Are you ready to up your basketball game? Choosing the best-fit basketball shoes can make all the difference in unlocking your true potential on the court. Whether you're looking for the best lightweight basketball shoes or ones that offer excellent ankle support, we've got you covered. In this article, we will explore the top basketball shoe brands, the most comfortable options, and those specifically designed for players with flat feet or wide feet. From high tops to low tops, indoor courts to outdoor playgrounds, we'll help you find the perfect pair to elevate your skills and game. So, lace up and let's dive in!
Finding the Perfect Fit for Your Basketball Shoes
With the rise of online shopping, trying on shoes at a local sneaker store has become a thing of the past. However, if you're not trying on your shoes in person, the fit can be a bigger issue than you might realize.
First of all, different brands have different fits. Adidas, in particular, is known for its inconsistent sizing and is the most unique fitting among major brands. But even within brands that generally have a consistent fit, different lines can fit wider or more narrowly.
Luckily, at WearTesters, we thoroughly analyze and test the fit of every shoe we review. Unlike many other shoe review websites, we actually wear and test every shoe we review.
How Much Should You Spend on Basketball Shoes?
The cost of basketball shoes can vary widely, ranging from under $50 to around $300 at retail price. There are good basketball shoes available at every price point, and if you search for basketball shoe deals, you can find even more options. Ultimately, the amount you're willing to spend depends on your budget and what you're looking for.
However, a good average price point for basketball shoes is around $100. In the range of to $110, you'll find many high-quality basketball shoes that are worth the investment. At this price, you're not just paying for marketing or hype; making basketball shoes is a costly process, and $100 is a fair amount to spend.
How Much Room Should Be at the End of Your Basketball Shoe?
The amount of space at the end of your basketball shoe depends on your personal preference. Performance-wise, a 1-to-1 fit is ideal, providing the best support and lockdown on the court.
As for the amount of room you should leave at the end of your shoe, it's recommended to leave no more than the width of your thumb. If there's too much space, your foot will have too much room to slide within the shoe.
Choosing a Basketball Shoe Based on Your Playing Style
Every basketball player is unique, with factors such as height, weight, build, skill level, and playing style influencing their footwear preferences. Even players who appear similar can have different preferences in their shoes. For example, Damian Lillard and Kyrie Irving have different signature shoes but somewhat comparable playing styles.
Smaller, more agile players often favor shoes that can accommodate their quick movements. These shoes need to have excellent traction, support features, and responsive cushioning. Examples of this type of setup are the Curry line and the Kyrie line.
On the other hand, bigger, more powerful players typically prioritize a plush cushioning system that absorbs impact and provides strong support. In this case, LeBron James' signature line is a prime example.
Of course, these are general guidelines, and each player will have their individual preferences. However, this serves as a good starting point for finding the best basketball shoes for your playing style.
Indoor vs. Outdoor Basketball Shoes
Another factor to consider is where you'll be using your shoes. If you primarily play indoors, durability may not be a major concern. However, if you play outdoors, you'll need shoes with more durable materials, harder rubber outsoles, additional cushioning for protection on hard surfaces, and appropriate traction patterns. We have a comprehensive guide on choosing outdoor basketball shoes that you can refer to for more information.
High-tops, Mid-tops, and Low-tops
The choice between high-top, mid-top, and low-top basketball shoes is ultimately a matter of personal preference. There is a common perception that high-tops and mid-tops offer more ankle support and help prevent injuries. However, this is not necessarily true. Low-top shoes can be just as supportive because the primary source of support is your own ankle.
NBA players have been playing in low-top basketball shoes for decades, and Kobe Bryant famously debunked the myth that high-tops are necessary for ankle support. However, there is a psychological aspect to consider. Some players, especially those who have previously injured their ankles, may feel more confident and secure in mid-top or high-top shoes. Confidence is crucial when stepping onto the court, so it's important to stick with what works best for you.
The Best Basketball Shoe Brands
It's challenging, if not impossible, to declare one brand as the best for basketball. The best brand for you depends entirely on your personal needs and preferences on the court. Regardless of the brand, the right shoe for you should align with your specific requirements as a player.
Another aspect to consider is the time period we're discussing. In recent years, Puma has emerged as a consistent producer of high-quality performance basketball shoes. However, they only re-entered the market in 2018. Nike, on the other hand, has a long history of producing both successful and underwhelming basketball shoes.
With these factors in mind, here is a list of the current top basketball shoe brands (in no particular order):
- Under Armour
- New Balance
Best Basketball Shoes by Brand
If you have a preferred brand, you can check out our top picks from the leading brands. We have also compiled a list of the best basketball shoes by every brand we have reviewed in the past year.
The Puma TRC Blaze Court continues Puma's resurgence in the basketball market. It reintroduces Trinomic cushioning, a technology from Puma's past. The updated version ensures constant comfort. Read the full review. Price: $120
Buy Puma TRC Blaze Court
The Curry 10 is an impressive on-court performer with excellent cushioning and traction. It is especially suitable for agile guards and ranks among UA's best basketball shoes currently available. Read the full review. Price: $160
Buy Under Armour Curry 10
The adidas Trae Young 1 is Trae Young's first signature sneaker and adidas' standout offering this year. It shines as a guard's shoe and represents adidas' top basketball shoe at the moment. Read the full review. Price: $140
Buy adidas Trae Young 1
What Are the Best Basketball Shoes?
The best basketball shoes are the ones that enable you to perform at your highest level. However, finding the right pair of shoes is not as simple as it may seem. Even experienced basketball players may not be sure which features are best suited for their playing style or which shoes offer those features.
While picking shoes from your favorite brand may be tempting, choosing a shoe that caters to your playing style, physique, and foot shape can significantly enhance your performance and reduce the risk of injuries.
A great basketball shoe should be able to:
- Grip the playing surface to facilitate quick cuts, direction changes, and abrupt stops
- Provide cushioning that protects your joints from the impacts endured during the game, as players jump approximately 50 times in an average basketball game
- Offer a comfortable upper that securely locks down your foot without excessive sliding or discomfort
- Deliver support and confidence during explosive movements, with ankle support primarily provided by your own ankle
- Feature durable materials that justify the price tag and can withstand the demands of indoor or outdoor courts
Lightweight basketball shoes are designed with materials such as synthetic leather, mesh, and foam cushioning to reduce weight while providing adequate support and protection for your feet.
The soles of these shoes typically consist of rubber or a combination of rubber and foam, delivering good traction and grip on the court. Many lightweight basketball shoes also incorporate advanced technologies like air cushioning or Zoom Air units for additional cushioning and shock absorption, enhancing impact protection during jumps and landings.
Most Comfortable Basketball Shoes
The most comfortable basketball shoes excel in two crucial areas: materials and cushioning. Our current top choice for the most comfortable basketball shoe is listed below, and you can find our complete list of the most comfortable basketball shoes for more options.
Watch the full reviewThe Nike LeBron 20 is one of LeBron James' most highly anticipated basketball shoes. It breaks away from previous releases like the Nike LeBron 19. The multidirectional traction provides exceptional coverage, and the midsole offers full-length Cushlon, a forefoot Zoom Turbo unit, and a standard heel Zoom Air unit. Compared to previous LeBron models, it offers a more balanced feel. The lightweight and comfortable upper enhance the overall experience. Read the full review. Price: $200
Buy Nike LeBron 20
Best Basketball Shoes for Jumping
No basketball shoe can magically make you jump higher, but the right shoe can enhance your speed and cushion the impact when you land. Here is our top pick for the best basketball shoe for jumping, and you can refer to our full list for more options.
Best High Top Basketball Shoes
The choice between low-top, mid-top, and high-top basketball shoes ultimately comes down to personal preference. If you're in search of the best high-top basketball shoe currently available, consider our top pick, and take a look at our comprehensive list for additional recommendations and context.
Watch the full reviewThe Nike GT Jump is an exceptional basketball shoe and happens to be a high-top. It stands out as one of the tallest high-top models available. The Nike GT Jump offers the best cushioning setup in 2022, reliable herringbone traction, and a sturdy high-top construction that remains lightweight. If you prefer playing in high-tops, especially if you're a bigger player seeking additional impact protection, you'll love these shoes. They are also the best basketball shoes for centers. Read the full review. Price: $200
Buy Nike Air Zoom GT Jump
Best Low Top Basketball Shoes
Low-top basketball shoes have become increasingly popular among players due to their sleek and agile feel on the court. If you're looking for the best low-top basketball shoe currently available, here is our top pick, and you can refer to our full list for more options.
Watch the full reviewThe Nike KD 15 differs from the Nike KD 14 primarily in its collar height. However, it maintains the excellent performance expected from the KD line. The KD 15 features a Cushlon foam midsole, a full-length Zoom Air Strobel, and a low collar cut that KD fans appreciate. Comfort, bounce, and springiness define the cushioning. The lightweight and comfortable upper contribute to an enjoyable experience. Read the full review. Price: $150
Buy Nike KD 15
Best Basketball Shoes for Ankle Support
Ankle support mainly comes from your ankle itself, rather than your shoes. However, if you're seeking a shoe that provides an extra feeling of support and confidence, consider our top pick below. You can also explore our full list of the best basketball shoes for ankle support for further options.
Watch the full reviewThe Air Jordan 36 earns its spot on our best basketball shoe list due to its outstanding performance. Ankle support is primarily provided by the player's ankle itself, but the Jordan 36 offers excellent additional support. Read the full review. Price: $185
Buy Jordan 36
Best Basketball Shoes for Flat Feet
Finding suitable basketball shoes for individuals with flat feet can be a challenge. Approximately 30% of the population has flat feet, making it important to consider proper footwear. After extensive testing, we have identified the top basketball shoe for flat feet and compiled a comprehensive list of flat-foot-friendly options.
Watch full review The Air Jordan 36 improves upon its predecessor, the Air Jordan 35. The Eclipse Plate on the Jordan 35 was not suitable for flat-footers, but the Jordan 36 resolves this issue. These shoes offer noticeable arch support, delivering comfort akin to the Air Jordan 34. Additionally, the full-length Zoom Air feature enhances the overall experience. For a detailed review, please refer to the link provided. Price: $185
Buy Jordan 36
Best Traction Basketball Shoes
Traction is a crucial aspect to consider when choosing a performance basketball shoe. It serves as the foundation for all other features. If exceptional traction is your primary requirement, our top pick is the ideal choice. You can explore our complete list of the best traction basketball shoes.
Watch full review The Nike LeBron 20 has garnered significant attention as one of the most hyped LeBron James basketball shoes. After the disappointing performance of the Nike LeBron 19, the LeBron 20 addressed the traction issue and now stands as the best basketball shoe in terms of traction. The multidirectional pattern ensures excellent grip on both offensive and defensive movements. Some even compare it favorably to the Nike Kobe 9. For further details, please refer to the link provided. Price: $200
Buy Nike LeBron 20
Best Basketball Shoes for Wide Feet
Individuals with wide feet often struggle to find suitable options. The rise of online shopping has made it challenging to try on sneakers in-store. However, our comprehensive list will assist you in finding the perfect shoe.
Watch full review The Under Armour Curry 10 is an improved version of the already exceptional Curry 9. Steph Curry's signature line consistently delivers high-quality shoes, and the Curry 10 stands out for wide-footers. The shoe incorporates Under Armour's Flow cushioning and traction system, providing superior impact protection and a seamless ride. The enhanced and updated upper with Warp 2.0 further enhances the overall experience. For further details, please refer to the link provided. Price: $160
Buy Under Armour Curry 10
Best Budget Basketball Shoes
When discussing the best budget basketball shoes, we refer to models marketed as affordable options by various brands. These shoes often possess hidden qualities that provide excellent value for money. You can explore our complete list and discover the top basketball shoe deals currently available.
The Nike Air Max Impact 4 surprises with its impressive performance as the best budget model on the market. Its cushion setup stands out, delivering exceptional softness, comfort, and a no-break-in-time upper. The shoe's support, featuring two outriggers, ensures secure playability on the court. Considering its performance, there is no other shoe under $100 that matches the Nike Air Max Impact 4's level of excellence. For a detailed review, please refer to the link provided. Price:
Buy Nike Air Max Impact 4
Best Outdoor Basketball Shoes
If you frequently play basketball outdoors, you require shoes with durability and ample cushioning to withstand long hours on concrete or asphalt. We provide a comprehensive list of the best outdoor basketball shoes. For further guidance on selecting the ideal shoes for outdoor play, refer to our article or watch our video breakdown.
Watch full review The Nike KD 15 stands out as one of the best basketball shoes of the year and an excellent choice for outdoor play. The EP version, available primarily in Asian markets, features extra-durable rubber (XDR). The cushioning system, combining Cushlon and full-length Nike Zoom Air Strobel, provides exceptional impact protection and bounce. These features make the KD 15 an effortless choice for extended outdoor hooping. For a detailed review, please refer to the link provided. Price: $150
Buy Nike KD 15
Although lightweight basketball shoes offer numerous advantages, it is crucial to consider some potential downsides before making a purchase. These shoes may provide less ankle support due to their lighter construction materials compared to heavier models. Additionally, their longevity may be compromised as they contain less material. Furthermore, they may not be ideal for regular outdoor court usage.
Adidas Dame 8
The adidas Dame 8 basketball shoe is one of the lightest options available in 2023. Its low-profile performance silhouette offers maximum agility and speed on the court. This article explores the shoe's technology, materials, and advantages compared to other basketball shoes in the market.
The Dame 8 features a breathable mesh upper with synthetic overlays for added support. It also includes extra padding at the heel and tongue for cushioning and comfort. The lightweight Bounce Pro midsole strikes the ideal balance between responsiveness and cushioning, while the rubber outsole ensures traction and durability. Moreover, the shoe incorporates recycled materials produced from production waste, making it more environmentally friendly than other basketball shoes.
Damian Lillard himself praises the Dame 8 for its superb fit and comfort. According to him, "It's comfortable enough that you can wear them all day long without any issues or discomfort... I love how light they are; it helps me move faster on court."
Compared to other basketball shoes in 2023, the Dame 8 differentiates itself with its superior fit, comfort, and lightweight design. The Bounce Pro midsole offers better responsiveness while providing sufficient cushioning for impact protection during intense games. Additionally, its use of recycled materials makes it a sustainable choice. Overall, the Dame 8 stands out as one of the lightest basketball shoes in 2023, thanks to its innovative design and use of high-quality materials. It offers a superior fit, comfort, and agility on the court, while also being environmentally friendly.adidas Unisex Dame Certified Basketball Shoe, Team Royal Blue/White/Black
- Made in the USA or Imported
- Rubber sole
- Breathable basketball shoes that offer performance against even the best competition
- DAMIAN LILLARD LOGO: Signature logo and details celebrate one of the game's most dynamic talents on and off the hardwood
- BOUNCE: Lightweight Bounce cushioning provides enhanced comfort and flexibility
- RUBBER OUTSOLE: The rubber outsole provides outstanding grip and a sleek, low-profile look
Nike KD Trey 5
The Nike KD Trey 5 VIII is one of the lightest basketball shoes on the market, weighing just 11 ounces. It features a low-profile design with a mid-top silhouette. The upper is made from breathable mesh material with synthetic overlays for durability. Zoom Air cushioning in the forefoot ensures responsive cushioning, while the injected Phylon midsole offers lightweight comfort. This shoe is perfect for guards who require quick movements on the court.
Nike Precision 5
The Nike Precision 5 is another excellent lightweight option, weighing just 10 ounces. It features a low-cut design with a full inner sleeve construction for superior lockdown fit. The upper is made from breathable mesh material with synthetic overlays for durability. Zoom Air cushioning in the heel and forefoot provides responsive cushioning, while the injected Phylon midsole ensures lightweight comfort. This shoe is perfect for players who need quick movements on the court while still requiring ankle support.
Nike Giannis Immortality
With a weight of only 9 ounces, the Nike Giannis Immortality ranks among the lightest basketball shoes in 2023. It features a low-top design with an internal bootie construction for superior lockdown fit and natural movement on the court. The upper is made from breathable mesh material with synthetic overlays, offering durability. The foam midsole provides lightweight cushioning and responsiveness during play. This shoe suits power forwards or centers who require additional support without compromising speed or agility.
Jordan one take 3
The Jordan One Take 3, weighing merely 7 ounces, stands as one of the lightest basketball shoes from Jordan Brand. The low-top designs and internal bootie constructions ensure superior lockdown fits while allowing natural movement on the court. The uppers incorporate breathable mesh materials with synthetic overlays for added durability. The foam midsoles provide lightweight cushioning and responsiveness during play. These shoes are perfect for those seeking light and supportive options for their on-court moves.
In conclusion, finding the best lightweight basketball shoes is essential for enhancing your performance on the court. With the wide variety of options available, it's important to consider factors such as playing style, construction, comfort, ankle support, traction, and foot type. The top basketball shoe brands, including Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour, offer a range of options that cater to different needs. Whether you have flat feet, wide feet, or are on a budget, there is a perfect pair out there for you. Remember to also consider any potential downsides as you make your decision. So lace up, get out there, and dominate the court with the best lightweight basketball shoes that suit your game.