they look much cooler in person than in pictures….perfect fit true to size…
– M F
Best Low Top Basketball Shoes ↓
For decades, high-top sneakers were the most popular basketball shoes among amateurs and professional players alike.
But in recent years, low tops (i.e. sneakers that stop below the ankle) have surged in popularity, mostly due to the fact they’re lighter, cooler, and allow for more movement.
Luckily, the Air Jordan 36 Low has all the selling features of its high-top cousin (lightweight, elite traction and responsiveness, etc), but with the low ankle that suits your game and style.
In my top 5 favourite pairs at the moment.the design is superb, super comfortable, and the mesh makes them extra breathable for summer
If you hate breaking in new basketball shoes (and who doesn’t?), then you’ll love the pre-broken-in feel of the Nike KD 15.
This latest version of Nike’s collab with Kevin Durant features minimal layers in the upper part of the shoe that makes for a lightweight feel and comfort right out of the box.
As for a snug fit, the laces weave through wings on the sides that tighten when you lace up, helping to secure your foot in place.
The KD 15″s are one of the most comfortable shoes ive ever worn.
The Under Armour Spawn 3 is a great low-top sneaker option but at a slightly lower price point than the others in this section.
It offers all the comfort, stability, and superb traction you’re looking for in a solid basketball shoe, with a casual style you can rock from the court to the street.
Plus, it plays on both indoor and outdoor courts, so it’s basically like two shoes in one (that’s how math works right?).
they arrived very fast. the quality of the shoe looks very good the grip of the sole is excellent and the best of all is its comfort 10/10
Best Cheap Basketball Shoes ↓
The Nike Air Max Impact 3 is one of the best basketball shoes you can buy for under $100, and a decent alternative to many of the more expensive models on this list.
You get all the cushioning, traction, support, and stability you want in a high-performance sneaker but at a fraction of the cost.
What’s more, the soft upper gives it that broken-in feel so you can hit the court in comfort.
The cushioning is amazing, especially for people that tend to do lots of layups and jumpshots.
I also love how comfortable they feel around the ankle – they provide support, but not too much to the point you cant move freely.
With a price tag of around $100, the Puma Court Rider 2 is another great option if you want the most bang for your buck.
This low cut’s biggest selling feature is its superb grip strength, thanks to the durable traction pattern that covers the outsole and portions of the midsole.
They also feature full-length foam cushioning for impact protection and a smart lacing design for that snug, locked-in feel.
With focused fit and lightweight design, the Nike Giannis Immortality 2 feels and performs a lot like a premium-priced shoe but with a much lower price tag.
A standout feature is the curved heel-to-toe sole, uniquely designed for smooth strides and optimal cushioning.
Another unique feature: The names of Giannis’s family members are debossed on the bottom.
Best Basketball Shoes for Ankle Support ↓
Yep, Air Jordan 36 makes our list yet again, and this time its our top pick for superior ankle support.
The strong upper and high, stabilizing sidewalls provide you with the additional support you need to perform layups and jump shots with confidence.
Plus, the phenomenal traction means less risk of falling when you cut to the net.
Great traction, lockdown, cushion, and support, while being super light and breathable – literally everything you want in a basketball shoe.
Designed specifically for big jumpers, the Nike Air Zoom GT Jump is an excellent option if you’re looking for a shoe with extra ankle support.
The biggest feature here in terms of support is the durable woven upper that works like an exoskeleton, making you feel secure and connected without compromising performance.
The Air Zoom G.T. Jump Basketball Shoes is a very comfortable shoe with incredible ankle support…
They have mesh on the sides which allows my feet to breathe easily and not overheat which is a major bonus.
The Nike Lebron 19 is a great shoe if you’re looking for a stable, locked-down feel.
TPC winglets on either side that the laces feed through sculpt the inner sleeve around your foot for both medial and lateral stability.
What’s more, flywire cables (filaments that function like suspension bridge cables) at the top work with the laces for strong support around the ankle, especially when moving side-to-side.
I have a few of Lebron’s 19. This one looks good and is taking a beat down. Once they break in, they are golden.
They are tight where they need to be and very responsive to dribble or skid. I am not a pro, but I do take care of my legs, great pair.
Best Basketball Shoes for Guards ↓
As a point guard, you’re doing the most on the floor, which means you need a shoe that allows for speed and agility, but that still gives you support.
The Nike Lebron 19 Low is an optimal shoe for guards because it’s extremely lightweight for quick and efficient movement, while the Max Air unit under the heel minimizes impact on joints.
Sneakerheads who prefer colorful kicks will especially love the wild color combos available.
Court feel is good and traction for outdoor use is great. Lateral movements felt stable and I had no fear of ever rolling my ankle.
Since this is a premium shoe in the Nike basketball line the materials are durable and honestly quite breathable; you definitely get your moneys worth.
The Nike Giannis Immortality 2 is a great option for point guards for a few reasons.
Mainly, the solid traction (which wraps up the midsole) allows for sudden stops, cuts, and pivots.
Secondly, they’re lightweight and breathable thanks to a mesh upper while an internal midfoot strap makes sure you feel stable and secure.
The Nike KD 14 is a top-performing sneaker with the stop-on-a-dime traction every guard is looking for in a sneaker.
The grooves and ridges pattern on the sole delivers serious multidirectional traction.
But don’t worry about wiping out—the midshoe strap will keep your foot locked in and stable inside the shoe to help prevent falls and ankle injuries.
Overall Best Nike Basketball Shoes ↓
For those who are loyal to the Nike brand (and who love getting big air on the court), the Nike Air Zoom GT Jump may just be your perfect shoe.
The midsole Zoom Air response technology harnesses energy and helps maximize every jump in and outside of the paint.
Meanwhile, you’re still getting the traction, comfort, stability, and breathability you’d expect from Nike.
These are the best basketball shoes I’ve ever played in…
Before this, my go-to lineups were the LeBron’s… I have some 15 lows that were nice to play in, but I’m not really a lowtop guy.
These shoes blow them all away. I’ve never felt anything like them before.
This latest iteration of Nike’s signature shoe with scoring superstar Kevin Durant still has all the aggressive traction and performance of its predecessor, but with a few key upgrades.
Mainly, they ditched the midfoot strap and replaced it with a containment system for increased lightness, and added ventilation on the tongue for breathability.
If you loved the KD14, this model will not disappoint.
These shoes are perfect IMO. The Zoom stroble along with the responsiveness of the midsole is the right combo of impact protection and responsiveness.
The fit is right…not long or short….narrow or wide. Lastly it’s a LOW! I love a low cut shoe! I will be buying many colorways of this model.
The Nike KD14 was a top-performing basketball shoe in 2021, so it’s an excellent shoe for any Nike lover (as long as you’re not the type who waits in line for the latest release).
The incredible traction, comfortable fit, and solid support make this a well-rounded shoe for any baller, regardless of position or playing style.
And there’s one major benefit to going with a slightly outdated model: They’re considerably cheaper.
Overall Best Adidas Basketball Shoes ↓
If you’re Adidas is your personal favorite brand (and you’re a fan of Damian Lillard), then the Adidas Dame 7 is the shoe for you.
The Lightstrike foam offers balanced cushioning and impact protection for added comfort while you’re moving up and down the court.
For outdoor players, the rubber outsole is extremely durable and performs well on blacktops.
Soon as I took them out of the box and put them on; HEAVEN!!!! Very light and comfy. Fit your feet like a glove. Worth the purchase.
– Dominique Grooms
Not just a great option for wide feet, the Harden Vol. 6 from Adidas is an all-around solid basketball shoe for any player or position.
Reviewers agree this iteration is a huge upgrade from the last, if not the best Adidas-Harden collab to date, with improved traction, impact protection, and fit.
Plus, they’ve brought back the full-length Boost foam from the first Harden release.
Great shoe. As most shoes used for performance, they need a bit of wear to mold to the feet and after that they are comfortable and very good on the court.
– Jose Santiago
The D Rose 11 is the latest and long-awaited collab from Adidas and Knicks’ point guard Derrick Rose.
This mid-top’s biggest selling feature is the ankle support, which comes from the stabilizing wide-base design and extended heel counter.
It’s also lightweight and offers good traction on multiple surfaces.
Best High Top Basketball Shoes ↓
A basketball player might prefer high tops to lows for two main reasons:
One, they’re good for big guys who need a little extra ankle support and stability, and two, they have a retro, old-school look that many sneakerheads covet.
Whatever your reason, if high tops are your personal preference, the Air Jordan 36 is an obvious choice.
GOAT shoe from GOAT player… the Jordan 36 shoe changes the landscape of how other basketball shoes should be created.
Imagine having super powers flowing through a shoe. Light weight and strong, durable with speed abilities flowing through it.
The Nike Air Zoom GT Jump is another great high-top option, especially if you’re working on your vertical jump.
The main focus here is the ultra-responsive Zoom Air cushioning system that works in tandem with the super lightweight and springy external jump frame made from PEBAXⓇ foam.
The Air Zoom GT Jump Basketball Shoes are an incredible pair of sneakers to elevate your basketball gameplay. The shoes are made extremely well with lightweight materials that provide breathability.
The Air Zoom GT Jump Shoes also have a wonderful lock-in design that keeps your feet secured within the shoe to allow for precise movements. The arch has a unique design that makes running feel better with extra spring.
The Nike Kyrie Infinity high top is made for players just like Kyrie Irving — quick guards with tons of speed and insane agility.
Whether you’re setting up a play or taking it to the rack, these kicks will support you thanks to multidirectional tread and rubber that wraps up the sides for the best grip.
They also have extra padding in the collar designed to support the Achilles tendon.
In short, these are the best basketball shoes I’ve had. If you look good, you feel good, if you feel good, you play good!
The most important part of my game is speed and agility and these shoes are light with all the stability I need. There is so much support in the ankles, without weighing down my legs.
– Dekeing Deacon
Best Basketball Shoes for Jumping ↓
If you’re looking to get a few extra inches on your vertical, look no further than the Nike KD 13.
The dual Zoom Air cushion provides bounciness (yes, that’s a word) and impact protection so you get an explosive takeoff and a safe, comfortable landing.
And at 3.5 pounds, they won’t weigh you down.
Honestly these trainers are better than I anticipated! The cushion set-up is an absolute dream!
These are the best basketball trainers I own now! A must buy!
– Karl P
The Adidas Pro Bounce is another great sneaker for jumping.
The standout feature is the well-balanced Bounce cushioning system that delivers responsiveness and impact protection.
Meanwhile, the molded ankle collar adds the extra ankle support you need when landing your jump shot (just ask Steph Curry).
Started playing basketball again and needed a good pair of shoes. For the price, (without comparing to any other basketball shoes) this is extremely comfortable and functional.
Lateral, forward, diagonal and backward movements are easy and jumping is too.
The Nike Kyrie Infinity’s revamped full-length cushioning system is easily one of the best setups of all the Kyrie signature shoes.
Nike upgraded this model to a three-layer system that uses an Air Zoom unit in the forefoot as well as in the heel, for improved energy return, bounce, comfort, and impact absorption.
Best Basketball Shoes for Flat Feet ↓
What do Kobe Bryant, Stephen Curry, and Lebron James have in common?
Yep, they’re all flat-footed, and if you are too, then the Air Jordan 36 is an excellent sneaker for you.
Compared to its predecessor, the 36 is more flat-foot friendly overall, primarily due to the lower placement of the midsole Eclipse Plate, making them more comfortable and supportive.
It also has a more linear tooling system that flat-footed players will appreciate.
In addition to being an excellent overall shoe, the Nike KD 15 is also a great sneaker for flat-footed basketball players.
The full-length foam and Zoom Air cushioning system offer the heel-to-tow support that flat footers need.
One important note: The fit is true to size for players with narrow or medium feet, so players with flatter feet will likely need to go up a half size (especially if you’re using an orthotic insert as well).
But if you don’t want to pay full price for the newer model, the Nike KD is still a great choice.
It has a lot of the same key selling features as the 15 (like the full-length Strobel board, excellent traction, etc.), and many sneaker enthusiasts consider it one of the comfiest and best-performing sneakers of last year.
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