Best Basketball Shoes for Guards [2024 Review]

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Guards need to be agile in creating offensive plays and breaking the opponent’s defense. With the right basketball shoes, you can change directions on a dime, make precise stops, and shoot from any perimeter. Featuring the latest models, I’m listing the five best basketball shoes for guards to bring your game to the next level. 

Top 5 Basketball Shoes for Guards in 2020 Reviews

As a guard, your team will rely on your agility, ball-shooting skills, and coordination to break the opponent’s defense and win the game. For this reason, I’m rounding up the best basketball shoes to help guards improve their performance.

Under Armour Men’s Curry 2.5

Under Armour has improved the features of Curry 2, particularly the cushioning and traction, to give birth to Curry 2.5. With enhanced cushioning, redesigned upper, and asymmetrical lacing system, this is overall the best basketball shoes for guards. 

Thanks to the thick rubber outsole, these shoes are two beasts on the hardwood. With perfectly-spaced multi-directional herringbone pattern, dust and grime don’t get caught in between the grooves. You don’t need to wipe the soles from time to time, letting you focus on the game instead. 

The midsole contains Under Armour’s Charged Cushioning, which absorbs impact and converts it into a responsive burst. This cushioning technology is perfect for guards who want to experience low-to-the-ground responsiveness. This pair even includes a removable OrthoLite insole for additional impact protection and comfort. 

Another innovation is the lacing system that makes the shoes fit like a glove. Since the sneakers have a high-cut design, the collar serves as excellent protection for your ankle. 

Because of the burrito wrap construction, the tongue attaches to one side of the upper and overlaps with the other end. The fantastic news is that the wrap pulls the ankle and heel back, making the shoes an extension of your foot. 

There’s also an external shank and heel counter at the very base of where your heel sits. These features provide locked-in stability through heel without hampering natural rigidity. Likewise, you don’t have to worry about your feet sliding off of the footbed. 

UA Curry 2.5 optimizes full-length mesh upper with polyurethane rubber overlays and molded synthetic. The heavily-passed medial side uses neoprene-like materials, making the sole wrap around the inside of your feet. These materials also add comfort and flexibility. 

Because of the anti-friction top cloth, the shoes lessen heat to help keep your feet cooler. This well-molded pair of shoes will guarantee you can do your tasks as a guard for long playing periods. 

Finally, Under Armour improved the containment design by placing stiffer materials in the right places. The inclusion of more PU in the high abrasion areas keep the shoes intact even when worn regularly. 

Product Highlights

  • Snug fit upper that lets the shoes follow the shape of the feet 
  • High-cut design protects and supports the ankle
  • TPU shank and heel counter for stability
  • Molded synthetic upper for a secured fit
  • Herringbone outsole for optimum grip and floor control 


  • Cushioning and traction deliver fluid heel-to-toe transition 
  • Construction and asymmetrical give a locked-in feeling 
  • Materials ensure stability without restricting movements 


  • The upper’s design might make it difficult for some people to put on the shoes 
  • Minimal arch support 

Nike Kyrie 3 Basketball Shoes

Kyrie Irving is a hardcore point guard with extreme crossover and dribbling skills. The Nike Kyrie 3 can help you mimic Irving’s fancy footwork in slicing through the opponent’s defense. The shoes combine killer traction, impact protection, and solid court feel, which are paramount for quick guards. 

If you are after reliable traction, the herringbone pattern lets you change directions in split seconds. The rubber sole is useful for aggressive guards whose jobs are to rebound and do layups.

Multi-directional pads retain solid court feel; you won’t encounter slippage problems at all. These independent suspension pods enhance traction, so that guard can shoot or stop at any angle, making it difficult for opponents to cut off. 

Kyrie 3 has one of the most comfortable cushioning in the market because of the Zoom Air design. Although it has minimal cushioning, the Zoo units remain responsive while providing an energy boost. 

The model’s redeeming feature comes in the form of a lightweight Phylon foam in the forefoot flex area. When paired with the synthetic frame, the midsole provides impact protection for guards who make quick lateral motions. 

Aside from that, the shoes get a high mark in terms of lockdown. There’s an internal shank plate for torsional support. Meanwhile, an internal heel counter keeps your feet locked in place. 

The thoughtful mid-cut design protects the ankle and ensures there’s ample support for every complicated move guards make. For these reasons, the shoes hug your feet perfectly, making sure there’s no side-to-side movement or heel slippage. 

The only thing that might impact your fitting is the narrow shape, which means wide footers should consider getting half a size bigger. 

The unique thing about Kyrie 3 is the upper mesh with reinforced Hyperfuse, Nike’s technology to combat extreme wear and tear. Hyperfuse contains three layers of composite material for durability, breathability, and stability. 

Lastly, the high wear areas have Flywire, which minimizes weight while maximizing support. These materials not only contain your feet’s movements but also ensure proper airflow and comfort, especially in the toe area. 

Product Highlights

  • Herringbone sole pattern for superior traction 
  • Mid-top design for ankle protection 
  • Mesh and Hyperfuse materials for durability and breathability 
  • Zoom Air units for responsive cushioning
  • Multi-directional pads retain solid court feel 


  • Great fitting also serves as a support for high abrasion areas 
  • Traction aids in changing directions 
  • Materials work together to keep the foot in place 


  • Minimal cushion  
  • Narrow shape

Adidas Performance Men’s Crazylight Boost Low 2016 Basketball Shoe 

Crazylight Boost Low 2016 caters to explosive guards who make quick bursts of speed to counter their opponents. Guards who are after bounce and speed also get lightweight and impact-absorbing features at a modest rate. The design balances top-notch materials and responsive features to help guards move fast and multi-directional.  

A herringbone traction pattern brags thick grooves that resist pressures on courts. The dual-density rubber sole is dense, making sure the sole won’t wear down easily. This quality of grip allows guards to feel comfortable while running faster. 

What makes this pair one of the best basketball shoes for guards is the full-length cushioning that provides energy-returning properties. Boost, which is Adidas’ most innovative cushioning technology, utilizes TPU that compresses under pressure for better shock absorption. In effect, every step you make, you’ll make it with light, fast energy.

Additionally, the midsole borders on UltraBoost compression. This design absorbs then removes shocks to protect your feet from injuries. A Boost caging of the forefoot also guarantees great court feel and comfort. 

Note that the midsole is a little firmer than its predecessor, which is actually a positive thing. A firmer setup guarantees the Boost remains stable for long playing periods. 

A stable base, enhanced midfoot stability, and a heel cup work together to give the ultimate lockdown. For starters, a TPU shank supports the midfoot to keep the shoe from bending. Crazylight Boost also has slightly raised rubber outsoles around the lower half of the sneakers to ensure containment. 

One of the things you will first notice is how the heel collar cradles your heel even if the shoe has a low-cut design. This non-restrictive and glove-like fit improves comfort and support. 

What’s more, the shoes deserve the name Crazylight because the materials and design are indeed very light. The upper material combines textile and synthetic jacquard, which is a highly textured fabric with woven patterns. These materials not only result in flexibility and breathability, but they also help the shoes resist wear and tear. 

Product Highlights

  • TPU wrap for lateral stability and retainment of the original shape
  • Full-length Boost cushion to balance responsiveness and comfort
  • Combination of textile and jacquard for ventilation and flexibility
  • TPU heel cup and eyestay piece for stability
  • Rubber sole and herringbone pattern for good grip


  • Lightweight and impact-absorbing materials to boost agility
  • Cushioning produces great shock support and a defined court feel. 
  • Exceptional traction for faster response time. 


  • Shoes take a while to break in
  • Longer and narrower shoes that might not suit some foot types 

Adidas Harden Vol. 2 Basketball Shoes

The Adidas Harden Vol. 2 are the best basketball shoes for shooting guards because of the plush cushioning that balances impact protection and response time. Mesh materials contribute to forefoot stability, lockdown, and support, making the shoes perfect for bigger and heavier guards. 

Adidas based the traction pattern on Harden’s foot playing style. There’s a reason why the outsole shows a fractal pattern — the smaller clusters receive the most pressure from the feet. In this way, guards receive excellent stopping power and lateral move coverage.

The outsole’s solid rubber, which extends to the heel, also serves as the shoe’s external heel cup. However, the grooves are not very deep. The small indentations may accumulate dust, which means you’ll need to wipe the outsole to regain traction. 

The redeeming factor comes from this model’s Boost cushioning, the thickest Boost cushioning on an Adidas basketball shoe. The shoes may not offer some crazy bounce, yet a more compressed Boost cushioning keeps the shoe stable and responsive. 

The midsole is wider than the shoe’s upper, creating a stable base for the foot, and subsequently, foot containment. Even with a bit bulkiness to the heel, the nice mold gives a smooth toe-to-heel transition. In addition, a TPU shank between the outsole and midsole creates torsional support. 

Guards with wide feet will also appreciate that the Harden Vol. 2 is true to size. This is because of the midfoot’s elastic band that helps the shoe embrace the feet in a pretty snug. The elastic band will further stretch once you break in the shoes, which is why you should stay with your standard basketball shoe size. 

The mesh produces a compression-like feel in areas of the shoes where you receive much force. In this way, the sneakers block unwanted side-to-side actions when making quick moves. Even if there’s no time to break in the sneakers, you can keep your forefoot contained when doing complicated footwork.

The midfoot contains polyurethane side panels that add support to the heel. Meanwhile, the forefoot’s mesh compresses Forgefiber or TPU-coated threads for strengthened support and stability. This design ensures targeted areas are flexible while significantly reducing the shoe’s weight. 

If you are always concerned about stability, you can rely on the stretchable and comfortable Neoprene sock that keeps your feet safely contained. The sock acts like a spandex material that hugs your feet gently.

With the addition of an adaptable lacing system, the laces also serve as supportive side panels. You achieve pure heel and ankle lockdown once you adjust the laces. The wide and thick outsole also does a great job protecting the ankles. 

Product Highlights

  • Thicker Boost cushioning for impact protection and responsiveness
  • Adjustable lacing system to adapt to the person’s foot
  • Internal neoprene and mesh materials for stability and flexibility
  • Rubber outsole for grip and heel support


  • Fitting remains true to size
  • Materials balance impact protection, support, and response time
  • Compression-like features promote containment 


  • Traction sole can pick up some dust
  • Bulky heel area

Nike Zoom KD 12 Basketball Shoes 

Nike’s most advanced basketball shoe to date, the KD 12 combines lightweight flexibility, responsive cushioning, and on-demand lockdown. These shoes are great for point guards who need to balance comfort and responsiveness when passing, ball-handling, and scoring. 

The outsole bites the floor very well, aiding guards who need to boost their footwork for sharpshooting. Because of a fingerprint-like traction pattern, the translucent rubber outsole delivers enhanced traction on the hardwood. The multi-directional traction keeps guards covered on the court, especially on lateral movements.

With the removal of the Strobel board, a full-length Nike Air Zoom cushion sits directly beneath the feet, providing tons of response, bounce, and impact protection. You also gain better heel-to-toe transition because the Zoom unit follows the shape of the foot. Furthermore, a perforated foam midsole encases the Zoom, which reduces the shoe’s weight to increase flexibility. 

Although the shoes are pretty snug at the forefoot, the twelfth signature shoes from Durant remains true to size. Even guards with wide feet can follow their actual foot size. 

What makes the KD 12 extra special are the Quad Axial Flywire cables in the upper. Players who wear the shoes get a broken-in feeling with an on-demand lockdown. This multi-directional containment targets stability, enabling guards to make cuts and cross defenders on the court. 

In the same way, the cables help keep the foot set firmly on the midsole, making the footbed stable during lateral movements. Foams on the side prevent heel slippage. There’s also an internal heel counter for further containment. 

More than that, a TPU cage wraps the midsole, creating reliable torsional support to prevent over-flexing of the foot. This design enables the midsole to cup the forefoot and heel at all times. 

On the downside, the ankle area has a wide construction, so it looks as if the shoes are bigger. In this case, you’ll need an ankle strap to achieve a tight fit in the ankle area, although there’s padding around the collar to support the ankle.

Materials in the upper balance comfort, durability, and flexibility. A screen mesh with fuse overlays in high-wear areas offers breathability. Meanwhile, the padded Flyknit tongue gives additional comfort. 

Product Highlights

  • Full-length Zoom cushioning guarantees bounce and response time
  • Flyknit tongue and four-way Flywire cables provide containment
  • Rigid internal heel counter with dense inner padding for locked-in feeling
  • Rubber outsole and multi-directional traction support lateral movements 
  • Perforated midsole reduces weight while improving flexibility


  • Zoom Air unit flexes naturally with the feet
  • No heel slippage and side-to-side movements on the footbed
  • Midsole and lacing system drives stability in motion


  • Wide construction in the ankle area
  • Outsole attacks quite a bit of dust

Who Is a Basketball Guard?

A basketball team has five playing positions on the court. These are the center, power forward, point guard, shooting guard, and small forward. The guard keeps his team running by carrying out both offensive and defensive play. 

Guards must be quick in reaching the net or creating some open space for a jump shot. A player with this position needs basketball shoes that will enable him to shoot, dribble, or dribble swiftly. 

Hence, guards need to wear sturdy yet lightweight footwear that will ensure they remain fast and agile. The shoes must also have superior traction for quicker acceleration.

Three men playing basketball

Point Guard

The point guard is responsible for setting up the team’s offense and advancing the basketball up the court. This duty requires superb passing and dribbling skills while rarely turning the basketball over the opponent.

Notable point guards such as Steph Curry, Magic Johnson, and Chris Paul, are also famous as the playmakers. They must be quick in handling and passing the ball on the court, while also assisting their teammates in scoring and stealing the ball from the opposition. 

Point guards need to be quick in everything, from passing to stealing the ball. They need shoes with amazing traction and support to boost their footwork when making sudden moves.

Shooting Guard

As the name implies, shooting guards are the ones best at accurate shooting. Armed with excellent handling skills, they must shoot from any perimeter and drive to the basket. Whether midrange, outside or close to the basket, they must not miss any hit or goal. 

Shooting guards like Kobe Bryan, James Harden, and Michael Jordan have mastered making precise stops and moving quickly to shoot. Their basketball shoes assist them in changing directions quickly while dribbling or shooting the ball. 

Since shooting guards tend to make more jump shots, they need basketball shoes with outstanding cushioning for shock absorption. 

What to Consider When Buying Basketball Shoes for Guards

TractionImproved mobility and stability
Herringbone PatternImproved balance
Responsive CushioningEnhanced comfort
FitPrevents discomfort
LockdownKeeps the shoes in place
CutDepending on the cut, improves mobility and prevents injuries

Every basketball player has a specific role to play, which means they must find basketball shoes that can aid them in their kind of play. It is crucial for guards to combine speed, grip, and comfort to react or shoot faster. Here you’ll see how the shoes I’ve reviewed compare to one another. 


Perhaps traction is the most vital feature of good basketball shoes for guards. It dictates your quickness in cuts, acceleration, and stability. Poor traction will result in diminished agility and speed. 

A quality grip on the floor helps you shift between stopping and accelerating while not slipping. Guards must make abrupt stops and move in different directions without losing their footing. This is why most rubber outsoles come with deep grooves and multi-dimensional patterns that suck the floor for better traction.

Back view of a pair of basketball shoes

Herringbone Pattern

Out of all the patterns, herringbone patterns work best. This kind of pattern has some of the best multi-direction traction, which boosts the balance of guards. 

Brands create variations of the herringbone pattern, but all designs aim to boost your strength— your quick pace. A good traction pattern will help you stop and shoot from a distance and distract your opponent for a crossover.

UA Curry 2.5, Nike Kyrie 3, and Adidas Crazylight Boost use rubber outsole with herringbone pattern for traction. On the other hand, Adidas Harden Vol. 2 and Nike Zoom KD 12 optimize fractal pattern and multi-directional traction pattern, respectively, for lateral movements. 

Responsive Cushioning

Guards must keep their feet comfortable for extended playing periods. Since they are normally smaller and weigh less than the big guys, the cushioning must be firmer than usual because soft cushioning can affect speed and maneuverability.

With that said, choose sneakers that have responsive cushioning to absorb shock yet won’t hinder you from moving around the court in a flash. Brands tend to develop their cushioning technologies that are lightweight, responsive, and comfortable.  

Best Materials for Cushioning

The midsole is the most essential part of the shoe in terms of cushioning. Typically made of foam, ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) foam, thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), or a combination of these materials. A padded midsole ensures your feet are in top shape. 

Under Armour combines Charged Cushioning and OrthoLite insole to help Curry 2.5 absorb impact. Meanwhile, Kyrie 3 and KD 12 optimizes Zoom Air units to get better bounce and response. Lastly, Crazylight Boost and Harden Vol. 2 from Adidas rely on Boost cushioning for stability and shock absorption. 


Make sure to measure your feet and choose the right size according to your measurements. Guards need proper-fitting basketball shoes to help absorb shock and reduce soreness; otherwise, injuries may occur. Therefore, pay attention to fitting because it impacts support and comfort.

Contrary to the belief, loose shoes won’t provide more breathing room. In fact, ill-fitting sneakers will only cause calluses and blisters. Loose shoes may even place the arch support on the wrong part of the foot. 


Once you’ve found the perfect fit, you’ll want to keep your shoes safely clinging to your feet. The best basketball shoes for guards must have lacing systems or straps that keep the feet firmly in place. Correct size plus good lace-up equate to comfort as well.   

Curry 2.5 and KD 12 both focus on lacing systems and glove-like construction to provide a comfortable fit. For Kyrie 3 and Crazylight Boost, TPU shanks and heel counters deliver lockdown. Harden Vol. 2 mixes a lacing system and TPU components to create the ultimate fit and lockdown.

Cut Style and Design

The style of shoes determines how high the ankle collar comes up on your foot. Do you need one at the same level as your ankle bone? Will it be more beneficial to have an ankle collar over or below the ankle bone? 

Most guards prefer mid-cut or low-cut shoes because high-tops are heavier and bulkier. To know which cut style won’t restrict your flexibility and speed, you must understand their differences: 


High top is a shoe style that contains a higher collar to support the heels, which is why Curry 2.5 provides support without restricting movements.

The ankle collar wraps around the ankles and ends above the ankle bones. While this style gives extra stability and support to prevent ankle sprain, high-cut shoes tend to be heavier and bigger. 

Side view of a pair of basketball shoes


Low tops sneakers, like Crazylight Boost and Harden Vol. 2, have lower heel collars that end below the ankle bone. Low-cut is the best style for guards who value agility, speed, and mobility. 

The downside is that this cut tends to have more cage designs and interlocking laces to prevent the shoes from falling off your feet. 


You should choose mid-cut shoes if you require ankle support without losing speed and mobility. This is your best bet if you want the right balance between ankle support and ease of movement. 

Kyrie 3 and KD 12 let you have the advantage of balancing protection and natural movements without sacrificing speed. 

Ankle Support

Foot injury will cause you to sit on the bench for the rest of a game, or worse, miss a playing season. Thus, ankle support is a key determiner in buying basketball shoes. 

Support may come either in the form of cushioning, lockdown features, or style of shoe. Regardless, ankle support must protect your ankles and heels from pressure.

The shoes I’ve reviewed use heel counters, heel cups, side panels, and TPU cages to retain stability in the heel and ankle ankles without hampering your pace. 


Basketball games are intense, and they demand a lot of effort from your body, especially from your feet. The best basketball shoes for guards must be sturdy enough to withstand impact, sweat, dust, water, and different kinds of courts.

Remember that materials may also impact ventilation. Shoes that block airflow will cause heat build-up and over-sweating. Having stinky or sweaty feet can be distracting.

Hard Materials Versus Soft Materials 

A shoe’s design comes to life because of materials. Leather has proven that it’s a flexible yet sturdy material. Even though leather is elastic, it can resist abrasion and tear.

A lot of performance shoes incorporate synthetic mesh for breathability. Some brands use woven fabrics to make soft fabrics so that players can ensure mobility, flexibility, and breathability. The shoes in this list utilize mesh, rubber overlays, Forgefiber, and Flyknit materials, as well as Boost and Nike Air units.

As you can see, a combination of soft and hard materials create the best basketball shoes for guards. Hence, guards must opt for basketball shoes that are tough enough to handle foot movements while also ensuring comfort through ventilation. 

Related Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about the best basketball shoes for guards.

Is KD 14 Good for Guards?

Yes, since they have a great design, KD 14’s are a good pair of shoes for guards. These shoes have more stability than others, which allows you to move without problems. On top of that, your feet won’t move inside of the shoe, making them great to pivot with no discomfort.

Is Lebron 19 Low Good for Guards?

Yes, Lebron 19 Lows are great shoes for guards. These offer you a lot of mobility and shock absorption, which prevents injuries in the long run. Also, they have extra cushioning, making them much more comfortable than others. Overall, Lebron 19 Lows allow you to move quickly and comfortably.

What Does It Mean to “Break In” Shoes? 

“Breaking in” shoes refers to the process where the shoe adapts to your feet. The shoes may seem stiff at first, but they will break in and conform to the shape of your foot over time. This is why players must spend time “breaking in” their shoes to get used to the form.

It is acceptable to put on shoes right out of the package. However, a week of break-in allows your shoes to become accustomed to your feet. Therefore, I recommend going for a quick walk before wearing the footwear to the courts.


Guards can’t afford a glitch because even a split-second can either make or break the game. Go through the information I’ve compiled to help you score the best basketball shoes for guards. Make sure your pick will showcase how you dash and bolt as the best guard of your team. 

Tim Frechette is an avid athlete, having played sports like soccer and basketball his entire life. He brings a wealth of athletic knowledge to his writing.