Looking to take your game to new heights? Step up to the court and lace up your kicks, because we're about to dive into the world of basketball shoes. Whether you're seeking ankle support, superior traction, or a perfect fit for wide feet, we've got you covered. From the latest high-top models to the most iconic basketball shoes of all time, we'll explore the best of the best. So, if you're ready to elevate your game and discover the best high-top basketball shoes out there, read on!
Finding the Perfect Fit for Your Basketball Shoes
With the rise of online shopping, the traditional method of trying on basketball shoes at a local store is becoming less common. However, it's important to consider the fit of your shoes, as it can greatly affect your comfort and performance.
Different brands have different sizing standards, with adidas being particularly known for its inconsistent sizing compared to other major brands. Even within brands, different lines may have wider or narrower fits.
Fortunately, at WearTesters, we provide detailed insights into the fit of every shoe we review. Unlike many other shoe review websites, we actually wear and test the shoes ourselves.
How Much Should You Spend on Basketball Shoes?
The price of basketball shoes can vary greatly, ranging from under $50 to around $300 at retail price. It's important to note that there are good basketball shoes available at every price point, and you can find even more deals if you search for them.
That being said, a price point of around $100 is considered to be a good average. Within this range, you'll find many high-quality basketball shoes that offer great value for the money. It's also worth noting that at this price, you're not simply paying for marketing or hype, as the production of basketball shoes is actually quite expensive.
How much room should there be at the end of a basketball shoe?
The amount of space at the end of a basketball shoe largely depends on personal preference. In terms of performance, a 1-to-1 fit, where the shoe fits snugly like a glove, is ideal for optimal support and lockdown on the court.
In terms of space, it's generally recommended to leave no more than a thumbs width of empty space at the end of your shoe. Anything more than that can lead to excessive sliding and lack of stability.
Under Armour Curry Flow 9 Team Basketball Shoes
Take inspiration from Steph Curry and choose these rubberless basketball shoes. Despite the Golden State Warriors' absence in the finals, this shoe will elevate your game. It offers a lightweight design and enhanced traction, improving your overall performance.
If you prefer to follow in the footsteps of legendary Lakers player LeBron James, his signature shoes provide speed, precision, and solid grounding. An interesting feature is the traction pattern on the outsole, which resembles a map of Akron, LeBron's hometown.
Known for his unique style, James Harden's basketball shoes combine fashion and functionality. The upper of the shoe resembles a puffer jacket, while the hybrid BOOST and Lightstrike midsole technology enhances jumping, cutting, and quick directional changes.
Nike Kyrie Infinity Basketball Shoes
Nike brings us another impressive pair of basketball shoes from the legendary Kyrie Irving. These shoes feature a three-layer cushioning system that provides a plush and comfortable feel.
While you may not be aware of it, APL also produces basketball shoes that can compete with the best. Their earlier version of shoes with Load 'N Launch technology was so effective in increasing players' vertical jumps that it was actually banned by the NBA. However, the brand has made a comeback with an improved design.
Puma MB2 Supernova Shoes
Emulate 21-year-old LaMelo Ball and sport this popular style. These ultra-light and breathable shoes feature a comfortable midsole and full-coverage outsole, ensuring a pleasant and supportive experience on the court.
Nike Air Zoom G.T. Jump Basketball Shoes
Ideal for enhancing your jumping ability, these Nike basketball shoes are designed to help you excel on the court.
Reebok Shaq Attaq Basketball Shoes
For those who prefer high-top basketball shoes, the Reebok Shaq Attaq is an excellent choice.
New Balance TWO WXY v3 Shoes
New Balance introduces a pair of shoes inspired by scientific research. The design of the shoes resembles the brain's firing synapses, enabling quick reactions during gameplay.
Converse All Star BB Prototype CX Shoes
For those who love the classic white basketball shoe look, the Converse All Star BB Prototype CX is a stylish choice.
Top Basketball Shoes for Ankle Support
The primary source of ankle support during basketball is provided by your own ankle rather than your shoes. However, if you're seeking extra support and confidence on the court, our top pick for basketball shoes with ankle support is the Air Jordan 36. You can also check out our full list of the best basketball shoes for ankle support.
Watch the full review The Air Jordan 36 is included on our list of the best basketball shoes because it delivers excellent performance. One of its standout features is its ankle support, which is among the best in the market. Although ankle support is mainly provided by your own ankle, the Jordan 36 does a great job of adding extra support while you play. You can read the full review of the Air Jordan 36 for more information. Price: $185
Buy the Air Jordan 36
Top Basketball Shoes for Flat Feet
Finding suitable basketball shoes for flat-footed players can be challenging. Around 30% of the population has flat feet, but we have done the work for you and selected the best basketball shoe for flat feet. You can also explore our complete list of flat-foot-friendly options.
Watch the full review The Air Jordan 36 is an improvement over its predecessor, the Air Jordan 35. The Eclipse Plate on the Jordan 35 made it unsuitable for flat-footed players, but the Jordan 36 addresses this flaw and is now the best basketball shoe for flat feet. These shoes provide noticeable arch support, similar to the Air Jordan 34. Additionally, they feature full-length Zoom Air technology. For more details, you can read the comprehensive review. Price: $185
Buy the Air Jordan 36
Top Basketball Shoes for Wide Feet
There aren't many excellent shoe options available for wide-footed individuals, and shopping online can limit the opportunity to try on shoes in-store. However, don't worry! Weartesters is here to assist you in finding the perfect basketball shoe. Check out our top choice for the best basketball shoe for wide feet and explore our full list of wide-foot-friendly options.
Watch the full review The Under Armour Curry 10 is an upgraded version of the already fantastic Curry 9. The Curry signature line, endorsed by Steph Curry, has consistently produced exceptional basketball shoes, and the Curry 10 is no exception. It specifically caters to wide-footed players and features Under Armour's Flow cushioning and traction system. The shoe offers excellent impact protection and a smooth ride from heel to toe. The updated upper with Warp 2.0 enhances comfort. To learn more, read the complete review. Price: $160
Buy Under Armour Curry 10
Top Basketball Shoe Insoles
Watch the full review Move Insoles are endorsed by renowned basketball players Damian Lillard, Chris Paul, and Jamaal Crawford. These insoles offer exceptional performance features, including Shock-Free foam for step-in comfort, DS37 foam as the primary cushion booster, a forefoot grip layer, an EVA torsion plate, and a Nylon-based torsion plate on Game Day Pro. They are widely regarded as the best basketball insoles available. There are two models to choose from: Game Day and Game Day Pro. Check them out! Price: $39.99 or $59.99
Buy Move Insoles
Top Basketball Shoes for Traction
Traction is a crucial feature of high-performance basketball shoes as it forms the foundation for other aspects. If outstanding traction is your top priority, we have selected our top pick for basketball shoes based on traction. You can also explore our complete list of the best basketball shoes for traction.
Watch the full review The Nike LeBron 20 is one of the most highly anticipated LeBron James basketball shoes. Its predecessor, the Nike LeBron 19, was met with disappointment due to its poor traction. However, Nike has improved the traction significantly in the LeBron 20, making it the current leader in traction among basketball shoes. The multidirectional pattern covers all movements on offense and defense. According to our tester Bryan, it may even rival or surpass the Nike Kobe 9 in terms of traction. To get all the details, read the comprehensive review. Price: $200
Buy Nike LeBron 20
Most Comfortable Basketball Shoes
Our selection for the most comfortable basketball shoes emphasizes two key features: materials and, most importantly, cushioning. Our current top choice for the most comfortable basketball shoe is the Nike LeBron 20, but you can explore our complete list for more options.
Watch the full review The Nike LeBron 20 is one of the most highly anticipated LeBron James basketball shoes. It deviates from previous releases like the Nike LeBron 19. The shoe features a full-length Cushlon midsole with a forefoot Zoom Turbo unit and an additional standard heel Zoom Air unit. Compared to previous LeBrons and highly cushioned shoes, it offers a more balanced feel. The lightweight and comfortable upper further enhance the overall comfort. Read the complete review for more information. Price: $200
Buy Nike LeBron 20
Top Basketball Shoes for Jumping
First and foremost, no basketball shoe can make you jump higher. Claims suggesting otherwise are simply false. However, a basketball shoe can help you jump faster and provide cushioning to absorb the impact upon landing. With these considerations in mind, we have selected our top pick for the best basketball shoe for jumping. You can also explore our complete list of shoes for jumping.
Highest Discounted Basketball Shoes
Watch the full review The Nike KD 14 offers excellent traction, cushioning, materials, fit, and support. It is a well-rounded, all-around basketball performer, ideal for any player. It has been recognized as one of the best basketball shoes available. The fit can be tricky, so we recommend going up half a size or trying them on in-store. When properly fitted, the combination of full-length Zoom Air strobel and Cushlon midsole delivers exceptional cushioning. It was one of the best basketball shoes of 2021 and now offers one of the greatest discounts. Read the complete review for more details. Price: $150 $110
Buy Nike KD 14
Top Basketball Shoes by Brand
If you have a preferred brand, you can explore our top picks from various top brands. We have also compiled a list of the best basketball shoes from every brand we reviewed in the past year.
The Puma TRC Blaze Court showcases Puma's resurgence in basketball and reintroduces their former technology called Trinomic cushioning. The shoe is incredibly comfortable with lightweight materials. Read the full review for more information. Price: $120
Buy Puma TRC Blaze Court
The Curry 10 is an outstanding performer on the court, boasting excellent cushioning and traction. It is an ideal choice for agile guards and currently represents Under Armour's best basketball shoe offering. For more details, read the full review. Price: $160
Buy Under Armour Curry 10
The adidas Trae Young 1 is Trae Young's first signature sneaker and one of adidas' top basketball shoes in recent times. It is particularly well-suited for guards, and it represents adidas' best basketball shoe offering. Read the full review for more information. Price: $140
Buy adidas Trae Young 1
Best Budget High Top Basketball Shoe 2023
Nike KD Trey 5 X
The Nike KD Trey 5 X is Kevin Durant's latest budget signature model, taking design cues from his flagship shoe, the Nike KD 14. This shoe surprises with its excellent cushioning. The Renew foam midsole and rectangular forefoot Zoom Air unit provide impact protection without sacrificing responsiveness. Despite being a high top, it offers flexibility and freedom of movement. Read the full review for more information. Price: $100
Buy Nike KD Trey 5 X
Top Outdoor Basketball Shoes
If you frequently play basketball outdoors, durability and cushioning are crucial to endure long hours on concrete or asphalt surfaces. We have selected basketball shoes that excel in these areas and offer the necessary support and comfort. If you want guidance on selecting the best outdoor basketball shoes, be sure to check out our article. You can also explore our comprehensive list for more options or watch our video breakdown of the best outdoor basketball shoes.
Watch the full review The Nike KD 15 is not only one of the best basketball shoes overall, but it is also an excellent choice for outdoor play, especially if you opt for the EP version, which features extra-durable rubber (XDR). Additionally, the cushioning system, including Cushlon foam and full-length Nike Zoom Air Strobel unit, provides superior impact protection and resilience. These shoes make outdoor basketball sessions effortless. Read the full review for more details. Price: $150
Buy Nike KD 15
Most Hyped Basketball Shoe
Watch the full review After much anticipation, Kanye West finally released his own basketball shoe, the Yeezy BSKTBL. The years of hype resulted in an exceptional performer featuring a full-length Boost midsole and herringbone outsole. This shoe represents one of the best basketball shoes that also carries a lot of hype. Read the full review for more information. Price: $200
Buy adidas Yeezy QNTM BSKTBL
Top Affordable Basketball Shoes
When we talk about the best affordable basketball shoes, we're referring to shoes that brands have marketed as their more budget-friendly options. Among these models, there are hidden gems that offer great value for your money. You can check out the full list here, as well as our list of the top basketball shoe deals currently available.
The Nike Air Max Impact 4 has been a pleasant surprise. It is easily the best affordable model on the market today. The shoe's standout feature is its cushion setup, which is incredibly soft and comfortable. The upper requires no break-in time and provides excellent support. With two outriggers, the shoe ensures your foot is secure during play. There's truly no other shoe under $100 that performs as consistently well as this one. Read the full review. Price:
Buy Nike Air Max Impact 4
Which Basketball Shoe Is the Best of All Time?
That's a tough question to answer. The truth is, there isn't just one "best basketball shoe" of all time, especially when it comes to performance basketball shoes. If we're considering the most iconic, you could argue it's the Jordan 1 or perhaps the Converse All-Star. But when it comes to on-court performance, the conversation becomes more nuanced.
To give a concise answer, let's explore some of the top performers of all time, keeping in mind that personal preference and playing style play significant roles in determining the best shoe:
Watch the full review Let's start with a classic Jordan model. The Air Jordan 12 is undoubtedly one of the greatest performance shoes of all time, ahead of its time when it was originally released in 1997. The shoe features herringbone traction, full-length Zoom Air cushioning, and a highly supportive leather upper (the OG version features full-grain leather). It's an all-around outstanding performer. Read the full review. Current Retail Price: $200
Buy Air Jordan 12
Watch the full review Moving on to a more modern Jordan model, the Jordan 29 was released in 2014. Its predecessor, the Jordan 28, was already a fantastic performer, and the Jordan 29 built upon that foundation. It offers great traction, an excellent Air Zoom cushion setup in the forefoot, a top-notch upper, and lightweight support. Another timeless gem from Jordan Brand. Read the full review. Original Price: $225
Buy Air Jordan 29
Watch the full review First and foremost, the Nike Kobe 9 boasts exceptional traction that is considered the best of all time. The shoe was technologically advanced when it was released, with its thermally mapped traction pattern perfectly adapting to the foot's anatomy. It also features a Lunarlon drop-in midsole (an innovative setup at the time) and an engineered mesh upper. These features make the shoe incredibly lightweight and supportive. It's arguably the greatest performance Kobe shoe available. Read the full review. Original Price: $160
Buy Nike Kobe 9
Watch the full review The Curry signature line is consistently known for producing excellent performance shoes. The Under Armour Curry 4 shines as one of the best options for guards. It provides outstanding traction, responsive low-profile cushioning, and exceptional support and fit. The shoe is designed to mold to your foot like a sock, so finding the right size is crucial. Once you do, you'll have one of the most agile and responsive shoes ever created. Read the full review. Original Price: $130
Buy Under Armour Curry 4
Watch the full review One of adidas' most remarkable contributions is Boost cushioning. Boost is widely regarded as one of the best cushion setups of all time, and the Harden Vol 3 showcases one of its finest iterations on a basketball shoe. In addition to its flawless cushioning, James Harden's third signature shoe offers excellent traction, a highly supportive woven upper, and an outstanding fit. The shoe's upper itself generates the fit and support, resulting in a lightweight design. While James Harden's shoe line has had its hits and misses, the adidas Harden Vol 3 is undoubtedly a hit. Read the full review. Original Price: $160
Buy adidas Harden Vol 3
Which Sole Materials are Best for Basketball?
Apart from the various rubber compounds used by shoe brands, there are two primary types of rubber used in basketball shoes: translucent and solid rubber.
As a general rule, solid rubber provides better traction and is considered a safer choice. However, there are some excellent options available with translucent rubber (such as the Jordan Luka 1). Solid rubber tends to offer superior court grip and overall performance.
Another factor to consider is the hardness and durability of the rubber, especially if you're looking for a good basketball shoe for outdoor play. In such cases, a harder rubber compound with a deep and aggressive traction pattern is recommended, and Nike's XDR rubber is a reliable choice.
What is the Ideal Weight for a Basketball Shoe?
In short, any weight is suitable for a basketball shoe.
The weight of the shoe doesn't significantly impact performance on the court. Heavier shoes are only slightly heavier and don't affect performance in any significant way. Likewise, lighter shoes won't make you faster or more explosive. The weight differences between basketball shoes are minimal and simply come down to personal preference.
How Many Types of Basketball Shoes Are There?
There are several ways to categorize basketball shoes, such as by brand, surface, or position. However, one classification that applies to all basketball shoes is their cut: high, mid, or low.
The differences in cut mainly serve an aesthetic purpose and don't significantly affect the shoe's performance. For a detailed breakdown of high tops, mid tops, and low tops, check out our guide on Highs, Mids, and Lows here.
Top Basketball Shoe Brands
It's nearly impossible to designate a single brand as the best for basketball. The best brand for you depends entirely on your needs and preferences on the court. If you're a small, agile point guard, you'll prioritize finding a shoe that meets your specific requirements, regardless of the brand.
Additionally, the best brand can change over time. Puma, for example, has recently emerged as a consistent producer of high-quality performance basketball shoes, despite re-entering the market in 2018. Nike, on the other hand, has a lengthy list of all-time great performers but also a fair share of underwhelming options.
Based on the current landscape, here are some of the top brands for basketball shoes (in no particular order):
In conclusion, whether you're looking for the perfect fit, ankle support, flat feet accommodation, wide feet comfort, or superior traction, there is a high top basketball shoe out there for you. From the cutting-edge technology of the Under Armour Curry Flow 9 Team Basketball Shoes to the classic appeal of the Reebok Shaq Attaq Basketball Shoes, you have a wide range of options to choose from. Don't forget to consider factors like budget, outdoor performance, and brand reputation when making your decision. So lace up your favorite pair and hit the court with confidence, because the best basketball shoes are waiting for you to conquer the game.