Reviews of the Best Basketball Shoes in 2019

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Basketball shoes are one of the most important parts of playing the game of basketball. A game that is comprised of running, jumping, and landing, it is imperative that an athlete takes care of their feet. The smartest thing to do is to find the shoe that will protect your foot, but also enhance your game to the highest level.

Top Basketball Shoes Review

Brand
Top Pick
Nike Airforce 1 Trainers
Best for the Money
Nike Hyperdunk 2016
Best Cheap Pick
And1 Rocket 3.0
Product
Nike Mens Air Force 1 Basketball Shoe
Nike Mens Hyperdunk 2016 Basketball...
AND 1 Men's Rocket 3.0 mid-m Sneaker, Black, 11...
Material
Synthetic, leather
Mesh
Textile
Sole
Gum-rubber
Gum-rubber
Gum-rubber
Rating
Top Pick
Brand
Nike Airforce 1 Trainers
Product
Nike Mens Air Force 1 Basketball Shoe
Material
Synthetic, leather
Sole
Gum-rubber
Rating
Best for the Money
Brand
Nike Hyperdunk 2016
Product
Nike Mens Hyperdunk 2016 Basketball...
Material
Mesh
Sole
Gum-rubber
Rating
Best Cheap Pick
Brand
And1 Rocket 3.0
Product
AND 1 Men's Rocket 3.0 mid-m Sneaker, Black, 11...
Material
Textile
Sole
Gum-rubber
Rating

Best Basketball Shoes: Nike Air Force 1, Men’s Trainers

If you want a fresh and comfortable look, these shoes are what you should wear to complete your ensemble. Made of leather and synthetic material, these shoes contain and outsole made of gum-rubber, and a foam inside-midsole. The shoe’s durable midsole is all around light weight, durable, and cushioned.

Nike Mens Air Force 1 Basketball Shoe

With premium impact reduction and traction, the Nike Air Force 1 is a strong, durable shoe. These shoes contain a low to the ground feel, perforated toe detail, and a leather and textile upper that provides durability. It cannot be stressed enough how durable these shoes are.

Consumers can wear the shoe all day and the shoe will still meet a long life. The multi-purpose of the shoe is an incredible plus for those who invest. Finally, the shoes work well on the basketball court.

More importantly, the shoes are comfortable. All feet can feel welcomed and relax inside these shoes, especially with arch support included if needed. Sizes can be bought between 5.5 and 15, and the shoe weighs about 12 ounces.

The look is very important to the consumer, but have no feel. These shoes can go with any outfit, even a suit if one is feeling the need to look extra nice. Consumers can pick out a color combo that will leave everyone is satisfied.

For older Nike fans, the shoes even resemble the classic, throwback Nike shoes from the “good old days.” It resembles the perfect hybrid between shoes from the 80’s to the current mainstream shoe craze.

Some negatives to the Nike Air Force 1 includes the color variations and how bulky the shoe is. The shoe does stretch wider than other shoes. In terms of how the shoe looks, come color variations have not appeared to match pictures advertised.

All in all, the Nike Air Force 1 has more positives for the avid basketball fan. This is a great gift for husbands, children, and even fathers from the past generation. The whole family can bring their “A-game” to the court, but look swell at the same time.

Product Specs 

  • Leather and synthetic material
  • Foam midsole
  • Gum-rubber outsole
  • Perforated detail at the front for breathability
  • Lowtop design with padded ankle for support and comfort
  • Thick, sturdy sole for stability

Best Basketball Shoes Under 100: Nike Hyperdunk 2016 Basketball Shoes

If you are an all-around player, who wants to rebound, drive, shoot, or defend, look no further because the Nike Hyperdunk 2016 is the shoe for you. There are many variables that make this shoe appealing to consumers. From its great cushioning system to its durable design, finding negative reviews will be a challenge.

Nike Mens Hyperdunk 2016 Basketball...

The Nike Hyperdunk is great all-around for custom fit and support. Its supportive high top design promotes stability when worn. The model belongs to the Nike Zoom series. The shoe contains a mesh upper for breathability and comfort, synthetic overlays for design, toe guard, and a rubber outsole for deep flex grooves from traction.

The shoe material is made of synthetic and textile, while the outsole is pure synthetic. The shoe weighs about 15 ounces and is available in sizes 7.5 to 18. It also comes with arch support. The only drawback is that the design of the shoe does not make it a durable shoe for outdoor court use.

One of the shoe’s greatest strengths comes from its cushioning. The push off is quick and the landing is solid, which brings no pain or impact when jumping. There is no lag between the foot and the shoe when pushing off.

For some shoes, there is a small amount of time needed for the foot to set into the shoe; however, Nike Hyperdunk allows for a quick response with a cushioned feel.

The shoe does have a wide base, but has adjustable lacing and high ankle support. Players can feel that their ankles are secure when worn. The ankle padding wraps around the ankle perfectly to prevent any type of slipping and sliding.

The Nike Hyperdunk provides the tools for players to be successful on the court. There is no major breakthrough with the shoe. The shoe contains all the right elements to help a player, and it comes at a reasonable price.

If players want a shoe that helps their game, while also fitting their budget plans, the Nike Hyperdunk should be on the next shopping list.

Product Specs 

  • All-over mesh material
  • Cushioned foam midsole
  • Gum-rubber outsole
  • Nike Flyknit construction and Flywire technology for slick fit
  • Compression collar for stabilizing support
  • Full-length cushioning for smooth, responsive ride

Best Cheap Basketball Shoes: And 1 Men’s Rocket 3.0 Mid Basketball Shoes

A cheap shoe with all the expensive look. These shoes provide the unique look and has all the high end qualities of a more expensive shoe. All black Nike shoes will usually cost a consumer big bucks, but the AND1 Men’s Rocket 3.0 will not make someone break the bank. The shoe does not just come in all black, but other color variations as well. With a smooth trim, this shoe will look sharp.

AND 1 Men's Rocket 3.0 mid-m Sneaker, Black, 11...

The shoe typically comes in sizes eight to 15. Arch support is provided. The shoe is made out of synthetic material and has a gum-rubber outsole. The mesh tongue allows for breathability and comfort. Other features include a heel quarter molding and TPU design to produce lateral stability.

The And 1 company is a pure basketball brand that is endorsed by countless NBA superstars. And 1 knows basketball and is known for making great footwear that is designed for on and off the court performance and style. Since 1993, the company has helped numerous players in finding the right fit.

The only drawback to the shoe is that wear and tear will come quicker to the shoe. The shoe may be a bargain for the look, but the durability of the shoe is not the highest. One could expect to have to buy another shoe in a matter of months, especially if one expects to play a lot of outdoor basketball games.

AND 1 Men's Rocket 3.0 mid-m Sneaker, Black, 11...
  • Synthetic leather upper.
  • Mesh tongue allows for breathability and comfort.
  • Heel Quarter molding and TPU design provide lateral stability and comfort.

Overall, if one is hoping to save some money, the And 1 Men’s Rocket 3.0 Mid Basketball Shoe will provide you want you need in terms of look for a bargain price. The colors that are offered can match any outfit.

The shoe will provide a short term answer to your footwear for basketball games if you are on a budget. For a cheaper option, the And 1 Men’s Rocket 3.0 Basketball Shoe is the way to go.

Product Specs 

  • Synthetic material
  • EVA midsole
  • Gum-rubber outsole
  • Synthetic leather upper
  • Heel support and moulding for stability
  • Non-marking outsole for multi-directional speed

Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes: Adidas Performance Men’s Crazylight Boost Low 2016 Basketball Shoe

This shoe is the ultimate low top shoe for outdoor basketball players. The Adidas Crazylight Boost provides all the elements to a great shoe: traction, cushion, transition, materials, fit, and support. Overall, this is a durable and supportive shoe for the outside ball player.

adidas Crazylight Boost Low 2016 PK BW0625 -...

The shoe is made of textile, synthetic material with a gum-rubber outsole. The shoe weighs about 14 ounces and comes in sizes between 7.5-14. This shoe is highly recommended due to having a comfortable feel and the durability for outdoor play.

The durability comes from a thick textile, synthetic construct with a soft cushioning. The shoe has an enhanced midfoot stability for ultimate lockdown.

The Crazylight Boost has some of the best traction since the Nike Kobe 9. Its dense rubber works well in multiple environments, especially if dust is present. The shoe has more pliable compound that gribs like crazy, which allows it to work well on multiple courts and conditions.

Thanks to having tons of boost pellets in the midsole, the shoe feels firmer than previous models. There is no bouncing feeling, and it will absorb everything from driving to rebounding. The transition from heel to toe will feel smooth no matter the foot size.

adidas Crazylight Boost Low 2016 PK BW0625 -...
  • Boost energy returning technology keeps every step charged with an endless supply of light, fast...
  • Jacquard synthetic and textile upper for ultimate comfort
  • Ventilated air mesh tongue

The materials keep the shoe from stretching out too much. The foot will remain inside the shoe even at a player’s top speed. This helps with the shoe’s fit, but this could also be seen as a drawback. The fit will feel narrow, so for players that have wider feet, going up a ½ to one full size could be beneficial.

Overall, this is the ultimate low top with superb lockdown, cushion, and traction. If you are a fan of low tops, then you will enjoy this shoe. This will certainly be a smart purchase, even if you have never tried low tops before.

This could potentially be one of the best low top shoes on the market. If you are a first time low top buyer, then your hard earned money will be invested in the right product.

Product Specs 

  • Textile, synthetic material
  • Foam midsole
  • Gum-rubber sole
  • Jacquard upper for design
  • Molded TPU and heel cup for great lockdown
  • Textured gum-rubber for superior traction in-court

Best Traction Basketball Shoes: Under Armour Men’s Team Drive 4 Basketball Shoe

Breathable. Light weight. Molded ankle collar for greater structural, extended support and snug. The Under Armour Men’s Team Drive 4 has all of this, and more. These shoes contain an external heel counter that provides additional support, and a toe wrap that improves forefoot flexibility. Also included are durable reinforced lace loops.

Under Armour Men's Team Drive 4 Basketball Shoe,...

These shoes have a micro Gheel unit for firm cushioning as well. The back foot will always feel locked in place thanks to its textile, and synthetic material. These shoes were meant for the gym. Plus, you will feel extremely comfortable.

The Team Drive 4 has a rubber sole, but also a gum-rubber outside sole. Sizes come between 5-15, while the shoes weigh about 14.1 ounces.

What makes the shoe worth buying is the traction support. Ordinary shoes will have the basketball player slipping all over the gym. Not the Team Drive 4. Thanks to molded ankle collar and various other materials, an athlete can feel secure when shifting their weight laterally.

Under Armour Men's Team Drive 4 Basketball Shoe,...
  • Breathable, lightweight textile upper
  • Full-length bootie construction with molded ankle collar for greater structure, extended support & a...
  • External heel counter provides additional support & keeps the back of the foot locked in place

This is a great shoe for the proven guard that is handling the ball and needs to slash in the lane, or outside the perimeter. By having that extended support, the guard should feel safe. The Team Drive 4 will provide some of the best traction that one could ask. This is by far a support shoe that you should want to buy.

The Team Drive 4 is a shoe for the next generation. The full length bootie construction should make a player feel quick, but also confident. The midfoot plate will give that extra bit of stability that will allow you to drive, cut, and attack. If you want to be a productive guard, these are all traits that you want in your game.

Make the right choice and look into the Team Drive 4. There will not be many other options that allow you to produce what a typical guard should. Add these shoes to your outfit, and you can insure that you will have a better all-around game.

Product Specs 

  • 100% Textile and Synthetic material
  • EVA midsole
  • Gum-rubber sole
  • Breathable and lightweight upper
  • Toe wrap for incredible forefoot flexibility
  • Herringbone sole design for traction

Best Ankle Support Basketball Shoes: Adidas Performance Men’s D Rose 5 Boost Basketball Shoe

Everyone needs support, so let the Adidas Performance D Rose 5 Boost support you. Made of leather and synthetic material, the shoe contains high top construction with durable support. These shoes have a thick ankle collar with ultra soft EVA cushioning.

adidas Performance Men's D Rose 5 Boost Basketball...

What makes the ankle collar unique is the soft, mesh material. All of the new collar designs are unique and are available. Cut for mobility, the materials increase comfort and mobility, and keeps your feet cool as your game intensifies.

The shoes weigh about 15 ounces. The D Rose 5 Boost contains a gum-rubber outsole, and an EVA insole/midsole.

The traction is admired by most, but also its durability. This shoe can be used for indoor and outdoor games, and be used for many games in the future. What makes the shoe special about outdoors is its ability to keep moisture astray. Thanks to the SprintWeb technology in the support works, the shoes can keep moisture from the feet.

The bounciness in the midsole is another perk of the shoe. It can react well to all kinds of footwork. This means that driving, cutting, rebounding, and other types of moves from all positions on the floor will flourish with these shoes.

adidas Performance Men's D Rose 5 Boost Basketball...
  • Boost technology gets added to the D Rose signature to bring you a shoe that will transform your...
  • ShockWeb upper overlay reinforcement for strength, support, and premium style
  • Soft mesh for increased comfort and breathability that keeps your feet cool as your game heats up

Any position player can wear these, and be assured that their footwork will not take a hit. All in all, the boost cushion has proven to be effective.

The shoe is true to its size. It will fit most feet, and athletes do not have to worry about meddling with the size up or down to worry about feeling snug.

The bottom line is that the D Rose 5 is a shoe that can last more than one season, and is most likely your best best. Aside from being a long lasting shoe, the support that is offered is critical to your game. It is way more than what you can expect from other, and more expensive shoes.

Product Specs 

  • Leather and synthetic material
  • EVA midsole
  • Gum-rubber outsole
  • Soft mesh upper for breatheability
  • Fitted cage-like structure for strength and support
  • Sole boosting D’Rose technology

Best Basketball Shoes for Wide Feet: Under Armour ClutchFit Drive 3 Basketball Shoe

Wide feet should not feel the tenuous strain in narrow basketball shoes. That is why the Under Armour ClutchFit Drive 3 is a sure investment for the man with wide feet. With its all around soft, durable support, the wide shoe was meant for wide feet players.

Under Armour Men's ClutchFit Drive 3 Basketball...

Built with a mesh tongue and upper material, the shoe has great air circulation and breatheability. It is also a high top which means it provides stabilizing ankle support for multi-directional turns, making sure you have great mobility in the game.

The built of the shoe itself is large and sturdy so it’s perfect for those who can’t fit in narrow spaces either. Complete with the wide adjustable shoe laces, you can fit this shoe according to your own preference.

Because of the Micro G foam midsole that Under Armour has brought back, this shoe also boasts of its responsive comfort cushioning that provides great support as you play.

With 10 unique colorways and styles, you can either go a monochromatic black and white or a brighter, eye-catching bright blue, or green.

However, there were some reviews saying that the outsole of the shoe easily traps dirt making the shoes very slippery. Unless you don’t mind regular wiping after each use, you might not appreciate that con from a maintenance perspective.

Overall, if you’re looking for a good quality shoe that can fit and support your wide feet, then this should be a great buy to consider. It has outstanding ankle support and a comfortable enough midsole to improve your performance in the game.

Product Specs 

  • Mesh material
  • Foam midsole
  • Gum-rubber outsole
  • Mesh tongue and upper material for improved ventilation
  • High ankle support for durable gameplay
  • Textured rubber outsole for premium traction and speed

Best Basketball Shoes for Flat Feet: NIKE Mens Air Force 1 High 07 Basketball Shoes

It’s Nike’s most popular sneaker to date. The Nike Air Force 1 High ’07 is solid build and contains construction for all around support and durability. The Air Force 1 is padded with a high-cut collar for secure fit and ankle balance. The shoes are easy to clean thanks to a leather exterior. There is also an ankle strap for additional ankle and heel support. 

Nike Air Force 1 High '07 Black/Black-Black

Inside the shoe, there is Nike Air sole cushioning. The inner sole is made out of foam, while the outer sole is made out of synthetic material. The shoes come in sizes between 6-18, and weigh about 12 ounces.

The leather material feels smooth and makes for an easy clean. What makes this shoe accessible is that players can use this sneaker for indoor and outdoor use. When playing outdoors, shoes can get scuffed up. Thanks to the leather, players can easily wipe and clean their shoes off after a long night of basketball.

The shoes are durable and have been consistent since the 1980s. Being the most popular sneaker does not happen overnight. These shoes have proven to last for years, or at least multiple seasons.

The ankle support has been noted as a huge plus. Many basketball players still love to wear these shoes, but also in part to how the shoes can be used for multi-purposes. Just because you do not play basketball does not mean these shoes are not meant for you. These can be an athletic shoe, but also a shoe for someone that lives an active lifestyle.

There is a wide array of customization for the shoe. The shoe is not just limited to white and black, but multiple color schemes. This helps with multiple generations as members from the 1980s and millennials can find their perfect style.

Moreover, it has been 30 years since the Nike Air Force 1 was released, and it still remains a popular buy for fans. With a comfortable air cushion and proven durability, people have bought into this shoes prowess. From classic looks to modern day fashion, any fan can find the right look for themself. This is a great shoe for basketball, but also for everyday life.

Product Specs 

  • Suede material
  • Foam midsole
  • Gum-rubber outsole
  • Perforated upper for breathability
  • Laced up, Velcro ankle support
  • Textured otusole for intense grip

Best Adidas Basketball Shoes: Adidas Performance Men’s Cloudfoam Ilation Mid Basketball Shoe

If you only trust the best from the brand you trust, then this should be your top pick from Adidas. Featuring the Adidas Cloudfoam Ilation, the best investment for comfort and durable support.

adidas Men's Cloudfoam Ilation Mid Basketball...

The shoe is a high top shoe with breathable fabric for ventilation. Other features include an air mesh tongue, collar and rear quarter, and a cloudfoam sock liner for comfort cushioning.

The shoe also contains a cloudfoam inner sole with a gum-rubber outer sole. The shoes weigh about 12 ounces. The shoes are offered in many colorways.

How light the shoe feels is a huge plus for the basketball player. This also includes how comfortable and how soft the cushion feels as well.

If the width does not suit the player, there is good news. The width of the shoe can be altered. For this, the shoe comes at an absolute bargain.

Sale
adidas Men's Cloudfoam Ilation Mid Basketball...
  • Perforated leather upper is soft and durable
  • Mesh collar offers comfort and breathability
  • cloudfoam midsole for step-in comfort and superior cushioning

With a modern day look, the Cloudfoam Ilation features a high top design that provides ultimate comfort to an athlete that wants to enjoy the game. There are too many positives that go into consumers passing up this shoe.

There are some drawbacks such as the squeaky sounds the Cloudfoam produces while walking. There have been instances of the outsole peeling off, while the leather upper has been mentioned as being inflexible. In the end, the pros certainly outweigh the cons.

To summarize, for those who are looking for a quality budget buy that features adequate support and ankle stability, this is the shoe that should be on the list. It allows players to perform with maximum effort indoor and outdoors. Overall, this is a highly recommended shoe.

Product Specs 

  • 100% Leather and Fabric material
  • Cloudfoam midsole
  • Gum-rubber outsole
  • Air mesh upper material for comfort and breathability
  • Cloudfoam technology for lightweight cushioning
  • Grippy rubber outsole layer for premium friction on court

Best Nike Basketball Shoes: NIKE Lebron Soldier 10 SFG

For years, Nike has delivered popular sneakers that fans line up to the door to buy. However, there is only one pair of shoes that takes the title for “best Nike basketball shoe.” That award goes to the Nike Lebron Soldier 10

Nike Men's Lebron Soldier IX PRM Dark Grey/Dark...

Lightweight materials allow for this shoe to create a fast feeling. The custom fit shoe features a three layer upper for durability on the court. The rubber outsole with multi-directional pattern helps for traction. The compression bootie, and Zoom air cushioning for comfort are some other featured characteristics.

The shoes are made out of synthetic materials. To go with the synthetic outsole, the insole is made out of foam. The sizes come between 4.5-18, while the shoe weighs 12 ounces.

The LeBron Soldier is supportive all the way around. It has been compared to the Air Jordan 12 Retro at one point, but thanks to the high-cut design, it provides support for the entire foot, but also the ankle. With that support comes with a comfortable feeling physically, but also mentally.

The shoes have a tremendous laceless design, which to some could be seen as stylish. The upper will please many players, given that the materials are very soft and do not require any break-in time.

Nike Men's Lebron Soldier IX PRM Dark Grey/Dark...
  • Flywire cables integrate with a midfoot strap for lightweight lateral support
  • Ecoupled rubber pods for durability and range of motion
  • Hexagonal pattern for multidirectional traction

The LeBron Soldier is meant for explosive players. These players are the one that will attack the rim, or power up for a rebound/dunk. If you need an explosive move, these shoes will help guide you to your destination.

Fun fact about these shoes: LeBron James completed the epic comeback in the 2016 NBA Finals while wearing these shoes. The Cleveland Cavaliers were down 3-1 to the Golden State Warriors in the finals, but the team roared back and won in Game 7 to win the NBA Championship, and LeBron did it while wearing these shoes.

All in all, the shoe is named after one of the greatest to ever play the game. From quick guards to shifty postmakers, the Lebron Soldier will provide support for those that want to make quick movements, especially in the post. For those that want to explode under the basket, this is the shoe for you.

Product Specs 

  • Mesh material
  • Foam midsole
  • Gum-rubber outsole
  • Flywire cables with midfoot strap for lateral support
  • Rubber pods for durability and wide movement
  • Hexagonal outsole design for multi-directional speed

Best Under Armour Basketball Shoes: Under Armour Men’s Jet 2017 Basketball Shoe

The Under Armour Jet Mid features structured support construction that comfortable locks in the foot. What makes this shoe recommendable is the full length EVA sockliner for comfort while playing, supportive ankle padding, and construction for snug fitting.

Under Armour Men's Jet Mid Basketball Shoe, White...

Other features include the synthetic upper with molded panels for breathability, engineers perforations, and mesh tongue to increase ventilation, and a one piece solid rubber outsole with herringbone patterns throughout to provide lateral movement.

The Jet comes in sizes between 7-16 and is made out of textile materials. The shoe contains an EVA insole, and weighs about 15 ounces.

What makes the outsole fantastic about this shoe is that it does not squeak. For some, the noise can be an annoyance, but The Jet does not have this problem. Another great trait is the upper due to feeling lightweight, but also is flexibility.

Under Armour Men's Jet Mid Basketball Shoe, White...
  • Synthetic textile upper for breathability & support

The shoe is not just a shoe for the court, but can also be used for an active lifestyle. This shoe has multiple ranges. Someone can go out and hike, bike, walk, and even weight train while wearing these shoes. These shoes are also stylish, which makes life easier when picking out what to wear.

Now, going back to the court, the support that The Jet offers is loved thanks to the herringbone traction of the shoe. It provides ample amount of support and balance to the athlete.

Even if one does not want to purchase this shoe for basketball use, it would be a shame to overlook its value. This is an everyday shoe that does not need a lot of time to break in. It’s a multi-purpose shoe that has all the support to keep you active, but also comfortable. Looking into The Jet for your next pair of active shoes is highly recommended.

Product Specs 

  • Textile material
  • EVA midsole
  • Gum-rubber outsole
  • Molded synthetic upper panels for premium lock down
  • Perforations with mesh tongue for improved ventilation
  • Herringbone pattern for great speed and traction

Basketball Shoe Features and Considerations

Traction

Players are expected take the court and play hard. This requires quick maneuvers on the court that require traction to keep the player safe. One of the best ways to remain safe and avoid any type of serious injury to the players foot, ankle, or knee is to have traction on their shoes.

Back in the day, players had to spit on their hand and wipe their spit on their shoes to create traction. This idea is still used today despite having shoes that include traction pads in their shoes. The amount of dust and dirt that accumulates on the floor will never be completely off a basketball court.

It’s the traction pad’s job to make sure that the basketball shoes stick to the gym floor. A common error that fans make is that some believe too much traction will not allow the player to pivot. That is not true. Traction pads will make sure that the shoes are sticky enough so that the player will not slip and slide. This is extremely beneficial for the kind of player that needs to execute big time plays.

There are multiple types of traction pads that are added to basketball shoes that allow shoes to do their jobs. These include the Herringbone, Honeycomb, Multidirectional, Power Coral, and Square.

Herringbone

The Herringbone pattern looks like a zig-zag, which allows it to provide traction from different angles. The pattern is the most commonly used in basketball shoes due to its stopping pattern. The Herringbone also has a deeper tread, which allows for a better grip. The deeper the tread pattern, the more grip you will have.

This is a great pattern for indoor courts; however, the Herringbone is not the best for outdoor courts since it has a deeper tread. For outdoor courts, it is better to have a more shallow tread. This will still provide traction for the outdoor court, but your shoe will have its life extended.

Honeycomb

The Honeycomb pattern provides great grip for a shoe. It does not matter what condition the court is in because this pattern will provide traction from all directions. The Honeycomb pattern can almost provide too good of traction, meaning that the shoe can be stuck to the court and not allow a player to pivot.

Close up of a blue basketball court

Multidirectional

There are classic and reliable traction patterns that have been used, but there is a new, entirely different pattern that can found as well.

This is commonly referred to as the “cross centric pattern.”

This pattern allows for multi-directional coverage. This pattern is essential for a player because it has traction no matter where the player moves on the court. This means the player will not experience delays when he maes quick and sudden moves.

Power Coral

The Power Coral technology is commonly used by Adidas. It has been known to let the player stop in any direction and at any time on the court. It was inspired by the coral reef, and if you look carefully, you can see common similarities in the visuals. This pattern works well on a clean court. If you are thinking about playing outdoors with this type of shoe, do not do it. The Power Coral tech is best equipped for indoor use.

Square

The square pattern acts as a pivot point which can feel pretty amazing. The traction is great for clean, indoor courts. If you play on a dusty court, the pattern might pick up a large chunk, which will hard to wipe off. You will likely have to wipe it off a few times before you can play again. However, this pattern is great for outdoor use thanks to its hard, thick rubber outsole.

Cushioning

Everyone wants to feel comfortable when they throw in a pair of shoes. That is where the importance of cushioning comes into play. Cushioning is critical because the athlete does not want to place strain on their body. For example, if an athlete has a pair of shoes with adequate cushioning, he will have less strain on their knees and ankles.

There are various types of cushioning out there. Micro G cushioning is a popular type that is not just used in basketball shoes, but also running shoes as well. For bigger players, like centers, the 4D foam provides a comfortable, locked fit, but with the same type of cushioned feeling.

A player is going to need cushioning to ensure that the impact is properly absorbed and not harmful to you. This is defined as shock. This is defined as the a sudden, violent blow, impact, or collison. Basketball is a physical game that features quick and explosive moves. Every hard jump requires a landing, which is why proper cushioning can help reduce potential injuries.

Support

Perhaps the most important component of playing safe, having a shoe will support will keep all parts of your foot and leg in good shape. The right playing shoe can prevent ankle and foot injuries during practice and games. When running and jumping on hard basketball courts, you have the right to feel supported with whatever movement is being performed.

A player moves in various directions, which can place stress on the body. Similarly to cushioning, support can offer protection from placing strain on your foot, ankles, and knees. Running fast and suddenly stopping can be dangerous if the foot is not properly supported. Furthermore, it is important that your shoes give you support.

High-tops provide the best ankle support, but are known to be the heaviest type of basketball shoe. Mid-top shoes stop at the ankle, which provides less stability, but allow the player to move quicker. Finally, low-top shoes allow the athlete to move the quickest on the court, but provide the least amount of ankle support.

When it comes to support, you have to pick your poison. You are not going to find a light and supported shoe. However, it should always be remembered that supporting your foot is important. If you buy a shoe that offers little support, looking into other supports, such as an ankle or knee brace, should be considered.

To dive into more detail about how to feel supported in your shoes, there are four main important elements. These include the strap, laces, how to put them on, and the lockdown.

Strap

Straps are closure materials for added support and protection. A strap can add more support to your ankle, especially in high-top shoes. It can also add another layer of coverage over your standard laces. The added coverage means extra weight to your shoe, which means that it make it harder to be quicker on the court.

Laces

One should never underestimate the importance of properly tying their shoe laces. The laces are the main focal point of providing stability to the shoe, and keeping the ankles locked. This means, once again, protecting a player from injuries.

For better support, thicker shoe laces that have bumps on the laces will stay tied longer. Double knotting the shoes is also a good idea, so that the player can focus on the game, and not have retie their shoes every five minutes.

Finally, make sure the eyelets (holes where the laces go through) on the shoe are filled all the way. Do not leave any eyelet unfilled with a lace.

How You Put Them On

Putting on basketball shoes is pretty similar to placing on a regular shoe. Put your foot into the shoe and press towards the back of the shoe against the heel counter to help stop your foot from lifting.

Once you have put your foot inside the shoe, it is a matter of going through each part of the lace ladder to ensure that your foot is secure inside the shoe.

As mentioned above, make sure you are pulling tight after each eyelet has the lace go through it. The tighter the laces, the more stability you will have, but make sure that it is still comfortable. Once the lace ladder is complete, use the two laces to tie the shoes together.

Take the two laces and have the right lace go over the left lace, around it, and up again. Pull the two laces out. Then, take the left lace, and make a loop. Take the right lace and circle around the loop and through the hole that it make. Make a loop with the right lace and pull tight. Then, double knot the laces, so you do not have to worry about going through the process again.

As you play, you may have to retie the shoes if you want to keep the tightness. It is normal for the shoes to loosen up as you play. Just quickly tie the laces again, so you can keep your feet supported.

Lockdown

Yout want to find a shoe that securely “locks down” your feet and prevents unnecessary movements inside the shoe. At times, if a foot is not secure inside the shoe, the foot can perform side-to-side movements within the shoe. This can lead to possibly injuries if not taken care of. To avoid this, a player wants to look into an upper material that is strong enough to hold the feet within the shoe, even when the most aggressive movements occur.

Hard and durable rubber, and materials such as standard mesh and synthetics provide a ton of support and lockdown. When looking for a shoe that provides lockdown support, pay attention to the materials.

Fit

If one wants to feel completely supported in their shoes, then the shoes need to be broken in correctly. There is a process to breaking in shoes. If not done correctly, injuries can occur rapidly. One should never buy a pair of shoes and wear their shoes in a competitive game the very next day, unless it is an emergency. If a player wants to feel safe and comfortable in their shoes, he should follow these steps.

First, you should purchase the shoes well advance of the season. Give yourself at least a month in advance before your season starts. This will give you time to determine if the shoes are well suited for you, and if not, you will have time to return the shoes.

After you buy the pair of shoes, you should wear the shoes at home. The time allotted for wearing the shoes should start off small. Start by wearing your shoes for about 10 minutes with thick socks. The thick socks will keep your feet from feeling tight inside the shoes. After each day, add 10 minutes to the time. By the end of the week, you will want to wear your shoes for one hour, and have the shoe feel comfortable on your foot.

Man wearing some white Air Jordans

Once you reach this plateau, you may start being active. Start with 15-20 minutes of jogging daily for one week. You may follow the jogging with some simple start-stop maneuvers, or light jumping to break in the feel. Finally, you may introduce the shoes to the competition phase of the game.

If your shoes are broken in, you should feel supported, but also comfortable. Once your shoes are broken in, observe how the shoes adjust to full-speed action. At this time, you may consider making adjustments to the tightness of the laces, if necessary.

Length

Remember when you were a kid, and someone told you to leave a little growing room in your shoes? That rule applies when you select a basketball shoe. You should leave about a thumbnail length of space between the end of the shoe and the end of your longest toe. Your toes should not be squeezed into the top of the shoe. This will result in blisters due to the rubbing of the inside of the shoe and your toe. However, if you have too much room, this could result in sliding inside the shoe, which could result in possible injuries.

If you have a problem with the fit, adjust your size. There is nothing wrong with going up or down a size. Shoe size does not matter when it comes to your game. Your level of comfort within the shoe matters. Plus, improper toe fit can lead to blisters, toenail problems, or calluses. Having the proper length is extremely important when looking at your next basketball shoe.

Width

Having proper width is also equally important. Men’s shoes are typically made wider compared to women’s shoes since women have narrower feet. Altogether, your foot should fit comfortably over the midsole (middle of the foot area). You should not have much movement in the middle of the shoe, but your foot should not stretch out the width either. The rule for shoe size also applies to width. If you need to adjust the size, so that your foot is not moving or stretching out the shoe, you should do so.

Material

Your feet get hot and sweat. It seems obvious, but if the shoe material does not help your feet in this department, it should be time to look into another shoe. You have the right to feel comfortable in your shoes. The shoe should ensure comfort and a cool environment.

Heat causes irritation and blisters on your skin, which could cause time off the basketball court. When looking into shoes, you should want a shoe that has breathable mesh material. This material will help your shoe allow air to keep your feet cool and comfortable. Synthetic material is some of the best material that leads to breathability.

Style

When it comes to the style of shoe, there are four main aspects to take into consideration. How can the shoe improve your performance? Does it decrease your chance of chance of injuries? Will the shoe give you the speed, versatility, and support you need? Finally, and perhaps the most important trait to some athletes, does the shoe even appeal to you?

There are three main styles of shoes: high-tops, mid-tops, and low-tops. Each brings a unique style that provides perks and drawbacks. When it comes to what you want to accomplish on the floor, looking into each style would be beneficial.

Low-Top

For a more modern, fast, and sleek option, the low-top basketball shoe is the way go. Low-tops are lighter and will allow a player to gain extra speed on the court. This will also help with your fatigue level since you are not lugging around extra ounces. It may not seem like a big difference, but after a 32-minute (high school), 40-minute (college), or 48-minute (NBA) game, it can add up. These shoes are probably the most beneficial to a player that plays the guard position.

Unlike high-tops, low-top shoes do not come up around the ankle, so this style does not offer support for sudden turns or directional shifts. Ankle injuries are the most common injury for basketball players, so having less stability is a major drawback to this style.

Mid-Top

Mid-tops will work for players that still need to move quickly, but can be used for not just the guard position. Guards and forwards that will go up for shots and rebounds more should look into this style. Mid-tops provide a great balance between flexibility and support.

The mid-top is a little bit heavier than a low-top, but is not heavier than a high-top. It does not provide as much stability as the high-top, but provides more than the low-top. It is truly in the middle of the pack in terms of it provides. However, some point guards will look to wear the mid-top to shield against injuries.

High-Tops

The high-top style is often the heaviest shoe. Despite causing you to decrease in speed, the shoes offer extra benefits. High-tops lace high enough to add extra ankle support and help reduce the number of rolled ankles. Sudden directional changes can lead to a rolled ankle, but with their extra support, it can help prevent these injuries, as well as stress fractures, and plantar fasciitis.

Now, high tops do not magically diminish the chance of a rolled ankle. However, the severity of the injury is significantly reduced compared to wearing low-top shoes. For a player that has an injury past, looking into high-top shoes would be recommended despite  having the extra weight on the shoe.

Top Basketball Shoe Brands

Nike

Nike does a lot of things right. The company has manufactured quality shoes for many professional and collegiate athletic teams. The amount of money they have made is not just a coincidence. Where the company excels the most is its marketing. There is nobody reading this that has not hear of Nike. In fact, you probably own at least one Nike product.

How did Nike get to this point? Nike dominates sports gear, and that is in all sports. In basketball, Nike has four main products that dominate the game. These include Zoom, React, Lunarlon, and Vapormax.

Zoom

Overall, Zoom gives the basketball connoisseur what they want. It has good traction, provides superb support, and feels light on the feet. It is definitely a viable option for those that want to lay competitive games, but also for those who want to casually enjoy the game. Zoom is also great for those that want to parktake in other activities as well.

Other features to pay attention to include its overall support. Zoom is known for having secure ankle support. Runners and tennis players have also been known to buy these shoes as well. Its support also stems from having great grip on the court. In addition, these shoes are very stylish, and have great color schemes.

React

The shoe lives up to its name. React is not the cheapest option on the market, but the model provides a high quality level of responsiveness, which enhances running efficiency and overall performance in the game. Known for “React technology,” the player will save time on wear and tear, while feeling energized.

The traction is a great feature to this shoe. Having that ability to explode gives the player confidence to make hard cuts and drives to the basket. Overall, if you look to make flashy plays, the React will provide you with the tools to make that happen.

Lunarlon

The Lunarlon technology has been known to provide stability and support. In addition, it should help with an athlete who wants to run faster, and jump higher. These type of shoes typically have more “spring technology” inside the shoe.

Does that mean you will automatically start dunking? Not necessarily; however, it will boost your performance. The type of cushioning in the shoe will provide stability and support when jumping.

Vapormax

The trait about Vapormax that stands out the most is that these shoes require minimal break-in time. For other shoes, breaking in their basketball shoes can take up to weeks. With Vapormax, comfortability is a major plus, and a game changer.

Another hyped aspect is the cushioning. The revolutionized “air cushioning technology” has had people reference the Vapormax shoes to “walking on clouds.”

In most Vapormax shoes, there are just a couple of thin plastic plates that hold together giant Air units, so it feels like there is nothing between your foot and the Air units.

Man in white jersey jumps for the shot

Adidas

The Adidas brand is known for selling retro and casual footwear, but has taken a push towards surging to the top in the sports world. Adidas has a wide array of endorsement deals with high profile athletes, similarly to Nike.

While Adidas puts an emphasis more on the look of the shoe, there are performance enhancers that make the shoe appealing as well. The most most popular brands include Boost and Bounce.

Boost

Boost is a durable brand that has proven to not show signs of wear and tear over time. Plus, there have been claims that Boost has taken as little as six hours to break in the shoes. When broken in, the shoe provides great support, and prevents side-to-side movements.

Boost is mainly a low-top basketball shoe, so to have that support is extremely beneficial. Boost also deploys various heel counters that help with lateral containment, and lockdown. Overall, a great support shoe, even at the low-top style.

Bounce

Bounce is known for great cushioning, fit, and support. Bounce also provides good ankle support and secures the foot well. Thanks to a midsole cushioning technology, the foot is supported well and then launches it back up; hence, where the brand name came from.

For a high quality of construction, these shoes come at a very affordable rate. Bounce has a multipurpose design that allows for many activities and sports other than basketball.

Under Armour

It was about 2009 when Under Armour took off thanks to support from the likes of Cam Newton, Michael Phelps, and Tom Brady. Where Under Armour prevailed was that the brand did not just support colleges, but also sponsors high schools. Their greatest attribute versus rival brands is their comprehension technology that has been perceived in a positive nature world wide.

Under Armour is comfortable, supportive, and has been known to put focus on how an athlete can “get the most out of their game.” Three major basketball brands have been associated with Under Armour and those include Micro G, Charged, and HOVR Form.

Micro G

What makes Micro G flexible compared to other brands is there are multiple width options. For those with wider feet, there are typically “wide-width” options. Micro G is also known for having durable upper material, which is shaped neatly and allows for movement capacity of the foot.

Charged

While Charged is also known for being a running shoe, there are features that make it a dependable basketball shoe as well. Besides having the casual, good-look to it, it’s dependability and durability cannot be questioned. It’s great for general gym workouts and short runs. It may not be your first choice for a game-time shoe, but it would meet the mark for practice time.

HOVR Form

This is one of Under Armour’s best options. Thanks to the HOVR foam, the impact from cutting, jumping, and landing on the court is nearly eliminated. It is also known for being lightweight, and breathable. HOVR technology has a reputation for providing a “zero gravity feel” to maintain your energy.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I fix basketball shoes that are slippery?

Slippery basketball soles don’t always mean an ineffective shoe, sometimes, it’s just the dirt that gets trapped on to the bottom of the shoe. This dust and dirt create a barrier between the grippy sole and the surface, making your shoe appear slippery.

As a temporary solution, you can clean your shoes on a regular basis to prevent dust build-up. On the other hand, if you prefer a solution that’s more permanent, then you can use some sandpaper or a nail file to sand down the sole and create abrasion.

What shoe do I buy if I have flat feet?

If you suffer from overpronation or flat feet, it is best to purchase basetball shoes that offer low to minimal arch support. This prevents unwanted pressure on the sole of the shoe that may cause deformations or early signs of wear and tear. The same goes for the outsole. Opt for flatter surfaces for best performance.

How do I break in my basketball shoes?

The only way to break in your basketball shoes would be to play in them. You can move your feet around and do some stretches which should loosen up the outer built of the shoe. Depending on the material, some basketball shoes won’t even need breaking in.

How do I clean my basketball shoes?

You can clean your basketball shoes with a bristled brush and your orginary laundry detergent.

Simply wet your shoes with some warm water, and scrub slowly until clean. If you need something stronger, you can add in some baking soda to get rid of the stubborn stains if any.

For maintenance, it’s best to clean the outsole with some warm water and a rag. Do this after every use to avoid dirt build-up.

Man leaning down on a blue basketball court with a ball

How do I keep my basketball shoes from smelling?

It is best to wear socks whenever you’re using your shoes to keep them from smelling. Your socks absorb the moisture and sweat from your feet that cause the development of bacteria, hence the odor.

After putting your shoes away, place the silica gel packets inside the shoe box so it can absorb any potential or excess moisture that can come in contact with your shoes.

Conclusion

Finding the right basketball shoe is never easy. It is silly to think that the perfect basketball shoe will fall into your lap. Every foot is different, so it is important to research all aspects of the shoe. Your feel are important, and should be taken care of when playing a physical game such as basketball.

The correct pair of shoes can be critical to your game. If you are worried about support, go with high tops. If you are worried about traction, go with a different pattern. Just make sure you properly break your shoes in, so you can maximize your game. Most importantly, feel comfortable, and enjoy the game of basketball.

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